The Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Film Office and the City of Scottsbluff Economic Development Office were pleased to have had western Nebraska chosen as one of three locations for the Coen Brother’s project, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Filming on location in the Scottsbluff area took place September 8 – 27, with several months of pre-production preparation which began in April.
Pan Shot Productions and Annapurna Television filmed episodes of the feature-length omnibus, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” in New Mexico and Colorado before arriving in Nebraska to film one of the episodes in close proximity to the original Oregon Trail, “The Girl Who Got Rattled.” The entire project was filmed over a 50-day period and the producers look forward to the finished work being released on Netflix in 2018.
The local economic impact was substantial according to area hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments. The production housed all of the cast and crew in area hotels, motels, rental houses and apartments in the surrounding area with local actors hired for speaking roles and as extras.
The animals brought in for the production were boarded by local farmers and ranchers with feed and hay being purchased in the area. Staging areas and ranchland was rented – local veterinarians and wranglers were hired to help with the care of the animals.
Road grading, fence removal and replacement, security to direct parking and facilitate logistics were all a big part of making the filming successful. Purchases were made at many local retail stores; office space was rented at one of the hotels. Receptions and food purchases complemented the production as well as many other items and rentals necessary to complete the activities of filming on location.
Many communities in the region are looking forward to record sales and lodging tax reports for the month of September. Total dollars spent in western Nebraska for this film production as reported by the producers was just under $1,000,000.