UM Media Arts Students Gain Professional Film Experience

March 30, 2016

UM Media Arts Student Tom Attwater poses with a special effects moose.MISSOULA – University of Montana School of Media Arts Professor Andrew Smith, working with his twin brother Alex Smith, recently completed principal photography on “Walking Out,” their third feature film set in Montana.

Twelve UM media arts students gained valuable learning experiences as interns on the production of the father/son-survival drama. Matt Bomer, Bill Pullman and Josh Wiggins lead the cast and Brunson Green of Harbinger Pictures and Laura Ivey of Co-Op Entertainment produced the film with assistance from the State of Montana’s Big Sky Film Grant.

“Students joined the crew in a variety of capacities and became an invaluable component to creating ‘Walking Out,’” Andrew Smith said.

The students include:

  • Nicholas “Kyle” Weingart of Missoula, a senior who aims to graduate this spring, who worked in the art and locations departments.
  • Casey Stuckey of Missoula, who graduated from UM last spring and assisted in the grip department.
  • Simon Coffin of San Jose, California, a senior who aims to graduate in the fall of 2016, and assisted in the camera department.
  • Keenan Goodman of Missoula, a junior, who assisted in the art department.
  • Justin Sheldon of Dutton, who graduated last fall and assisted in the grip department.
  • Jeffrey Neubauer of Billings, a senior who aims to graduate this spring and assisted in the grip department.
  • Trevor Cummings of Bernadino, California, a junior, who assisted in the editorial department.
  • Eric Mosley of San Antonio, a junior, who assisted in the art and grip departments.
  • Darien Gostas of Sheridan, Wyoming, a senior who aims to graduate this spring and assisted in the camera department.
  • Jonathan Billings of Missoula, a 2014 alumnus, who assisted in the art department and craft services.
  • Tom Attwater of Wichita, Kansas, a senior who aims to graduate this spring and was a stunt diver.
  • Thomas Story of Emigrant, a freshman, who assisted in the grip, camera and art departments.

A number of other media arts BFA students will work on visual effects, color correction and other post-production elements of the film, under the supervision of UM Associate Professor Greg Twigg. UM students will be promoted from intern level through their work efforts, and will earned bona fide production credits on the film.

“Walking Out” is the story of David (Wiggins), a teenage urbanite, who travels to rural Montana to go hunting with his estranged “off-the-grid” father Cal ( Bomer). As they ascend into the wilderness, the father and son duo struggle to connect with each other on any level. When an unexpected encounter with a grizzly bear leaves them both with serious injuries, the boy must carry his father to safety if they are to survive. The screenplay is an adaptation of the short story written by Bozeman author David Quammen. Filming took place last November in the Livingston area, and in January in the Bozeman area.

Writers/directors Alex and Andrew Smith previously collaborated on “The Slaughter Rule” starring Ryan Gosling, and “Winter in the Blood” starring Chaske Spencer. The Smiths’ sense of aesthetics was shaped in large by their upbringing in Potomac, a rural community east of Missoula. The brothers graduated from Missoula’s Hellgate High School.

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Contact: Andrew Smith, UM School of Media Arts professor, 406-243-4540, andrew1.smith@umontana.edu.