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Chicago Open House – Schedule of Events

We’re getting pretty excited for our Open House in Chicago on Saturday, November 7. Below is a schedule of the panels and other activities that will be happening throughout the day. Updates and further details will be posted here as they come in, so keep an eye on this page as the date gets closer. 

Eventbrite - AbelCine Chicago Open House

10 am Doors Open
10 am – 11 am Breakfast
  A light breakfast will be provided.
10 am – 4 pm Silent Auction
  Bid on packages of overstock, demo and pre-owned gear.
10 am – 4 pm Raffle
  Enter for a chance to win prizes generously donated by our manufacturers. Complimentary raffle tickets provided to all event attendees.
11:30 am Panel: Exploring the Possibilities of Camera Movement 
  Camera movement can be considered both a technique and an art form. For example, the introduction of the Steadicam enabled filmmakers to tell stories in unique and interesting ways that previously weren’t possible. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a wave of new stabilization devices and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that push boundaries even further. These devices give filmmakers more creative options, but also introduce their own set of challenges. Join a panel of industry professionals who have used these tools in the field for a discussion of the advantages, disadvantages, and artistic implications of these new ways of moving the camera.  
  Derek Hammer (Drone/Aerial) serves as the President and CEO of two companies: Hammer Lighting & Grip and CameraBee, LLC. Derek began his career in 1993 at PBS and then ventured out as a full-time freelance videographer, shooting national news, corporate, and sports television for broadcast networks ABC, NBC and CBS as well as cable networks ESPN, HGTV, Discovery, and Speed, among others. In 2002, Derek started Hammer Lighting & Grip and had the opportunity to work in the lighting department on hundreds of local, regional, and national commercials as well as many television shows and a few feature films. As President and Chief Pilot for CameraBee, LLC, Derek and his team offer aerial video capture services using advanced remote controlled aerial and terrestrial vehicles.
  Stephen McGee (MōVI Operator) is a two-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker living in Detroit working with commercial clients, non-profit groups, journalism outlets and foundations. He recently gave a TED talk on drone cinematography and imagination. He has documented Detroit’s resurgence over the past 10 years and is currently working on a documentary film that includes that footage with the working title of TheDetroitFilm.com. His clients include Ford, The Kim Foundation, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Kresge Foundation, The Obama Administration, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Empire State Building and the International Center for Clean Transportation.
  Faires Sekiya (Steadicam Operator) learned his craft over the course of a twenty-year career, and has had the privilege of working with some of the most respected Producers, Directors and Directors of Photography. He also had the honor of being a member of an Academy Award winning camera department for the film JFK.
  Mark Woods (Technocrane Operator) is a member of IATSE Locals 476 and 600 and NABET Local 41 and has worked as a Dolly Grip, Focus Puller, Remote Head Tech, Crane, Jib and Technocrane Operator, Stabilized Head Tech and Camera Operator. He owns the largest crane rental facility in the Midwest, Kinetic Remote Systems. Serving Chicago and the Midwest for over 15 years with a vast selection of unique equipment, Kinetic Remote System supplies the local and regional production communities with distinctive camera support and exceptional technicians from the highest budget features such as Transformers 3 & 4 and Divergent to independent projects, commercials, live music and sporting events, broadcast, and even corporate and documentary projects.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
  Lunch will be provided. Water and soft drinks will be available all day.
12:30 pm – 6 pm Open Bar
  Beer and wine will be provided.
1:30 pm Panel: Filmed in Chicago – Sense8
  Production in Chicago is continuing to grow, especially at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Over the last few years, we’ve seen incredible film and television shoots on the lot, including Empire, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Divergent. In this panel, we will talk with the crew of Sense8, a Netflix original series that filmed at Cinespace last year. 
  Kevin Boyd (Video Assist) completed his first feature film in 1990 and has since worked on many feature films, TV shows and commercials across the country. His credits include The Last of the Mohicans, The Shawshank Redemption, The Bridges of Madison County, Seabiscuit, Inception, Chicago Med, and Empire. He is also the principal owner of Creative HD Inc, a Chicago based video assist and computer video playback company.
  Demetra Diamantopoulos (Unit Production Manager) received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Illinois in 1987 and began her long career with internships and PA jobs on commercials. Her first jobs in film and television were as a Locations Assistant in the John Hughes days, then as a Location Manager and finally as a Unit Production Manager. Her credits include Cutthroat Island, High Fidelity, Ali, Fred Claus, Jupiter Ascending, Shameless, Sense8 and Chi-Raq.
  Keith Huffmeier (2nd AC) is a camera assistant, living and working in Chicago. Recent credits include the Spike Lee joint Chi-Raq and the NBC drama Chicago Med. Past television credits have included Crisis for NBC, Netflix’s Sense8, and Sirens for USA Network. Past film credits include the independent features We Are What We Are, Cold in July, and the soon to be released Consumed. Keith is a member of IATSE Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild.
  Scott Thiele (Camera Operator) has shot award winning films, including, An Evening with Emery Long, The Misanthrope, Fools, and Cicero in Winter, and has collaborated on commercials, feature film title sequences, and music videos for a diverse range of clients including, Coach, Visa, Chicago White Sox, Insidious Chapter 2, 13 Sins, and Barenaked Ladies. He works with film and all HD formats, and continues his cinematography education as a camera operator on network television, commercials, and major motion pictures.
  Kat Thomas (Assistant Editor) is a Chicago based editor and assistant editor (Local 700) who has worked in the industry for nine years. Feature film and television assistant editor credits include Ninja Assassin, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Cloud Atlas, After Earth, Jupiter Ascending and Netflix’s Sense8. Editor credits include independent features 5-25-77 and Nightlights as well as several short films, music videos and corporate videos.
  Tom Zimmerman (Loader) has worked in many positions on set, building a long and varied resume that includes hundreds of shoots, most recently as a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT), Data Manager, and a Location Sound Recordist. He has had stints as a Camera Operator and Video Editor, helped build production studios and mobile production trucks, and also had a stint at Victor Duncan/Panavision. Tom is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild (Local 600) and the IBEW (Local 1220).
3 pm Panel: DP Discussion: Applying Current Technology Trends to Your Craft
  These days trying to keep up with all the changes in the industry—whether it’s a new piece of gear or a new technology standard—can be overwhelming. So how do professional DPs navigate the dynamic and ever-changing tech climate while still staying true to their vision? In this panel, a number of professional Directors of Photography, for shows that shoot right on the Cinespace lot, will discuss their experiences, how current tech trends have affected (if at all) the way they work, and where they see the industry moving in the future.
  Rohn Schmidt (DP, Chicago PD) worked as a Director of Photography on 22 low and medium budget independent features before switching emphasis to Television Production. He has been the Director of Photography on 11 MOW’s and over 195 hour episodes of cable and network TV including The Shield and The Walking Dead.
  Paul Sommers (DP, Empire) started his career 28 years ago in Chicago as a grip. Since then, he has worked as a Director of Photography on several television shows including The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Rectify. He currently works at Cinespace Chicago Studios as the Director of Photography for Empire.
4 pm – 6 pm Networking Reception
  Open bar with beer and wine. Light hor d’oeuvres will be served.
5 pm  Announcement of Raffle and Silent Auction Winners
All Day Equipment Displays 
  New gear from manufacturers such as Angenieux, ARRI, Atomos, Canon, Convergent Design, Formatt, Freefly, Fujinon, Manios, Panasonic, RED, Sony, Switronix, Vision Research, Zacuto and Zeiss will be on display throughout the space. Manufacturer experts will also be on hand to answer any questions.
All Day Phantom Photo Booth
  Take your pick of our fun props and strike your best pose, while being filmed with the Phantom Flex4K. The footage will be played back immediately on one of our 4K monitors, so you can see yourself in action!



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