MT Film Fest: A 'Montana Story' that earned its scenic shots

BRIAN D’AMBROSIO for the Missoulian

Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel conceptualized and crafted a screenplay about a Montana family in deep conflict without ever having stepped foot inside the state. Their long-overdue introduction took place in September 2020, when they were scouting locations for the adaptation of “Montana Story.”

Fourteen months later, the California natives and current New York residents look back on their entire production experience with a mixture of excitement and appreciation, comparing themselves to a pair of sponges who soaked up the greatness that was all around them in Montana.

McGehee and Siegel said the humility of Montana is on full display in the forceful intensity of “Montana Story” — from the drama, emotion and rapidly shifting variables bound up in its geography, to the lockstep professionalism of the local crews, to the pure, non-conforming, rebellious spirit of its always-a-topic-of-conversation weather.

Montana Film Festival: Big Sky and beyond

“We wrote the script when the lockdown in New York was intense and hopping on a plane and going to Montana (in mid-September 2020 to scout) was an adventure at that point,” said David Siegel. “We hadn’t done anything like that for months. Montana exceeded our expectations as far

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