The Wachowskis want to produce big movie here – but…

WE HEAR that Lana and Andy Wachowski want to make their next big budget, big name, big effects movie in Chicago.  Which makes sense since they operate out of their super secret North Side Ravenswood Kinowerks post and effects studio, and Andy has a home here.  Their project is “Jupiter Ascending,” the duo’s first major science fiction action franchise screenplay since The Matrix.  

Sounds terrific, right?  Imagine the economic impact on the economic, especially when a Wachowski project like this will take at least two years.

But wait!  Warner Bros. isn’t thrilled about Illinois.  They want to make it in the U.K. in what had been the “Harry Potter” facilities.  Granted, the U.K. tax incentives are not as aggressive as ours, but they don’t cap labor at $100,000 as Illinois incentives do, nor do we incentivize the ever-growing VFX component.

If successful, this will be the first of their 22 movies that will have been made in Chicago.  It would be a tremendous boom for the city in terms of revenue, not to mention the prestige and all that goes with it.  More importantly, it would ignite a real Hollywood on the Lake.

AN INFORMAL “THINK TANK” who work in corporate communications was convened by Ops 3 LLL (the new company that operates Resolution Digital Studio, Show Department and Screenworks) at RDS to consider the viability of starting a “21st Century Communications Forum” for informational exchange. 

The Forum idea has its roots in the long defunct ITVA, the International Television Organization, that thrived throughout the 1990s during the era of the Avid and other new cutting edge hardware and software that needed to be learned and utilized.

BARBIZON LIGHTING will showcase LitePanels with all of its various fixtures Tuesday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to noon at 2525 N. Elston.  Fixtures will include the Chroma, Sola 6, Sola EG and Hilio, 1×1 bi-focus, 1×1 bi-color, 1×1 lo-profile and a couple of Micros.

The Petrol Case rep with be on hand with an assortment of camera, sound and lighting bags.

DIRECTOR JOHN McNAUGHTON (“Wild Things”) should guarantee a sellout evening when he speaks to the Chicago Screenwriters Group monthly meeting Sunday, April 1, at Porkchop, starting at 6 p.m.  He will speak about his process when interpreting a script and the symbiotic relationship between writer and director.

Then keeping the momentum going, CSN’s May meeting speaker will be L.A.-based Lesley Conliffe, manager of Intellectual Property Group (representing such A-listers as director Andrew Davis and Paul haggis), who also will spend five minutes listening to one-on-one writer pitches by the first 10 CSN members and 10 non-members who sign up.  

IN MEMORIAM.  Veteran filmmaker Donald L. Carlson, 81, patriarch of a Chicago film family whose lengthy career spanned four decades, died Feb. 9 from ALS.  A former Marine sergeant who served in Korea, Mr. Carlson moved to Chhicago from St. Joseph, Missouri to work for his cousin, Norman Wilding, owner of one of the country’s biggest corporate film companies.  There he met and married Dru Smith, his wife of 55 years.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Carlson and his children Don, Mary, Rob and DruAnn, collectively and often collaboratively, worked on hundreds of major motion pictures, television series, corporate films and commercials.

Their father, hard-working and possessed with a quick wit, was much respected and beloved in the film community, said his daughter, Mary.   Mr. Carlson also was a prolific and talented oil painter and sailor.