In July 2020, the Western States Cat Rental Store in Missoula started a relationship with Fire & Ice Productions, the production company behind the popular television show Yellowstone. Our main contact, Dan Courtright, was searching for a reliable vendor to help meet the demands of a busy production schedule. He is the Key Rigging Grip which means he and his team are responsible for overhead and aerial rigging for lights and cameras.


To be successful in the film industry, you need partners that you can trust and know that they have your back. Filming is physically demanding, and plans can change at a moment’s notice. Courtright explains that the motion picture industry is one where there are no excuses. The hourly cost of a show this size is unfathomable to most, 100’s of thousands an hour so there’s no room for failure. It is necessary to equip ourselves with a vendor we KNOW we can count on.”


The filming location for Yellowstone is in the Bitterroot Valley about an hour south of our Missoula store. Courtright started his journey to find a business to suit his rental needs with dozens of options in the Bitterroot Valley. “Not only did we search for other companies, we used another vendor for two years in the Bitterroot. The exemplary service and customer support we receive from Western States made the move a clear one. The team at the Missoula rental store has gone above and beyond to not only win our business but to keep it.”


Courtright and his team have utilized a variety of machines including excavators, generators, backhoes, scissor lifts and even a Yellowstone branded black boom lift. “Everywhere we shoot requires some aspect of rigging so having a variety of rental options supplied to us in a timely and efficient manner is very important. We have relied on Western States to support us when others could not.”


When we asked what made him happiest about working with Western States Cat Rental Store – Missoula, he stated, “The no nonsense relationship we have with our rental rep Cody and the team. I can call him day or night, 7 days a week and I can count on him to answer. He is always willing to help us with a solution or a timeline to a solution. Our world is moving at a brisk pace and Western States have been able to keep pace and deliver when we need equipment.”


Even with all the ups and downs in their schedule and different filming locations all over Western Montana, Courtright and team have forged a strong relationship with everyone at Western States. The rental business is not for the meek. It requires tenacity, attention to detail, and a willingness to follow up and make sure requests are met. Courtright states, “The quality of the team and the equipment at Western States is unmatched. Time and time again they have delivered a premium experience. Not only are they a vendor, they are part of the Yellowstone family.”


“We could not enjoy the success we have achieved without their commitment and continued support.”