Starter Series: Montana Film Academy

Erin Britt reviews & interviews

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The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.

Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
Ten years ago, I picked up the book Perma Red after my brother had read it in a college course and I immediately fell in love with the story and the visual images of Montana. I felt strongly right then and there that the book needed to be made into a movie. The book propelled me into going back to college and getting my Masters in Digital Filmmaking at the University of Montana. In my last year, I made a thesis film that was a shorter version of the book and the landscape called Lost Birds. I made Lost Birds to show the author of Perma Red, Debra Magpie Earling, that I was passionate about the story so that she would let me option the book to make it into a movie.Debra Magpie Earling and I became friends and last year she allowed the option. I am currently in the fundraising process for Perma Red as a feature film. I am also quite honored to be the Director of Education at the Montana Film Academy at the Roxy Theater where I teach after school film courses for youth and adults. It is so inspiring to help others create visual art. I feel lucky everyday to have followed my passion for storytelling through film. 

What do your kids think about your job?
My son is four so he is still not sure what I do but he sees me edit commercials and short films all the time and wishes they were cartoons. He knows I work in a theater and I think he thinks I get paid to watch movies all day. Which in a way, I kind of do!

Tell us about a total mom + biz fail.
I think the hardest and best part of filmmaking is that it isn’t a predictable 9-5 job. Sometimes, I work like crazy for 16-hour days and it feels like I disappear from my son’s life. When I was working on my thesis film, he was still a small baby and nursing. I would rush to him and nurse and then go back to set. It went on like that for a week. I take comfort though in knowing that he sees me doing work that I love and am passionate about creating. I hope I instill that in him. 

Share with us a total win (brag away!)
The other day, my son and I made short film with his cars and he shot the whole thing. He came up with the script, acted in it and picked out the sound effects while I edited it. It was pretty amazing to see how quickly that age gets technology. It also felt like a really great bonding moment that he was captured forever.   

What's your relationship with Mamalode?
The first time I read Mamalode, I cried. It felt so real, so authentic. It also felt diverse and seemed to showcase that there are tons of ways to be a parent but that we are all in it together. I think Mamalode is such a great parenting magazine because real parents write it. The magazine really resonates with me and I am so grateful it exists.

About the Author

Erin Britt

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