Big crowd attends ReelChicago’s party to honor Chicago Seven PGL contenders

The Moonlight Caf? in Bucktown Thursday night was packed solid with nearly 200 filmmakers who came to honor the talents of Chicago’s seven contenders who made it into the upper ranks of Project Greenlight 2004.

Directors, agency producers, cameramen, producers, lawyers, reps, rental houses, music producers, writers and more led the cheers for Scott Smith, one of the three top finalists, Duane Edwards, a top 10 competitor, Rus Blemker, Bryan Perraud and Brian Craft who broke into the 250 ranks, and screenwriting partners John Zoppi and Brian Pinkerton.

Art director Scott Smith told the guests that he loved the experience of having gone through the process, and the Hollywood hoopla at the end — “but I’d never want to do it again,” he said.

“Maybe the fact that seven Chicagoans made such a splash might inspire other local filmmakers to enter Project Greenlight next year,” said adman Ben Counts, who is finishing a music documentary.

ReelChicago hosted the party and Moonlight Caf? owner John Sanchez generously provided drinks and snacks. “This was a great party and I met some fabulous people,” said filmmaker Joe Kennedy, neatly summing up the purpose of the evening.