Building for the future? I hope so.

About a month ago, the Trib had an article about the Wachowskis who are two of the most innovative front runners of what I refer to as the digital/film industry, today.  They understand the technology so well they can produce movies like the Matrix Trilogy and the currently running Cloud Atlas and throw in a video game they developed for the Matrix.

The Wachowskis prefer the anonymity of Chicago over LA or NYC.  They do their pre-production and post-production at their studio in Andersonville according to the article.  But, they don’t shoot here.

Lana Wachowski remarks in the article, “… Chicago is influential to us.  We think of ourselves as Chicago artists. We are Chicago artists.  Most of our films are set here.”

The Trib did a follow up article on the Wachowskis.  It seemed to wonder why the Wachowskis didn’t shoot their productions in Chicago when it has a new production facility on the Westside … the old refurbished steel factory.  “There are no sound stages (here) …. Not big enough ones, anyway.  Write that down.”-- from Lana Wachowski.   But, the City of Chicago and State of Illinois were pinning their hopes on this factory for a revival of a once proud film industry in Chicago.  Here seems to be the problem or an issue---

The Wachowskis are asking for, at least, this type of sound stage for their productions--

The owner of the Westside production facility, the facility the city and state helped finance, is offering this--

There is something wrong here.  The Westside stage owner says-  if this isn’t enough, we can build to accommodate.
So, he can take this-

And, turn it into this-

For Chicago’s sake and Chicago’s future film industry, I hope he can.  The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois put their trust and their (your) money into this facility.  Is this the best that the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois can offer to the film industry?  Here’s hoping things work out.

 

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  • Maybe the soundstage is not the only reason filming is not done in Chicago on a mass scale. There could be the location, labor costs, talent considerations and any number of other things.

    Perhaps -- just perhaps-- the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago, before using (your) tax money could have surveyed film makers on all actual needs.

    Picking industries and businesses to put taxpayer money in is a hallmark of "hope" and "change", where the smartest men and women we elect to political office pick and choose industries and businesses to back, whether or not it makes total economic or market sense.

    Dare I say Solyndra: we get big shiny see-thru buildings. I'd say, with this example, look for a second sound stage soon, operated by friends of Rahm or Barrack (FORB).

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    ThomE

    I've worked my whole adult life in the film industry. While in Chicago, I worked with (and learned from) some of the best people in the industry and worked for some of the best , if not the best, production houses in Chicago. What I came back to though ... was sad.

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