Let me know what you think.
by Stephen Milek
Oscar nominations will be announced next week and all the Oscar ballots have been submitted. So it's time to start putting some predictions in writing. I thought about waiting till the DGA announced their nominees and I might update it after they do but not sure how much will change. I am pretty confident on most of these predictions. Again these are based on current trends and previous nominations so far this Oscar season. These are not my personal opinions since I have not seen most of the movies. Unlike previous years I am only predicting a few of the major categories. Not going to try to predict all of them.
Let me know what you think.
Later this year Milwaukee will see their first Women's Film Festival. While still in the planning stage we are excited to see what it will showcase. We wanted to learn more about the festival so we asked festival director Andrea Thompson some questions in our latest edition of our 10 Questions With... series.
For more info on the film fest check out the Facebook Page
and if you have a film you want to submit check out the FilmFreeway page
and if you are interesting in sponsoring the festival let her know.
by Stephen Milek
As 2016 begins lets take a look back at some of the biggest news stories of 2015. The year started off with lots of controversy but the rest of the year we spend mostly talking about how much money movies were making. Along the way we lost a few great celebrities.
by Stephen Milek
Well we are through the early award season and lots of critic associations have spoken. We also have the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes opinions. So we would expect the Oscar race starting to become clearer. Well this year that isn't the case. Nominations are all over the place and hard to say what will sustain the momentum till the Oscar Nominations. Now I have never been good at predicting Oscars so what this is just the movies that so far seem to be getting the most praise. This is based on current trends and a lot can change very quickly. The biggest surprise so far is the amount of love that Mad Max: Fury Road is getting. While it was a very well-liked movie action movies don’t tend to get the end of the year love. Also, there are a few movies that haven’t come out and don’t have critical consensus. It is hard to tell where they fall so they are not listed in any category but could very well become front runners.
The Hateful Eight – Possible for picture, director, supporting actress, screenplay
The Revenant – Possible for picture, director, actor, screenplay
Joy – Possible for picture, director, actress
The Big Short – Possible for picture, director, screenplay, supporting actor
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – possible for Best Picture.
Of course many people think this is the year the Leo could win Best Actor so some consider him a front runner but at this point still hard to tell so I have left him off that category for now.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Star Wars will be playing around the clock in some theatres something unprecedented for a December release. And it will also have all the IMAX Screens to itself.
Also we are talking about just U.S. Domestic opening weekend (Friday to Sunday).
Star Wars: The Force Awakes is hitting theatres is just over a week. There are lots of questions surrounding it but one of the biggest is how much will it make opening weekend?
Here at MMT we have differing opinions. But it's pretty clear it will break some records. But by how much. For reference here are the Biggest Opening Weekends of all time. Notice only 2 movies have ever broke the $200 million mark.
Jurassic World (2015) - $208,806,270
The Avengers (2012)- $207,438,708
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - $191,271,109
Iron Man 3 (2013) - $174,144,585
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (2011) - $169,189,427
Also something to think about is that December has never had a movie open with more than $100 million. Here are the biggest opening weekends in December.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) - $84,617,303
I am Legend (2007) - $77,211,321
Avatar (2009) - $77,025,481
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)- $73,645,197
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - $72,629,713
With that info let us know below what you think The Force Awakens will make. And if you plan on seeing it opening weekend.
by Stephen Milek
As the end of the year quickly approaches it’s time to start thinking about our second FBOMB Awards. Last year was a good start but this year we are going to try something different.
The biggest thing we want to do with FBOMB is highlight more Milwaukee Films. We are not going to be strict on the definition of “Milwaukee Film” and consider any film that has creative ties to Milwaukee. Be it director, screenwriter, or producer. And we will consider anyone from Milwaukee and the 4 counties bordering (Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha) as eligible. Since local movies are not as widely seen I would like to see if we can get directors to send us For Your Consideration Screeners. Ideally they will be online that we can share with just the group. So, if there is a local film you think should be nominated make sure you talk to that director and tell them to submit a screener. The more people that see it the higher chance it will get a nomination.
The changes in voting are highlighted below.
1. We are going to have the final vote later. Instead of voting on December 31st we are going to have the final vote on January 31st. With so many movies opening on Christmas and some even in January we thought we would give people the opportunity to see more movies.
2. We are going to have a nomination process. Starting December 15th until January 15th we will be accepting nominations. Each person will be able to nominate a maximum of 10 movies in each category and the 5 movies with the most votes will get the nomination which will then be voted on by everyone.
3. To simplify the voting we are going to decrease the number of categories. There will be Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress. For Milwaukee Films we will have Best Film, Best Feature length Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress.
I hope everyone votes this year and let’s get the word out to the local film community and see if we can get screeners.
Any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Christopher K House
We have been saying Milwaukee is home to many great, talented film makers. Well, it's time to meet another. Chad Halvorsen is a multi talented film maker both behind and in front of the camera. I first saw his work in "Hi, Neighbor" at the 17th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival. Being one of my favorite shorts of the series, I had to know more about the man behind the wacky neighbor Gordon.
Q) Are you a true Wisconsinite? Were you born and bred here in the Cream City?
A) Oh yeah, totally. Kenosha born and raised. I was accepted to UW-Milwaukee, so I moved up here in 2002. After my Freshmen year, I moved home for the summer. Going back to a midnight curfew and having an immaculate room didn't sit well with me. So since 2003, I've called Milwaukee my home.
Q) You seem to be the "funny guy" of the group. Were you the class clown growing up?
A) I wish. Maybe within my circle of friends, but honestly, I opened up more when I got to college. High School was a nightmare, as it was for most of us. I wasn't popular, not that I wanted to be, but I couldn't be myself.
I've always had a sense of humor though, especially as I grew older. As time passes, you start to see that life isn't all puppies and unicorns. It can be a swift kick to the balls at any moment. Having a sense of humor softens the blow.
Q) Tell us a little bit about how you got started in films?
A) Truly it would be my job at the movie theater. I worked at the Cinemark theater in Kenosha for about four years. That influenced my decision to switch from Criminal Justice to Film/TV Production my first day of college. I went to one Criminal Justice class and was like "nope." I went to my department counselor and she asked me what else I was interested in. I said "well I work at a movie theater and dig films." She told me UW-Milwaukee had a top rated film school.
Ever since then, it's all I've wanted to do. I've worked at agencies, been a freelancer, anything to get me on set or in the editing bay.
Q) You do a lot behind the scenes, director, producer, writer, etc. Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind it?
A) Depends on the day. Honestly I've always wanted to act, even before I was interested in TV/Film. When you look at the big picture though, you have a better chance of landing a production job than an acting gig. That's the hard truth. Plus, I don't Chris Pratt-like features and there's enough Jonah Hill's in the world... so room for an actor like me is scarce.
That being said, I love production, especially producing. You get to make creative decisions, bring together kick ass crews, and most importantly get to say "I'm a producer." Which unfortunately doesn't exclude me from cleaning my house every Saturday with my wife.
Q) So far, all I have seen are comedies. Are you interested in other genres beyond comedy?
A) Like Sci-fi/Comedy? ;)
I've produced commercials, music videos, corporate stuff, you name it. I think with Firmament though, the creative team we have (writers, actors, producers) just seems to click with comedy. As our careers progress, I think the opportunity to do something more dramatic will present itself. There are ideas we're sitting on, it's just not the right time.
As far as personal tastes, if the premise is cool or stars Bruce Campbell, I'll watch it.
Q) Hi, Neighbor was a huge hit for you. We picked it for our own Twisted Dreams Film Festival, how did that story come about and, was it a difficult shoot?
A) I wasn't involved in the writing process, but this was one of the first times in Firmament history that I was solely an actor. Normally when we do these 48/72 hour festivals, my primary objective is post production. I normally get a cameo or small role, but nothing that keeps me on set for too long.
Shooting was about as complicated as it normally is for a 72 hour festival. We usually write a packed script with a lot of visuals, so time is always an issue, but we normally pull through.
My biggest contribution, along with other cast/crew suggestions, was all the different ways Gordon was killed... Which was harder than you'd think. My favorite was crushing the garage on my head.
Q) You recently filmed a commercial for Doritos and their Super Bowl competition. The story was hilarious and very unique. How did that all come together?
A) Cory Kaseman (kick ass sound op) posted a question a few months back about why we never submitted to the competition. We've garnered a lot of praise at festivals, so the question was valid. I kept that idea in the back of my head... Fast forward to last month.
I had a few conversations with T.C. De Witt (writer/director) and he thought it was a great idea. So we spent some time brain dumping ideas all over each other (phrasing) and finally TC said "zombies are popular right now." Originally I didn't like the idea of zombies, but it stuck. Not that I hate Zombies, but they are popular... too popular in my opinion. But you give the audience what it wants, especially in advertising.
We went through a couple drafts (with some help from Kris Schulz) and finally came to the version we shot. I like it. It's has some George Romero and Edgar Wright sprinkled in. None of it would have happened though without the cast and crew.
Q) Where do you see the future for Milwaukee film makers going? Many people don't realize we have a lot of great films made right here.
A) This city has a ton of talent. There's so many good filmmakers here. Not only are they good, but they're genuine and a blast to work with.
The problem is, there's no incentive for bigger productions to come here. There's a lot of states out there that have great film incentives. Look at The Walking Dead, production is in Georgia and there's a big incentive to keep it there. Tax Breaks, studios love them. It creates jobs, stimulates the local economy, and other stuff politicians like to brag about in an election year.
Wisconsin had incentives for a hot minute, unfortunately, it was rushed and not fleshed out, so they were dumped after a year. We never stood a chance.
Hollywood likes a deal. Local governments like jobs. Without taking a stance here, liberals traditionally love the arts more, but they don't control our state government. Conservatives love bringing in outside money, so if you can show them that the incentives would work, they would probably sign off. It does work... Ask Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida... the list goes on.
Q) I know you are a big gamer like myself so, as a gamer I have to ask, favorite console and favorite game?
A) I'll catch hell for this, but I love my Xbox One. Fallout 4 comes out soon so I'm pumped.
Best console ever... I'll say my original NES. It was the start of the console generation, my generation. I loved that thing. Favorite game for the system would be Megaman 2.
Favorite game of all time.... Like movies, the list changes daily, but Final Fantasy VII... That game gets me in the feels every time. When I write/work, the soundtrack plays in the background. Let's hope the reboot doesn't suck.
Q) What's next for Chad Halvorsen?
A) Honestly, I need a daytime job. I was laid off from my last Producer job months ago. I like working for agencies directly because it's a steady paycheck and I make more connections for personal projects. Freelancing at this time is too unpredictable, especially in this area as a producer. Agency work is great because you work with so many brands.
Currently I produce a weekly video game review show called 1 Minute Gamer. My dream would be to work/run a production house where we would produce shorts, features, video game content, whatever. YouTube is becoming more and more of a source for visual entertainment. I would love to ride that train. The technology is moving so fast and it's all very exciting.
For more of Chad's work, including his hilarious YouTube channel, check out the links below.
Chad Halvorsen's web page
Chad's One Minute Gamer YouTube series
After 4 weeks of voting we finally have a winner in our Horror Icon Faceoff.
It was a battle of old vs new in the final frame. Dracula is one of the oldest horror icons on our list and Martin Lomax is the most recent horror icon on our list. While Dracula rise to the top is not too surprising Martin’s is a bit shocking.
Dracula handily beat Ghostface and Chucky in the first two rounds then had to go up against the Halloween master himself Michael Myers. Turned out that despite being Halloween season Myers couldn’t compete with a classic.
On the other hand Martin had a tough first couple of rounds. First he had to face Frankenstein’s monster that was an early frontrunner. Martin narrowly beat him in a last minute surge. Then it was on to another front runner Freddy Kreuger. This was a tough one for Martin and came down to 1 vote that put Martin over the top. From there it was easy sailing as he was no contest for Jason and his fan club really turned out in the final round and took all the bite out of Dracula and took the crown.
Why is Martin such a great horror icon? What is it about him that fans seem to love? Unlike the other icons on this list he was only in one movie and he never spoke a single word. But the performance of Laurence Harvey was very unnerving and leaves a lasting impression. He is a loner who has bizarre sexual fetishes and is both sadistic and masochistic. Maybe horror fans can relate to him since he is also a horror fan?
Let us know why you guys think Martin won and why so many voted for him.
Well the internet really came out strong for Martin this round. poor Jason didn't stand a chance. Meanwhile Dracula looked like he might have trouble against Michael Myers but proved that sometimes the classics are better.
So who will win. Will Martin's fans continue to show up or can Dracula pull off the win?
Vote below or follow the link here
Well it's been a surprising couple of rounds. We have made it to the Final Four and The Human Centipede has proven it has a huge internet following. It was a close one but Martin pulled off his second upset (by 1 vote) and beat Freddy. Meanwhile Michael Myers and Hannibal Lecter had a back and forth but the Halloween killer proved to be too much for Dr. Lecter to overcome.
The other two races were big blowouts and Dracula continues to dominate his opponents. And Captain Spaulding was no match for the machete wielding Jason.
Will Martin's fan club continue their support and push him into the finals? Dracula has been dominating so far but faces a tough opponent in Michael Myers during Halloween season giving a Myers home field advantage.
Be sure to vote below and share.