Arts & Culture: Yellowstone, Park City
This story is found in the 2019 edition of Milepost.
Filmmaker Taylor Sheridan came to town to film his feature Wind River a few years back, and he liked what he saw. So much so, that now he’s in the third season as the writer, director and creator of the Paramount Network’s series Yellowstone. Working alongside producer John Linson (Sons of Anarchy) and starring Kevin Costner, they’ve got a hit on their hands.
Yellowstone’s Costner plays fifth-generation rancher John Dutton, who runs the Dutton Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in America. It’s contiguous to both Yellowstone National Park and a reservation, and if you throw in a few real estate developers there’s plenty of conflict and storyline to last another three years, at least.
Filming for the third season is now underway, as nearly 6 million viewers have been following the Dutton’s modern-day saga. While the show is set in Montana, all of the soundstage and much of the location shoots happen in Summit County. The production has actually built a replica of the ranch house Inside the 45,000 square foot sound stages at the Utah Film Studios with real logs brought in from Montana. Sagebrush valleys double for the Native nation, cowboy scenes are set in local rodeo grounds and mobile home meth-labs are blown to bits. It’s an action show, by the way.
And the cast likes what they see here. “This job can take you to a lot of places,” says actor Luke Grimes, who plays Dutton’s son, Kayce. “I’ve filmed all over and Park City has been my favorite location.” The crew numbers around 150, with sometimes four times that many extras. The logistics for such an operation are impressive. There are drivers and wranglers and grips.
Set dressers, propmasters and costume designers are joined by carpenters, electricians and cameramen and sound technicians to stitch this series together. When they move, it’s like an army has been mobilized.
But in the end, it’s the landscape, scenery, and locations that are the major characters which drives the narrative for the actors. Gil Birmingham (who also appeared in Sheridan’s Hell or High Water and Wind River), says, “The landscape is beautiful, just the land, the terrain itself, the mountains, the valleys, it is just gorgeous.”
Costner agrees, and says understatedly, “The background is easy on
But we all know that already.
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