It Came Back From Lake Michigan – By Brian Morton

 After a really great first festival, it was my pleasure to return to Wisconsin for the second annual It Came From Lake Michigan film festival. If you weren’t in West Allis, Wisconsin from October 26th thru the 28th then you missed all the fun, and I figured that I would take this opportunity to rub it in…just a little!

I arrived on Friday morning, first thing and found myself surrounded by familiar faces that I hadn’t seen in a year, it was a kind of Rogue Cinema homecoming, everyone was happy to see me and it was nice to see Wayne Clingman and William Zenobia, neither of whom stood still for the three days of the fest! It was great to see Kelly Marcott from Rusty Robot Productions , who were there showing previews of their cool new doc, Into The Pit: The Shocking Story Of Deadpit.com, which should be out next year and looks to be a great movie about Deadpit.com, a cool internet horror radio show.

I also got to catch up with fellow Rogue Reviewers Duane Martin (Rogue Cinema’s fearless leader) and Nic Brown, and we even had a very fun roundtable discussion group about movie reviewing, our take on movies and what we look for when we review movies. If you didn’t have a chance to check this out, or the other class that Duane conducted alone, then you really missed something! Duane takes his reviewing seriously and has a ton on interesting insights and views on the topic, and here all this time I thought I was just watching movies and telling people about them, turns out I actually have a talent…who knew!

I also had the chance to meet Debora Roventini and her husband Rob Robinson, with Stunt Kitty Films, and, while we didn’t get the chance to see their movie, Attack Of The Baby Doll (due to technical difficulties beyond anyone’s control), it was still great to meet them, talk about movies and ‘the good old days’. And, I don’t want to forget the crew from Switch Blade Studios, who were there with their new movie, Psycho Ward, a great horror movie that is sure to be a big hit!

I also saw a couple of other movies that were really great, Uwe Boll’s new comedy, Postal, and a great horror movie, Brain Dead, both were big hits with fest crowds. All in all, I think this year’s fest was much better than last years, and last years was great. Having the event in one location, instead of multiple sites made it easier to see more in one day, and the site was super! I have to give kudos to Wayne and William for all the hard work they put into the fest, I think it paid off, everyone I talked to was having fun and planned to attend next year.

The final thought on It Came From Lake Michigan is that it’s a bit different than other film festivals, with it’s focus on getting film makers together under one roof for fun and some film talk, it’s more focused on how to get things done, rather than just showing off your movie. The filmmakers are accessible and ready to answer questions at any time and there’s a feeling of camaraderie that I haven’t felt at any other fest. It’s a great time and I’m hoping that next year is just as good! If I were you, I’d make my plans soon for next year…I know I am.