The final scene of this episode is one of the most intense and emotional scenes yet in the Longmire series. Walt asks Henry to help him perform a sacrificial ritual in order to atone for the events that happened in Denver. The crew had excellent luck with the weather for the shoot - at least dramatically speaking. When the crew arrived to set up the scene, the weather was relatively mild, but things quickly turn a turn for the worse.
Executive Producer and Writer John Coveny and Script Coordinator Emily Thomas watch as the weather shifts.
Script Coordinator Emily Thomas remembers the exceptional weather conditions that contributed to the drama of the scene. "Santa Fe is supposedly the lightning capital of the country, and we lucked into some amazing footage."
The crew continues to shoot as clouds gather in the distance.
The dramatic shots of lighting during the ritual in the last moments of the episode aren't special effects. That's the real deal happening in the background.
Here we see an example of the real deal.
Emily Thomas says, "There was very extreme lightning that night (and some rain, though not a storm). We take every precaution to keep our cast and crew safe, so as the lightning neared, we eventually had to wrap, but not before getting in and out of the vans at least four times. It kept looking like the lightning was moving away from us so we were taking small breaks in the van. Kind of funny in retrospect but not so much in the moment!"
This is an example of the kind of lightning that is not at all funny..
Walt's Vision Quest was taken very seriously by both the cast and crew. Lou Diamond Philips even spent time fasting before the shoot. On July 1st he Tweeted, "Fasting for a Cheyenne ceremony for #Longmire. Of course a woman w Big Mac & fries sits next to me! Stomach growling like a Standing Bear!"
After the shoot, he Tweeted an image from the set of Marcus Red Thunder, the real life inspiration for Henry Standing Bear, helping him prepare for the ceremony.
Marcus Red Thunder assists Lou Diamond Philips.
Emily Thomas gives some more detail about the atmosphere on set during the shoot:
"I can say that the cast and crew were particularly respectful of the subject matter, almost in a reverent way. Reverence for the significance of the ritual, and the history of the Native people. The lightning was shockingly beautiful, and we literally had chills the moment was so special."
Walt endures a less stormy portion of his Vision Quest.
"Seeing Walt hanging against the sky with the lightning in the background... we just let the shots roll for longer than we probably otherwise would have. Everyone was silent, taking in the moment. It was truly an amazing thing to be a part of. Robert and Lou were totally in the moment, it was a powerful thing. We were lucky to have our Native American consultant, Marcus Red Thunder, on location with us to oversee the process."
Sometimes, as a director, it's important to get down and dirty to make sure you get the shot that you want. For the moment when Vic finds Cady's battered body in a ditch, director J. Michael Muro hopped down and demonstrated exactly what he wanted to capture. The result speaks for itself.
Worried about Cady? She's ok! Well, Cassidy Freeman, who plays Cady, is fine. Here's a shot of her modeling her special effects make-up for the accident.
This may not be a look that catches on.
Notice the sticker proving that she voted. That's a quality sticker if it stayed attached after being hit by a car!
Photos and production notes courtesy of Dave Blass, @LouDPhilips, and Emily Thomas.