Power Book IV: Force pays tribute to beloved crew member Mike Zobel

Mike Zobel
Mike Zobel

Power Book IV: Force paid tribute at the season finale to beloved crew member Mike Zobel who passed away suddenly during the filming of the show.

For those fans of Power Book IV: Force who noticed a tribute card dedicated to Mike Zobel at the end of the season finale and were wondering, “who’s Mike Zobel?” — Mike Zobel was an important part of the car team for Power Book IV: Force and was known in the industry as an expert “Picture Car Guy.”

He was also a proud Teamster of local 727, where he worked in Chicago on multiple films and TV shows. Zobel was well known in the Chicago film community for his expertise, and his wife, Jayme mused in his obituary that “He loved cars and motorcycles and sharing his unending car knowledge with anyone who would listen.”

What is a “picture car guy”?

A “picture car” is a term used for any vehicle that will appear on film. They are described as the vehicle equivalent of a Hollywood actor. Production companies plan filming and have specific cars in mind for use within each project. A “picture car guy” oversees the modification, movement, usage, and repair of vehicles appearing in a project. 

Mike’s family noted that he loved his work because “he was able to drive all sorts of cars” and make friends with so many actors and crew members on set.

He was originally from Plainfield and he and Jayme were married for over 33 years. He built a life for his family in Shorewood, Illinois.

It was well known that Zobel was a very kind man who often took it upon himself to work hard to make everyone around him feel comfortable and included in conversations while in social situations. His wife shared, “The only time I ever saw him not talk to someone, was if they were rude to a waitress or anyone in a service position – he could never ever get over that! Don’t be rude to people.”

Zobel passed away unexpectedly on August 24, 2021 at AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center at age 51. No other details or cause of death have been publicly shared. At the time, Force was still filming and the cast and crew were stunned to hear the news. The show chose to save the dedication until the season finale in order to give it more meaning and to dedicate the entire season to him instead of just one episode. 

Zobel is survived by his wife Jayme, his sons, Ryan and Luke, as well as an extensive extended family including both of his parents, his sister, step-sisters, step-brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and various in-laws. 

ALSO READ: Power Book IV: Force will return for Season 2 in May

Photo credit: Facebook

His obituary shared that “He also had a great love for music. He could name any song, band, history on the song and year it was released. He loved all genres from rap to rock.” A spotify playlist was created and shared as a way to honor his memory and allow friends and family to share his love of music. 

Power Book IV: Force is currently the most watched series in Starz history with 3.3 million multiplatform views in the US and Starz announced in March that the series will return for a second season, which will see Gary Lennon take over from Robert Music as the series showrunner and executive producer.

Reel Chicago sends out our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mike Zobel.

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