It's looking to be the hottest summer since the pre-millennial glory days for the Chicago film industry. And it’s not just because of Batman.A bigger budget [like Batman's] doesn’t translate directly into more local jobs, though, as more expensive shoots are more likely to ship in a greater share of their cast and crew from out of town(from PerformInk). It is mentioned that while bigger budgets are also more like to get out of town cast than they are to get out of town crew, having crew in Chicago is essential for anything to shoot here.
Soliloquy Closed: Rumor No MoreIn July I reported that Chicago's theatre bookstore Soliloquy might close, and their phone is disconnected, their web site is down and I fear Chicago is without a theatre bookstore. The December 8th PerformInk said:Soliloquy, the theatre bookstore, has closed without warning. PerformInk received reports around Thanksgiving that telephone calls to Soliloquy were answered by a phone company recording saying the number was disconnected, and that no further information was available. So on Nov. 28 we stopped by the store at 1726 W. Belmont and found it dark and completely empty, neither book nor fixture left inside. Save for the name on the door, you wouldn’t know it had been Soliloquy. We’d love to know what happened, and whether or not Soliloquy might reopen elsewhere.I'm late in confirming the rumored closing. In my July post I mentioned past Chicago theatre bookstores, and now it seems Chicago is without one. If you have any more info about Soliloquy, or another Chicago theatre bookstore, please leave a comment.
Leaving ChicagoA friend asked about how to pursue acting, and specifically asked, among other things, about going to LA. This is what I wrote:I'd say some things depend, as with all things in life, on what one wants to accomplish. Chicago, like a great many other markets, is a great place to start out. Chicago costs less to live in than LA or NYC, and it's the capital of Improv on earth. However... the prestigious theatres, commercials and industrials are the meat and potatoes of making a living as an actor in Chicago. If that's what one seeks, Chicago can be the place an actor spends their entire career. However, if film/TV or Broadway are the actor's goals, Chicago is a challenge simply because there is not the volume of this kind of work there is in LA and NYC respectively. Not impossible, but a challenge.Anyone have any other thoughts? Leave a comment.
...I [Chris Jones] still think the failure of the buildings committee of the Chicago City Council to pass Ald. Burton F. Natarus' amendment exempting artistic performances from Chicago's wholly laudable ban on indoor, public smoking to be a dangerous and serious mistake.Why? Actions that are part of works of art must be dealt with differently from everyday human conduct. Otherwise, the free-speech provisions in the Bill of Rights could not function.In an act of cultural vandalism on Friday, Ald. Ed Smith (28th) reportedly suggested that producers cut lines about smoking (which would be illegal under copyright laws), or delete that bit of stage business (ditto).That, sir, would be like you going through the Art Institute of Chicago with a can of spray paint, covering up the nudes. This is Chicago, for goodness sake. We're staking our future on becoming a cultural destination. This makes it look like we don't understand art at all.We need to see plays with smoking as they were intended to be seen by their creators. With smoking. Freedom of expression requires it. It’s as simple as that. We could copy the New York policy- allow shows to get waivers when cigarette smoking is a vital part of the play or, better yet, follow the very sensible English policy and allow cigarette smoking when, and only when, essential to the artistic integrity of the production(from Chicago Tribune).
So do your mailings now.
...the production team has returned to the city to shoot the bulk of the principal photography for "Dark Knight," the latest installment in the franchise. The production is expected to shoot a million feet of film this summer and looks to be the most substantial feature to hit town in years(from Screen Magazine).