While the valley hasn’t seen too many larger productions rolling into town in the last few filming seasons, that changed with the announcement last week the film The Last Rites of Ransom Pride will be filmed in the area.
The western, which features Scott Speedman, who came to attention of audiences in Underworld, as well as country singers Dwight Yoakam, and Kris Kristofferson, confirmed it would be shooting in Alberta.
Lizzy Caplan, who came to prominence in the horror movie Cloverfield, will also star in the movie. She plays a woman trying to transport the body of her lover, an outlaw gunfighter, home to be buried.
According to the Alberta Film Commission website the movie has been in preproduction since August 18, and began filming on September 2. The schedule says they are to shoot for about four weeks.
According to a Calgary Herald report, the crews are to film in the Badlands of Drumheller, Longview and the Currie Barracks in Calgary. It will employ more than 100 crew members, 47 actors and hundreds of extras.
Ray Telford, Economic Development officer, says the crews keep coming back because of the location. This summer the Murdoch Mysteries, a Canadian series airing on City TV shot in the valley in August, and earlier this summer, a Quebec RV television show shot in the area, and will feature Calgary and Drumheller in their first episode.
Just last week a small independent troupe was in Dooley’s Coulee, in the east end of the valley filming a short movie set in Afghanistan.
The short, written by Jimmy Bustos, who also directs, and Richard Hardy, who plays a Canadian Soldier, is about a recently orphaned Afghan youth and a soldier alone in the desert. According to Hardy the film is multi-layered and deals with prejudice. He says it was originally written as a western, but came alive when they placed it in a modern Afghan setting.
It was scenery that brought the crew out to the valley. They were familiar with the location in the coulee, especially the stark dead tree they chose to film near, from shooting there as students. He adds still shots from Afghanistan a crew member took not long ago; confirms the landscape is very fitting. Hardy says the film will be no longer than 15 minutes and is designed to be shown at festivals. Another venue is the Movieola Short Film Channel.
The last Rites of Ransom Pride is scheduled to shoot for four weeks, however it is not known when they will be working in the valley.
The film is co-produced by Calgary’s Nomadic Pictures. The executive producer is Chad Oakes who has won a, Emmy for Broke Trail, and a Daytime Emmy for the Incredible Mrs. Richie.