Valkyr brings to life an original Western creative in picturesque Montana using the world’s most expensive SUV as the “all-powerful” stagecoach driven by a vigilante Gunslinger.
It’s no secret that there’s been an uptick in popularity with westerns the last few years. Perhaps it’s the simplicity it offers in an otherwise chaotic and confusing modern world.
Being hugely inspired by The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, as well as the futuristic take on the west in Westworld, it was very high on my list to create some sort of western-inspired project for quite some time.
Continuing on themes I was exploring with my previous effort Mr. E, I wanted to expand on who, regardless of time or place in history would be the perfect fit for a car like the Cullinan.
The Rolls-Royce of SUV’s is very capable off-road, but it’s rare to see a half a million dollar car leave the pavement. It felt like the perfect opportunity to not only showcase that capability with high-speed off road, horse chases and river crossings, but also injecting the brooding beast into a place in history that could really benefit from it- a boomtown under siege.
Leaning into the tropes, I wanted the stereotypes to be on full display. This was a piece that was to have no speaking, but lots of acting through emotion and action. There’s not enough time in even 3 mins to convey much dialogue and in a Western it doesn’t feel as necessary as in other genres. WIth this in mind we built a story around the concept, got Rolls-Royce NA on board to lend us a Cullinan, scouted, prepped, hired a cast and crew and landed in Paradise Valley at Yellowstone Film Ranch for 4 dense days of production.
The first two days were dedicated to our wonderful cast of western characters. From a nefarious man-in-black and his number two to a sheriff, miner, blacksmith and bartender, to finally our heroine the capable but cornered intelligent Saloon girl.
Played by the very talented Claudine Quadrat, the part required leading a cast of nearly 30 actors in costume, wielding period weapons accurately and even driving the Rolls in certain instances. Her performance is one of the very best parts of the film.
With our talent days shot out, we turned to the car. It equal parts out of place and at home in Montana. A opulent SUV that fit right in with a wealthier lifestyle the state is known for, yet a shape that didn’t resemble a diesel dully pickup with a brush guard.
Seeing it drift through the film set the on it’s first practice runs is something I’ll not soon forget.
At the wheel of the Cullinan, our precision driver Gianni Cabiglio had disabled every nanny system he could in the car, and was able to sling it around without too much trouble.
Besides running the gang out of town, We also chased horses through the prairie, and forded a river-thankfully all without a single scratch on the car.
The resulting film, lensed by the very talented DP Joe Victorine, is one part narrative, one part commercial. In aiming to be both, it has become neither, rather, it’s an answer to a burning question of “What if”? “What if a Rolls time-traveled to the west” – It doesn’t really matter how it got there, it only matters that it’s a force to be reckoned with, and that it helps the good guys save the day.
A lot of hard work and effort went into this film and I’m insanely grateful to everyone who made it happen.