Saturday, June 11, 2016

‘The American West’ gets the stories right (Series starts tonight on AMC)

Wyatt Earp. Sitting Bull. Jesse James. Crazy Horse. Doc Holiday. Billy the Kid. All of these names are massive historical figures in the United States. This is what inspired Stephen David to film the eight-part miniseries “The American West,” which begins at 8 p.m. today on AMC. The series spans the years 1865 to 1890 and shows how, in the aftermath of the Civil War, the opportunity of land transforms the United States into the “land of opportunity” and creates modern America. The series will also feature exclusive interviews with notable names from classic Western films, including James Caan, Tom Selleck, Kiefer Sutherland and Ed Harris. “No one has told the story of the whole picture,” David said. “Wyatt Earp, Crazy Horse, Billy the Kid. All of these people lived during the same time period. Their paths crossed.” Although David didn’t bring production to New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment is featured heavily in the storytelling. “New Mexico was the hub for many of these stories,” David said. “It’s very rich in history of the West.” David teamed up with New Mexico resident Robert Redford’s Sundance Productions for the project. The idea began three years ago and research was done from institutions across the country. “It was a two-year process of research,” David said. “We filmed for about 60 days, and the film is a hybrid of scripted and a documentary. When you watch it, it feels like you are watching a scripted genre.” The biggest challenge was getting the stories right...more

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