First of 4 TV series starts filming Friday at Cinespace

PRODUCTION IS RAMPING UP as four TV shows get underway at Cinespace starting this Friday, when NBC Universal’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD” get underway this Friday, July 18, for seasons three and two, respectively.

Right behind them on Sept. 8 comes Fox’ new “Empire” series, filming on 11 sets over four stages that start construction at the end of the month.  Then USA’s “Sirens,” shooting 13 episodes instead of last season’s eight, begins rolling in early to mid-September.

Indie feature “Sinister 2,” Chicago Studio City, indie feature “Sinister 2” begins filming in mid-August, mainly in suburbs and small towns.

Then, the Wachowskis’ Netflix series “Sense8” wraps here Aug. 8, the same day that reality TV series “Real World” starts shooting.

ON THE SPOT SIDE, LA companies rule for the next two weeks.  Here’s who’s working on Chicago locations.  Three production houses are working on Wal-Mart assignments: Tool of America, Chelsea Pictures and MCM of Culver City.  Rabbit Content is here for Principal Financial Group and Culture Industry for Trusted Choice Insurance.

DIVERSE AGENCY COMMONGROUND was named “2014 Agency of the Year” by Black Enterprise magazine’s annual listing of “The BE 100s: The Nation’s Largest Black Businesses.” Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam’s 11 year old agency grew from 73 employees and $24.4 million in 2012 to140 employees and $26.4 million in revenue this past year.

GETTING AROUND.  Newest addition to Radar’s director’s roster is San Francisco-based Jack Conte, a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who gained widespread attention with his YouTube video “Yeah Yeah” … Influential Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder is Comma’s special guest luncheon guest speaker Friday.  He is called the Father of Disco for his pioneering synth disco and electronic dance music … Chaz Ebert appears on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon on Friday — which coincidentally is her wedding anniversary — to talk about the hit doc, “My Life,” based on Roger Ebert’s memoire … BAM’s annual summer party at The Underground is Thursday, July 24.

FRANK THOMAS, the former White Sox player and 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, is the subject of an hour-long doc, “Welcome to Cooperstown: Frank Thomas,” airs Thursday, July 17 on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  It was written and edited by CSNC’s Emmy award-winning team of Sarah Lauch and Ryan McGuffey.

A $7,500 GRANT from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was received by the recently revived Independent Feature Production/Chicago.  The grant will be used to help the organization produce programming that educates and supports its members,” says IFP president Carrie Holt de Lama.  One of those programs will be IFP’s annual Filmmakers Conference, set for October.

AN IMPRESSIVE LINEUP of important television executives will convene at the first African American TV and Video Conference, Monday, July 21 at the Museum of Broadcasting.

They include FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Commonground’s Sherman Wright, Revolt TV president Kevin Clinkscales, Weigel Broadcasting’s program director Sean Long, Burrell’s EVP Linda Jefferson, BET’s VP/research Carol Cummingham, Weigel Broadcasting’s programming director Sean Long, Jim Winston, executive director NABOB, Denise Pines, president, The Smiley Group, Don Jackson, Central City Productions’ chairman, Kenard Gibbs, partner, Soul Train Holdings, Eric Easter, chairman, National Black Programming Consortium
and many others.   

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