Tagged: doc|UWM

A Musical Engagement

The end of the semester is always a crazy time around the doc|UWM office. Students are frantically working on edits and it’s not uncommon for us to be running out on a last minute shoot. When the band Blessed Feathers said we could film their Tuesday night concert at Turner Hall we jumped at the chance.

Jaquelyn Beaupre and Donivan Berube of Blessed Feathers

Jaquelyn Beaupre and Donivan Berube of Blessed Feathers

After meeting the band and putting a wireless microphone on the band’s lead singer Donivan Berube the crew began following him around the venue, getting him used to the camera, and recording him as he mingled with family, friends, and fans. Most people, even performers, are not used to have a film crew following them. 

Jon Klett filming Donivan of Blessed Feathers and a fan.

Jon Klett filming Donivan of Blessed Feathers and a fan.

We’ve spent the entire semester documenting bands for our Cream City Soundcheck video series and at this point in the class I am confident enough with my student filmmakers that I feel I can give them a little more distance, hover a little less, and trust their instincts. While the crew was taking a break from filming I overheard Colin Perkins, a student from the class, say that he heard Donivan talking about being nervous and having a ring in his pocket. My ears perked up and I quickly began asking questions. Mistakenly, I thought Donivan and Jaquelyn Beaupre – the other half of the band – were already married, or at least engaged. I began to question my assumption and ran off in pursuit of an answer. 

Behind the scenes planning the shoot.

Behind the scenes planning the shoot.

Not wanting to ask Donivan directly, I inquired with others who knew the band. Luckily, local filmmaker Erik Ljung was also there documenting the band. Erik and I proceeded to have an interesting conversation where we each tried to figure out what the other knew. He finally realized that my students had discovered Donivan’s plans for the night. Erik then admitted that Donivan was indeed going to propose Jaquelyn after the fifth song in their set. Taking this information, I ran back to our crew and told everyone to be prepared for the proposal. While I am sure no one on our crew was as nervous as Donivan, I could sense that everyone on our team knew the uniqueness of this moment and the importance of capturing it with our cameras. 

Thomas Sorenson filming at the Blessed Feathers show.

Thomas Sorenson filming at the Blessed Feathers show.

So much of documentary is about being in the moment and capturing that moment. It’s a certain sort of excitement you don’t get from scripted filmmaking; that uncertainty and unpredictability of life happening before your eyes. doc|UWM has gotten to film a lot of magical moments, but this is certainly one for the ages. 

Donivan pops the question.

Donivan pops the question.

We wish Donivan and Jaquelyn the best and congratulate them on this new chapter in their lives. We also want to thank them for allowing us to share it with us and we can’t wait until next semester when get to take them on an adventure in Milwaukee. So, that leaves us one with one big question, “Where do we go from here?”

– Ryan Sarnowski, instructor/co-producer

Blessed Feathers – Proposal – Cream City Soundcheck Special Feature (by creamcitysoundcheck)


Alumni Reunion

It’s always nice to hear back from alum working in field, especially when they are helping one another out. Brady Holden and Robyn Braun first worked together in 2006 on our Elder Abuse project. This week they reunited in New York City.

Brady wrote to tell us about a new project he’s working on for Northern Light Productions, “So, we’re profiling 5 people around the U.S. about any financial hardship they’ve experienced and highlighting the changes they’ve made to their spending and savings habits that may position themselves to a better retirement…I hired Robyn semi-last minute because all of our sound-skilled-staff-members were unavailable and I knew Robyn was in NY.” Robyn adds, “At first I wasn’t sure if I’d be free so I recommended some sound friends to Brady, but they were all busy.  Then my regular gig editing Alien Dawn for Nickelodeon went dark so I actually got the whole week off and everything worked out!  It was great to work with Brady again and shoot a little interview, just like old times. “

Meet the Summer Interns

For the next few weeks, docUWM has two interns from UWM’s Office of Undergraduate Research. Monika Oliver and Danielle Stobb are assisting with a wide variety of tasks, including scouting Milwaukee places for Cream City Soundcheck: Part II and providing commentary for works in progress. Get to know Monika and Danielle below by reading our Q&A with them!

Meet Monika!

Monika Oliver hails from Wrightstown, WI and plans to study photography this coming fall at UWM. So far, her favorite thing about Milwaukee is the vibrant social and music scene.

Favorite documentary: African Cats

Favorite band: Walk the Moon

Favorite holiday: Halloween

Favorite social media site: Tumblr

Favorite director: Sam Mendez

Idol: Juliette Sims

Go-to movie: Wayne’s World

Favorite place in Milwaukee: The Rave

Hobbies: Listening to music and going to concerts

Meet Danielle!

Danielle Stobb comes from Green Lake, WI and plans to study Film this coming fall at UWM. What she enjoys most about Milwaukee is it’s busyness and architecture.

Favorite documentary: Catfish

Favorite band: Mumford & Sons

Favorite holiday: Christmas

Favorite social media site: Pintrest

Favorite director: Marc Webb

Idol: Zooey Deschanel

Go-to movie: Fun with Dick and Jane

Favorite place in Milwaukee: Art museum

Hobbies: Reading and watching movies

Welcome to the office, ladies!

Take Back the Night

Lee Bautista (sound) and Jonathan Klett (camera) filming the Take Back the Night rally at UWM.

doc|UWM students working on a current project about UWM’s Women Resource Center documented Take Back the Night – an international sexual assault awareness initiative that is dedicated to empowering survivors of sexual assault.

Lee Bautista (sound) and Jonathan Klett (camera) filming.

This is just one of my events our students are documenting this semester as we create a serious of documentaries about the Student Life organizations on UWM’s campus.

Trapper Schoepp and The Shades

In preparation for our new series of music documentaries Cream City Sound Check our students are practicing their documentary skills by filming local Milwaukee bands. Four teams chose four local bands to document in their city, playing their music, and giving us all a look at what they connect to here in Milwaukee. This is a rough edit of work in progress as doc|UWM students work with local acts in preparation for visiting acts coming to the Pabst and Turner Hall this Spring.

Student filmmakers Matthew Dwyer, Garrett Katerzynske, Mitch Keller, and Josh Smith document the music of Trapper Schoepp & The Shades, explore what it means to be an independent band in Milwaukee and take a trip to Downtown Books.