See you at Filmscape 2021 on Cinespace lot this weekend

This weekend, Filmscape 2021 holds their hybrid model of online and in-person events for this year’s event taking place on the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios lot August 28-29. They will be hosting three educational tracks of in-person and online classes, geared towards the needs and interests of those involved in Grip & Electric, Production & … Continue reading “See you at Filmscape 2021 on Cinespace lot this weekend”

AbelCine & IFA collaborate on The Hub @Cinespace for Indie filmmakers

The Independent Film Alliance of Chicago (IFA) and AbelCine are collaborating on the development of a community center on the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios lot. Programming will address the business, creative, and technical aspects of independent production. The organizations will focus on developing the potential of local independent producers and filmmakers and introducing them to … Continue reading “AbelCine & IFA collaborate on The Hub @Cinespace for Indie filmmakers”

Filmscape gears up for the 2021 show on Cinespace lot

Filmscape announces a hybrid model of online and in-person events for their 2021 show taking place on the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios lot August 28-29.   A nonprofit based in Chicago, Filmscape was founded with the goal of providing continuing free education for the film and television community in Chicago and beyond. Now in their … Continue reading “Filmscape gears up for the 2021 show on Cinespace lot”

Cinespace is up and rolling with 4 new series and more

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios welcomes several new productions to its growing campus.  As the Dick Wolf, One Chicago series prepares to wrap soon for the season, Cinespace announced four new series filming at its facilities. The Midwest’s production hot spot and second-largest film studio outside of Los Angeles in North America, recently added another 105,000 … Continue reading “Cinespace is up and rolling with 4 new series and more”

Sci-fi drama ‘Lightyears’ preparing to shoot at Cinespace

Oscar winner Sissy Spacek and three-time Emmy-nominated Modern Family star Ed O’Neill are set as the leads in the sci-fi drama, Lightyears, currently in prep at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Amazon has issued a series order for, Lightyears, an hourlong sci-fi-drama produced by Legendary TV, from writer Holden Miller and producer Daniel C. Connolly. Connolly will serve as showrunner and … Continue reading “Sci-fi drama ‘Lightyears’ preparing to shoot at Cinespace”

Michael B. Jordan’s ’61st Street’ filming at Cinespace

The Michael B Jordan AMC drama series 61st Street has begun shooting at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. 61st Street, which has been ordered as a two-season television event series with eight episodes per season, is a propulsive courtroom drama that follows Moses Johnson, a promising, black high school athlete, who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system.   … Continue reading “Michael B. Jordan’s ’61st Street’ filming at Cinespace”

The Chi will return to Cinespace for Season 4

SHOWTIME has picked up THE CHI for a fourth season. Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, created and executive produced by Emmy winner Lena Waithe and executive produced by Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Common. Season three of THE CHI was up double-digits across platforms over last season and doubled its audience on streaming platforms. Season three cast included Ntare … Continue reading “The Chi will return to Cinespace for Season 4”

Michael B. Jordan’s 61st Street is on campus at Cinespace

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios‘ president, Alex Pissios has confirmed that the Michael B. Jordan AMC drama series 61st Street is on campus and they will begin shooting in 2021. 61st Street, which has been ordered as a two-season television event series with eight episodes per season, is a propulsive courtroom drama that follows Moses Johnson, a … Continue reading “Michael B. Jordan’s 61st Street is on campus at Cinespace”

HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace

Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, HBO’s new drama series from J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele and showrunner/executive producer Misha Green, LOVECRAFT COUNTRY debuts Sunday, August 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows … Continue reading “HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace”

Cinespace releases their Production Safety Guidelines

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios has released their own set of Production Safety Guidelines and announced their partnership with ServPro, which will be the exclusive cleaning service allowed on campus.  These updates come as the City and State move further into Phase 3 of Re-opening. Among the industries reopening- with strict safety guidelines- are: childcare businesses, libraries, bars and outdoor dining at restaurants.  Cinespace president, … Continue reading “Cinespace releases their Production Safety Guidelines”

Cinespace joins Sweet Home Chicago live stream event

Sweet Home Chicago Relief & Recovery live stream event packed with Chicago celebs airs May 16 at 5PM CDT on NBC Sports Chicago, the telethon will also simultaneously stream on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.   The Chicago CEO COVID-19 Coalition, founded by John Koudounis, is excited to announce that Wintrust Financial and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios have joined Calamos … Continue reading “Cinespace joins Sweet Home Chicago live stream event”

Cinespace hosts dinner for 200 healthcare workers

This week, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios surprised 200 healthcare workers and caregivers at Mount Sinai Hospital with a warm dinner from Inspired Catering & Events of the Stefani Restaurant Group. The nutritious meals were a gesture of gratitude from the Film Studio’s executives for all of the selfless work the teams at Sinai Health Systems have … Continue reading “Cinespace hosts dinner for 200 healthcare workers”

New Normal: Cinespace more than just a studio

Editor’s Note: The world changed right before our very eyes. We now work, live, exercise and entertain ourselves in our homes. This is the new normal. In this new on-going series, we check in on ad agencies, production companies, post-houses, and anyone else who wants to talk about their personal experiences during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Located … Continue reading “New Normal: Cinespace more than just a studio”

Cinespace donates 20,000 sq. ft. to Food Depository

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is donating 20,000 square feet of studio space to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for storage of food boxes for families affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On Friday, officials announced eight more deaths in Illinois related to the pandemic and 1,105 more cases statewide, raising the death toll to 65 … Continue reading “Cinespace donates 20,000 sq. ft. to Food Depository”

At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.

Over the past week it’s safe to say that the Illinois film community is doing their best to ensure that their employees are safe during this unfortunate time. In light of worldwide health concerns about the impact from the COVID-19 virus, many have postponed production until further notice. Starting Monday, Cinespace will close the secondary … Continue reading “At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.”

Cinespace reacts after ‘neXt’ producer contracts COVID-19

West Side production studio Cinespace has issued a statement after a California-based female producer on the FOX TV series neXt, which has production offices on the lot, tested positive for COVID-19. “We at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios received a call last night, March 9, 2020, from FOX, a Cinespace tenant. They informed us that one … Continue reading “Cinespace reacts after ‘neXt’ producer contracts COVID-19”

Cinespace Studios welcomes new pilots for Fox and NBC

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the second largest film studio in the country, with 36 studios and more than 2 million square feet on the west and south sides of Chicago, is pleased to welcome two pilots to its campus this season. NBC has greenlight Ordinary Joe and Fox has given a pilot offer for The Big Leap. Ordinary … Continue reading “Cinespace Studios welcomes new pilots for Fox and NBC”

Cinespace pledges $50K to UC Comer Children’s Hospital

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is proud to announce a five-year pledge of $50,000 to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital in support of the Pediatric Mobile Medical Unit. The doctor’s “office on wheels” takes primary care to children in underserved communities on Chicago’s South Side. The 38-foot-long Comer Children’s Hospital Pediatric Mobile Medical … Continue reading “Cinespace pledges $50K to UC Comer Children’s Hospital”

‘61st Street’ to begin shooting at Cinespace this April

AMC announced today from the Television Critics’ Association (TCA) Press Tour that Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Lovecraft Country, Genius) will star in its upcoming thrilling courtroom drama 61st Street, from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of, Your Honor) and executive-produced by Michael B. … Continue reading “‘61st Street’ to begin shooting at Cinespace this April”

Cinespace is Little Village’s ‘Campadre of the Year’

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios — located on the west side of Chicago and currently the second-largest film studio in the country — received the Campadre of the Year Award from the Little Village Chamber of Commerce and the Little Village Rotary Club. The award was presented during the Chamber’s annual holiday celebration at Mi Tierra … Continue reading “Cinespace is Little Village’s ‘Campadre of the Year’”

Cinespace President Alex Pissios honored by SOS Illinois

Cinespace Chicago Film Studio President Alex Pissios received the Distinguished Community Leadership Award from SOS Children’s Villages Illinois during the organization’s Annual Meeting last week. The event took place at Drinker Biddle & Reath, where staff, board members, and corporate partners gathered with friends were to celebrate the occasion and review the year. During the … Continue reading “Cinespace President Alex Pissios honored by SOS Illinois”

Cinespace at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Awards

World-class studio’s Manager of Ops, Dino Mirkopoulos, to attend 2019 Awards Screening at Music Box Theatre on September 25th The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Premiere Screenings return to the Music Box Theatre September 22nd through the 23rd with the Red Carpet Best of Chicago Awards taking place on September 25th. The screenings spotlight 45 … Continue reading “Cinespace at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Project Awards”

Cinespace sponsors 7th annual Mex Talks

Event produced by Latinos Progresando spotlights culture and contributions of Mexico and Mexican-Americans   Latinos Progresando — a Chicago community development organization working on the issues of immigration, peace, health, and education — yesterday presented MEX talks, an exciting speaker showcase featuring a panel of Mexican-American filmmakers, authors, politicians, activists, and media personalities who delivered … Continue reading “Cinespace sponsors 7th annual Mex Talks”

Cinespace goes to the dogs for a day

Chicago Film Studio partners with PAWS Chicago to spread awareness and showcase “amazing pets” available for adoption   Production at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios was temporarily disrupted yesterday when a half-dozen dogs appeared in a patch of grass at Rockwell and 16th. Frolicking, rolling around, and generally being adorable without really trying, the pooches were … Continue reading “Cinespace goes to the dogs for a day”

New Fox drama series to film at Cinespace

“neXt” — a modern-day series about technology run amok — will start shooting in Chicago this Fall Cinespace Chicago Film Studios announced today that Fox’s new American drama series, neXt, will film at its West Side campus this fall. The studio announces the news less than 24 hours after unveiling its 2019 production schedule, adding … Continue reading “New Fox drama series to film at Cinespace”

Cinespace announces 2019 production lineup

The largest film studio in the Midwest prepares for a busy season of hit shows with 13 new interns Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, based on the west side of Chicago, and currently the second-largest film studio in the country, welcomes back many popular series and announces several new television shows now filming at its campuses. … Continue reading “Cinespace announces 2019 production lineup”

12 year old to host art show at Cinespace

Photographer Natalie Lising has “grown up” around film sets while receiving a lifetime of support from the Pissios family To aspiring artists, a show at Cinespace marks a great milestone in one’s career. It can sometimes take years and many dollars to produce. Hundreds of blockbusters and classic television shows have been shot, organized, and … Continue reading “12 year old to host art show at Cinespace”

Christian Bale launches SOS campaign at Cinespace

#Voices4FosterCare supports the “ever-changing landscape of child welfare in Illinois and beyond” Christian Bale gave a heartfelt boost to foster children and foster families during a press conference at Cinespace Studios yesterday afternoon. Arriving via red eye from Los Angeles, the award-winning actor joined a five-member crew to kick off the SOS Children’s Villages Illinois … Continue reading “Christian Bale launches SOS campaign at Cinespace”

Amazon to film ‘On The Spectrum’ at Cinespace

Coming-of-age comedic drama follows the lives of three roommates on the autism spectrum who are “striving for the same things that we all desire” Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, one of the largest film studios in the country, based on the west side of Chicago announced a deal with Amazon Studios to begin filming the half-hour … Continue reading “Amazon to film ‘On The Spectrum’ at Cinespace”

Cinespace donates $25K to educational foundation

Chicago Film Studio’s generosity honors a tradition of community support established by Cinespace Founder, “Uncle” Nick Mirkopoulos Cinespace Chicago Film Studios will donate $25,000 to enable Greek schools to modernize curriculum and enhance student participation, as announced by the Chicago Greektown Educational Fund (CGEF). The announcement renews support from CGEF’s “Nick Mirkopoulos Scholarship” partner one … Continue reading “Cinespace donates $25K to educational foundation”

Cinespace’ Pissios “Caregiver for a Day” at Sinai Health

The President of one of the world’s largest film studios works with Chicago afterschool program to promote volunteering and youth mentoring On Wednesday, March 13, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios President and CEO Alex Pissios volunteered at Sinai Health System as “Caregiver for a Day” during the afterschool program with students from Plamundon Elementary School. Mr. … Continue reading “Cinespace’ Pissios “Caregiver for a Day” at Sinai Health”

Cinespace signs production deal for Netflix’ ‘Mixtape’

Chicago film campus will be home to the musical drama that became an “internet favorite” after last summer’s pilot premier   Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, one of the largest film studios in the country, announced an agreement with Netflix to film ten episodes of the musical drama Mixtape, starring Jenna Dewan, Callie Hernandez and Madeleine … Continue reading “Cinespace signs production deal for Netflix’ ‘Mixtape’”

Cinespace signs production deal for Amazon’s ‘Utopia’

Digital content distributor to film Gillian Flynn-remake of the British thriller at Chicago’s West Side studio campus   Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, a 1.45 million square foot studio facility on the west side of downtown Chicago with additional studios in development at 31st and Kedzie, has inked an agreement with Amazon Studios to begin production … Continue reading “Cinespace signs production deal for Amazon’s ‘Utopia’”

Cinespace community outreach gets Congressional nod

The studio’s Mirkopoulos Internship Program grows stronger with legislation backed by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi   A roomful of esteemed film industry leaders spent their lunch hours paying tribute to less than a dozen entry-level employees at Cinespace Studios last Friday afternoon. They came for a press conference hosted by Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who spoke … Continue reading “Cinespace community outreach gets Congressional nod”

Cinespace donates studio set to Whitney Young’s Dub TV

The new Dub TV studio set includes elements of Cookie’s bedroom from season one of the hit show “Empire”   Whitney M. Young Magnet High School’s Dub TV Studio received a major upgrade yesterday when Cinespace Chicago Film Studios donated a new set to the show that is created by students of the West Side … Continue reading “Cinespace donates studio set to Whitney Young’s Dub TV”

CineTech returns to Cinespace in September

The Midwest’s biggest film and television production event will feature guest speakers, comprehensive courses, and access to vendor products Barbizon Chicago presents CineTech 2018, the Midwest’s premier education event for film and television lighting and support, on September 8 at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Sponsored by IATSE Local 476, DePaul University, and Cinelease Chicago, the … Continue reading “CineTech returns to Cinespace in September”

Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are bringing their new HBO series to Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Titled Lovecraft Country, the series is based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name. According to IMDb, the story is about “a young African-American (who) travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing … Continue reading “Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace”

Cinespace helps Anixter raise thousands at annual gala

Chicago film industry scores one of the year’s most significant milestones while helping people wih disabilities Last night on the campus of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, hundreds of guests raised thousands of dollars for people with disabilities during the Anixter Center’s 7th annual gala, held this year in honor of Cinespace President Alexander Pissios. Temporarily … Continue reading “Cinespace helps Anixter raise thousands at annual gala”

Chicago’s Cinespace Studios to add outdoor backlots

Chicago filmmakers have longed dreamt about turning Chicago into a Midwest Hollywood. Now, Cinespace Studios‘ president, Alex Pissios, has taken the steps to make that dream a reality. What has been in the works for two years came to fruition this past Wednesday when City Council passed an ordinance allowing the 1.45 million sq. ft. … Continue reading “Chicago’s Cinespace Studios to add outdoor backlots”

1:53 p.m. — Alex Pissios, Cinespace President

Alex Pissios just finished giving a tour to a group of people who do not seem to be directly connected to the film industry. That’s fine with him. “My Uncle Nick was big on giving back to the neighborhood,” Pissios explains. “He used to tell me that, ‘these people have lived here a long time. … Continue reading “1:53 p.m. — Alex Pissios, Cinespace President”

New TNT show scheduled to film at Cinespace this fall

During an exclusive conversation with ReelChicago yesterday, Cincespace CEO Alex Pissios informed publisher Barbara Roche and editor Daniel Patton that the pilot for TNT’s The Deep Mad Dark will begin production at the Chicago studio this fall.

“They’re moving into offices September 11, shooting in October,” he said. “It’s a done deal.”

DePaul expands to second 12.5K-sq. ft. Cinespace stage

DePaul University, in the fourth year of its 10-year studio rental lease at Cinespace, added a second sound stage in the program the school informally calls “DePaul-to-TV pipeline” because of the jobs it offers students.

DePaul’s new Cinespace facility, 12,500-sq. ft. Stage 16/17, one of Cinespace’s 30 stages, is a further commitment to Cinespace’s and DePaul’s larger partnership with the School of Cinematic ARts in the College of Computing and Digital Media.  

New Fox TV series greenlit; Cinespace to add stages

Fox Television announced that two of its four dramatic pilots that filmed in Chicago this winter were greenlit for series production. While not officially stated, there’s strong reason to expect new series will return to Chicago.

“That would be extraordinarily good news,” notes Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal. “This surge of activity points to the quality of our crews, talent and facilities and Chicago’s ability to be a major player in episodic television.”

Three new shows set up at Cinespace ready to roll

“Transformers” director Michael Bay will return to Chicago later this year to produce the fifth installment of his franchise, he told WGN’s Dean Richards.  But that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Here’s what ReelChicago learned is ahead for our production market in the foreseeable future, all headquartering and filming at Cinespace.

Cinespace builds 4 new stages; 2 films set up offices

Cinespace continues to expand its stage capacity, with four new sound stages now under construction that boost the total number of stages to 21.

“We took one big space that we had, not really a sound stage, and are in the process of constructing two stages, each 25,000-sq. ft. and two that are each 18,000-sq. ft.,” says Cinespace president Alex Pissios.

AbelCine is Cinespace’s latest and greatest addition

New York-headquartered camera sales and service provider giant AbelCine will settle in at Cinespace in mid-summer, offering a unique Learning Point for on-going educational workshops and seminars, an interactive sales showroom space for hands-on equipment evaluation, and a welcoming center for community activities.

DePaul/Cinespace rolls out 3-ton custom grip truck

No film school in the country has got what DePaul/Cinespace’s Cinema and Interactive Media program will be rolling out this summer: a custom-built, 3-ton grip and electric truck for student production use.

The $100,000 truck was designed and built by John Corba, Assistant Director of DePaul/Cinespace and DePaul MFA alum, and Joe Lyons, DePaul/Cinespace equipment manager, both with decades of feature crew experience.

Cinespace aims to be world’s largest studio complex

Whether he was aware of it or not, Nick Mirkopoulos, the late owner of Cinespace Studios, was a proponent of Chicago’s motto, “Make no little plans.”

Thanks to his meticulous planning for the company’s future, Cinespace Chicago will seamlessly continue to host major entertainment projects – and grow to become the biggest studio complex in the world.

Mayor gets behind Cinespace property tax incentive

With an incentive that will reduce Cinespace Studios’ real estate taxes to further enable it to “put more money into the infrastructure,” says president Alex Pissios, the studio will complete 25 stages, one of which will a rare “water stage.”  

On Wednesday, Mayor Emanuel, a supporter of the film industry who understands its positive economic impact, proposed a property tax reduction of $3.5 million over 12 years for the studio.

Cinespace, CSC expansion to give city 11 new stages

Besides 2013 being the year of Chicago’s major breakthrough as a favored location for Hollywood entertainment projects and a giant film spend increase pouring into the local economy — this summer also will mark the year of the biggest stage expansion ever. 

Both Cinespace Studios and Chicago Studio City are gearing up for expansion to accommodate the anticipated new business from Hollywood that’s starting to head our wave in droves.

DePaul, Cinespace form film education partnership

It’s axiomatic that college grads go where the jobs are and in the film industry that points to Los Angeles. But wait!  With the announcement of a partnership between DePaul University’s cinema studios and Cinespace, graduates now may have the option of a successful entertainment film career in Chicago.

Hollywood star Billy Zane joining Cinespace as EP

When a famous Hollywood movie star returns to his native Chicago in March, the local film industry will have its first  informal ambassador to Hollywood, to interest other Chicagoans in the movie business to come back home to work.

Actor Billy Zane –star of “Titanic” and an amazing 110 other movies and TV shows over a 28-year span – has joined Cinespace studios as executive producer.

Cinespace expands services with L.A. catering firm

A year after Gov. Pat Quinn led the groundbreaking ceremonies, $80 million Cinespace is starting to come together like the major Hollywood-like studio complex it promised it would be.

Gala Catering is the first L.A.-based company to announce setting up permanent shop at Cinespace, with full-scale plans for expansion ready to go. 

“With them, we are getting off to a great start in building our vision of a total, one-stop, film friendly community,” says Cinespace general manager Alex Pisseos, with more vendor move-ins to follow shortly.

Quinn talks jobs at official Cinespace Studios opening

It was all about jobs.  And if the media and people assembled for the Cinespace ribbon-cutting and press conference Tuesday didn’t get it the first time, Gov. Pat Quinn made sure they did by repeating, “It’s all about the jobs, the jobs, the J-O-B-S” when questioned about the value of the Toronto-owned studio to Chicago.

Jobs, indeed, were at the heart of the $5 million Illinois Jobs Now! Capital program grant to Cinespace, of which $3 million was reportedly given to the studio prior to Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony helmed by Gov. Quinn.

Cinespace gets a clean bill from EPA inspectors

A minor remodeling accident last week at Cinespace Studios blew out of control when a freelancer allegedly suspected asbestos contamination and decided to play hero and call in an EPA inspector. 

The freelancer works on the production of “Boss,” the 8-part TV series – that originally had planned to film in Pittsburgh — headquartering at Near West Side Cinespace.  The production occupies large offices on the studio’s fourth and fifth floors. 

At last, new Cinespace stage complex under construction

The timing couldn’t be worse. The much-anticipated Cinespace Chicago film studio was into construction on the first phase of the soundstages when the House rushed to pass Senate Bill 4 that calls for ending Illinois’ tax incentives in five years.

The 350,000-sq. ft. soundstage is the first of the plan for be eight contiguous stages on the 48 acre former Ryerson Steel Campus between Ogden and Western Avenues on the Near Southwest Side.

57th Chicago International Film Festival announces Industry Days

The 57th Chicago International Film Festival announced the program for Industry Days, to be held October 14 – 17, 2021, with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.  Highlights include this year’s Keynote talk with Brenda Gilbert, President and Co-Founder of BRON Studios, which has received six Academy … Continue reading “57th Chicago International Film Festival announces Industry Days”

Lovecraft Country represents Chicago with two Emmy wins

Last night, the 73rd Emmy Awards were held with Cedric the Entertainer hosting on CBS. While most of the big Emmy news for Chicago will be pointed (deservedly so) toward Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis’, who studied here at the IO Theater, Second City and Anonymous, and co-creator, co-star and Chicagoan Brendan Hunt’s wins, another Chicago-based … Continue reading “Lovecraft Country represents Chicago with two Emmy wins”

The Big Leap TV series filmed in Chicago premieres this Monday

Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and the Rialto Theater in Joliet, the Fox TV series premiere of The Big Leap is this Monday, September 20. The Big Leap is a contemporary tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours. The show revolves around a group of diverse underdogs from all different … Continue reading “The Big Leap TV series filmed in Chicago premieres this Monday”

Exclusive set photos of Lightyears filming on location in Blue Island

Chicago’s southwest suburb of Blue Island had an exciting day of filmmaking when the TV series Lightyears starring Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons (Spider-man, Spider-man: Far From Home, Zack Snyder’s Justice League) filmed on location at a home near 127th and Western, and at the Blue Island Police Station. Reel photographer, Sandra Plaza-Javier, captured the … Continue reading “Exclusive set photos of Lightyears filming on location in Blue Island”

Editor Ariana DeSimone of Optimus teams with Chance the Rapper

After walking away with three Grammys for his 2016 record, Coloring Book, Chicago artist Chance the Rapper set out to perform a concert like no other. The private concert was held at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios back in 2017 for a select group of fans and intentionally staged and filmed as a movie, Magnificent Coloring World. … Continue reading “Editor Ariana DeSimone of Optimus teams with Chance the Rapper”

The IFA is looking for assistance on their move into AbelCine

As we reported earlier in the week, the Illinois Film Alliance (IFA) is partnering with, and moving into, the AbelCine space on the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios lot, as they collaborate on The Hub @Cinespace for Indie filmmakers. If you are interested in lending a hand in the move, they are asking for help in … Continue reading “The IFA is looking for assistance on their move into AbelCine”

Lena Waithe announces SHOWTIME has renewed The Chi for Season 5

As the Season 4 finale of The Chi ended with a cliffhanger on Sunday, series creator Lena Waithe announced the news during an Instagram Live that SHOWTIME has renewed The Chi for season 5. “Season 5 of The Chi is coming. It is done. It is written,” Waithe told fans, thanking them for their loyalty and viewership. … Continue reading “Lena Waithe announces SHOWTIME has renewed The Chi for Season 5”

Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med begin filming the new season

Welcome home! The cast and crew of Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med have returned for the new season and are prepping at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios to begin filming this week. Last season was a struggle to get through the new Covid guidelines, a delayed start to filming and a reduced number of only 16 … Continue reading “Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med begin filming the new season”

Fargo showrunner hints fifth season may be the last

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair regarding his upcoming Alien TV series, Fargo creator, showrunner, and director (of 4 episodes) Noah Hawley dropped some information about his plans for the FX series Fargo. While no official word has been announced by FX, he hinted that IF there was a 5th season, it would likely … Continue reading “Fargo showrunner hints fifth season may be the last”

It’s the end of the road for HBO’s Lovecraft Country

It’s the end of the road for the characters of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The horror drama series will not be receiving a second season order, HBO told Deadline. “We will not be moving forward with a second season of Lovecraft Country,” HBO said in their statement. “We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of … Continue reading “It’s the end of the road for HBO’s Lovecraft Country”

The Chi producer plans $60M film studio on South Side

Film and TV production in Chicago is 100% up and running, and expanding to the south side. The executive producer of The Chi television series, Derek Dudley is joining forces with Loop Capital Chairman and CEO, Jim Reynolds with plans for a film studio that they expect will bring thousands of jobs to the South … Continue reading “The Chi producer plans $60M film studio on South Side”

Our Top 10 list of the best TV shows set in Chicago

As we say goodbye to our favorite heroes from One Chicago for the summer, it’s fun to look back on all the amazing TV shows set in the Windy City over the years. Chicago has been a production powerhouse for decades and has given us some of the best movies and TV shows that were … Continue reading “Our Top 10 list of the best TV shows set in Chicago”

Anthony Michael Hall & Debbie Gibson to film in Chicago

Monaco Films is set to begin production on The Class this summer in Chicago. The coming of age high school drama will star Anthony Michael Hall and Broadway actress and pop icon Debbie Gibson. Also joining the cast is an ensemble of the newest generation of Hollywood’s rising television actors. The Class, written by Nicholas Celozzi, (Shattered, The Lost … Continue reading “Anthony Michael Hall & Debbie Gibson to film in Chicago”

Fox previews The Big Leap during Network Upfronts

Fox has debuted its trailers for the Fall’s new comedies and dramas for the 2021-22 TV season, including the Scott Foley-led, Chicago-based series, The Big Leap. Charlie Collier, CEO, Fox Entertainment, did the unveiling of the network’s slate to the national advertising community during its virtual Upfront Presentation. That included the Glee-like series, The Big … Continue reading “Fox previews The Big Leap during Network Upfronts”

Chicago Med says goodbye to two original cast members

As NBC’s Chicago Med is nearing the end of their 6th season, Chicago says goodbye to two original cast members, Yaya DaCosta and Torrey DeVitto. The departures come as the initial contracts of Chicago Med’s original cast are up for renewal. DeCosta chose to leave at the end of her contract and quickly received an … Continue reading “Chicago Med says goodbye to two original cast members”

It’s a wrap for the season on One Chicago

Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med officially wrap today for the season. Congratulations to the cast and crew. You are our heroes! 2020 was a hard year for everyone on the planet. Keeping our favorite TV shows on the air through these difficult times was a HUGE endeavor for all involved. While the actors … Continue reading “It’s a wrap for the season on One Chicago”

Fox takes leap, greenlights Chicago-produced Big Leap

Great news for Chicago production community. Fox Entertainment has given a series order to Chicago-produced The Big Leap, starring Scott Foley, Teri Polo and Piper Perabo. It comes from the minds of Liz Heldens, Jason Winer, Sue Naegle, 20th Television and Fox Entertainment. The ballet-themed dramedy, which Deadline reports has received an initial 10-episode order, was met with an … Continue reading “Fox takes leap, greenlights Chicago-produced Big Leap”

J.K. Simmons replaces Ed O’Neill in Chicago series

O’Neill was announced in March 2021, but had to leave Amazon’s upcoming sci-fi drama series Lightyears due to “family reasons” as reported by Deadline. Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons will co-star alongside fellow Academy Award winner, Sissy Spacek. Lightyears is one of the four new series to be filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios this … Continue reading “J.K. Simmons replaces Ed O’Neill in Chicago series”

Chicago Park District announces “Arts 77” arts reopening

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, DCASE, and the Chicago Park District announced “Arts 77” — a citywide arts recovery and reopening plan for all of Chicago’s 77 community areas, representing an initial investment of over $60 million to support local artists and organizations. Additional updates regarding financial grants and programs to support arts recovery will follow in … Continue reading “Chicago Park District announces “Arts 77” arts reopening”

Production set to begin on Zen Room this spring

Production of new single-cam, mockumentary style comedy series Zen Room is set to commence early March after news of Cheri Oteri (former SNL cast member, Grown Ups 2) joining the cast as lead, executive producer, and writer. While plenty of film production has been shuttered due to Covid-19, actress and writer Ashley Joyce (Gilmore Girls, … Continue reading “Production set to begin on Zen Room this spring”

2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories

What a year, huh? 2020, which felt like a decade, will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the worst years ever. And who will argue? Certainly not the staff at Reel Chicago. This year, COVID forced productions to shut down. Then start back up. Then shut back down. Then start back up. It … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories”

Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago

Panavision has named Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys to lead the company’s Chicago office as Vice President and General Manager. Borys will ensure Panavision’s customers continue to receive the highest level of service and support throughout the commercial, television, and feature sectors, and will be supported by Chicago Operations Manager Stan Glapa. Sharon Walker Retires Borys’ appointment … Continue reading “Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago”

Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker is mentoring Chicago kids

One person’s determination can really make all the difference, and Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker is proof of this. To set the scene, Firehouse 51 may not have the magnetic Wallace Boden if it weren’t for the one-on-one encouragement Eamonn received from a school teacher at nine years-old. It was London in the 1970’s and Eamonn … Continue reading “Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker is mentoring Chicago kids”

IFA Virtual Soirée silent auction is open for bids

IFA Virtual Soirée Silent Auction – NOW OPEN! How would you like to have virtual cocktails with producer, Bob Teitel? Or a two-day shoot on a Cinespace stage with grip/lighting equipment included? Bid on these and other priceless items at the virtual IFA Virtual Soirée Silent Auction – NOW OPEN! Items include experiences with our Luminary Board members … Continue reading “IFA Virtual Soirée silent auction is open for bids”

Film Production not affected by new COVID restrictions

In an announcement yesterday, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) launched a new citywide strategy – “Protect Chicago” – an effort to help Chicago bend the COVID-19 curve for the second time.  “Chicago has reached a critical point in the second surge of COVID-19, demanding that … Continue reading “Film Production not affected by new COVID restrictions”

New photos from One Chicago’s Premiere Night

Next week, TV’s highest rated night of drama returns to WMAQ NBC-5. Filming on One Chicago Night, which includes Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. has been underway at Cinespace Studios for approximately a month and a half now. With premieres scheduled for next Wednesday, November 11, NBC has provided Reel Chicago with new … Continue reading “New photos from One Chicago’s Premiere Night”

CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 6th edition of Industry Days: Go to the Body, written and directed by Kyra Jones (co-creator of The Right Swipe) and produced by Angellic Ross.  The film follows Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer who is sexually assaulted by a fellow activist … Continue reading “CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch”

‘Chicago Med’ cast & crew return from quarantine

The cast and crew of Chicago Med are back on set at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios after a two week quarantine period. The NBC series has had more than its share of delays from the Covid-19 virus. The onset of the coronavirus in March, halted production on Chicago Med before they were able to complete filming Season 5. After just one week into production … Continue reading “‘Chicago Med’ cast & crew return from quarantine”

Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges

This past summer, director and writer Sean Sankalp Raju won the Camera Ambassador Community Builders Grant for his project A Nickname. The autobiographical short film tells the story of how the filmmaker received the moniker, Sean, as an Indian American child. In an economy where funding an independent film is especially difficult, Raju was ecstatic … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges”

Chicago P.D. starts up and filmed on location last week

Chicago P.D. is up and running in their first week of filming for Season 8. Cautiously following all Covid-19 guidelines, the Chicago P.D. masked crew began shooting last week at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and on location over the weekend in a near south side Chicago neighborhood. With the onset of Covid-19 in March, Chicago … Continue reading “Chicago P.D. starts up and filmed on location last week”

CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch”

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of four narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched live in front of a virtual audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.  Now in its sixth year, The Pitch at Industry Days has established itself as a leading industry showcase spotlighting bold, original work from the Chicago region. Past projects from The Pitch at Industry Days have gone onto completion, including Jennifer Reader’s Signature Move, and two films showing at last year’s Chicago International Film Festival: Knives and Skin, also directed by Jennifer Reeder, and Haroula Rose’s Once Upon a River. This year’s filmmakers represent a diversity of voices that continue to reinforce the breadth and vitality of Chicago-area filmmakers and projects: from a sci-fi comedy horror film set in the suburbs to a drama set along the Mexico-American border, to the story of a sexual assault within a Black community and an estranged daughter in an Iraqi-American family who impersonates her recently deceased father. See below for loglines. The winning pitch receives an awards package of in-kind goods and services worth tens of thousands of dollars. Contributors include Keslow Camera, IFA Chicago and The Story Stage at CineSpace, Chicago Media Angels, Ramo Law PC, and the Sundance Institute. “Right now, during the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to develop, workshop, hone, and fine-tune feature film projects and make them great,” said Chicago International Film Festival and Industry Days Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman. “The Pitch is a terrific way for the Festival to support and encourage local filmmakers and help push their projects forward.” This year’s Pitch will be hosted by IFA Chicago Executive Director and producer Angie Gaffney, and this year’s jury includes: Bronwyn Cornelius, producer of Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Clemency; Ilyse McKimmie, Deputy Director for Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program; and Yvonne Huff Lee, co-CEO of Lagralane Group. The selected projects for 2020’s The Pitch at Industry Days are: Anchor Baby After witnessing his father nearly beat a Mexican immigrant to death while patrolling the desert border, a thirteen-year-old boy growing up in the Arizona Border Militia finds solace in an unlikely place — the arms of the new undocumented migrant girl in town. Screenwriter: Anna Hozian Director: Danny Mooney Producer: Dale Armin Johnson Go to the Body After Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer, is sexually assaulted by a fellow activist, she tries to push past her trauma and return to her normal life. The only thing standing in the way is her fianceé, Kendrick, an overprotective boxer who has his own idea of justice. Writer/Director: Kyra Jones Producer: Angellic Ross Invasion of the Housewives … Continue reading “CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch””

‘Chicago Med’ has begun production on Season 6

Amazing news for the Chicago production community – the new season of Chicago Med is officially underway. According to Deadline, the highest rated drama on NBC’s One Chicago Wednesdays has resumed production after being stalled back in March due to the pandemic. But production has been deemed safe for cast and crew to return to work at … Continue reading “‘Chicago Med’ has begun production on Season 6”

‘Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med’ Who’s in? Who’s out?

Last month, we reported that NBC‘s top-rated (even in reruns) Wednesday night, dubbed “One Chicago,” would return on November 11. With production reportedly set to resume on Chicago P.D., Chicago Med and Chicago Fire  on October 6, the Reel Chicago team thought it was time to look at cast additions and subtractions. Chicago Med Coming: Chicago … Continue reading “‘Chicago Fire, P.D. and Med’ Who’s in? Who’s out?”

What reviews say about ‘Lovecraft Country’

The wait is over. Lovecraft Country, which was filmed at Cinespace Studios, premiered Sunday night on HBO to 760,000 viewers, the best since Watchmen. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle … Continue reading “What reviews say about ‘Lovecraft Country’”

FX announces Fargo Season Four Cast

FX has set the extraordinary ensemble cast that will star with Chris Rock in the fourth installment of the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning limited series Fargo. Peabody, Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winning Executive Producer Noah Hawley (creator/showrunner/writer/director) and his production company 26 Keys will lead the creative team for the latest all-new “true … Continue reading “FX announces Fargo Season Four Cast”

FX sets September premiere date for ‘Fargo’

The novel coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating affect on film and TV production this year. But recovery is slowly beginning. Last week, Reel 360 reported on a few CW Network shows (The Flash, Riverdale, Superman and Lois) returning to production late last month and Marvel’s Falcon and Winter Soldier, along with Loki and Hawkeye … Continue reading “FX sets September premiere date for ‘Fargo’”

Filmscape 2020 goes online with virtual exhibitor booths

Filmscape 2020 goes virtual August 29 & 30. Exhibitors get a virtual booth on a dedicated page on the Filmscape website. Every year, Filmscape Chicago, an educational nonprofit focused on skill building for technicians and artists in the Chicago film and television industry, holds an annual event which hosts high-profile vendors, educational workshops, panels, and … Continue reading “Filmscape 2020 goes online with virtual exhibitor booths”

Meet ‘Lovecraft Country’s’ showrunner Misha Green

HBO’s Lovecraft Country, which was filmed at Cinespace Studios, debuts on August 16. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip from Chicago across … Continue reading “Meet ‘Lovecraft Country’s’ showrunner Misha Green”

Chicago PD, Fire & Med return to production in September

Sources tell Reel Chicago that the Chicago P.D. team will begin to return the second week of August with a scheduled Chicago shoot date on September 22. A few Chicago P.D. production personnel have begun to prep for COVID regulations before the crews arrive. Chicago Med and Chicago Fire are also said to follow the … Continue reading “Chicago PD, Fire & Med return to production in September”

Possible ‘Empire’ spinoff in development

The former FOX Network juggernaut Empire, which was filmed at Chicago’s Cinespace Studios, have ended prematurely last spring due to the rampant novel coronavirus COVID-19, but you clearly can’t keep a Lyons down. There is now talk of a spinoff series starring Taraji P. Henson as matriarch Cookie Lyons. According to TheWrap, the project is … Continue reading “Possible ‘Empire’ spinoff in development”

Next phase & beyond protocols, guidelines & what’s next

The State of  Illinois and City of Chicago are now operating in Phase 3 of their respective reopening plans and there is a lot of film production news and information to share. In addition to the Chicago and Illinois Film Offices issuing Phase 3 film production guidelines, last Friday, SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, and the Teamsters released “The Safe Way Forward”, COVID 19 Safety … Continue reading “Next phase & beyond protocols, guidelines & what’s next”

Season 3 premiere of Lena Waithe’s ‘The Chi’

“The Chi” Season 3 premieres this Sunday, June 21st at 8 PM CT on Showtime.  Created by Chicago’s own Lena Waithe and filmed entirely in Illinois, “The Chi” is a coming-of-age drama series about a group of Black teenage boys from the city’s south side. An average day finds kids prepping for school as their parents head off to … Continue reading “Season 3 premiere of Lena Waithe’s ‘The Chi’”

Alex Pissios talks future of Chicago production

Nowhere can the pandemic’s financial impact be felt more than in the city’s once thriving production industry. Shows such as Empire, the Dick Wolf “Chicago” shows, Shameless and commercials positioned Chicago as the midwest hub for networks and studios. Once productions were forced to shutter, everyone from actors to craft services suddenly found themselves out … Continue reading “Alex Pissios talks future of Chicago production”

Zoom Interview: Richard Song of Eleven04

Asian Americans have been a silent voice in American Media since the birth of cinema.  While many other demographics have found a way to break through to mainstream markets, few filmmakers and actors of Asian descent have risen to the top.  Asians currently make up the majority of the world’s population, and continue to be … Continue reading “Zoom Interview: Richard Song of Eleven04”

Watch trailer for Peele and Abrams’ ‘Lovecraft Country’

HBO’s new drama series, Lovecraft Country, which had a large portion filmed at Cinespace Studios debuts this August. The series, based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff of the same name, follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark … Continue reading “Watch trailer for Peele and Abrams’ ‘Lovecraft Country’”

‘Empire’ finale delivers best ratings since October 2019

This is the way to end a series. Empire signed off with its premature series finale on Tuesday night, after the coronavirus forced the Fox show to shorten its production at Cinespace Studios. The final episode delivered a 0.8 rating and 2.9 million total viewers. That represents the show’s highest rating and largest audience since … Continue reading “‘Empire’ finale delivers best ratings since October 2019”

REEL WOMEN: Karolyn Raphael, Pres, Winger Marketing

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Karolyn Raphael, President of Winger Marketing, with more than … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Karolyn Raphael, Pres, Winger Marketing”

Trans Lifeline, Burnett address isolation crisis

As we all isolate ourselves for COVID-19 quarantines, it’s opened up the discussion about what a lack of community and connection can do to our mental health. But what if the communities that make us feel seen and safe were less visible to begin with? In 2019, only 4% of the general U.S. population said they … Continue reading “Trans Lifeline, Burnett address isolation crisis”

UPDATED: Second City, Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz go virtual

When audiences and comedy lovers think Improv, they usually think Chicago, home to popular destinations like the infamous The Second City and iO Comedy.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that the closures of all schools, theaters, and public venues has also hit the improv world hard.  Not only has the COVID-19 Pandemic forced these popular establishments … Continue reading “UPDATED: Second City, Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz go virtual”

REEL WOMEN: Colette Gabriel, GM of Keslow Camera

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Colette Gabriel is the General Manager of Keslow Camera … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Colette Gabriel, GM of Keslow Camera”

New Coronavirus case on Chicago production set

An NBC staff member whose name we cannot release has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is currently in Chicago undergoing treatment. The staff member, who was in a department that effected all three Dick Wolf Chicago shows, is from California and has been in Chicago since the Christmas hiatus. He is said to … Continue reading “New Coronavirus case on Chicago production set”

‘Fargo’ on hiatus,’Candyman’ wraps amid COVID-19 crisis

Coronavirus, COVID-19, is hitting the media and entertainment industries hard.  With local, state and federal shutdowns occurring across the United States and theater chains closing, larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, all thriving entertainment hubs, are being impacted hardest as many in those communities – from actors to crew – … Continue reading “‘Fargo’ on hiatus,’Candyman’ wraps amid COVID-19 crisis”

UPDATED: ‘Chicago Med, PD & Fire’ halt production

All three Chicago Dick Wolf shows Chicago Med, PD and Fire have halted production and will not be returning until next season. In addition to the Chicago shows, the list includes other Wolf series Law & Order: SVU for NBC and FBI for CBS, as well as NBC’s New Amsterdam — all from Universal Television — upcoming limited series for Peacock Angelyne starring … Continue reading “UPDATED: ‘Chicago Med, PD & Fire’ halt production”

IATSE President calls on Congress to pass relief package

In the wake of film and TV shutdowns IATSE just released a statement from International President Matthew D. Loeb where he urged the Federal Government to step in to deal with the economic fallout for Entertainment workers whose events/projects have been cancelled because of the COVID virus. Matthew D. Loeb, International President of the IATSE, … Continue reading “IATSE President calls on Congress to pass relief package”

COVID-19 claims Chicago & NY St. Patty’s Day parades

The mayor was not alone in her decision as New York City, Boston, Dallas, Dublin and other cities dropped their festivities for the holiday. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Lightfoot made her decision after days of speculation. Also included in the decision were the South Side’s Irish Parade and even the smaller Northwestern Side … Continue reading “COVID-19 claims Chicago & NY St. Patty’s Day parades”

Walmart prepares online challenge to Amazon Prime

With more than 4,000 stores in the US alone, Walmart is by far the nation’s largest brick and mortar retailer. But online, it ranks behind Amazon, which claims nearly 40 percent of US online retail sales. According to a recent story published in VOX, Walmart is about to challenge Amazon’s dominance with a new online … Continue reading “Walmart prepares online challenge to Amazon Prime”

Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney

Angie Gaffney chaperones a lot of dreams in the Windy City. As Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance — an organization recently formed by combining the Independent Filmmaker Project with Stage 18 — she helps people achieve their goals, and their goals are to make movies. Or short films. Or pilots. Or web … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney”

‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul

Breaking Bad producer Stewart Lyons will be among the TV and film creators appearing at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artists Series this winter. The award-winning guest, who also produces Better Call Saul, will take part in the VAS’ series of feature screenings and onstage discussions with leading talent in the entertainment industry … Continue reading “‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul”

CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going

A cohort of young professionals assured industry leaders that the future of Chicago production is in good hands at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on Monday afternoon. Highlighting the Wrap Party for the Mirkopoulos Internship Program, each member of the group had just finished working as temporary crew on Chicago Fire / PD / Med, and … Continue reading “CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going”

Celebrating the “Six Degrees of ‘One Chicago'”

In the fall of 2018, NBC began airing Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD back-to-back-to-back as a trifecta called One Chicago on Wednesday nights. The decision generated lots of enthusiasm and a little bit of curiosity among fans of the Dick Wolf franchises. Everyone seemed to wonder: would viewers have the time and inclination … Continue reading “Celebrating the “Six Degrees of ‘One Chicago’””

NBC cast and crew launch ‘One Chicago Inspire Youth’

One day on the set of Chicago Fire, as star Eamonn Walker sat in a makeup chair and listened to the news before filming a scene at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, he learned that a nine-year-old boy from the south side had been shot the night before. Shocked and horrified, he had never witnessed such … Continue reading “NBC cast and crew launch ‘One Chicago Inspire Youth’”

The biggest stories of 2019

The City of Chicago reigned supreme in 2019. Advertising agencies blended social justice with clever branding. Content creators reinforced Chicago’s reputation for inclusivity. Film studios entertained the nation while helping the local neighborhoods. And a handful of friends said goodbye. Below is a list of Reel Chicago’s top articles for 2019, separated by category and … Continue reading “The biggest stories of 2019”

IL Film Office strives to increase minority presence

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) plans to invest $500,000 through the Illinois Film Office Workforce Training Program to enable more women and minorities to access job opportunities within the film industry. As the industry grows, more minority groups are moving toward film production as a career, making up 49% of the … Continue reading “IL Film Office strives to increase minority presence”

CAFM says “Hurrah” for 2019

December 9th Film Industry Holiday Party and Fundraiser at Carbon Arc features networking, raffle prizes, silent auction, “Winter Weekend Getaway,” and more Tasty food, cool prizes, and dancing are on the menu as the Chicago Acting In Film Meetup (CAFM) celebrates 2019 with a film industry party, fundraiser, and networking night all rolled into one. … Continue reading “CAFM says “Hurrah” for 2019”

Alex Pissios to chair A Safe Haven anniversary

Cinespace President joins film, media, and arts leaders at event to benefit ASH’s ‘award-winning model to solving homelessness’ Cinespace Chicago President Alex Pissios will join a group of notable film, media, and arts leaders as Chair for tomorrow night’s A Legacy of Excellence, the 25-year Anniversary Gala for homeless support organization A Safe Haven (ASH) … Continue reading “Alex Pissios to chair A Safe Haven anniversary”

Periscope appoints Edwin Polanco Chief Engineer

“There is great camaraderie and shared purpose at this facility” Edwin Polanco Post-production IT specialist Edwin Polanco has joined Periscope Post & Audio, Hollywood, as its chief engineer. Polanco will set engineering policies, oversee technical operations and lead technology planning. He will also manage the engineering aspects of the facility’s ongoing buildout. “Edwin brings deep … Continue reading “Periscope appoints Edwin Polanco Chief Engineer”

DePaul film brings holiday magic to State St.

‘Merry Christmas from DePaul’ stop-motion holiday scene will light up the loop from November 7 to January 15 DePaul University will light up the corner of State Street and Jackson Boulevard with a new holiday tradition on November 7. Merry Christmas from DePaul is a stop-motion animated film and 3D design created by faculty filmmakers … Continue reading “DePaul film brings holiday magic to State St.”

ChiFilmFest announces 2019 audience winners

‘Just Mercy,’ ‘And Then We Danced,’ ‘Ready for War’ take top honors at 55th Chicago International Film Festival   The Chicago International Film Festival today announced the winners of the Festival Audience Awards, presented by Xfinity. Voted by Festival-goers, the Audience Award for Best Feature goes to Just Mercy by director Destin Daniel Cretton. The … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces 2019 audience winners”

Seaton, Simon are GlobalMixx ‘Game Changers’

Annual Film and Music Forum will honor Carl Seaton and Claire Simon for “giving back to the community” Chicago Television Director Carl Seaton and Simon Casting President Claire Simon will be honored as a Game Changers at the Global Mixx Music and Film Forum next weekend. Bestowed upon individuals who have “impacted in some way … Continue reading “Seaton, Simon are GlobalMixx ‘Game Changers’”

‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch

Aemilia Scott, Holli McGinley film follows a single mother living on the edge of Chicago’s Humboldt Park The 55th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 5th edition of Industry Days: Three Hours, directed by Aemilia Scott and produced by Holli McGinley. The film follows a single mother living … Continue reading “‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch”

ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch”

Five film projects to compete for $20,000 awards package of in-kind goods and services   The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of five narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch””

The 2019 Chicago South Side Film Festival

Third annual run kicks off with a live party and screening of Jesse Saunders’ ‘House Music: The Real Story’ The Chicago South Side Film Festival (CSSFF) brings back the celebration of South Side of Chicago on films. Featuring a diverse slate of screenings and activities, the event promises to inspire, enlighten, and entertain filmgoers and … Continue reading “The 2019 Chicago South Side Film Festival”

Film & TV pros share expertise at ‘Courier 12’

’BlacKkKlansman’ screenwriters among panelists appearing at DePaul’s all-day industry conference on Saturday, Sept. 28   DePaul University’s annual Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference will take place this Saturday, September 28, from noon to 7 p.m. in the school’s Daley Building, 247 S. State St. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For … Continue reading “Film & TV pros share expertise at ‘Courier 12’”

IFP throws first annual fundraiser at Lagunitas

Event auction prizes include lunch with IFO Director Peter Hawley, CFO Director Kwame Amoaku, and Cinespace Chicago President Alex Pissios IFP Chicago’s new associate board is proud to announce that their first annual fundraiser will be hosted by Lagunitas at the Lagunitas brewery facility near Cinespace Studios at 2607 W 17th St. on September 30, … Continue reading “IFP throws first annual fundraiser at Lagunitas”

ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda

Master Classes with Oscar and Sundance winners are just a few of the events scheduled for October 17-20 program     The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced today the program for Industry Days (October 17-20, 2019) with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.   A … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda”

Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward

Newly installed office-holders explain their plans for keeping Chicago and Illinois on the path of success The thriving regional film industry is only going to get better, according to two of its recently appointed top leaders. Illinois Film Office Executive Director Peter Hawley and Director of the Chicago Film Office Kwame Amoaku described their visions … Continue reading “Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward”

ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs

“Knives Out” starring Daniel Craig among first round of films announced for 55th run, October 16-27 Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, today announced titles selected for the Galas and Special Presentations programs for the 55th edition of the Festival. Offering movie lovers a first look at the year’s most highly … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Gala & Special Presentations programs”

‘South Side’ renewed for 10-episode season two

Comedy Central orders another round of the show about “joy, ambition, and silliness” in the Englewood community   According to a story published today in Hollywood Reporter, the critically acclaimed Comedy Central series South Side has been renewed for another season. Created by Windy City natives Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, and Sultan Salahuddin, South Side … Continue reading “‘South Side’ renewed for 10-episode season two”

Sherri Shepherd hosts ‘Brian Banks’ screening at AMC

The actress / comedian reserved an entire theater to share the film’s “powerful message” with family, friends, supporters, and students from Chicagoland Actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd felt so strongly about the message contained in the film Brian Banks that she rented out an entire theater to share it with students, friends, family, and supporters … Continue reading “Sherri Shepherd hosts ‘Brian Banks’ screening at AMC”

Late summer media wrap

IL Film Tax Credit “Avengers: Endgame” Metallica “Skippers” “Solstice” SG + Partners in the news   Film Tax Credit extended til 2026 Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill extending the revenue-generating Illinois Film Tax credit until 2026. Officially known as Illinois Senate Bill 1981, the “Film Production Services Tax Credit Act of 2008” offers a … Continue reading “Late summer media wrap”

Vasilatos nabs a couple Megafest noms

The Chicago filmmaker earns a pair of honors while exploring options for his next project Restored in 2018 for its 25th Anniversary with a new orchestral score, Lifetime Television’s first original holiday movie, Solstice, produced and directed by Jerry Vasilatos, will be screened as an official selection at the Action on Film / Hollywood Dreamz … Continue reading “Vasilatos nabs a couple Megafest noms”

AbelCine offers first look at the Fujinon Premista

Check out the lens and get advice from Fujinon specialists at the company’s Cinespace showroom this Thursday July 11 AbelCine Chicago will offer a first-look at the Fujinon Premista this Thursday July 11 from 2-5 p.m. at their office on the Cinespace Studios campus (2602 W. 16th Street). According to the company’s At the Bench … Continue reading “AbelCine offers first look at the Fujinon Premista”

Rich Ellis to lead sales at Periscope, Hollywood

Ellis will drive sales for the Audio & Post company’s all-new, 22,000 sq ft facility Chicago-headquartered Periscope Post & Audio has appointed Rich Ellis as Executive Sales Manager at its recently-opened facility in Hollywood. A highly-regarded industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, Ellis will drive sales for the all-new, 22,000 square foot … Continue reading “Rich Ellis to lead sales at Periscope, Hollywood”

Melody Smith sets up Go Fund Me for breast cancer

One of the great aspects about writing for Reel Chicago, and quite frankly sets us apart from other publications, is our ability to really dive into our own advertising, film, TV and music production community. Because that is what we really are. A community. We are a village in the third largest city in the … Continue reading “Melody Smith sets up Go Fund Me for breast cancer”

Filmscape Chicago open for registration

The gear and education expo brings equipment expertise, and community together at Cinespace on September 7-8 A portion of the curriculum for this year’s Filmscape Chicago was announced today, and if registration goes anything like the event’s predecessor, classes are going to fill up quickly. Although technically an inaugural run, Filmscape is actually an updated … Continue reading “Filmscape Chicago open for registration”

Camera Ambassador, 2112 launch partnership

Adding an arsenal of rentable gear to a film, music, and tech industry nexus will help Chicago’s production community dial it up to eleven Camera Ambassador and 2112 are going all in to help filmmakers get it done. Through a partnership announced last week, the equipment rental shop and the film incubator are combining their … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador, 2112 launch partnership”

Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley

The woman who helped Illinois make hundreds of TV shows and generate $2.5 billion in revenue talks about the ever-changing Midwestern filmscape Christine Dudley joined the Illinois Film Office at the exact time when the Illinois Film Office needed Christine Dudley. Combining exceptional legislative knowledge with a “modest background in production,” she helped guide the … Continue reading “Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley”

It’s Showtime for ‘The Chi’ which has been renewed

Chicago production community will have a busy season as hit Showtime series was renewed for a 3rd season along with Fox’s renewal of ‘Empire’ Showtime has announced has picked up the hit drama series The Chi for a third season. In a statement released today, network president Gary Levine said this about the series, which … Continue reading “It’s Showtime for ‘The Chi’ which has been renewed”

Fox renews ‘Empire,’ Smollett’s return unclear

Cinespace Studios will have a busy season as the Fox series was renewed for Season 6 along with Showtime’s ‘The Chi’ Fox has announced that Empire, which shoots at Cinespace Studios, has been renewed for a sixth season at Fox one week before its Season 5 finale. Jussie Smollett’s, who plays Jamal Lyons, role on … Continue reading “Fox renews ‘Empire,’ Smollett’s return unclear”

Local 476 pickets non-union production

The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union works for interests that range far beyond the film industry   Members of Chicago Local 476 picketed a non-union production shooting in the city last weekend. Inspired to protect the opportunities, wages, and benefits of its members, the Studio Mechanics believe that their protest also serves interests far beyond the … Continue reading “Local 476 pickets non-union production”

Updated: Is there finally “Jusstice” for Jussie?

Cook County State Attorney drops all 16 criminal charges; and seals all records in a case full of twists and turns Again, the Jussie Smollett case has had more twists and turns than an episode of Empire. Less than two weeks after the Empire actor pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for … Continue reading “Updated: Is there finally “Jusstice” for Jussie?”

Camera Ambassador announces Builders Grant

Chicago-based equipment rental house to award winning filmmaker with nearly $10K in cash, gear, and goodies Camera Ambassador is offering creators a chance to win nearly $10k worth of funding, gear, and other goodies by way of a Builders Grant designed “to recognize accomplished individuals, as well as provide opportunities for young and emerging artists.” … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador announces Builders Grant”

Filmscape to keep Chicago production “on the forefront”

The two-day September event will feature more of what made its predecessor a success, plus a few new things Filmscape Chicago is a two-day, pro-level series of equipment demos, state-of-the-art training, and speakers happening at Cinespace Studios over the weekend of September 7th and 8th. Although technically an inaugural run, Filmscape is actually an enhanced … Continue reading “Filmscape to keep Chicago production “on the forefront””

The future of the Illinois film industry looks brighter

How Cinespace President Alex Pissios, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor J.B. Pritzker, and State Senator Elgie Sims plan to keep a good thing growing   Industry leaders and film professionals gathered to hear Governor Pritzker, Mayor Emanuel, and Senator Elgie Sims Jr. shine some reassurance on the future of Chicago’s film industry during a press conference … Continue reading “The future of the Illinois film industry looks brighter”

Jussie Smollett: Timeline of a “hoax?”

Grand jury convenes this week to determine if the “Empire” star filed a false police report The alleged “homophobic” and “racist” attack on Jussie Smollett, which reportedly took place in the early hours of January 29, has taken more twists and turns than an hour of the locally-filmed hit Fox series Empire. One could almost … Continue reading “Jussie Smollett: Timeline of a “hoax?””

Patrick Lives On 2019 Film Showcase & Fundraiser

Resolution Studios and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios host third annual event featuring anti-violence themed shorts Network with film industry professionals and view work by Chicago’s talented and growing independent filmmakers’ community at the third annual Patrick Lives On Film Showcase & Fundraiser on March 9 at Resolution Digital Studios. Founded in 2016 by Patricia Frontain, … Continue reading “Patrick Lives On 2019 Film Showcase & Fundraiser”

Periscope Post & Audio expands to Los Angeles

The resident post facility of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios delivers expertise to growing West Coast clientele Chicago-based Periscope Post & Audio has purchased the Hollywood-based post production studio, Post Production, Inc. (formerly Sonic Pool). Periscope’s new location will offer a full range of post-production service in Los Angeles similar to the scope of service it … Continue reading “Periscope Post & Audio expands to Los Angeles”

Questions arise in Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack

Area detectives and now the FBI continue to investigate the attack on the Empire actor Early Tuesday morning, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was attacked by what has been classified by Chicago police as a possible “Hate Crime.” First reported by TMZ, the actor was on his way home from a sandwich shop (reportedly Subway) at … Continue reading “Questions arise in Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack”

Local 476 Studio Mechanics keep moving the earth

“Bobcats and big machines have become a part of our Greens Department.” Bradley Matthys IATSE Local 476 President The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union Local 476 will begin instructing current and prospective members in the proper use of earth-moving equipment this summer. Supplying the program with industry standard vehicles and operational knowhow, the Chicago chapter of … Continue reading “Local 476 Studio Mechanics keep moving the earth”

Local 476 elections reflect unprecedented growth

The Studio Mechanics’ record-setting year is is complemented by growing diversity in leadership and membership The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union Local 476, a chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), designated more than a dozen officers, board members, and trustees after tallying the votes of its December 10 election. Returning to positions … Continue reading “Local 476 elections reflect unprecedented growth”

Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow

The man who arranged gunfights on the el, demolition in the loop, and “Transformer” battles on Wacker Drive explains how the CFO got it done Rich Moskal helped to present the Windy City as a place of beauty, romance, destruction, and chaos in more than 5,000 films, TV shows, web series, and commercials while serving … Continue reading “Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow”

Light Modifiers launches new rental division

Experienced film pros offer a storehouse of gear and expertise just four blocks away from Chicago’s Cinespace Studios Light Modifiers Chicago has been providing exceptional and friendly lighting and grip services in the Midwest filmmaking community for over four years. Combining a substantial inventory of gear and professional expertise, the company created an amazing product … Continue reading “Light Modifiers launches new rental division”

NBC’s “One Chicago” suite to film six additional episodes

Chicago’s record-setting year of television production just got more record-settinger Dick Wolf’s award-winning trio of Windy City-based dramas — Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med — will collectively shoot a half-dozen additional episodes for the 2018 season, according to recent reports. Chicago PD executive producer/director Eriq LaSalle announced the news to fans in an … Continue reading “NBC’s “One Chicago” suite to film six additional episodes”

Alexan accepts Biz Development role at Periscope

New position allows ten-year vet to partner with key players in the Chicago film community Kamelya Alexan accepted the Business Development role at Periscope Post & Audio, located on the campus of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, last month. In the newly created position, she will report to General Manager Manuela Hung while spearheading the company’s … Continue reading “Alexan accepts Biz Development role at Periscope”

AbelCine launches “Shop Talk” series September 7

See gear up close and network with fellow creatives over various yummy treats at AbelCine’s showroom on the Cinespace Campus AbelCine Shop Talk is a new event series taking place in Chicago on the first Friday of every month. Fun, informal, and educational, the program aims to bring the Chicago community together around an interesting … Continue reading “AbelCine launches “Shop Talk” series September 7″

Barbizon leads CineTech’s all-day educational program

“We’ve got the vendors and we’ve got the new toys, but we’re also sponsoring a lot of classes.” —Ned McGregor, Barbizon As a presenting sponsor of next week’s CineTech event at Cinespace Studios, Barbizon Lighting Company intends to provide attendees with one of the industry’s most valuable resources: knowledge. “The goal of this thing is … Continue reading “Barbizon leads CineTech’s all-day educational program”

Camera Ambassador expands with a pair of grip trucks

A 5-ton GMC and a 3-ton Ford are the most recent additions to the Chicago-based, multifunctional vendor and production partner Camera Ambassador added a pair of grip trucks to its rental inventory this summer. Both of the vehicles in the new fleet — a 5-ton GMC and a 3-ton Ford — were customized by founders … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador expands with a pair of grip trucks”