Stephen Cone's PARTY Shoots This Month
July 9, 2014 by Mike McNamara
Amid all the street festivals and summer festivities, there’s another party starting up next week. HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY, the latest feature from Chicago writer-director Stephen Cone, have announced their cast and production team and begin filming outside Chicago next Monday, July 14th.
PARTY is the follow-up to Cone’s award-winning Austin Pendleton-starrer Black Box (out in September from Devolver Digital) and his Outfest-winning NY Times Critics Pick THE WISE KIDS, the latter of which appeared on four Best of 2011 lists, including those of the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips and the Chicago Reader’s J. R. Jones.
Set entirely at a questioning preacher’s kid’s 17th birthday pool party, Cone returns to the thrillingly complicated world of sex and religion, examining even more intimately and profoundly the theme of identity in middle America.
Meet the cast and production team
Acclaimed character actor Pat Healy (Sundance hit COMPLIANCE, you can enjoy some COMPLIANCE interviews in our Filmmaker Focus archive) and native Chicagoan Tyler Ross (who received much kudos for NATE AND MARGARET before heading west to film Sundance pick AMERICAN MILKSHAKE, here’s my interview with him about MILKSHAKE) complete the cast for this ensemble drama. HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY also stars a rich ensemble of Chicago’s best, including Kelly O’Sullivan, a regular on the recently renewed Denis Leary comedy SIRENS, Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan (THE LAST AIRBENDER) Elizabeth Laidlaw (BOSS, CRISIS). Rounding out the cast are Meg Thalken, Hanna Dworkin, Patrick Andrews, Spencer Curnutt, Darci Nalepa and Travis Knight, as well as newbies Nina Ganet, Daniel Kyri, Zoe Tyson, Jack Ball, Mia Hulen, Joe Keery, Melanie Neilan and Grace Melon.
Executive Produced by Cone’s Sunroom Pictures (formerly Cone Arts), the film is being produced, alongside Cone, by THE WISE KIDS producer Laura Klein (Assistant Director for Sundance hits OBVIOUS CHILD and APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) and frequent collaborator Shane Simmons.
Commercial and music video DP Jason Chiu will take cinematography reins, while Caity Birmingham (Gregg Araki’s WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD) will helm Production Design with Chelsey Batson on Costume Design. Casting duties, as they did on Cone’s prior features, go to Mickie Paskal, C.S.A. and Jennifer Rudnicke, C.S.A, (Showtime’s SHAMELESS, STRANGER THAN FICTION, PUBLIC ENEMIES) with Heather McIntosh (COMPLIANCE) on board to compose the original score.
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.