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There are plenty out there who say Montana is a state of mind, but producers Doug Hawes-Davis and Dru Carr like to think it’s more of an experience.
Long time award-winning filmmakers Hawes-Davis and Carr took to the creation of the YouTube channel, The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country, with enthusiasm. As High Plains Films, the pair has worked on major productions such as “Facing the Storm,” an independent documentary focusing on the story of bison in the state of Montana, and the 2013 SXSW selection “All the Labor,” which dove into the life and music of the popular Austin-based band, The Gourds.
Focusing that expertise down to the Video on Demand level of YouTube is new territory for the Experience team; however, with more than a 130 videos and over 65 days of cumulative viewing time in just six months, the team is quite obviously in its element.
The “Arts & Leisure” category of the three Montana YouTube channels, The Montana Experience offers ways to connect with the history and characters of Montana unlike any other platform. Series on the channel offer Montanans and Montana buffs alike unique chances to get up close and personal with the real characters that earn the Treasure State namesake its value.
The channel’s vision sees “Montana [as] a blend of old and new, mythical and ordinary, and the coarse and the refined,” and so it seeks to bring together “an amalgam of all that is extraordinary about this place called Montana…by producers from around the world, ranging from original works to rarely seen classics.”
Setting out to prove that Montana is much more than outdoor treks and quaint small towns, Hawes-Davis and Carr have paired with filmmakers from every corner of Montana in bringing out hidden treasures of the Big Sky.
Internationally desired metalworkers and the family legacy that they still proudly continue? Got it.
Award-winning artists wh0 infuse every work with the spirit of Montana? Got at least 6.
A hilarious mock-umentary spotlighting the growing craft distillery community in Montana? Got one of those too.
About the only thing the channel doesn’t offer is popcorn for some of its longer pieces.
The varied programming and consistent quality of the videos earned Montana Experience the title of “Best Way to Get to Know Your State” in 2014 (and are definitely worth the subscribe). “It’s easy to lose oneself for hours in the collection,” reported the Missoula Independent, “but you’ll walk away from each video feeling more connected to this place, and wondering what other stories are out there for you to find.