Another Sony TV pilot shoots here in March

THE PILOT FOR “ATF” (short for the U. S. Justice Department’s Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Bureau) will be the third hourlong TV drama to film on Chicago locations, starting the end of March.

Executive producer Michael Dinner, TV series veteran of some 27 shows, including 2009’s Chicago-shot “The Beast,” wrote the pilot and will direct.

“ATF” centers on an ATF agent who hunts down the most dangerous criminals while trying to balance life as a dad to his teenage daughter who has re-entered his life.

Former Chicagoan Jeannie Caliendo returns for the first time in many years as the pilot’s UPM.

Shooting schedules have been confirmed for the three other pilots that will make March a busy month. Finally. The cop drama, “Ridealong,” starts shooting March 8 and “Matadors,” both Sony TV co-productions, is gearing up to shoot March 13.

The Vince Vaughn sizzle reel for a show tentatively called “First,” which Vaughn will direct, is scheduled for March 10-12. Vaughn will be comfortably ensconced during his visit here, in his Palmolive Building penthouse apartment.

NOTED VISUAL EFFECTS ARTIST KEVIN O’ROURKE is moving from senior designer at Detroit’s Universal Images to Red Car as special effects director early in March. The native Chicagoan who’s worked in the Motor City for the past six years, is equally well known for his posters for bands.

INDUSTRY VETERAN STEVE BIDDLE joined Global Video as director of engineering and emerging technologies, where he’ll maintain the company’s infrastructure and its core business of supplying Virtual Tape Room post support services to lay off masters and deliverables.

Biddle most recently had been freelancing, following a four-year stint with now-defunct High Tide Media, whose facility he helped design. Twelve-year old Global Video employs 15.

CRC WELCOMES BACK TWO ENGINEERS. Returning after stints elsewhere are post engineers Dave Kaduk who worked at Particle for the last four years, and Dave Kreso from Draftfcb. Also on the post side, Eric Cauwels was promoted to senior engineer from assistant to Stan Oda.

On another note, CRC producer Lindsey Perryman left to work in production at Dempsey Films in Little Rock, Ark.

“AMERICAN CAMERAMAN,” a doc by filmmaker Stefen Ivcich that explores the career of Chicago legend Bill Birch will screen for Local 600 members at the local’s office, 901 W. Jackson, Feb. 21, from 3-6 p.m.

“Bill’s contribution of 65 plus years to our union is something that is not only deserving of a biographic documentary, but is also worthy of celebrating by presenting the film to our members,” says Local 600’s Justin Conway in his invitation to members.

TWELVE THEATRE ACTORS from Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare and Remy Bumppo theatres brought Lucia Mauro’s screenplay, “Mother of War,” to life to great acclaim at a recent reading. The story is about Italian heroine Anita Garibaldi, who fights against oppression but is also a devoted wife and mother.

Mauro is the dance critic for National Public Radio and adjunct professor of Dance History at Loyola.

THE ILLINOIS PRODUCTION ALLIANCE holds its first quarterly board meeting of 2010 at Fletcher Cameras on Feb. 18. All IPA members are welcome. The meeting will be held in Fletcher’s Production Office/Studio F in the space formerly occupied by SA&J, which recently moved its business to the suburbs.

AWARD-WINNING JOSH MORA, Comcast Sportsnet anchor/reporter, joined the administration department at Full Sail University, the entertainment and media arts school down in Winter Park, Florida. His job is vaguely defined as “including the development and evolution of current and future curriculum and institutional strategic planning and development.”

Prior to Chicago, Mora worked at NBC and other TV outlets in upstate New York, where he won five Sportscaster of the Year awards.

DEADLINE ALERT! March 5th is the deadline for the 46th Hugo Awards for all things television — commercials/campaigns, production, series, special achievement and newly added online/viral spots and online-based TV programming.

The Awards ceremony will be April 15 at the Hard Rock Hotel. TV commercial winners will screen in the “Best of the Hugos” section of the Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 7-21.