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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


People of UW: Badger Film Group president discusses passion for film

Stories of students: Read about students making a difference on campus
The Badger Herald

Editor’s note: People of UW is a human interest series produced by Badger Herald staff members. The series aims to highlight a student or student group at the University of Wisconsin making an impact on the campus community. These Q&As are lightly edited for clarity and style.

Where are you from? What are you studying?

My name is Jared Rosenthal. I’m from the Chicago suburbs and I’m studying Communication Arts on the Film, TV, Radio track.

What is the Badger Film Group? 


The Badger Film Group is a student film group on campus that makes movies, skits, short films, feature films, documentaries. Pretty much any type of videography, we do it.

Why is the Badger Film Group important to the Madison community?

It’s really the only place where people have creative freedom here to make really, whatever sort of cause that they want. It serves as a safe space for students to create and collaborate and really just have fun.

What’s your role? 

I’m the founder and president. I started BFG two years ago and I’ve been in charge ever since. I run the show.

How did you get into film? 

Originally I wanted to do sports broadcasting. In high school, I was pretty familiar with cameras and editing softwares and the “techy” things and when I got to school here, I just carried on with that “techy,” camera, film, videography passion. I just dove into the narrative filmmaking side and I never looked back.

Can you describe the process? 

What will happen is, either I’ll have an idea or someone in the group will have an idea. I’ll facilitate and then put people in different roles. I’ll give someone the role of being the writer, I’ll give someone else the director role, give someone else a producer role and then everyone fulfills the tasks that they need to. So primarily for me, I usually direct or produce, so I gravitate toward those roles. But there’s some people that are more geared toward lighting or sound or costume design. So, we have people all over the place. We make films all over the country. We did something in New Orleans in the fall and then we do our skits which happens on campus. I don’t know a place we haven’t filmed. 

What’s your most recent work? 

We’ve been doing those skits that you probably have seen on Badger Barstool a lot. Those have been our most recent projects. The last one we did, we released it in December, but the last film that we shot, we shot in November. 

How many films does BFG produce a year?

 [The number] really depends. It’s more like on a semester basis, usually we’ll do about three to four.

Where does the Badger Film Group do showings?

So it really depends on the content. If it’s a film, we’ll usually have a premiere for it and reserve a theater, or we’ll do a showing at someone’s apartment. It depends on the length of the film, what the film is about, and how many people were working on it. So there’s a lot of factors. Depending on who’s involved, that’ll determine where we show it. But sometimes we just throw it on Instagram, some stuff we put on Facebook, but it really depends on what we’re making.

What would you like readers and viewers to know?

I would let it be known that the university hasn’t helped us in any way, shape or form. It’s all independent students here who really just want to get after it. This initiative comes from the heart and is not school-driven. No one is pushing us or paying us to do anything. We are just a very passionate group of students who want to experience and collaborate with each other because we know there’s a lot of talent here and a lot of stories to be told. So, it all comes from within. We’re an inclusive group and we’re always open to having more members. This has been a process of recruiting constantly, you know, through social media or in classes talking about it, and making it a point to show people that anything is possible. That we can create whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want and we don’t need to be graded. And we don’t need have rules. 

What’s your favorite movie?

I’m most inspired by “La La Land,” but my favorite movie for the sake of entertainment is probably “Wedding Crashers.” “La La Land” was the movie that inspired me to start making films. I just loved the message: dream chasing and romance. And also just the production design and the choreography was incredible. The music was beautiful too. So, I really feel like that movie was the essence of a film. It had ups and downs, it tears at your heart, but also makes you feel good and makes you feel sad, but your emotions are everywhere and you really feel for the characters.

What do you want to do when you graduate/what’s next?  

I’m going to move out to L.A. in May and I want to continue doing what I’m doing but get paid for it. It’s definitely one of the most difficult industries, but if anyone’s gonna make it, it’s gonna be me. Also, there’s no true film program here at UW. That’s the thing. So, personally, the goal for me later down the line is to create a real film school here. I would love to eventually get a bunch of alumni and filmmakers together throughout Wisconsin, and create a film program here, because it’s really necessary. There are a lot of people who have stories that need to be told, and they don’t know where to go. So I think it’s a really awesome thing with what we’re doing and I think it would be even better if the school focused more on the arts. To really make it a point to have a place where there was a lot of funding and the ability for students to do this in a really, professional environment where we’re learning from professors who have been in the industry and have that hands on experience and maybe a few accolades to their name.

There’s some production classes here and a few film history classes, but it’s nothing for the diehards like me. So that’s why that’s why I go to all these like film festivals and I started my own film festival here. And that’s why I do what I do. Because I’m not getting that experience from class, I’m getting it because of my personal drive and, and just nonstop commitment to wanting to learn about film and be immersed in that culture. 

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