BILLINGS — A new movie is about to start shooting in and around the Billings area. It’s called "Supercell" and it’s about a son following in his father’s footsteps as a storm chaser.
The last major motion picture to film in the Billings area was the critically-acclaimed "Nebraska" in 2012. Other great movies have called southern Montana home, including Robert Redford’s "A River Runs Through It" and Ron Howard’s "Far and Away." And in every Montana film, the landscape seems to play a crucial role.
That’s one reason "Supercell" producer Nathan Klingher says that he chose to film here: “The production value you get shooting in Montana, on location, is unrivaled,” says Klingher. “You point the camera and shoot, and you're getting just value out of the vistas that you're seeing.”
"Supercell" has the feel of a modern-day "Twister," arguably one of the greatest weather disaster movies of all time. This story centers around a young storm chaser trying to follow in his father’s footsteps tracking major storms. The film was written and is being directed by former storm chaser James Winterstern.
“When he wrote the script, he had spent two years storm chasing all across the plains,” says Klingher. “So he has a very tight-knit community in and among storm chasers that he knows really well and he's leaned on for advice about the production, for how to execute the vision.”
A few decades ago, film production in Montana was relatively small, but a few years ago, that started to change. Montana Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer explained that because of a tax incentive, more filmmakers are coming to shoot in Montana and are generating a lot of money into the economy.
“During 2019, and most of 2020, we've calculated with our research report that we've had about a $47-$48 million impact in the state, and we are certainly hoping to continue that,” says Whitmer. “We've been able to put filmmakers in every corner of Montana, and we'd like to see that maintain. They come with cash in hand, and they hire people, and they stay in hotels, and they rent cars and they distribute their money into all levels of your local economy... they spread it through all the community and then you get to see the final product in the theaters later.”
"Supercell" is still in pre-production at the moment, but Klingher says everyone is looking forward to the cameras rolling in early May.
“I think that, you know, for me, it's really exciting to be in Montana,” he says. “I was looking forward to coming out here for this shoot. It's exceeded my expectations in terms of what the community is offering, and the look of the area is offering, and I'm excited to get to work and start shooting this movie with the rest of the team.”
If you would like to be part of the film, the production team is working to fill a variety of background roles, especially those of storm chasers with unique-looking vehicles, between May 6 and May 20. The pay for extras is $64 per eight-hour day plus overtime. If you or anyone you know is interested, please email headshot/recent photo, availability, resume and personal physical description to: firstname.lastname@example.org