May 15, 2015

Wyoming Game and Fish rediscovers its connection to Mark Wahlberg film

When the script called for Mark Wahlberg's character in “Shooter” to hole up in the Wind River Range, the film’s producers opted to have British Columbia stand in for western Wyoming.

However, an authentic, recently rediscovered piece of the state did make a brief appearance in the 2007 film.

In the supposed Wyoming cabin that Wahlberg’s character calls home, there sits on a coffee table a copy of “Wyoming Wildlife” magazine.

Mark Wahlberg's signature adorns this recently rediscovered issue of "Wyoming Wildlife." Photo courtesy Renny MacKay
It’s not exactly obvious.

“You probably have to look pretty close,” said Renny MacKay, a spokesman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which produces the monthly wildlife magazine.

“Shooter” filmmakers requested an edition of Wyoming Wildlife for a prop and “we sent them a few copies,” MacKay explained.

He said magazine staffers were able to spot their publication on a cabin table when they watched the film years ago.

It takes trained eye to spot the Wyoming Game and Fish magazine in the movie.

Depending on who you ask at the department, Wahlberg might have planned to read the magazine to get more familiar with Wyoming and its wildlife, though others think it was strictly a prop, MacKay said.

What’s more clear is what Wahlberg did with the September 2005 magazine after the shoot: he signed it, along with a couple photographs of himself, and sent them to the folks at “Wyoming Wildlife.”

The autographed magazine was recently rediscovered in a former editor’s filing cabinet, prompting MacKay to share a photo on Twitter.

A different Wyoming prop — a state license plate — is actually featured more prominently in the movie.

The plate made it into the storyline, as Wahlberg’s character covertly photographs it so he can research its ownership. However, what made the front license plate more notable is that filmmakers goofed up: when the vehicle it adorns is first shown, the plate isn’t there.

The producers apparently struggled to realistically depict Wyoming license plates throughout their filming; an “goofs” page points out that in one of the movie’s news clips, supposedly broadcast from Wyoming, all of the cars are missing the state’s mandatory front plates.


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