Production Plan

Production was funded by the following generous sponsors:

Co-sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, the Northern Rockies Heritage Center, and private citizen Hayes Otoupalik, who provided locations and authentic artifacts for our shoots.

2 Years:

✓ Fall Semester 2021: Pre-Production with 2 UM Student Interns

  1. Researched 1918 Montana pandemic history using firsthand sources:
    – newspapers
    – diaries
    – memoirs
    – photographs
    – posters and advertisements
    – oral histories
  1. Film team identified and explored key themes in the stories, discussed and created storyboards.
  2. Film team practiced landscape shoots in and around Missoula.

Spring Semester 2022: Fundraising

  1. Roy W. Dean grant application for $3,500 production grant. Have been informed that we are finalists! Awaiting notification of grant recipients.
  2. Application for $20,530 in in-kind services to Treasure State Studios: equipment, VO recording studio, and editing bay use.
  3. Greater Montana Foundation application for film production grant; Awarded $20,000!
  4. Montana Film Office/Big Sky Production Services application for $50,000 grant submitted.
  5. Dee Garceau scheduled to incorporate UM interns into production team, Fall 2022.
  6. Crowd-sourcing campaign through this website/Facebook has raised ~$2,600. $186 went toward maintaining website (Premium WordPress, Domain Registration, and G-Suite for email and Google Drive). The remaining balance was paid to independent contractor Ashby Glover for work as Assistant Producer/Assistant Director.
  7. Application to Montana Committee for the Humanities due August 2022 for $8,000 production grant.

Fall Semester 2022: Further Research and Production

Dee Garceau will teach History 398, Documentary Filmmaking, for the UM Public History program, with the 1918 influenza in Montana as the focus. Student interns will join the film team, doing historical research and working on production.

  1. Immerse new film team in reading and research on the 1918 influenza in Montana
  2. Film team creates voiceover scripts based on firsthand narratives.
  3. Film team creates shooting scripts to plan the filming:

    – Identify people with pandemic stories and seek permission to interview; schedule preliminary interviews, schedule filmed interviews, follow-up interviews.

    – Identify location shoots for specific towns and landscapes in Montana and schedule scenic shoots for September-December.

    – Generate ideas for short reenactment scenes (action only, no dialogue; will be paired with voiceovers using direct quotes from firsthand narratives).

    – Schedule action shoots.
  1. Team conducts filmed interviews with oral history informants, Indigenous elders, and historical experts.
  2. Film team directs and films location scenes in Montana, i.e. landscapes and townscapes.
  3. Film team directs and films reenactment scenes, using local volunteer talent.
  4. Film team identifies “pick-up shots” needed (what kind of footage is needed to fill visual gaps in the story telling) and films accordingly.

Spring Semester 2023: Post-Production

  1. Film team logs film (identify where in the raw footage key actions or statements appear; identify location shots that evoke different moods and contexts; mark film clips that hold crucial action, words, images, sounds).
  2. Using the marked film clips, film team begins assembling sequences (building blocks of stories) and combining sequences to tell the stories.
  3. Film team produces a “radio edit,” a coherent set of stories based on spoken words, similar to a podcast.
  4. Film team fills in the radio edit with images, sound effects, music. This becomes the rough cut.
  5. Film team refines the rough cut to improve production values. Fine-tunes stories and pacing.
  6. Enter film in film festivals. Submit to Montana PBS for broadcast.

Our Purpose and Goals:

  1. To create good storytelling through film about events that pushed people to find their capacity for resilience, innovation, compassion, and courage.
  2. To provide UM film interns with the opportunity to create a historical documentary film, from pre-production work to assembling a rough cut. Students can develop their research, writing, directing, and editing skills. They will work collaboratively, but each student will have the opportunity to specialize as a writer, director or film editor.
  3. To submit the finished film to Montana PBS for broadcast, as well as to independent film festivals.
  4. To donate the finished film to Blackfeet Community College, Little Big Horn College, and the University of Montana, Missoula. To offer free screenings to libraries and museums throughout Montana. At each venue, we will invite audiences to participate in Q&A following the film.