Brad Lichtenstein is an award-winning filmmaker in Milwaukee who has been making documentaries since 1998!
What’s still ahead for him?
He sat down with Libby Collins on this week’s episode of WTMJ Conversations.
Listen in the player above.
A portion of the conversation was transcribed below, courtesy of eCourt Reporters, Inc.
LIBBY COLLINS: I have to ask you, I would say the majority of your films have to do with people in Wisconsin, is it because you live here or are we just more interesting?
BRAD LICHTENSTEIN: It’s probably a little bit of both. You know, I was living in New York City and making films, and when I moved here, I realized pretty quickly that, you know, a great advantage of being — as maybe New Yorkers would call it, the rest of America, the great advantage of being here is that I could gain peoples’ trust and tell stories from here. And they — you know, the trick is to make sure that they were told in a way that would — you know, would guarantee national interest. And that was very important as I pitched things to networks and funders and so forth. But it was — it’s not by accident. It’s — you know, I have access to people here. There are lots of stories to tell from Wisconsin and the Midwest. And, you know, we remain a really interesting state when it comes to politics. So, there’s been really no shortage of ways to do it.
And, also, it’s a practical issue. I mean, my kids now are almost all grown. My youngest is having his senior year at Shorewood High School and my oldest is at college at USC, but, you know, for many years, I wanted to also be able to stay close to home and help raise the children and be here. So, part of it too was picking stories that didn’t require that I be gone. I’m still gone a lot, but not be gone as much as I would be if I had lived in New York and was telling a story of Wisconsin.
LIBBY COLLINS: As you look at the films you’ve created, which one are you proudest of?
BRAD LICHTENSTEIN: Oh, gosh, that’s a totally unfair question. Honestly, like, I think that I enjoy the process of making films maybe even more than seeing the released films. And they’re all, you know, special in terms of the process, so I can’t really pick a favorite.
LIBBY COLLINS: Is there a subject that you’ve really wanted to do a film about that you haven’t had the opportunity, or it just hasn’t come together for you yet?
BRAD LICHTENSTEIN: There’s endless subjects I want to do films about. You know, I just turned 54 this week, and I figure I got a little time left to keep trying to do this crazy filmmaking thing. So, there’s lots and lots I still want to do.
One thing that I’m really interested in because I — to me, it’s like magic, is music. My whole family, except for me, can play instruments and carry a tune. And to me, it just looks like, you know, witches’ brew. So, I’m totally fascinated, and I cry so easily at music. So, I’m — I can’t announce what it is exactly, but I’m about to embark on a music doc, and I’m really excited about that. And also, it’s a nice break, because so much of my films are about, you know, super-serious subjects and, you know, American’s democracy, which is, you know, quite challenged and has been for a long time. So, this is a chance to, you know, do something a little different