Local 727 Members join in the Fight Against COVID-19

Local 727 members joined in the fight against COVID-19 at the United Center, working to convert space in Parking Lot E outside of the arena into a mass COVID vaccination center. Members assisted in the installation of a remote clinic set to serve the people of Chicago by distributing vaccinations beginning on March 9. Run … Continue reading “Local 727 Members join in the Fight Against COVID-19”

Local 727 purchases thousands of masks for members

When employers wouldn’t step up, Teamsters Local 727 stepped in—recently purchasing thousands of masks for distribution. On March 21, Governor Pritzker mandated a “shelter in place” order that outlined the specific employees who were deemed “essential” and could leave their homes to go to work. Many Local 727 members are considered essential, frontline workers under … Continue reading “Local 727 purchases thousands of masks for members”

New legislation & Local 727’s fight for its members

Over the weekend, the House passed legislation (Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the key provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act impacting workers includes: 1) requiring employers to give paid sick leave in addition to what employers currently provide for those directly affected by … Continue reading “New legislation & Local 727’s fight for its members”

Local investors are new studio owners

While it was believed the owner of three Toronto movie studios was also the owner of an $80 million movie studio for Chicago, it turns out that a local group of investors are the real owners.

Nick Mirkopoulos, chairman of Cinespace Studios, who is brokering the deal for the purchase of the Ryerson Steel property, said his company will simply manage the studio.

In fact, Mirkopoulos said, the contract hasn’t been finalized for the Ryerson property, though he is confident that it will be.

Teamsters’ John Coli urges sunset clause action

The Illinois House’s last-minute amendment to Senate Bill 4 (SB4) to add a sunset clause in five years to the state’s hard-earned tax incentives has riled up film workers who are eager to do something about it.

“By all means contact your state senator and tell him how you feel about the importance of retaining our incentives,” urges John Coli, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 727, with 6,000 members.   

What took them so long?

The Film Unit of Teamsters Local 727 hit a momentous historical milestone March 10 when it admitted — are you ready for this? — its very first female member in its 70 year history.

She is Ann Stuart, Chicago manager Props on Wheels, which rents whatever kind of vehicle model, year or make a producer could ever want or need in the line of film production.

“I was stunned,” says POW owner, Minneapolis based Brian Denny, a 17-year member of Teamsters Local 638.

Chicago Teamster official charged with extortion

In an 11-page indictment returned Wednesday, the US District Court of Illinois charged high-ranking Teamster official John T. Coli Sr. with extorting “quarterly cash payments” from a business identified as “Company 1.”

Although the indictment does not identify the business by name, the Sun Times on Wednesday quoted an anonymous source who claims that it is Cinespace Chicago Studios.

According to the indictment, Coli demanded that “Company 1” deliver $25,000 cash payments from “around October 2016” until “about April 4, 2017.”

Thank YOU, Ron Howard!

WHAT AN UNEXPECTEDLY NICE GESTURE. In surely what’s got to be a first in the 35-year annals of Hollywood-in-Chicago entertainment production, departing director Ron Howard, stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, and the cast and crew of “The Dilemma,” placed a full page ad in the Sun-Times Friday.

The ad thanked Chicago “for a great shoot and a great time in your town!”

The ad offered “Our special thanks to ?

Construction on $80 mm studio underway

Construction is underway to convert a 330,000-sq. ft warehouse into the first of what could be seven to soundstages for Chicago Film Studios, on the 50 acre Ryerson Steel campus on the Southwest Side.

When completed, it will be the biggest state-of-the-art film studio outside and is propected to employ 6,000 over a five-year period.

The LB/OC L.A. director’s night of fun

ACCORDING TO RELIABLE SOURCES, one of the A-List L.A. directors, who came here for the Leo Burnett/Olympic Committee shoot last week, got into a bit of trouble at the wrap party at a local club and ended up in the ER.

It seems the director got into an altercation with the club management over the tab. Things got heated and an altercation with the bouncer ensued.

The bouncer removed the director from the premises. Because of a neck injury that the dust-up might’ve caused, the director was rushed to Northwestern Hospital.

Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, Adam Rudder team up on TV Pilot “The Donut Boyz”

The Donut Boyz, originally a hip-hop group, have been fusing comedy, rap, and snack foods into their musical stylings since 2006. Now Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, and Adam Rudder are aiming to bring that energy to your TV screens in the form of a half-hour scripted comedy series centering on the joy of Black male … Continue reading “Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, Adam Rudder team up on TV Pilot “The Donut Boyz””

Mophonics, Energy BBDO & ATKPLN launch Claritin spot

Mophonics Music and Sound, in partnership with Energy BBDO, has created a lovable original song for Claritin’s “The Outsideologist Project”—a new online program designed to get kids outside 1 more hour per week. The original composition, “Unboring Starts with U,” written and performed by in-house Mophonics composer and ACD Casey Gibson, teaches kids weird facts … Continue reading “Mophonics, Energy BBDO & ATKPLN launch Claritin spot”

Chicago producer, director offers NFT distribution

Chicago Producer Anthony Gibson and Director Zach Lona are introducing a new distribution mode with their feature film He Who Lives in Hidden Lakes, a wacky mockumentary comedy about faith and folklore. The film will be released this year via Film Hub, but only after it has been auctioned off as an NFT- that’s a … Continue reading “Chicago producer, director offers NFT distribution”

‘One Chicago’ fans, get ready for May Sweeps

May sweeps are here and that is good news for One Chicago fans. Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, and Chicago Fire will run new episodes every Wednesday in May until the finale on May 26. The Reel Chicago staff has been planning a One Chicago finale party. If you’re planning to do the same, here’s a … Continue reading “‘One Chicago’ fans, get ready for May Sweeps”

BCBS commits $3 Billion to members and first responders

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced that the network of 36 independent and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP), have committed nearly $3 billion to date in support of members, health care workers and local communities to aid in the ongoing fight against … Continue reading “BCBS commits $3 Billion to members and first responders”

Margulies’ visit canceled; film event-packed weekend

ACTRESS JULIANNA MARGULIES IS ILL – she has chicken pox – and her scheduled appearance Sunday, May 15 at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville has been canceled. “The Good Wife” star has been on tour promoting her children’s book, “Three Magic Balloons,” and her visit here will be rescheduled for another time.

THE WEEKEND WILL BE PACKED with city-sponsored Lake FX Summit events, with media and entertainment-related panels taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Cultural Center, free and open to all. Here are some of Friday’s panels:

Busy Simon Casting hires Sayyed as associate

AFTER THREE YEARS with Shirley Hamilton Talent as a TV and film agent, Sanaa Sayyed joined Claire Simon Casting as a casting assistant – where she first worked as an intern practically off the plane from Houston. 

Casting was always her first love, she says, and right now there’s no place busier than Simon, which is casting for TV series “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD,” “Betrayal,” “Crisis” and sci-fi feature “Jupiter Ascending.”

Borowski’s ‘Panzram’ serial killer doc out on DVD

SERIAL KILLER SPECIALIST John Borowski (H.H. Holmes, Albert Fish) has released streaming and DVD versions of his third documentary, Carl Panzram: The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance.

Borowski combines reenactments with historical documents and archival interviews, including with Henry Lesser, the Washington D.C. prison guard who secretly supplied Panzram with the pencil and paper to write his gruesome autobiography.

ICG cites Chicago as one of 5 “great union locations”

Chicago’s ranking as a film city is a sometimes thing.  There have been times when Moviemaker Magazine, for example, has put Chicago on top of a list of the 25 best cities to live and work in one year, and then ignores it the next year in a similar compilation.

To compensate for past sins of omission, the current issue of the International Cinematographers Guild ICG Magazine cites Chicago as one of its five “Great [Union] Locations, where film commissions, vendors and residents love union crews.”