C-U Biz-en-scène: 08.05.2010

“C-U Biz-en-scène” appears every Wednesday/Thursday on C-U Blogfidential to give our readers a succinct snapshot of the cinema activity in and near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA. Please support the artists and their work, attend screenings and events, and otherwise become active in our esoteric little world!



Dreamscape Cinema of Champaign will move into production on its next feature film, MY DOG, THE SPACE TRAVELER, this Saturday, August 7, primarily in the Monticello area. The adventure concerns husband-and-wife teachers and their son who discover a cosmic portal hovering above the lake on their country property. Dreamscape head honcho Robin Christian will direct from his own script and son Logan Peters will play the lead. According to line producer Johnny Robinson, production assistants and other crew positions are still available during the two-week shoot; interested parties should contact him at johnny [at] johnnyrobinson [dot] com or (217) 714-2748 as soon as possible for consideration. Previous films from Dreamscape include DISPOSABLE, ACT YOUR AGE, DISCONNECT, and SHEEBA (formerly SO OTHERS MAY LIVE and CRAB ORCHARD), all produced in the area.

Illini Media Company in Campustown has an opportunity for the right collegiate candidate to flex his/her video-making muscles during the upcoming school year. Per the blurb which appeared in this week’s e-newsletter, “The217.com is looking for a new Video Producer. To apply, send your resume and a short personal statement to producer [at] the217 [dot] com. Applicants must be University of Illinois students and prior video experience is preferred, but not required.” Go now, Grasshopper, and be fruitful.


Our good friend Linda McElroy, director of the Route 66 International Film Festival in Springfield, let us know that the selections for the ninth annual edition have been chosen! A schedule in PDF form can be accessed via the main page of the Route 66 Web site, listing more than 60 titles hailing from all over the world. The event will return to the Hoogland Center for the Arts in the downtown area of our state capital with a screening/party on Friday, September 17 – exclusive to festival pass holders – followed by full slates on Saturday, September 18, and Sunday, September 19. You can pre-order tickets or passes from Hoogland by calling (217) 523-2787 or visiting this site.


Giving you a little more lead time to formulate a last-minute plan than we allowed last week with our mention of the 21 Film Project, we’ll now remind you that entries are still being accepted for the Illinois Film Office’s Shortcuts” contest through Tuesday, August 31. They can be any genre and should run 15 minutes or less, but they must be creations of Illinois residents that showcase interesting qualities of the Land of Lincoln. The winning film will net itself a showing at the Chicago International Film Festival in October and its makers a cash prize.


Student reporters have been keeping an eye on the summertime filmmaking escapades of downstate Illinois. An article discussing the genesis of Phenom FeaturesUSING, which is currently shooting in Bloomington-Normal and Chicago, appeared in the July 28 issue of Illinois State’s newspaper, the Daily Vidette. Also, Dreamscape Cinema and MY DOG, THE SPACE TRAVELER were profiled in the July 22 issue of the Daily Illini, the newspaper of the University of Illinois campus.


INCIDENT AT KICKAPOO CREEK: Sunday, 8/8, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., Clintonia Eagle Theater, Clinton, IL

@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL: I AM LOVE (8/6 on), RESERVOIR DOGS (8/6, 8/7, 8/12)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: INCEPTION, CATS & DOGS 2, CHARLIE ST. CLOUD (8/6 on)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: DR. STRANGELOVE (8/5-8/6), THE GOONIES (8/7-8/8)

@ Harvest Moon Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: THE OTHER GUYS, DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS (8/6 on)



8/13, 8/15: WEREWOLF CEMETERY IV preview
@ Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL, 11 p.m.

8/15: ONE ROACH FOR SEAMUS premiere
@ Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL, 11 p.m.

8/14: REVOLTING premiere
@ Kathryn Randolph Theater, Danville, IL, 8 p.m.

9/17-9/19: Route 66 Film Festival
@ Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield, IL

9/24-9/26: 2010 B Movie Celebration, Franklin, IN

10/7-10/21: Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago, IL

10/14-10/23: Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, IN

10/29-10/31: Freeky Creek Short Film Festival
@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL

11/11-11/21: St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis, MO

2/18-2/27, 2011: Big Muddy Film Festival
@ Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

3/22-3/27, 2011: Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI

3/30-4/1, 2011: Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI

4/27-5/1, 2011: Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
@ Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL


Some of you know that my father passed away after a two-week hospital stay in Rockford. As an attempt to distract my mind during his stay, I attended an Indianapolis convention celebrating one of my original inspirations for embarking on a movie media life, Famous Monsters of Filmland, now resurrected for a second time by IDW Publishing and entrepreneur Philip Kim. Needless to say, I had a really hard time letting go and having fun because my heart simply wasn’t into it. A different story transpired nearly two decades ago when my college graduation present was a weekend trip to Arlington, Virginia, with my father to attend a prior FM convention which launched the fan mag’s first rebirth at the hands of Dynacomm and entrepreneur Ray Ferry. Despite what Ferry wrought on the property as time passed, I had a ball at that show and it’s a memory that won’t be tarnished.

But, that was a younger eager-beaver version of me standing amongst the genre’s old guard, most of who are with us no longer. Last month’s FM show seemed to be little more than a Fangoria convention in a Ben Cooper disguise. I didn’t feel like talking to the so-called cult celebrities, chatting with the new guard publishers, or carousing with the indie filmmakers and artists tabling their wares. I haven’t even read the new issues yet. Would I have reacted more favorably if Dad hadn’t been in his situation? I’m not so sure. In recent years, the genre and all its rubbery baggage have begun to wear out their welcome. Losing my father was more horrifying (and emotionally comforting, given his circumstance) than any of the pop grotesqueries lining the halls of the Wyndham Indianapolis West that weekend. Horse feathers, as he used to say in mild disgust.


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Compiled by Jason Pankoke


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“C-U Biz-en-scène” no. 2 © 2010 Jason Pankoke/C-U Blogfidential.

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