Montana Film Office

Montana Film Office • 301 South Park Ave Helena, MT 59620 • tel: 800.553.4563 • 406.841.2876 • fax: 406.841.2877 • AFCI Member


February 2012 – Press & News

BozemanBozeman filmmakers win $20,000 in ‘movie-making magic’ effort

Five minutes before the deadline, the filmmakers of Sanshead Studios submitted a video to Pitch the 406, a contest for the opportunity to win $20,000 in film equipment and labor.

We almost didn’t do it,” said director and writer Matthew Smaglik, 23.

Now, they’re happy they did. Online voting put their pitch for the movie “Magpie” in the top 10 of nearly 30 videos, and four industry judges unanimously voted it the winner at the beginning of this year. As the winners of the first Montana Film Office competition, the moviemakers will receive “20 Gs of movie-making magic” to film in Montana, according to a promotional video.

“It really helps put us in a great position,” Smaglik said. “It legitimizes the project and our work.”

The winner was announced at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January.

Read a PDF of the full article by Rachel Hergett of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Photo credit by Nick Wolcott/Chronicle.

winter ‘Winter in the Blood’ film a grass-root effort

Andrew and Alex Smith wanted the dog days of summer. They wanted the 90 degrees and the heavy sun, but they also needed a miracle — one day of winter to arrive in August.

The directors of “Winter in the Blood,” thought they would have to fake it as they wiped sweat off the young boys’ faces playing two brothers, Virgil and Mose First Raise.

As if the weather listened to the filmmakers, a cold wind came from the north and delivered storm clouds to complete the scene. It was 40 degrees cooler than any other day that month.

The crew was able to complete the film on the plains of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the home of the late James Welch, with only a modest dusting of flour posing as snow.

Five months later in the halls of Missoula’s Wilma Theatre, the moderator of a question- and-answer session that followed the premiere of a behind-the- scenes documentary about the film joked with the intern assigned to control the sun, rain and snow, calling him God-like. The sold-out crowd laughed and gave him a round of applause.

The Smith brothers were joined by the “Winter in the Blood” cast, videographers and interns Saturday night for the premiere of that documentary, “Visionary Insights,” at the ninth annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula.

Read a PDF of the full article and photo by Michael Beall Great Falls Tribune.

treasureTreasure hunters – Anacondans get TV pilot

ANACONDA – By itself, metal detecting may seem like a pretty dull spectator sport. But, with Anaconda residents Tim Saylor and George Wyant in the field, treasure hunting just might catch on with television viewers.

The duo behind Anaconda and a number of self-produced “Extreme Metal Detecting” DVDs is now flirting with their own TV series on the art of uncovering buried gems. Two half-hour pilot episodes of the show “Diggers” will premier back-to-back at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 on the National Geographic Channel, channel 276 on DirecTV or 165 on Optimum. The channel is not part of most basic cable packages. Team ATC, as Saylor and Wyant are known, not only travel across Montana but all around the country in search of historical artifacts lost beneath the surface..

Read a PDF of the full article by George Plaven of The Montana Standard.

Montana Film Office Names Contest Winners at Sundance 2012

406winnersIn their 10th year at Sundance, the Montana Film Commission held a reception for filmmakers and friends of Montana at the Movie Media Group Studio on Main Street to announce the winners of the Pitch the 406 Contest. “This contest was designed to encourage filmmakers from all over the country to apply to Montana to win a $20,000 grant toward the production of the next film,” said Montana Film Commission Director Sten Iversen.

A panel of Hollywood judges with ties to Montana judged the event, including Location Manager Mike Fantasia, Producer Marty Katz and First Assistant Cameraman Eric Brown. Filmmaker Matthew Smaglik and his team were the contest winners and will receive a $20,000 production package to produce their project Magpie.

Magpie explores the current Bakken oil boom in eastern Montana, telling the fictional story of a ranch family and how it adapts to the changing world. The script outlines the struggles of a stepfather and his daughter over control and ownership of their family’s future — torn between the fortunes to be made in the oil boom and keeping the traditions of family ranching alive.

Smaglik and his production company, Sanshead Studios, will begin scouting locations in eastern Montana this spring and plan to shoot this summer.

Read a PDF of the full article by P3 Update.



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Montana Film Office • 301 South Park Ave Helena, MT 59620 • tel: 800.553.4563 • 406.841.2876 • fax: 406.841.2877 •