Roughly four years ago, I finished a documentary about the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act. About that same time I met Ted Goeden and was captivated by his storytelling.
Ted was playing tuba in a small combo at Bull Falls Brewery in Wausa
u, Wisconsin the night we met. In between numbers he would tell jokes and share highlights from his musical career.
Now an octogenarian (translation: he is in his 80s), he began playing tuba professionally when he was just 15 years old. Ted’s love of music is apparent, and his love for life infectious. He also reminded me of my dad, who was a first-generation Swiss-American. Ted is 100% German. They re of similar stature and neither met a stranger, just friends they didn’t know yet.
After a couple of pints of Bull Falls beer, I decided that Ted would make an excellent documentary subject. He was charming, entertaining, had rich life experiences and had a joyful message to share. My husband and friends agreed. My husband even convinced me that we should pay for the production ourselves. He was all in favor of me doing something on a “happier” subject than most of the social issue projects I’d been doing up to that point.
It took me over a year to call him to Ted to ask if he’d be interested in sharing his story on film. We met over potato pancakes at The Mint Restaurant in downtown Wausau, and we’ve been talking ever since. We later filmed interviews with him at Wausau Band Instrument Repair, a business he owns – and operates - with Brian Seehafer.
I was fortunate to work with amazing cinematographers and editors on this project: Colleen Parquette of Shadow Collaborative; Brian Alberth of Left Effect Media; and Don Byrne, The Post House.
We are still working on our trailer, but have our first showing at Bull Falls Brewery since it was there that the idea for the documentary was hatched. We’re also submitting to several film festivals and hope to arrange additional showings
and/or airing wherever we are welcome.
I hope to see you at a showing sometime soon.