ALG to represent John Belushi and Blues Brothers’ estate

1+ ALG Brands has been tapped to represent the estate of John Belushi and the Blues Brothers for licensing and legacy opportunities. Announced by ALG COO Scott Austin, the branding firm will manage Mr. Belushi’s personality rights and will oversee the evolution of the Blues Brothers’ iconic intellectual property via brand collaborations, media projects, experiential … Continue reading “ALG to represent John Belushi and Blues Brothers’ estate”

“Blues Brothers” return as animated musical comedy TV

“The Blues Brothers” band is ready to make a comeback, as “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues take their act on the road and back to their native Chicago as an animated TV musical comedy series.

The primetime series in the works is based on the “Saturday Night Live” sketch that originated in 1976 by cast members and Second City alums and die-hard blues fans Dan Aykroyd as Elwood and Jim Belushi as Jake Blues.

The Bluesmobile returns to Joliet Prison

4+ A replica of Jake and Elwood’s famous ride helps turn former correctional facility into a world-class film-related tourist attraction A police car with a large public address system on its roof was parked at Joliet Prison last weekend. The vehicle, owned by Blues Brothers tribute band The Blooze Brothers, was among many sights and … Continue reading “The Bluesmobile returns to Joliet Prison”

Bader Brothers’ film captures genuine criminal life

The Bader Brothers went deep into the criminal world to make a film that was true to the life of a professional burglar.

“We’ve always liked the crime genre but we’d never seen anything that we felt really portrayed a thief in a realistic way,” said director Malik Bader, who made the film “Grand Theft” with his brother, producer Sam Bader. “We felt we could bring something to the table that was more real.” The Baders shot the Super 16mm feature last summer and are now in post-production.

City’s feature business kicked off in 1979

While it might appear that Hollywood films are a relatively recent part of my 30 years of Chicago coverage, features actually have been thriving for decades ? and without the need for incentives.

I started Screen as a newsletter on Jan. 29, 1979. During that year, 13 films shot in Chicago, including the iconic, big studio hits, “Ordinary People,” “The Blues Brothers,” and “The Hunter.”

Since then, more than 750 Hollywood, indie and home-grown features have found Chicago to be a perfect location.

“?Chicago River” film emerges from licensing quagmire for DVD release

Producer Steven A. Jones threatened to throw the negative of John McNaughton’s horror movie “The Borrower” into the river to force the bond company to pay the back wages owed to local crew. It worked.

To get an obstructing truck out of a crucial shot, Teamsters working on “The Blues Brothers” hoisted the offending vehicle into the water.

These are just a couple of ways that Chicago’s most famous waterway has impacted the city’s film history, as documented in “Chicago Filmmakers on the Chicago River,” out this March on DVD.

Jim Mahoney founder of Film & Tape Works passes at 71

4+ James A. Mahoney, the founder of Film & Tape Works and dear friend of many in the Chicago film community, has died at age 71. Film and Tape Works at 237 E. Ontario, was the premier production and post-production film/video house in Chicago, for over 30 years. Early in his career Jim was a … Continue reading “Jim Mahoney founder of Film & Tape Works passes at 71”

ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch”

2+ Five film projects to compete for $20,000 awards package of in-kind goods and services   The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of five narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch””

Local 476 pickets non-union production

5+ The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union works for interests that range far beyond the film industry   Members of Chicago Local 476 picketed a non-union production shooting in the city last weekend. Inspired to protect the opportunities, wages, and benefits of its members, the Studio Mechanics believe that their protest also serves interests far beyond … Continue reading “Local 476 pickets non-union production”

Reel Black List: Pemon Rami, Chicago film legend

10+ Meet the man who has worked with Cab Calloway, Chaka Khan, Angela Bassett, John Belushi, Aretha Franklin, James Earl Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., and more Pemon Rami is an international film producer, theatre director, arts administrator, historian, lecturer, and consultant who wields one of the most impressive film pedigrees in Chicago and beyond. The … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Pemon Rami, Chicago film legend”

Hollywood Comes to Chicago — 1979

4+ “Blues Brothers” director John Landis describes impending explosions while scouting locations in John Davies’ vintage short film In 1979, Chicago filmmaker John Davies produced a short titled, Hollywood Comes to Chicago, that featured a tour through the Windy City and its film production industry. He planned to submit the piece to WTTW’s Image Union, … Continue reading “Hollywood Comes to Chicago — 1979”

Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley

9+ Christine Dudley rarely goes to the movies. That may seem odd for the Director of the Illinois Film Office, but she’s dedicated to a job that begins before most of the scenes are even shot and ends, like, never. So what does she do?     When Dudley’s not pitching Hollywood studios, she’s reading … Continue reading “Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley”

Loyola U’s Sister Jean “On a Mission from God”

9+ It is incredibly rare in this world for loving, humble, and kind seniors working hard in education to get the media attention they deserve on an international scale. Actually, for those seniors pushing 100, it is almost unheard of. That’s where the NCAA tournament and Loyola University Chicago’s journey to the Elite Eight comes … Continue reading “Loyola U’s Sister Jean “On a Mission from God””

Sign of the times: closing of Filmworkers Astro Lab

It was only a matter of time.  Filmworkers Astro Lab, one of only five remaining independent film processing labs in the entire country, has closed its doors, after more than 50 years — the last 12 as part of Filmworkers Club services to the local industry.

The lab’s last run of 35mm dailies last week was for MK Films, director Mark Klein’s tabletop company. 

Improv actor Alex Beh directs his first feature here

L.A.-based “Funny or Die” website regular and Winnetka native Alex Beh is back in town as writer, director and star of his debut feature Warren.

The coming-of-age love story shoots “all over the beautiful streets and locations in Chicago and the North Shore,” Beh says, beginning the week of Sept. 24.