Two month shoot here for ‘Contagion’

DIRECTOR STEVEN SODERBERGH’S “CONTAGION” arrives in Chicago Oct. 19 as a worthy successor to “Transformers 3” in terms of big budget, cast and shooting schedule.

Heading the four star cast of the virus outbreak thriller are Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, here in 2008 for “Public Enemies,” Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne.

After arriving here from shooting in Hong Kong, the company will headquarter at Bradley Center, the big industrial space near Lane Tech and WGN studios, and shoot in Chicago and environs for a solid two months.

“One reason they chose Chicago was that they can find a great variety of locations around here that can serve as other locations around the country,” CFO director Rich Moskal reports.

Moskal adds that the producers are currently in the city scouting locations and putting schedules together.

The movie was written by Scott Z. Burns, who penned “The Informant,” that was filmed in and around Decatur, and is coproduced by Oscar nominee Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher and Greg Jacobs.

The action thriller is centered on the threat posed by an outbreak of a deadly disease and the international team of doctors who deal with it.

OPEN EXTRAS CASTING CALLS for “Contagion” will be held by Rich King Casting of L.A. Sept. 25 at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 Lincoln Park West, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Sept. 26 at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

King says he’s looking for adult men and women, 18 and older, all sizes, shapes, types and ethnicities. It’s a paid gig and meals are included.

THE CICERO “RIDE-ALONG” SET was visited by Gov. Pat Quinn last week, where he said the 12-episode series is expected to generate approximately $25 million in economic activity and create 400-plus Illinois jobs.

In making his remarks, Quinn stood alongside Rockford native and “Ride-Along” creator Shawn Ryan and series star and Chicago native Jennifer Beal.

As you know, the credit is the result of the diligent work and lobbying efforts by the Illinois Production Alliance.

“Ride-Along” also will shoot in Chicago through mid-December and is headquartering at John Crededio’s Chicago Studio City on the West Side. Rich Lederer is the series’ production manager.

NEWLY ELECTED SAG OFFICERS are headed by actor/voiceover Ilyssa Fradin who was elected president for a two-year term. She is the chair of AFTRA/SAG Chicago’s Community Organizing Outreach Committee, a council member since 2000 and vice president since 2004.

Also elected to a two-year term serving with Fradin are Regan Rohde , 1st vice president, Craig J. Harris, (2nd vice president and Michael Joseph Thomas Ward, recording secretary.

Todd Hissong was re-elected to the National Board, a three-year term. Bob Baron, William Dick, JayDisney, Martin Halacy and Alma Washington were elected to three-year terms on the Branch Council.

They will assume office Sept. 25 at SAG’s annual meeting at the Kauffher Center, at 6 p.m.

PEOPLE AND PLACES. The upcoming Black Perspectives division of the Chicago International Film Festival will present a Career Achievement award to Oscar winning actor/producer/director Forest Whittaker Oct. 9 at the Chase Auditorium.

*Resolution Digital Studios hired media pro Sherree Roberts as business development director, replacing Megan Ross who is now an Avid Field Marketing Specialist/Demand Generation, Central Region.

Ross is a former Kansas City news anchor and reporter and also was a PR specialist for the appropriations chairman of the Kansas House of Representatives.

*The Emmy Nominating Party takes place at Rockit Bar and Grill Sept. 28. Meteorologists Amy Freeze of Fox News and Ginger Zee of NBC 5 will announce the many, many nominees. Admission is $10 for members, $15 for non-members.