[Creator Corner]

Bill Rebane and His Shooting Ranch

Gleason, Wisconsin has a population of roughly 200 people and growing up, I was one of them. It’s a town where the family farm still struggles to survive and you have to make the 15-mile trip into the “city” for groceries and school. In short, it’s not an area people generally move to. But a man did move there, and of all things, he started a movie studio. To a kid, that was huge.

I didn’t know Bill Rebane, and his filming days in Gleason were over by the time I was old enough to really watch his movies, but knowing that they were made in my hometown gave me hope. Hope that I could make movies and still live in the woods near the people I love.

I grew up, left for college, got involved with a small video company making commercials, music videos, shorts, and documentaries. That company fell apart and I missed home so I moved back after being gone for 15 years and started working for the local historical society. This job gives me the opportunity to research and document the great history of the area, and what I really want to do is write a book about Bill Rebane’s Shooting Ranch.

It would be a history of films shot there, both Bill’s and others (Ulli Lommel’s Devonsville Terror for example). I’d like to interview anyone that was involved in filming these Wisconsin-made films. Bill Rebane has been gracious enough to allow me to go through his old files, but if you or someone you know was involved in Gleason, Wisconsin’s short relationship with Hollywood, please get in contact with me.

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