June 7, 2012 by Mike McNamara
WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS? Screenwriter Brett Neveu wants to get his movie made. And he’s bringing his pals Michael Shannon and Dule Hill to Chicago to help him do just that. Shannon, who was back in Chicago last year to play General Zod in “Superman: Man of Steel,” will play the role of Roger, and Dule Hill of “Psych” and “West Wing” fame, is on board as producer. Neveu’s screenplay “Atari Christmas” follows two fourteen-year-old boys: one wants an Atari 2600 for Christmas and the other longs for a girlfriend. Neveu jokes, “It’s sort of like ‘A Christmas Story’ for the 8-bit generation.” Targetting an early 2013 shoot date, more details soon, I’ll keep you posted!
FOOD NETWORKING: Everybody loves Jeff Mauro, the Chicagoan who snatched the title of Food Network Star last year and wound up with his own show, “Sandwich King.” Sounds like a pretty sweet gig. Even sweeter is the news that “King” has been renewed for a third season and is filming in Chicago and Wisconsin through June 16th. Season Two episodes airing now, more about the show at www.foodnetwork.com/sandwich-king.
BACK HOME: Native Iowan and current west coaster Tanna Frederick will be heading back home to film the indie feature “The Farm” in Mason City this summer. “The Farm” is about a single mother who returns to her childhood home when her grandfather becomes ill, and must deal with her abandoned daughter and her past. This feature also stars veteran character actor Tom Bower (“Crazy Heart,” “Bad Lieutenant”) and is part of Frederick’s initiative Project Cornlight, which aims to expand the film and performing arts industries in Iowa. More at http://www.projectcornlight.org.
OH(IO) THE HORROR: Portsmouth, Ohio native and OSU grad Lance Thompson is back home to produce the horror thriller “Scorned,” filming this June. Thompson calls “Scorned” “a mix of ‘Misery’ and ‘Fatal Attraction’” and has enlisted Mark Jones, the man behind the horror classic “Leprechaun” franchise, to write and direct the feature. “Scorned” will be distributed through Anchor Bay, will most likely air on Starz and Encore.
ROUND FOUR: Indiana filmmaker Zack Parker and Along The Tracks Productions are gearing up for their fourth narrative feature, “Proxy,” shooting this July and August in Richmond, Indiana. Joining the cast will be Chicago’s Joe Swanberg, an accomplished filmmaker himself, well-known as the director of Sundance selection “Uncle Kent” and SXSW fave “Kissing on the Mouth.” Cast is set, crew submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. “Proxy” is the follow-up to the award-winning “Scalene,” a New York Times and Filmmaker Magazine Critic’s Pick.
SPEAKING OF SCALENE: This Midwest-made feature starring Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale (“Justified,” “A Gifted Man”) and Hanna Hall (“The Virgin Suicides”) will be released on DVD July 31st. More about Zack Parker and Along the Tracks Productions at www.alongthetracks.com. And remember, if you truly want to support Midwest independent filmmakers… buy their films! Facebooking and tweeting is all fine and dandy but at the end of the day, you gotta buy those DVDs, my friends.
Is your film heading into production? Please drop me a note at email@example.com and tell me all about it. I’ll do my best to include it in “The Call Sheet.”
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival. Follow the fest at www.twitter.com/midwestfilm. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.