Milwaukee’s Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is the crown over Summerfest and has become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. But it’s also a popular site for suicides. This animated documentary, which will be played during November’s Strasburg Film Festival, explores the issues of the bridge and suicide through three intimate interviews. Follow animator, Aaron Johnson, as he shares the stories of Dave, John, and Mary.
After graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 1998, Aaron has gone on to a 20-year career in animation. Outside of his daytime professional work, Aaron has remained active in his independent filmmaking pursuits. Johnson has been recognized nationally for his independent animation including awards for animated television commercials.
Time’s up. Apple pencils down. Two months ago I challenged myself to see what kind of story I could tell in a limited amount of time about a difficult subject matter. Six weeks of my spare time has yielded an eight and a half minute animated documentary exploring the issues of suicide and Milwaukee’s Hoan Bridge. Although this was largely a solo effort, I have to thank Dave, John, and Mary for trusting me with their very personal stories. I also have to thank Dr. Tony Thrasher and the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division’s eagerness and support of this project. A big shout out to Lawton Hall for reaching out and his incredible post scoring work on this film. And lastly, I have to thank Patty Rosek-Johnson for her infinite support and for letting me disappear, domestically, on many nights and weekends in order to meet my deadline.