REEL Milwaukee

  • Music To Soundtrack Your Next Film

    ROCKSTEADY @ Burnhearts Last Saturdays Monthly mashed up ::: souled out hi tech vs no tech iTrax vs Vinyl DJ How (The Establishment) + special guest DJ: Emcee Sick of Pseudo Slang (Fat Beats Records) @ Burnhearts in Bayview 10pm – 2am No Cover, Cold Beer

  • ANARCHY Online

    the nice version Slamdance is the independent alternative to Sundance. the 3-drinks-in version Sundance is a marketing platform for sell out, studio filmmakers who pretend to be indie, Slamdance is a festival of discovery showcasing 1st time filmmakers that are DIY as fuck. Why the post? ATTENTION Milw Film Kids: If you have a short film and want to screen in Park City @ Slamdance 2009, this link is the key to the back door. Get. On. It.

  • Chris gets a gig

    Hello to everyone in WI Film Land. Peep this exclusive REEL Milwaukee interview with Milwaukee filmmaker / jack of all on-set trades Chris T.K. Coyne for an inside look at Universal Pictures’ Public Enemies with Oscar-nominated director Michael Mann (The Aviator, Heat, Ali, Collateral) and Oscar-winning actor Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street, Cry Baby, Nightmare on Elm Street). Chris is on the set full-time as an office and costume production assistant, so he gets to see it ALL. Enough of my hot air. How did you hear about Public Enemies / get hired? I had been reading about Public Enemies for a while. I just could not picture a film of that scale [Ed.: upwards of $100 million] happening in Wisconsin. Take into consideration the weather and the fact that we only see the sun in Wisconsin for a precious few months in the summer – the weather is not on the side of the filmmaker. But then you add in a check for 25% of your budget from the state and the weather becomes something you can deal with. As far as getting my foot in the door, you could have the best resume in the world and it doesn’t matter unless someone knows you. I submitted my resume to a few different departments and didn’t get any calls back. And then a friend of mine knew someone who was working on the film and was able to recommend me. When they say it is all about who you know, they mean it. Most of the crew is from L.A. or New York. Michael Mann has worked with much of his team on previous projects. You can’t blame him for that. It would be like a CEO throwing out his whole staff and hiring new people every year. By working with the same people he is able to get more done and be more efficient. Bring us up to date on your filmmaking background and how you landed back in WI. I left Wisconsin in 1997 and headed to Colorado College for my Bachelors, then moved to Washington DC to work on documentaries. I worked with the Discovery Channel for a while and then decided that I really wanted to get back into film. I decided to go to film school for an MFA [and] ended up at Savannah College of Art and Design. The great thing about their program was the industry professionals who brought their knowledge to the classroom. My professors ranged from people who produced The Breakfast Club to people who directed Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio before they became mega-stars. I left Savannah College planning on heading to Los Angeles. And then gradually, bit by bit, the possibility of film in Wisconsin started to become a reality. For starters, the new tax incentives are solid and some of the best in the U.S. Wisconsin also has a lot of places people haven’t seen on screen. Before I ended up on Public Enemies, I was in […]

  • Film Festival Skin And Bones

    What up Milw? I had a great conversation with a friend at VITAL about the excitement of starting a film festival. Here’s my take on a jumping off point for all you sinners: Film Festival Skin and Bones Sponsorship Aka Marketing and Advertising for those who don’t want to concede to the fact they are selling….. The nerve center of the festival. Trade out lots of festival costs like the 3 biggies: location, projection/sound, and media partners. Important Note: get your location and projection/sound first because you will not have a festival otherwise. Create package with exclusive and non-exclusive levels. Why are you different, demographic reached, year round reach, event only reach, etc Box Office sell tickets for screening. Very easy with one screen venue, tends to get complicated with multi-day, multi screen. Sell tickets to general public, handles lines / sales for passholders, jury, press, filmmakers, etc. Manage Rush Line: tickets sold once passholders are in. If there is an audience award, Box Office distributes, collects and counts ticketed results. Head of Programming and Programmers CAN NOT BE ON JURY. DO NOT CONFUSE THIS. Your festival will be bullshit if you do because programmers can sway what films get in and what films win. Filmmakers sniff this out, spread the word that your festival is shit and you will not get submissions or attendees. Plain and simple. Head of Programming heads up organizing of submissions, creating call for entries documents, sets early and late deadline by postmark only – no late submissions. Another bullshit festival move. Determines definition of short or feature / categories for awards ie: animation, 8mm, vision award, best song, best director, best editor, etc. Organizes programmers on schedule of watching and scoring submissions. Sets dates for all programmers to get together to determine the slate of films in competition. Jury A handful of qualified, high profile film, music, art peeps brought in to view films. Preferably attend festival. Fest must also set up side room for viewing films again to discuss their scoring. No one from the festival should be in room during deliberation. Director of Programming sets time deadline for results to present awards. Events Manager Parties, happenings, happy hours, panels, networking events etc surrounding the festival. Works closely with sponsorship coordinator to determine budgets / what events can be sold to what sponsor. Basic checklist: venue, backline sound, flyers, talent, a beer/wine/liquor/energy drink sponsor…..simple math: free drinks=big turnout=good for sponsors/filmmakers/life of festival. Projection & Projectionists Most overlooked yet most important department. Do not get a college kid to sit by a corporate dvd projector and shit his pants when the bulb blows. If the projection goes, the fest dies and looks bad, sponsors leave and you are done. Also, having a skilled projection department / equipment opens up what screening formats are offered and opens festival entries to potentially higher level of filmmakers shooting on a range of formats. Printing – Festival Program Prints all fest info and ads promised to sponsors. Fest […]

  • Let it Breathe

    It’s hard to write about a “scene,” especially a local “film scene.” So hip and cool, right? What’s crackin’? Who’s doing what? Who’s got the friend with that cousin in LA who knows people who make things happen? And what are those happenings, anyway? Recently, Wisconsin has rolled up her creative sleeves and done a Warhol Art and Commerce move that could catapult us into the national “film scene.” In a time of dwindling production budgets and on the heels of the writers strike comes the Film Wisconsin Bill: that tax-incentive-Johnny Depp-Matthew McConaughey-Jennifer Garner thing we keep hearing about. Goodwill from Wisco to the film industry! It’s already cheaper to do just about anything here on any given day, and we’ve got the scenery and the talent to back up Hollywood. Cash is king, no doubt about it. Big productions shot in Wisconsin will get the hotels changing sheets, AV rental houses buzzing and Jimmy John’s delivering 150 sandwiches at a time to odd places at odd times of day. If Film Wisconsin does its job, we’ll be raking in the dough – and kick-starting that “creativeclass economy” we keep hearing about. Fresh. So, now what? How do we collectively avoid being a one-film stand? It’s simple. Film workers: keep it real and do what you do. Milwaukee is lit to pop. There has always been a film network churning away here, but now it’s more active than ever. The task at hand, then, is to support locally-sourced film – as well as homegrown art and music – as much as possible. Sounds like a fragment from a speech at some ribbon-cutting, but we really need to get out and see films in any way, shape or form and do our part to make that scene real. Gallery Night is all well and good. The Milwaukee International Film Fest means well, but when there are more films from Sundance 2006 than local and regional works, it makes you wonder what their direction is – or whether they have one. Resolved: We need to take this film movement into our own hands, get our united arms around this inspired time and prop our scene up on our own. What can we do? That’s not rhetorical, people! The more of a groundswell we create by supporting our film community, creating online buzz and attending indie fests, the more real energy there will be. Hollywood will sense it and it will “make a meeting” of our underground and their commercial film worlds. And it’s the collision of environments that makes a real scene. So enough safe and sane – its time for dumb and dangerous. Charge your cameras, write that scene and film it. Post it. Everyone would love to meet you. Just do what you do and let it breathe. Go to REEL Milwaukee: The blog at and post your script ideas, YouTube/MySpace links, email video clips from your cell phone, ask questions, write comments or smack downs or party info, […]

  • Film in Amsterdam, NL

    We’ve packed up the van and managed to find our way to Amsterdam. We must have brought a bit of Milwaukee with us because it is snowing! The locals are freaked out. Doesn’t help us convince this side of Europe about the effects of Global Warming but thats a conversation for another day. Click here to peep the socially conscious, world class AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Amsterdam hosts this amazing festival from March 26-30, 2008 – I’ll post pics in a few days…… Till next time, Howie – REEL Milw

  • Major Tom To Ground Control

    This is your new book marked link, your new online addiction, your new place to find out whats poppin in the world of Milwaukee Film. Check back soon for the “How To” on posting your links, script fragments and ideas, YouTube/MySpace links, email video clips from your cellphone, Questions, Comments, smack downs, party info, anything popping, we need to know……… onward and upward……..

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