By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on May 16, 2006 5:00PM
Though Chicago has plenty of venues that nurture independent film (Chicago Filmmakers, Block Cinema, and Facets to name a few), there aren't as many resources available to help you get the damn thing made in the first place.
uPressplay is an online entertainment network that not only provides independent filmmakers with information and resources to make their films, but also an opportunity to showcase their films to anyone with a broadband connection. Call it vertical integration for the cinema set.
Combining elements of iFilm, Careerbuilder, and MediaBistro, uPressplay is a one-stop shop for budding filmmakers. Filmmakers can post resumes, headshots and demo reels on the site or pay uPressplay to develop them for you. Membership on the site is free and allows you to find crew members for an upcoming shoot, look for jobs yourself or get access to their articles and short films. A section with links to various industry sites is available as well (though it was busted when we gave it a whirl).
As you’d expect, the production team for uPressplay films is comprised of graduates from Columbia College. The films currently featured on uPressplay run the gamut from comedies filled with hapless twentysomethings (the title of one ongoing series called "Roscoe Village" caught our eye) to music videos to anti-war films that would make Oliver Stone curse himself for being so lazy.
To see what the uPressplay crew can do, check out their free v.2 DVD Release Party this Thursday May 18th at O’Malley’s West (2249 N. Lincoln). The screening begins at 8 p.m. and is preceded by a networking reception at 7 p.m. with cash bar.