MoFest7 a mo’strous hit with 900 guests

One hundred to 200 guests who turn up at an industry event is standard, 300 is darn good – but the 650 people who work as crew members attending last Saturday’s MoFest7, organized by producer Mo Wagdy, was spectacular.

Held at the imperiled 1,200-seat Portage Theatre, the men (it’s safe to say that since women workers, wives and/or dates were few in number) had a great time talking, drinking and devouring massive amounts of food.

The number of guests hit an all-time high of 900 over the two-day Saturday and Sunday fest.

Saturday’s three full hours of serious socializing aside, Mofest7’s objective was to showcase films of people who work in various and often unsung production capacities and the 30 short films the made did not disappoint. 

One of the Saturday standout films (in my opinion of that of many others) was best boy/electrician-cum-writer/director Joe Lyons’ “Salvaging,” a poignant 14-minute short about a stepfather attempting to bond with his angry new son. 

Lyons won an IPA’s production fund for “Salvaging,” which is an excellent start to his career transition to writer/director.

A delightful surprise was two music videos created by Filmworkers’ Reid Brody’s son, Jacob Brody, who just turned 17, and 22-year old Zack Rudd.  Rudd and young Brody write the lyrics and music to “I Can’t Help It,” directed by Filmworkers’ Matt Eagan and “Dear Whore,” for which Filmworkers’ Paul Caddick created clever, colorful and whimsical animation.

THE ROSCOR AUCTION by The Branford Group on Wednesday attracted an estimated 150 on-site buyers and a great many others online for the sales of millions of dollars worth of AV inventory.

WE HEAR that Dick Wolf Productions’ “Chicago Fire” pilot was so well received that the producers’ optimism runs for an NBC greenlight to be announced by May 14 for a first season-12 episode series to film in Chicago.

The drama, about the complex and heroic men and women of the Chicago Fire Department, stars former “House” actor Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey, a top firefighter whose personal life is a mess. Jeffrey Nachmanoff directed and producer was former Chicagoan John Roman. Paskal Rudnicke cast 12 main roles.

Filming the pilot, headquartered at Cinespace, started March 14 and wrapped April 1. 

Meanwhile, Starz’ “Boss” has just started episode four at Cinespace and the 10th episode is expected to wrap in late July.

ONE OF SEVERAL AICP EVENTS being planned will be a screening of Zacuto Camera/Kessler’s even-playing field comparison of eight DSLR cameras as documented in “Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012,” demonstrating that it’s the DP’s mastery of his camera and artistic lighting ability, and not the camera, that really matters in capturing great images.

BTW: The some 400 members, associate members and agency producers who turned out for AICP’s first Meet and Mingle party April 12 at Rockit made it a huge rockin’ success. Kudos to AICP president Mark Androw of STORY and Fletcher Cameras’ Tom Fletcher for making it happen so big.

IT’S A BIG HONOR FOR US,” says Greg Allan of the three top 2012 Telly awards his Sonixphere music company won for the Illinois Lottery’s “Cash for Life” spot: Silver Tellys for Best Composition and Best Use of Music in a Regional or Cable Commercial and a Bronze for Sound Design. 

“Our goal was to create a sonic story that was minimal, yet impactful, enhancing the black humor of the accident-prone lottery winner,” Allan says.  The spot, produced by Energy BBDO, was one of Sonixphere’s first jobs when the music house launched  nine months ago.

WOMEN IN FILM MEMBERS on Thursday, April 26 will learn from SAG-AFTRA actors and staff how they can work with professional union actors in their commercial, corporate or entertainment projects, including low-budget indie films – which, yes, the union assures, they can afford once learning how the union can ease the process.

The event is part of WIF’s Backlot Tour Series and takes place at the Kaufherr Center at SAG AFTRA offices, 6-8:30 p.m.

FRANCHISED TALENT AGENT Maryann Ziesch of Actors Talent Group

Will interview SAG-AFTRA members for the purpose of representation Friday, April 27 in the KMRC.

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