DIDSBURY - The town of Didsbury was once again the site of a major Hollywood movie production as it stood in for Quincy, Wyo. for a movie called Land.
Director and star Robin Wright – who in the past played Jenny in Forrest Gump and Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride – was seen around town during the shoot, which went from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
The movie shot at several locations in town including inside J.D.'s Restaurant and outside on 20th Street, 19th Avenue and other areas.
Keen-eyed residents noticed that we had a number of "new" stores in town: Cowtown Brewing became The Crooked Hitch Pub, Ana's Tatooing became Big Horn Tack and Saddlery, ATB became Cam's Country Grocery, and so on.
The Didsbury Inn and Saloon became the Wandering Buffalo Inn with the best "Wildcat chili" in Wyoming. J.J. Ludwig, owner and operator of the saloon, said having movies and TV shows filming here is great for the town.
"I believe the film industry's presence in Didsbury is important and one that the town and community should encourage and capitalize on," said Ludwig. "There are so many benefits to having a push for the motion picture industry here. First, it infuses some life and excitement into the town; a buzz is created among locals and a sense of pride flourishes.
"Second, traffic from the showbiz comes in. Staging areas, services and small businesses are sought out to provide opportunities to crew and production. If properly marketed, the town can show what other areas we excel in, such as our fantastic arts scene, history, fundraising and agriculture activities."
Ludwig said they've been fortunate to be able to pick up inexpensive equipment, props and other essentials to start the saloon.
The Didsbury Saloon houses memorabilia from Wynonna Earp, Fargo, The Detour, Let Him Go, Fargo, Tin Star and Hell on Wheels.
"Just because the entertainment industry infuses money into our economy doesn't mean it's always easy," she said. "There are headaches with parking, moved property, street closures, land use issues, and other annoyance. Underneath all that disruption, though, is an underlying current of excitement that brings new faces to our establishment and to Didsbury in general."
The movie also transformed J.D.'s Restaurant into Quincy's Diner. The inside of the eating establishment was adorned with stuffed buffalo heads and wildlife paintings (which have all since been removed).
The inside of J.D.'s was used to film a couple of indoor scenes, similar to those that were shot for Let Him Go.
Owner Jae Teskey said it's always interesting to watch them make a film.
"It was all right," said Teskey. "It wasn't as big a production as Kevin Costner's movie. We had to shut down for a half day for getting ready and then a full day of filming and a few more hours to take it down. We were paid for it."
Teskey said the temporary decor was certainly interesting.
"It's not really for me, the buffalo heads, but some might like it," she said. "The pictures were all right."
Teskey enjoyed watching the actors and the crew filming.
"It's about a lady who leaves home to find herself," she said. "They filmed a scene here and then another that was three years later when they returned. I saw Robin Wright. I said hello but she was very busy directing and everything. So we just watched."
Land follows in the footsteps of Let Him Go with star Kevin Costner, which was filmed in part in Didsbury in April of this year. TV series Fargo and Wynonna Earp have also shot in Didsbury in recent years.
Teskey said having movie productions in Didsbury is very beneficial to the town. She is hoping that the provincial government won't cut grants or other incentives for the movie industry.
"The way I look at it, it creates a lot of jobs in Alberta," she said. "I think a lot would go to British Columbia. It's not just good for the town but the province. They hire a lot of people from Alberta. I think the government should help them out."