Category Archives: film producing

Flyway Film Festival – Day Two – A Maiden Rock Voyage

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SPECIAL POST FLYWAY NOTE: PLEASE READ!!! – AND COMMENT

Those who attended the festival this year – PLEASE share your experience. What is/was your favorite memory, film, conversation, moment, etc. Let us all share with each other. I really want to hear from attendees. When I post I can only post what I experience, but if we each take a moment we can create a fuller living memory of the event. Leave comments in the comment box!

Plus, those from past years who couldn’t make it this year can share what they liked from the time/s they did attend. In this fashion we can all enjoy and support flyway even after the festival. SO please start sharing everyone!!!

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DAY TWO began, for me, at 3:30 am. I write my other blog Daily Inspiration and Gratitude. I wrote and worked until 7:30 am this morning knowing I would then make the gorgeous drive to Maiden Rock during breaking morning light on the Mississippi.

I’d arrive in time for 6 Street Sling to open and I’d meet Jake and Colette, Kristjan and gang, David Potter and others for breakfast. I arrived earlier than I thought I would by about 15 minutes. Though a grayer day, not the golden dawn of yesterday, the drive to the restaurant was still spectacular.

From there workshops today will be on Location Scouting and Management and Crowdfunding. Flyway is firmly underway and a wonderful fest it proves to be again this 8th year.

AGAIN I WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY SO CHECK BACK OFTEN AND ENJOY:

It sprinkles and it is lovely. Jake and Colette arrive. Don and Jerry from Minneapolis join us. David Potter just strolled in. Breakfast is being served. More peeps are coming. We discuss living on houseboats in the Great Loop, nearly 30,000 miles of waterway. Not everything we discuss is film.

Breakfast delightful. Conversation centered around saving the world, but we didn’t. Now at venue for workshops. Delightful getting to know the panelist contributors prior to the start of the program.

First Workshop: Location Location Location: What does a location manager do? What does a location manager do? How do you become a location scout? How does a location become a character in a film? What should you know when filming on location in a foreign country? Moderated by L A producer Kelly Nathe.

Click Here For Panelists & Workshop Leaders

Twin Cities-based location manager Charlotte Ariss and Pepin-based location scout Steve Anderson; Danish/English Filmmaker Kristjan Knigge who will shoot a feature in FLyway area at the conclusion of the festival; Emily Ting , who shot her recent narrative in Hong Kong; and Norah Shapiro, who shot her documentary in India; will discuss the roles location played in their films and what they learned from shooting abroad.

These experts and location-conscious filmmakers will take you through the ins and outs of finding and getting the most out of your location. They will show examples of shoots they’ve managed in rural Wisconsin and will discuss the roles location played in their films and what they learned from shooting abroad.

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LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION – Panel 10:30 am Oct 23 What does a location manager do? To give everyone on crew a drama  free production. No surprises. Primary liaizon between location owner and production company. Always mind reading because they may received descriptions of room size and footage for dolly runs and type of equipment planned to be used.

The Location Scout receives story board, mood photos or description from producers and tries to match up with real world locales. Finding the location is part of the process. Gaining permission is the job of the location manager.

Charolette and Steve showed slides of samples of their work. Also must make sure location is returned not damaged and returned to its prior state when shoot is concluded. The L.M. notifies police and neighbors that film crew is shooting so everyone is aware.

From director Kristjan the location is not merely a place where things happens but also a character in the movie. Always visit location prior to shoot, between scout and shoot, to see what it is like in real life. How does it speak to you? It isn’t just for knowing benefits and issues of location but to get a feel for it.

Emily discussed permits and paperwork options in different cities and countries and addressed location schedule based on budget. Her recent film shot in Hong Kong which required government permissions and permission from the Triad. Her inspiration was to present Hong Kong through loving eyes as opposed to who it traditionally portrayed in film.

Nora spoke to shooting with low budget and keeping the story riveting. Here recent documentary was shot in India. She spoke about shooting in India without insurance or permits and how after these agreements were made, the producer tried to shake her down for money not agreed on. Filming always carries with it risks and caveats especially in other countries.

All in all a robust discussion from all panelists on making your location choices work for you. A fun and informative discussion with enjoyable visual samples.

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Lunch at noon. We are back at 6 String. Tasty. After lunch is the afternoon workshop.

Crowdfunding To Build An Audience with Erica Anderson

Whether or not you have had crowdfunding success; or you haven’t tried it yet; the ability to crowdfund has become a fundamental piece of many independent film financing plans. Funding campaigns built upon audience-built connections can last an entire career. This seminar can help you create the action plan most likely to create a lasting, flourishing, direct relationship with your audience.

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Crowdfunding To Build An Audience – UPDATE 1:30 pm Oct 23 with Erica Anderson

Focuses on crowdfunding but provides you the skills to build a sustainable career. Materials available for free on the Seed & Spark website.

Seed & Spark is a Crowdfunding and Integrated Distribution Site.

Seed & Spark wants better stories on the screen. In order to have better stories make it to screen you need to be a better business person. The workshop is to help you become a more successful independent business person filmmaker with an engaged crowdfunding audience.

Some points from the workshop follow. Time to think about:

 1. What things cost. You must consider cost in advance or needing the funds.

2. Who is your audience? Where are they? How do you get their email address?

3. Your audience must know and understand what your end goal is. Your end goal is the film project. They need to know that is why you engage them.

4. You can survey your followers and social media friends and followers. Crowdfunding begins long before your campaign begins.

5. You set the tone and must be consistent. Persist. You must create momentum and keep going for it. Need to ask realistic budget questions – how much will project cost? how much will incentives cost?

6. It is important that you succeed in your goal so you can deliver the film you promised you are going to make.

7. Think hard about incentives that matter to your audience. Have first day only incentives to start your campaign off with a bang. First week incentives, 2nd week etc.  Incentives can be delivered from the start of campaign until after the campaign.

8. People want to see the movie. How will you get it to them? When, where and how. Figure it out early on because people want to see your movie

9. Pitch video: The first 15 seconds are for your movie’s audience. Tease your audience with 15 seconds of what you movie is like. Comedy, horror, thriller, action. You have 90 seconds to say everything. Personal appeal is important.

10. Schedule your campaign in advance of it. Stick to your schedule.

Remember, this is a business. Learn the business approach and treat everything with that in mind.

There were many more important points that Erica made. Questions were answer. A valuable approach that filmmakers can utilize.

Great steak and mead dinner in Red Wing. At St James Hotel as festival evening continues. ‘Pictures of Lilly’ premiered to an enthusiastic audience at 7pm.  Afterwards, it was to the Minema for food, drink and hanging out. More people have arrived since the weekend is here. I have adjourned to finish this blog post.

I have been here for two and a half days and it seems like six or more. The experience has been filled constantly by activity. Day 2 concluded successfully. I am eager for tomorrow.

Listen To festival director Rick Vaicius and me discuss this years program:

Rick Vaicius On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Live

Visit Flyway Film Festival Official Website:

Visit Rex SIkes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Enjoy! I will!!! AND I did, very much!

I INVITE Festival Attendees to post comments in the comment section about what their favorite parts of Flyway Film Fest are. Who they saw, films they saw, panels they attended, what they did, where they ate, how drunk they got… you know all the good stuff! Leave some comments here and enjoy!

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Flyway Film Festival – Day One – Thoughts Along The Mississippi

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SPECIAL POST FLYWAY NOTE: PLEASE READ!!! – AND COMMENT

Those who attended the festival this year – PLEASE share your experience. What is/was your favorite memory, film, conversation, moment, etc. Let us all share with each other. I really want to hear from attendees. When I post I can only post what I experience, but if we each take a moment we can create a fuller living memory of the event. Leave comments in the comment box!

Plus, those from past years who couldn’t make it this year can share what they liked from the time/s they did attend. In this fashion we can all enjoy and support flyway even after the festival. SO please start sharing everyone!!!

*********

Oct 22. Early morning: I’m watching the sun come up over the Mississippi in Maiden Rock, WI. A beautiful morning it is. I am sitting in my car for the past hour working on my blogs. The restaurant, I thought opened at 6 am, opens at 8. Silly me.  That is fine it is a gorgeous sunrise in a gorgeous location. I can use the two hours next to the river for work.

Flyway Film Festival, one of the most delightful festivals I attend, and one coming up in the world of important film festivals, takes place this year in Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin as always. Last year Maiden Rock was added. This year includes the incredibly quaint riverside city of Alma and Red Wing, Minnesota. Flyway has spread its wings.

Three world premiere movies take place here this festival. These are Pictures of Lily, by British director Mark Banks; Remittance, by Patrick Daly and Joel Fendelman, and Second Honeymoonby Dutch filmmaker Kristjan Knigge.

It is great to see Kristjan again. He and his cast and crew joined Jake Stetler, his lovely wife Colette and me at our table, last evening. David Potter joined us as well. Later, Jeremy Wilker did too. Non stop people visited and chatted too. Kristjan will be shooting a new feature in the Flyway area after the festival.

Great to see Vince Columbo and his wife, Frederick Thornton and Sean Hackett. Terry Reed showed up.  Kevin Pontuti and University of Stout friends, Alison Lisk (dare I mention, who gave me a nice kiss on the cheek while getting our photo taken), Diana Vaicius, Sarah Moua, Lu Lipold and many others.

Villa Bellezza Winery, again, hosted last night’s kickoff gala.  A  staple of Flyway, the Gala features one of the most impressive feasts of food and flowing drink anywhere. More impressive than some of the larger name famous festivals elsewhere.

Each year Flyway food specialists seem to out do themselves. I always out eat myself.  It is a fun time as people catch up from around the states and the world. I saw many wonderful friends last night and made some new ones.

The evening began with the feasting, then a stimulating keynote talk by Full Frame Documentary Festival’s Deirdre Haj, followed by awards and live music. Festival founder Rich Vaicius presented awards and made the opening greeting.

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Whether indoors or sitting outdoors in the courtyard after the ceremonies the place rocked with filmmakers happy to once again be together.

Late night sees us all down at the river front for continued festivities. Next to the Flyway Film Office is the breakout room or party palace The Minema. Open until 2am there is plenty for partying filmmakers to do and partake of. Many may have had to drag their butts out of there at 2pm. People party well here.

The morning workshop is in Maiden Rock at 10:30 am. ‘The Art Of The Pitch’ led by Erica Anderson of Seed and Spark. This workshop will cover building the tools you need for a successful pitch meeting: identifying your end game, crafting the story, and conveying confidence.

The class covers the basics of pitching for anything: film, tech, non-profit, to brands, Filmmakers can come prepared to pitch your current or next project!

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THE ART OF THE PITCH – UPDATE – 10:30 am.  Workshop with Erica Anderson. Main points, whether pitching for attaching director or cast, TV or film project, or financing:

  1. Stand for something. Care about it. People respond to your passion.
  2. What is your end game? Where is it going? Where will it end up?
  3. Who is your audience? Pitch differs according to who you are pitching. Tailor it to whom you are pitching.

Erica covered many excellent points. What are you offering the people you are pitching? Research the people you pitch. What have they done? Know who they are and their interests so that your offer is meaningful. Practice your pitch and hone it.

Four Needs. Why are you qualified? Why should you be doing this project?  Why is this project important? Why should it happen right now? Bottom line – Why should they get involved.

She covered the basics of a ‘money’ or ‘project’ pitch. She discussed elements of body language and how to conduct yourself  as a professional during the pitch.

Workshop attendees then had the opportunity to construct and practice pitches with Erica so that by the conclusion of the workshop they each had at least 1, 1-2 minute pitch, they could use in the real world. All in all an excellent workshop. Well worth the time.

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Lunch Oct 22 noonish: We gathered back at 6 Street String. Food there is tasty.

For many years I have maintained that one of the most productive things storytellers can do is make a television or web series. It keeps you working much longer as opposed to a one off. It can bring money into your community and be good for economic development.

There are many additional reasons and advantages to telling your stories in a series format. So, I am eager to attend the following program.

The Afternoon  Workshop 1:30 pm is called “Make a Series, Damn It!” Julie Keck and Jessica King, of Chicago’s King is a Fink Productions, have had great success in making series and will share their advice on today at 1:30. I am excited to notice that more filmmakers are thinking along these lines and I am looking forward to attending.

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MAKE A SERIES DAMN IT! – UPDATE – 1:30 pm workshop with Julie Keck and Jessica King. Julie & Jessica have produced approximately 20 niche web series. Covered during the workshop:

  1. How to develop a series concept for the web.
  2. How and why to target an audience.
  3. Options for funding and distribution.

The workshop started off with a discussion of successful comedic web series. First Rule is to put your audience first. Know your target audience. Understand your audience so you know how to market to them.

They suggested you consider whose stories are being told in mainstream film and television. People gather online to discuss topics and these are ripe for story development. What haven’t you seen? What can you blend or mix that would be new and unique? Is there a place online for these?

Second Rule is think small. You aren’t a studio production. Keep it small. Use Only a few characters and a few locations. Keep it simple. Consider, too, the different platforms the consumers watch on; phones, computers, notebooks, tablets.  Rule Three how easy is it to share? Spread it through social media. You want it to be cool enough that people share it.

Discussion followed on funding options: Independently funded; Sponsored and product placement. Hand in hand with knowing your audience is knowing companies who are interested in or cater to your audience. Then Crowdfunding was discussed.

Jessica and Julie spoke to distribution methods. Direct Distribution means you release your product through established channels. Do It Yourself (DIY) release to your own audience in a variety of ways.

It proved to be an informative workshop for filmmakers on creating, financing and distributing web series. Great questions and answers followed.

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There is much camaraderie at Flyway and I’m looking forward to all the good times ahead.

Soon, my breakfast spot will open and friends will appear.  I will report back during the festival highlights and tidbits. I may broadcast a live show here as well.

This area of Western Wisconsin is called the “Driftless Area,” where the river bluffs were left untouched by glaciers.  The opening night film tonight, Thursday, (7pm) stars John Hawkes and Zooey Deschanel star in a neo-noir romance titled ‘The Driftless Area’.

For now the sun is up but behind the hillsides. The steam rises from the Mississippi. The birds are chirping  and people are beginning to go to work. My dark spot behind the restaurant next to the water is coming to life. It is absolutely wonderful. AS is the Flyway Film Festival.

8 am: The restaurant 6 Street Sting is open. I step in for coffee and breakfast as friends begin arriving. I will add to this post and share in social media for you to vicariously enjoy Flyway. Hopefully, you will join us all someday soon!

BTW I have a new love in my life. The city of Alma, Wisconsin on the eastern side of the Mississippi. What a beautiful riverside’ village. The drive up the eastern side of the river from LaCrosse is outstanding. Going to be a staple drive for me in the future, I can tell.

In the not too distant future too, as it looks like I may be coming back to help out on Kristjan’s feature. That is an exciting new possibility.

If you have not yet attended, keep it mind for the ninth year next year. You will keep coming back each year after that. I promise you.

Check Back because I will update this page during the day.

UPDATE – post workshops.

The drive back from Maiden Rock along the bluffs and hillside decorating the Mississippi is glorious. I drove to Mineva and joined director and producer Sean Hackett and Fred Thornton, from L A and writer directors Andrew and John from NYC on the roof top overlooking the river. A wonderful time for an hour or more.

Then downstairs into the Mineva for complimentary ‘Happy Hour’ cocktails and hor ‘dourves  and great conversation with Alison Lisk and others. Alison and I adjourned around 5 pm to sit outside, eat and drink and talk look at the river. People come and go.

I leave in a couple minutes to go see the opening film. Will report back later and at the end of the evening.

EVENING UPDATE – Opening Movie & Shorts

The Flyway Film  Fest opening feature was the well made and well acted ‘The Driftless Area’. Sadly, according to the director Zachary Sluser, most of this fine feature was shot in British Columbia, instead of Wisconsin because Wisconsin has no incentive program.  B roll snippets are all of the actual area contained in the movie. He made the argument that Wisconsin needs film incentives, a point I and others heartily agree.

I asked him if there were any cons working with the unions SAG/Aftra and IATSE. He said none. Although, one did have to be smart about how they budgeted their days and they could not just go extra hours because they wanted or needed to. I asked the question because many filmmakers here and elsewhere are concerned about unions and in some cases afraid to sign contracts.

According to the answer I received, and the numerous shorts that carried the Sag/Aftra bug, I believe their fears to be unfounded. So yes, work with the unions on your pictures and lobby for incentives is my take away along with some great entertainment. I have always been proud to be SAG and AFTRA, now under one banner, and the union has been quite accommodating to make it possible for me to work with newer filmmakers.

The Shorts Program was well programmed. Fine filmmaking abounded. The films were “Daddy’s Little Girl’ directed by Chad McClarnon; ‘Little Cabbage’ directed by Jen West; ‘From The Sky’ directed by Ian Ebright; ‘Monkeys’ directed by Christopher Soren Kelly; ‘Hunter’s Fall, directed by Peter McCarthy; ‘Long Distance Calling’ directed by Andrew Gitomer. West, Kelly, McCarthy and Gitomer, in attendance, answered questions afterwards.

From there we adjourned to The Minema for food, drink, conversation, music and dancing. A great first day of Flyway. Well done founders, programmers, staff and volunteers. Kudos to you all for making our stay a marvelous one. You deserve a big round of applause!!!

I left at 1am to write theses concluding updates and begin my other blog for tomorrow. I will begin tomorrow with Day 2. Stay tuned, stay posted. If you have comments or questions feel free to leave them in the box below.

Plus, I will post separate daily pages.

Listen To festival director Rick Vaicius and me discuss this years program:

Rick Vaicius On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Live

Visit Flyway Film Festival Official Website:

Visit Rex SIkes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Enjoy! I will!!! AND I did, very much!

I INVITE Festival Attendees to post comments in the comment section about what their favorite parts of Flyway Film Fest are. Who they saw, films they saw, panels they attended, what they did, where they ate, how drunk they got… you know all the good stuff! Leave some comments here and enjoy!

Bill Rebane | Director | Producer | Writer | Giant Spider Invasion

bill rebane

Listen To My Discussion With:  Director Bill Rebane.  Known for low-budget indie horror cult movies and more including The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), Blood Harvest (1987)  The Demons of Ludlow (1983) The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) The Alpha Incident (1978) Invasion from Inner Earth (1974) Monster A Go-Go (1965) and more.

He joined me Thursday October 15, when we recorded live, 8am PST, 10am CST 11am EST to discuss making movies and his career memories.

As an Estonian national, born in 1937, Bill (Ito) Rebane came to the United States at age 15 in 1952. Rebane’s mother was Latvian and his father, Arnold Rebane, was Estonian. After attending school in post war Germany, as a child, he conversed in four languages, Estonian, Latvian, German and Russian.

His passion for film was incited by the movies he saw on a daily basis upon coming to America, which helped him to learn and master the English language.

With intent to pursue a career in the performing arts, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Goodman Theater, majoring in drama and, working his way up through the ranks at Chicago’ flagship television station WGN Television.

Use the bolded link below to listen to the archived show!

Rex Sikes Movie Beat chats with director Bill Rebane

Starting in the mail room (age 17,) Bill advanced rapidly to Floor Manager, Asst. producer and assistant to the Executive producer, providing him the opportunity to partake in countless daily live television productions in a variety of creative capacities.

This afforded him the opportunity to advance his ambitions as an actor and singer resulting in numerous live television appearances in shows like “They Stand Accused” (courtroom drama-series) and “The International Cafe,” musical variety syndicated series.

blood harvest rebane

At 19, returning to Germany, he met Producer Adalbert Baltes of Hamburg, Germany, the inventor of the one and only, 360 degree motion picture process. Filmed with one camera and projected with one projector. Baltes is credited in starting Rebane’s lifetime career in the Motion Picture Industry.

After working as a production assistant, Asst. Director and Director on numerous Cinema Scope Theatrical Short Subjects for Baltes Film,  Bill obtained the United Sates rights to the circular motion picture process “Cinetarium”. Two years later introduced the process to the motion picture industry of he world at United Film and Recording Studios, Chicago.

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This event attracted such notable guests as Samuel Goldwyn, Roy Disney, Jack Warner, Hugh Hefner and Michael Todd Jr. Not counting hundreds of industry professionals from Russia, central Europe and Japan.

At 22 Rebane found himself to be millionaire. A short lived experience as, the costs of patents, legal fees and attempts to manufacture vertical projection systems, in that time, were beyond the means of the Company’s he had formed for the further development of the process.

His first independent production effort was “Twist Craze,” a ten minute musical theatrical short subject purchased by American International Pictures.  “Twist Craze” became an international success theatrically and financially. It enjoyed a 10 week holdover at the Oriental Theater in Chicago and, was a phenomenon.

rebane moNster AGO GO

This was unheard of for independent short subject theatrical productions of that time. Having earned twenty times it’s production costs, Rebane followed this success with another 20 minute theatrical musical short titled “Dance Craze” which surpassed the success of the earlier one and ultimately was purchased by Crown International Pictures for international release.

In 1963, Rebane turned his attention to science fiction feature film, “Terror at Halfway,” starring June Travis and Peter Thompson, becoming the first producer in Chicago to tackle an independent feature film production with a full union crew and screen actors guild talent.

A chance meeting with Ronald Reagan nearly attached Reagan to the film. However, Rebane’s financial contacts would not go along. They claimed that Ronald Reagan was a “has been” and not worth investing in.

rebane demons of ludlow

Unable to complete the film, Rebane suffered a financial and career set back and arranged for the existing footage to be edited by Herschel Gordon Lewis. Lewis went on to complete the film, and later released it as “Monster A Go Go.” A title and effort which to this day, Rebane wishes he could forget.

His interests in performing and with the professional contacts he had made by now led to his position as co-host of the Germania Broadcast at Chicago’s, WGES radio station. Americas largest and most popular German language broadcast in America.

This daily evening one hour live show allowed him to create, produce and host other Radio shows on Chicago’s first FM station WKFM Radio. Yet left time open for his day time job as National Public Relations Director and Asst. Advertising Director, for the American Distributor for the German firm Grundig Radio.

At 23, Rebane returned to Germany to take on the position as Executive in Charge of U.S. co-productions for Studio Bendestorf, Germany, in which he had a small interest. He opened offices in Chicago and Hollywood. Rebane commuted on a bi weekly basis dealing with all the major studios to attract producers to the then lower costs productions in Germany.

The-Giant-Spider-Invasion-1975-MOVIE-Bill-Rebane-5

Ultimately the films which found a partial or full home at his Bendestorf Studio facility and through his contact efforts were; “Dollar” (Goldie Hawn/ Scott Brady,) “How I Won the War” (John Lennon) and “The Odessa File” (John Voight.)

By the time Rebane was thirty, he had become a well rounded  film business man. He also gained the production and technical experience of a seasoned film maker. Later he moved to Wisconsin where he built and established the only full time feature film studio in the Midwest. It flourished for over a quarter of a century, producing hundreds of commercials / industrial / corporate image films plus a string of theatrical features all of which enjoyed international theatrical theatrical distribution and exposure.

For commercial film production Rebane  acknowledges and expresses his appreciation to fellow film maker, producer Jerry Gregoris, of Chicago for entrusting Rebane with the directorial and post production responsibilities and subsequent credits on films made for such prestigious clients as the Teamsters Union, The Republican Party of Indiana, State Farm Insurance, The City of Chicago, and Wausau Insurance.

rebane capture of bigfoot

In l984 Mr. Rebane took a break from production to become President and take charge of international distribution for The International Picture show Company in Atlanta Ga. (a public company) for the distribution of such product as; “Falling in Love Again,” Elliot Gould / “Slapstick,”Jerry Lewis,/Land Without Time, William Shatner and many of the Don Knots and Tim Conway comedy features.

Mr. Rebane has held a variety of executive positions in the motion picture industry throughout his career. He is a skilled filmmaker/ writer/ cinematographer / production designer / editor and film director.

He can further be credited with the following accomplishments;

• The introduction of the first 360 degree (wrap around) motionpicture process to the Motion Picture Industry of the world, that spurred the Cinemax process and today’s and Rotascope cameras.

• The creation of the Wisconsin Film Office.

• Producing, directing, editing and production designing at least one hundred commercial / industrial / corporate image / documentary and promotion films.

• Producer / Director / Writer / Director of Photography on 12 independent feature films, all of which have enjoyed successful international theatrical release.

• Producer / director / of one of the fifty top grossing films 1975. Gross 24 million dollars. l975/l976

• The creation and successful operation of the one and only full time feature film studio in the Midwest for over 30 years. The Shooting Ranch ltd. Studios.

Books• Author of the book, “Film Funding 2000.”

• Author of the Novel, “From Roswell with Love” 2009

References

Reference materials on Bill Rebane include but are not limited to:

• Book: Who’s Who in Leading American Executives 1994 ( U.S Registry)

• Book: “God’s in Polyester” Succubus Press / Amsterdam

• Book: Famous Wisconsin Film Stars (Badger Books )

• Monthly Publications

Reports /Wisconsin Report

Filmography • Blood Harvest (1987)

• Twister’s Revenge! (1987)

• The Game (1984)

• The Demons of Ludlow (1983)

• The Capture of Bigfoot (1979)

• The Alpha Incident (1978)

• The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

• Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake (1975)

• Invasion from Inner Earth (1974)

• Monster A Go-Go (1965)

Further reading

“Film Funding 2000” written by Bill Reebane

“From Roswell With Love” by Bill Rebane

Rocky Lang | Producer | Author | Growing Up Hollywood

Rocky Lang head shot 0009

Ever wonder what really goes on behind the veil of Hollywood? Rocky Lang, who grew up in the 90210, is the son of mega-producer and disaster master Jennings Lang, (Earthquake, the Airport movies and thirty-five other features), and dishes it all out in his book, Growing Up Hollywood, Tales From The Son Of A Hollywood Mogul.

Listen to ‘Growing Up Hollywood’  click the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with author/producer/director Rocky Lang Pt 2

Previous conversation with Rocky. To Listen click bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with author/producer/director Rocky Lang

He grew up with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Walter Matthau, Billy Wilder and many more. Told in a self deprecating style, Lang weaves tales of some ofHollywood’s most bizarre and never before told stories, including;! !

* Was his father really shot in the balls by the jealous husband of screen siren Joan Bennett?!

* The night he showed up to a pajama party at the Playboy Mansion only to find out is was a private dinner.!

* His relationship with Steven Spielberg prior and after his meteoric rise.!

* He recounts the brutal fights between Sydney Pollack and Dustin Hoffman on Tootsie.! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hollywood r5x8_Cover_FINAL copy 2(1) copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In addition to writing seven books, Rocky Lang is also a film director, screenwriter and producer. He produced Ridley Scott’s White Squall, staring Jeff Bridges and the CBS Emmy Award winning, Titanic along with several other movies..

Rocky Lang has been involved in the motion picture and television business all his life. He  Executive Produced, “Racing For Time” for Lifetime Television starring Charles Dutton, which received a Best Picture nomination for The Image Awards.

Previous conversation with Rocky. To Listen click bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with author/producer/director Rocky Lang

Growing up as the son of veteran producer and Universal Studios executive, Jennings Lang (“Earthquake” “Play Misty For Me” among others), Rocky knew early on that he wanted to write/produce and direct.

Lang set himself on a track that has seen him produce and direct five documentary films including the award-winning “The Making of Tootsie”, assignments directing the long-running hit show “Remington Steele” and then on to direct three features, “Nervous Ticks”, (Columbia Tri-Star) “Race For Glory”, (New Century Vista) “All’s Fair”, (Moviestore).

Besides his directing career, Lang has had deals as a producer and director with Warner Bros., Universal, New World, CBS, NBC, ABC, Twentieth Century Fox, Cinecom, MGM and United Artists.

Lang is also an award winning screenwriter, having written several screenplays and has received a dramatic writing award from the Houston Film Festival for his original screenplay, The Low Post.  His screenplay, Crossing Memphis, was optioned by Quincy Jones and Columbia Pictures.  Mr. Lang’s script, The Babe That Struck out Ruth sold to ‘bel Films.

Rocky Lang was enjoying a successful lifetime career as a Hollywood producer, director and writer when, in 2002, his life was dramatically changed by his young daughter’s diagnosis of type I diabetes.  While continuing his work in the entertainment industry, Mr. Lang’s priorities shifted as he immersed himself in the care of his daughter and the chronic disease that now ruled their lives. 

Realizing that there was a need for products that educate, entertain and empower children and adults living with chronic illnesses, he wrote the acclaimed children’s book Lara Takes Charge.  Due to the success of the book, Mr. Lang has forged strong relationships with doctors, scientists, hospitals, drug companies and other major medical institutions resulting in a wealth of resources and support for his efforts.

rocky-Lang

His book Lara Takes Charge is in the hands of over 15,000 children, hospitals, and libraries.  

On May 29th, 2008, the American Diabetes Association honored Mr. Lang as Father Of The Year at The Beverly Hills Hotel for his advocacy for children living with diabetes.

He is also partner in the company Books To Film. TV, (www.bookstofilm.tv) an author and publishing service company that assists writers and publishers by helping them bring their books to Hollywood and the multi-media and entertainment industries.  

Lang has appeared at Book Expo America, Publishers University, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and other conventions across the country.

He is also the creator of The CourageBag, www.couragebag.com designed for people living with diabetes which was recently bought by the international luggage company TravelOn  which was  featured on QVC. 

Mr. Lang has served on the board of Foundation School Community, a progressive school in Los Angeles, and the Health Education Advisory Board at Children’s Hospital, and The Los Angeles Community Leadership Board and ADA National Youth Strategy Board for The American Diabetes Association.

He attended the University of California, Los Angeles and has the honor of being the youngest director accepted to the American Film Institute. Mr. Lang lives in Toluca Lake, CA.

Growing Up Hollywood, Tales From The Son Of A Hollywood Mogul, is published byHLPI Books, $7.95, November 2014. Available from Amazon.

Rocky Lang Official Website

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, 2014: Aftermath

film reels weyauwega window

Sunday morning after the 4th Annual Weyawega International Film Festival 2014 had concluded Allan Katz and I met for coffee about 8:30 at The Green Fountain Inn where we each had rooms. Around 9am Kathy, Ian and Holly arrived to join us for breakfast. It was a delicious breakfast and fascinating conversation about movies, and making movies and the future.

About 10:30 Allan left for Chicago, Kathy, Holly, Ian and I headed to the Gerold Opera house where (Anne joined us) we continued our conversation about future plans and screened their fascinating feature film ‘Mint Julip’ on the large screen. They made the movie a few years ago and among the cast members are James Gandolfini and David Morse.  It was good to see it again ON the big screen.

Shortly, after the screening completed and we chatted for a while we headed out. I returned so I could get to Chicago on Monday. I again want to thank everyone at Weyauwega Film Festival for their hospitality and dedicated hard work. I thank each for making my stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible – it was a delightful stay. Great people all around and I miss them all already!

weyawega opera house 2014

Thanks to Cynthia, Barbara, Dottie and Sahara at The Green Fountain Bed and Breakfast in Waupaca. It was marvelous to stay there again and was great to see each of you again! Thanks for everything.

KUDOS to the filmmakers who submitted and the people I know and those I met for the first time, and all the fans who attended, it was wonderful. Glad to have met up and caught up. It was good fun to be all together in one place and celebrate film and filmmakers and the people for whom we tell stories for – the audience. Kudos to the filmmakers who submitted but could not attend.

weyauwega film fest 2014

Bottom Line the festival was another good one this year. I am pleased to have been a part of it again, saw some good films and met some wonderful people. I look forward to 2015 and for making all the plans we made a reality in between.

The award results forThe 2014 Weyauwega International Film Festival are as follows:

Best Animated Film: BIG BAG from Spain Directed by Ricardo Martin Coloma $100

Best Documentary Feature: OLD MAN Directed by Dan Schniedkraut $250

Best Documentary Short: THE KING OF SIZE Directed by Peter Dowd $100

Best Narrative Feature: PROUD CITIZEN Directed by Thomas Southerland $250

Best Narrative Short: REJECTED Directed by Craig Knitt $100

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Outstanding Foreign Language Film: MOUSSE from Sweden Directed by John Hellberg

Outstanding Acting Ensemble: WHEN THE KING TILTS Directed by Drew Britton

Outstanding Screenplay: BOY MINUS GIRL Written & Directed by James Lawrence

Festival Spirit Award: BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS Written & Directed by Allan Katz

And there you have it. Come join us next year.

Here is the Weyauwega International Film Festival Facebook Page

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears, Allan Katz and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, Day 4. Nov 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

Day 4 began with a delicious breakfast at the The Green Fountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast.  Then as  I was leaving I encountered director Drew Britton whose film I enjoyed last evening, coming into eat. We had the chance to converse for about 20 minutes and I then drove to Gerold Opera House in Weyauwega where the morning was bustling.

I met, in person, for the first time some Facebook friends, Diane Richardson and Brett Houdek who had roles in the first feature ‘Boy Minus Girl’. Diane also appears in ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ and Brett stars in a Wisconsin made movie, now in post, that features Kevin Sorbo and Stephen Baldwin. It was great to meet in person for the first time and see them perform.

I said my hellos to staff and to friend Jason Buss who is here with the same feature. He was an associate producer. movie was and directed by James Lawrence who also had a role. It got big laughs from the audience and a lively, funny Q & A ensued afterwards with 14 members of cast and crew. It was a humorous and enjoyable morning.

Shorts followed this feature. ‘Rosie’ made by Wisconsin director Alexander Kohnstamm was well made and a touching look at the role a father plays in a child’s life.’

Great to see Vancouver/Wisconsin filmmaker, mutual friend of Peter D. Marshall, back for another day. He traveled to Milwaukee and back since last night.

Sweden’s offering, ‘Mousse’ got big laughs and gasps. Well acted and well made. Subtitles didn’t prevent people from finding the humor about this robbery on the outskirts of town. This 40 minute short appeared to have all the right ingredients and great production value. The film is directed by John Hellberg.

Dan Davies returned with a short he stars in, ‘Beyond Goldenhill’ directed by filmmaker South American Filmmaker now at UCLA Nicolas Pinzon Fernandez. I was impressed with this film all the way around.

wegabannerlogo

Since it is weekend attendance again increased. Lots of food and drinks purchased and people chatting.  The first half of today was quite enjoyable!

Wisconsin filmmaker, comedian and artist, Craig Knitt, (and festival director ofWildWood Film Festival with Jason Buss) screened his delightful short film ‘Rejected’. It is funny, well edited, animated at times, and included nice special effects. The audience enjoyed very much. Craig answered questions during Q & A.

I enjoyed the four minute animated short from France ‘Une A La Mer’ (A Ride To The Sea) directed by Damien Stein and Tim Guinee’s ‘One Armed Man’, a US narrative short film starring Charlie Haid (I had the good fortune to work on a show with Charlie for CBS when I was 18 or 19) and Terry Kinney (co-founder of Chicago’s Steppenwolfe Theater). Guinee’s well made, well acted, short was executive produced by Philip Seymore Hoffman.

I have to state, and really want to point out, that this has been an excellently programmed film festival. Not all things are equal and not everything shown is to my taste or everyone else’s. Still, I can honestly write that I have not been disappointed by anything screened. I haven’t mentioned everything, and I am not reviewing any films, so I don’t mean any commentary by not commenting on a short or feature. I am very pleased with the selection offered this year. Every filmmaker who screened here was talented and should be proud.

allan katz weyauwega 2014 upfront

I just had a very fascinating conversation with Joey Larsen, who acted in ‘Boy Minus Girl’. Part of our discussion focused on making and keeping film work alive in Wisconsin. Joey lived in L A and worked in the film business before coming to Wisconsin. It is always marvelous and great fun to discover people here who appreciate the lifestyle and magic of the Hollywood Basin. Truly magical out west and we shared stories of synchronicity.

Now, no sooner than I typed that last sentence, that director Allan Katz surprised me with a tap on the shoulder and a hug ‘hello’! Allan arrived from Los Angeles to screen ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’. Besides directing the comedy feature shot in Wisconsin Mr. Katz has written, produced and directed various television series and shows including; ‘Blossom’, ‘Mash’, ‘Roseanne’, ‘We’ll Get By’, ‘Cher’, ‘Rhoda’, ‘Sanford and Son’, ‘Laugh In’ and more!

He has many wonderful Hollywood stories. More than most people can imagine. It is great to see him again! It has been a year since I last saw him in person and I am so glad to be in the same place at the same time with this gentleman TV and filmmaker again.

I had fun catching up with Allan in the lobby too. Turns out we are staying at the same place and have plans for breakfast. The audience grew and grew as people filed in to see ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’. Many of them cast and crew and many of them not. The energy was fun and exciting.

allan katz and rex sikes upfront

I was delighted to see ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ it brought back many memories of cast and crew. It was a fun, family friendly movie too. Allan answered questions from the audience and took photographs with fans and friends. Kathy and Ian announced awards and honorable mentions and the food was made available and of course the cash bar. Lot’s of fun and chatter.

It snowed during the late afternoon and evening so after clearing the windshields, Allan followed me back to where I have been staying and where he will spend this evening, The Green Fountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast on Main Street in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Cynthia, Dottie, and Barb have made my stay very comfortable.

Tomorrow morning after breakfast Allan will head off and Kathy, Ian and I will enjoy a private screening and take care of some things we need to do. Then I will leave Weyauwega before mid-afternoon.

This has been a wonderful festival, great films, great talent, great people and times. I look forward to coming back next year too. If you are at festivals where any of the films I have mentioned show, or online or in theaters, catch them when you are able. The others I did not mention, but are in the festival line-up are worth seeing too.

I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new one. Year 4 was a good year for film in Weyauwega!

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, Day 3. Nov 12-15

wegabannerlogo

Day 3 began way before my delicious breakfast but once that was completed I traveled into Waupaca and stopped on Main Street at the local Nutrition Center for some coconut water to take with me to the Gerold Opera House. One of my favorite beverages and I forgot to pack some for this trip.

Movies began earlier today. 10am and there have been a bunch of really cool shorts. I enjoyed a fascinating documentary feature on the domestic terrorist standoff at the Washington Monument in 1982, ‘Oracles Of Pennsylvania Avenue’. Directed by Tim Wilkerson this appears to be an Egypt, USA joint venture but I am unclear how.

Today the offerings are mostly narrative shorts, a few that are animated, some documentary shorts, a narrative feature and 3 documentary features. Most of the shorts are from overseas, a couple from around US and numerous from Wisconsin.

Given that Scott Walker was again elected to office earlier this month I was looking forward to Wisconsin’s Brad Lichtenstein (and Movie Beat guest) doc short on ‘Wisconsin’s Mining Standoff’. Moves by Walker and his opponents were controversial then and now so I am looked forward to seeing how the situation is covered by Brad.

weyauwega film fest 2014

Because it is a documentary issue pertinent to Wisconsin an impromptu discussion arose concerning what was and is happening inside this state. Questions were raised about citizens’ ability to discern if media reports accurately reflect the issue and to how to be best informed.

People need to be able to determine whether or not some of these actions benefit or harm the land and individuals. We cannot act appropriately or responsibly  if we do not have access to correct information. These days, in my opinion, getting raw data without editorial bias or political agenda is rare, sadly, very rare.

Whether you agree with the filmmaker’s presentation or not I believe this is what good documentary should do. It should stimulate thinking and investigative thinking and action from concerned viewers. That, for me, is a more worthwhile  endeavor, to explore the topic so people can make up their own minds and actions, than to present a biased filmmaker viewpoint telling the audience how it should think. Seems there is room enough in the world for numerous ways to cover topical stories.

I got to meet and converse with Chris M. Jones, who graduated and returned from Vancouver Film School, a student and friend of my friend and Movie Beat guest director and educator Peter D Marshall. The world is small indeed, and I look forward to catching up more with Chris.

Just came across this link to article on ‘Bucky & The Squirrels’ and have included the link. The film debuts here tomorrow, Saturday the 15th in the evening. You may want to come on out and check it out.

L A based writer, producer and film’s Director Allen Katz will be in attendance. Other local cast and crew are sure to show up. Read the article it is a nicely done piece.

Comedy Filmed In Appleton Ready For The Big Screen

If you look closely you will see yours truly in a number of pics in the article. Lawrence University partnered to produce the feature, but it was a professional cast and crew who made the film.

weyauwega break time 2014

In 2010 Ronald Kolman directed a pilot, ‘Woody’s World’. I produced, was UPM and had role and we allied then with MATC in Milwaukee to give students an opportunity to learn first hand what it is like to work a professional set and meet real world deadlines.

All things considered, LU had played a larger part int the production of Bucky. Our difficulty was that MATC, who very much wanted the program, couldn’t allow students to work the entire shoot from beginning to end because of class schedule and finals.

Since the students couldn’t take leave of their other courses and be there full time for the duration of the shoot we utilized our own professional crew. A handful of students came in to shadow the pros from time to time. Hardly ideal and not the plan we had all moved forward on.

Plus, we had one instructor who attempt to insert himself into the mix causing us delays and issues. He was out of line and was acting on his own behalf. He came around for two days before we learned that he was not authorized to be there by the school. Still we managed to complete the project ahead of schedule due to the hard working commitments of the pros I brought onto the project.

This is not a reflection on MATC, it is a fine school. Overall, there were challenges but I think it was a positive learning experience for all of us. The students who showed up when they could were awesome as well.

I am looking forward to seeing ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ for the first time with others I may have met and worked with for awhile. I have made some long lasting friendships because of that project for which I am glad. Let me know what you think of the article. I thought the writer did a nice job.

weauwega sudeince from back 2014

Today the festival attendance grew and by evening audience size was quite nice.

The 5pm narrative directed by Drew Britton, ‘When The King Tilts’ was charming and humorous. Drew was in attendance and answered questions during the Q & A. Listening to him speak about working with actors and the themes of this movie impressed me. I am very happy to have seen and enjoyed this movie.

Weyauwega native filmmaker Adam Zuehlke, in attendance, screened two short films. ‘Sad Clown’ and ‘Evergreen’. He was greeted with a rousing standing ovation by those in attendance as he made his way up front for the Q & A. Both films were very nicely done. Currently, he’s got the financing to shoot a pilot in the Minneapolis area and is developing Evergreen as a feature.

A party with finger food, popcorn and the cash bar followed the final film. It continues as I say good night.

An enjoyable day. I am looking forward to all the festival fun and film tomorrow on the final day! Come on out and enjoy!

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site