About this project
We reached our initial goal –– but we are determined to continue to build momentum, awareness, exposure, and distribution for Montana and for Butte through traditional and non-traditional channels. OUR STRETCH GOAL TO BE ABLE ATTAIN MORE DISTRIBUTION IS $50K. These channels include media buys for a supporting campaign, social media when the campaign is launched, additional online content showcasing modern innovators, submissions to international festivals, and early development of a feature film. The more we raise, the more we can push out in to the world! THANK YOU for helping us get it out there! GET YOUR TICKETS TO THE PREMIERE HERE
The phrase "A rising tide lifts all boats" captures Montana’s legacy of using our collective power of perseverance and determination to affect greater change through ingenuity and innovation. Montanans are, and always have been, pioneers on the frontier of change. As Montana vies to recruit new businesses, our success stories must be told to ensure prospective companies realize the untapped opportunities available in Butte and Montana.
The Orphan Girl is a multi-platform film, produced by Chisel Industries, Headframe Spirits, and the Montana Film Office designed to bring national awareness to Butte and Montanaand support business recruitment.
Nearly 150 years ago, Alexander Graham bell invented the telephone and Edison the lightbulb. Suddenly, a network of wires wove its way across America. A thousand miles of electric signals, humming with energy, lighting streets and carrying messages, all made possible by copper. This copper came from Butte, America.
The Industrial Revolution Had Begun. From around the world, 90,000 immigrants arrived on American shores, eager for a new beginning. They arrived in Butte and built their homes into the hillside. Each day, armed with picks, dynamite and raw effort, these immigrants unearthed the copper that connected the world.
Every day thousands of men descended into 10,000 miles of hand-carved underground passageways. Butte, Montana was a frontier and to it migrated the industrious mavericks, pioneers, and trailblazers who built it - the epicenter of innovation.They uncovered the Richest Hill on Earth.
And now Butte has even more potential in the 21st century.
Each day the sun rises, our hero miner reflects that this day might be his last. The sacrifices and hardships the miners face every day underground, are a bold reality. Yet, the perseverance of these mavericks fueled the American industrial revolution from 5,000 feet inside the earth. The Orphan Girl’s story melds the legacy, heritage, and innovation of Butte’s past, with the future of what is shaping to be a second wave of entrepreneurial enterprise. Butte's pioneer spirit has been rekindled today, and this project is helping to bridge that gap.
- The second lightbulb in history (after Edison's) was lit in Butte, and this western town had electricity before New York City and Paris.
- In 1917, Butte was the largest city west of St Louis. Stars from Mark Twain, Bing Crosby, and Charlie Chaplin to Clark Gable all performed in Butte.
Ireland's affinity for Butte, MT is exceptional, and the appreciation for opportunities Butte provided the famine stricken Irish immigrants is long lived. When other cities of the west displayed signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply" the Copper City opened its arms.
Similar to her industrial sister cities Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, Butte’s industrial boom went bust and blight emerged. Butte was left with a town full of decrepit, boarded up buildings. Butte was a city built for 100,000 and many made fortunes mining the earth. As mining played out, Butte’s economy was devastated, resulting in massive population decline. After 1950, 70% of the city’s population moved away and the historic Uptown’s built environment suffered from vacancy and disinvestment.
However there’s a newfound hope in Butte, and it's led by modern mavericks on a still wild frontier, boldly trailblazing a brighter future.
Like the generation that came before, Butte remains a city of maverick pioneers and innovators, and the film’s end and closing credits sets the stage to tell this story. The stories of present-day innovators will be featured on screen.
The Orphan Girl short film is one component of “The Spirit of Butte,” a broader campaign strategy to increase national awareness for Butte, and tell the stories of modern Montana success stories by profiling Montana’s innovators.The initiative will develop an online series accessed through the web portal, #BUTTEinnovates with vignettes profiling the “Legends of Butte” and present day innovators called “Modern Mavericks.”
The crew is made up of nearly all Montanans, and shot entirely on location in Butte, Montana. As Montana raised storytellers, we’re a team committed to producing a high quality film series that encapsulates the characters and essence of Butte. This shall be achieved by hiring a cast and crew of Montanans; sourcing accommodations and foods from Montana businesses; and renting equipment from Montana companies. The Orphan Girl’s economic impact to date surpasses $200K.
This film is being co-produced by Montana’s Entrepreneurs of the Year, and owners of Headframe Spirits, John and Courtney McKee. John and Courtney are active participants of economic development in Butte, and hold great responsibility in giving back to their community. Four years ago they started their business and named it Headframe Spirits in honor of Butte's historical past. They now operate 2 distilleries in Butte, with plans to break ground on the 3rd in 2015, making Headframe the largest distillery west of the Mississippi and providing hundreds of job opportunities to the Butte community. In 2013 and 2014, Headframe Spirits made a $10,000 donation to the Montana Folk Festival, a free festival, featuring a variety of musical acts from around the world, which takes place in Butte.
By sharing Butte’s untold story from a perspective that is compelling to our community and the world, this project will provide job opportunities and economic development opportunities and bolster tourism in Butte while creating national and international interest in the area.
Butte is a spectacular setting for film and for business. Montana ranked #5 Nationally for cost of doing business, and is in the top 10 for infrastructure and quality of life (CNBC, 2013). In Butte, the cost of real estate is well below the national and state averages. For example, a three or four story historic building can be purchased for $100K. If you’re interested in Butte, incentives for relocating your business to Montana’s entrepreneurial epicenter, contact INNOVATE MONTANA, MERDI, and the BLDC.
The Orphan Girl stars Butte native, Brick "Prigge" Patrick, now a working actor in Los Angeles, Butte natives Zac Thomas, Ken Bates, and Tom Malloy, Andrew Rizzo, Joel Lavold, Travis Beagley, Kendra Mylnechuck, Gary Henderson, Lou Morris, and dozens of extras from Butte.
The film is directed by Montana native Yarrow Kraner, who has directed projects for Virgin, Richard Branson, Warner Brothers, TNT network & The Rock, Columbia Records, The University of Montana, Montana State University, Montana Tourism, and more, and his work has been honored with several National and International awards.
The Cinematographer is Logan Triplett, a Montana born prodigy, now working in Los Angeles who has lensed work for Leica, Vans, Sitka, Oracle, and other highly visible projects.
A seasoned team of editors are currently working on post-production: Andy George (also directed Behind the Scenes), Ben McManus (also co-creative director), and John Sweeney (also 2nd Unit Director of Photography ).
The film's Producer is Matthew Barbour, and rounding out the key production team is Allison Whitmer (UPM), Tyler Boylan (1st AD), Lindsay Minnich (Art Director), Brianna Murphy (wardrobe), Sheena Nicolay (Hair & Makeup), Heidi Dubose (Sound), Bob Bryan (Gaffer), Andrew Thie (Key Grip), Blaine Dunkley (2nd Unit Director, 2nd Unit Director of Photography), Cassandra Sunell (Production Coordinator and social media), Maria Phelps (Social media), and special thank you to Butte native Brian Skuletich.
The Orphan Girl will be scored by celebrated virtuoso composer Philip Sheppard, who has scored over a twenty-five films, has been featured at Sundance, and collaborated with musicians Jeff Buckley, Pretty Lights, UNKLE, David Bowie and Suzanne Vega. Sheppard is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and scored and recorded arrangements for the world's 205 national anthems for the 2012 Olympics. In addition, just recently, Sheppard led the orchestra and chorus of Opera North at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Tour de France. Philip is also on the Board of Advisors of HATCH, a Montana-based non-profit to mentor creativity and innovation, founded by Yarrow Kraner, which is where he and Yarrow first met. Listen to some of Philip's MUSIC HERE.
The premiere of "The Orphan Girl" is September 11, 2014 at the Motherlode Theatre / The Orphan Girl Theatre in Butte. And boy do we have some surprises in store for you. Secret musical acts, bonus featurettes, behind the scenes videos, prize raffles, random door prizes, and of course - the after party. Imagine seeing your name up on screen, or introducing the actors for Q&A... A little support goes a long way - and whether you're able to make it Butte for the premiere or not, is irrelevant. You will have helped to forge into a permanent collection a film that tells the story of heroic Americans and a frontier city. Thank you.
Initial funding has come from Headframe Spirits, and a grant from The Montana Film Office. Principal photography and physical production / filming is 90% complete, and now the project must be completed. Funds will be used to finance film completion, post-production, editing, distribution and festival submissions. Distribution will be complemented by a robust social media strategy and development of online partnerships to gain audience and exposure.
Deny Staggs, Montana Film Commissioner
Matt Vincent, Butte Silverbow CEO
Pamela Haxby-Cote, Regional Director at Blackstone LaunchPad
Anthony Cochenour, CEO Hoplite
Karen Byrnes, Butte-Silver Bow Community Development Director
Tim Montana, Musician
Rod Alne, CEO PEAK Inc
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR DAY 1 SUPPORTERS OVER $500
SHANNON HUGHES & KRISTIN SNIDER
BELOW IS PHILIP SHEPPARD'S ILLUSTRATED COMPOSITION "THE WAVE" - an example of one of the reward's - a signed original illustrated composition (in the shape of a "Headframe").
Risks and challenges
This is a story that needs to be told and without your help, we will not be able to finish post-production, fund the necessary CGI effects to make it authentic, and find / connect with the distribution partnerships necessary to ensure The Orphan Girl and Butte’s story is seen, heard, and positively impacts the local and state economies.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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