TOM ARNOLD (“Sons of Anarchy”), Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”) and Betsy Brandt (“Breaking Bad”) are among the familiar Hollywood actors who have been filming here this month in “Landline,” writer/director Matthew Aaron’s third indie comedy.
Improv comedian Aaron stars as 30-year PR exec Ted Gout who is vying for a promotion that instead goes to a younger Millennial who’s a master at all things social internet and Iphone. Stressed out by work, his marriage and technology, he starts living the simplicity of the ‘90s, tossing his cellphone in favor of a landline phone, purchased from a vintage store.
Ultimately fired by his boss (Brandt) Ted hopes to retrieve his job by making a commercial with the Cubs, the firm’s biggest client, at Wrigley Field with Ryne Sandberg and his father (Arnold) and uncle (O’Heir).
Co-starring Nick Searcy (Justified”), James DuMont (“Trumbo”) and Louis Lombardi (“24”). Entertainment journalist Bruce Fretts will be making his feature acting debut in the film. Producers are Anthony Giuliano, Leonard Cannata, Patrick Tobias, Steve Weirich and Aaron.
JOSH HYDE’S CHICAGO-MADE COMEDY, “My Friend’s Rubber Ducky,” has taken a new approach to distribution and winning audience approval.
The 74-minute low-budget indie has been streaming from film festivals at which it screens.
Streaming on Vimeo on Demand began earlier this month when “Ducky” was featured at the Midwest Independent Film Festival. Its Vimeo run will end Thursday, June 30.
The story is about Joseph, while in a tipsy fit, kidnaps an old friend who owes him $5,000, enlisting the aid of his hipster girlfriend and stoner roommate.
Starring Jordan Kenneth Kamp, Alex Hardaway, Rinska Carrasco and Kenneth Yoder, on an Ulta Low SAG AFTRA contract, Hyde filmed in a house in Pilsen in 2013.
Producers were Claire Connelly, PJ Fishwick and Dan Fischer who was also DP.
“Streaming from a film festival puts a spotlight on your film,” says Hyde, a Carpentersville native who interned at Kartemquin after graduating the U of I. “It creates value for your movie while it’s on the festival circuit.”
Hyde currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he’s working on his third feature.
LOOKING AHEAD: Chicago Filmmakers has announced its Summer Screening series, taking place Saturday nights throughout July, August and September, 8 p.m. It will screen at two venues, Chicago Filmmakers and the Broadway Armory. See the full program here.