McKay Pilot Premieres Tonight
June 2, 2016 by Mike McNamara
Five years in the making, the half-hour comedy pilot WRITTEN OFF from Second City veteran Antoine McKay and his team is finally ready to hit the screen. And it will do just that TONIGHT at 7 pm at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. This premiere is free to the public (Click here for your free ticket, Music Box has 700 seats, let's fill em!) and will be followed by a Q&A with cast and crew and a reception.
In WRITTEN OFF, when faced with starting over in their 40s, the writing team of Keith and Liam feel hopeless. Sometimes bad endings are wonderful beginnings... And endings. McKay spoke with SCREEN about the spark for this story: "In 2004, I met Howard Dean's former speechwriter. He had just been fired from the campaign. He was 48 and was really concerned with what was next. Our society has a bunch of folks who are just like that. Starting over after 40 can be hard."
The pilot filmed this past March with an all-Chicago cast and crew, click here for the full SCREEN write-up on the shoot. McKay co-directed the pilot with filmmaker Margarita Shabazz, with Ogilvy Creative Director Stirling McLaughlin at 1st AD. McKay, whose TV credits include EMPIRE and the upcoming Steve Conrad Netflix series PATRIOT currently filming in Chicago, co-stars alongside fellow Chicago theatre mainstay Ira Amyx; supporting cast includes Audrey Francis and Tyler Kaplan. Co-writer Nora Nolan and producer James Shabazz round out the team.
"The most satisfying thing about the project is seeing the amazingly deep talent pool of actors here in Chicago," McKay concluded. "Which is why we absolutely want to and have to shoot (the series) here."
WRITTEN OFF plans to land at pilot competitions and film festivals - and on network executives' desks - in the coming months. Best case scenario would have this series start shooting this winter. As this pilot keeps charging forward, I'll keep you posted. But until then, we'll see you at the Music Box Theatre at 7 pm tonight!
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.