The Wachowskis’ glitzy new special effects studio should provide new jobs

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The native South Siders of “The Matrix” fame, will open a high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood in what had been the Ravenswood Studio, a scenic design shop.

Given the Wachowskis well-known propensity for privacy, little is known about the studio operation, such as the official date of opening, staff size or whether local artists will be hired or all imported from L.A.

But it’s a fairly sure bet that one or both of The Wachowskis one or both of the Wachowskis are expected to work in Chicago; Andy Wachowski is a North Side resident, and although Lana calls L.A. home, she is frequently in Chicago.

The fact that these legendary filmmakers have invested in Chicago is a terrific boon to the city’s production reputation and economic health. With a few notable exceptions, the city has been bereft of famous Hollywood filmmakers who live in the area.

“It’s a big deal,” said the Chicago Film Office’s Rich Moskal. “It will be unlike any facility we have ever had here before.”

Speculation is that the company should hire editors and effects artists from Chicago’s abundant talent support. To give you an idea of the scope of their needs, their new movie, “Speed Racer,” employed 48 in the art department and 380 in the visual effects and special effects departments.

Their latest, “Speed Racer,” opens May 9 here at IMAX Theatre

“Speed Racer,” their $100 million HD action thriller from Warner Bros., will be released May 9 and will play at the ideally-suited, high tech IMAX Theatre at Navy Pier.

Based on a popular Japanese anime TV series, the story is about Speed Racer, is a young man with natural racing instincts, whose goal is to win The Crucible, a cross-country car racing rally that took the life of his older brother, Rex Racer.

Their “Matrix” trilogy has grossed an estimated $700 million to date.

Lana, 42, and Andy, 40, created the film that launched them to Hollywood in the basement of their South Side Beverly home on an $80,000 Avid their father purchased for them in the early ?90s.

They wrote comic books for Marvel Comics’ Razorline imprint, namely “Ectokid” (created by horror novelist Clive Barker) in 1993. In 2004, they created Burlyman Entertainment and have released comic books based on “The Matrix” as well as their own original creations.

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