SHAMELESSLY SPRINTING: The popular Showtime series SHAMELESS is shooting in Chicago through this Saturday... and at a blistering pace. One week of filming, thirty (yes THIRTY) locations throughout the city, two units and a whole lot of cast and crew. William H. Macy, Allison Janney and the rest of principal cast are in town as the team knocks out episodes for this fourth season.

Be sure to catch SHAMELESS on Showtime Sundays at 8 pm CST; in the meantime, you can enjoy episodes and exclusive footage from the show at

SHAMELESS WIN FOR CHICAGO SHORT: Congratulations to Chicago director Larry Ziegelman, whose short film CHECK PLEASE won 4th place in Showtime’s Shameless Online Film Festival contest. The contest gave away cash prizes totaling $30,000 to the winning films, with Larry’s film winning $2,000.

The filmmaker first found out about the contest when a friend shared links to his own film’s entry on Facebook. When Larry read that the contest was looking for films about a “shameless family,” he knew what he had to do. CHECK PLEASE, an award-winning short film that Larry had shot in 2007 was all about a family at dinner acting inappropriately. The only problem was that the films had to be no longer than 2 minutes and CHECK PLEASE was 5 minutes. So, armed with iMovie and his old Quicktime file, Larry chopped out 3 minutes of the finished film.

“After 6 years, I had enough distance from the original cut. Every joke and subtlety wasn’t as vital to me now. Plus, for the chance to win some serious money with an existing film, what did I have to lose?” explained the filmmaker.

The 2-minute version of “Check Please” along with the other winners can be viewed here. Congratulations, Larry!

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at