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Big Sky and the big screen: A star-studded history, an economic motive and the future of film in Montana

November 12, 2017View for printing

"The biggest loss (from productions choosing other states), again, may not be the value of production itself, but the lost revenues from the tourism-related commerce that film generates for its location,"

The camera pans across the jagged Beartooth Mountains, followed by a wide shot of the snow-capped Bridger Range.

From his seat in a turboprop airplane, Josh Wiggins' character stares out the window, surveying the wilderness below.

The sprawling natural landscapes act as a fitting introduction for "Walking Out" -- a Montana-made film released last month based on a short story by Bozeman author David Quammen.

But between stiff regional competition and an industry increasingly focused on the bottom line, it would be naive to think that the state's long association with film will continue to thrive unaided, Staggs concluded.

"You want to just hope and pray that because Montana is pretty, someone is going to decide to film here on occasion?" he said. "The data says the states that offer incentives build that industry. That's the difference maker."

By Lewis Kendall Chronicle Staff Writer ... 7945d8.html

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