Chicago’s first 3D feature starts July 26

Possibly the first comedy to shoot anywhere in stereoscopic 3D will be directed by Hollywood executive turned Columbia College professor this July in Chicago.

Kevin Cooper makes his feature directorial debut with “Shakey,” the story of a father and young daughter who give up their troublesome dog for adoption, only to find the loyal canine crossing the metro area to reunite with them.

Cooper was executive producer of “Secondhand Lions” and a Fox production executive on “Men of Honor,” “Fight Club,” and “The Thin Red Line.” He spent six years as head of production for James Cameron’s VFX company Digital Domain.

Cooper moved from L.A. to Wheaton in 2005 and become coordinator for the producing concentration at Columbia College. His company Amarok Productions still maintains its L.A. office.

The 23-day shoot begins July 26. Pending clearances, locations include the CityGate Grille in Naperville, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Field Museum, and the Michigan Avenue bridge (which Shakey will leap across in one of 75 VFX shots).

Steve Lemme of comedy troupe Broken Lizard (“Super Troopers”) stars. Lemme acted in two of Cooper’s undergrad NYU films in the early ?90s. Cooper “sent me the ?Shakey’ script and I loved it,” Lemme says. “I never get to do things like this so it’s going to be a nice departure from what I’m used to.”

The “Shakey” cast includes Second City Mainstage veteran Andy St. Clair, and Greg Hollimon (“Strangers with Candy”). Cooper has offers for supporting roles out to some big name actors he’s worked with in the past.

“People who are normally not willing to work on a small movie like this are willing because it’s 3D,” Cooper says. “In two or three years that marketplace will be different.”

Cooper and dog trainer Monica Bedrosian of The Fine Canine picked a Labrador/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix named Miles from a suburban shelter to play the title role.

But during camera tests “the dog was not performing,” Cooper says. “It’s about a wild and crazy dog, but it’s one thing to be wild and crazy, and another to perform. My fingers are crossed that he’ll stay, but we’re looking at other dogs.”

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