September 7, 2013
Flew into Albuquerque yesterday, landing at about noon. Took a shuttle to Santa Fe and then a driver picked me up at the Santa Fe Suites for the half hour run out to Bonanza Creek Old West Movie Town. Here's the main street with my handler Ginny.
The crew has been on a three month shoot here and at other Old West movie sets in the area. This is going to be a very ambitious docudrama series to be called "Gunslingers." I was interviewed last May at Pioneer Living History Museum near Anthem in Phoenix and talked at length about my main areas of expertise—Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp—although they did ask me questions about other icons and other gunfighters.
I got to the set around three and they deposited me at the command center, which was a barn. Computers and sliced watermelons shared long tables strewn with props and camera equipment and battery chargers. Ginny informed me they filmed until four in the morning the night before, picking up the final scenes, including the killing of Morgan Earp. Everyone looked very tired. Johnny D. Boggs was being interviewed in the saloon so we had to be quiet even though we were 50 yards away.
Artist Thom Ross portrayed Wells Spicer in the Tombstone episode and his stunning daughter Rachel portrayed Calamity Jane in another. Paul Hutton, Drew Gomber and the other usual suspects in the talking head game also have done their part. Interestingly, one of the talking heads appears to be David Milch, the creator of "Deadwood." I was called back to plug some holes in the narrative where they needed coverage. This is tricky because they want to make certain points that perhaps I can't, as a historian, really support. For example, was it true Tom Horn was a psychopath? Here's how I answered it:
My view of the director Chris as he reads me questions from his notes on the script.