Friday, August 26, 2016

Summer Filmmaking

Updates on Activity

This summer has been filled with travel, adventure and, of course, filmmaking!  Here is a brief rundown of what I have been working on.


A screen capture from the introduction to my new show

I was invited to create a regular program on WYOU, Madison's community access television station. Windmiller Media Theater premiered earlier this summer and serves as a showcase of the many short films I have produced.


In July I spent a lovely Wisconsin morning filming Monica Kamal fishing on Lake Waubesa, along with her partner Steve. Monica suffered a severe spinal cord injury several years ago and lost her ability to walk, but this has not kept her from enjoying the outdoors. She also hunts and bird watches, as well as leading a group that supports outdoor activities for people with mobility challenges.

Photo: Steve Spaeni

I met Monica several years ago and was impressed with her enthusiasm and good humor, and decided I wanted to make a short documentary about her when I had the chance.  The chance is now.  I will be filming her again in the near future and will then get to work on completing a short profile of her.

Photo: Steve Spaeni

Friday, July 1, 2016

WNBR 2016

Naked Biking Takes Center Stage

June has been an incredibly active month for us.  First, we were covered extensively in the local press.  You can get more information at our new In the News page.

Then, as part of our work on our new documentary Why We Ride Naked, we covered Madison's World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) on June 18th.  Film director Nicholas R Wootton led a team of five videographers (including himself) and an interviewer to capture the event from every conceivable angle.  

Nicholas R Wootton (left) directs Jeff Blankenship (right) on a location shoot for the documentary Why We Ride Naked, while Nicholas' wife Jill Wootton and crew member Claire Roberts-Staley look on.  (Photo: Jess Haven)

It was a complex and challenging shoot.  The video team had to contend with crowds, traffic, and an unpredictable ride plan, but they persevered and delivered excellent footage.

Claire Roberts-Staley (far left) and Jess Haven (left) capture the scene as riders head down State Street. (Photo: Tom)

We had excellent weather, and the ride organizers could not have been more cooperative with our efforts.  We thank them for their assistance.

Videographer Ren Patterson (behind tripod)
films on State Street. (Photo: Tom)

But the greatest thanks goes to all the riders who agreed to appear on camera to share their experiences and their views on the event.  They will make the film great!

WNBR rider Krystal discusses the upcoming ride with interviewer Claire Roberts-Staley (off camera). Krystal was interviewed for Why We Ride Naked. Fellow rider Matt Holley paints Krystal's back. (Photo: Jess Haven)

Nicholas R Wootton and Ivonne Suryana considered a possible
shot at the meeting area before the ride. (Photo: Ren Patterson)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Work on Why We Ride Naked Continues!

In the last few weeks, we have continued to collect interviews for our documentary on participants in the World Naked Bike Ride.  We traveled to Kenosha to meet Joseph, an artists model who will participate in his first WNBR this year.  We met Tom, a truck driver, as he maintained his rig.  And we interviewed Rebecca and Kiersten, two veteran WNBR riders, about their views on bicycles and society.
Nicholas R Wootton shoots video of an art class in Kenosha.
The model Joseph (off camera) was
interviewed as part of Why We Ride Naked.

Rebecca, veteran of every Madison WNBR, discusses
her reasons for joining the ride.
Robert Lughai of Tarazod Films checks the camera while
Nicholas interviews Joseph.

Robert captures truck driver Tom working on his rig.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Principal Photography for Why We Ride Naked, 

a WNBR Documentary, Begins

Interviewing Tom Culver (left) for the WNBR Documentary
Windmiller Media's next project Why We Ride Naked, a documentary about people who participate in the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) has started shooting in Madison.  In April we did our first interview with Sarah Tops Rogers and have since followed up with two other riders, Tom Culver and Krystal Price.

Nicholas R Wootton interviews Krystal Price
while Robert Lughai monitors the cameras 

Already the import of the subject has expanded far beyond what we initially envisioned.  We knew that riders would have interesting stories to tell about their lives and their reasons for taking part in the WNBR, but we have been amazed to learn about the powerful transformative affect that participating in the ride has had on those who take part in it.  This is an exciting discovery and is prompting us to think in more expansive ways about the scope of this documentary.

Left to right, Robert Lughai (Tarazod Films),
interviewee Krystal Price,
Nicholas R Wootton (Windmiller Media)
We are also grateful for the openness shown by our subjects.  Each of them has welcomed us into their home and shared personal stories that have taught us more than we expected when planning began for this project.

Still from b-roll of bike mechanic Sarah Tops Rogers

We have more interviews scheduled for this month, and are talking to other participants about possibly appearing in this film.  We also plan to cover the next Madison, Wisconsin WNBR on June 18th.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Real...Live... screens at Wisconsin Film Festival!

Screening last week of my latest film, Real...Live..., at the Wisconsin Film Festival, was a great success.  The Barrymore Theater audience of over 600 responded with great laughter and applause at my account of the World Naked Bike Ride.  It was a thrill to have my friend and colleague Robert Lughai, who did the best of the cinematography for the film, join me, as well as, of course, my lovely wife Jill.

The day before the screening I had the chance to talk about the film and the WNBR on WORT-FM.  Jonathan Zarov, host of the Friday Eight O'Clock Buzz, invited me and fellow rider Sarah Tops Rogers to be guests on the show.

Here is a link to the show.

Real...Live... was one of a number of films included in the Festival's Mad About Madison presentation, selected for their relevance to the host city and made by local filmmakers.  I recommend everyone look up the films, a list too long to go into here, but each a unique presentation of life in our city.  The audience was wonderfully receptive to my film, and I was honored to have the chance to talk to audience members and meet the other filmmakers.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Real...Live... in Wisconsin Film Festival

We are proud to announce that our latest production, Real...Live..., has been selected for the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival.  Real...Live... will screen as part of the Mad About Madison short film program, which features films made right in Madison, Wisconsin and feature Madison talent and landmarks.

The Mad About Madison program will screen at the historic Barrymore Theater on April 16th at 11:00 AM.