Introducing Colin Ruggiero, a Real Montana finalist

April 23, 2015

What about Montana inspired you to create your short, Montana?

Everything about Montana inspires me, but primarily the wild country and landscapes here.  My short was a compilation of timelapses from all over the state.  I fell in love with timelapse photography during the five years of shooting my film, Exuma, (check out the trailer) in the Bahamas and am now applying those skills to capture the beauty of Montana too.  By compressing time, I could pack more Montana amazingness into a minute.

What other videos competing in Real Montana did you enjoy and why?  

I really liked Abbey Nelson’s, Defying Expectations.  It’s more of a slick, tourism commercial but I have lots of respect for her professional expertise and filmmaking skill.  I also really liked Brian Powers’ Weekend Coma.  He has a great eye.  Taste of Montana was beautiful and Forging the Dragon was really cool.  Lots of great stuff.  I liked Tom Benedicts, quirky pieces a lot too.  Too many to mention!


Ruggiero shooting “Montana.”

What is your next project?

I have several projects in the works now.  I’m hoping to continue my web series, Chasing Light, in which I travel around Montana and shoot timelapses, and I have small projects planned for a couple of conservation organizations.  I also do a fair bit of freelance camera work and have shoots coming up in Bhutan, Peru and Argentina.  And I’m starting production on my next indy documentary feature.

What do you plan to do with the prize money if you win?

Filmmaking is a really expensive medium and as a result, it’s very hard to be an artist and make truly independent films.  You need a lot of money and the people that put up that money have their own interests and want some degree of creative control.  It sounds funny, but I see myself as an artist and not a technician.  My career has been devoted to trying to make independent films with high production value, without having to give up creative control or compromising my vision.  This pretty much rules out commercial broadcast which is still one of the main income generators for filmmakers like me.  I lived without plumbing for 10 years to cut my living expenses so that I could afford the tools to make my films the way I want to make them without huge budgets and huge crews.  All of my money goes to making films and I would use the prize money to help fund my current documentary project.  It’s a secret at this point, but I can say that it will show off Montana in a way that hasn’t quite ever been done before.

Check out Colin’s film Montana, competing in the Real Montana finals!

The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.



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