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The story of a frontier city & the pioneers that sacrificed to create a brighter future & fuel America’s Industrial Revolution.
The story of a frontier city & the pioneers that sacrificed to create a brighter future & fuel America’s Industrial Revolution.
263 backers pledged $51,318 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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 IndustriesHeadframe 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.

MONTANA STANDARD - STARRING BUTTE NATIVE BRICK PATRICK

NBC / KTVM - ORPHAN GIRL FILMING STARTS!

KXLF VIDEO - BUTTE GOES HOLLYWOOD!

MONTANA FEED - MT FOLK FESTIVAL & THE FUTURE OF BUTTE

Governor Steve Bullock

Deny Staggs, Montana Film Commissioner 

Matt Vincent, Butte Silverbow CEO 

Pamela Haxby-Cote, Regional Director at Blackstone LaunchPad

INNOVATE MONTANA

BUTTE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT

BUTTE IDEA EXCHANGE

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

SCOTT L WILSON

SHANNON HUGHES & KRISTIN SNIDER

BRAD ARCHIBALD

CATHY TUTTI

LARRY HOFFMAN

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Ever see those Kickstarters with a $1 minimum "investment"? Seriously. Are you in or are you in? KNOW that you are doing your good deed for the day. Your very own ROC (Return on Community). What community? A global community that sacrificed to bring copper to power your grandparent's electricity, and communication. Yes, the very same copper that built this country and also connected other countries together. The original internet. It started in Butte. Say thank you. Know that you've given back, paid your respects, and made the world a better place.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    In addition to the ROC, you'll get TWO of your own Headframe BEER KOOZIEs (seriously, these things are sweet). Made of recyclable and treated brown paper bag they have a personality that when seen, people ask "where'd you get that?" Headframe Spirits. Montana. Show your pride!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    That’s the Spirit! As you know, a rising tide lifts all boats and you have made the tide rise ever so much. With a pledge of $50 or more, you are showing your Butte pride! For your efforts, you will get a shout out on Twitter telling the world just how great you are and that you contributed to such a noble cause - AND we will give you a Facebook Shout Out!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Now we’re cooking with gas. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and really showing your love for this film and for Butte. In addition to all the above rewards Including the TWO KOOZIES), your get your very own Headframe Spirits flask, plus a Limited Edition “The Orphan Girl” t-shirt that has been designed specifically for this project. This T is super cool. AND we'll give you a shout out on Facebook on a couple different pages, with a total audience exceeding 5,000 fans.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Everything below (Wow!) AND at this level, no one can question your love of our film and of Butte, MT. In addition to getting all the items mentioned above, you’ll get your very own pair of copper mugs. Butte. Copper. Mining. Mugs. Headframe Spirits. Are you starting to make the connection? Moscow Mules are a favorite in Montana and with these beauties, you’ll be able to serve yours in style. We will also put a special thank you on www.TheOrphanGirl.com website.
    - Instagram Shout Out (Over 5k followers!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Think you’re a copper king? With a pledge at this level, we will make you feel a little like one. You will get all the above rewards plus, you’ll get a limited edition Headframe Spirits hoodie. In Montana and want to come to Butte to claim your loot? Then come on over and join us at the distillery. Your flask will be filled with whatever concoction you want while you survey the historic digs that Headframe calls home. Don’t you think you deserve it? In addition, we’ll even throw YOUR NAME ON A PLAQUE in the tasting room at the distillery for all to see, forever immortalizing your name in the annals of history to be unearthed… A reminder that you’ve always got a seat at the table at Headframe Spirits.
    - Social media shout outs across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and name on website! PLUS any Twitter mentions of @orphanfilm, we will Retweet!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Wouldn’t you want to have your name in the credits of a real film? This is where the rubber meets the road. You are in it to win it and we truly appreciate your willingness to put this movement into motion. Pledge your support of $500 or more and not only are you making a huge difference in helping us tell this story, but you will get some very public recognition for your effort ... in the “SPECIAL THANKS” section of the film credits as a “Contributor”. Not enough you say? How about your very own invitation for 2 to a VIP Mixology class taught at Headframe Spirits. Learn the art of making truly special cocktails. We’ll also give you a copy of the film on whatever format you ask. Want it digitally? You got it. Beta? Ha, nice try but we’ll get you pretty much anything else.

    You will also get TWO (2) VIP TICKETS FOR THE PREMIERE on Sept 11th at The Orphan Girl Theatre in Butte, where you'll be able to hear Philip Sheppard (all the way from London) play a live score to the film. Your tickets also include VIP ACCESS TO THE AFTER PARTY, where some special surprises are in store.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Take me to the seven stacks of the Neversweat! For a pledge at this level, you get the film credit as a contributor, 2 tickets to the mixology class, a copy of the film, and will have the supreme satisfaction of knowing just how much we value your support. You’ll also get a signed copy of Lost Butte by Richard Gibson. Last but certainly not least, your pledge gets you TWO (2) VIP TICKETS FOR THE PREMIERE on Sept 11th at The Orphan Girl Theatre in Butte, where you'll be able to hear Philip Sheppard (all the way from London) play a live score to the film. Your tickets also include VIP access to the after party, where some special surprises are in store.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You are going to feel pretty incredible knowing that you contributed to the telling of an amazing story, to sparking the revitalization of a killer town, to preserving a piece of history and to honoring the people who made it possible for you to see this kickstarter campaign because without the copper mined from Butte, we may not have had the kind of development that led to the internet. Yep, noodle that for a few minutes. You’ll get the rewards from the $750 level and if that isn’t satisfaction enough, how about we throw in a signed poster from the owners of Headframe Spirits along with the cast and crew? Need more? How about a private tour of the mines, going 100 feet below the surface to a place where few people ever get to go. In addition, get a tour of Headframe Spirits and learn about their Phase 3 plans from the owners themselves. Finally, end it all up with 2 tickets to the Premier Party. Walk the red carpet, get your photo taken with the celebs, Drink in the Spirit of Butte. You’ve earned it.

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    Pledge $1,950 or more About $1,950

    At this level, you will get the items listed at the $750 level and above plus, you will get your very own 1lb Butte Copper Bar to display proudly. Top that off with a distillery tour and bottling party for you and 3 of your friends. You will also be invited to a private dinner with the cast and crew on the night of the Premiere, with VIP tickets to the premiere and the after party. AND... a signed illustrative original score from Philip Sheppard! (see example at the bottom to the left) How can you lose?

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    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    Contribute at this level and you will get all of the items from the $750 level to this one as well as a signed, custom made coffee table book with archival photos of Butte plus behind the scenes photographs of the film-making process. Top that off with a personalized “thank you” inscribed by the McKees and signed by the entire cast and crew and you have a beautiful memory to pass on to future generations. Lastly, you’ll get a private tasting at Headframe Spirits. You and a guest are invited to sample some favorites as well as some things which haven’t made it to bottle yet, all from the comfort of the Headframe Spirits in historic Butte, MT.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Let us start by saying, “thank you.” We are flattered that you have volunteered your support. At this contribution level, you will get those things from the $750 level up to this one but with a few added perks. You’ll receive a limited edition, multi-media, art poster created by our Director, Yarrow Kraner. You will receive a thank you credit in the signature Coffee Table book, a vote to help name the next product to be released which will be named after a mine and finally, you get your choice of a fishing trip or a guided tour of Butte with with the legendary, Chief Executive (Mayor) Matt VIncent. Lunch will be provided as will beverages, compliments of Headframe Spirits.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    This is the stuff of legends. Seriously. YOU are a LEGEND. You’re now an Associate Producer, with an earned credit in the film, which will be released to the festival circuit. Who wouldn’t want that?
    You will have your name on a barrel at the distillery and when that bad boy is ready to be bottled, you will be formally invited to help bottle the contents and take some "souvenirs" home with you. And when Headframe Spirits has emptied your barrel (53 Gallon aged oak), you can take it home.

    You'll be an honored guest at the film premier, Sept 11 at The Orphan Girl Theatre in Butte, and will have an opportunity to introduce yourself and the film to our audience.

    Want to climb a headframe? We can make that happen too.

    Lastly, you will also receive a select invitation (1 of 100) to HATCH, to network with an exclusive group of global influencers.

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Funding period

- (28 days)