‘Yellowstone’ to Receive $50,000 Grant From Montana Film Office to Help Filming and Boost State’s Economy

by Jennifer Shea

“Yellowstone” is set to get a $50,000 grant from the Montana Film Office for filming on location near Darby and Hamilton in Montana.

The Montana Department of Commerce announced the grant in a press release Wednesday. Moreover, it’s part of a $500,000 pot to be shared among 14 different film productions.

The Big Sky Film Grant’s Feature Film and Television Grant aims to encourage partnerships between Montana and Hollywood production companies. Montana wants the latter to create film industry jobs in the state. Another goal is to market Montana to the broader world and thus boost Montana tourism revenues.

‘Yellowstone’ Films on a Ranch Near Darby

The show’s centerpiece, a lodge house and its surrounding ranch, sits near Darby, Montana. The Chief Joseph Ranch includes a 6,000-square-foot log lodge built for the glass tycoon William Ford and his family, plus three huge barns.  

The lodge’s parlor boasts a 35-foot-high ceiling and 2,200 square feet of space, according to the New York Post. A man named Shane Libel and his family live there year-round.

“The ranch is one of the main characters on the show and its scope and scale make it that way,” “Yellowstone” location manager Mark Jarrett told the Post.

Show co-creator Taylor Sheridan and production designer Ruth De Jong were reportedly looking for a location where they could film 360 degrees in any direction. Then they found the Chief Joseph Ranch. There was just one problem. At that time, they were filming many of the scenes in Utah, and the ranch is in Montana.

The studio preferred that they find a ranch in Utah. But ultimately, they settled on the Chief Joseph Ranch as the real-world location for the Dutton Ranch. And it was a good thing they did. Because as it turned out, they weren’t in Utah to stay.

Show Had to Relocate from Utah to Montana

During Seasons 1-3, the show’s cast and crew filmed many of the scenes beyond the Dutton Ranch around Park City, Utah. But “Yellowstone” changed locations in Season 4.

What happened? The Montana legislature passed a $10 million tax credit for productions that filmed in the state. Utah’s tax incentive program, on the other hand, is capped at $8.29 million.

Those incentives are actually pretty limited compared to states like New York, which allows tax incentives of up to $440 million. Or New Mexico, which caps incentives at $110 million.

Meanwhile, series co-creator Taylor Sheridan told the Salt Lake Tribune he hires around 110 construction workers, 45 electricians and 40 drivers to work on the set of “Yellowstone” at any given time. And thanks to Montana’s new tax credit, that boost to the local economy is now going to towns like Darby, Hamilton and Missoula.