Montana State University

MSU filmmakers link to popular ‘Unbranded’ documentary highlighted in new ad

October 22, 2015 -- MSU News Service

MSU graduate Phill Baribeau directed "Unbranded" and was the co-director of photography of the documentary. Photo courtesy of Fins & Feathers, LLCA group of cowboys and mustangs traverses a rocky trail. A team of MSU film graduates and faculty largely made up the production crew of ââ¬ÅUnbranded,ââ¬Â a feature-length documentary about the epic journey of four young Texas cowboys, who in five months rode 3,000 miles along the backbone of the Rocky Mountains from the Mexican to the Canadian border on a string of 16 wild mustangs. Photo courtesy of Fins & Feathers, LLC.

MSU graduate Phill Baribeau directed "Unbranded" and was the co-director of photography of the documentary. Photo courtesy of Fins & Feathers, LLC

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu

Montana State University has debuted a new institutional video advertisement that highlights the work of MSU film graduates on the popular mustang documentary “Unbranded.”

A team of MSU film graduates and faculty largely made up the production crew of “Unbranded,” a feature-length documentary about the epic journey of four young Texas cowboys led by Ben Masters, who in five months ride 3,000 miles along the backbone of the Rocky Mountains from the Mexican to the Canadian border on a string of 16 wild mustangs.

The adventure was chronicled by MSU film graduate Phillip Baribeau, who directed and was the co-director of photography of the documentary with fellow MSU graduate Korey Kaczmarek. The film was produced by Dennis Aig, director of the MSU School of Film and Photography in the College of Arts and Architecture, and edited by Scott Chestnut, an MSU graduate.

The film that is now in general release won the audience choice awards at both the 2015 Telluride Mountainfilm Festival and Toronto’s HotDocs festival, which is the largest documentary film festival in the world. The film, which is being distributed internationally, has also received five other major honors.

A team of MSU film graduates and affiliates also made the 60-second MSU institutional advertisement that began airing during the Oct. 10 Montana State-Sacramento State football game. It is now airing on Montana television stations.

In addition to Baribeau and Aig, the MSU spot features graduate Chestnut, who edited both the documentary and the spot, as well as Paul Quigley, Katie Roberts, Sam Hedlund and William Springstead. Andy Hahn, a current film student who produced the graphics for “Unbranded,”, operated the camera and created all the motion graphics.

During the MSU spot, Baribeau discusses how the practical “make it work” philosophy of the MSU School of Film and Photography prepared him to direct and film during the five-month shoot over some of the most rugged landscape in America.

“When I was a film student at Montana State University, we were taught to go the extra mile to create the unexpected,” Baribeau said. He adds that he put together an MSU team of faculty, students and graduates “Because I knew they would have what it takes to meet the challenge of making ‘Unbranded.’”

Julie Kipfer, MSU director of marketing and creative services, was the executive producer of the institutional advertisement.

"We wanted to create a spot that tells the story of how the active learning at Montana State University translates into exciting careers,” Kipfer said of the project, which was filmed in high-definition.

Kipfer said using in-house talent allowed MSU to put MSU’s expertise to work to create a top-quality product that builds pride in the university.

"Nearly everyone involved in the production was either MSU alumni, current students or members of the MSU faculty and staff," Kipfer said. “It truly was a cooperative effort.”

Kipfer said MSU plans to air the institutional advertisement many times in the coming months. Kipfer said the “Unbranded” spot is the fifth in a series of ads that feature real MSU projects. Each of the MSU institutional spot were produced in-house. Several of the previous MSU spots have won regional awards in ADDY and Council for the Advancement and Support of Education contests.

To view the new commercial, go to: http://www.montana.edu/unbranded/.

Contact: Julie Kipfer (406) 994-5737, jkipfer@montana.edu