Having never been to Montana personally, I love the short film series that the Montana Film Office has put together in 2010 with Hollywood film producer Marty Katz. The series, entitled Montana, The Ultimate Location, consists of five short web films documenting Katz’s exploration of Montana’s beautiful film-worthy locations.
On April 13, 2011, the Montana Film Office announced on their Facebook page that their online campaign (the web video series mentioned above) took home a silver ADDY Award at the Northwest Regional Show. The District 11 ADDYs competition was sponsored by the American Advertising Federation with entries from Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The series had also won Gold in the Montana’s ADDY Awards competition earlier this year.
It all began when Marty Katz discovered that he was the winner of the 2010 Studio 406 Familiarization Trip Getaway hosted by the Montana Film Office. “We were honored to host Marty Katz and show him first-hand the benefits of shooting in Montana,” said Sten Iversen, Montana Film Office manager. “The webisode series reveals what Montanans already know — that around every corner is a backdrop worth capturing, and with our Studio 406 incentives we’re out to show producers, like Marty, that there are real advantages to filming under the Big Sky.”
All five episodes of Montana, The Ultimate Location are currently on the Montana Film Office’s YouTube channel. Below is a brief intro on each of them, but you do have to watch these movies yourself to truly experience the majestic beauty of Montana:
Episode 1: The Scout Begins: The first episode in the series introduces Marty Katz and the team from the Montana Film Office as they begin their four-day journey scouting film locations in south central Montana.
Episode 2: The Authentic West: Episode Two follows Katz and the team from the Montana Film Office as they tour the authentic Old West, complete with their encounter with an American Bison and a grizzly bear, and a helicopter ride scouting the Crazy Mountains.
Episode 3: One-of-a-Kind Places: In Episode Three, Katz and the Montana Film Office team explore Yellowstone National Park, drop by the Story Ranch, and travel up Paradise Valley, the beautiful setting for many films, including my own favorite "A River Runs Through It."
Episode 4: The Endless Magic Hour: In Episode Four, Marty Katz, and the team from the Montana Film Office explore the magic golden light and majestic, wide open vistas of Montana. The quality of light here is the reason many Hollywood films are filmed here.
Episode 5: Experienced, Professional Crew: The fifth and final episode of the series introduce us to some of Montana’s film professionals, from experienced crew members to resident cinematographers, and equipment rental houses.
For producer Marty Katz, the trip was also a scouting opportunity for his project Blizzards (working title). “I first visited Montana in the late ‘80s and was impressed then by the state’s unbelievable landscape,” said Katz, “and was pleased to see that Montana continues to unlock its creative potential and offer solid economic benefits to productions.”
“Through the webisodes, filmmakers can see what Marty saw — beautiful Rocky Mountain landscapes, diverse shooting opportunities and skilled crew — all wrapped up in Montana’s Studio 406 incentive package,” said Iversen.
With more than 20 years experience in film and television production, Katz was Executive Vice President in charge of Motion Pictures and Television for Walt Disney Studios before he started his own production company. One of Katz’s most recent projects is Love Ranch, starring Oscar-winners Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci. It was during filming Disorganized Crime for Disney that he first visited Montana.
The Studio 406 Familiarization Trip Giveaway Contest’s goal was to promote Studio 406, the Montana Film Office’s new incentive package. Studio 406 bundles together all the incentives Montana offers, including a 14 percent refundable tax credit based on hired Montana labor, a nine percent refundable tax credit for production expenses (no cap and no minimum spend), no sales tax, free production office furniture, low-cost or free location fees, long summer shooting hours, experienced crews, and hundreds of different stunning vistas.
Congratulations to the Montana Film Office and producer Marty Katz for their recent ADDY wins in Montana and regionally. We have no doubt that Montana, The Ultimate Location will make more waves at the National ADDY Awards later this year.
More information on the Montana Film Office and its incentives can be found at www.montanafilm.com.
The list of movies that were filmed in Montana include:
My Sister’s Keeper
Call of the Wild
Chronicles of Narnia
Far and Away
What Dreams May Come
The River Wild
The Horse Whisperer
For the complete list of Montana productions, visit www.montanafilm.com/madeinmt_03.htm.
Browse Montana's locations available for filming.