'Cowboys and Aliens' cottons to Ropesville couple's compost - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

'Cowboys and Aliens' cottons to Ropesville couple's compost

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The highly anticipated summer movie 'Cowboys and Aliens' hits theaters Friday, and every time you see an explosion you might be looking at a little piece of West Texas and not even know it.

Frances and Royce Acuff own a compost company called Nature Life in Ropesville.

"I've never had anybody say they're going to blow it up," Royce said.

Before 'Cowboys and Aliens' trailers were released, the Acuff's got an unusual call from a special effects company. 

"I said, could you tell me exactly what you plan on using it for? And she said, 'Well, it blows up real good,' and I said 'Excuse me?'""

The Acuff's product is compost. "When you gather the cotton (and) take it to the cotton gin, they remove fiber and the seed and then what's left over is the cotton burr. We take the trash from the gin and make compost," Royce explained.

Usually it's used for gardens or landscaping, but the special effects company was looking to use it for explosion scenes. And they wanted a lot of it.

"They ordered about 900 bags - that's two truckloads," Royce said.

However, his wife was skeptical and concerned that someone would want to blow their compost up.  "My first thought was that it might be a terrorist," Frances said.

So to ease their concerns, the special effects company sent over a little proof.

"It was a To-whom-it-may-concern letter from Dreamworks," Royce said. "When the little guy was sitting on the moon with his fishing pole ... I thought, well, I guess this is the real deal."

'Cowboys and Aliens' director Jon Favreau needed compost because it's something he could blow up that wouldn't damage the Indian reservation land they were shooting on north of Santa Fe.

"It scatters out on the land and then it enriches the soil, so there's no harm done," Royce explained.

"I'd like to see the movie - see our stuff blowing around everywhere," Frances said.

The Acuff's have been watching the movie trailers and are planning to see 'Cowboys and Aliens' in theaters Friday.

"It's pretty amazing that we're seeing Nature Life in a movie," Royce said. The Acuff's hope they'll get more strange phone calls from the movie makers in the future.

"I guess when they get ready for some more explosions, then we'll probably get some more calls from them ... I hope," Royce said.

Dreamworks and Marvel Entertainment have since ordered more compost from Nature Life, Inc.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11.

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