Watch the trailer!


Montana Film: The Ultimate Location

In this featurette, our cast & crew discuss what it’s like to make movies in Montana. 


The world premiere took place in downtown Missoula, Montana on March 11th, 2023. See photos from the Red Carpet HERE!

Saving For The Day


Joe Bell is a penny-pinching hermit saving for the day when his real life will begin. One day he’s given a chest filled with treasure by a cryptic, old man. After the Old-timer “accidentally” locks the chest, Joe must go on a series of adventures to track down the key. Each adventure is a different genre. There are over 12 different genres. Joe’s quest leads him to a determined & quirky baseball bat-wielding archeologist named Abbey. She wears the key on a necklace unaware of its value to Joe. He falls for her and begins pursuing her for both love and money. Ultimately, Joe must decide between the two.

A Love Letter to Missoula, Montana

In this featurette, our cast & crew discuss how Missoula served as the inspiration and setting of Saving For The Day. 


Saving For The Day features over 25 speaking roles. All of the actors we're based in Montana at the time of filming. Here are some of them:

Saving For The Day

Andy Shirtliff

'Joe Bell' is a reluctant homebody who is forced to take his journey to become a hero.

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Lindsey Zachariasen

'Abbey' is a quirky & determined baseball bat-wielding archaeologist who is following her bliss.

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James McGahee

'Jim Plummer' is a descendent of the infamous Henry Plummer and is searching for "Plummer's Gold."

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Jared Branden

'Strider' is a mixture of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Aragorn at least in his own mind. He's Joe's mentor & trainer.

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Cheyenne Adamson

'Heath' aspires to be as cool as Neo from The Matrix. He's Joe's techie sidekick.

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Jeff Medley

'Kevin' is an oblivious star gazer. Powered by corndogs, he becomes the chauffeur of Joe's journey.

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R.J. Parnell

'Ricardo' unwittingly becomes entwined in Joe’s journey. He's just here for the vibes.

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Colette Keen

'The Baker' is a grumpy confectioner who is overly protective of her recipes.

* Cast Not Pictured:

  • NATHAN M. McTAGUE – ‘Scarf/Bobby’
  • TIM HUFFMAN – ‘Sheriff’
  • BOB KNIGHT – ‘The Clockmaker’
  • JONATHAN QUALBEN – ‘Detective Humphries’
  • CHRISTIAN ACKERMAN – ‘Creepy Zombie/Sarge/Thunder Trooper/Dark Commander’
  • JAMES CARON – ‘Richard Jacobson’
  • DAVE BRANNEN – ‘Coworker’
  • LILY GLADSTONE – ‘Hostess’
  • PAUL RONALDO – ‘Pawn Shop Owner’
  • RAYNEE DAGUERRE – ‘Heath’s Sister’
  • DOREEN ROOS – ‘Gas Station Attendant’
  • DAVID MILLS-LOW – ‘Mugger’
  • STAN SMITH – ‘Cowboy Boss’
  • TRAVIS BRUYER – ‘Apocalyptic Cowboy’
  • BAILEY LARSEN – ‘Apocalyptic Hero’
  • MORGAN BOLIN – ‘Apocalyptic Warrior’

For a complete list of the cast go to our IMDB Page


Saving For The Day was made by many, many Montanans. Here is the core group:

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John D. Nilles


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Kara Chandler


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LaVonne Miller

Co-Producer/Craft Services

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Josh Wagner

Associate Producer

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Jake Whitecar


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Jenni Johnson

Production Manager/Locations

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Josef 'Tuna' Metesh

Additional Photography/Sound Mixer

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Jon Aaseng

Additional Photography/Color

* Crew Not Pictured:

  • CASEY BAYS (Executive Producer)
  • ANNA NILLES (Co-Producer)
  • ANDY SHIRTLIFF (Co-Producer)
  • DAN NILLES (Production Design)
  • SARAH MEISMER (Production Design)
  • JESSE DAVIS (Composer)
  • LILY GLADSTONE (Production Coordinator)
  • DANIEL TC MOLLOY (Assistant Director)

For a complete list of the crew go to our IMDB Page


This film was made possible, in part, by our generous & patient supporters!

David Zito, Karyn & Doug Johnston, Melinda List, Jo & Jay Johnson, Linda Aronson, Anne Phillips, Robin Bolin, Pandora Scotto, Amber Conger, Jonathan Qualben, Doreen Roos, Cindy Nilles

David McCue, Nancy Stock, Denise Rose, Minott Pruyn, Heather Martin, Jean Sangl Pellerin, Jessica St. John, Patricia Sangl, Dylan Pollard, Shannon Fradette, Shane Hickey, Traci Lajoie, Landon Heaton, Kim Mize-Humphrey, Jenn Berg

Kathy Redinius, Juliara Baeten, Jami Jacobson, Jean Sangl Pellerin, Jason Miller, Ken Marshall, Max Croes, Aisha Bangert, Jason Kearns, Tim Pappas, Katie Miller, Beth Ziesak, Brian Blevins, Ann Schneider, Becca Sayre, Robert Ervin, Damon Ristau, Erika Fredrickson, Molly Stockdale

Charles Abramson, Christopher Moskal, William Duncan, Sara Barton, Andrew Dayton, Kat Keegan, Barbara Banoff, Saxon Holbrook, Liz Kelsey, Caroline Temple, Ryan Snyder, Brandon Hansen, Emily Setzer, Heidi Gobetz, Mark Joy, Jesse Carnes, Catalina Mitchell, Bren Cox, Sheridon Rennaker, Judith Loring, Ariel Barrett

Cash Lynnette, Ariel Barrett, Brian Hybner, Alex Payne, Damara Simpson, Marlin & Jeannette Neaves, Susan Mayer, Alan Halfhill, Paul Koz, Betty Lott, Heather Wilson, Darla Smarz, Devyn Hafer, Megan Walker, Sam Ward, Skye Bennett, Mara Luther, Johanna Ciampa, Brick Patrick

Brendan Davis, Deserae Pollock, Robyn Wakimoto, Erin Michalak, Alana Waksman, Chris Sand, Steven Begleiter, Ariel LaVenture, Samantha Moore, Tom Stagg, Brooke Swaney, Dan Healy

This film was made possible, in part, by the Montana Big Sky Film Grant from the Montana Film Office



by Kevin Maki of NBC Montana (KECI)

“MISSOULA, Mont. — A movie set in Missoula, written and directed by a Montana man, and starring Montana actors, premiered at the Roxy Theater in Missoula this week.

‘Saving For The Day’ runs at the Roxy through Thursday. For director/writer, John D. Nilles, it was a 12-year odyssey to bring his action-adventure to the screen. He told NBC Montana the picture is his “love letter to Missoula and to Montana.”

[…]Since he was a kid growing up in the Bitterroot, John knew he wanted to make movies. Back in 1988, when he was six years old, a Hollywood film crew came to Hamilton to make a cops and robbers caper called ‘Disorganized Crime.'[…]”

Click Here to Watch the Segment



by Sierra Cistone for the Missoulian 

“After more than a decade of anticipation, “Saving for the Day,” will hit the big screen for its world premiere.

The film is the brainchild of filmmaker and fifth-generation Montanan, John Nilles, who created a “love letter to Missoula.” Indeed, the film is marked by a backdrop of Missoula landscapes and scenes that locals will recognize in a heartbeat. The “M,” Circle Square Second Hand Store and the Ceretana building are just a few of the easily recognizable places that are featured in the film.[…]”

Click Here to Read the Article


by Claire Peterson of KPAX

“MISSOULA – Twelve years and 400 Montanans later, a new family friendly action movie is premiering at The Roxy.

‘Saving for the Day’ was directed by John Nilles and produced by his two companies — Shoot Montana and With a Cause Productions — to give Montanans a story about Montana, made by Montanans.

“I think it’s really great when Montanans get an opportunity to tell stories set in Montana, and we have a unique voice and there are so many different stories that we can tell here, and we’re just excited that ‘Saving for the Day’ can be a part of that plethora of stories,” Nilles says…”

Click Here to Watch the Segment



by Sierra Cistone for the Missoulian

“Long before he became Helena City Commissioner Andy Shirtliff, he was actor and movie producer Andy Shirtliff, and his debut film is set to premiere at The Wilma in Missoula on Saturday night.[…]

I was living in Missoula at the time, finishing college,” he said. “I had some friends in the local film industry who asked me to audition, and I got the part.”

He described the film as a “family fun adventure romantic comedy.”

“It’s an homage to movies we grew up loving,” he said.

It’s a multi-genre tale told with everything from Western flair to film noir to zombie apocalypse. But a limited budget did not keep Nilles from creating a true Missoula-inspired gem of a movie.[…]”

Click Here to Read the Article


by Bradley Warren of ABC Fox

“MISSOULA, Mont. – A movie coming out of the Treasure State, “Saving For The Day” is a multi-genre film that over 400 Montanans helped work on and was a grassroots effort 12 years in the making.

In the movie, Joe Bell is a penny-pinching hermit saving for the day when his real life will begin until he is gifted an old treasure chest.

But he has to travel through a series of adventures to find the key.

I got to sit and speak with Helena City Commissioner Andy Shirtliff, who plays the role of the main character Joe Bell that you can watch above.”

Click Here to Watch the Segment



by Christian Grant of Zoo FM 96.9

“This Saturday, March 11th (2023) The Wilma in Missoula is hosting a genre-bending action adventure film made in Montana by Montanans. It’s called Saving For The Day, here’s the event page and you can check out the trailer below:[…]

“My love for Missoula inspired me,” said John. “I’m from Western Montana and grew up in the Bitterroot and I moved an hour north to Missoula and I fell in love with the city and the people and the culture here. It’s a major part of the back drop for Saving For The Day.[…]”

Click Here to Read the Article


by Cory Walsh of the Missoulian

“We’ve all heard the story about the writer who labors for years on a book. A filmmaker, 25 some actors with speaking roles and 200 on background who spent six years on a single movie, offers a different twist.

That’s what’s happened with “Saving for the Day,” a full-length movie by Missoula filmmaker John Nilles.

He and his cast and crew have shot “Saving for the Day” around familiar Missoula locales on their weekends, logging thousands of hours for an adventure tale that incorporates about 15 different genres, from comedy to romance to fantasy to horror and more.[…]”

Click Here to Read the Article

Contact Us


You can email us or connect on social media!


Rate Saving For The Day (2003) on IMDb!


Saving For The Day is produced by With A Cause Productions and presented by Shoot Montana


How can I watch Saving For The Day?

Saving For The Day is having a limited theatrical release and will be released online in 2024. Sign up for our newsletters to receive updates!

Was this movie made in Montana?

Yes! Made in Montana by Montanans. It is a love letter to Missoula.

What is the budget of Saving For The Day?

It is a micro budget. It was financed by personal investment, a grant from the Montana Film Office, a Seed & Spark crowdfunding campaign, and more personal investment.

How many genres are in Saving For The Day?

You tell us! Everyone counts a different number.

Why did Saving For The Day take so long to make?

There is a companion documentary about this very subject titled, “Saving For The Decade.” Look for its release later this year.

You can email us or connect on social media!


Rate Saving For The Day (2003) on IMDb!


Saving For The Day is produced by With A Cause Productions and presented by Shoot Montana.

Copyright 2009-2024 Saving For The Day LLC.