Category Archives: storytelling

Rex Sikes Movie Beat chats with Twisted Dreams Film Fest Founders May 16

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Twisted Dreams Film Festival  was founded in 2011 by Christopher K House and Stephen Milek, two friends with a passion for the silver screen. Their goal is to provide the Milwaukee, Wisconsin community news, reviews and interviews of local and international films and film makers.

UPCOMING: Thursday May 19, 2016 11am EST, 10am CST, 8amPST To Listen Click The Bolded Link Below

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Chats with Twisted Dreams Film Fest Founders

About Christopher Kai House

A true film junkie from birth, can thank his parent’s for his obsession with horror and the macabre. Both being horror fans, Chris grew up watching old horror films, specifically the Universal Monsters collection of fright films. He was born into a family of magicians and was weaned on sideshows and carnivals bringing a unique perspective to the festival.

Chris say’s he was lucky his mother was as huge into horror as he was, he was able to see almost every major and indie horror film of the 1980’s on the big screen. Like his father before him, prides himself a showman and wants that to echo with each year the Twisted Dreams Film Festival runs. is a member of the Online Film and Television Critic Association.

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About Stephen Milek

A lover of all movies, Steve will watch anything from classic silent films to modern big budget action films. He got bit by the horror bug when in fourth grade at a sleepover he saw A Nightmare on Elm St. for the first time. To his mom’s dismay he watched more horror films than Disney films growing up.

After attending the Sundance Film Festival a few times he always wondered what it would be like to start his own film festival. Over time he became obsessed with the Oscars and for his first blog he watched every Oscar Best Picture winner in chronological order.

About The Twisted Dreams Film Festival

The Twisted Dreams Film Festival has been a project in the works for almost 5 years. Since the inception of the web page Milwaukeemovietalk.com where Chris and Steve cover the film industry and review films.

What started out as a simple blog about movies, it grew to have an emphasis on local films and filmmakers.They wanted a true horror film festival in Milwaukee that showcased the best in not only local but also international horror, dark comedy and sci-fi films.

The first year was a major hit with filmmakers and guests coming from all over the country and Canada.

The duo plan on having the fest a yearly event and hope it grows each year.

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Visit Chris and Steve’s Website:
Milwaukee Movie Talk Link

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat – The Official Website (currently under construction). New content posted here since December 2014.

You can go to RSMB and listen to the archives. It has over 500 hours of professional filmmaker discussions with Rex. Visit Official Site to listen:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with David Murphy Casting Director

murphy headshot

David Murphy, casting director and acting coach, is co-founder of the Chicago  acting school known as The Green Room. Murphy, as he goes by, brings multiple areas of expertise to his teaching.

He’s worked in the acting field for 20 years. He joined the staff at O’Connor Casting Company in 2001. He splits time between casting commercials and teaching.

Around the casting office, there are two “David’s” (David O’Connor is the owner), so this David is often known as “Murphy”. He has conducted well over 50,000 individual actor’s auditions.

To Listen Live Or Archived Click The Bold Link Below:

Rex Sikes Movie Beat chats with David Murphy Casting Director

For 16 year Murphy taught at the Players’ Workshop of the Second City. He’s directed over a hundred shows ranging from improv reviews to children’s shows. He has created several touring groups performing for such clients as GE and Novis.

Murphy has worked as an artistic director for Bedlam Productions, has worked in casting for Toast productions and has been a consultant to several fledgling theatre companies.

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Beyond his acting and voice over credits, he has been a casting director, theatre director and instructor. What is not as widely is that he is a Reiki Master.

Reiki is a healing modality using energy. Often, unfocused energy can be at the root of an uncreative and uninteresting performance.

Have you ever had a poor audition and wrote it off as having been nervous, or simply not “on” without exploring further what was at the root of the problem?

He helps actors, through self-reflection, energy work and discovery of higher creative self, to gain better control of their instrument so they can be present during the audition and bring their best self to the room.

To Learn More about David, acting and commercial on camera classes Visit The Green Room Studio’s Website.

The Green Room Studio

PS I have been a student of The Green Room. Murphy and others have been my instructors. I highly recommend their offerings. I am enrolling in another class this week.

The official website of Rex Sikes Movie Beat can be accessed through the link below. Be sure to visit!

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website

Script Consultant James Breckenridge on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat 12/10

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James Breckenridge has worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. In 1995, his years of professional training and experience culminated in the founding of The PlayCrafters Group.

As its Director, he specializes in helping writers from all over the country develop producible scripts for motion pictures, television and theatre. Through creative counseling and objective feedback, he encourages writers to focus in on the essential elements of their stories in viably dramatic ways.

JOIN US LIVE: Thursday, Dec 10, 2015 11am ET, 10am CT, 8am PT Click the bolded link below. Chatroom open during discussion.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with James Breckenridge, Script Consultant

His script development service has been rated in the Top Ten and recommended as the Best of the Best Buys in Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s review of leading script consultants from all around the country.

In addition to private coachings and consultations, Mr. Breckenridge has created a number of Courses and Workshops for the beginning as well as the advanced screenwriter.

Some of the most popular include Screenwriting Essentials, First Steps: Dramatic Steps to a Dynamic Screenplay and Pitching: Five Minutes to Fame. He has taught for The Bryn Mawr Film Institute, the Bucks County Writer’s Room,

The Writers Corner USA and the Lehigh Valley Writer’s Academy. For more information we invite you to visit http://www.playcraftersgroup.com or email us at HBCraft@att.net

As a featured speaker he has been invited to present at The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, The Algonquin Film Festival, The Bucks Fever FilmFest, the Weyauwega International Film Festival and has also presented a number of seminars at the SCREENWRITING EXPO in Los Angeles, California where he was named “Star Speaker.”

Mr. Breckenridge served as Juror for the Theatrical Motion Pictures Nominating Committee for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, The Philadelphia Film Festival’s Feature Film Competition, The American Independents category for the Philadelphia Film Festival/Cinefest as well as the Bucks Fever FilmFest.

As a director and creative writing consultant, he has helped in the staging and conceptualizing of well over 200 dramatic scripts.

Mr. Breckenridge credits much his creative consulting instincts to his acting background. Trained for the professional theatre, Mr. Breckenridge received his undergraduate degree in Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Over the years, he has performed professionally on radio, television, film and on stage. Most of his acting credits came from New York City.  This work has also taken him to Europe twice, once touring Germany and Italy, and a second time, appearing at The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and in London.

Though working fulltime for The PlayCrafters Group, he currently maintains active memberships with The Actors’ Equity Association and the SAG-AFTRA Union.

Past affiliations have included The Charles Maryan Workshop for Playwrights and Directors, Ron Roston’s Playwrights Lab/Writer’s Circle, Stella Adler’s Scene Interpretation Class and The Freestyle Repertory Theatre in New York City where he judged improvisations for structure, content and story development.

Mr. Breckenridge created and served as Director of The Breckenridge Workshops from 1983 – 1988. He was also a founding member of PlayMarket, an organization whose purpose was to assist dramatic writers in focusing and shaping their scripts towards production.

Presently, he is a member and/or supporter of The Drama League, The Dramatists Guild, The Theatre Communications Group and LMDA – the Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas.

One of James’ students summed up his experience with him this way: “ I have an MA in TV/Film, took several master’s level screenwriting courses. None as good as this!

Official website: Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Weyauwega International Film Fest Aftermath: Movies, Director And Class

casting call clap board

It was a great festival. Nov 11-14. Ian Teal and Kathy Fehl, Holly Martin and staff and volunteers put on another great film festival. Number 5. If you missed it you missed another one you should have attended.

Great films and great people. Good hanging out, good conversations, good food and drink. All in all – a time well worth it.

We left, after the closing night party. I drove Jacob, Marie and Louis back to the Green Fountain Inn B & B in Waupaca. We were all pretty beat. Said good night and went to our rooms.

Sunday 11-15. I wrote my, daily inspiration and gratitude blog, as always starting about 3 am. Finishing up I went down for breakfast and to work on computer at table around 6:30. At this time I also loaded my car. I discover my tire looks a bit flat. Hmmmm

I had to leave by by 7:30 to make it back for a morning event. Later, I would film my role in, ‘Two Sides Of The Street’, a SAG short subject I was asked to appear in. Barb delivers breakfast around 7 for Jacob, Marie and I. After finishing a delicious meal Marie and I say goodbye to Barb, one of the owners of the B & B, and to Jacob. Louis slept in.

I drove Marie to Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport where she caught a plane back to Los Angeles. It was an enjoyable time talking all the way. I did stop and buy an emergency tire inflation canister and put that into the tire. We made it.

I left her at airport went to my morning meeting. From there my friend Jill accompanied me to the location for filming. My darling daughter dropped by, briefly, too. We finished filming some hours later. When I got to my car I discover a lovely note, my daughter left, on my windshield. Awesome girl!

Filming was fun, lighthearted, fast and easy. It was a very nice time. Special thanks to director Scott Covelli, Brian and Mike Hendricks and Matt Hudson. They were a lot of fun and made things easy. When completed Jill and I dined on delicious Mexican food. I felt as if I had consumed a small child when finished. It was tasty.

Recently, the Pro Cinema Society and I sponsored a SAG/Aftra workshop presented by Kathy Byrne of Chicago SAG/Aftra. During our time together she addressed how easy it is to utilize professional SAG/Aftra talent in student films, shorts and Ultra Low Budget contracts. It was a good session.

I asked the film crew on ‘Two Sides Of The Street’ the SAG short I appear in how easy it was to make it union so I could be in it. They stated they were amazed and delighted how easy and pain free it was. Paperwork was nothing and they were glad they did. I am glad they did too.

POINT- investigate, find out and you too can go SAG/Aftra. It isn’t worth it. Even some filmmaker friends of mine have been skittish because of contracts or paperwork. Don’t be. Read it and make your movie or short.

I arrived home early evening but it seemed late, after midnight. I relaxed, said hello to those I had left behind and enjoyed the company.

7:25am (present) Monday 11-16: I got some sleep. Woke at 3am and began writing blog again.  I will leave shortly for the university.

I have a guest coming to class. Director Michael O. Sajbel. Michael worked Visual Effects in movies, ‘Hot Shots’, ‘Lawnmower Man’, ‘Broken Arrow’ and others.

He writes and has directed, ‘The Ride’, ‘One Night With The Kind’, and ‘The Ultimate Gift’ and others. I am looking forward to his talk with my students.

Class was great. Michael come accompanied by his daughter Anastasia, and his assistant Sean. He spoke about how he got his start writing in Hollywood. He encouraged students to follow their passion.

He reminded them to remember basic survival skils while pursuing a career. Discover where you want to live, rent don’t buy a house, the need for a car, where to meet people and emphasized networking.

He told stories of working with actors and the importance of good communication skills. This is a must. Then, he shared some stories of working with difficult stars. He was candid and fun and added value to the class. This continued later.

When finished, he offered to stay and continue to speak with students who could stay. A group of students and the four of us went to the Student Union and chatted for hour or more. More tales and more sound advice.

From there the four of us went to Soup Bros for lunch. Enjoyed more conversation and good food. After another hour or so we parted ways. I returned to the computer to publish this post.

So that wraps up Weyauwega time and a short while after. Life returns to normal for a time being. I am so glad I had the opportunity to again make this festival. It was my forth year and it gets better each time. Next year, perhaps, I’ll meet you there.

Meanwhile, make your movies and complete your projects. Join me on my Inet radio show and podcast Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat – Visit INTERVIEW at the official website: Rex Sikes Movie Beat . There are over 400n hundred hours of pro filmmakers sharing their expertise. Listen and learn.

Also join me at ‘Inside The Film Business’ at  my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat channel on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. I am video recording, via skype, my professional filmmakers who address my class. Watch, listen and learn and in both shows, RSMB & Inside The Film Business.

Enjoy!

Weyauwega International Film Festival Day 4 – Nov 14

the bar at weyawega opera

The final day of the Weyauwega Film Festival begins. Jim Breckenridge, script consultant launched the day with a presentation of what makes good screen writing.

He addressed, first, the business side of spec screenwriting, and the likelihood of selling your screenplay. From there he traversed the area of structure, subtext, events, dialogue and how to write good stories.

Other areas covered were conflict, internal meeting external conflict and depth of conflict, events, white space and closed endings.  There is a deep need for humans to bring order to their experience and have closure.

He suggest writers consider this when writing because readers, buyers and movie goers unconsciously are seeking. He proved to be a wonderful storyteller, which illustrated his approach to storytelling in screenplay form.

Hurt them then heal them. Create a character audience can identify with. Hurt them in some fashion. Then provide the opportunity for the character to heal.

He stated that while the film is written three times the script you use to make the movie must be well written to begin with. A very delightful and informative presentation.  A great Q & A followed.

Back in time, breakfast at the Green Fountain Inn, our B & B. a lovely place in Waupaca, began at 8am. Louis, the director from NY I mentioned yesterday in Day 3, Marie, Jacob and I dined on a delicious breakfast of, fruit, french toast, bacon for meat eaters, coffee, juice and conversation.

We took back roads to the Gerold Opera House to recreate the walk Marie and Jacob made yesterday. Deciding they would like to, they trekked 10 miles to the festival, stopping for a Wisconsin Fish Fry, nearby, for lunch.

The Upcoming panel on filmmaking includes, actors filmmakers Dan Davies, Craig A. Knitt, Kathy Fehl, Ian Teal, and me. Even cooler, the panel evolved into a round table which included filmmakers from Wisconsin, England, NY, Florida and more. Jim Breckenridge joined as well. A nice time around the table with cool people.

Popcorn is popping. Movie goers appearing. Movies begin shortly. It was good to be able to chat up with Craig Knitt and Dan Davies, both of whom I have not seen in a half a year perhaps. It was really nice to listen to Jacob and Marie discuss their film in the Q & A.

One of the commenters addressed a peculiar aspect of the film “The Family and the Animals’ by Marie Hobson and directed by Jacob Hesmondhalgh. There is no narration, there are no subtitles, the viewer is thrown into the same world the filmmakers were, however, as the commenter pointed out, which is accurate, the story is still very clear and easy to follow from the visuals alone. You get it.

Dan Davies, Florida actors, director and more presented a 3 minute preview of ‘Heartland Blues’ a feature to be premieres January 23 at the Marion TWin in Ocala, Florida. Directed by Sarah Ashley. In attendance are film’s producer, star Anthony Gilardi. Actors Joshua Holt and Alex Quinn.

All the shorts in this first block were interesting fare. Again, programming here at Weyauwega is something these festival presenters can be quite proud of.

The afternoon features are the post apocalyptic ‘Embers’ directed by Claire Carre and the Hollywood made, comedy dating romp, ‘Dirty Beautiful’ directed by Wisconsin native Tim Bartell.

Lot’s of good food. People coming in throughout the day. It was great to catch up with Cody Klimmer. We worded on the Hollywood Feature filmed in Appleton, ‘Bucky And The Squirrels’ directed by veteran television writer director Allan Katz.

Katz accompanied the film to Weyauwega #4 for a sneak festival screening of the feature prior to it’s premier in Appleton April, 2015.Since we finished the film and last saw each other Cody has been back and forth adventuring in the Far East. Glad to see him!

A stat not presented in the movie, or at least not yet, is that 80 percent of the brandy consumed in the world is consumed in Wisconsin. AND a whopping 80% of that brandy is consumed in Marathon County. Anyway, a tasty sweet drink you can absolutely lose count on.’Old Fashioned’ director Holly De Ruyter in attendance will address the movie afterwards. Old Fashions were served and plentiful here, brandy being a Wisconsin favorite booze after beer.

The Supper Club and the Doggy Bag was originated in Beverly Hills by Laurence ‘Lawry’ Frank and Walter Van De Camp on La Cienega. Embraced by Wisconsin hundreds sprung up. This movie is fascinating and well done. My cocktail is too! I have eaten many times at Lawry’s Prime Rib and had no idea.

I lived in Los Feliz and drove through Atwater nearly daily and never knew this tidbit I discovered on the Inet. Frank and Van de Kamp founded the Lawry’s company and created the Tam O’Shanter Inn restaurant in the Atwater Village in 1922. It claims to be the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles still operated by the same family in the same location.

From the movie: The old fashion come from a line of drinks created in the 1700’s. Sweet drinks originated during prohibition when rot gut alcohol was difficult to drink so soda, fruit, and other sweeteners were added to be able to swallow them. Brandy drinks are known world wide as a Wisconsin drink. Other areas make whisky or bourbon old fashions.

A relish tray, veggies, cheese spread,and bread comes first. Soup salad. Definitely steak, prime rib, fish or chicken. Choice of potato. Desserts optional. Often an ice cream drink finishes up the meal. A grasshopper or pink squirrel.

Signage had to be big, bold, Neon and colorful to attract drivers hurtling down the highways at high speed. Specials include; the traditional Friday night fish fry. Saturday night prime rib.

A movie point: Wisconsin is bordered by the Mississippi to the West, Lake Superior to the North, Lake Michigan to the West and tens of thousands of lakes and rivers so Wisconsin was ripe for the rise of the fish fry.

Having a large Catholic population who could not eat meat on Friday for many years PLUS prohibition combined to make the fish fry a Wisconsin Phenomenon. You must see ‘Old Fashioned’ and visit remaining supper clubs when visiting Wisconsin.

A supper club tradition is fresh and the best food ingredients; home made was/is the rule of the supper club. ‘Made from Scratch’. High quality; no frozen, pre-measured, packaged, precooked, just add liquid food staples that chains are known for.

Yes, I have given this topic a lot os space but it is a huge part of Wisconsin history, even if it did originate out west. The supper club is unique, and delightful.

Another facet of the S.C. is the social element and relationship with the owner and their family. Connections and friendship, community is what drives the supper clubs appeal. People liking people, hanging together.

Holly did a great job answering questions and made books and dvd’s available in the back of the room. Quite a popular topic at this festival as people lined up for drinks, product and to be put on Supper Club mailing list.

Since we are at a Wisconsin film festival I thought you ought to know.

Again, all the movies shown at this year’s festival were excellent selections. One or more may not be my cup of tea, but all were very good for a variety of reasons. Had you been here I am sure you would have enjoyed the program selections.

UP next ‘Frame By Frame’ follows four photo journalists navigating modern day, dangerous Afghanistan. Directed by ALexandra Bombach and Mo Scarpelli. A fascinating film.

The film concludes as does the picture portion of the 5th Weyauweyga International Film Festival. Now begins the thank you, awards and a reception party.

Festival Spirit Award goes to ‘Polyfaces’. USA/Australia
Outstanding Foreign Language Film goes to Austria, Germany ‘Everything Will Be Okay’.
Best Animated from Germany ‘Daewit’.
Best Narrative Feature, “Dirty Beautiful’USA
Best Narrative Short, ‘Beverly’, from England.
Best Documentary Feature goes to ‘Frame By Frame’, Afghanistan
Best Documentary Short goes to “The Family And The Animals’. England/Zimbabwe

Live Music, jazz band ‘Waiting For The Train’, drinks, cheese, crackers and camaraderie round off the evening. I had an delightful time closing the evening with the Florida filmmakers and Dan Davies I mentioned earlier.

When finished, the Gerold Opera House will close for the evening. I will drive Marie, Jacob and Louis back to the Green Fountain Inn.

Early breakfast before we part ways. Marie will accompany me back to Milwaukee to catch her flight to L A later on Sunday. Louis and Jacob will fly out to NYC and England, respectively, later in the day. Nice people all of them. I am glad I got to dine and know them a bit during our time here.

It will be ‘so long’ to Weyauwega and to Green Fountain Inn until the next time. If you are in the area check out the shows and happenings at the Gerold during other times during the year. Visit the website and Fb page.

Also be sure to book a night or two at Green Fountain Inn when traveling this way. All good. All good people, times, films and fun. Until the next time.

Hope you enjoyed this. I sure enjoyed the festival!

Weyauwega International Film Festival Day 1 – Nov 11

weauwega sudeince from back 2014

Weyauwega International Film Festival is underway. Shorts have been showing. Nice programming. I’m having an incredibly tasty pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw, and drink at moment. They make good food at the festival.

Short subjects began at 4pm. The are presented in blocks. I am eating while waiting for the next short series to begin.

Feature begins at 7:30 pm. So far so good. Festival is off to a great start. If you aren’t here you should be. We are at the Gerold Opera Hourse in Weyauwega Wisconsin – just west of Appleton. Come on out! Schedule and info at website link I provided.

Http://www.wegaarts.com

I finished teaching today at UWM. My guest writer, director Todd Robinson added incredible value to my students and me, and all those who will watch our discussion on youtube. A must!

Packed up. Said bye to the students. Left campus and drove a couple hours to Weyauwega. One of the most disappointing moments occurred along the way. I was planning on dining at a friends fabulous Soup Brothers restaurant before leaving Milwaukee, mmmmm; Richard’s food is awesome.

I opted instead to drive over an hour and stop at an incredible truck stop diner along the way. There I would enjoy their sumptuous truck driver fare! I’d have breakfast midday and I could barely wait to get some coffee in me too.

I pulled into the diner. Walked in. Horror of Horrors. I discover that about 2 months ago they tore it out and converted to a fast food pizza chain. UNBELIEVABLE! I can’t imagine these hungry, burly truck drivers are happy about this. Or anyone else for that matter.

WOW and I could have had wonderful soup!

Oh well, life goes on. I ate elsewhere, at another small diner along the way. No where near as tasty as the one that vanished but I got some food. A little while later I arrived at the B&B and slept until almost 4 when fest began.

I love this B&B. I’ll tell you about it in my last blog post. I know in one of the rooms next to me is or are filmmaker/s from the UK.

The food at the festival is delicious. I said that right. WOW this blog is a lot about food. I guess my shock at the diner is unrequited.

Drinks come in alcohol and non-alcohol varieties. The people are  fans and filmmakers. The films long, short, narrative, and documentary. There is something here for everyone. Friday the 13th is horror film day.

The shorts are very entertaining. If you can be here you should be. The cost is right, the films are right, the people right too! You will enjoy yourself, but only if you come on out! Hope to see you!

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

Flyway Film Festival # 8 Unveils Lineup For October

horizon flyway 8

Now in its eighth year, the western Wisconsin film event soars higher than ever! Listen To The Discussion Using Link Below!

Here is The Flyway Film Festival official program selections for the October 21-25 festival. Flyway showcases top-notch emerging filmmakers from across the globe. Since its inception eight years ago, the Flyway has won accolades from industry professionals, filmmakers, and audiences for the excellence of its film program and for the festival’s intimate, welcoming atmosphere.

Full Festival Schedule Link At Conclusion Of Article

The festival kicks off with a party on October 21st, and the opening night film on October 22nd will be The Driftless Area, starring John Hawkes, Zooey Deschanel, and Anton Yelchin.

“We’re pleased to open the festival with The Driftless Area, since our festival is actually located in the geographical region of Wisconsin called ‘the driftless,'” says festival director Rick Vaicius. “And we have a particularly exciting mix of world premieres, international films, and regional filmmakers this year.”

Rick Vaicius Flyway Festival Director On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Thursday Oct 8 , 2015 (7:30am PST 9:30am CST 10:30amEST)

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Rick Vaicius On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Live

Vaicius programs the festival with a special appreciation for talented first-time filmmakers, he says. “We like to highlight emerging talents like Britni West, with her beautiful Montana-based film Tired Moonlight, Trey Edward Schults’ amazing autobiography Krisha, Vanessa Hope with her insightful documentary about US-China diplomacy, All Eyes and Ears, and Jerome Thelia’s fascinating Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play.’

“And on the other end of the scale, we’re showing films by two of the world’s oldest filmmakers: Al Milgrom’s Dinkytown Uprising, and Albert Mayles’ last film, In Transit,” adds Vaicius. Legendary documentary director Maysles died earlier this year at 88; the 93-year-old Milgrom is planning to attend the Flyway.

World premieres at the festival are Pictures of Lily, by British director Mark Banks;Remittance, by Patrick Daly and Joel Fendelman, and Second Honeymoon, by Dutch filmmaker Kristjan Knigge. This is Knigge’s second visit to the Flyway: he fell in love with the area last year, and is planning shoot his next film in Pepin shortly after the festival ends.

Visitors to the Flyway Film Festival can meander up and down the Mississippi River to the movie and event venues in the river towns of Maiden Rock, Pepin, Stockholm and Alma, Wisconsin, and across the river in Red Wing, Minnesota. A year-round tourist destination, the area is particularly scenic during the the Flyway, as the fall colors peak and the Mississippi River ‘flyway’ — a route taken by migrating birds — attracts birdwatchers from around the world.

In addition to showing films, the Flyway will offer a series of workshops and mentor sessions with industry experts such as Seed&Spark’s Erica Anderson, King is a Fink’s Julie Keck and Jessica King, location manager Charlotte Ariss, and filmmakers Emily Ting (It’s AlreadyTomorrow in Hong Kong) and Norah Shapiro (Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile). Other industry heavyweights, such as Ted Hope and Brian Newman, will be around to chat with attendees.

New at the Flyway this year is a series of music performances preceding the films. City Pages‘ 2015 “Best Acoustic Performer” LOTT (Leah Ottman) will perform before select films, as well as singer/songwriter JE Sunde.

The festival kicks off with a party at the Villa Bellezza, a spectacular winery and event center in Pepin, at 6:00 on Wednesday, October 21st. Twin Cities band Fort Wilson Riot will perform, and Deirdre Haj, director of the Full Frame Documentary Festival, will give the keynote address following the kind of banquet for which the Flyway has become famous: a potluck.

“The Flyway is different from larger film fests in the region in that people really have time to talk to each other, to learn about each other, and to create community,” says Vaicius. “People leave the festival with the feeling that they’ve had a truly creative, communal experience. And that’s a rare feeling.”

For the full festival schedule, click here

The festival rundown:

  • Saturday, October 10, 4:00 PM: A program of short films will screen at the St. James Hotel in Red Wing as part of the Red Wing Fall Festival of the Arts.
  • Wednesday, October 21, 6:00 PM: Kickoff Gala with keynote by Deirdre Haj, music by Fort Wilson Riot, and festival awards ceremony.
  • Thursday, October 22: Workshops during the day; opening night film (The Driftless Area) at 7:00.
  • Friday, October 23: Workshops during the day; films begin at 7:00 PM.
  • Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25: Films begin at 11:00 AM; closing film (Frame by Frame) at 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Click This Link To Visit Rex SIkes’ Movie Beat Official Site 

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

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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

Weyauwega Int’l FIlm Fest, Year Four, Day 2. Nov 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

Day 2 begins early and then with a delicious breakfast. I had to ask the chef her secret to making her eggs so tasty and she told me. But I promised I would keep her secret. On my way out I got to chat say hello and chat briefly with documentary filmmaker Dan Schneidkraut I told you about yesterday.

I had a delicious Latte at Rhythm and Brew and and wrote my daily blog entry and worked for a couple hours more before leaving for the festival venue.

I drove to the Gerold Opera House, the home of Wega Arts and the Weyauwega International Film Festival. I am recovered from a long day yesterday and I am eager to see today’s line up of films and meet more filmmakers and fans. As expected today the attendance is heavier than the first day.

By the way: It is not my intention to write about each fine offering. I do not mean to imply anything by not writing about a film. I simply want to feature highlights while at the festival.

weyauwega audeince 2014

As a filmmaker it is my position to not review other’s films. Since I know the labor and love, the hardship, of movie making I reserve my film opinions for close friends and do not dispense it for the public.

DAY 2 began with a talk by Dr. Jack Rhodes on Stanley Kramer’s ‘The Men’ starring Marlon Brando. Since this is a favorite film of mine, and Brando’s first screen appearance, it was wonderful to listen to Dr Rhodes discuss the film and then watch it.

Some of his points. First, 45 members of the cast were not actors but actual paraplegics. This fact is also pointed out in opening credits of the film.

Brando spent from 2-4 weeks in the hospital preparing for his role. He shared a story of Brando faking a spontaneous healing. A woman seeing the men in a restaurant all in wheel chairs mentioned to them that she wished deeply that they could be healed.

weyauwega anne casey by popcorn

Brando struggled painfully to get up from his wheelchair and took some halting steps  exclaiming ‘I can walk! I can Walk’ while the paralyzed men looked on and smiled knowingly.

Brando received 4 oscar nominations during his first 5 years as an actor. He won for ‘On The Waterfront’. After, ‘One Eyed Jacks’ 1961 his career went downhill until it was revived by ‘The Godfather’, 1973. He won another Academy Award which he declined.

Director Fred Zinnemann made numerous movies focused on this theme: A loan man triumphs over tremendous odds and institutions. ‘High Noon’, ‘From Here To Eternity’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, “A Man For All Seasons’, ‘Behold a Pale Horse’, and ‘Day of the Jackal’ among these.

He insisted ‘The Men’  have the gritty look of news reel footage. He went on to use virtually all of the crew, except for the cinematographer, on ‘High Noon’.

Dr Rhodes taught a graduate course  on Rhetoric of Film at the Miami University of Ohio and he teaches seminars on film at Lawrence University, events in Door County and at  Waupaca Library. He was enjoyable to listen to and the audience in attendance acknowledged this with applause. Then ‘The Men’ was screened. Great to see it again ON the big screen too!

It seems we have forgotten much about filmmaking as we advance our technologies. For me, there is nothing more fun than watching movies with an audience on a large screen.  Film instead of digital is still my preference, as is story over CGI, and performance over costuming.  It was great to see this movie again.

The movie ended to applause. Then the shorts began.  I remind you to check the showing schedule for information about the films shown. Plus, you can read more about Kathy and Ian AND listen to my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat discussion, right here in these blog pages, anytime 24/7. Simply visit the link  below or at the official site (link provided at bottom).

Producers Kathy Fehl & Ian Teal | Weyawega International Film Festival Nov 12-15 

Kathy & Ian 2 copy

Its mid afternoon and Dan Schneidkraut stopped by to say ‘so long’ he is traveling back to Minneapolis to continue to work on his next doc project. It is one I would like to see.  So we friended on Facebook to stay in touch.Kathy and I got to sit and catch up for a while and discuss plans for the coming year. John Pata showed up and we said hello and chatted awhile. I particularly liked his creepy short film “PITY’ shot in Oshkosh last year. Actor Jake Martin did a fine job, a disturbing job. Too disturbing. Thank goodness he is much nicer in real life.

John revealed secrets about the film. Based on a short story inside an album by Pig Destroyer called ‘Prowler In The Yard’ he aptly named the film PITY.I liked to sound design. The sound track score is comprised of the actors voice and breath converted to notes by Milwaukee musician Nicholas Elert.  It was shot on the red it looks great and is well edited. Pata presents a short suspenseful portrait of a very disturbed character in ‘Pity’.

This evening I also enjoyed the well made narrative feature directed by Shawn Telford, ‘BFE’. It appears to be non-union and crowd funded. Well made, acted, edited and entertaining. I liked an animated short by Wei lu, ‘Run Crab Run!’ and its score.

A few shorts followed the feature and the evening ended well. Tomorrow  Nov 14, DAY 3 the festival begins earlier at 10 am. I made it back to the lovely inn I am at and am currently enjoying getting cozy in my room. I look forward to what tomorrow brings in general and at the festival. It has been a wonderful couple days so far. Two more days to go.

weyawega from behind right side

On Sunday I have a special private screening to attend  before I return home. I miss my family back there and it will be great to see them. In the meantime more movies! See you tomorrow

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