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Interest in the Film Industry Evident in Iowa - 10.23.2008

Dubuque County, Iowa —On October 21, 2008 two separate workshops were held concerning the film industry in the local Dubuque area.

The first was held at the Grand River Center and focused on the State of Iowa’s Tax Credit Incentives for Film, Television and Video Projects. Tom Wheeler, Manager of the Iowa Film Office gave the presentation to a group of interested accountants, investors, artists and lawyers. Many were from the Dubuque County area; some were from the Quad Cities; and some from the West Coast. Wheeler was able to engage the audience in a highly participatory and informational question and answer discussion after his presentation.

The second workshop took place at Mindframe Theater. That workshop focused on independent filmmaking and was led by Kelley Baker, also known as The Angry Filmmaker. Baker provided the audience with several insights and antidotes into filmmaking both in Hollywood and as an independent filmmaker. Baker’s audience consisted of students, professors, industry insiders, and those interested in filmmaking for a potential profession. Stories of Sean Connery and Matt Damon were interspersed with practical applications for how to create a filming schedule and how not to “mortgage your future” to make your film.

Before Baker’s workshop began, Suzie Wright shared with the audience a proposal for the formation of a local filmmakers’ organization. The impetus to start such a group formed during meetings between Joe Scherrman from DreamCatcher Production LLC, Wright of BallyHoo Creative Designs, and independent theater owners, Grant Grudzina, Jeremy Wainwright and Steve Thompson from Mindframe Theaters.

Tentatively the organizers have proposed that the group be called the Northeast Iowa Filmmakers' Guild. The purpose would be to serve as a way for professional and amateur filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, technicians, cinematographers, etc. to network with each other and work collaboratively to make films in the Northeast Iowa Region.

Individuals with interest in the various aspects of filmmaking are encouraged to meet on November 15, 2008 at Mindframe Theaters at 10:00 for the first formational meeting. All organizational suggestions will be eagerly sought as the group feels that collective input is essential to the creation and sustaining viability of the guild. Wright stated, “At this point, it is the concept we are committed to not the purpose statement or even the name. We just wanted a launching point.”

Please send an e-mail to if you have any suggestions, questions or would like to receive updates on the guild via e-mail. Please contact Suzie Wright at 563.584.0500 x162 if you would like more information or to schedule an interview with the organizers. Photos and film footage of the events are also available.

Sponsors DreamCatcher Community Foundation Low and Inside Metro Studios Case IH