Milwaukee is an iconic city in the state of Wisconsin with plenty of attractions to keep any visitor busy. Blessed with a convenient lakefront location, Milwaukee is beloved for its diverse offerings, which range from arts and culture to recreational activities.
When it comes to production and content creation, Milwaukee’s capabilities are impressive: the theater district hosts much popular music, comedy, and other performing arts; an innovative film industry has sprung from the local colleges and universities, and even more media-savvy residents breed creativity every day.
The relevance of these production spaces can’t be overlooked — without them, Milwaukee would not be the unique hub for collaboration it has become famous for. What's even more interesting is that the iconic song “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” was written by a Milwaukee native! If this tidbit of information doesn’t entice you to explore this great city, there is undeniably much more awaiting your discovery.
Production Space Options in Milwaukee
Lighting is a critical element when working on any type of production, whether stage or screen. When it comes to lighting, the goal is to create the perfect mood or atmosphere that evokes certain emotions in the audience. Milwaukee's lighting experts can help you with the technical know-how and equipment to illuminate your chosen production space.
In terms of production equipment, Milwaukee’s film rental companies stock everything from cameras to lighting gear. Several of these businesses also offer technical consultation services as well as technicals to handle the equipment.
- Photographers and Videographers
Whether yours is a stage production or a video shoot, you will need the services of professional photographers and videographers in Milwaukee. Both professionals document your project, and the only difference is one results in still images while the other presents motion pictures.
Production Vendors in Milwaukee
- Plum Media
Plum focuses on creating experiences that make your audience think, feel, and act. The team has a wealth of creativity and broadcast/film experience, equipping them to produce engaging videos and live events.
- Studio Gear
When you're putting on an event, a lot is riding on it. You want everything to go off without a hitch, and that means having quality equipment that you can rely on. That's where Studio Gear comes in and provides everything your project needs, from audio/visual equipment to lighting equipment rentals gear.
- Midwest Party and Props
For over three decades, Midwest Party and Props have been enlivening Milwaukee celebrations, with their locally-sourced props and statues. Artists in the community create each piece by hand, ensuring a one-of-a-kind event. Design services are available for dance recitals, proms, birthdays, weddings, corporate functions, and more.
Pros and Cons of Productions in Milwaukee
With the growth of content creation in Milwaukee, the city has seen an increase in filming spaces being built to accommodate these productions. While production spaces come with a number of advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks that should be considered before investing in one of these projects. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons of having a production space in Milwaukee.
- Milwaukee is an ideal place for film and media production due to its close proximity to major cities like Chicago and Madison while still providing a low cost of living.
- Production spaces provide ample space for sets, equipment, and crew, making it easier to manage multiple projects at once without overcrowding or overspending on expensive studio space.
- The variety of locations within Milwaukee allows for a wide range of settings from urban areas to rural locales that can be used to create unique stories ranging from comedies to thrillers.
- Milwaukee is incredibly supportive when it comes to film and media productions with local organizations providing resources such as access to equipment, production assistance, education workshops, networking opportunities, tax credits for those producing locally, and more.
- Most popular locations have limited parking or none at all, making it difficult to accommodate larger crews or multiple vehicles.
- Wisconsin’s unpredictable weather can be an issue when scheduling shoots since rain or snow can often interfere with plans during certain months of the year.
- Many public places such as churches have restrictions on sound levels due to their proximity to residential areas – this means that filmmakers risk facing additional fines and penalties.
- Nighttime shooting permits can be hard to come by in Milwaukee due to noise ordinances.
Tips on How to Organize Productions in Milwaukee
Organizing a production space can be a laborious task. With proper planning, getting a filming space in Milwaukee up and running becomes a much easier process. Here are several tips on how to prepare your space for video production.
- Survey the property: Before setting up anything, take the time to survey the property you will be using as a production space in Milwaukee. Make sure that it is large enough and has all of the necessary amenities such as access to power, internet, bathrooms, etc. This will help save time and money later on when setting up your productions.
- Organize crew and equipment lists: Have a list ready of all staff involved in the production as well as what type of equipment will be needed so that it can be easily accessible upon arrival at the space. This way everyone will know exactly what is going on and what needs to be done without any delays or confusion.
- Secure safety measures: Prioritize safety by installing proper fire exits and other safety measures such as smoke detectors, first aid kits, etc., especially if there are multiple people working at once within the space. This is an important step that should not be overlooked when preparing a production space in Milwaukee.
- Communicate with neighbors/residents: If your chosen location is near residential areas or businesses, then it’s always good practice to inform them about your plans ahead of time so they won’t feel blindsided when you arrive with crews and large pieces of equipment. Additionally, this lets them know that their neighborhood won’t suddenly become overrun by loud noises or activity throughout filming days which can help minimize disruptions during shoots.
Famous Locations in Milwaukee
- Milwaukee Pierhead Light
The Milwaukee Pierhead Light is an antique lighthouse dating back to 1872. Located on the Milwaukee River, near where it meets Lake Michigan, ship captains traveling on the lake used the lighthouse as a navigation guide. Formerly manned by humans, solar panels power the Pierhead Light and it operates without intervention. Unfortunately, the tower itself is not open to visitors, but from the pier, you can get a great view of the Breakwater Lighthouse.
- Milwaukee City Hall
Milwaukee City Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city, thanks to its unique design and its location in the heart of downtown. Despite being surrounded by taller and more modern buildings, it continues to be an important part of the city's skyline. It is one of the world's tallest 19th-century skyscrapers, standing at 393 feet tall and featuring a Flemish and German Renaissance Revival style. Upon its completion, the building stood as the United States' tallest habitable structure. Tours of this world-famous edifice are free to the public and include access to the bell tower as well as views of its stunning interior.
- Milwaukee County Zoo
The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of America's premier animal sanctuaries, housing over 1,800 different animal species. Permanent residents include polar bears, gorillas, and cheetahs - just to name a few! The zoo spans an impressive 200 acres and offers educational programs for all ages as well as seasonal events. The pygmy chimpanzees or bonobos are one of the most popular attractions at the zoo. The animal petting area is another popular attraction, especially for youngsters!