Going Back in Time

Categories: 2024 May-June Issue and Weistling, Morgan.

Lights. Cameras. Fog machines. Actors dressed in kerchiefs and gun belts. “I’m familiar with the whole setup because this is what I do on a small scale,” says renowned Western artist Morgan Weistling. But he’s not talking about a reenactment or a photo shoot for reference photos—he’s talking about the film set of new TV series, ‘Elkhorn,’ where he is the official set photographer.

‘Elkhorn’ is a Morningstar Entertainment mini-series that premiered April 11. “It’s about the early life of Teddy Roosevelt, when he loses his wife and mother and decides to go out West to become a cowboy, to toughen up and kind of prove to his father that he’s a man’s man,” Weistling says. “It’s really cool because it’s all based in actual history.  I’ve been real fortunate to live in the middle of it all here where I live.”

Weistling has been working for years to get onto the Western film sets near his home, north of Los Angeles, California, hoping to get inspiration for his art from the saloon sets, Old West costuming, and on-set livestock and horses. “It’s a very tough thing to do, to break into the ability to get onto a set; you certainly can’t show up with a camera,” he says. For privacy and copyright reasons, it was hard to even get on a set to observe but, through personal connections and perseverance, Weistling has finally been able to visit some sets.

Artist Morgan Weistling on set

Photo Credit:JoAnn Peralta

Weistling with his piece for Prix de West 2024, which is inspired by his time on set

Photo Credit: Morgan Weistling