The Wachowskis auction memorabilia from The Matrix, Cloud Atlas and more

The Wachowskis will auction their collection of memorabilia, props, concept art, costumes, awards and souvenirs from their signature films such as The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, The Matrix Reloaded, Speed Racer, Jupiter Ascending, Ninja Assassin, Enter the Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions, V for Vendetta. Potter & Potter Auctions announces this can’t miss sale to be held … Continue reading “The Wachowskis auction memorabilia from The Matrix, Cloud Atlas and more”

Showtime cancels Wachowski’s Work in Progress before 3rd season

As broadcast networks, streamers and cable outlets prepare for the 2022-2023 season, they will begin greenlighting pilots and series while canceling others. Unfortunately for the Chicago production community, the news is not great for Lily Wachowski’s, Work in Progress. The showrunner announced Thursday on her Twitter account that Showtime had not renewed the series co-created … Continue reading “Showtime cancels Wachowski’s Work in Progress before 3rd season”

Lana Wachowski explains why now is the right time to return to The Matrix

We are only a couple of weeks away from the opening of the fourth, and long-awaited chapter, to The Matrix, the groundbreaking 1999 film that redefined a genre. That trilogy came from the visionary minds of Chicago-born writer/directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski. Now, Lana is out on her own as she brings The Matrix: Resurrections … Continue reading “Lana Wachowski explains why now is the right time to return to The Matrix”

Wachowski says ‘Matrix’ is transgender allegory

Before COVID-19 shut down production last March, Chicago-born director Lana Wachowski was deep into filming the fourth, the first of a new trilogy, Matrix film for Warner Bros. Since then, the Keanu Reeves-Carrie Anne-Moss sci-fi pic has resumed production in Belgium. Sister Lilly, who identified as trans along with her sister after the films came … Continue reading “Wachowski says ‘Matrix’ is transgender allegory”

Lilly Wachowski admits “rage” inspired ‘Matrix’

Like other big budget productions, The Matrix 4, directed by Lana Wachowski, has shut down until the current Coronavirus pandemic has cleared enough for studios to feel safe to go back into production. That day seems like it will come sooner rather than later as sister outlet Reel 360 reports California will reopen for film production this Friday, June 12. … Continue reading “Lilly Wachowski admits “rage” inspired ‘Matrix’”

Lilly Wachowski on why she left Hollywood

Like other big budget productions, The Matrix 4, directed by Lana Wachowski, has shut down until the current Coronavirus pandemic has cleared enough for studios to feel safe to go back into production. The third sequel to 1999’s original blockbuster was co-directed by Wachowski and her sister Lilly. Lilly is not returning to the co-director’s chair … Continue reading “Lilly Wachowski on why she left Hollywood”

The Wachowskis’ Netflix sci-fi “Sense8” to shoot here

NETFLIX’ “SENSE8” sci-fi series has returned to Cinespace, setting up offices there for filming scenes here June 4-14 for Season 2.  The series is written and executive produced by what have become the Wachowski sisters, Lana and Lily, and J. Michael Stracznski.

The story is about eight strangers around the globe who are connected through shared visions and thoughts. Stracznski said at a recent press tour that the fan response for the show has been overwhelming.

Wachowskis comments send a distorted message

Filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski have been on a media blitz lately, popping up in national magazines, local newspapers and radio.  What makes this is a huge story in itself is that the Beverly natives are notoriously secretive and rarely if ever give interviews.  Even the CIA is envious of the tight security at their CGI Kinowerks studios in Ravenswood.

Wachowskis’ original sci-fi epic UK bound, so we hear

IF THERE’S ONE THING directors Andy and Lana Wachowski  are expert at it’s keeping a tight lid on news about their projects, never publicly speaking about them and thus allowing the rest of us to wallow in rumors and speculation. 

Such is the situation with their upcoming Warner Bros. epic, “Jupiter Ascending,” the first time the siblings have written together and their first original sci-fi movie.

The Wachowskis want to produce big movie here – but…

WE HEAR that Lana and Andy Wachowski want to make their next big budget, big name, big effects movie in Chicago.  Which makes sense since they operate out of their super secret North Side Ravenswood Kinowerks post and effects studio, and Andy has a home here.  Their project is “Jupiter Ascending,” the duo’s first major science fiction action franchise screenplay since The Matrix.  

Wachowskis’ Kinowerks the best of green technology

New York’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently gave a $6 million grant to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to use for various city programs. One of them is finding ways to create greater energy savings, a top item on Emanuel’s agenda for a greener Chicago.  

But when it comes to green buildings, however, few can compare with Lana and Andy Wachowski’s environmentally efficient Ravenswood Kinowerks postproduction and effects studio.

New futuristic Wachowskis movie rumored

THE SUPER SECRETIVE WACHOWSKIS may be ramping up their next movie, with Huffington Post publisher and politico Ariana Huffington, of all people, involved in it. Photos she posted on Twitter suggest she has a role in their story about the war in Iraq from the POV of a futuristic society.

Since their “The Matrix” triology in 2003, Andy and Lana Wachowski have directed only one movie, last year’s “Speed Racer.” If a new movie is in the works, count on all the special effects coming from their fortress-like high-tech studio at 5645 N. Ravenswood.

The Wachowskis’ new movie is rumored

THE SUPER SECRETIVE WACHOWSKIS may be ramping up their next movie, with Huffington Post publisher and politico Ariana Huffington, of all people, involved in it. Photos she posted on Twitter suggest she has a role in their story about the war in Iraq from the POV of a futuristic society.

Since their “The Matrix” triology in 2003,

Andy and Lana Wachowski have directed only one movie, last year’s “Speed Racer.” If a new movie is in the works, count on all the special effects coming from their fortress-like high-tech studio at 5645 N. Ravenswood.

The Wachowskis’ are going full blast on posting their new “Ninja Assassin” feature here

THE WACHOWSKIS’ FIRST FEATURE coming out of their handsome new high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood is the big-budgeted action movie, “Ninja Assassin,” for Warner Bros.

Story is about a young ninja who turns his back on orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.

Live action was shot in Berlin from March to July and the Chicago facility staff of 15 are now busy with editing, compositing and special effects. “Ninja Assassin” is set for a January, 2009 release date.

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post/FX facility should focus favorable attention on local scene

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The native South Siders of “The Matrix” fame, will open a high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood in what had been the Ravenswood Studio, a scenic design shop.

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The Wachowskis’ glitzy new special effects studio should provide new jobs

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The native South Siders of “The Matrix” fame, will open a high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood in what had been the Ravenswood Studio, a scenic design shop.

Given the Wachowskis well-known propensity for privacy, little is known about the studio operation, such as the official date of opening, staff size or whether local artists will be hired or all imported from L.A.

What new series are setting up in Chicago and what’s leaving

What do HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix, NBC/Uni, Sony, Disney, AMC Studios, Showtime, STARZ all have in common? They’ve all moved into town, setup shop, and made themselves a home in Chicago to shoot a tv series. I’ve lived through the ebb and flow of the Chicago film industry since the mid 80s. This … Continue reading “What new series are setting up in Chicago and what’s leaving”

The Best of Reel Chicago interviews in 2021

Human beings are social animals. Personal contact and social interaction with others is simply essential. In opposition, Covid created lock downs, quarantines and generally created a need to rethink how we communicate with each other. Because communicate, we must. Although we all had hopes for 2021, it has pushed, provoked, squished and forced its way upon us … Continue reading “The Best of Reel Chicago interviews in 2021”

Work in Progress: the concept, the talent, and plans for Season 2

Showtime’s brilliant series Work in Progress is back for a second season. The hit series revolves around the life of a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke, Abby (Abby McEnany) as she encounters death, doubt, suicide and depression while becoming an altogether likable heroine.   Abby McEnany, creator, writer, and star of series is a fixture in … Continue reading “Work in Progress: the concept, the talent, and plans for Season 2”

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”

‘Work in Progress’ in Chicago filming Season 2

Reel Chicago spotted the Work in Progress crew hard at work filming on location in Chicago’s Old Irving Park. The Showtime comedy series, created by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason is a Chicago series currently filming 10 episodes for Season 2. McEnany plays lead-character Abby, “a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke.” Rolling through situations based … Continue reading “‘Work in Progress’ in Chicago filming Season 2”

Warner Bros. delays ‘Matrix’ sequel until 2022

Even with cities and their movie theaters cautiously reopening after being shut down for three months, studios are not risking box office failure with their big tentpole films. Just shortly after delaying Wonder Woman 1984 to October 2, comes word that Warner Bros. is halting the 2021 release of the highly-anticipated fourth The Matrix film. … Continue reading “Warner Bros. delays ‘Matrix’ sequel until 2022”

Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss on returning to ‘Matrix’

While the three original films – The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – seemed to conclude the series – Neo and Trinity do die – there has been speculation that the world would return someday. That someday began last August when Warner Bros. officially announced that a fourth Matrix would happen. After … Continue reading “Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss on returning to ‘Matrix’”

‘John Wick’ directors help out with ‘Matrix 4’ stunts

When the Wachowskis’ The Matrix premiered in 1999, it gave film audiences some of the most ground-breaking, jaw-dropping action sequences of the time. Who can forget in the opening minutes, Trinity (played by Carrie-Anne Moss) springing into the air, freezing and the camera spinning around her? Even if the subsequent sequels were not as beloved, … Continue reading “‘John Wick’ directors help out with ‘Matrix 4’ stunts”

Cinepocalypse names Katie Rife new Senior Programmer

Cinepocalypse — Chicago’s premiere annual genre festival, produced and presented by the Music Box Theatre — is proud to bring in the New Year with the announcement of Katie Rife as new Senior Programmer of the festival. Rife, a Senior Writer for The A.V. Club who previously helmed the festival’s shorts programming, joins ahead of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse names Katie Rife new Senior Programmer”

Showtime renews ‘Work in Progress’ for second season

Last month, Reel Chicago reported that Abby McEnany and Tim Mason’s new Showtime comedy series Work in Progress has inspired “an impending cultural sensation.” Now it appears that viewing audiences agree, as multiple outlets are reporting that the network has renewed the show for a second season. Boasting a perfect 100% score on the Rotten … Continue reading “Showtime renews ‘Work in Progress’ for second season”

Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian

Open Television author and creator is helping to bring marginalized creators and content into the spotlight of American culture   Over the last four years, Dr. Aymar Jean Christian has inspired a community of artists and intellectuals to disrupt one of the greatest institutions in America. With analytical expertise, online manipulation, shrewd outreach, and boundless … Continue reading “Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian”

Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films

The annual LGBTQ+ fest will screen work by Lilly Wachowski, Jesús Canchola Sánchez, Michael Cicetti, Wendy Jo Carlton, Laura Madalinski, and more Reeling, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ film festival, will host international, national and local actors and filmmakers at its 37th edition, unspooling September 19-29 at Music Box Theatre, Landmark Theatres’ Century Centre Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers. … Continue reading “Reeling to showcase a load of Chicago-connected films”

Inside the Music Box’s 90th Anniversary Video

The 12-minute film showcases one of the theatre’s greatest resources, its audience   Filmmaker Curtis Matzke shot a lot of interviews while helping to make the Music Box Theatre’s 90th Anniversary tribute video, and in doing so he captured one of the greatest things about the place: its audience. Since opening nearly a hundred years … Continue reading “Inside the Music Box’s 90th Anniversary Video”

2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival

From ‘Shiny Shrimps’ to ‘Scream Queen,’ the annual Windy City tradition promises to entertain, inspire, amuse, arouse and break a few hearts Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 35 years, kicks off fall with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the diversity … Continue reading “2019 Reeling LGBTQ film festival”

Chatter: Is new ‘Matrix’ filming in Chicago 2020?

If rumors are to be believed a new Matrix, helmed by the Wachowskis could be filming in town as early as next year There is a new rumor making the rounds that ComicBookMovie.com caught wind of. If it is to be believed, the once successful Matrix franchise will return to the big screen sooner than … Continue reading “Chatter: Is new ‘Matrix’ filming in Chicago 2020?”

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”

New doc helps brewery say “F*** Your Hair” to Trump

After taking offense at President Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, a Chicago beer maker brews up a protest Chicago production company One City Films has bottled the essence of American politics into a new film about cultural dignity, First Amendment rights, and beer. F*** Your Hair: The Latin-Owned Brewery that Dumped Trump tells the tale … Continue reading “New doc helps brewery say “F*** Your Hair” to Trump”

Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box

A cornucopia of classic genre screenings, premieres, and events to take place at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre.     From June 21st through June 28th, a cornucopia of genre screenings and events will take place at the Music Box Theatre for its second annual Cinepocalypse. The film festival grinds together a gory cocktail of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box”

Female-led “Range Runners” films in IL this summer

Fatal Funnel Films announces cast for upcoming thriller   Actors from Chicago’s hottest shows to perform in inaugural feature shooting in Shawnee National Forest and nearby Carbondale     (Chicago — 7 May 2018) Fatal Funnel Films, an Illinois-based independent film company, today announces the complete cast and production team of their inaugural feature film, … Continue reading “Female-led “Range Runners” films in IL this summer”

Chicago actor Max Jenkins gets “Lost in Space”

Exclusive interview with the cast member of the Netflix’s series premiering today At 12-years-old, one can’t really say Lincoln Square resident Max Jenkins has had a long and storied acting career yet, but he has certainly had an impactful one.     The mandolin player in the band “Cowboy Jesus and Sugar Bum” made his … Continue reading “Chicago actor Max Jenkins gets “Lost in Space””

Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago

Former DDBer Kristin Barbour will have a homecoming of sorts as she has been named managing director of Camp + King’s new Chicago satellite office, created in part to serve client Energizer. An advertising veteran, Barbour has worked with some of the nation’s most prestigious brands, including McDonald’s, Mars, Kraft and Chevrolet. The San Francisco-based … Continue reading “Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago”

Netflix cancels “Sense8”

That’s all for “The Clusters.” Netflix has canceled drama SENSE8 after two seasons.

The diverse series was created and directed by Chicagoans Lilly and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Speed Racer, Jupiter Rising) and filmed in Chicago and at numerous locations around the country and internationally.

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the SENSE8 cluster is coming to an end,” said Cindy Holland, VP of Netflix original content.

Paonessa Talent actors head for TV and film stardom

The next 10 days will be especially exciting for talent agent Marisa Paonessa. She will be making two consecutive weekend trips to New York to celebrate the TV and film premieres of two of her agency’s talent.

She will attend the Oct. 1 premiere of “Saturday Night Live’s” 42nd season, in which her client, improv artist and sketch performer, Alex Moffat, will debut as a regular member of the iconic TV series.

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.

Chicago actors spotlighted in entertainment shows

Chicago talent is absolutely ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille. 

Seven TV series and two features (to date) rolling into production now through the next three months will give local performers their best shot ever at TV and movie roles without having to leave town.

The first season of Dick Wolf’s NBC “Chicago Fire” generated more than 300 days of work for local actors during its first 22 episode-season.

Season of TV series and movie filming gets underway

ENTERTAINMENT FILMING has begun in earnest with action on features and TV series from now through October.  Although teen sci-fi “Divergent” wraps July 17 after a large second unit shoot, The Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic “Jupiter Ascending” officially starts rolling July 13. It will film at Cinespace and on many locations around the city.

20 West’s new docusoap set in famous Texas bar/grill

TWO NEW SHOWS FOR 20 WEST PRODUCTIONS. According to Scot Thor, SVP/development and production, the Intersport division is going into production into its first MTV program – a docusoap called “South of Heaven.” It follows the beautiful 20something girls who work at the famous “Redneck Restaurant and Bar (a fan gave it 5 stars: 3 stars for the food and an extra 2 stars for the women) in Lewisville, Texas, near Ft. Worth. 

Chris Webb moves here from L.A. as Method’s new EP

Method Studios, coming up on a year in Chicago as part of L.A.-based DeLuxe Entertainment’s finishing trio of Beast editorial, Company 3 and Method, has hired Chris Webb as executive producer. 

Webb, who moved here over the Memorial Day weekend, will work closely with creative director Gil Baron, in building the Chicago office’s continuing expansion.  He had been a permalancer at Method in L.A. for several years prior to his transfer here.

Lisa Masseur brings her EP skills to One at Optimus

NEW EXECUTIVE PRODUCER at One at Optimus is veteran producer Lisa Masseur, who officially joined the production company a few weeks ago after being a permalance producer there since last January.  She replaces Kipp Christensen who returned to freelancing and reports to director of production Craig Leffel.

Masseur began freelancing as a producer last July after a seven year stint as EP/managing director at Radar Studios, where she oversaw all production and post, as well as sales and marketing efforts.

Colin Costello boosted to top creative post in L.A.

IT ONLY TOOK A MONTH for Colin Costello, a former local agency CD and recent L.A. transplant, to land a big agency job.  Walton Isaacson (of which Magic Johnson is a partner), the agency for which he’s been freelancing, jumped him up to senior creative director, on staff, of course, after he executed successful campaigns for the agency’s Lexus and Los Angeles Dodgers accounts.

“Transformers 4″ one of a sci-fi trio to film here

Chicago will be awash with sci-fi characters heating up the summer scene when three big-budget fantasy films with marquee name actors and an army of crews start shooting here April through October.

The biggest film of the futuristic trio is director Michael Bay’s “Transformers 4,” which is expected to return in June to the city the Decepticons had turned into rubble four years earlier.

2012 shoot days of 1,808 up 45% over previous year

Chicago production had its busiest year ever in 2012.  A total of 406 total projects across all visual media shot 1,808 days.  This is up 45%, when 391 projects shot 1,234 days the year before, according to stats provided by the Chicago Film Office direct Rich Moskal.

The tally was bolstered by a record-breaking four episodic TV series shooting entire seasons in Chicago.

“The closest we came before was in ’98 or ’99 when we had three shows shooting,” Illinois Film Office director Betsy Steinberg says.

Kickstarter surpassed goal for brothers’ short film

Just as Lana and Andy Wachowski cut their cinematic teeth in the Windy City, 2012 sees another sibling pair shooting for the stars here: Rami and Remsy Atassi. 

Both recently graduated Loyola University and are putting the finishing touches on their short film, The Liar, for the 2013 spring festival circuit.

McCann returns to Burnett as top recruiter

RENETTA McCANN has returned to Leo Burnett after a four year absence in the important position of US chief talent officer, overseeing all Burnett’s recruitment, training and talent management, reporting to North American president Rich Stoddart.

She replaces Jeff Tritt, EVP-people and culture, who joined Resource Interactive, Columbus, Ohio as chief talent officer.

Six weeks of non-stop TV show and feature filming

Regardless of what you want to call it – a perfect storm, a surfeit of riches – the next few weeks will be the “crazy busiest,” as Local 476’s Mark Hogan puts it, but he’s far from complaining.

Action started July 12, with the FX TV movie Powers and will accelerate the following weeks, five high-profile entertainment projects will be in some phase of production in and around Chicago.

Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal says we haven’t seen such activity since the late ‘90s, “when we had going three on-going TV series and numerous features.”

Christy LeMaster new director of IFP/Chicago

TAKING OVER THE REINS of the Independent Feature Project, Chicago’s 25-year old hub of indie filmmaking is Christy LeMaster, who has run IFP’s recent and successful fund-raising galas. She succeeds Ryan Jewell, who returned to his native Oklahoma City for family reasons.

LeMaster, who has a Masters in English from Truman State University, has a background in programming film festivals, starting with the True or False doc fest in Columbia, Mo.

Bob Winter becomes Y&R’s chief creative officer

A MAJOR AGENCY CHANGE is at hand as Bob Winter will join Y&R as chief creative officer of the Chicago office, starting in December. He moves over from Leo Burnett where he was SVP/ECD for more than three years on Altoids, Kellogg’s, Greenpeace and Caesars Palace.

Winter succeeds Ken Erke whose departure shocked Michigan Avenue when he joined digital agency R/GA a few months ago as executive creative director. Erke joined Y&R in2000 from Cramer/Krasselt.

Former Avenue Edit clan forms The Colonie

Although it isn’t officially open for business, commercial work has been pouring into The Colonie, the new editing house formed by three Avenue Edit veterans in mid-October.

The Grand Opening party will rock in January, when staffing and facility is completed, said editor Brian Sepanik, equal partner with executive producer Mary Caddy and editor Bob Ackerman.

The Colonie’s staff of 10 occupies 4,000-sq. ft. of newly modeled space “that we are 100% happy with,” noted Sepanik.