On Friday, September 30th, we’re returning with Kara Mulrooney, an independent filmmaker, commercial producer and production designer. From her experience behind the lens, in front of it and in setting up the scene, she knows about the magic of film from all angles. She also co-founded, alongside filmmaker Susan Kerns, Gal Friday Films and FILM FURIES, both meant to increase and support the number of women working “above the line” in Film. Below we caught up with Kara to get to know her better. 


Photo by Tate Bunker

1. What do you typically eat for breakfast? Within ten minutes of waking I eat a bowl of Kashi cereal, followed by an hour or two of coffee and water, then an omelet with spinach, tomatoes, and onions, topped with sharp cheddar cheese and veggie bacon on the side. 

2. What do people know you for? You may remember me from such films as “An Evening at Angelo’s” or “jazzy@32 (a true story)” or other of my short, high-spirited docs. But I also love doing on-camera work and recently had the opportunity to play a title role in an independent paranormal film, working title “Depth of Field.” I love my day job as a commercial producer where I get to work with a variety of Milwaukee’s creative pro’s, and I moonlight as an instructor in UW-Milwaukee’s Film Dept. – the class I teach is called “Design for Film: Speaking with Things and Stuff.” And I’m a proud member and co-founder of the FILM FURIES, a local gang of gals who make films and/or work behind camera in the film industry. 

3. How is Milwaukee special to you? The robust and generous artistic and independent filmmaking communities are truly special. Also, the vegetarian food, Lake Michigan, and the high number of haltingly unique spaces and micro-cultures (like Angelo’s Piano Lounge.) 

4. What may people not know about you? I love roller skating, and I’m pregnant – two unfortunately incompatible things. 

5. What drives your creativity? Giddiness. Unbridled excitement. If I see something or someone inspiring or get a funny idea in the shower, I can feel the electricity in my brain partying – it can be quite a high. The trick, of course, is pursuing that moment, keeping some piece of that initial sparkle with you as you slug through every phase of making. I find the act of editing to be especially difficult, because of the infinite number of combinations but also all the sitting, so occasionally reminding myself of those first magical moments is important. 

6. What are you going to talk to us about this month? (Cues The Final Countdown): Magic! Film sets are frequently referred to as being “where the magic happens,” so we’ll look at how magic is conjured and concocted in film but also art in general. There won’t be doves or bunnies, but there may be spells and a couple of other surprises…

Ticket registration for “Magic” opens here Monday, September 26th at 11AM CST. Grab a ticket as fast as you can they are free but limited!