The wonderful thing about Milwaukee film is that there is no Milwaukee film industry, there are just people. Nothing is greenlighted, very little is debated. If a movie wants to get made then people throw their whole lives into making it. There are organizations and grants and schools that help a lot, but they're just groups of people trying to make a movie too. No one's trying to get rich, it's about movies.
At the Work in Progress Forum in Kenilworth Saturday I saw a huge variety crazy stuff that's being made in Milwaukee right now. In a little over an hour, I saw filmmakers talk about and show clips from their movies which include a slasher baseball movie, a film about a single woman giving unassisted birth in a remote Northern Wisconsin cabin, a movie that combines interviews of the people surrounding the Jeffrey Dahmer murders with a dramatization of Jeffrey Dahmer shopping and riding the bus and doing everything but kill people, a documentary about the last remaining member of a half-century dead religion and the high school sweetheart he reunited with in his eighties, and an a green screen adaptation of Hamlet that spans 400 years and features Dustin Diamond from Saved By The Bell. It was insane.
A lot of these filmmakers are also helping on each other's really diverse films. Everyone at the table and most of the people in the audience were all into doing whatever we can to make it all happen. It's a struggle, but it's not in vain. These movies are actually getting made because of all the work people in this city are putting in and, frankly, that's good enough, but they also happen to look like really good movies.