Academy Award-Nominated 'Nebraska' Shows Montana Roots - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Academy Award-Nominated 'Nebraska' Shows Montana Roots

BILLINGS -

It's nominated for six academy awards-- including best picture, director, actor and supporting actress.

"Nebraska" is a movie about an aging father who makes his way from Montana to Nebraska because he mistakenly thinks he's won the lottery.

Scenes showing a dazed and confused Woody, played by actor Bruce Dern, wind their way in and out of Laurel and Billings.

They are signature places, found in a good chunk of the movie, mainly the all-important setup.

The cast and crew of "Nebraska" were hard at the Highland Apartments work in late 2012.

It took a lot of back and forth between Location Scout Anne Gauer, Director Alexander Payne and others,  before deciding which spots were the exact fit for the movie.

"It was surprising to see how quickly the scenes went by knowing what went into it behind the scenes," Gauer said.

Billings was written into Bob Nelson's screen play, so authenticity became an important part of this movie.

Yellowstone County Undersheriff Kevin Evans helped make that authenticity happen.

"We had a room full of our old gray uniforms, and they made some slight modifications to the patch, to the emblem on our car so it wasn't identical to what we use. We supplied them with hats, coats, shirts, pants, cars to use so all that kind of equipment," Evans said.

That equipment and the uniforms created the essence of Billings in the movie.

Not only was Nebraska partially filmed in Billings. It involved real people playing themselves. In fact, a total of 60 extras and crew were used.

Dennis McCave, a real-life local who worked for the Yellowstone Co. Sheriff's Office for nearly 35 years, landed a speaking role.

"After a couple of takes of that, the Director, Alexander Payne, said 'Mic me up!' so apparently he liked the verbal interaction so we did another 5 or 6 takes and I was done," McCave said.

But not entirely done.

It was that once-in-a-lifetime experience for Dennis, Kevin, Anne and others in Billings and Laurel, captured on the screen for generations to come.

All in all, the Montana Film Office estimates "Nebraska" meant a total economic impact of $370,000-plus dollars to the Billings area.

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