Big Announcement Of The Day: New American Homestead Trailer!
We have a brand spanking new trailer, gang! The latest showcases the stunning Montana landscapes set to a beautiful composed score (also new). Thanks to our editor extraordinaire, Art Freed, for all his hard work!
Take a look and let us know what you think!
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 is a smattering of great shots from the location scout. The team comes home tomorrow and we can’t wait to hear all about their trip.
Look forward to a trip recap and more exciting news from the A Lazy H gang as we officially move into our Pre-Production stage!
Thanks again to Mandi for sharing pictures from the week!
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!
High Noon & The Lone Hero
by Aaron Rockwell
Screenwriter, American Homestead
In the traditional movie blueprint often the protagonist has a guardian or consultant who acts as a guide…someone older and wiser who knows the ropes and provides an outlet for exposition. We can see this in Westerns: Butch and Sundance. Bart and Jim. Cisco Kid and Poncho. And of course, there are others…Luke Skywalker has Obi-Wan Kenobi. Marty McFly has Doc Brown. Even James Bond has Q to provide him with a gadget or stern lecture.
One example that breaks this norm (and a favorite of ours at A Lazy H) is High Noon. This is a film highlighting the lack of this companionship and the perils of society without protection in the early days of the western frontier. The law was scarce during the formation of the West, and Hadleyville - the town where High Noon takes place - is no different. Only one man, Will Kane (Gary Cooper), is designated as the town’s protector. He is tempted leave Hadleyville when the goins get rough, but instead decides to protect the townsfolk he has grown to love…because despite what loners say - no man is an island. Unlike more traditional archetypes, he has no support and must act as his own guardian and mentor. This challenge makes Will Kane’s character arc more powerful because he ends up filling two roles – hero and guardian.
The character development in High Noon is similar to what our protagonists have done in American Homestead. Mary - the strong and independent homesteader – relies on little but her own wit and strength to create a viable home and survive the hardships of frontier life. Likewise, Mary’s brother Jonathan whose once troubled past is alone to negotiate the path of redemption, as his once-guardian-figure Sam is dead. Like High Noon, both characters evolve, adapt and go through tremendous character development to accommodate for the lack of companionship…a feat that only makes them stronger.