Filmmaker Bios

Johnathon Olsen

dir. “waltz,” “sleep in it,” 

Johnathon has been writing and directing films for over five years. His first film with self destructive, waltz, screened at the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival.  Currently he is co-writing a script with Zach Erdmann about the abolitionist John Brown that will begin shooting next summer as well as slowly pulling together a quasi-documentary continuation of the project previously known as sleep in it.  Some of his artistic obsessions include Joan Didion, Leonard Cohen, Andy Warhol, and Contemplative Cinema.

Kurt Raether

dir. “Documenting Westphal,” “Astrovan Music Video” 

Kurt recently graduated the Unvierstiy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BFA in filmmaking. He is the primary producer of the group, producing both waltz and sleep in it. His short film Documenting Westphal will be screened in the 2011 Milwaukee Film Festival. He plays in Milwaukee band The Fatty Acids, and enjoys the work of Werner Herzog, Robert Altman, and Terrence Malick. He currently resides in Milwaukee. 

Justin Christopher Ayd

dir. “NICOTINE” 

Justin has wanted to make films since he was six years old. He completed a film, television and radio program at Boston University in the summer of 2001, briefly attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design before dropping out and in 2003 won a Student Emmy for a three minute documentary teaser called “War – High School Reflections”. He is influenced by the work of Jean-Pierre Melville, Robert Altman, Clint Eastwood and Terrence Malick. He is currently the Assistant Head Projectionist at the Willow Creek 12 in Plymouth, MN.

Zachary Erdmann

dir. “Still,” 

Zach Erdmann is a Senior BFA Film student at UW-Milwaukee. He is in the process of shooting both his Senior Thesis and another experimental short. He is influenced by the work of Wong Kar-wai, Ross McElwee, Bill Brown, Vincent Gallo, and John Cassavetes. In his free time, he writes poetry and is an avid cook.

Andrew Megow

dir. “Sea of Space”

Andrew Megow was born in 1989 and is a filmmaker originally from Poynette Wisconsin. For the last five years he’s made short independent films focusing mainly on personal experiences or the people around him. He currently lives in Milwaukee and is an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee scheduled to graduate in May of 2012. Here, he has also helped out on several other projects produced by self destructive films. For the last two years, Megow has begun moving towards animation as a medium of choice. An animated short is planned to be released in early June of 2012.

Besides his film work, he is the creator of the comic Primal Urges, which has been published since 2008. He also can lift 100 lbs right over his head…… And is pretty much a stud.

Andrew Tolstedt

dir. “Leveling”

Andrew studies film and philosophy at UW Milwaukee.  He’s interested in power, reality, time, being, flesh, robots, emotion, experience, and love.  He likes to work quickly with handheld cameras, almost lightless, and with small, intimate crews.  His first work under Self Destructive Films, “leveling”, is nearing completion, and he is preparing for his next shoot “Funny Valentine” in April 2012.

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