The wide experience general manager Manuela Hung has garnered throughout her 23 years at Filmworkers Club will serve her well as she steps up to the leadership of one of Chicago’s biggest post / finishing companies.
Just one week ago, when Hung was told that her close colleague, Reid Brody, was leaving after 25 years with Filmworkers and she was succeeding him, “It took me 24 hours to absorb the change,” she says, “and now I’m totally with it.”
“Reid is a visionary and taught me a lot. I’ll miss him but I’m ready to open a whole new door of relationships,” says Hung who was named general manager in 2009.
Hung leads a staff of 35 in Chicago, spread over four divisions, and some 15 in Dallas and another nine in Nashville. In Chicago, Filmworkers occupies two floors, above Chicago Recording Company, at 232 E. Erie, all owned by Alan Kubicka.
Hung joined Filmmakers in 1994 from Allied Film Labs to build Filmworkers’ in-house film processing Sanitary Labs as an additional post service.
In 2001, Filmmakers bought long-running but distressed Astro Labs, which operated in its own building at 61 W. Erie, and merged it with Sanitary Labs. It wasn’t long before Hung and her team had restored Astro and revived the feature film business it had once thrived on.
“‘Barber Shop'” was the first major feature we processed and after that it was amazing. We were able to keep the feature business in Chicago.”
Astro closed in 2013, the last film lab in the Midwest.
Hung also takes pride in noting that she’s the only woman in the US to have built a film lab from scratch – Filmworkers’ lab in Dallas. And with Astro, she’ had been one only two women in the US to run a film lab (the other ran Deluxe, LA).
As she settles into her important new role in the company and the community, Hung says she and her team are moving forward. “We have no new plans to speak about at the moment,” she says, but she does have confidence that Filmworkers will continue to innovate and grow as it has in the past.