Call Sheet: Ravens, Dogs and Other Creatures

Call Sheet: Ravens, Dogs and Other Creatures

GET TO THE POINT: Illinois-based Fatal Funnel Films just wrapped the short film thriller CELLAR DOOR, which will serve as a companion piece and precursor to the production company's upcoming feature RAVEN'S POINT. In CELLAR DOOR, Sheriff Jim Graham (played by the inimitable Danny Goldring) presides over a small, peaceful Midwestern town. When Eileen Horton (played by Columbia College alum Amanda Raudabaugh) a troubled teenager with a horrific past, goes missing in the woods, it is up to Sheriff Graham to find her. With his deputy questioning his every move, Jim will have to face the wrath of Eileen’s abusive father (Chicago actor Sean Patrick Leonard) and bring her home safely before it is too late. Producer and Fatal Funnel Films co-founder Philip Plowden and his team are targeting summer of 2017 to shoot the feature RAVEN'S POINT, with script ready to go and location scouting and securing of financing already underway. You can check out a teaser for RAVEN'S POINT at fatalfunnelfilms.com and as the prequel short film CELLAR DOOR heads to festivals, I'll keep you posted.

KANSAS CITY AWARDS FIRST FILM INCENTIVE: The Kansas City Film Office announced that the new project from actor-writer-filmmaker and Kansas City native David Dastmalchian (ANT-MAN) along with director Collin Schiffli (ANIMALS) will be the first production to benefit from the Kansas City Film Development Program. The team applied and received approval for a rebate of $60,000 for their new film ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW. Kansas City, Missouri, is the first and only city in America to offer a local film incentive without a state incentive.

Kansas City’s rebate incentive has an annual cap of $75,000. However there is no per-project cap. Funds are on a first-come, first-considered basis for qualified Kansas City, Mo., expenditures. For eligibility information or to apply, go to FilminKC.com.

“As soon as the film incentive program went live, we had a film waiting to apply,” said Kansas City Film Commissioner Stephane Scupham. “A film that could easily film elsewhere, will now commit to doing 95 percent of it right here in KC. This incentive program gives our area a tool to attract productions and communicates to the industry that KC welcomes their business. We look forward to being a liaison through this process with ALL CREATURES as the pioneer production for the program.”

ALL CREATURES is expected to spend more than $800,000 during its four weeks of filming in KC, starting at the end of this month. For more about this production and its talented filmmakers, click here to check out my Call Sheet article posted earlier this summer.

SUMMER SURPRISE PARTY: The romantic comedy SURPRISE ME is currently filming in Chicago, Highland Park, Dundee, Buffalo Grove and Northbrook, set to wrap on July 24th. The feature centers on Genie, a surprise party planner who hates surprises in her own life. She can't seem to find the right guy even though he may be right under her nose. SURPRISE ME is the screen adaptation of the book by the same title by author Nancy Goodman, who is producing the film with Chicagoan Jeff Marsten; cast includes Fiona Gubelmann, Jonathan Bennett, Sean Faris, LaShawn Banks, Heidi Johanningmeier and Robyn Coffin. Nancy Goodman told SCREEN, “SURPRISE ME is my attempt to start a conversation in our country about the intersection between food and feelings, the complexities of our emotions, and the places we can connect with warmth, honesty, crazy fun, and full hearts.”

LETTING THE DOGS OUT: The romantic comedy WHO GETS THE DOG from producers Reid Brody and Bill Ryan is set to release nationally on September 13th, and here's your first look at the Chicago-made feature. Alicia Silverstone stars in this heartfelt romantic comedy about what happens when puppy love goes to the dogs. WHO GETS THE DOG? filmed in Chicago in early 2015, click here for more about the shoot. When this Midwest-made comedy hits in September, I'll be back here telling you to buy it!

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.