Out of the many movies released in 2013, only nine have been nominated for Best Picture for the Oscars race in 2014. Among the few chosen is an indie film called Nebraska, shot on location partially in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming.
On January 16, 2014, the The Montana Film Office announced that Nebraska, a drama/comedy directed by previous Academy Award-winner Alexander Payne (The Descendants), was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Bruce Dern), Best Supporting Actress (June Squibb), Best Original Screenplay (Bob Nelson) and Best Cinematography (Phedon Papamichael).
The movie was precertified under Montana’s production incentive program, the Big Sky on the Big Screen Act. This program gives 14 percent back on Montana crew and talent salaries and 9 percent back on production-related expenditures made in Montana. In return, the production hired 62 Montana-based crew and service providers, in addition to casting 30 local extras.
Montana Film Commissioner Deny Staggs, who is currently promoting Montana’s opportunities for filmmakers at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, praised Payne and his crew.
“It’s fantastic to see these nominations go to a Montana-shot film,” Staggs said. “Results like these highlight just how much Montana’s crew and locations can bring to a film. We’re incredibly proud of all the work folks did on it.”
Payne chose to shoot Nebraska on location to preserve the authentic settings of the story (a father-and-son’s road trip from Montana to Nebraska to collect a $1 million prize).
“Alexander wanted the truthfulness of the place to come across on scene,” said Albert Berger, producer of the film. “Wyoming was the logical middle point.”
Although he loves all the locations he’s been in while shooting Nebraska, the director does have a few favorites.
“I loved Rapid City, South Dakota. It’s a town of about 60,000 people and it’s of course where you stay when you visit Mount Rushmore and places nearby. But it’s a very cool town with a couple of excellent restaurants and a great old historic hotel downtown, Hotel Alex Johnson,” said Payne. “I also really liked Buffalo, Wyoming, a little mining town that has a historic hotel and bar—The Occidental Hotel—which used to be a whorehouse. It was built in the 1880s and have been lovingly restored and maintained.”
Wyoming was also the film location for one of the most notable films of late, Django Unchained.
The Oscar nominations were not the only recognition for Nebraska. The film also had five Golden Globe nominations - Best Musical/Comedy, Best Director, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy (Bruce Dern), Best Supporting Actress (June Squibb), and Best Screenplay (Bob Nelson).
Other movies nominated for Oscars 2014 Best Picture are American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Philomena, and 12 Years a Slave.
The 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for March 2, 2014. It will air live on ABC stations nationwide starting at 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
About The Film Offices
The main mission of all three of the Film Offices is to bring more productions to film in their states. Each of the Film Offices actively works with the producers to find locations that fit their scripts and acts as liaison between filmmakers, state agencies and location owners.
Among the myriad of other services they provide, the Film Offices also help filmmakers and producers with lodging, food services, labor, props, transportation and state laws and guidelines.