“BUTTERBEAN,” AN INSPIRATIONAL/SPORTS MOVIE about the 1970s Chicago Bulls star, Bob Love, is getting underway as a $15 million feature that will be filmed in Chicago in 2011. The movie has the endorsement of the NBA and the support of the Bulls organization.
The story is about Love’s plunge from the glittering heights of the sports arena to washing dishes and living in a homeless shelter and how he overcame a debilitating handicap and came back stronger as an inspiring role model.
Love is currently the Bulls director of community relations and is a popular corporate motivational speaker, reaching and positively influencing as many as 250,000 persons a year.
Writer of the award-winning “Butterbean” screenplay is local producer/director Jim White.
The production company, Butterbean the Movie, LLC, which is the project’s new management team, has attached as director sports expert Mark Ellis (“We Are Marshall,” “The Invincible,” “The Rookie”). Ellis’ latest project is sports coordinator on a new football TV series called “Necessary Roughness.”
SAG AND AFTRA’S Joint National Board on Saturday “overwhelmingly approved” the tentative actors agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Production that includes a 2% wage increase per year, a 10% boost in employer contributges to pension and health plans, expanded union coverage over new media productions and other benefits.
Ninety percent of the board passed the motion, which will be sent to members of both unions to vote on ratification within five weeks of receipt of the ballot.
Chicago is on the list of AFTRA/SAG offices to host informational meetings early next year.
“A SAD ANNOUNCEMENT” from the Chicago Screenwriters Network ? but one they say will be treated with all the festivity of an Irish wake on Sunday, Dec. 5 when the members pay tribute to retiring CSN president Sonny Wareham. He steps down after five years of helping the organization grow to give new people and ideas a chance to for expression. His successor will be co-presidents until June when a single full-term president will be voted in. CSN’s holiday party/meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Lincoln Restaurant.
NOISEFLOOR AUDIO WILL OPEN its new studio with sessions that have been booked for opening day, Dec. 10, says audio engineer Cory Coken, co-owner of the three-year old audio house with Jamie Vanadia. “A lot of good clients stayed with us during the construction” over the last month, he says. The main room was open in early November and two additional rooms are the ones currently being completed.
The new studio, in 4,000 sq. ft. of sixth floor space at 308 W. Erie, praises their contractors, Helios Design & Build, for finishing the work on schedule. “It was a wonderful experience working with Helios,” and calls them “contractors who don’t let anything fall through the cracks.”
OUT IN L.A., Foundation’s president/CD Samantha Hart will be on hand for the official Dec. 10 opening of Foundation’s spanking new 7,000-sq. ft. studio, including a 30×40-sq.ft. shooting stage, at 3583 Hayden Street in Culver City.
“And we’re opening with the biggest job of the year out there,” says Hart ? an Army National Guard package from Original Film, being edited by Jonathan Delgado. The new L.A. branch employs five, “but we’re looking to adding two more people there,” Hart adds.
IT JUST SO HAPPENS that CNGM Pictures’ artistic director Erica Lynn Schmeck is also the production manager of Kevin Cooper’s first Chicago 3D live action feature, “Shakey.” Which is why a short film, “Behind the 3D: The Making of ?Shakey'” will be shown at CNGM’s Dec. 14 fundraiser at Stage 733.
CNGM taped interviews with actors Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo, Steve Lemme, Alfonso Arua and Rylie Behr and Kevin Cooper about their experience working on “Shakey.”
The fundraiser is a ?20s themed “Fedoras, Flappers and Film Affair,” that will benefit non-profit CNGM Pictures, comprised of founder/writer director Michael Noens, managing director Jeff Green and Schmeck. What sets the company apart is their hands-on integration of students with professional filmmakers on paid and indie projects.
CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY for WTTW, the PBS Foundation and eight PBS stations, thanks to a $2.2 million grant from Newman’s Own Foundation — each station received $220,000 ?- to help in its membership drive efforts.
The late actor Paul Newman founded the foundation from profits derived from his many “Newman’s Own” food products.
FILM WISCONSIN. With Wisconsin’s new Republican governor Scott Walker favorably inclined to restoring the state’s lost tax incentives, filmmakers are holding a public meeting about improvements that could made to the incentives Dec. 8 at the Orpheum Theatre in Madison.
In 2007, Film Wisconsin, a group of dedicated filmmakers, arts leaders and legislators, labored long and hard to win the incentives, with support from both sides of the legislature.
The incentives turned out to be pretty good having generated 75 million new business-dollars for economically challenged state, only to have outgoing Gov. Doyle effectively kill them
The panel discussion and Q&A session starts at 6 p.m., followed by a screening of “Feed the Fish” at 8 p.m.