The documentary will premiere at the Cambria Film Festival this February
PASO ROBLES — Robin Smith, a Paso Robles filmmaker, spent last summer following around artists who craft scarecrows. Her work is featured in “Something to Crow About,” a documentary about the Cambria Scarecrow Festival that premieres during the Cambria Film Festival Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m.
Every October for the past 14 years, volunteers have presented the Cambria Scarecrow Festival with about 300 to 400 scarecrows staged downtown and up through San Simeon.
It takes about eight months for the volunteers to create new scarecrows and repair older ones. The film captures these behind-the-scenes efforts at the Dr. Crow Workshop, a converted industrial storage unit in Cambria’s Tin City.
During the summer, Smith dropped by the workshop a few times a week to film what was happening that day.
“First of all, I was astounded by the time and effort these volunteers put into their scarecrow art,” Smith said. “I think filmgoers will be impressed, too.”
“One day I walked in and there were bloody, rubber hands all over the tables,” explained Smith. “Turns out they were converting Halloween props into more realistic hands for the scarecrows. And that’s how it went, I never knew what I would find.”
Another incident involved a Dolly Parton crow.
“Several volunteers were struggling with Dolly’s bra and positioning it so it looked right,” Smith said. “Come to find out there is quite an art to making body parts look correct, even on a scarecrow.”
Smith has been a filmmaker for 40 years and teaches film editing at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. She also has won an Emmy and numerous national Telly Awards.
“Something to Crow About” screens at the Cambria Vets Hall Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at cambriafilmfestival.com.