Period Feature Film
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
Starring Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary Louise-Parker, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner,
Sam Shepard, Garrett Dillahunt, Paul Schneider.
Produced by Warner Bros., Ridley Scott, Plan B Entertainment.
Although The Assassination of Jesse James was released in 2007, it had made a comeback in recent years and is a fitting addition to the website : with 65 Award nominations and 25 wins including 2 Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe, and the Volpi Cup for Brad Pitt's performance.
I came on as a First Assistant Art Director (or a Second Art Director). The Supervising Art Director was the talented and well-known Troy Sizemore (Hidalgo, Batman vs Superman, Clash of the Titans).
We shot mainly within a 2 hour radius of Calgary, Alberta, Canada with additional
two and one-week location shoots in Edmonton and Winnipeg.
The list of sets slated for design spanned many pages. Which required a second
Art Director to tag team with our Supervising Art Director. Sadly we see very little
of the work that was done by our Designer Richard Hoover and our award winning crews. Prep and shooting spanned over more than 4 months.
These images below were taken of the two complete towns that we built, but there were many other builds of estate homes, cabins, rural settlements, as well as existing location modifications. Very little of my time was spent in the production office once we started shooting. For the most part I was on our set builds and on set.
House on the Hill | Jesse James' residence was at the top of the hill in this town.
Creed, Colorado | This Mining Town set was built up in the Goat Creek area near Canmore.
The incredible cinematographer Roger Deakins (seen here with Director Andrew Dominik),
made this Film into an Art Piece.
Watching him do his lighting setups was magical.
He used very little in the way of movie lights.
(Roger Deakins credits : Beautiful Mind, Lady Killers, No Country for Old Men, House of Sand and Fog, O Brother Where Art Thou, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, The Secret Garden, The Man Who Wasn't There, Revolutionary Road, The Company Men, Blade Runner 2049 (Oscar Win), 1917 (Oscar Win).
Roger Deakins talks about how he lights the various scenes in The Assassination of Jesse James in this Podcast. He references some of the builds of our sets and discusses shooting through the restoration glass at House on the Hill
for that iconic shot of Brad Pitt (Jesse James) through the window, distorting his face.
left to right : first row : Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Paul Schneider, Garret Dillahunt ; second row : Sam Shepard, Brad Pitt.
We recreated the town of Creed, Colorado near Goat Creek north of Canmore. A second town in which House on the Hill resided, was constructed North of Cochrane on a private ranch.
Filming also took place on private ranches southwest of the city in the McKinnon Flats, and on several private ranches near Millarville, Turner Valley, and Longview. Additional footage was shot in the Kananaskis area, Heritage Park, the Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Fort Edmonton and Winnipeg.