Kier Atherton is a filmmaker and musician from Northwest Montana. He follows stories through narrative, documentary, and commercial realms. In 2014 he directed the feature Love Like Gold – a modern western noir slated for release in late 2015. He’s also the creator of the live music video series Out of the Studio and currently performs with the Missoula band Wartime Blues.
TERRA: Tell us a little about how you met Abe and what inspired you to make “Junk Studio.”
KA: I met Abe when he did the artwork for Pterodactyl Plains. We later became good friends when I spent a winter living alone on an old ranch in Fortine, Montana and he was living a few miles away. We met at least once a week for coffee and inspiration and to make sure neither of us had lost their minds in the solitude.
TERRA: Give us a behind-the-scenes snapshot of what life was like in the field.
KA: Luxurious. Early morning by the lake watching Abe paint and listening to the birds. Enjoying venison roast & home brewed beer while filming Abe in his indoor studio. Family and pet-friendly for the Junk Studio shoot - family and friends and pets all joined us for a walk and the photo shoot.
TERRA: What surprised you the most while working on the film?
KA: How excited people were to get painted and costumed to model in the woods.
TERRA: What types of equipment did you use? Do you have a favorite piece?
KA: This was my very first shoot with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It’s a wonderful camera, but the best thing about it was being able to use my 7D for a time-lapse while shooting with the Blackmagic. Favorite piece of gear is the Tascam DR-60D since it’s cheap and has great sound and features.
TERRA: Did you have any particularly rewarding moments while making the film?
KA: The most rewarding moment was watching Abe work on an early morning landscape painting at Murphy Lake. If not for the movie I would have still been in bed and never experienced such a beautiful scene through the eyes of an artist.
TERRA: What are the 3 things you’d never go into the field without and why?
KA: Neutral Density filter, otherwise you’re stuck in the shade. Leatherman with a bit set, there’s always something falling apart. A reflector, natural light is a renewable resource.
TERRA: What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
KA: Life and Stanley Kubrick films.
TERRA: What would be your dream project?
KA: I filmed my dream project “Love Like Gold” last spring. Every day on set or in the field is a dream come true though.
TERRA: What’s your favorite aspect of filmmaking?
KA: The discovery. People, places, and ideas I’m only exposed to through filmmaking
TERRA: Have you posed for Abe Quilling yet?
KA: Abe dressed me up as a depression era preacher and had me stand on an old washing machine.