The Shooting Ranch Studios Story

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Established in the mid-1960s, Bill Rebane’s Shooting Ranch Studios of Gleason, Wisconsin serviced the image, documentary and advertising film needs of national, corporate and institutional clients for over two decades while becoming the one and only full-time feature film production studio in the midwestern United States. The “Under One Roof” Concept Studio, modeled after its sister operation near Hamburg, Germany — Studio Film Bendestorf — churned out an entire string of feature films throughout the l970s and l980s… while expanding the studio backlot to over 200 acres. With guidance from his German partner Peter Fink, Bill Rebane believed that, in order to produce low budget feature films economically and with good production values, a producer needed control over every single aspect of production. The Shooting Ranch Studios even exceeded that basic Rebane requirement by incorporating a state-of-the-art post-production and recording studio and providing all the amenities for actors, production staffs and crew, including deluxe guest suites, a full service bar, restaurant and a supper club. Nothing short of a film laboratory was missing at the Shooting Ranch Studios. This little midwestern production empire finally closed its door as a result of Mr. Rebane’s serious illness and the demise of J. Arthur Elliot, a close friend and the last president of studio operation in the early l990s. The creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit, together with new digital technology and the essential studio lighting equipment, live with Mr. Rebane’s Shooting Ranch Studios near Saxon, Wisconsin with a slate of documentary and feature film in the works. The Shooting Ranch Studios and its history truly give meaning to those commonly used movie terms “independent filmmaking” and “maverick filmmaking”.

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