REEL Milwaukee

  • Milwaukee filmmakers you need to know

    Time to do a quick roll call of Milwaukee filmmakers doing their thing, on their own dime, completely outside of the Film Wisconsin Tax Bill hype (is that even news anymore?) – just creatives being creative. Please link up and let us know about your fave Brew City filmmaker on our REEL Milwaukee blog that lives at Sona Voice – This dude means business. His documentary, Behold Something Bigger than Tupac, is a tale surrounding the life of a man (THE VOICE) from a different continent who sees himself as being greater than (in his opinion) the greatest rapper ever, Tupac Amaru Shakur. That’s a whole lotta greatness being addressed. Check their website for screenings and throw your hat into the being greater than the greatest rap debate. Buckley Brothers – The jury is still out on these guys. To their credit, they produced and shot a feature film called Jake’s How-To right here in ole Milwaukee. It seems like they are doing the whole “go to LA, come back to Milwaukee on a white horse, shoot a feature film for peanuts, premiere it at the Oriental, soak up praise, hit up Northshore parents for money, go back to LA” thing. Bully for them. But wait! In an August 13, 2008 interview with, co-director Vincent Buckley said “Milwaukee isn’t a film town. Most here don’t understand how the film business works. Not to mention there are not many talented people here.” I know I’m not your PR agent but let’s have our first and last meeting right now. Douchebag Brothers, when you are trying to feed off the hometown, root for the underdog vibe, don’t look down your nose and insult the city’s intelligence and its art/film talent pool in one arrogant, self-important swoop. Way to shit the bed, dude. The jury is back. Verdict: You Suck. Caroline Kastelic – I’ll just put this out there: I have a thing for chick animators. It’s the same reason I still play guitar along with the entire Weezer blue album, dig Harry Potter books, love the internet, and seeing ads for (not going to mind you, just the ads for) the Renaissance Faire – it’s my inner dork guiding my pop culture compass. Caroline recently graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in Film (with a focus on motion animation). and teaches a class at UWM called “Concepts in Media Arts Production.” She is currently working on a music video with the Wisconsin band Hired Geeks (show at Turner Hall September 12 –, for their new song “Here We Are.” The video is scheduled to be completed in the next month. Cool. Josh Rosenberg – This fella graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee in 2006. He wrote and directed the awardwinning documentary Civilian Soldiers, which won the Student Category of the Detroit Docs International Film Festival. It also was shown at the Wisconsin Film Festival. He spent summer 2006 working directly with filmmaker Niels Mueller (Swimfan, […]


    Hey There in Hipster Blog Land: Read below for the skinny on the next step in the Milwaukee Film Festival world….. begs the question…. what the hell happened? Rumors are swirling, Mark Metcalf is going off with a series of articles on but no matter how you slice it, its a sad collision of art and commerce where the big loser is the filmmaker. Fear not: As usual, film kids will solider on. So for now, let’s focus, rise up and get Milwaukee Film rolling! THE NEED TO KNOW: Fest Date / Loc: Oct 23rd @ Oriental Theater Deadline / Cost: Sept 19th / FREE Who Can Submit: Milwaukee County Residents Prizes: Milwaukee Filmmaker prize package valued at over $10,000, including a camera rental package from North American Camera. from Milwaukee Film PR Office: NEWS RELEASE For More Information: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Marie Maas, 414-390-5500 August 22, 2008 MILWAUKEE FILM ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL SCREENING, ISSUES CALL FOR ENTRIES Local filmmakers invited to participate in October showcase Milwaukee – Milwaukee Film, a newly formed independent organization dedicated to hosting Milwaukee’s premiere film festival, announced today plans for an inaugural screening on October 23, 2008. The Milwaukee Show will be a premiere showcase of diverse locally-made short films at the Oriental Theatre. Films may be submitted by residents of Milwaukee County for consideration at no cost, with select films featured as part of the screening. The top filmmaker will also receive a Milwaukee Filmmaker prize package valued at over $10,000, including a camera rental package from North American Camera. The deadline to submit a short film is Friday, September 19, 2008. This screening is just one of the many year-round screenings and events Milwaukee Film plans to host, supported by the former staff of the Milwaukee International Film Festival and its primary funders. “This is a great opportunity for local filmmakers to showcase their work, and a really engaging way for the community to experience all that our city’s growing film industry has to offer,” said Jonathan Jackson, Artistic Director for Milwaukee Film. “We are excited to kick off our first screening in October by highlighting locally-made films.” For an official submission form or more details, visit the Milwaukee Film group on Facebook or contact Milwaukee Film at (414) 755-1965 or ABOUT MILWAUKEE FILM BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Chris Abele, Milwaukee Film Board Chairman; President & CEO, Argosy Foundation Tina Chang, CEO, SysLogic Alec Fraser, Attorney, Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP Bill Haberman, Attorney, Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP Carmen Haberman, Vice President, Herzfeld Foundation Julia Taylor, President, Greater Milwaukee Committee STAFF: Jonathan Jackson – Artistic Director Jonathan Jackson is the Artistic Director for Milwaukee Film, overseeing the content and programming for the organization’s events. Jackson previously served as the Artistic Director for the Milwaukee International Film Festival, directing film programming from 2003 – 2008. He previously worked as the Program Manager of the UWM Union Theatre and has curated film programs for the Milwaukee Art Museum. Kyle Heller – Operations Director […]


    Sona Voice – this dude means business. His film, Behold Something Bigger than Tupac, is a tale surrounding the life a man (THE VOICE) from a different continent who sees himself as being greater than (in his opinion) the greatest rapper ever (Tupac Amaru Shakur). That’s a whole lotta greatness being addressed. Check their website for screenings and throw your hat into the being greater than the greatest rap debate. Behold Something Bigger Than Tupac Sat 8/24 Miramar Theater Milwaukee, WI CLICK HERE FOR FILM TIMES & TICKETS – BUY TICKETS ONLINE

  • 99 Bottles Documentary – World Premiere Thursday 8/21

    99 Bottles – WORLD PREMIERE! The world premiere of “99 Bottles Documentary“, directed by Jason Williams and produced by Glen Popple and David Oplinger is happening in it’s home town of Milwaukee WI. August 21st, 2008 7:00pm Oriental Theatre 2230 North Farwell Ave (414) 276-8711 Ticket prices are $10 with half of the box office sales from the premier going to the Kiwanis Club to assist their annual 2008 Metro Kiwanis Brew Fest fundraiser. you gotta love this: Mission Statement: Promote exposure and public awareness of the rich and vibrant craft brewing industry. Journey with us into the unique and exploding industry of the microbrewery industrial movement. Focusing on the region of southeastern Wisconsin, we will explore how this industry began to grow from a lose knit circle of home brewer basement boilers to an industry gaining an increasing foothold in a once oligarchic marketplace. Come with us as we search for the taste, people, culture and history of Wisconsin’s craft brewing industry.

  • “Jake’s How To” WORLD (Milwaukee) PREMIERE Aug 14th

    Get out there and support something more local than your underwear……. JAKE’S HOW TO Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:00pm – 9:00pm The Oriental Theatre 2230 N. Farwell (at Farwell and North Ave.) Milwaukee, WI August 14 on DVD and Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre @ 7pm! AFTER PARTY @ CANS! Summer’s ending. School’s starting. Your life is almost over… Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but you can put school out of your mind for one more night. Come see “Jake’s How-To” on August 14, and laugh your ass off to a sweet summer movie. Let’s not forget that this is the one and only official WORLD PREMIERE (aka, you get to be the first person ON THE PLANET to see it) of Whitefish Bay graduates and Milwaukee natives Kyle and Vincent Buckley’s feature comedy “Jake’s How-To”!!!! And it’s only $10!!! COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND MEET THE FILMMAKERS!!!!! August 14, 7pm at the Oriental Theatre main auditorium, which was voted in the top 10 theaters in the nation! Ok, sounds amazing, but what’s it about? Well, you can check out the trailers / clips etc. at:

  • Breaking Dolly Lemke

    Dolly Lemke is a poet. And not your chain-smoking, sad-just-because poet. I’m talking artist-writer-organizer-real-deal-poet. So, why is she in the film section of VITAL? We’ll get to that. Stir in your Splenda and read on. Since 2002, Lemke has been deeply involved in the Milwaukee arts scene. Be it film work, coordinating with artists on Gallery Night or thinking up ‘zine ideas with friends, Dolly is there. Lemke’s resume is totally take-her-home-to-meet-the-parents: she was recipient of the Howard A. Jansen Scholarship (2002-2006), poetry editor for FURROW Magazine (which she helped revive after a four-year hiatus), reader on the Wave Poetry Bus Tour, organizer for UWM’s Visiting Writers Series and contributor to locally-pressed lit publications Blue Canary and Burdock. She also somehow managed to find time to study abroad at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England. Reviving poetry magazines? Who does that?! Herst-wha Castle? I’m not even going to Google that castle place – I’m afraid it will find out I’m questioning it and cast a spell on me. This fall, Lemke will attend graduate school at Columbia College in Chicago to fine tune her poetry and move toward starting her own Milwaukee-based press. Dolly is the kind of girl Morrissey has been writing about all these years. (Or is it a guy? Morrissey, you 80s juggernaut of sexual ambiguity! Anyway, you tell me.) So, why the film section? Film is poetry in motion. And in addition to Dolly’s serious turns as a writer, she’s been on-sets for more than a few guerrilla-style, super-indie short films shot in and around Milwaukee. It should be required by law to interview people like her. Below is a pie slice of our conversation: VS: What film breaks your heart? DL: Tideland, by Terry Gilliam. I felt this instinctual force in me to take care of this little girl lost in her own fantasy world of fucked-up people and underwater pandemonium. [She] grew up not understanding real familial love, not understanding death, [she was] alone when her father overdosed. Although her imagination was stunning and beautiful – making for an excellent film – she didn’t understand the boundaries of being a child; she was destined for a dysfunctional existence. It really got to me. VS: What writers break your heart? DL: There is this poet named Peggy Munson who just came out with a book, Pathogenesis (Switchback Books). Her words represent something so painful and personal, [so] vivid and poignant. I empathize – and more importantly want to write as profoundly as she does; I want to know myself as sharply as she does. It is truly magnificent and heartbreaking, but not in a sob-story, memoir-bullshit kind of way. It’s completely human and real. VS: Briefly describe the 48 Hour Film Project. How were you involved? DL: The 48 Film Project is a chance for local filmmakers to bust ass for two days and create a work of art within limited means. I was a bystander, supporter, actor-on-demand, and PA; I held a clipboard and […]

  • Shorewood Movie Love For The Kiddies

    FREE OUTDOOR MOVIE NITE THIS SATURDAY! 7/19 Chill out with a fun summer movie this Saturday night on the lawn of Shorewood High School. The “BEE MOVIE” will be shown at dusk, but make sure you arrive early (7 p.m.) and enjoy special pre-movie entertainment, including a magician and balloon twisting. Bring your lawn chairs or blanket – and maybe even a picnic basket! Snacks and beverages will be for sale to benefit the Shorewood High School Art Department. Special glow bracelets will be given away by the Shorewood Foundation to kids! This FREE family movie night is presented by the Village of Shorewood, the Shorewood Foundation and Sue Ewens. See the movie rain or shine! (In case of rain, “BEE MOVIE” will be shown in the high school auditorium. ) Please note: The Shorewood High School grounds are tobacco-free and alcohol-free. Many thanks to Shorewood High School for making this summer event possible.

  • FREE SCREENING ALERT – Independent America

    The Two Lane Search For Mom & Pop

    hear ye, hear ye: FREE SCREENING @ TIMES CINEMA – Tonight July 8th @ 7pm “Independent America: The Two-Lane Search for Mom & Pop” is a compelling documentary that tells the story of independent retailers trying to make it in the era of big-box retailers dominating the contemporary macroeconomy. While traveling across America to make this film, the filmmakers successfully avoided using interstate highways, corporate chain restaurants, motels, or stores. ABC News calls it “the old-fashioned kind of shoe-leather journalism.” Admission to this film is FREE. Sponsored by our friends at Outpost Foods

  • Summer Movie Ga Ga

    Going to the movies in the summer sucks. It is an over-priced, over-hyped rolling out of films produced for the lowest common denominator of potential audiences, with special effects and cherry-picked corporate soundtracks trumping good scripts and stories. Ugh. You wedge yourself into some mall parking slot, work up swamp-ass on that hot walk to the theater, touch elbows with randoms next to you who will eye your girl and eat your popcorn when you go to the bathroom. And the food and ticket prices? Eff that noise. So yeah, go to a summer movie – it will most likely suck, you’re out a good $60 and you will probably lose your girlfriend. What you need to do is cut the bullshit, organize your friends and create your own Summer Movie BBQ Series. Once you do, post it on the REEL Milwaukee Blog on all summer long and peep it often for the sweet lowdown on your friends and neighbors. This is totally done in full-on renegade-DIY-not-paying-licensing-fee style, so do what you do and we’ll do what we do. Want in? Yeah, you do. Here’s how to get it together. 1. STEAL A PROJECTOR Depending on how you feel about taking things from other people, this can get tricky. Without giving away too many places I may or may not have stolen from, I say for the projector, Go Big or Go Home. Drink a few beers (stealing with a buzz is more fun), march your ass into Wal-Mart and take a projector from the back electronics section. An Epson Powerlite should do the trick – fits under your arm and has that red-white-yellow input to easily connect your DVD player. This is key: walk out through the Garden Center (I may or may not be referring to the Wal-Mart on Capital and Holton). You may want to coordinate this with your getaway car. The exits over there are wide and the metal sensors are usually off because employees are constantly fork-lifting and hand-trucking America’s Flowers in and out. As you approach the Garden Center exit (which may or may not be on the opposite side of the parking lot from Holton), pretend to be on your cell phone and have a small, receipt-like piece of paper in your hand. Start talking a lot as you walk by the unassuming exit employees, give a reassuring nod and do not break stride. Another projector option is slightly more boring than stealing from Wal-Mart, but can still be a bit of a thrill for you and your friend with a real office job. Tell your buddy to take the never-used projector from the meeting room on a Friday night. The projector will be so happy to get lifted from its grey corporate cubicle maze that if it gets wind of your plan it might walk to your friend’s car at lunch. All your directly-deposited friend has to do is stroll into work a bit early on Monday and place the projector […]

  • 48 Hour Films Screening in Milw

    2 Days to shoot em and 1 Night to show em….. 48 Hour Film Project – click here Milwaukee 48 Hour Film Project Screenings Date: Wednesday, June 25th Time: Group A: 6pm Group B: 8pm Place: Landmark Oriental Theatre, 2230 North Farwell Avenue Tickets: $9 for one screening; $15 for both (on-line service charge not included) Notes: From Friday, June 20, until Tuesday, June 24, advance tickets will be available on-line. If you buy your tickets on-line, they will be available will-call at the theater. There is a small service charge for on-line sales. You may also buy them at the 48 Hour Film Project ticket table at the Oriental Theater. In other words, don’t stand in the main ticket line, go inside to the 48 Hour Film Project ticket table. Please note that tickets sales at the theater will be CASH ONLY. There will be no credit card sales at the door. Ticket sales start half an hour before the show. Milwaukee Teams Group A, Screening Wed., June 25th at 6pm Aurum Design Black Tai Blue Doodle Cross Word Films Foxtrot Hairy Doughnuts GuysHouse Ideogram Films Metals’ New Ethland Clan Chowder Smoking Magpie Group B, Screening Wed., June 25th at 8pm 5PM Productions Anatomically Correct Avant Guardian Dark Pony Productions Mostacolli Films The Moleskin Old Monk Storm 1 Studio Bib Simmons Ted Tate Films

  • Guyshouse 48 Hr Film Project Fundraiser Party

    Maybe it’s because his website has 2 logos and doesn’t really link to anywhere. Or maybe it’s because his film production plan consists of $5 keg parties and throwing friends behind and in front of cameras but Guyhouse film happenings seem to capture everything good about punk rocker, renegade indie films. Want proof? Go to their fundraiser for the 48 Hr Film Project: Sat 6/14 Movie Night Kegger 2930a Booth Street Riverwest Click Here For Movie Night Kegger Info As Ever, Howie REEL Milwaukee

  • Film Festivals

    Overview of the Underground

    So you’re all lock, stocked and two smoking laptops. You just hit the SAVE and RENDER button on your favorite editing program and the world is your painfully hip oyster. Next, you’ll burn a few DVDs and show off your kick ass short film, starring your kick ass friends with your kick ass crew. The jokes kill, the sad stuff makes everyone’s eyes well up and noses hurt at the top. Everyone high fives. The Facebook Wall posts come pouring in. But you’re back at your job on Monday … Now what? You’re in Milwaukee. Silver screens in NY, LA, Paris and Tokyo are thousands of miles away! Sell DVDs outta the back of your Hyundai hoping some producer “digs your style man”? Hit “I’m Feeling Lucky” on Google and start sending your film to production companies around the world? At this point a lot of filmmakers bottleneck and never really move with their short film. But we’re in the Midwest, damn it! Our work ethic will power us through, right? Right! What you need is a Midwest-inspired marketing plan: a hustle better than your flow. Now pull VITAL closer and read the secret to getting you and your film off your Riverwest couch and out into to the masses. Get the F into film festivals! Film festivals are the back door into the film world and simply filling out an application ain’t enough. Here are tips and tricks to getting attention for your kick ass Milwaukee film: BUILD YOUR OWN BRAND Your film needs a look and vibe that will make film festival programmers grab your film off the shelf and check it out. Hit up your graphic design buddy or post an ad on craigslist for someone to make a pro cover, poster, DVD label, business card and press kit. One look = pro. One cool look = I will watch your film for more than 45 seconds. Live out that fantasy and create a cool poster and log line for your film. (A log line is your film skillfully summed up in 20 words or less.) Stack the credits at the bottom. Create a complete finished product and it will lead programmers down the path toward making your art work into a big screen reality. You’ll show you have the full, pro package and are ready to rock. ONLINE Heed this call: both Sundance and Slamdance have online short film festivals that screen at the festival and are eligible for awards. ENTER THESE IMMEDIATELY. Sundance’s info is hidden in so have fun with that. You can apply to Slamdance at and click ANARCHY ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL. Get to Park City now … git! SHORT FILM IS YOUR BUSINESS CARD Have a script ready for the feature idea that’s gone from bong smoke to short film to festivals and now beyond. Remember, you’re big time. SEND FESTIVAL PROGRAMMERS PIZZA They say it doesn’t help but it totally does. Drinks and sex work too. But we’re baby […]