ON THE SET: New film is attracting locals for work

Samantha Hill
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In a usually slow time for Livingston, the area is bustling with work for a new film featuring locals on and off the screen.

A new historical feature film is being shot in Cokedale until the end of this month and then in Scotland this spring. While the production won’t yet divulge the movie’s name nor the actors’ identities, staff did talk about the involvement of locals in its creation.

Carter Boehm, a longtime resident of the area as well as a real estate developer, is the movie’s executive producer.

Boehm has worked on films in the past and was instrumental in getting this particular movie set to the area, including hosting it at his ranch.

“I was very interested in showcasing the immense amount of talent in this area,” Boehm said.

It’s important for Boehm to not only show off what the town has to offer but also what the film industry can do for local businesses.

“Oftentimes people think that the Hollywood people just take all of their money and leave, but we are trying to keep all of that local,” he said.

Residents participated in almost every aspect of the film, from design to providing materials to even working as extras.

One of those locals, Amy McLeod, who was on the movie set Wednesday, said the film was a huge change for her.

Working at Mainstreeter Emporium and her own Etsy shop, McLeod was drawn to the role of an assistant in the costume department, which includes everything from making sure no seams come apart to keeping the clothing consistent throughout the film.

“I have worked on photo shoots before but this is so different,” she said.

McLeod said the major lessons she learned was to always be prepared but also not to take things too seriously.

“It can be hectic at times but I try to maintain a positive attitude,” she said. “When I am on set, I have a smile on my face.”

Garrick Faust and Jim Heillman, of Livingston’s Yellowstone Custom Creations, are in charge of crafting historic wooden furniture for the film sets.

Faust said to make it authentic, the two cut raw wood slabs of cottonwood, often cutting through knots in the old-fashioned way. They also mixed wood types to make it less uniform to fit the time period.

“It is a woodworker’s nightmare,” Faust laughed, adding he had to make identical pieces for use in backup sets.

Other local participation  includes Soundcolor Studios, which helped create some of the sets; and Rue Frase, a private chef who is providing all the meals.

No film production is complete without accommodations, which this production needs a lot of. There are rooms in the Yellowstone Pioneer Lodge used for costumes, makeup, rehearsal, management and over 50 rooms for the cast and crew.

YPL General Manager Deb Kowalzek said the hotel has been very lively since the crew began arriving in November.

“This is a big huge building and we like to fill it up,” Kowalzek said.

The film is set to be released sometime next year.