Runaway Pen Productions 

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Runaway Pen Releases New Film

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

On July 28, "Playing with Ice," the latest co-production of Runaway Pen and Stories by the River, was released through the Stories by the River website. The film, which focuses on the story of a young gay woman's search for a new life after being rejected by her family, has been met with enthusiastic responses from audiences at both the premire and from comments sent to the director by viewers that have purchaed or rented the film through

The twenty-minute drama stars Laura Menzie and Kate Paulsen, was co-written by Andrew Gilbert and Mikel J. Wisler, and directed by Wisler. The film was shot in early April and completed in July in time fo the July 28 release. This is the second short film Runaway Pen has co-produced with Stories by the River, and the third RPP film that SbtR currently distributes. 

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"Playing with Ice" also marks the first colaboration for Wisler as director working with cinematographer Bryant Naro. The film was shot with the same camera (Sony FS100) and lenses (Zeiss SuperSpeed Mark II cine primes) as Wisler's first producing colaboration with Stories by the River.

While the topic may be seen as controversial in some circles, we believe this story has a powerfully universal appeal in dealing with longing for a new life and connection with people around us. "Playing with Ice" is currently being submitted to film festivals. Click here buy or rent "Playing with Ice."


A Busy Year Ahead of Us

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)


It has been a great start to the new year as we got word that our short film, "A Silent Universe," has been officially selected to be part of the 2013 Boston Science Fiction Film Festival that kicks off later this week. If you haven't yet seen "A Silent Universe," we invite you to check it out here. The year has also started off with Runaway Pen's involvement in video projects for Greene Rubber Company and New Balance.


Over the last several months, we have also been hard at work writing a feature length screenplay loosely based on our 2011 award-winning short film, "Stop." Last year, we were approached by an independent film production company out of LA that had seen "Stop" and has expressed interest in potentially developing the short into a feature film I would direct and co-produce with them. Currently, the script is under review. We await word eagerly. Meanwhile, you can watch "Stop" for free at:


Finally, we are really excited about partnering with Stories by the River again in co-producing a new short film. This will be the second short film Runaway Pen and SbtR produce together, the first being "A Silent Universe." This new short film is called "Playing with Ice" and was co-written by Andrew Gilbert and I. I will be directing and joining me will be Kate Paulsen and Laura Menzie in this two-person cast as well as cinematographer Bryant Naro and SbtR producer Kristina Kaiser. Rehearsals are underway and production is planned for April.


We have high hopes for a great 2013 with many possible new achievements.


- Mikel J. Wisler

"A Silent Universe" Released to Public

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Our latest short film, "A Silent Universe," is now available to the public in two forms. I can be purchased for download in HD and SD and it can be rented as HD streaming video for 24-hours at a time through the official website for Stories by the River. Runaway Pen Productions co-produced "A Silent Universe" in association with Stories by the River, which is now distributing the film. This is the very first short film for Stories by the River, which is a non-profit branch of The River Church in Quincy, Massachusetts. Runaway Pen's own Mikel J. Wisler helped found Stories by the River, and just rencently served as one of the producers and the cinematographer for the second short film by Stories by the River, "Melt."

Another important milestone for "A Silent Universe" was just recently reached this week when the film was officially listed on the Internet Movie Database:

We invite you to rent or buy "A SIlent Universe" today and be among the first to see the ambitious short film that early adiences are raving about. To see the film, visit

A New Sci-fi Short Film

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been a busy several months for Runaway Pen. Mostly, I (Mikel J. Wisler) have been hard at work directing my most ambitious short film to date, "A Silent Universe." A dramatic film set against a sci-fi backdrop, "A Silent Universe" is the story of two brothers trapped in their old garage as the world outside crumbles under an interstellar attack. The film was shot in late February and is now very near completion.

"A Silent Universe" represents the first film co-produced by Stories by the River, a non-profit filmmaking venture I have helped launch with The River Church in Quincy, Massachusetts. Already, Stories by the River is in pre-produciton for its sencond short film, "Melt," by writer/director Chaz Sutherland, for which I am serving as fellow producing and cinematographer.

You can learn more about Stories by the River by visiting us on Facebook. You can also find out more about "A Silent Universe" and see the official trailer for the film by going to:

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New Cinematography Reel for Wisler

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Runaway Pen Production's co-founder, Mikel J. Wisler, has officially release a new demo reel of his work as cinematographer (director of photography). This latest reel showcases Wisler's work exclusively in the world of narrative filmmaking. Most notably, it features a significant amount of footage from the two short films Wisler shot in 2011, "Stop" (see the film here) and "Worm Free Society" (due out in 2012). You can see the new reel on Vimeo by going to: or you can watch the YouTube release below:

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For more information about Wisler, please visit

Gilbert and Wisler Head to AFM 2011

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Runaway Pen Productions founding members, Andrew Gilbert and Mikel J. Wisler, are heading off to the 2011 American Film Market (AFM) currently taking place in Santa Monica, California. AFM takes place every November, lasting for eight days, and it is the one of the premiere global marketplaces in the film industry. Gilbert and Wilser are headed to the second half of AFM, which is traditionally the time most focused on developing new project (the first half is all about distributor buying already completed films). They will be pitching their first feature film project, After This.

The orginal screenplay for After This, written by Andrew Gilbert, was just recently selected as a semifinalist in the 2011 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, a highly competative screenwriting competition organized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences each year. Being selected for the semi final round means that out of thousands of scripts submitted to this year's competition, After This was deemed by the judges to be among the top 2% of the best scripts this year.

With the increased attetion Runaway Pen has received as a result of this very prestigious recognition from The Academy, Gilbert and Wisler  are already setting meetings with distributors and production companies at the American Film Market, as well as in contact with potential agents and managers for Gilbert. They will be attending the market from November 6th through the 9th.

Mikel J. Wisler, who is directing the film, has prepared a detaild pitch package for presentation to interested parties. Andrew Gilbert has been researching the companies attending this year's AFM. Gilbert and Wilser, who are producing the film, have high hopes of connecting with the right people and fostering good professional relationships that will lead to the making of After This.

Intersted in following new developments in this story? Wisler regularly blogs about his experiences in developing this feature film on his Tumblr page: You can also learn more about After This by going to the film's official development page:

"Stop" Teaser Released

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 3:38 PM Comments comments (0)

The teaser trailer for our latest short film, "Stop," hit the web last week. So far, it has gained quite a bit of attetion and many compliments. Bellow you can see the teaser or you can find out more about the film and vew the teaser in HD by visiting

"Stop," which was shot in May, has already been submitted to a few film festivals and is expected to have an official IMDb (Internet Movie Database) profile within the next two weeks. Unlike past projects of ours, we have opted to release this film for free on the web as a means to reward everyone who has shown so much support and interest in our films. We are excited to present this new project and hope people will help us get the word out about it by telling their friends, sharing the link to the film's website, and contacting us with feedback and comments.

We will also be releasing some behind the scenes videos in the coming weeks. "Stop" will be released on the Internet on June 24, 2011! Be sure to check back here for more updates.

Watch the teaser:

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Wisler Directs New Short

Posted on April 21, 2011 at 10:03 PM Comments comments (0)

Hard for me to believe it, but it has actually been three years since my (Mikel Wisler's) last time directing a narrative film project. It’s not like I haven’t been busy. In fact, these past three years have been absolutely fantastic and I’ve been busy with many projects ranging from videos for clients like AOL to producing narrative film projects by other filmmakers, some of which I’ve had the privilege to shoot.

But I have to admit that it is time I got back to directing narrative projects. Truth is, I have been pushing hard to connect with investors and cast members for my first feature film project, After This. At the same time, however, I do feel it is important to keep sharp. In this spirit, we at Runaway Pen Productions have been busy working on short film concepts. These new projects are different in that while we are working hard to lay the foundation to make feature length films, we’re looking at making the shortest films we have ever produced to date.

In early May, I’ll be directing a new short science fiction project called “Stop” I am producing with Trevor C. Duke (writer and director of “Torn”). It is too early at this point for me to reveal too much about the project. But this new project will present some exciting opportunities to continue honing my work in visual storytelling. Given the shorter length of this project, I hope to have this film completed by mid summer. We will be shooting on the Canon Rebel T2i.

HDSLR Cinematography

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

In light of all of the shooting I (Mikel Wisler) have been doing this past year on Canon DSLR cameras capable of shooting 1080p HD video, and of all the interest, views, and comments several of my videos have gotten on YouTube, I opted to release a new demo reel showcasing work I've done exclusively with Canon DSLR cameras. The reel bellow includes narrative film, documentary, and freelance video projects all shot with the Canon 7D, T2i, and/or the new T3i. 

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In this rapidly changing world of video acquisition technology, I am sure the year ahead will bring some new and exciting changes. Already, I am researching some new additions to my shooting and post-production workflow that could present new projects and clients with even greater quality.

Wisler Interviewed About The River Film Forum

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM Comments comments (0)

This past Sunday afternoon, I (Mikel Wisler) had the privilege of being a guest on the web radio show “Cultural Diplomacy” by CeaseFireStrategies. Host, Eric Bumpus, asked me to come on to the show so we could chat about the work I’m doing with The River Film Forum. This is a quite an honor, and I had a great time explaining a little bit about what The River Film Forum is all about and what we have been doing as well as some of our plans for the future.

Listen to the interview here:

For those not familiar with The River Film Forum, it is a monthly event where we show a movie and then discuss the film as a group, engaging with the themes, ideas, and worldview of the filmmakers as well as our reactions to the films. It is open to the public; anyone is welcome. The River Film Forum is part of the The River Church, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Check out more information about The River Film Forum on Facebook or by going to:

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Best Short Film Award!

Posted on March 25, 2011 at 2:26 PM Comments comments (4)

This past weekend, "Evaluating Kaitly," the most recent of the Runaway Pen short films, had its Las Vegas premiere at the 2011 Vegas Media Xpo. Following a great screening in which the film received a large round of applause and even requests for the film to be screen again, "Evaluating Kaitly" was awarded Best Short Film.

Andrew Gilbert directed the short film, and co-wrote and produced it with Mikel J. Wisler, who also served as cinematographer and editor. The film was inspired by the true story of Judy Sherwood, who is a cancer surviver. Starring in the film are Lisa Staples (who plays the character inspired by Sherwood), Greg Teghtmeyer, and Tara Rusinack. The film was shot in August 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. Post-production, conducted by Wisler, took place in Quincy, Massachusetts. This is the second festival "Evaluating Kaitly" has played in, having just had its North American premiere not too far from Las Vegas just last month at the 2011 Dam Short Film Festival. We are very honored and excited to received this recognition. Response to "Evaluating Kaitly" has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive.

This is the first award for "Evaluating Kaitly." Our short film, "Cold October" has also won Best Screenplay at the 2009 Terror Film Festival and was nominated for Best Horror Short Film at the 2009 ShockerFest. "Cellar Door was also awarded the 2007 Cinephile Film Arts Grant for completion funds.

We are currently exploring distribution options for "Evaluating Kaitly." We look forward to making the film available to the public very soon. In the mean time, you can check out the trailer for the film bellow.

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DSLR Video Gear Upgrades

Posted on March 14, 2011 at 10:12 AM Comments comments (0)

In an effort to always keep improving, I (Mikel J. Wisler) have recently made up some upgrades to my DSLR equipement in an effort to better serve video and film productions I am involved with. Last year, I bought the Canon Rebel T2i DSLR camera. It proved to be a great investment and I shot several projects with that camera in the past year. Those projects include major web videos for AOL Travel, highly stylized videos for The River Church, and two independent short films I had the honor of shooting (cinematographer).

Yet, there is always room to grow. One of the main challenges I faced when shooting video was that the Canon 50mm 1.8f lens I love using for at least 75% of my video footage has far too small of a focus ring. While a great lens for the price, the focus ring did not allow for enough manual control and precision when pulling focus (changing what I'm focused on) while shooting HD video with my Canon T2i. As a result, I've upgraded to Canon's 50mm 1.4f prime lens, which has a much better focus ring. This will allow for much better accuracy and qualty when shooting video and film projects that require a much more cinematic approach to style and aesthetics.

The Canon 50mm 1.4f Prime Lens (right) with Mikel's light metter and other lenses.

In addition to this, I also have ordered a new portable digital audio recorder, the Zoom H1. One of the major shortcomings of most HD video capable DSLR cameras is that audio quality and control is lacking. In the past, I have recorded audio with my MacBook Pro. While the quality is great when recording with my MacBook, the prorblem with doing this is that it is not as portable as is often needed when I'm doing one-man crew shoots.

Thus, In an effort to be able to record better audio with more ease and flexibity, I  have opted to introduce the Zoom H1 recorder into my set up. The Zoom H1 allowes for much higher quality sound recording than what any DSLR on the market can provide at this time as the H1 can record 48KHz and 96KHz audio at 16 or 24 bit. It also allows for manual control over recording levels, something few DSLRs offer which causes major problems when trying to record audio directly into a DSLR. So, bypassing all of this, I've opted for a two-system (video and audio seperate) approach. The Zoom H1 includes a bult-in stereo microphone useful for some applications, but most often I will be recording audio with my wireless lav and boom mic which will be sent through my XLR-PRO portable mixer for proper level setting and cotrol. The signal then is sent from the mixer to the Zoom H1 for high quality recording as WAV audio.

The Zoom H1 portable digital audio recorder shown here mounted to a Canon Rebel T2i.

How will we line up the audio and the video? Simple. We use the classic movie slate (which I own), announce what the take is we are shooting, and claps the slate shut. That instant that the slate snaps shut is the perfect point for synchonization of picture and sound. There's a reason Hollywood has been using a slate for decades, and there's still plenty of reason to continue using one.

To see a full list of my gear available for film and video productions, you can take a look at the Video Producion page right here on Runaway Pen's website as well as my gear list on my persnal website: