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Montana’s historic and western towns have set the stage for a movie packed with beloved 90s music artists and boy band members. Filming began in Butte, Mont. in August on a post-apocalyptic zombie western with a full cast of stars from bands such as Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, 98 Degrees, O-Town, All-4-One and Everclear.
The film also features cameo appearances by VH1 host, Carrie Keagan, singer Jon Secada, and singer-producer Gerardo Mejia, affectionately known as Rico Suave. The movie follows “a ragtag band of gunslingers who must rid a small town of a zombie plague in a post-apocalyptic West” according to a press release from the production company.
The project, announced at Comic Con International in July, has already developed an impressive social and fan media following under the moniker “Dead 7.” Casting efforts were initiated by Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter who also plays the hero in the film and co-wrote the script with wife Lauren Kitt, who also stars. Carter was recently announced as a contestant in the 21st season of Dancing With the Stars on ABC.
While researching filming locations, producer Dylan Vox discovered the iconic Lady of the Rockies statue in Butte, Mont. on the state’s Montana Film Office (MFO) location database. Vox was then referred by MFO to search other possible locations in the Butte-Silverbow area and was impressed with the variation of settings that worked with the western storyline.
Vox stated, “We started looking at many of the Rocky Mountain and desert states because they helped create the post-apocalyptic look that the script was asking for. We spoke to many of the film commissions in New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and even Alaska, but Montana spoke to us even though we had never been to the state. When the Lady of the Rockies popped up, it was so majestic and epic-looking that I instantly knew I wanted to shoot in Montana. We ended up rewriting the entire ending of the film to incorporate the iconic statue.”
Vox continued, “As we did more and more research about the historical aspects of Butte, each location began to further develop the story. The production includes the mining history, the Pinion Springs 1880’s town, the Dumas Brothel, and even some of the local bars as part of the film landscape.”
Vox also noted that “a number of other states weren’t really willing to help a lower budget production get off the ground, but the Montana Film Office helped solidify the decision to come to Butte by helping navigate amazing locations and connecting the team with Headframe Spirits’ Cassandra Sunell for critical local support. Everyone in Montana has been so phenomenal to work with and has made such a great impact on the outcome of the film. The wonderful people of Butte have really made this a fantastic venture.”
Over 500 people from Montana and other states responded to a casting call released by the Montana Film Office for zombie extras, and over 100 people from the Butte-Silverbow area have been cast in the film. Vox noted that the production will continue through early September and is expected to have a significant economic impact. “Even a low budget film like ours can bring in a lot of revenue and exposure to a city very quickly. Even beyond the catering, hotels, equipment rentals, locations and companies that we utilize during production, the local businesses and bars where the cast and crew spend their off time benefit,” he said.
Montana as a whole will benefit from tourism dollars due to the cast and crew members traveling through western Montana during a break in production and stopping in Missoula, Lakeside, Whitefish, and Glacier National Park, in addition to enjoying activities in Divide and the Gallatin Valley. Beyond the economic advantage, this film will create a fun connection to the history of a city by adding a new memory. “The people of Butte, the beautiful landscape and the iconic Americana locations are a huge allure for any type of film project to draw from,” said Vox.
Filming occurred at the 1880s Ranch in Anaconda as well as the Anselmo Mine, the World Museum of Mining, Butte’s Silver Dollar Saloon, Dumas Brothel, the Pioneer Club, Headframe Spirits, and the Lady of the Rockies all located right in Butte, America.
Vox finished by adding, “It’s important to me to celebrate our filming location, so once we have an official date, I definitely plan on returning to organize a premiere screening in Butte.”
The theatrical release for the film is expected to be sometime next spring. Nick Carter plans to take the film all over the globe in conjunction with a possible Backstreet Boys World Tour. With a whole host of musical legends in the movie, it is destined to receive ample attention.
Press inquiry? Contact Rachel Gregg at the Montana Film Office (406) 841-2880 or firstname.lastname@example.org