It was early on that Mesa’s Adam and Donovan Montierth showed a promise for the many facets of film production.
“Our tour-de-force was our ‘Mummy’ series we shot with (a) friend,” Adam Montierth explains. “We wrapped (him) in toilet paper and used fireworks as our special effects.”
Montierth estimates he and his brother couldn’t have been much older than 8 years old at the time. From shooting and editing old eight-millimeter films, to producing “endless” comedy sketches in high school, to putting two VCRs together to “edit back and forth,” the brothers had a knack – and they knew it.
Twins who grew up in the East Valley, attended Mountain View High School, studied media arts in college and now live in adjacent homes, the brothers had long been in the business writing scripts for other companies when they decided, in 2003, to go at it on their own.
Partnering with Jason Walters, another Arizona native, they created Brothers’ Ink Productions. The Valley company has earned more than 50 awards, including three Emmy Awards on three separate projects. One of those came as a result of the first film Brothers’ Ink created, called “Reveille.”
“Reveille” is a story about the rivalry between the diverse divisions of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the underlying connection that all veterans share.
“Once we started, (we) realized that everyone on the cast and crew had a family member or friend that was a veteran of our armed forces,” Montierth said. “So we opened that tribute up to include all people who have ever served in the American forces.
“We dedicated that one to our grandfather,” he said.
The film went viral online, catching the eyes of more than 4 million viewers in the first year.
“We were overwhelmed by the positive response. To this day we still get emails from people that were touched by the film,” Montierth said. “That one changed our lives.”
Brothers’ Ink’s latest creation, called “Locker 13,” is a short film consisting of five segments – all connected to a mysterious locker No. 13. The film has been “created and carried,” Montierth explains, by an audience who has submitted scripts via the internet and through the conception of an online campaign through Kickstarter.com.
The brothers’ Arizona roots are evident in the production of Locker 13. Three of the segments were shot in Los Angeles featuring known Hollywood actors such as Rick Schroder – playing a “down-and-out boxer” – Jason Marsden, Jon Polito, Tatyana Ali, Krista Allen and Rick Hoffman, who currently stars as Louis Litt on the popular television series “Suits.”
With another segment already shot with Arizona as the backdrop, Brothers’ Ink hopes to produce the final segment of Locker 13 –“The Other Side” – in November, also close to home. Walters, who recently has been suffering pancreatic cancer, is the writer of this last part.
“The doctors have been amazed by his recovery and we are very thankful that he will finally get to see his part of the film get produced,” Montierth said.
The last segment will be filmed just outside of Phoenix in a “little Wild West Town that our executive producer, John Waldron, built with his own two hands from the ground up.” The set includes a chapel, jailhouse, saloon, water tower, and “complete, brick-by-brick replica of Tombstone’s Birdcage Theatre.”
Having Brothers’ Ink based in the Valley and keeping their roots close has been important to both Adam and Donovan.
“Truth be told, we thought of L.A., like everyone does,” Adam Montierth said of where they would start the company from. “But in the end, our families are here and our homes are here. We are married, boring family guys that like to go home every night. The Hollywood scene is just not for us.”
Brothers Ink is looking for support in producing the final segment of Locker 13, and has a Kickstarter page set up to receive donations from the community.
Those who donate can receive DVDs and other perks for their contributions.
Caitlin, a senior studying public relations and journalism at Northern Arizona University, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org