The Call Sheet: Swank + Shannon, Soul Sessions and Spirals

The Call Sheet: Swank + Shannon, Soul Sessions and Spirals

Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon and Blythe Danner are heading to Chicago to star in WHAT THEY HAD, a drama from writer-director Elizabeth Chomko. Robert Forster and Taissa Farmiga are also part of the film's ensemble cast. The feature is set to begin production March 22 in Chicago, with Holli Hopkins-McGinley running the show as UPM. The story centers on a woman (played by Swank) who must fly back to her hometown when her Alzheimer's-stricken mother (played by Danner) wanders into a blizzard. The return home forces her to confront her past. As this film forges ahead into production, I'll keep you posted.

POST IS NOW IN SESSION: The feature SOUL SESSIONS wrapped this past weekend, ending an 18-day shoot helmed by director Vince Gaffney and producer Dana Scott. Adapted by Gaffney from the Carson Gage novel, SOUL SESSIONS is the story of investment banker Nick Dalton’s struggle with recurring depression and the unorthodox treatment that leads to a cure. Cast includes Adam Senn, Brooke Langton and Chicago actor Antoine McKay. Production team included Tom Ciciura behind the camera, Paskal Rudnicke on Chicago casting and Katharin 'Ladie K' Mraz on production design. Gaffney now turns the film over to Chicago editor Joe Rabig. Click here for my article about this production earlier this year.

THAT DOWNWARD SPIRAL: It's St. Patrick's Day so what better fit for today than a feature centered on a night of overzealous drinking gone terribly wrong. In the larger-than-life psychological thriller SPIRAL, a group of twenty something college buddies gather for a bachelor party in small town Iowa. As the weekend spins out of control, their loyalties are tested in the face of insanity. "We're using the chaos and mayhem of a bachelor party movie not for comedy but for suspense and teasing the mind psychologically," producer Aaron Ekland told SCREEN. This mind-bending rollercoaster recently wrapped production in Iowa, and will be released in 2018. Written and directed by Joe Clarke. I'll have more info, including a fresh new trailer, for you soon, stay tuned.

DIGGING THEIR WAY OUT: The long-awaited VOD release of DIG TWO GRAVES is finally here, in theaters and on demand March 24th. Filmed in Illinois by a Chicago crew that included producers Claire Connelly and P.J. Fishwick, this supernatural thriller from director Hunter Adams centers on the generational violence that plagues a small, backwoods town, set in the 1970s, asking “how far would you go to save those you love?” After 13-year-old Jacqueline Mather (Samantha Isler) loses her brother in a mysterious drowning accident she is soon visited by 3 moonshiners who offer to bring her brother back to life but at a grim cost. DIG TWO GRAVES made its Chicago Premiere at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, garnering multiple Best of the Midwest (BMA) nominations. Visit our TRAILER PARK for the brand new trailer, and BUY THIS FILM March 24th!

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