Indie feature ‘Not If I See You First’ wraps filming in Skokie

On August 3, production wrapped for the indie comedy feature film Not If I See You First, written and directed by Aaron Wertheimer. The filming commenced on July 23 and has now entered the post-production phase.

The film’s cast includes Kenny Zimlinghaus, who plays dual roles as twin brothers, along with Aaron Wertheimer, Joey Wertheimer, Crum, and Elizabeth Stam. Andre Fonseca produced the film, while Josh Rosen, Jordan Bass, and Yoel Goldberg served as executive producers.

Filming in Skokie adds a unique charm to the movie, with producer Andre Fonseca noting, “It’s got a great suburban vibe with unique locations but still maintains a Chicagoland sensibility. Coming from LA, it feels like Burbank and Pasadena… without Jay Leno or a Rose Parade clogging up the streets.”

Aside from Skokie, filming also occurred in Evanston, Winnetka, and Lincolnwood, featuring various local locations such as the Skokie Theatre, Squeezebox Books & Music, Tower Road Beach, Rocket Slice Pizza, and Aaron Wertheimer’s residence.

Joey Wertheimer (center) gets into character, CREDIT: Kyle Bice

Wertheimer, who resides in Skokie with his real-life wife, Joey, cast her as his on-screen wife in the film. Their two children made cameo appearances, as did Wertheimer’s parents. However, the film is not based on true events.

Kenny Zimlinghaus in celebratory scene in an Evanston alley, CREDIT: Kyle Bice

In Not If I See You First, Pittsburgh resident Kenny is in Skokie for work, where he encounters Aaron, a local, who persuades him to extend his stay to explore Chicago’s famous sights. However, after a series of car crashes, selective amnesia, a visit from a long-lost twin brother, and a tumultuous fistfight, the newfound friendship between them faces significant challenges.

Director of photography Pouya Shahbazi shared his experience, stating, “I jumped headfirst into the comedy genre with Not If I See You First. The experience turned into a huge canvas for creativity and non-stop laughter on set – just what every filmmaker dreams of!”

Director of photography Pouya Shahbazim CREDIT: Kyle Bice

This film marks Wertheimer’s third feature as a writer-director, following Wedgerino (2015) and Skippers (2018), both of which also starred Kenny Zimlinghaus. Wertheimer also produced Michael Glover Smith’s 2022 drama Relative, filmed in Chicago and featuring Elizabeth Stam in a breakout role.

Wertheimer expressed his filmmaking goals, saying, “My goal is just to make an enjoyable movie. Working with a small but dedicated and skilled crew on a tight budget is my favorite type of filmmaking. I find it very freeing and magical. I’m really proud of the cast and crew for pulling this off.”

For further updates on Not If I See You First, stay tuned.

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