Locally produced film ‘Bros. 2' has premiere at Cedar Falls theater

posted on Monday, May 7, 2018 in  College News

CEDAR FALLS — Writer and producer Don Tjernagel and his film crew were back in action Wednesday night for another sold-out premiere, this time for “Bros. 2,” their second feature film.

“Overall I think people are going to see drastic improvement over the first one,” said Matt Lee Ingebritson, who is a main character in both movies and helped write the script.

The R-rated comedy made its way to the big screen just five months after the release of the first film, “Bros.,” which was distributed across the country and internationally. “Bros.” won the Accolade Competition in California in the feature film category.

The success led another investor to offer funding to make a sequel using the same main cast and crew.

“The crew knew what they were doing, so this one was so much more fun,” Tjernagel said.

He credits the digital mass media program at Hawkeye Community College for much of his success.

Dan Nierling, senior faculty of the digital mass media program, was thrilled to see his students taking on professional roles locally. He also has a small part in the movie.

“It’s good to see them taking the initiative to do this,” Nierling said. “You see leadership qualities come out that you didn’t see before.”

Cinematographer and producer Christian Stow, a graduate of the digital mass media program, said better equipment, including cameras and microphones, improved the quality and efficiency of the film.

“We learned a lot in terms of how to do it quicker,” Stow said. “These are actual businesses (where they filmed in Waterloo), so we don’t want to be there for hours and hours,” he said.

Monica Burt, who appears in several scenes, calls the process “guerilla filmmaking.”

“It’s not the traditional Hollywood setup with three cameras and lights and all that. We try to keep it fast and light and fun,” she said.

Local standup comedian Peter Schares saw the first feature film and was eager to get involved. He auditioned with his own monologue and was hired right away.

“I’m used to being able to tilt my bit to fit the audience, but now it’s all done and recorded ... and I can’t mess with it anymore,” he said.

Tjernagel said a scene filmed at Young Arena during a Waterloo Black Hawks hockey game was one he’ll never forget.

“That is one of my proudest moments ever. I could watch it over and over,” he said.

What’s next for the Donzilla Inc. crew is anyone’s guess.

“I think the next project is going to be something nobody expects, and I think it’s going to be really good,” actor Tanner Bollinger said.

Tjernagel said one can expect more movies based in the Cedar Valley.

“Let’s get out of the bars. Let’s do closed sets. Let’s give people a taste of what we can really do,” Ingebritson said.

By Kristin Guess, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

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