Linda Frothingham of ChicagoHollywood.com & I attended Debut of FOCUS NIGHT AT THE MOVIES at the Highland Park High School Auditorium in HP, Illinois (where many movies have been scored the last 30 years). Hosted by Burt Chaikin & Jack Shulruff with Joe Bucolo as Faculty Coordinator, 19 film clips were aired via the assistance of the Fine Arts Department.
Alan Loeb (himself – “the L.A. Times called Loeb "Screenwriting's equivalent of the 'It Boy'") flew in for the occasion and encouraged what the students called: ‘Imagine The Possibilities.’ Alan had previously attended HPHS – now reappearing there as ‘An Honorary Alum.’ Because of his work load, he could not appear there – live and on-stage, but that was all taken care of. Via the wonders of ‘taping’ before-hand, well-known Producer/Director, Shawn Levy gave the future filmmakers more words of encouragement to pursue your passions with an added treat and endorsement made by Hugh Jackman, who is always looking for his next role. The School’s Symphony Orchestra with Stephen Hobson (as Director) played selections of major motion pictures as the crowd was seated.
Jimmy Fishbein, the Owner of Lake Shore Photography, Inc. set up his studio in the lobby as people were beginning to enter the Auditorium for the Presentation. He has been serving Chicago and the surrounding suburbs for over a decade now. For free, he generously took the photos of 100s of attendees...for a feel of what it is like to be 'on the red carpet'- making it and immortalizing it as a most memorable experience. Those photos will be online in several days at www.LshorePhoto.com.
It was really a spectacular evening as nearly 1000 people (per my estimates) attended the event. Although I enjoyed and found something entertaining ‘in all the films,’ my favorite was called AMONG THE STARS, created by Rachel Sacks, Burton Chaikin & Jacob Humerick and starring Alex Rush & Jack Shulruff. If a film moves you to tears, you know it has something going for it and a real (ie: ‘reel’) message to offer. Thank goodness for the invention of the Kleenex. More should be sold at movie concessions if you ‘ask’ me.
And yes, these FOCUS NIGHT AT THE MOVIES will become Regular Events in the years ahead at Highland Park High…again connecting Chicago to Hollywood.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 3:36 PM CST