Notes From Montana: Location Scout Recap Part I
The A Lazy H team has just returned from our official American Homestead scouting trip, a jam-packed week of visiting potential shooting locations, planning, and plotting. We visitied historic gold mining towns, Virginia City & Nevada City, preserved from the 1860s and met many locals who provided immeasurable insight into Big Sky history. We also saw a train (more on that later)!
First and foremost, we need to thank the amazing Montana Film Office, especially Deny Staggs, for pulling out all the stops during our visit - it absolutely ensured a successful trip. Everything from the itinerary to networking and learning opportunities were amazing and really helped us feel prepared for pre-production!
The Trip in Numbers:
- Days: 5
- Nights: 6
- Hotels: 4
- Haunted hotels: 1
- Historic towns visited: 2
- Shooting locations finalized: “ Everything that we need”
- Temperature fluxuation: 49°
- Snow storms: 1
- Historic steam trains: 1
- Saloons scouted: 1
- Suites named after Western directors seen: 1
- Average restaurant reservation number: 20
Overall the location scout was just what American Homestead needed. Everyone felt the trip was supremely beneficial and provided a great boost for both moral and motivation!
Even if all the locations were not what our fearless director, Joseph, envisioned everyone collaborated to make each spot work. Joe says, “with our very creative team, we were able to workshop shots and scenes to make the locations work, so now we can shoot almost everything in a few blocks around the historic town!”
Rob Edgecomb, DP Extraordinaire, scouted what we’re sure will be the local watering hole, Bale of Hay Saloon, where the locals recounted ghost stories that kept him up all night!
Of the four hotels the team scouted, our producer, Phill found the Murray Hotel in Livingston, MT to be his favorite. He described it as “a classically charming 4 story hotel with an elevator that’s 108 years old.” It even has a suite named after renowned director Sam Peckinpah ( The Wild Bunch, 1969) who lived in the hotel for several years.
Talk about finding inspiration everywhere!
In plotting out the main property structure, we marked out the “homestead” with wooden stakes, which Joe and Rob noted “brought everything to life to be able to physically see the orientation of the buildings”.
Funnily, on Wednesday when the team took Rob to the site see where things were laid out (he came in a couple days late), they were caught by a snow storm that kept them from making it all the way to the stakes.
It had been 81° the day before.
It was a memorable trip that has officially gotten the ball rolling on the Pre-Production phase of American Homestead. Stay tuned for more recaps from our location scout - we saw and learned a ton of information and can’t wait to share it with you!
Dispatches From the Scout
Here’s a peek at what the A Lazy H team has been looking at this week. Thanks to our amazing Line Producer, Mandi, for the great shots!
Meal and a Movie
Welcome to Week 2 of our Meal and a Movie feature! This week’s movie and menu suggestion come from Ashley’s amazing sister-in-law Lauren, and we couldn’t be happier.
The Meal: Grass-fed sirloin steak, Organic Baked Potato, & Honey Apple Butter Baked Beans.*
The Movie: Blazing Saddles (1974), Mel Brooks
Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?
- Lili Von Shtupp
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of unfiltered, organic extra virgin olive oil
- Marinate the steak by rubbing it all over with unfiltered olive oil and let it sit covered at room temperature for 2 hours. If you prefer to keep your beef refrigerated, let it marinade over night but allow it to come to room temperature before throwing it on the grill. The enzymes in the olive oil help tenderize the beef.
- Pre-heat your grill or cast iron pan to medium heat. Rub the crushed seasoning salt into both sides of the steak.
- Sear the steak over MEDIUM heat, a few minutes on each side.
- Reduce the heat to low, turn over your steak and take turns cooking it for another 5 minutes on each side or until the center reaches your desired temperature (see our cooking temperatures chart). Cooking times vary depending on the thickness of your steak, so be careful and use a meat thermometer.
- Take your steak off the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
“Secret” Herbed Seasoning Salt Recipe
Mix together the following ingredients and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- 2 tbs coarse sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh, finely chopped thyme
- 1 tsp each of fresh, finely chopped parsley, sage & rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
Pro Tip: When you are ready to use this salt, take out the amount you plan to use and crush it with a rolling pin to release the flavors and break up the salt grains into finer pieces. Store whatever is left over in the refrigerator.
- Russet (baking) potato
- Unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
- “Secret” herbed seasoning salt (see above)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Scrub the potato and prick it with a fork to prevent steam from building up and causing the potato to explode in your oven.
- Coat in unfiltered extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with “secret” herbed salt recipe.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours
- Decorate with your choice of accouterments.
Honey Apple Butter Baked Beans
- 1 cup MUSSELMAN’S® Apple Butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp. minced dried onion
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can red or pinto beans, drained
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients except beans in large bowl.
- Stir in beans.
- Pour into 2-quart baking dish or casserole.
- Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
*If you don’t get the recipe reference now, you surely will after the move. Enjoy.
Find us next week for another verision of Meal and a Movie!
Meal and a Movie
Hi Gang! A Lazy H is rolling out some new features this month and we’re super excited to bring to you our first installment of Meal and a Movie. Each Thursday we’ll give you guys the resources to have a quiet night with tasty food and a great western film.
Meal and a Movie
The first meal comes from American Homestead’s Producer of Marketing and Distribution, Ashley. She’s been eating this sauce for nearly 32 years and has, literally, never had a bad batch.
The Meal: Mamma Gresh’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce
The Movie: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, (1966), Sergio Leone
You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend:
Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig. – Blondie
Mamma Gresh’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce
Seriously folks. This is the #1 requested meal at Camp Gresh – from friends and family alike. The sauce preparation is super easy and can be paired with any pasta, though personally I think it’s best with ravioli or angel hair. For a healthier option, try Spaghetti Squash.
- 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes (preferably PROGRESSO)
- 1 can (small) tomato paste
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion
- 2 ½- 3 T. Basil
- 1 T. oregano
- 1 T. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 T. sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté onions 5 – 10 minutes
- Add garlic and sauté another 3 minutes
- Add canned whole tomatoes (crushing them as you add)
- Add tomato paste
- Add seasonings
- Cook uncovered at least 30 minutes (the longer the better)
- Add sugar, salt and pepper
- Check seasonings, adjust as desired
Serve with garlic bread and Italian salad. Pair with a Southern Italian wine (we suggest a nice Montepulciano). Will keep in fridge for one week.
Check back in next Thursday for another Meal and a Movie update!
Movies We’re Excited About: Pablo on Wheels
Check out the teaser trailer for Pablo on Wheels, a film Joe and Phill Matarrese worked on this past summer. The short follows brothers Rey and Pablo as they struggle to survive life in the city after their parents deportation to Mexico.
The film just premiered in New York so we’ll make sure to update you with info on how you can see it in your city!
Congrats to Brett and the entire POW Team!
We’re just gonna leave this here…
Movies We’re Excited About: Casa de mi Padre
Helmed by SNL alum, writer Matt Piedmont (who is making his feature directing debut), Casa de mi Padre is a “Spanish-language comedy with English subtitles…told in an overly dramatic telenovela style”. Casa de mi Padre is finance by NALA FIlms and distributed by Lionsgate partners Pantelion Films.
Starring Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Nick Offerman and Genesis Rodriguez, this film looks to be another Ferrell great.
Video Update - Week 7: Costume/Production Design
Check out our newest video highlighting the nuances of production and costume design. Costume Designer, Robin Vane and Production Designer, Allesandro Marvelli discuss the process and challenges behind these two departments. We’re lucky to have them on board and can’t wait to share more about their craft!