Andy Warhol reminded us that “art is whatever you can get away with” and photographers should never be afraid to introduce humour into their work. I do not want to take myself too seriously and if I can use creativity as an antidote to the dangers of working in a literal straight jacket, I most certainly will.
The trouble with being led by creative forces is that more often than not, we cannot find the narrative or the idea. It is the equivalent of writer’s block. I can go weeks without an authentic idea that holds promise and feasibility. Ideas don’t tend to come on cue, they often arrive in the middle of the night.
This concept excited me from the day it was conceived. The Schmid Ranch, high up in the mountains of Colorado, was Tarantino’s location for The Hateful Eight and when we visited the location in early 2021, I saw the potential of building a set around which to work. The ranch saddles a truly spectacular amphitheater.
In 2021, there is no more contemporary or talked about asset to own than Bitcoin and the majority who own it, hold on to it with great conviction. I sensed that there was room to play a little parody in a wild west setting – Red Dead Redemption was going to tackle cryptocurrency head on.
The final frontier was a tough place where the rule of law was light and valuable possessions would not be lost without an often deadly fight. The lead character in this narrative was clearly not going to give up his asset easily – his loss would be someone else’s gain. I wanted to create a palpable sense of trespass and Ty Mitchell was the perfect character to play the role of the unyielding owner. He plays menace to perfection (though in real life he is a lovely man).
Clearly, even in the Rockies in 1880, there were no sellers of Bitcoin.