Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013

Carnival of Film

Balloonatic premiers at Miramar

By David Luhrssen
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  “Could a mixed bag of theater actors and vaudeville performers be taken from their respective stages and put together in front of a camera?” asks Milwaukee filmmaker Josh Bryan. His answer is Balloonatic, a short film having its premiere, Oct. 14, 8 p.m. at the Miramar Theatre, 2844 N. Oakland Ave.

 The venue was entirely appropriate, since the Miramar is home to Deadmans Carnival, the vaudeville variety show that has drawn attention here in Milwaukee. The multi-talented Bryan (he also walks on stilts and spins fire) has performed with and done tech work for the Carnival, but they are only one facet of Balloonatic. The film features several Milwaukee performers, including Gypsy Geof as well as Clayton Hamburg, Michael Trynor and Brian Miracle, who have appeared with Alchemist, Optimist and Carte Blanche theaters.

 “The film is not a documentary or a compilation of standalone performances, but an attempt to integrate the strengths of various stage entertainers into a fictional film narrative,” Bryan explains. Balloonatic dips the viewer into a darkly comic world of clowns not too unlike our own.”

 Local musician Anna Brinck composed the score, accompanied by “a plethora of custom sound effects and folly recorded for the soundscape,” Bryan adds. The director hopes to use Balloonatic as part of a campaign to raise money for a feature film, building from the bones of this short subject.

 Doors open at the Miramar at 7:30 p.m. A Q&A will follow after the screening at 8:30 p.m.

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