Director’s Cut: Michael Neelsen & “Last Day at Lambeau”
May 12, 2016 Leave a Comment
Look alive Packer fans! This week on Director’s Cut, I had the pleasure of interviewing director Michael Neelsen about his documentary Last Day at Lambeau. This is a fascinating look at the last days of Brett Favre’s career with the Green Bay Packers. Although the bridge between Favre and the Packer organization has recently been rebuilt, Last Day takes us back to when the unthinkable happened: Favre left the Packers and to make things worse, eventually donned a Minnesota Vikings uniform!
Neelsen does an excellent job of telling the story from a fan perspective as well as the Wisconsin media perspective. He is even able to tell the viewer, despite the organization’s reluctance to be interviewed, what was happening in the offices at Lambeau Field. And that is no easy task, as the Packers – like most teams – do everything in their power to keep issues like this private to protect their brand. What is so interesting to me about this film is that I had my own opinion about the Favre retirement situation when it unfolded, but Neelsen does such a nice job with his interviews that by the end of the film you can see both sides.
A filmmaker now for over ten years, Neelsen has worked in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Austin and now calls Madison his home. He prefers Madison and has carved out a nice niche working side by side with his father, Dave, as his business/producing partner. Neelsen seems to enjoy all aspects of the filmmaking process, from shooting to editing and his day gig is shooting commercials. Not only is Wisconsin home to Michael, he has managed to find another great subject for a documentary here in the state and right in the same town as his beloved Packers. His next film, Beyond Human Nature, is about a murder that happened years ago in Green Bay. We will stand by for this next effort but in the meantime, please tune in this Saturday night at 10 p.m. to see my interview with this talented filmmaker as we discuss Last Day at Lambeau on Wisconsin Public Television, your home for independent film!