Cody Yellowstone Launches Film Commission; Destination Seeks Local Businesses and Attractions as Sites and Residents for Production Crews
CODY, Wyo., August 9, 2023 – With its rugged Western landscapes, historic buildings and authentic attractions, Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin has long been the site for filming commercials, movies, television programs and other productions. With the launch of a new Cody Yellowstone Film Commission, the destination is working to bring even more of these kinds of opportunities to the region and to capitalize on the huge potential economic benefits that result from hosting them.
Among the film commission’s initial projects is to build a robust database of Cody Yellowstone companies that can provide guides, transportation and other on-the-ground support; locals who are interested in serving on production crews and in other capacities; and buildings and attractions as potential filming locations.
“Few Western places offer our combination of majestic Western spaces, enthusiastic and welcoming residents and historic buildings, which are
all important elements for enticing production companies to our destination,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of Cody Yellowstone, the marketing arm for the region that includes the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, parts of the Shoshone National Forest and a large swath of Yellowstone National Park. “The new Cody Yellowstone Film Commission will be able to reach the decision-makers in this vibrant industry as well as match specific production company needs to local resources and sites.”
Heading up the new film commission is Wyoming resident Kelly Eastes, who has shepherded a wide range of film projects. Examples include “Starship Troopers,” National Geographic’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” “Home Town Kickstart” and a commercial, “Wells Fargo – Bullit Branded.”
How to Get Involved with a Cody Yellowstone Production
Among the first projects Eastes is launching is the development of a database of places like attractions, buildings, stores and homes as well as local residents who are interested in working on a film or commercial shoot as scouts, extras or production crew members. Interested residents, owners/operators of buildings and attractions and service providers that can provide support to production companies can register their offerings at www.codyyellowstone.org/plan/filming-in-cody/. Questions about the initiative can be directed to Eastes at [email protected].
Past Productions Filmed in Cody Yellowstone
When representing the destination to productions seeking an authentic Western place to film a project, the Cody Yellowstone Film Commission can point to a long record of television, movie and commercial productions.
Not surprisingly, the popular series “Longmire” had several scenes in and around the town of Cody. Many of those scenes were shot at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. As a side note, Robert Taylor who played Walt Longmire and Adam Bartley who portrayed “The Ferg” were grand marshals of the Cody Stampede parade in 2019. Past marshals have included John Wayne and Wilford Brimley.
The “Mountain Men” reality show followed the lives of several people who lived off the grid in remote areas and included several locals. The show has been on the air since 2012 and is going strong.
“Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” stopped in to check out the town’s culinary traditions such as buffalo burgers and elk chili.
An adaptation of “The Scarlet Letter” starring Demi Moore, Gary Oldham and Robert Duvall featured several scenes shot in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
“Absaroka” is a 20-minute feature portraying two cowboys who are faced with a deadly dilemma and quickly decide on which side of right and wrong they will land. This production was shot entirely in Park County.
“Any Which Way You Can” was not a true Western, but it did bring Clint Eastwood to town where shooting locations included the Irma Hotel and Cody Theatre.
Rugged terrain, open roads, running streams and towering mountains were more than enough to attract Nike, Jeep and Coors Light to shoot commercials.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.