Film pros stop by HOB to discuss business of entertainment
(Above) Actor Jeffrey Tambor gets a laugh from WBBM radios Kris Kridel last night at Marina Citys House of Blues. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
25-Jul-12 Five people whose livelihoods depend on it are optimistic about Chicagos role in film production. At House of Blues last night in River North, radio anchor/reporter Kris Kridel led a discussion of the business of entertainment with a panel that included Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, Betsy Steinberg, director of the Illinois Film Office, television writer and producer Dee Johnson, and actor Troy Garity, who plays Sam Miller on the Starz original series Boss. He is also the son of Jane Fonda and political activist Tom Hayden.
But the crowd attending the hour-long after-work event was there to see actor Jeffrey Tambor, whose early career included work in Chicago, The 68-year-old actor has appeared in 170 films and television shows, including Arrested Development, The Larry Sanders Show, and two Hangover films. His first TV role was on Kojak in 1977.
I think the reason Chicago probably is very successful is theres real spirit here, Tambor told the crowd, as soon as you get here you feel it. And I think that comes through in peoples work.
He says he has done location work in cities that offer more tax breaks and they are not as exciting as Chicago. Why not be in a vibrant city with a lot of culture and a lot of people?
Business is good for film and TV production in Chicago. Boss will start its second season on August 17. Chicago Fire premiers on NBC on October 10. MTV is shooting a scripted series, Underemployed. And a new series, The Mob Doctor, starring Jordana Spiro, is filming here as well.
Says Steinberg of the Illinois Film Office, We have a lot of amazing projects, certainly, and well have to see what lands in the next couple of months.
Michael Mann welcome back any time
The panel fielded questions from an audience curious about films produced in Illinois. Which film spent the most money here? That would be 2009s Public Enemies, according to Steinberg, which includes scenes filmed in River North.
Although other films shot here had bigger budgets, the budgets were not all spent in Illinois. Says Steinberg, Michael Mann came to town to shoot the story of John Dillinger and ended up spending almost twice what he thought he was going to spend.
The most outrageous request by a filmmaker? Chicago Film Offices Moskal recalled one by the producers of U.S. Marshalls the 1998 sequel to The Fugitive set in New York but filmed in Chicago.
They wanted to open the film with just as spectacular a stunt as the train wreck and the bus crash [in The Fugitive] so their initial proposal to the city was to crash land a 747 on Lake Shore Drive.
The film ended up crashing a half-ton model of a Boeing 727 onto a 1200-foot-long road, according to Internet Movie Database.
And why was the new Batman movie not filmed in Chicago? Steinberg says director Christopher Nolan felt he had creatively exhausted what he wanted to do in Chicago with the first two.
||(Left) Betsy Steinberg, director of the Illinois Film Office, and Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office.
By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | Published 25-Jul-12 1:49 AM