Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Productions begin in Montana after strikes end

Horses tied to a post at Yellowstone Film Ranch
Yellowstone Film Ranch
Horses tied to a post at Yellowstone Film Ranch

The last of Hollywood's strikes is now over as actors reached a tentative deal with studios on Wednesday.

That means productions can begin shooting again right away.

But as Yellowstone Public Radio’s Orlinda Worthington reports, not all good news for Montana.

Many productions slated to shoot in Montana were put on hold in May when the Writer’s Guild went on strike. Most all filming was shut down in July when the actor’s union followed suit.

While productions can now start work anytime, it may be too late for Montana to benefit this year.

“This kind of is the end of our season. We would love to have a winter film or a winter TV series, but as of yet, we haven't,” according to Tina Buckingham.

Tina Buckingham is a Montana casting director. She says the strikes affected more than writers and actors.

“It affected the entire industry.  There are so many people in Montana who count on this business for their livelihood. People right down to the lumber yards who sell wood to people to build sets. Production in  Montana brings a lot of money here,”  Buckingham said.

Buckingham says the Yellowstone series will pick up shooting its final episodes in the Bitterroot Valley next summer, but 1923, a series shot in Butte last year ,decided not return to the state. 

“They were set to shoot beginning June 1st of this year and would have still been shooting right now, but when the strike happened, they had to make a very difficult decision and pull all of their equipment out of Butte and take it to Texas.”

That decision hinged mainly on the production's film tax credit incentives, which expired during the strike.

An A-list western was allowed to continue work at the Yellowstone Film Ranch during the strike. And Buckingham keeps a positive outlook for future filming.

Orlinda Worthington hosts “Morning Edition” weekdays on YPR. She brings 20 years of experience as Montana television news anchor, producer, and reporter.