LA-based production company Valkyr Productions, led by director Jeremy Heslup, has created a short Western film with an automotive twist. For a brand with more than 100 years of history, the filmmaker saw a perfect opportunity to highlight the world’s most modern and luxurious SUV in a setting of more than century ago. As the “all-powerful stagecoach,” the Black Badge Rolls-Royce Cullinan plays a central character in the film, its tremendous presence and peerless luxury juxtaposed with disparity of life in the West. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars saw this as a great opportunity to showcase the Cullinan’s authentic capability in an unexpected setting.
The film, releasing digitally, has been selected by the 2022 International Motor Film Awards in the Best Drama Short Category. The release is accompanied by a comprehensive Behind the Scenes film as well as stills by renowned professional photographer Webb Bland.
The narrative short film, supported by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North America, who provided the 2022 Black Badge Cullinan to the film production, was shot over 4 days at the beautiful Yellowstone Film Ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana. The film, intended as a narrative and commercial statement piece, grew in scope with the inclusion of the Cullinan. Self-funded by Valkyr with over 30 cast and 30 crew attached to the project, both local and out of town, the nimble production sought to squeeze the most value out of the opportunity as possible.
“From the narrative side, I hope people see a story that is identifiable within the Western genre; from the commercial side, I hope people see a fresher, more purposeful take on motivating how the car is used in the story.” – writer/director Jeremy Heslup The ensemble cast is led by Claudine Quadrat (Ant Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, Mank) playing Isabel, the true gunslinger masquerading as a saloon girl. The film also features Jarrett Worley (Yellowstone, Daredevil) as the Gunslinger, and Montana natives Joe Wayne (History’s Mysteries) as the Man in Black and Cory Birkenbuel (Two Yellow Lines) as the Second in Command. And of course, Black Badge Cullinan makes it screen debut as, The Stagecoach.
Shot by Director of Photography Joe Victorine (Netflix’s My Heroes Were Cowboys) on Alexa Mini LF with Cooke Anamorphic SF FF lenses from Adorama Rentals in New York, the 4-day production was divided into 2 days on the narrative Western scenes and 2 days on the car-related scenes. A chase vehicle captured the Cullinan’s pursuit of the gang’s horses, a drone followed for an aerial sequence, and Filmlites Montana provided equipment for picture car rigging.
Carter Boehm and Richard Gray, co-founders of Yellowstone Film Ranch (Murder at Yellowstone, The Old Way), provided usage of the newly constructed set as well various other locations in the surrounding Paradise Valley for filming. Replica firearms from ISS Props were shipped from Los Angeles to ensure safety. A nimble grip package, provided by gaffer Adam Hutsell of Summit Lighting, executed the lighting. Post-production was finished with color by Parker Jarvie of Company 3 Los Angeles and an original score by Julian Cisneros.