Filming FAQ by Ree

rancherdinner(Photo taken during filming of Season 1 in 2011!)

I’m on my last week of filming for this block, and it’s been an adventure as always! The crew has followed along with various things we’ve had going on around the ranch, and my jeans are a little tighter than normal. But that’s okay-I still have my sense of humor!

I think.

I thought I’d use this opportunity to run through a list of some of the filming-related frequently asked questions I’ve received. You read it here first, folks. Ha.

How many shows do you shoot at a time?

We typically shoot eight shows per 3-week block of filming. This year we will shoot 39 shows, so that’s five blocks of (roughly) eight shows each!

Where does the crew stay when they come to the ranch?

They stay wherever they can find a pillow: At the Lodge, at an old cowboy house on the ranch, and they rent rooms in town as well.

How long does it take to film one of your shows?

Believe it or not, it takes about a day and a half of filming to make one 30-minute episode. There is usually voiceover (me recording narration for the shows and recipes), and I have to allow a good 3/4 of a day to find a dang shirt that fits me.

I have violent battles with my shirts sometimes.

Does your family like filming?

We have been filming for five years now (whaaaa?) and it is simply a part of our lives. Filming is always a very concentrated, busy time, but we do our best to plan ahead and juggle everyone’s time, work, school, and activities as well as we can. And when the crew packs up and leaves, we take a long nap. For about five minutes.

Where do you come up with the ideas for your shows?

Usually we take what is really going on in our lives during that particular block of filming-football games, birthdays, calf workings, hay hauling-and let the shows build around them.

Do designers send you the tops you wear on the shows?

No! I buy them. I would probably look better if a designer dressed me.

Do you have a hair and makeup artist for the show?

No! Can’t you tell? Haha.

Early on in the show, I had a makeup artist who did a wonderful job. However, it required me to show up for filming over an hour earlier than I normally do, and I decided that I wanted that extra hour with my family in the morning. That way, I could do my eyeliner in between making them breakfast, and I could curl my hair and talk to Paige.

I sure looked a lot better when I had the makeup artist, though. Another haha.



Never mind.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened while cameras were rolling?

Oh! I have a long list.

* I tried to pour vinegar into a bowl with the lid still on.

* I tried to pour olive oil into the food processor with the stopper still in the cylinder.

* I accidentally used cayenne instead of paprika once. It hurt.

* I accidentally used cornstarch instead of flour once. It failed.

* On a Christmas episode three or four years ago, I accidentally wore mismatched earrings.

* One of my young children passed gas at a family campout. It wasn’t silent. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen, but that made me laugh even harder, especially when I noticed the camera guys were trying to pretend it didn’t happen. For example, I am crying from laughter just typing this. I’m mature that way.

* Recently, I was filming a little blurb that appears before a commercial break where I say “For recipes from this episode, go to” It involved me delivering the line out the window of my car, then driving off. For some reason, the first take didn’t work for technical reasons, so the crew signaled for me to come back. I put my car in reverse and backed into my spot, waited for the camera to get ready, then delivered the line again and drove off. Except I forgot to put it in drive so I drove backwards. It was my finest hour!

* On the very first block of my show, I forgot I had a mic on and accidentally dropped the transmitter in the twahlet. (At least we weren’t filming when this happened.)

* We had our friends, The Tolsons, over for dinner, and before we started shooting, Olivia our director (who is from England) told Mike Tolson that he could go ahead and “tuck in,” which in England means “dig in” or “chow down.” But Mike ain’t from England, and he looked down at his shirt and proceeded to tuck it in. He thought Olivia was telling him his shirt was messy, and we still make fun at him for it at church every Sunday. That’s what friends are for!

* Todd showed up for filming with no underwear under his jeans. It didn’t turn out well. There was a full moon that day.

And that barely scratches the surface!

I’m off to see what trouble I can get into today. Will keep you posted!


Pioneer Woman


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