Our Team

Gist Bottom Gist Bottom,
Upper Missouri River Breaks Natl Monument

Allison Whitmer, Film Commissioner

allison.whitmer@mt.gov | 406.841.2881 | 406.461.8760

For over 20 years, Allison has been involved in filmmaking – beginning with the Robert Redford classic, The Horse Whisperer. A member of the Directors Guild, Allison’s filmography includes 30+ movies and numerous television and documentary credits. Notable credits include the adaptation of the Native American breakthrough novel, Winter in the Blood, penned by the acclaimed author James Welch; Certain Women, which brings the everyday stories of Montana women to life; and Walking Out, which captures the very real consequences of interacting with the Montana wilderness. Over her career she has worked with many clients in Print (Valentino, Italian Vogue), Sports (SLC Olympics), and Commercials (Ford, Toyota, Jaguar). She is a graduate of Montana State University with degrees in Media and Theatre Arts and Consumer Economics.

As the Montana Film Commissioner, Allison is an expert in the business aspects of filmmaking. She strives to market Montana as an Ultimate Location and prove the value of our industry through economic reporting, managing incentive programs, and advocating for Montana filmmakers.

Allison emanates the generational knowledge and spirit of her pioneer grandparents and possesses a love of open spaces. She actively promotes historic preservation and youth education, especially in her home area of Montana – the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Sean Tippin, Locations Coordinator

sean.tippin@mt.gov | 406.841.2880

Sean grew up skiing and playing in the mountains around Helena – which fueled his interest in outdoor film and photography. He is a graduate of Montana State University, School of Film and Photography in Bozeman. Sean has over eight years of professional experience working in creative agencies, television production companies, and as a freelance Producer. Blending the world of traditional cinema with local Montana resources has always been a foundational value for him and he’s excited to bring his experience and dedication to the Montana Film Office.

Sean is responsible for scouting, gathering local intel, and photographing the best Montana has to offer in terms of production locations.

When he’s not at work, you can find him in the South Hills trail system on his mountain bike or tirelessly discussing the technical cinematography from the latest Netflix series.

Laura Benedict, Film & Marketing Assistant

laura.benedict@mt.gov | 406.841.2764

Laura grew up in Billings and first tried her hand at screenwriting in the eighth grade. That script didn’t go anywhere, but undeterred, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Media and Theatre Arts from Montana State University in Bozeman.

For the past ten years, Laura has worked as a local TV news professional in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With production work that includes camera operator, graphics operator, and director – she has covered news events ranging from presidential visits to tornados and historic floods. Laura is excited to be back home in Montana and thrilled to be promoting the Treasure State as a filmmaking destination. She hopes to help create more opportunities for Montana filmmakers to live, work, and play here – at home.

In her spare time – when she’s not watching and endlessly critiquing movies and television – Laura enjoys attending live theater, training her rambunctious puppy Wizard, and getting outside to explore and enjoy all the beauty of Big Sky Country.