Well there you have it – tip #2 – how to keep costs down when making a Hollywood western.
Keep the animals to a minimum.
Makes sense I guess. It’s too many moving parts that are too hard to control. Too much red tape too.
(Tip #1 was to avoid established, and expensive, movie stars.)
Of course, I think that keeping fixed costs to a minimum is important no matter what you are trying to get done.
Call me old fashion.
My own lifetime of travel in the American West, plus the fact that I came from a generation of cattlemen, gave me a slight edge—I learned not to have scenes in my Westerns that would be prohibitively expensive. One way to achieve that was to reduce the number of animals to the lowest possible figure. Animals are well protected on movie sets, and are very expensive to use. I think they worked three sets of the famous pigs in Lonesome Dove, pigs who in the narrative walk all the way from Texas to Montana only to get eaten.