Contributed by Laine Perry
When Laine Perry first sidled into Monte Beckman’s saddle shop nearly two dozen years ago, she had no idea she would eventually make a movie about the man.
However, a few years into their decades-old friendship, she knew eventually she would work on a visual project about the saddlemaker. Perry said that Beckman’s standard of excellence was not easily matched. A humble perfectionist, Beckman also impressed Perry with his willingness to share his knowledge with anyone who wandered in to his saddle shop with a curiosity about the art.
“The Maker’s Mark,” a documentary film released in 2015, encompasses Beckman’s journey as a saddlemaker. In addition, it tells the story of a father whose five sons — Jared, Levi, Walker, Dale and Isaac — came back into his life as young men to help him get back on his feet after suffering a stroke. Beckman, who died in February 2017, faced many months of therapy before he could ease back into his life as a leather carver.
“They were all there helping me get going again,” Beckman said in a 2015 interview with the East Oregonian. “Every one of them stepped up.”
The public is invited to a screening of the 30-minute film at 6 p.m. Thursday at Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 N. Main St. The cost is $8.
When asked why she made the film, Perry said that one of the first things she learned about Beckman was that he had five boys who weren’t in his life much. The situation, the filmmaker said, weighed on him.
“As a filmmaker, and as a friend, I wanted to make a movie about Monte’s sons coming back into his life because it’s important to know that miracles happen whether we are willing to ask for them, or not. ‘The Maker’s Mark’ celebrates that,” she said.
The film, which was unscripted, was shot in Pendleton. Perry was touched several times observing conversations during filming — the interactions, she said were “beautiful” and “genuine.”
Tickets to the screening are available at www.pendletonarts.org, by calling 541-278-9201 or at the door.