Longmire is full of action sequences and crazy stunts. In this episode, Rosa makes a run for it out a back window, but Vic manages to intercept her by leaping off a stairway. Was that really Katee Sackhoff flying through the air? Actually... no. In this case, it was one of the very talented stunt performers on the show. Does that mean Katee wasn't up for it? Actually... no! DP Cameron Duncan says, "Katee always wants to do her own stunts. She's super athletic, but sometimes we just have to say, 'No, Katee, the stunt lady will jump off the roof of the hotel, not you."
Chh...chh...chh...chh...chh... (That's supposed to be the bionic woman sound.) Chh...chh...chh...chh...chh...
In this episode, the Vayas family leave "arborglyphs" carved into trees to communicate with each other. Arborglyphs are a very real tradition that Basque families have practiced since the 1800's. These carvings were also used to illustrate the intimate connection this family shared with the land that had supported them for generations.
Notice that Sal is indicating a fresh carving. The other messages appear to be much older.
Writer Sarah Nicole Jones explains the arborglyph's place in the story. "If you look at pictures of real arborglyphs you'll see some that were made over 80 years ago. Looking at them, you get this amazing sense of Basque history, family, and culture - stories and legacies that will last as long as the tree does. We definitely wanted to convey authentic/traditional images, but we also wanted to show the audience how important those carvings are to the characters - the sense of pride and love the characters derive from these arborglyphs."
The scene where Branch competes in a log-chopping contest was shot on a day that offered some challenging weather conditions. DP Cameron Duncan says, "The weather for this day called for DUST. That's all it said online was DUST. And it was horribly dusty, but it made for great photography."
Punch, punch, grapple, cough, slap, choke, scene!
Unfortunately, the scene where Sal takes on a whole lumberyard full of lumberjacks was shot on the same day. Duncan tells us, "Again, this was on the DUST day. In fact it was the height of the DUST. Everyone was wearing bandanas and goggles. No joke, it sucked. But again, it made for a great fighting environment. [Stunt Director] Chris Howell did a wonderful job choreographing this fight. It was mayhem and we filmed it."
Don't feel bad. That fake dog is fulfilling its destiny!
Poor sheep herding doggy. Between Bates Motel and Longmire, dogs are having a rough year on A&E. But don't worry! Writer Sarah Nicole Jones assures us that: "Thankfully, no actual dogs were hurt in the making of this episode. A fake dummy was created for this scene."
Phew! But it wasn't as simple as just getting any old stuffed dog and dropping it in the woods. Jones explains, "We didn't just make a stuffed golden retriever and call it a day. Sheepherding is a huge part of the Basque culture, and the dogs that help in that venture are so unique. A lot of research went into finding out what kind of dogs are actually used by the Basque of the region and we based our model around that. It looks amazing, and it's just a testament to the amount of detail and dedication our team puts into every frame of this show."
Cady Longmire is doing some detective work of her own as she heads to Denver to discover what really happened to her mom. How did the crew create a little slice of Denver in New Mexico? Director of Photography Cameron Duncan says, "We actually found the one alley in Santa Fe that could play for this scene. With the help of Production Design it turned out great."
Fales shows Cady the spot where her mother was stabbed.
Denver is more than a setting in Longmire. Sarah Nicole Jones explains, "Denver carries a lot of dark pathos for our show. It's the place where the most important person in Walt's life (his wife) was taken from him. It's also a place where a lot of mystery and unanswered questions about Walt are. When I write scenes about Denver, I always try to heighten that sense of intrigue, to show Denver less as an actual city, and more as a place where a lot of secrets are waiting to be discovered."
Production notes courtesy of Cameron Duncan, Sarah Nicole Jones, and Emily Thomas.