Behind the Scenes – How Yellowstone Came to be Filmed in Montana
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The TV series Yellowstone has millions of viewers around the world, and much of the show is filmed right here in Montana, but how the series came to be filmed near Missoula is a story told to KGVO News by Allison Whitmer, Film Commissioner with the Montana Film Office at the Montana Department of Commerce in Helena.
The Montana Film Office Invited Yellowstone's Creator to Locate in Montana
“The writer, producer, and director of the show, Taylor Sheridan, had done a film in Utah and Wyoming called Wind River,” began Whitmer. “It got out in the trades that he was also doing a show called Yellowstone and we read about it. Of course, it was set in Montana and we knew some people who had worked with him before, so we invited them to come and scout Montana and that was successful. That's how they found the Chief Joseph Ranch down there in Darby along with their location scout and one of our independent scouts, and the rest is history.”
Close to $50 Million in Economic Activity has come to Montana Through Yellowstone
Whitmer said the show has brought millions of dollars into the Montana economy in a great variety of ways.
“Financially for Montana, we've found that they have put millions of dollars into the economy, probably close to over $50 million of labor and expenditures at the very least into the economy,” she said. “It's both big and small ways, with things like airplane tickets and hotels and small ways in like one time they did an explosion, and they rented the bricks from a local brick recycler in Missoula.”
Whitmer said there are dozens of stories about how local businesses and locales have benefited from their exposure through the Yellowstone series.
“Well, I have been told by some of the people at Ruby’s Cafe that they do land office business in T-shirts, so that's pretty awesome,” she said. “Every time I've been to Ruby’s, it's been full, so I think Ruby’s is definitely reaping the benefits. About the Chief Joseph Ranch; they probably see five to 15 people a day stopped by there, and in the high part of summer the owner said that there were probably 30 to 40 people taking pictures of their sign.”
The Portrayal of Strong Female Characters has Broken new Ground with Yellowstone
On a personal note, Whitmer said producer Taylor Sheridan and the Yellowstone series has broken new ground in their portrayal of strong, independent women.
“I really enjoy watching the female characters that Taylor Sheridan has created,” she said. “As we know, Montana is a state that has been built on the labor of men and women, and to see a television show with a woman as governor, where a woman's been elected senator, and of course, you know that Montana had the first woman in the House of Representatives in this country (Jeannette Rankin), where women aren't afraid to run businesses and make decisions and they are pivotal story points in the show. I really feel that Taylor has captured all of this strength that comes to our state through all the women that live here.”
Find out more about the Montana Film Office here.