Getting to be a film director is a long winding road, but Brady Palubiski of Grafton is on his way with a movie to be shown at the Rivoli Theater next week
When Brady Palubiski told his family and friends he was going to college in Los Angeles to become a movie director, he got a lot of funny looks.
“A lot of people said ‘OK, good luck, have fun with that,’” the 20-year-old Grafton resident said. “I think people are now starting to see it’s more realistic than they thought.”
Palubiski, a 2013 Grafton High School graduate who will be a junior film and TV production major at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles this fall, is putting the finishing touches on his third feature film titled “Three Months Time.”
The 1-1/2 hour movie, which tells the story of how his parents Scott and Kristal Meins Palubiski met, will be shown at The Rivoli in Cedarburg at 9:30 p.m. July 10 and 11.
Like his first two feature films, Palubiski, who uses the name Brady Scott as a director, did most of the work to make the film come to life.
The movie, which was filmed primarily in Grafton and Cedarburg, starring Sam (Palubiski) and Andi (Taylor Gall), is a small-town romance story that “isn’t anything extraordinary, but is completely relatable,” Palubiski said.
“I took some of their events and turned it into a Hollywood movie with character flaws and added some drama, but at its core, it’s about how they met,” he said.
Scott is a 1990 Grafton High School graduate, while Kristal graduated from Port Washington High School the same year.
A crucial scene depicts Sam with a Wyoming Tech cutoff shirt and Army cargo shorts that Palubiski’s dad wore when he first met his future wife.
“For whatever reason, my dad still has that outfit, so I got to wear it in the movie,” Palubiski said.
His film aspirations date to his youth when his parents showed him movies and his dad liked making home videos.
In fifth grade, Palubiski made his first movie.
“From that moment on I said ‘This is really fun,’ but I didn’t think it would really go anywhere,” he said.
Palubiski kept making small movies with his friends through middle school and in high school. He made two feature films titled “Time Tracks” and “Horizon.”
“After the first feature I made, that was the moment where I’m like ‘I want to do this for a living,’” Palubiski said.
“People came up to me after the second movie and said it was really good and I said, ‘This is terrible. I’m going to make something better.’”
Palubiski filmed “Three Months Time” last summer and spent the last school year editing it, while also working on the set of “The Hollywood Masters,” an interview series with Hollywood stars moderated by Hollywood Reporter executive editor Stephen Galloway. The show is filmed at Loyola Marymount.
While working as an assistant on set, Palubiski got to meet stars like Sean Penn and Clint Eastwood.
“I talked to Sean Penn about my sister who has special needs because he played a special needs character in ‘I Am Sam,’” Palubiski said.
“Clint Eastwood is the coolest dude ever. After the show was done, I got to shake his hand and it’s just crazy to think this is where I’ve gotten already. From making small, horrible movies with my buddies to shaking hands with Clint Eastwood.”
As an aspiring director, Palubiski is naturally inspired by the work of Steven Spielberg.
His first two movies were based on ordinary people who go on an adventure, much like Indiana Jones and other films that have made Spielberg famous.
Palubiski is also influenced by John Hughes, who directed “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Palubiski’s latest film is a homage to Hughes.
“A lot of my friends are probably thinking the movie will be like the first two, but directing a romantic comedy was a step out of my comfort zone,” Palubiski said.
His father Scott is looking forward to seeing how the movie comes together.
“I hope he does a good job of portraying my wife and I, but I know he will because he’s always striving to get better,” Scott Palubiski said.
One of the more remarkable things about “Three Months Time” is its budget. All of the music is from Indie artists from Los Angeles and Milwaukee who let Palubiski use their songs for free.
The camera equipment was donated by the stepfather of executive producer Dan Stadnicki.
A Ford Thunderbird in one of the scenes was loaned by a friend of the Palubiski family. A vintage Dodge Charger in another scene is his father’s.
“I think I spent maybe $100 on the whole thing. Pizza for the actors, red cups for one of the scenes and ice cream after one of the days of shooting,” he said.
“The best part is you won’t be able to tell by looking at it. It looks like a real movie.”
Not having professional actors for the movie proved challenging, Palubiski said.
“Taylor (Gall) had to work and do other things last summer, and I didn’t want to take up all of her time,” Palubiski said. “There were days when I wasn’t the most pleasant person to work with. I owe her a lot.”
He plans to continue tweaking the movie after the showings and submit it to film festivals around the country.
“I’m sure people will come up to me and tell me things I didn’t see like the sound being off during a scene or something like that,” he said. “Getting it to the Milwaukee Film Festival or, obviously, Sundance is the dream.”
Using his laptop and Adobe programs like Premier Pro and After Effects, he spends countless hours making sure everything looks just right.
When he goes back to Los Angeles in August, Palubiski hopes to spend the year preparing for an internship at one of the hundreds of studios in Hollywood.
Learning from teachers who themselves work on the scenes of movies and TV shows has been rewarding, Palubiski said.
Loyola Marymount is ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as the eighth-best film school in the country, but Palubiski is competing with students at the University of Southern California (No. 1), the University of California Los Angeles (No. 3) and the American Film Institute (No. 4) for jobs.
He’s already learned that while it’s not easy, there are jobs in Hollywood.
“The goal of being a famous director and having people know your name is probably unrealistic,” Palubiski said. “What’s more realistic is to get a job editing, working on sound, color correcting or directing lower-budget movies.
“You might not be famous, but you’re getting work.”
Like most other professions, it’s not always about what you know, but who you know.
“If you’re likable enough during an internship, you get noticed and maybe the editor will ask you to work on another movie or TV show and then you meet a director and it goes from there,” he said.
If that doesn’t work, he said he’ll drop his resume off at Warner Bros. or Sony and hope to get noticed that way.
While Palubiski enjoys directing, editing and sound proofing, the best part about the movies he makes is the end.
“When you’re sitting there with a bunch of people watching it and they’re laughing at the parts they’re supposed to laugh at and they come up and shake your hand after, it’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Palubiski said.
Image information: THE RIVOLI in Cedarburg on July 10 and 11 will host the premiere of “Three Months Time,” a full-length feature film directed by 20-year-old Grafton resident Brady Palubiski. Photo by Sam Arendt