10 Tips For Shooting Video in Milwaukee
The name “Milwaukee” comes from an Algonquian word “Millioke” which means “Good”, “Beautiful” and “Pleasant land”. This city is known for its breweries and energetic city life within Wisconsin. Resting on Lake Michigan offers amazing water shots and a variety of architecture all over the city to capture on video for any production. But how do you prepare for a video shoot in Brew City? We talked to Milwaukee native and DP Kurt Denissen about ten simple tips you need to know before shooting in Milwaukee.
Permits are not needed to shoot in Milwaukee except when production closing streets and sidewalks, or if your set up causes excessive parking issues. By going to Milwaukee Film Office’s website, you can receive additional information and apply for a permit.
“Traffic in the city is pretty decent,” Denissen said. If a shoot is in the heart of the city, traffic is pretty manageable. Morning rush hour makes traffic a little busy, but it’s nothing like Chicago or a bigger city. Traffic can add 20 minutes to your route so plan accordingly when heading to a new location.
Milwaukee City Hall is an exquisite structure that was finished in 1895 and was the third tallest structure at that time. The Victorian/Renaissance Revival style architecture is unique to this modernized city. The classic arch and bell tower emphasize the iconic building and make this a must-do shot while in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has a wide variation of weather during the year. “Best time to shoot is mid-May to late-October when shooting exterior work,” Denissen said. There are 3 or 4 major storms during the winter usually, so plan for some heavy snow during this season.
6. Milwaukee Art Museum:
During some free time, be sure to go check out the largest museum in Wisconsin. This intriguing art museum is set right on the lake and includes many exhibits of all types of art. The exterior of the building is extremely eye-catching and unique. “It’s a great view on the peninsula looking at the museum with the skyline in the background,” Denissen said.
There are many ways and angles to capture video of the Milwaukee skyline. The Northwestern Mutual Tower stands out among the other buildings and is very recognizable to the city. It is truly a view you don’t want to miss when the lights from the skyline reflect onto Lake Michigan.
4. Beer Brewing:
There is a reason this city is nicknamed both “Brew City” and “Beer City”. One of the signature aspects of Milwaukee is that it is a large brewing city. You will find major brewing companies all over town such as Lakefront Brewery, Miller Brewing Company, Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. Valentin Blatz Brewing Company and Pabst Brewery Complex. You can even plan a brewery tour at any one of these locations. This town is so crazy about brewing, that even their baseball team is named the “Brewers”.
3. Historic Third Ward:
This is one of Milwaukee’s most popular places. There are plenty of restaurants, businesses, shops, theatres and art galleries that draw locals and visitors to this waterside community to experience good times and culture. Enjoy some free time in the Historic Third Ward when you can and even capture b-roll of the Milwaukeeans.
For a crew, the best method is to rent a car. “Parking is pretty plentiful and there are a lot of ramps downtown,” Denissen said. Milwaukee is a pretty good Uber and taxi town. The city is building a trolley for the main arteries in the city. It should be completed by summer 2018.
Pub food is extremely popular in Milwaukee because of course, you need something to accompany the beer you get from any one of the famous breweries. If you have never experienced a Gastro-pub before, Milwaukee is the place to try it as well. But Milwaukee has a large variety of types of restaurants as well. “There are a lot of farm-to-table restaurants here, where chefs go out and get food from local farmers,” Denissen said. Popular restaurants in Milwaukee include La Merenda, Odd Duck, and Wolf Peach.
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