Categorized | News

Golden Globe winner Fargo to film in Fort Macleod in February

The cameras will roll Feb. 10-13 in Fort Macleod when the town takes on its starring role in the second season of the television series Fargo.
Fort Macleod will become the small Minnesota town of Luverne in 1979.
Fargo producer Kim Todd, lead location manager Robert Hilton and location manager Matt Palmer met Jan. 6 with business and property owners.
“We’re really proud of this show,” Todd said of Fargo, which received 18 Emmy nominations and won three including best mini series.
Fargo on Sunday won Golden Globe awards for best TV series and best actor (Billy Bob Thornton).
The Fargo team was in Fort Macleod last week to scout locations for the scenes that will be shot here.
“We are applying the same quality of production that we did last year,” Todd said.
The empty Andrews Hardware building will be transformed into a butcher shop where Ed, one of the main characters, works.
Across the street the Reach and Co. building will become a beauty parlor, where Ed’s wife Peggy is employed.
“That’s kind of the anchor area of where we’ll be,” Todd said.
Other buildings on the Main Street block between Second and Third avenues will get exterior makeovers that will turn them into businesses such as a grocers, candy store, book store and furniture dealer.
There will also be a hat store, florist, electrical appliance store, liquor store, children’s clothing shop and care.
“We want to use as much as possible the real names of the stores that exist,” Hilton said.
The second season of Fargo tells an entirely different story than the first season, which was shot in Calgary and west of the city as well as High River, Strathmore and Drumheller.
Ed and Peggy Blomquist are the main characters in the second season of Fargo.
Kirsten Dunst, whose credits include big screen movies such as Spider-Man and Bring It On has been cast as Peggy, and Ed will be played by Jesse Plemons, who was cast as Todd in the fifth season of the popular series Breaking Bad.
Hilton said the Fargo crew will develop a plan that allows scenes to be shot without unnecessary disruption of everyday business on Main Street Fort Macleod.
“That’s very important to us that we do get this plan together so it runs as seamless as possible,” Hilton said.
When scenes are being shot during the day, the Fargo crew will close the street but will provide shuttle buses to transport people from the parking lots to the stores.
Fifty per cent of the scenes will be shot during the day, with the other half done at night.
Set up for the first scenes in February will take two to three days prior to the cameras rolling on Feb. 10-13.
“Moving forward it gets a lot easier,” Hilton said.
A native Calgarian, Hilton is determined to make sure Fort Macleod has a positive experience so it will welcome future productions.
“I want to set it up properly,” Hilton said, predicting a rise in movie and TV production in Alberta, and Fort Macleod.
Interest in Fort Macleod among production crews will increase due to the exposure the town will receive through Fargo.
“If it’s set up properly and we do it right, it can be good for you, and it can be good for us,” Hilton said. “If we do it right, everybody wins.”
Following the first session in February, the Fargo crew expects to return twice more to Fort Macleod.
“We want to create a partnership that repeats,” Todd said. “This is a long term relationship.”
Todd and Hilton have discussed with Town of Fort Macleod economic development manager Virgina Wishart establishing a system.
That system would be put into play every time a production crew comes to Fort Macleod.
“It just makes it easier for everyone then, moving forward,” Hilton said.
Location agreements will be signed with owners of property that will appear in Fargo. The agreement covers such topics as fees, conditions, dates and insurance.
Fargo will look to hire local people as extras, and is interested in cars that suit the late 1970s period.
Todd brought five sets of the first season of Fargo, which are available at the Fort Macleod RCMP Centennial Library.
“We’d like to come back when we’re finished shooting and have a screening in town of our first episode,” Todd said. “Then you guys can see Main Street and what it looks like on film. We just have to get permission from the studio.”
The Fargo crew and cast totals about 125 people, some of whom will stay overnight during production.
“We will be here boosting the local economy,” Todd said.
The crew is fed during the day by a caterer, but is on its own for supper and evening recreation.
The caterer is encouraged to buy its supplies locally.
“As much as we can we’re using local businesses,” Palmer said.
There will be some employment opportunities for Fort Macleod and district residents.
Residents will have the chance to mix with Fargo’s stars.
“Billy Bob Thornton was the most generous person I’ve ever seen,” Todd said “Whenever there was a crowd of people and they would call his name he would walk over, sign autographs and have a chat.”
The crew will ask council for permission to park its trailers in the arena lot and its work trucks at the east end of the parking lot across from The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.
Todd said the Fargo crew is open to suggestions of how it can do something beneficial for the town, such as talking to students about careers in the industry.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Douglas Kennard Says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for the Town and people of Fort Macleod. Bravo to the Town and residents for making FM available and to the producers for seeing the potential and choosing Fort Macleod as a location.

  2. Rita Says:

    I would love to see you guys use the Qweens Hotel. And my brother could be a bar tender