On March 4th, 2020 the Montana Ambassadors Southern California Chapter and Governor Steve Bullock hosted the Film With the Stars Under the Big Sky event in Burbank, CA.
We were joined by over 200 guests from the Southern California entertainment industry and the Montana business community, all of whom were on hand to learn about the Montana MEDIA Act, make critical business connections and be inspired to shoot their next project in the Treasure State. In addition to the Governor, we had several Montana government officials present including Allison Whitmer (MT Film Commissioner), Ken Fichtler (Chief Business Development Officer, GOED) and Rachel Schmidt (Director, MT Office of Outdoor Recreation). We were also fortunate to be joined by numerous members of Montana business community from Missoula, Hamilton, Helena, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
Following Governor Bullock’s opening remarks to the assembled guests, we moved directly into our panel discussion which featured 8 exceptional filmmakers who are currently working on or have recently completed projects in Montana. The panel consisted of:
Jared Moshe, Director, Writer, Producer “The Ballad of Lefty Brown”
Travis Fine, Director, Writer “Two Eyes”
Anna Kerrigan, Director “Cowboys”
Richard Gray, Director “Robert The Bruce”
Katherine Cronyn, Writer, Producer, Actress “Rainmaker”
Zac Titus, Producer, Co-Writer, Actor “Two Yellow Lines”
Lynn-Wood Fields, Producer “Perma Red”
Josef Leick, Producer, Wim Wenders “Two or Three Things I know About Edward Hopper”
With Governor Bullock as the moderator, the panel shared experiences of shooting their projects in Montana. Those experiences proved to be highly inspiring to the guests and paved the way for productive networking conversations for the remainder of the night.
New connections were made and several significant LA/MT industry collaborations were launched. Of note, four major LA based companies with extensive experience in production jumped on board to help develop Montana’s capacity to support all types of production. They are: legendary camera and lens rental house Panavision, production equipment provider FilmTools, production supplies provider Basecamp Supply Co and technical services provider FUSE. Each of them were present at the event and each are committed to working with and supporting the growing filmmaking community in Montana as well as productions who will soon locate themselves in the state.
It was a night that many people worked hard to make happen and one that has already begun to yield fantastic opportunities for businesses and workers in Montana. We are looking forward to pulling this group together again before the year is over in order to share success stories, individual case studies and do a deep dive into the mechanics of the MEDIA Act.
A big thank you to our presenting sponsors. Without their hard work and financial support, we would have not been able to make this event happen!
A special thank you to our supporting sponsors who made this event possible: