Behind the Scenes of the American Rancher

Welcome to a look behind the scenes of the American Rancher at Felton Angus Ranch. This is our 4th year of filming here at the ranch. We spent a full day shooting hours of video to be edited into the 20 minute show. Jim had already flown to Iowa the week before to film the feedlot segments of the show at Schnepf Farms.

We use Spotlight Productions out of Billings for all our filming in Montana. They do an incredible job for us year after year. Allen Peters (videographer/writer/producer) is back again and brought Jim the Camera Guy with him.

Weather is always a factor filming in Montana. Today the wind is howling. Allen is wiring Jim for sound and making him promise not to loose the cottontail (little white ball that goes on microphone to cancel out the wind). Good luck keeping track of that on the ranch Allen!

Our first stop was filming herd bulls and getting a game plan together for the rest of the day.

You can see the bank of the Yellowstone River right behind Jim. Our herd bulls are spending the winter in this pasture.

Here’s what I want you to do……….

Let’s get Rich in on the action.

Here’s what you saw on the show. One of our herd bulls, CCA Dutchman 942T, was cooperative and stole the spotlight.

On a side note, you can see our Longhorn lead steer, Spike, in the background. To get to our river pasture the bulls have to go through a highway tunnel. Spike leads them through the tunnel and back and forth to the ranch. He is worth his weight in gold!

I love this shot!

We don’t rehearse anything you see on the show. The producers of the American Rancher in Fort Worth send the production/camera crew a list of questions to ask and ideas for filming. Jim & Rich both like to shoot from the hip and don’t look at the questions in advance. What you see and hear on the show is how they are in person. This also means that each segment is shot again and again until they get it right.

This spontaneity drives me nuts LOL! I like to be prepared and practice. In other words……I want to see the questions in advance!

Moving right along and into the bull pens. This bull is taking quite an interest in Jim the Camera Guy. What you can’t see is the dirt and grit blowing right at the camera.

Great view of the bull pens and Yellowstone River in the distance.

Filming in the pen of Springdale raised two-year-olds. I like to call this pen of bulls stroller broke. We walked through them in an open field every morning all fall with “Bob”, the big yellow jog stroller, and yappy “Pepper” puppy in tow. Nothing much fazes them!

And that’s a wrap! Allen and Jim, Crazy Mountains in the background, make sure everything is checked off the list and call it a day.

All the video is sent to Superior Productions in Fort Worth to be edited into the episode of The American Rancher that was aired on RFD-TV.

Thanks for watching!


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  1. Audrey
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Very nice footage, but I would’ve loved to see blue skies. After all, there are many more blue sky days in Montana then what you are showing on your film. Just a thought: Next time and each time, why not wait for a blue sky day to film.

    • Susie
      Posted January 20, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Audrey,

      If only it was so easy to find a blue sky, non-windy day this year. We have had WINTER here in Montana. Can count the nice days with no wind on one hand! Ready for spring 😀 =Susie

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A big hello from the banks of the Yellowstone River in Montana! My Montana Rancher  and I raise cattle, kids and crops here in big sky country. Welcome to our ranch!

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