LA company options Gaunt’s Uptown-set crime thriller

Thomas Gaunt

NGN PRODUCTIONS (The Mask) of Studio City is developing the thriller feature The End of the Night for production next year on a $1-3 million budget.  Associate producer Thomas Gaunt’s Black List-selected script is about “a homeless vet living in a Chicago cemetery forced to confront his past when two armed men arrive to bury an unconscious young woman.” 

“The biggest factor for them (and why it has gone to ‘the top of their list’) is because it can be produced rather inexpensively for a thriller, yet offer a high rate of return for their investors,” Gaunt says.  Gaunt made the documentary A Place Called Home: An Adoption Story.  He set the script in Uptown and at Graceland Cemetery.  “Actual shooting location hasn’t been determined yet, but will be set in Chicago and at the very least pick ups and b-roll will be shot here.  I am strongly advocating that everything be shot here, but it’s to early to tell.” 

NANCY BECHTOL previewed her documentary Free Speech & The Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, June 8 at ARC Gallery.  Drew was a street artist, founder of the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center, who fought city restrictions on the display and sale of art in public places.  A felony charge against Drew for audiotaping his own arrest for illegal peddling was pending with the Illinois Supreme Court when Drew died of cancer in 2012.

ALLIE KUNKLER films the horror short Cheap Plastic Mask this summer, about two strangers who meet in a bathroom at a Halloween party that “devolves into a desperate struggle for survival.”  Kunkler says Cheap Plastic Mask “infuses the genre with a refreshing dose of reality. Grounded in fully-dimensional, relatable characters responding to increasingly dark circumstances, Cheap Plastic Mask explores the horrors that lurk just outside our everyday awareness, with shocking results.”  She’s producing with Moira Begale and screenwriter Jake Carr.

CARLO LORENZO GARCIA, a company member at Mary-Archie Theatre, is producing the comedy web series Cowl GirlIt’s adapted from Anna Capunay’s play about a fangirl (Yunuen Pardo) who wears a Batman mask as a defense mechanism in her daily life.  “This is a love letter to kids who grew up in the 80’s and remember what real cartoons, music, and super heroes were like back in the day,” Garcia says.  With Garcia, Monte LaMonte, Karen Estrada, and Preston Tate, Jr.

KONEE ROCK’s video for R&B singer Avery*Sunshine’s Call My Name is now in rotation on VH1 Soul.  Jason “Intel” Deuchler shot the video, which combine’s Rock’s animation with classic red-curtain nightclub performance footage of Sunshine.  Lighting by Jonathan Young.

NEIL KARSKI, a senior project manager at Halcyon Studio, is beginning post-production on the documentary Street Life: Faces Uncovered, a series of portraits of people who are homeless in Chicago, the U.S., and abroad.