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

Actor's strike shuts down Montana productions

Yellowstone Film Ranch
Orlinda Worthington
Yellowstone Film Ranch

Leaders of the Hollywood union SAG-AFTRA, representing 160,000 television and movie actors, voted this afternoon to strike.

As Yellowstone Radio’s Orlinda Worthington reports, this latest picket line, plus an already striking Writers Guild, is striking a blow to Montana’s film industry.

1923 a large-scale production filmed on location in Butte. It’s a prequel to “Yellowstone,” filmed near Hamilton.

Tina Buckingham is the Montana casting director for 1923. It was set to begin filming again June first, for six months. The Writer’s Guild strike canceled that.

“That was a huge income for me. In addition, there were two substantial movies that I've lost and  then a couple other smaller projects,” she said.

Buckingham says strikes are debiitating not only for her business, but for countless others.

 “It's devastating to this industry because it trickles down.  All of the food people, the restaurants, the people that would work on the movie.  The lumber companies for building sets, the city for using the streets and the wranglers for the horses and it goes on and on and on.  The amount of money lost is tremendous,” according to Buckingham.  

Richard Gray is a co-owner of Yellowstone Film Ranch in Paradise Valley. I caught up with him on the road. He told me three projects at the film studio will be canceled by the actor’s strike. Even so, Gray thinks an actor’s strike could help bring both unions to a quicker resolution.

Richard Gray, “And with the actors striking it will mean a hell of a lot more pressure on the studios and the streamers to come to an agreement.”   

Buckingham agrees. Even with the loss of income, she stands with the striking union members.

“I believe in it.  The writers and the actors both Absolutely need a better cut for projects when they go to streaming,” Buckingham said.”

Certain commercials and independent film projects can go on during the strike… but they don’t pay anywhere close to the big Hollywood productions.

For YPR news, I’m Orlinda Worthington

  The Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild of America are demanding increases in base pay and residuals in the streaming TV era plus assurances that their work will not be replaced by artificial intelligence.

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