HBO star Jeff Garlin’s directing debut wraps Chicago shoot, continues in L.A.

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Jeff Garlin kept a 14-year-old promise to Pete Biagi that the local DP would shoot the comedian’s debut feature.

Garlin, a co-star and executive producer of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” was in town for a week in October for location shooting of his “I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With,” a low-budget romantic comedy based on his former Second City routine and set in his native Chicago.

Garlin is writer, director, and star. It’s being produced through his Sawin and Puddin production company.

“Fourteen years ago I shot a graduate thesis film that Jeff acted in at Columbia College,” Biagi said. “Jeff and I hit it off, we had a good time working together, and he said, ?Biagi, I’m going to call you in ten years and you’re going to shoot a feature for me.’

“Sure enough, we kept in touch,” said Biagi, who also shot Garlin here in Pete Jones’ “Outing Riley” last year.

Production on “Eat Cheese” continues in Los Angeles through mid-November. “It’s Altmanesque,” said Biagi, who was B-Camera operator on Robert Altman’s “The Company.”

“Everything is subjugated for the comedy and the liveness to come out,” Biagi said. “Jeff loves working with people who can improvise a lot, like on ?Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ and the results are absolutely hilarious.”

“Eat Cheese” cast includes Sarah Silverman, David Pasquesi, Richard Kind and Paul Mazursky. Harold Ramis, Rob Kolson and Steve Pink are producing.

Line producer Misty Tosh of Fatcake Productions, location manager Valerie Bulinski, and gaffer Chris Rejano are among the Chicago crew.

– by Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com

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