The Call Sheet: Make Out Parties and Immortals
July 7, 2017 by Mike McNamara
THIS PILOT WILL LIVE FOREVER: Production has wrapped on the sitcom pilot JIMMORTAL, a dark comedy from Owen Weber and Hunter Bradley. Set in present-day Chicago, JIMMORTAL tells the story of two formerly estranged brothers who are unable to die. One curses his immortality, while the other plans to sell it to the highest bidder. “Right now, Google is one of several large companies actually investing heavily in a cure for mortality,” Weber told SCREEN. “JIMMORTAL explores what life might be like for somebody who can’t die, why immortality might not be as fun as we think, and if it’s possible—would we even want it?”
The pilot shot in the McKinley Park, Rogers Park, and Gold Coast neighborhoods from April through June, and was filmed by Directors of Photography Damon Hennessey and Mike O'Rourke. The all-local cast also includes Derek Garza, Annelyse Ahmad, Adam Shalzi and Will Clinger. More on this pilot soon; in the meantime, click here for some great comedic shorts from Owen and his team.
LET'S MAKE OUT: Eugene Park and the Full Spectrum Features team has announced their next co-production, MAKE OUT PARTY. Directed by Emily Esperanza, this feature is a love letter to the queer Chicago underground that, in the artist's own words, "challenges cinematic sexual taboos" and "subverts traditional archetypes." Click here for more from Ms. Esperanza about MAKE OUT PARTY.
SPEAKING OF SUBVERTING TRADITIONAL ARCHETYPES: Tonight, production and event company Women on the Now presents Cinematic Sexuality: a Burlesque and Variety Show celebrating femmes in film. Friday, July 7th, at Fulton Market Gallery. Chicago Burlesque performers, comedians and vocalists will be featured at two performances, one at 7:30 PM and another at 9:30 PM. Click here for tickets for tonight's festivities.
SUMMER BOWL-A-THON: Comedic feature WHEN JEFF TRIED TO SAVE THE WORLD is set to film in Illinois next month, with director Kendall Goldberg and actor Jon Heder of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE fame leading the team. When Jeff (played by Heder) discovers that his workplace — "Winky's World of Gaming and Bowling" — is being threatened by corporate takeover, he must do everything he can to save it. Much more to come about this feature, I'll keep you posted.
WAKE UP CALL: Great news for web series SUPER NARCOLEPTIC GIRL as it hit its crowdfunding goal on indiegogo this month. Created, written by and starring Sarah Albritton and Catherine “Povs” Povinelli, directed by Larry Ziegelman, SUPER NARCOLEPTIC GIRL is the comedic web series about Keelyn Klein, a low-level, narcoleptic superhero with the power to make people dance as she struggles to save the day and stay awake. The web series is set to film July 27-30 in Chicago.
CHAPPELLE THRILLER: The political thriller THE PAGES is in its third week of filming, scheduled to shoot in Evanston and Chicago through early August. Tika Sumpter, Ben Tavassoli and Jamie Lee Curtis star, writer-director is Chicago's Joe Chappelle. The plot centers on a former top U.S. security adviser Elizabeth “Libby” Lamm (Sumpter) who is threatened by associates from her dark past including steely, commanding politician Rachel Burke (Curtis), who has an unwavering knack for achieving her goals. Colluding with Rachel is Adrian, an unyielding, patriotic chief of staff. Martin (Tavassoli) harbors another type of obsession with Libby in the story of betrayal and regret. Click here for my full article about THE PAGES earlier this summer and I'll keep you posted as this feature forges ahead through the summer.
BIG WIN FOR PUBLIC HOUSING UNIT: Chicago-made pilot PUBLIC HOUSING UNIT received multiple awards at this year's prestigious pilot showcase and competition SeriesFest in Colorado this past weekend. Hardware went to Patrick Wimp and Dan Willis for BEST WRITING and Destini Huston as BEST ACTRESS. I'll keep you posted as PUBLIC HOUSING UNIT continues to flourish at festivals and make its way to that series order. In the meantime, click here to follow this project on Facebook and enjoy a first look at the pilot here:
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org and Programming Associate for U.S. Narrative Features at the Sundance Film Festival. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.