INFORMANT tapped for local shoot

From March 7-13, 2008:

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Articles in Decatur daily Herald & Review about the impending location shooting of Steven Soderbergh‘s next studio picture, THE INFORMANT, in Decatur, IL, this April and May.


Editor’s note: As you will glean from the tone of the articles linked above, information about this production – which is obviously one of Steven Soderbergh‘s studio productions and not a low-budget, day-and-date experiment like BUBBLE (2006) – apparently leaked, forcing a bit of public relations damage control. What was at stake, you might ask? Revealing too much about when and where the production would be shooting, as well as posting on-line contact information and repeating the same on local television. An informant (ha ha) who lives and works in Springfield, where much of this unauthorized or errant information apparently originated, told C-U Blogfidential that the TV reveal resulted in more than 100 individuals faxing THE INFORMANT production manager Michael Polaire for jobs. Oops.

We probably should be lucky that Soderbergh and Warner Brothers elected to bring the location work here instead of faking it all in Los Angeles or Toronto. However, did the Springfield and Central Illinois Film Commission really think that the production would not import their own union personnel for a studio shoot? Just because they helped out the last time Tinseltown graced us with their presence – the filming of the Washington, D.C., scenes of LEGALLY BLONDE 2 in December 2001 for MGM, which did happen in Springfield – doesn’t mean SCIFC is automatically qualified or entitled to take charge on the local front. Considering the finicky entity we’re talking about here – Hollywood – it’s best to never assume a damn thing prematurely, especially without a lawyer in the room.

At this point, I’ll direct you to the third link above, where Herald & Review columnist Tim Cain offers common sense about what to expect – and not expect – when THE INFORMANT steps foot in Decatur. (The film is based on the 2000 book of the same name by Kurt Eichenwald that chronicles an FBI wire-tapping scheme which revealed a price-fixing scam at Decatur’s agricultural giant, Archer Daniels Midland.) Personally, I believe the average person will probably not get much out of it but a detatched thrill, the local business owner will probably get little more only if they are hired by the production to provide goods or services, and the media maker will probably get the least satisfaction out of it since they won’t automatically be invited to play in the sandbox. However, the following e-mail (according to SCIFC) is supposedly a legitimate way to apply for work on the show:

Moral of this story? Don’t call them. They’ll call you. That’s life in the Hollywood fast lane, folks, even on the dusty roads of the Midwest.

~ Jason Pankoke

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