Grain Silo Timelapse – Rapelje, MT

The sky in central Montana is force that plays different characters on different days. Today it was playful in a way it hasn’t been in several moody weeks. Watch until the end, and you’ll see the shadow of another storm begin to slide across the sky.

This is my first time-lapse in Rapelje, set up while I interviewed Laila, the manager of the Stockman Cafe. I’m looking forward to making more. With time such an important part of the story, I’m thinking that they may play a big part in the film.

Check out the film’s website HERE.

Rapelje, Montana

Stills from my first trip to Rapelje filming my short documentary on the 24 Hours of Rapelje, the town’s famous mountain bike race. Special thanks to Sally Orr for giving me tour of the area, and helping me lay the ground-work for the film!

Life’s Fast is Back Under the Big Sky!

It’s official, Life’s Fast Productions has moved its headquarters to beautiful Big Sky Country! While this won’t affect our video projects throughout the country, we are excited to begin working our video magic in Montana.

"Pictograph Caves State Park" Photo by Jeff Handlin. See more at: http://jeffhandlinblog.wordpress.com/

We are hoping to be Billings, Montana’s premiere video production company, telling stories about the local people, places, and organizations that make Montana such a unique place to be.

"Prairie Winds Near Molt, Montana" Photo by Jeff Handlin. See more at: http://jeffhandlinblog.wordpress.com/

Moving back to Montana is a homecoming for the team. We are excited to get back here and apply what we’ve learned to this amazing place. We have plans to partner up with some of the local talent on some of our newest projects. The photographs shown here are from local photographer and timelapse artist Jeff Handlin.

"Sacrifice Cliff" Photo by Jeff Handlin. See more at: http://jeffhandlinblog.wordpress.com/

As far as new projects, we have some new stuff that will be working its way to the surface in the coming months, so keep an eye open for those.

Photography provided by Jeff Handlin Photography. Check out his latest adventures HERE. Also, check out his very-reasonably-priced fine-art prints.

MT Roadtrip Pt. 5: Peaks and Valleys, Missoula – St. Mary’s Peak

"M" Trail, Mt. Sentinel, Missoula, MT: Missoula lies under the watchful eye of a giant "M" on the side of Mt. Sentinel near the University of Montana campus. I climb the series of switchbacks to get an awesome view of the city nestled in the crook of three mountain ranges.

Mt. Sentinel, Missoula, MT: From atop the "M" Trail, Missoula fills the valley before me. The Clark Fork carves lazy S-turns through Missoula's lively downtown and the two closest wilderness areas rise just outside the city limits, providing places to enjoy high country activities. These wilderness areas, plus several more within a few miles, are part of what draws people from all over the country to settle here.

MBW, Missoula, MT: Missoula has a thriving community of cyclists made up of everything from year-round commuters to pro racers. Missoula Bicycle Works embodies Missoula's independent nature: a local shop serving this diverse community better than any chain retailer. I worked here for three years and enjoyed stopping by and catching up with old friends.

Hellgate Cyclery, Missoula, MT: I also visit Hellgate Cyclery, one of a new breed of shops around the country focusing on bicycle repairs and selling used bikes rather than dealing in bikes from large-scale manufacturers. Tucked into an alley downtown, this shop feels like a hidden doorway into the heart of the local bike scene, complete with a greeting by the shop dog.

Missoula, MT: I wander along the Clark Fork through a series of parks and greenways. The flowers and trees along the river stand in stark contrast to the semi-arid land just outside the valley, giving the "Garden City" its nickname.

Missoula, MT: These massive fish "swim" between boulders at the edge of the Clark Fork in Caras Park. This sculpture is a great reminder of what makes Missoula a haven for people who want to live someplace because of their passions (in this case, anglers) rather than the availability of high-paying jobs. This, in turn, has brought a lot of diverse talents to the area, making Missoula the home base for several international businesses and organizations.

Fire Tower, St. Mary's Peak, near Stevensville, MT: The final stop on my trek across Montana is at St. Mary's peak near Stevensville. After the hike to the top, I am greeted by both great views of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and and a Forest Service lookout who was kind enough to let me check out the instruments he uses to track fires. He will live in this 12'x12' box for weeks at a time watching the forest through most of the Bitterroot Valley to the east and the rows of jagged mountains in Idaho's panhandle to the west.

Fire Tower, St. Mary's Peak, near Stevensville, MT: From inside his tower, a Forest Service fire lookout keeps an eye on one of several fires that sprang to life over the hours since I started my climb. High winds drive these fires across the mountainsides even as I watch them. These fires, like human presence, will change the landscape. In some ways these changes will be for the better and some ways not. These fires are often out of our control but, in the end--with fires, at least-- nature prevails. A new cycle of life begins.

Montana Road Trip Pt. 4: Rust and Mountains, Bozeman – Nevada City

Burger Bob's, Bozeman, MT: This place hasn't changed a bit since I was here last ten years ago, from the MSU Bobcats helmets on the walls to the beer bottles chilling in a tub of ice. I admire any place confident enough to use self-deprecation to stand out in the fierce food service competition.

Burger Bob's, Bozeman, MT: Bob's lives up to their promise, plus I get one of the best burgers I've had in months. I imagine the beef coming from a field around the corner rather than from around the world.

Downtown Bozeman, MT: Bozeman's downtown is filled with art made by "local" artists, many having moved here from other places for the "quality of life" Montana's mountain towns offer. Many locals view this influx as detrimental to the character of these places (as well as an increase in property taxes).

Highway 287 toward Ennis, MT, south of Three Forks, MT: Beyond the curve of this highway the road is hemmed in by the 10,000 foot peaks of the Madison Range on the left and the Tobacco Root Mountains on the right. I have never been to Ennis and am stunned at the beauty of this highway. I can hardly believe I've never seen this stretch of road before and wonder what other treasures I've missed sticking to the interstate for all those years.

Highway 287 toward Ennis, MT, south of Three Forks, MT: The arid conditions spared this old ranch cabin, preserving a glimpse of a hard way of life that still exists for cattlemen. Ranchers in this area are known for still doing much of their work by hand or on horseback. I imagine that, for the ranch-hands that lived in this cabin a century ago, seeing the rugged beauty of the Tobacco Root Range right out the front door may have taken some of the bite out of the ever-present wind scouring the valley floor.

Top of the pass near Eight-Mile Creek, Hwy 287, Overlooking Ennis, MT: Homage to the trusty Toyota I borrowed for this trip. It is a joy to drive on the twisty backroads and its large windows offer excellent visibility as I gape at the mountains drifting by.

Virginia City, MT: These pumps and boarded up station sit at the edge of one of Montana's most famous ghost towns, Virginia City. Though most of the gold rush buildings are being restored, this historical late-comer sits decaying. Much of Montana's rural history is visible in rusting heaps along its roadways. Barns and machinery in various states of degradation, populate the open spaces between communities. Broken down farm trucks become archeological stratification: 1960's Chevy next to a 1950's International next to a 1940's Dodge next to a 1930's...

Nevada City, MT: Nevada City is another famed ghost town. Unlike Virginia City a few miles away, Nevada City almost disappeared before being reassembled from period buildings found and shipped in from around the state. This sign commemorates the vigilante actions that gave the old west some of its "wild" reputation. This reputation lives on in the largely self-reliant towns along western back roads.