Filmmaking 101 – Saturday, November 1

SaveTheDateIt’s official! The Central Illinois Film Commission is presenting a special workshop on Saturday, November 1, 11am-3pm, at the Heroic Ages Art Center in Mt. Zion, IL. Format for the program is an open panel with representatives from the local film community, presenting various subject matters of interest to our members. Following will be roundtable breakouts, where attendees can discuss specific topics with the presenters. A networking hour will follow.

$10 per person for current CIFC members
$35 per person for non-members (includes CIFC membership for 2015)

Program details and registration information will be posted soon!

Midwest Hustler Films Movie Trailer in Central IL

The independent movie, “Midwest Hustler,” filmed a trailer in Central Illinois to be used in a fundraising campaign for the film. Thank you to writer/director Zaine Bray for crediting CIFC for assisting him with the project. We wish Zaine and the crew the best of luck!

Click here to view the coverage the film received on news station WICS Channel 20.

Jeep Commercial Filmed in Springfield

From Detroit to Utah…

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Jeep Motor Company made a special stop in Springfield on Friday, July 11, filming a commercial for their new vehicles using the State Capital of Illinois as their backdrop. The City of Springfield and The Central Illinois Film Commission worked with Jeep to make our community one of only a few stops to film their commercial . Special thanks to Mark Seger from Public Works/Street Department for working out all the details. Executive producer Marguerite Parise stated that without the outstanding co-operation of The Central Illinois Film Commission and The City of Springfield, namely Mark Seger, they would have filmed in Chicago instead. We were very proud to have Ten Eighty Productions Inc., filming here in Lincoln’s Home Town and look forward to seeing the finished production when it is released this fall.

Best Tour Ever

DEW_0025DEW_0002DEW_0015DEW_0022DEW_0004DEW_0006DEW_0020DEW_0018For those of you that did not make the tour of Heroicage Studio’s Art Center, here are some of the highlights. With over 300 people in attendants, it was a smashing success for Tim and Eric. Next year the sound stage and editing suites will make headline as the only full production facility north of St. Louis and south of Chicago. As Tim says, you built it and they will come, they certainly did Saturday.

Second Event for a Busy Weekend

George Bus noted Lincoln impersonator drove all the way from the Quincy area to help us with a crowdfunding film we were making for Canterbury House.n it is the former rectory of St. Paul The Apostle Church on 2nd and Lawrence.  Both the church and Canterbury House are in need of great repair.  Canterbury House is the focus because of its  historical ties to Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd and their families.

Linda Lou Long wrote and directed the film. Liz Zalar was the 1st Asst. director, Dean Williams was the Director of Photography and Dana Williams was the Videographer.  John Ascher was the production asst.  All are members of CIFC.

Martha Bradley, the churches historian , acted as storyteller.  She quickly engaged the children and the viewers with her lively retelling of the churches history.  One of the significant stories  she told was how one of the ministers from St. Paul married Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln and that that marriage certificate is on permanent loan to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum so that it can be properly maintained.

The Canterbury House is in dire need of repair.  The rush is the 150th commemoration of Lincoln’s funeral which will be a full scale reenactment starting in Washington and ending in Springfield May 1-3 2015.  This is expected to draw over 150.000 visitors.

During the filming we did have one very positive event.  A member from the Painters Union stopped asked what we were doing.  He gave us his card and said one of their things to do was fund raising for projects like this.  So I end with “say a little prayer for us” that this all goes in a heave,y direction.

What a Busy Weekend!!

The weekend of June 6-9!was certainly a busy one for the members of the Centrral Illinois Film Commission.  Stephen Silvaggio  writer, director,and actor filmed his docudrama along with producer Liz Zalar.  The cast some of CIFC’s strongest actors strutted their stuff.   Steve Bishop shined as Chuck, the agent.  Chris Taylor was wonderful as the befuddled friend and newcomer Cecily Swann  simply brought it home as the beautiful distressed girlfriend.  And then there was John who was perfect for the role of rising star going up in flames.  GrantHuff looked great as the producer, Bernie,  and Brandon Swan also new to acting made a great sleazy paparazzi.  Andrea Shimkus was hot as our “lady of the night.” Ben, Steve’s cousin was cinematographer with John Ascher as second camera.  Kerri Donovan, as usual was stupendous on sound.  What would we due without Kerri and her technical savvy?  Drake Sutton and Brandon Swann were our PA’s.  I think this film will be winning some awards in the short film category at film festivals.  It is powerful.

Again the CIFC must thank the Springfield Hilton Hotel, Mgr. Jeff Wade , Jill Egizzi, and all of the staff for accommodating us this past weekend.  Remember everyone the Hilton is the CIFC ‘s Hotel.  We should remember to eat there when we are downtown and book as many events etc. as we can.  They do a lot for us.  Also I would like to thank David Reid for use of his law office.  Paul  LaMantia at the CAVC, wow what a fantastic facility, thank you for letting us film there. Kerri, thanks for helping us with that.  To Ms. Siilvaggio thanks for your help with the Illinois State Museum.

The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition


The 150th Anniversary of the Lincoln Funeral Procession will be commemorated with a number of special activities planned in Springfield during April and May 2015. Observation will begin on April 14, 2015 with “Our American Cousin,” and scholarly symposia will take place throughout the month. Benedictine University at Springfield will present a poetry, visual arts, and musical event on May 1, 2015; a special concert by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra will take place the evening of May 2, 2015; and the commemoration will conclude with a two-day historic reenactment of the 1865 memorial procession and ceremony for President Abraham Lincoln on May 2-3, 2015.

On May 2, 2015, a funeral train accurate to the period will arrive at the current Springfield Amtrack Station carrying current dignitaries, historic officials, representatives, as well as the replicated coffin of President Lincoln. A procession will follow the historic route from the train station to Washington and 6th Street. Dignitaries, Color Guard, Civic War reenactors, and direct descendants of the original Honorary Pallbearers will participate in the opening commemorative ceremony.

On Sunday, May 3, local churches will invite Civil War era musicians to provide music during workshop. The funeral vigil ends mid-morning to facilitate the funeral procession, which will follow the historic route to Oak Ridge Cemetery. Local schools, clubs and organizations are invited to march and participate.

Members of the Central Illinois Film Commission are encouraged to support this historic event. Board member Leanne Unland will be soliciting volunteers to assist (more details to come). For more information, visit The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition website