Chicago #4 in Variety’s ’10 Greatest Locations’

VARIETY NAMED CHICAGO the number four filming location on a list of “10 Greatest Locations in North America,” in a special issue published next month. We rank behind California, of course, New York, right, and New Mexico.

Speaking of locations: The recent six-day Buick shoot by Form of L.A., racked up the most locations, on 59 city blocks, or 53% of the locations used for filming, during the month of September, so far.

The 2016 Olympic films came in second with shoots on 14 blocks or 22% of locations used, according to

No surprise that River North, the Gold Coast, North and South Loop were the most popular shooting sites.

SAG MEMBERS ELECTED KEN HOWARD national president of the 100,000-member organization, with an impressive 47% of the vote after a bitter race.

He led the ticket for the Unite for Strength faction that advocated a more pragmatic approach to negotiations with Hollywood majors and support for a long-discussed merger with AFTRA.

Howard said his first task will be to reach out to AFTRA president Roberta Reardon, DGA president Taylor Hackford, and WGA West president John Wells to discuss bargaining strategies. All four union contracts expire in 2011.

Howard (“Michael Clayton”), SAG’s 25th president, succeeds Alan Rosenberg’s contentious two terms. Rosenberg declined seeking a third time, saying he had become too polarizing a figure to be reelected, according to Variety.

Total trivia: Howard was once married to Chicagoan Margo Lederer, daughter of the late advice columnist Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer).

THE SWEET HOME CHICAGO SPECIAL shot by RDS at the hugely successful party produced by Brenda Sexton in L.A. last week, will premiere Oct. 27 at the new Elysian Hotel. The Elysian was one of the party’s sponsors.

“NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS,” the movie produced by Filmworkers Club’s Reid Brody and produced last year in Chicago, won three awards at the recent Alma Awards that recognize achievements by Hispanic artists in film, TV and music.

Actor John Leguizamo, screenwriter Rick Najera and director Alfredo De Villa were each awarded trophies for their work in the film category.

UMA THURMAN walks the Red Carpet Oct. 8 at the opening of the 45th Chicago International Film Festival at River East 21 theatre. Walking with her will be the film’s writer/director, Katherine Dieckmann.

Thurman stars in the comedy “Motherhood,” CIFF’s the official opening selection.

A NEW VIDEO COMPANY? We hear a West Coast video production company is supposed to be setting up shop in Chicago this fall. It’s possible Company X may be a reality TV show and videos for the web shop.

GOT SOMETHING TO SELL? Use the Reel’s FREE CLASSIFIEDS. Global Video’s Adam Marton did and sold his van in just four days. New postings daily.