C-U Biz-en-scène: 10.28.2010

“C-U Biz-en-scène” appears every Thursday/Friday 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!


Think Outside Our Box, Please!

We’ve decided there’s no time better than the present to announce a pair of consolidations that we’ll enact here at the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters. First, we plan on letting go of our long-time post office box 45; please jot down and use the following as the primary mailing address to reach our lil’ ol’ pseudo-empire: Jason Pankoke, Editor, MICRO-FILM, 401 N. Prairie, Suite 3D, Champaign, IL, 61820. Second, we will merge the MICRO-FILM and C-U Confidential Mailing Lists within the next year; MF fans should make a mental note that the singular e-newsletter will most likely be C-U branded but certainly incorporate MF news when pertinent. Until then? Carry on, MacDuff.


Possibly the most Halloween ready local-ish movie of current vintage (that doesn’t involve lycanthropy, of course) is the 72-minute isolation thriller, FARM, which made its debut in Chicago last month and will play again tomorrow, Friday, October 29, Midnight, at the Hi-Pointe Theatre in St. Louis. Fortunes will hopefully turn soon and allow for FARM to freak the C-U but until then, the curious can check out a previous short called DISPOSABLE by the film’s editor and University of Illinois alumnus/employee, Andrew Gleason, during this weekend’s Freeky Creek Short Film Festival in Oakwood. [It has no relation to the feature-length DISPOSABLE produced in Champaign County by Dreamscape Cinema except that both involve muuuuhr-der. – ed.] C-U Blogfidential received some information and set photos from Gleason about FARM, of which we’ll share a bit of the former right now and a touch of the latter tomorrow as our Images of the Week.

FARM co-directors and producers Andrew M. Jackson and Hank Bausch took off for southern California not long after graduating from film school at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2008, hoping to wedge that proverbial foot in the Hollywood front door. A handful of gigs and two months later, real life dictated that the duo escape from L.A. to regroup in the Midwest and formulate a better plan. Their ultimate solution involved producing an independent feature on their own to prove their mettle out West. After eight months’ worth of pre-production and two near-disastrous hurdles involving the loss of both their original farm location and rental equipment package, the FARM hands finally shot for three weeks in May 2009 in little Ava, Illinois, not far from Carbondale.

Written by St. Louis resident and fellow SIU-C graduate Paul Farrell, the FARM screenplay emphasizes drama over genre conventions and sticks with brothers Charlie (Michael Hotop) and Simon (Freddie Meyer), who have apparently holed themselves up in their remote tract of farm land for fear that something – implied through subtle details as being a plague – will inevitably force them to flee. At the dinner table one night, Charlie senses an unwelcome presence and finds ragged loner Sarah (Ashley Salazar) hiding in the house. Searching for her younger sister, Sarah remains with the brothers in hopes of survival as it becomes clear other individuals less than human are descending upon the farm.

“Zombie movies are a dime a dozen, but we have a story that we found to be truly unique,” Gleason tells CUBlog. “What we believe separates FARM from most modern zombie films is that FARM is a true character driven drama where the foil for these characters is the Armageddon/zombies that they have to deal with … we hope that a horror movie in which the characters have actual depth and aren’t paper-thin cannon fodder will captivate the audience in a way that modern horror [otherwise] fails to.” That said, the fictional fantastic elements in FARM almost pale in comparison to the horrors that met the production head-on once camera began rolling: recast actors, nosy neighbors, irate property owners, broken water pipes, and lack of power for two full days due to a rare inland hurricane. These factors helped whittle down the tight 21-day schedule to a mere 12 days, upping the crew’s discomfort exponentially.

Yet, filming wrapped on time and was followed by a year of editing and ADR work for which Gleason’s involvement became instrumental – even more so (literally) for his wife Nadine, who provided the music score. The fruits of FARM labors could pay off for the Gleasons, Bausch, Jackson, Farrell, and everyone else involved now that the film has begun to play the circuit, including a surprise last-minute addition to the eighth Fargo (ND) Fantastic Film Festival two weeks ago. They have several follow-up projects in mind, including two additional features continuing the story from where FARM leaves off. We’ll let you know if and when a screening materializes here in the C-U!

Speaking of, please consider visiting Mike ‘n Molly’s in downtown Champaign this All Hallow’s Eve for an encore of the Jason Butler towniepocalypse, WEREWOLF CEMETERY Part 4, which will start at “10ish” according to JB. Co-star and Foley artist Bob Henne also tells CUBlog that all proceeds will be donated to the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, in the back of which the Brainsmart Productions team staged much of the climax two years ago. With the Orpheum auditorium now renovated and respectable, WC4 also serves as a visual record of what the once-deteriorated space used to look like while closed to the public. Hopefully, said renovation involved the cleaning up of certain, mmm, spots.


It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it was dark and rainy on the first night and dark and very, very, very windy on the second night when your humble editor visited the set of ONCE UPON A TIME IN 1972 earlier this week, set up in the Champaign alleyway behind Dallas & Company and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Numerous familiar faces flitted about the action, including director Chris Lukeman, producer Anne Lukeman, cameraman Ashwin Torke, lighting designer Tim Meyers, script supervisor Jenny Veile, special effects guru Thomas Nicol, set photographer Matt Shivers, boom operator Adam Dreyfuss, and all-purpose helping hands Tim Ro and Andrew Stengele, as the 20-strong crew staged an altercation between actors Jon Harden and Maggie Gottlieb and … well … we’re not even sure how much we can tell you, dearest readers, without Kill Vampire Lincoln Productions getting up in arms (and bat wings) about it. So, we’ll just tease the fanboys with four little characters that will place it in the ballpark – IG-88 – and tide the rest of you over with this loosely related gallery even though the Maniacal Mechanical has nothing to do with 1972, to the best of our knowledge. As they say, “More to come!”

Transposing locations from crumbly out-of-the-way corners to central walkways of concrete and grass, University of Illinois student David Jordan stumped for filmmaking help through the Champaign Movie Makers group this week to pull off a zombie scene in Campustown this coming Saturday, October 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A lot of personnel and equipment reside on director/writer Jordan’s wish list, including: Assistant Director, Second Unit DP, camera/focus/sound operators, Safety Supervisor, Script Supervisor, Make-up Artist, Canon DSLRs, zoom lenses, tripods, tracks, Steadicam, microphones, Compact Flash cards, batteries, and of course, extras to play zombies and “frightened humans.” Interested parties should hit up zhackers1 [at] yahoo [dot] com to show said interest and, given the Green Street location in between Wright and Lincoln streets, one may be inclined to share with one’s immediate friends and not, say, one’s contacts in local law enforcement or city government. Jordan defines the eventual Web series as like “a zombie film, only smarter. We follow three geeks (played by Jordan, Amelia Sacco, and Martin Rosenberg), who are studying to be engineers at the university, through a zombie apocalypse.” It sounds pretty yummy in our tummies and structurally sound, too, so we’ll see how things pan out when GEEKS AND ZOMBIES (used by Jordan as a descriptor, although it sounds like a good working title to us) mix it up on the Internet in the coming months!


Young local filmmaker Sasan Shabrou of Gladius Arts tells CUBlog that a brand new event called the Buttered Corn on the Cob Film Festival, programmed by movie maker, stage manager, and WEFT on-air personality Ludo Vanderhout, is scheduled for March 2011 in downtown Urbana. “Not only are we trying to make it a great place for independent filmmakers of the Midwest to network,” says Shabrou, whose recent shorts include the noir BARREL OF MY GUN and topical student thesis THE LAST RIDE, “but we are currently in talks with Vertical Streaming, the company that streams all the Cannes Film Festival winners” to host the eventual best-of-fest title shown during Buttered Corn. He reveals that a goal is to award prizes to the top three films (presumably chosen by audience voting) and also recognize three juror picks. Buttered Corn is waiving entry fees through the end of the year as incentive to get the ball rolling, so that’s your cue to check out their current Web site and download the submission form now!


This is a quick reminder for you to trot right on back to Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Fairmount, IL, this weekend to get a load of the first ever Freeky Creek Short Film Festival! We recently posted the schedule but here’s one last breakdown of dates and times: Friday, October 29, 8 p.m., Saturday, October 30, 8 p.m., and Sunday, October 31, 7 p.m. Consult the vineyard’s Web site for driving directions and plan to be there in filmmaking solidarity, for we have it on good authority that individuals involved with many of the selections will be attending throughout the weekend! Ghouls, ghosts, and goblins may also grace Sleepy Creek with their presence, especially on Sunday evening.

And then, while still buzzing from that Freeky Creek high (if not an overload of wine slushies) you can wake up the next morning and order your festival pass for “Ebertfest”! UIUC College of Media superstar Mary Susan Britt announced yesterday that said passes for the 13th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, which will take place April 27 to May 1, 2011, will go on sale starting at 12 a.m. Central Time on Monday, November 1, through the Eberfest Web site. With the Virginia Theatre still closed for renovations, passes can also be purchased at the Champaign Park District’s headquarters in the Bresnan Meeting Center, 706 Kenwood Rd., Champaign. They will obviously not be open at the stroke of midnight to start the work week, so call (217) 398-2550 during business hours, which are 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Passes cost $135, but we have a sneaky suspicion they will sell out quickly regardless of price.


We did a double take while sifting through the Decatur Herald & Review Web site a few days ago when we found this article about Boarman’s Roxy Theatre premiering its brand new seating. The surname on the marquee is not a misspelling; it took the seed money of Shelbyville businessman Bill Boarman to revive the Roxy, which closed in 1966 after a run of MARY POPPINS and came back to life in 2003 by showing the same Disney classic. Amazingly, the entire $22,000 bill for the seating was footed by Roxy fans, according to the article, meaning that not one cent came from the managers’ coffers or the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. Wow. We’d really love to see that sort of community support in MICRO-FILM Country for all things in the C-U Confidential milieu, so don’t be surprised if we ever broach the subject right here in CUBiz … such as, in next week’s CUBiz. Consider yourselves invited/warned.


@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL: MAO’S LAST DANCER (10/29 on), LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (10/29-10/31), KUNDUN (11/4, 7:30 p.m.)

@ Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL: WEREWOLF CEMETERY IV* (10/31, 10 p.m.)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL: 2010 Asian Film Festival (11/2-11/7, see schedule below)

@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, YOU AGAIN, SECRETARIAT (10/29 on), THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (10/29, 10:30 p.m., w/host Troy Taylor), TRICK ‘R TREAT (10/30, 10:30 p.m., w/host Troy Taylor)

@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: FORBIDDEN PLANET (10/28-10/29, 7 p.m.), ARSENIC & OLD LACE (10/30-10/31, 7 p.m.)

@ The Lorraine Theatre, Hoopeston, IL: JACKASS 3D (10/29 on)

@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL: Freeky Creek Short Film Festival* (10/29-10/30, 8 p.m.; 10/31, 7 p.m.)

@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, WINTER’S BONE, WHO IS HARRY NILSSON?, SEX AND THE CITY 2, more! (10/26 on)


@ The Canopy Club, Urbana, IL: Pizza + Pitcher and Movie – returns 11/7

Locally produced movies and events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Go see ‘em!


11/4-11/13: Reeling 29: Chicago Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Chicago, IL

11/5-11/7: Illinois International Film Festival, Chicago, IL

@ The Viaduct Theater, Chicago, IL, 8 p.m. (@ Illinois Int. Film Festival)

@ Landmark Century Center Cinema, Chicago, IL, 9:30 p.m. (@ Reeling 29)

11/11-11/13: Embarras Valley Film Festival
@ EIU campus/Will Rogers Theater/Charleston Public Library, Charleston, IL

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

NEW! 11/18: Central Illinois Film Commission meeting
@ Di Piero’s Sicilian Cucina, Springfield, IL, 7 p.m.

11/19-11/21: Dark Carnival Film Festival, Bloomington, IN

@ Landmark Tivoli Theatre, St. Louis, MO, 3:30 p.m. (@ St. Louis International Film Festival)

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


“Real Vs. Reel” Movie Series
@ Danville Public Library, Danville, IL, 6:30 p.m.

11/8: CITIZEN KANE; 12/13: ROCKY; 1/10/11: SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS; 2/14/11: HOOSIERS; 3/14/11: A PLACE IN THE SUN; 4/11/11: THE FUGITIVE


NEW! 2010 Asian Film Festival
@ Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, Nov. 2-7

11/2: UNMISTAKEN CHILD (7 p.m.); 11/4: KUNDUN (7:30 p.m. @ The Art Theater); 11/5: SUMMER PASTURE (7 p.m.), SERFS (9:15 p.m.); 11/6: MILAREPA (1 p.m.), TANTRIC YOGI (3:15 p.m.), THE SEARCH (7 p.m.), SONG OF TIBET (9:20 p.m.); 11/7: THE SEARCH (1 p.m.), MILAREPA (3:15 p.m.)

AsiaLENS: AEMS Documentary/Film Series
@ Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m.


Global Lens 2010: International Films
@ Main Lounge, Allen Hall/Unit One, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 7 p.m.

11/3: MY TEHRAN FOR SALE, Iran; 11/10: OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN, India; 11/17: ORDINARY PEOPLE, Serbia; 12/1: THE SHAFT, China; 12/8: SHIRLEY ADAMS, South Africa

Global Lens 2010: International Films
@ Latzer Hall, University YMCA, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 5:30 p.m.

10/28: MASQUERADES, Algeria; 11/4: MY TEHRAN FOR SALE, Iran; 11/11: OCEAN OF AN OLD MAN, India; 11/18: ORDINARY PEOPLE, Serbia; 12/2: THE SHAFT, China; 12/9: SHIRLEY ADAMS, South Africa

IPRH Film Series
@ Room 62, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, 5:30 p.m.


Israeli Movie Club
@ The Cohen Center, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, 7:30 p.m.



Every now and then, we’re reminded that the ties forged during our formidable MICRO-FILM days still bind with certain individuals, such as Brighton, Michigan, producer/director Kevin J. Lindenmuth, whose indie horror film output released through his Brimstone Productions company found a home with MF. Lindenmuth spent the second half of the aughts – a term we use gingerly since it sounds so, well, haughty working within the documentary realm, resulting in the creation of several health-related titles that aired on PBS. He has taken these experiences and condensed them into an “essential, no-nonsense guide” called The Documentary Moviemaking Course, a full-color softbound book just released by Barron’s/Quarto that arrived in the lobby of the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters this week. It’s a slick design loaded with common-sense tips that will probably be of more use to novices than seasoned filmmakers, but there’s nothing wrong with having all-purpose reminders available at one’s fingertips while in the thick of it. We congratulate Lindenmuth and look forward to poring through it! We’re also happy to see Chicago represent with numerous stills from the sets of MF friend John Borowski (H.H. HOLMES, ALBERT FISH) and CUBlog contributor Michelle Kaffko (PROCEED AND BE BOLD!), with a coincidental cameo from Don May, Jr., of Synapse Films, who will figure in upcoming CUZine shenanigans. Will you?

That’s it for the “business of our scene” this week! BOO!!!


If you have relevant news, opportunities, dates, or promotions that you would like included in CUBiz, please forward the who, what, where, when, and how much to cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com.

Compiled by Jason Pankoke


Prior “CUBiz” | Next “CUBiz”


“C-U Biz-en-scène” no. 14 © 2010 Jason Pankoke/C-U Blogfidential.

3 Responses to C-U Biz-en-scène: 10.28.2010

  1. Paul :

    Lindenmuth’s book looks interesting…

  2. Chris! :

    Hey Jason,

    Great update! Thanks for the adequately mysterious shout out to ’72

  3. Administrator :

    Paul, you’ll have to let me know what you think of the book.

    Chris, glad I was able to spill without, um, spilling. However, the creepy thing is that on Monday I got home in the dead of night to find in my mail box last-minute political literature and AN ABRAHAM LINCOLN PENNY. I have no rational explanation for this, but it is a true story. Flap, flap, flap…