Capturing the Ambiance of North Dakota
“North Dakota is in my soul,” says Nathan Anderson during a long-distance phone interview. Though our phone conversation spans roughly 1700 miles, there’s a hint of yearning in his voice. “But you live in California?” I question after a long pause. A hearty chuckle resonates over the phone. “I guess you could say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
A North Dakota native who received a degree in English from MSUM, Anderson is the founder and owner of NoDak Films, a feature-length film company committed to using North Dakota actors, locations, music, art and resources set in and inspired by the state. NoDak’s debut film Last Summer For Boys is slated to be released on special edition/limited release DVD this fall, with $15 of each DVD sold going toward the North Dakota Flood Fight.
FM Spotlight caught up with NoDak Films founder Nathan Anderson for an inside look into the company and its latest film Last Summer For Boys.
So what’s the scoop with NoDak Films?
It’s a small business that focuses on making movies. My philosophy is that I don’t care about Hollywood, I’m not trying to get in the door. NoDak Films is about movies set-in and inspired by North Dakota.
What is the inspiration behind NoDak Films?
When I graduated from MSUM I wanted to get out of the state. I bounced around from place to place for a while until I finally settled down in California. Those years of moving is how the idea for NoDak films came about. I realized North Dakota was in my soul.
Describe the plot of Last Summer For Boys.
Originally I began writing the story as a novel, but as it progressed it seemed better on the screen. As more ideas came to my head I transitioned to writing a screenplay.
The Gift of Nodak Films really shows the model of who we are. Before filming began, individuals of North Dakota could contribute $100 to have a spot in the movie. People could give these gifts to their family members, friends, even businesses went in. Through this we were able to generate enough money to make a movie.
Where did you film?
We started last July in Minneapolis, shot there for a few days, then came to Fargo and shot there for four, shot in Minot for a few days, then Plaza, then Ray. This movie is North Dakota through and through – actors to music to the crew. It’s a North Dakota product.
Many of the films set in North Dakota tend to emphasize the winter. There was a scene we shot in December and it just happened to be a beautiful day. But most of this film really emphasizes the summer months of North Dakota.
We really want to blow this movie up and I’d like it to have a run in North Dakota theaters. As of right now we’re working on getting it set up.
What’s next for NoDak Films?
I’m looking to do a film based around the oil fields in North Dakota. Not a documentary, but rather a drama. The Gift of NoDak films worked well for Last Summer For Boys so we’ll be doing that again.
For more information on NoDak Films including Gift of Nodak visit www.nodakfilms.com