Production Notes

My Favorite Movie originated from the comedic mind of freshman high schooler Martin Rogers. As the years progressed and ideas began to formulate, the script slowly began to come together as he incorporated much of his real life experience to create many of the bizarre characters in the script. For example, "We would put on a thick Irish brogue at fast food places," says Rogers, "and when employees laughed at us, we would throw a fit and demand free food. This worked great until an older female employee (The Blendy's Nazi in MFM) caught on to us. It was shenanigans like this that crafted most of the characters from the film." Rogers continued cataloging his experiences from then on. It wasn't until years later while attending Minnesota State University-Moorhead that Rogers began seriously discussing the possibility of making a movie with friends John Greff and Nick Havens who were attending Carroll College in Helena, MT and high school friend Isaac Marble who was attending the University of Michigan. "It was bizarre how it started." recalls Isaac, "We just started talking one day about how it would be cool to make a movie. We were all for it, but none of us had a clue what exactly that encompassed. Our initial budget estimate was like 10 grand." he laughs, "In hindsight, I guess we were just too pumped to think we couldn't do it." They decided to go for it and Rogers put pen to paper and crafted the first draft of My Favorite Movie.

"The original script will forever be a gem and testament to our knowledge of filmmaking at that point," says Marble. "We initially had plans for explosions, helicopters, bears and all sorts of other unfeasible things for a low budget feature. The creativity was very high but the practicality was very low." They soon realized exactly how far out of their element they were and began devouring film books and spending countless hours talking about details in order to garner some knowledge of what they were about to do. At the end of the semester in December '07, Rogers and Marble moved to Helena to join Greff and Havens, and together they formed Dream Team Cinema, LLC.

The team decided Helena would be the ideal spot to film due to the familiarity and beauty of the area as well as Carroll College where the entire key production team would be able to attend school while filmmaking. "John and Nick already went to Carroll and I had played football there for two years before transferring to Minnesota so we had a good base of connections established." says Rogers. In addition, Rogers' friend, actor and former roommate Bryan Ferriter lived there as well. "Bryan and I used to bounce ideas off each other for My Favorite Movie all the time," continues Rogers. "We talked about the depressed character of Dave a lot and one day I realized he WAS Dave."

Eventually, Greff and Havens decided to focus on school while Marble and Rogers raised the rest of the budget and began prepping to begin filming in June. They signed on Carroll friend Lauren Mackie who helped with a multitude of preproduction work and acted as the 1st AD during production. In addition, the team received invaluable time, advice and assets from associate producer Mike Butters (Saw, Saw IV, Saw V) who has a plethora of film experience and played Dave's boss, Jeff Deal in the film. He also helped sign on John Murray, brother of Bill Murray, as the Monsignor. "Mike was amazing, one of the funniest people around and so helpful. I'll never forget how he brought me to breakfast before shooting began to make sure I was doing all right," says Rogers. In addition, the team managed to sign on Rogers' favorite comedian and Billings, MT native Auggie Smith for a small role as one of Jerry's clients. "It was astonishing having Auggie on the set, he's so talented!." The rest of the cast, including beautiful leading lady Alexa Etchart, are native Montanans.

With Cinematographer Bill Otto (Big Dreams Little Tokyo, White on Rice) behind the camera production began on June 9th, 2008. "It was a hardnosed, extremely ambitious project," says Marble. "We hit 23 locations in 18 filming days. Fortunately, the crew clicked and believed in the film. There is no way it would have been possible without their exhaustive dedication." The crew hit several of Helena's premier locations including the Cathedral of Saint Helena. "This would have been firmly impossible without the help of the community," continues Marble, "People let us use their cars, houses and even children for free. The police helped us close streets whenever we needed, and we did not pay a dime to use a location. The support was unbelievable."

Upon completion of principal photography Marble and Rogers set out on the long journey of post production. Editor David Boyle (Big Dreams Little Tokyo, White on Rice) laid out the rough cut of the film. After the rough cut was complete the film was sent to Chicago to Supervising Editor Wil Masisak (The Climber's Mind, My First Toy Company ) where he completed the film in early 2011