Film

The Modern West 26: Going To The Movies

23 hours ago

Wyoming is the setting for many a Western—even if the films aren’t shot on location. But even if big studios pass the state by, Wyomingites are making their own movies. 

After spending the past decade working primarily in New York City as an actress on stage, TV and for the Metropolitan Opera, Oakley Boycott of Lander is playing the character of Nancy in the sci-fi western film, The Rider. Director, writer, and leading actor Jesse Judy says the part was written for Boycott. 

“Oddly enough, the part that I wrote, the woman in mind was actually Oakley Boycott. Oakley read the part exactly how I envisioned writing it.”

Jennifer Tennican

Vertical Harvest is finishing up its first year of operation. The hydroponic, or soil-less, greenhouse is located in downtown Jackson, and not only provides locally grown produce, but also employs 15 people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Clay Landry

The era of the mountain man was brief—the high point of the Rocky Mountain beaver fur trade was between 1820 and 1840. But the period still holds fascination today. Clay Landry has written extensively on the subject.

He’ll be speaking on non-fiction writing at the Wyoming Writers Conference June 2-4 in Gillette. As Landry told Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, he recently served as a historical advisor for the 2016 film The Revenant.

Photo by Arundathi Nair

With the fossil fuel industry in a decline, policy makers, industry executives, and environmental activists are faced with some hard questions about Wyoming's energy future. The topic captured the attention of Arundathi Nair, a 9th grader at Laramie High School. She recently won C-Span's StudentCam 2017 competition for her film "Fossil Fuels to Renewables," which promotes seeking solutions through discussion rather than debate.

Nair's film can be viewed here.

 

thebeardedladyproject.com

A University of Wyoming scientist has created a documentary to celebrate women in paleontology.

Ellen Currano said she and a friend, filmmaker Lexi Jameison Marsh, conceived of the project after a hard day in their separate fields. Both women had felt like outsiders who were not taken as seriously as their male colleagues.

Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to incentivize movie production companies to film in Wyoming passed the Wyoming Senate today. 

Senate File 24 will give the Wyoming Tourism Board more flexibility when it comes to reimbursing certain costs of film making to production companies, and investments in those production companies.

Douglas Senator Brian Boner said movie production itself won't bring revenue directly into the state, but it could attract tourism.

  

On Monday, January 16 at 9 p.m., Wyoming PBS will air a new documentary set in Wyoming called What Was Ours, directed by Mat Hames. It’s about three Native Americans on the Wind River Indian Reservation and their relationship to artifacts and ceremonial objects and how hard it can be to keep such things within the tribe. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards spoke with two people who appear in the film, Northern Arapaho members Jordan Dresser and former Powwow Princess Mikala Sunrhodes.

A new documentary that premiered in Wyoming on September 9 and 10, tells the stories of three Native Americans from the Wind River Indian Reservation and their quest to find and reclaim tribal artifacts locked away in museums and other storage facilities.

Mat Hames is the director of the new film, What Was Ours, which was commissioned by Wyoming PBS. Hames says the film follows an Eastern Shoshone elder and two Northern Arapaho youths, a journalist and a powwow princess, as they track down artifacts that belonged to Native Americans at the turn of the last century.

Lance Madzey

Natrona County High School’s film and television program, NCTV, is hoping to raise about $15,000 to cover the costs of equipment for a new studio space in the high school’s renovated building.

Recent renovations of the school did not include a new studio space, so Lance Madzey, who has taught the program for twenty-years and his students, began fundraising in order to retrofit a classroom into a studio with editing bays. He says he is hoping his students will be able to continue to produce their usual weekly live television show.

Will Taggart and Aaron Pruzan

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that kayakers successfully descended the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River in northwest Wyoming, one of the wildest rivers in the U.S. But it was also around then that the state of Wyoming drew up plans to dam the canyon. A new documentary called Our Local Epic by kayakers Will Taggart and Aaron Pruzan explore how the Clark’s Fork became Wyoming's first wild and scenic river.

A documentary produced in Jackson is set to premiere on public television stations around the country this spring. "Far Afield" stars naturalist Bert Raynes, a longtime Jackson Hole News & Guide columnist.

The film follows the life of Raynes as he discovers his two great loves – nature and his wife, Meg. Together they founded the Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund.

Aaron Schrank

Director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, “The Hateful Eight,” is set in a Wyoming blizzard, sometime after the Civil War. But the movie wasn’t shot here.

Tarantino’s production team did consider filming in Wyoming, though. Rick Young is the director of the Fort Caspar Museum, which includes an 1860’s era fort.

Michael Coles for winterinthebloodfilm.com

On Thursday, an award-winning film based on a classic James Welch novel makes its Wyoming debut. Winter in the Blood follows the story of a Blackfoot man, Virgil First Raise, through his journey of self-discovery. The movie is directed by brothers Alex and Andrew Smith.

Entertainment Weekly

Quentin Tarantino’s next film will have a touch of real Wyoming in it. Bounty hunter John “the Hangman” Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, will be wearing a buffalo hide coat created by tanning company Merlin’s Hide Out in Thermopolis. The coat is based on an original that can be seen in the Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles.

“It's designed from the 1800s. It has different lengths of hair throughout—it needs to be a big, burly looking coat,” said Barb Heinze, co-owner of Merlin’s Hideout.

commons.wikimedia.org

As another Marvel Comics-inspired movie dominates the box office, a Wyoming teen has tapped into the franchise’s superpowers for a triumph of her own. The team of superheroes, the Avengers, probably needs no introduction. And neither does the mastermind behind those characters—Stan Lee. For Marvel Comics fans, he’s the ultimate superhero.

“Actually, I had never really been a fan before this project,” confesses Hazel Homer-Wambeam. She’s 14, wrapping up homeschooled 8th grade, and lives in Laramie.

  

A new film follows the journey of a snowboarder Brolin Mawejje on his quest to become the first African Olympic snowboarder. Born in Uganda, he saw snow for the first time when he came to the U.S. at age 12. Snowboarding helped Mawejje escape a difficult home life and bond with a family who brought him to Jackson Hole.

Jennifer Tennican

A new film follows the journey of a snowboarder Brolin Mawejje, on his quest to become the first African Olympic snowboarder. He was born in Uganda and only saw snow for the first time when he came to the U.S. at age 12. He eventually moved to Jackson Hole with a family that took him in as one of their own. Part of what sealed the bond with his adoptive family was a love of snowboarding, which he shared with their son, Phil Hessler.

For sixteen years, the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s World Tour has made a yearly stop in Laramie. This is the first year it will be screened at the Gryphon Theater.

The festival features 20 films shown over two days. Films focus on outdoor recreation, adventure, and environmental issues, says Dan McCoy, one of the event organizers.

“So we’re going to show films that are more high-adrenaline – films about kayaking, about rock-climbing, [and] about adventure.”

fastfilmfestcheyenne.com

Friday is the kickoff for Cheyenne’s Fast Filmmaking Festival. It gives contestants two weeks to film and produce a film highlighting one of the capital city’s historic landmarks. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with festival producer Alan O’Hashi.

JenTen Productions

Barns don’t just hold hay. They hold cultural and architectural meaning. A ‘Barn Bash’ Friday, September 19 at the Center for the Arts in Jackson will explore the value of these agrarian artifacts through the premier of a new documentary, a panel discussion, and a barn dance.

A movie that was filmed and produced in Laramie premiers on the big screen tonight at the Gryphon Theatre. London Homer-Wambeam wrote and shot ‘Project Cora’ while he was still in high school. He’s now a freshman at the University of Wyoming, and he stopped by our studios to talk about his Artificial Intelligence romance movie with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Jason Zeller

The fifth annual Hyart Film Festival is scheduled for next weekend, June 19-21, at the historic Hyart Theater in Lovell. The festival has culled 160 entries from around the world down to just under 50 films—comedies, drama, sci-fi, horror, and kids movies. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer called the festival’s Creative Guru, Jason Zeller, to find out what movies made the cut.

cheyenneinternationalfilmfestival.com

The 6th annual Cheyenne International Film Festival kicks off Tuesday.  Alan O’Hashi runs the event and he joins us to tell us what is in store.

Credit JenTen Productions

JenTen Productions documentary film on The Stagecoach Bar in Wilson, Wyoming is playing in Sheridan at the WYO Theater on May 24th at 6:30 PM.

David Blehert

Alison Teal grew up traveling the world with her adventure-photographer parents. She’s following in their footsteps by globetrotting with a camera and a pink surfboard to create the online TV show Alison’s Adventures. Teal shares her cross-cultural experiences at the University of Wyoming on Wednesday, March 12. She stopped by the WPM studios to speak with Wyoming Public Media’s Micah Schweizer.

Charles Arturaola:  Voted ‘one of the 10 best palates in the United States’ by the America Sommelier Association, Uruguayan-born Arturaola has spent more than 25 years as cellar master, director of wine, and sommelier.  He starred in the 2011 award-winning film El Camino del Vino, The Way of Wine.

Rebecca Martinez

Going to the movies has been a favorite pastime since the dawn of film… but Hollywood studios expect to stop printing movies on actual film before the end of this year. They’re switching over to a digital format, which requires all-new equipment… and the cost of the transition is proving prohibitive for some small Wyoming theaters. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

(struggling to open reel box)

A documentary about the construction of the transcontinental railroad is set to air on Wyoming PBS this weekend. The film will show how the building of the railroad shaped Wyoming into the place it is today. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with the film’s producer, Tom Manning. He says before the railroad was built, there was no Wyoming. The film, “End of Track,” premieres on PBS on March 10th at 7 p.m.

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