“Transformers 4” wraps after 3 months in Chicago

It’s goodbye to the action and excitement of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (aka “T4’) on Saturday or Sunday when it ends three months of shooting in Chicago – one of the three sci-fi blockbusters that filmed here this spring and summer for release next summer.

“Transformers 4’s” story takes place years after the battle in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which filmed here for three months in 2010.  The story is about a mechanic (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter (Nicola Peltz) who make a discovery that brings down on them Autobots and Decepticons and a paranoid government official (Kelsey Grammer).

Even with “T4’s” wrap, the city will continue to bustle for another six months, with six Chicago-set network TV series in production.

ONE NEW SERIES that debuted Sunday night was ABC’s “Betrayal,” (actually it was the pilot that aired) and did justice to the city’s magnificent miles of locations.

That was to be expected, since writer/EP David Zabel knows the city very, as he was an EP on “ER,” which filmed here quarterly for eight years. The show is headquartered at Chicago Studio City.

FOURTH QUARTER COMMERCIAL SHOOTS are starting to flow into town: Anonymous Content, filming here for a BMO Harris Bank spot. LA-based Boxer Films for Stable, a gas additive product, in River North, while Nonfiction went to Montrose Harbor for a Ford spot. 

Locally, STORY’s location was the Northwest side for an Illinois Health spot and One at Optimus filmed at the Shedd Aquarium.

Essanay Studio & Lighting provided the gear for the location shoots, Second City Communications’ sponsored corporate film and Payless Shoes via Virulens, LA, utilized Essanay’s stage.

DIRECTOR JOHN McNAUGHTON’S next project is said to be another  sequel (there have been three) of his quirky 1998 “Wild Things” (Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards).  He revealed to Hollywood.com that this more or less sequel will be about Campbell’s character’s daughter — and based on the Amanda Knox murder case!  Knox, an American student in Italy, stood trial  on charges of murdering her roommate in 2007.

McNaughton and his team of new horror/thriller indie, “The Harvest,” including star Michael Shannon, will be very much in the forefront of the Oct. 20 Chicago Film Summit & Expo.       

SOME 550 LUNCHEON GUESTS are expected 7 to honor Susan Credle, Leo Burnett’s chief creative officer, as Advertising Woman of the Year, Monday, Oct. 7.  Presented by the Chicago Ad Federation, the luncheon takes place at the Chicago Hilton, starting at 11:30 a.m. and $90 tickets may be purchased here.

BTW, the Ad Woman of the Year luncheon is one of 19 Events posted in the Reel. 

Check our Events column often for new activities as the month progresses. Tonight: MWFF’s “Advertising Community Shorts Night” at the Landmark Century, starting at 6 p.m.

“MASTER CHEF” AND FOOD NETWORK are coming to Chicago Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, respectively in search of competitors for the first and someone whose unique food perspective could win them their show for the second.  Fox’s “Master Chef,” hosted by Gordon Ramsey, casts at Le Cordon Bleu College.

Food Network at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago Hotel.

October is one of the busiest months of the production year, so keep those news and notes flying to ruth@reelchicago.com.