13+ Last month, Essanay Studio and Lighting Company co-owner Wayne Kubacki retired from the nationally recognized company that he co-founded decades ago. Widely admired for his extensive knowledge, punctilious care, and conversational efficiency, he leaves a vacancy that will reverberate far beyond the company’s Goose Island facility. “I’m going to miss him,” says Jules Tomko, … Continue reading “Wayne Kubacki retires from Essanay Studios”
This January marks the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s historic month in Chicago, where he shot his first one reel comedy at George K. Spoor and “Bronco Billy” Anderson’s Essanay Studiio for the astronomical salary of $1,250 a week and a $10,000 signing bonus.
After two intense months of capital campaign fundraising to preserve and renovate parts of the original 106-year Essanay Studios – one of the last silent film structures in the world — the effort was squelched Friday by the president of property owner/occupant St. Augustine College.
Big things are in store for what originally had been the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company when it opened in 1907. It was one of the first silent movie studios and now it’s the last one standing in the country. A movement is underway to maintain its legacy by raising the $3 million needed to renovate and restore one of Essanay’s original stages for use as performing and visual arts resource center, open to all.
Inside what was Essanay Studios in Uptown, actors Charlie Chaplin, Wallace Beery, Gloria Swanson, Ben Turpin and other icons starred in silent one-reelers that were churned out in amazing numbers each week from 1909 to 1917.
The only two new Arrimax 18,000 watt HMI lights in the Midwest arrived Wednesday at Essanay Studio & Lighting.
“These are literally the first lights out of the box,” said Essanay’s Wayne Kubacki. “The container from Germany was unloaded in New York and our lights were in the first container shipped across the country.
“Rental rates aren’t established yet, they’re that new.”
Arrimax, manufactured by Arriflex, is a brand new name “as the lights are a unique type of HMI light, neither a PAR nor a fresnel,” said Kubacki.
6+ Showtime’s longest-running series, Shameless was seen filming in town today for some pickup shots. A small crew filmed exterior drone shots of the infamous Gallagher house for VFX plates. The award-winning series was scheduled to air this summer, but like many other productions, shut down in March due to COVID-19. The cast headed back … Continue reading “Shameless in town filming this week”
5+ Yesterday, members of the AICP Midwest held their second townhall, discussing the best practices for the safety of crew and everyone on set while filming. With the Chicago Film Office scheduled to begin issuing permits for filming on June 15, this was an important meeting as the Chicago film and TV industry prepares to … Continue reading “AICP townhall: Crew Safety and Filming (video)”
3+ AICP Midwest presents: A Look Forward Crew Safety and Filming Thursday, June 4, 2020 10:30 am CST Via Zoom A town hall Q & A for crew on navigating the road ahead when production resumes. AICP Midwest Board Members/Moderators:Qadree Holmes – Founder / Executive Producer Quriosity ProductionsMarsie Wallach – Freelance Line Producer Panel: Tim … Continue reading “AICP Midwest holding town hall on crew safety & filming”
5+ 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 … Continue reading “At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.”
2+ Reel Chicago supports all efforts of those who are working, boots on the ground, to service their clients during these most difficult times. Below is a list of AICP Midwest members who are open for business, supplied by Lisa Massuer, AICP Midwest President. FROM AICP MIDWEST Collectively, the National AICP community has been working … Continue reading “AICP Midwest lists all who are open for business”
4+ Capping off an 11-season run, Showtime’s dramedy series Shameless will air its final episodes this summer. According to Deadline, President of Entertainment at Showtime Networks Gary Levine made the renewal announcement at the Winter TCA Press Tour. “Airing this summer, it will be one last hurrah for the Gallaghers and their unique blend of … Continue reading “Showtime to air final season of ‘Shameless’ this summer”
7+ 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 … Continue reading “The biggest stories of 2019”
3+ How a Chicago-based agency transforms sports into an exponentially evolving world of possibilities rEvolution Integrated Sports Marketing scores on ideas from all over the place. Combining national brands with famous players and professional teams, the agency keeps its clients in the game with a head-explodingly grand assortment of concepts involving recreational vehicles, fishing holes, … Continue reading “rEvolution on the rise”
5+ 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 … Continue reading “Filmscape Chicago open for registration”
2+ A busy slate of events will culminate in the AICP Post Awards next month AICP’s Midwest Chapter is about to kick off a series of events for the local ad and production community that will provide opportunities for professional development, learning and networking. The slate is the product of planning and strategizing by the … Continue reading “AICP Midwest Chapter sets active agenda for spring”
4+ 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 … Continue reading “Local 476 elections reflect unprecedented growth”
14+ Jeanne Caliendo is a born and bred Chicagoan who graduated from Columbia College with a degree in film. By her own admission, she has had “one fulltime job my entire life.” “I worked at Studio Lighting, which was absorbed by Essanay,” she explains. “I did a little bit of everything, until I found my … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jeanne Caliendo, “Chi Med” co-producer”