Work begins on film about Wisconsin lumber industry

EAU CLAIRE — Work has begun on a historical fiction film about the lumber industry in western Wisconsin.

Filming began in Eau Claire on "The Lumber Baron" on July 17. The movie is set in 1910 Chippewa Valley and tells the story of a family lumber business, the Leader-Telegram reported.

The film was written and produced by Karen Hurd and will be her first feature-length film. Hurd has written and directed plays and musicals for years, many of which are about Chippewa Valley's history. The film is based off of one of her earlier plays.

The extras are played by local talent, but all of the characters with names and those who have lines are played by professional actors, Hurd said. She said she believes that increases the quality of the production.

"The characters are playing exactly the way I wanted them played; they are such good actors," she said.

The crew will be filming at various locations in the area until August, including the Bunyan museum and Schlegelmilch House in Eau Claire, the post office in Chippewa Falls and an Amish sawmill in New Auburn.

Hurd hopes to wrap up production in early 2018. Afterward, a distributor will take the film and sell it.

"And hopefully you'll be able to watch it on Netflix, Hulu or wherever," she said. "We want the world to watch this."