Montana Film Office

Making Montana a marquee star at the LA Film Festival

CHALLENGE

The Montana Film Office wanted to play a bigger role at the LAFF to promote in-state filmmaking.

SOLUTION

A total immersion festival experience to showcase the many advantages of shooting films in the Big Sky State.

RESULT

Activated awareness among festival attendees and the film industry about Montana and its ability to serve as the perfect stage for a director's next production.

CHALLENGE

The Montana Film Office wanted to play a bigger role at the LAFF to promote in-state filmmaking.

SOLUTION

A total immersion festival experience to showcase the many advantages of shooting films in the Big Sky State.

RESULT

Activated awareness among festival attendees and the film industry about Montana and its ability to serve as the perfect stage for a director's next production.

The Montana Film Office was established in 1974 to promote the Big Sky State as a filming location for film, print and TV industries. In 2011 we proposed that there was an opportunity to garner more awareness of filmmaking in Montana by expanding the Film Office’s existing sponsorship at the prestigious annual Los Angeles Film Festival. For three consecutive years, we used the festival as a platform to launch the Film Office’s location scouting services mobile app (year one), its $1 million grant program (year two) and Made in Montana films that were on the festival circuit (year three).

Year One: Hosted events in conjunction with LAFF featured a Film Office-branded red carpet and custom valet parking stubs. Custom coasters were distributed at the event and at several restaurants and bars in the area. We also created an in-festival immersion in the area known as L.A. Live — we had synchronized video running across 20 LED screens promoting the location scouting app.

Year Two: To promote the Grants Program, we created the hashtag #bigskygrants that was printed on all materials throughout the event, including coasters. Again the Film Office co-hosted events with LAFF and we expanded MFO’s out-of-home efforts to include thousands of volunteers at the festival each wearing a custom Montana Film Office T-shirt. We created a special social media page on montanafilm.com that provided up-to-the-minute updates regarding where the MFO staff was on the ground, the easiest way to reach them to schedule an appointment, and what was trending in relation to the grant program.

Year Three: “Winter in the Blood” is a feature film that was shot in central Montana and had been accepted into competition at the LAFF. MFO hosted a reception and invited Montanans working / living in LA to attend. We created custom gift bags for every attendee that included a flask, T-shirt, bumper sticker and custom coaster set — all splashed with the hashtag #MTnLA. We also set up a photo booth-style backdrop to allow former Montana residents attending the party to be back “in” Montana again.

"As a huge movie buff, I worked at the Film Office in college. It was such a thrill to be part of this campaign and be on-the-ground at the festival to see all our work in action." — Suzanne Elfstrom, Director of Media & Public Relations / Account Supervisor, PartnersCreative

860

Downloads of the location scouting app in an extremely niche market.

$1M

The average amount the grant program distributes each year; funding about 26 film projects per year.

+59M

Circulation of media outreach efforts that led to coverage in The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire and the LA Times.

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