Fresh Bread Press
Lincoln received a taste of Hollywood this weekend when it became the siteof a real honest-to-goodness movie premier. From a screenplay conceived by Lincoln resident, Tom Quinn and one of his former Illinois Wesleyan students, USING, a feature-length drama, came to life for the very first time on the big screen this Sunday, September 30 at the Lincoln Theater 4.
This invitation-only event was the culmination of three long years of work by Quinn, IWU & Illinois State graduates and numerous local residents who jumped at the chance to experience the creation of an independent motion picture. Sunday evening guests included cast, crew and “Friends of the Project” USING focuses on a father’s desperate fight to save his daughter from a self destructive path of addiction & betrayal. Eddy McNeil, a successful real estate magnate, risks everything to rescue his only daughter, Gwen, an out-of-control 22 year old, from the streets of Chicago with an elaborate & deceitful scheme that could cost him his daughter, if his plan is uncovered.
Seventy-two locations were utilized in the film, some in Chicago, some in Bloomington, and several in Lincoln, Illinois. Premier night guests will be watching for scenes shot in the alley beside Vintage Fare, Guzzardo’s Italian Villa, New Union Cemetery, the former offices of Integrity Data, an apartment above Sablotny’s Shoe Repair and several Lincoln homes.
Quinn stated that “Shooting in Lincoln was great. We talked to the city council and got permission to film, business owners let us use their facilities and people in the community welcomed us to their homes.”
In order to bring the script to life, Quinn partnered with another former student Peter Gray to form Phenom Features which then joined forces with Kymberly Harris’ Fresh Bread Productions, a 501 c 3 company. The overall vision of this partnership was to provide an apprenticeship studio, bringing students & up-and-coming filmmakers together with working professionals to learn the process of filmmaking.
Leading the cast is Elizabeth Schwarzrock, who helped conceive the original story. She is joined by other IWU alums including Brooke Trantor, Marlee Turim, and Andrew Junk. Additionally, the cast included professional actors Christopher Domig, Toya Turner, and Rian Jairell. Quinn & Harris also have featured roles in the film.
Though not receiving quite the same billing as the leading characters, many local residents served as minor players and extras and will be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to catch their moment on the screen. According to Quinn, Logan County residents who might be glimpsed for the first time on the silver screen include Phil Blackburn, Tom Brewster, Don Frontone, Chris Gray, Rick Hamm, Julie Kasa, Karen Lowery, Kim McGlocklin, Judy Rader, Clyde & Shari Reynolds, Sara Stuckey, and Jill & Shelby Voyles.
As exciting as this Lincoln film premier is for local residents, USING has just begun its journey on the long road of post-production. Written in 2009 and filmed in the summer of 2010, it was not until the Jerome Mirza Foundation of Bloomington stepped forward in October of 2011 and provided the funding for post production that developers could see the light at the end of the tunnel. That funding allowed filmmakers to carry out the final editing process, outsource an original score and complete post-production color correction by March of 2012. The film is now being marketed to multiple film festivals in the hopes that a national film distributor will view a screening, purchase the distribution rights, and market the film in multiple venues.
Produced by a not-for-profit arts organization, the project is being funded through tax-deductible contributions from corporations and individuals. A portion of the proceeds of the film will go to Salvation Army Safe Harbor Shelters and Teen Challenge of Central Illinois. For more information on the movie, visit www.usingthemovie.com
WJBC 93.7FM- The Voice of Central Illinois
Kymberly Harris, director of Bloomington’s Theatrescool talks about the production of the film “Using.” Harris is a producer and actor in the independent production, which has been filming in the area. Listen here!
WLUP 97.9FM- The Loop
Brothers Terry O’Quinn and Tom Quinn talk about LOST, USING and our benefit party Saturday night!! Listen here!
“Lost’s” John Locke found here July 31
Headlines benefit for brother’s indie feature,
|Benefit headline guest Terry O’Quinn, star of “Lost”|
Mysterious John Locke of ABC’s “Lost,” i.e. Emmy winner Terry O’Quinn, can be found at the Park West July 31, as the special guest at a benefit for his brother’s first independent feature.
Veteran actor and Emmy winner O’Quinn, who’s flying in from Hawaii, will add more Hollywood glitz by contributing items from “Lost” for the benefit’s silent auction.
|Thomas Quinn: “Using” screenwriter, director, star|
Funds raised will help finance “Using,” the first narrative feature film of Thomas Quinn, his DP partner Peter Gray in Phenom Features and their producing partner, Chicago actress Kymberly Harris’ Fresh Bread Productions. Both companies have deep roots in the theatre.
Quinn is a professor of playwriting, acting and directing at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and an actor who has played more than 60 roles on stages throughout the country.
|Producer Kymberly Harris who also stars in “Using”|
Award-winning actress and playwright Harris recently returned to Bloomington from seven years in Manhattan where she started Fresh Bread Productions with an ensemble of MFA graduates of the Actors Studio.
She is the founder/artistic director of TheatresCool, a professional training ground for beginning, aspiring, and professional actors, at risk and special needs youth in Bloomington.
Quinn’s story is about loving deception and a father’s desperate fight to save his only daughter who is dying from drug addiction.
Quinn portrays the father, real estate magnate Eddie McNeil; 22-year old daughter Gwen is played by Elizabeth Schwarzrock, a recent IWU graduate; Harris has a pivotal supporting role.
Once the two companies, Phenom Features and Fresh Bread Productions got together in May, production started July 5 in Chicago and will shoot in Bloomington and Lincoln.
Harris says she wasn’t daunted by the short period between the project’s launch and actual filming. “Producing a film isn’t that different from producing a play, except for the 30 straight 15-hour shoot days.”
The benefit starring O’Quinn will appeal to all
With O’Quinn/Locke as the star, the “Using” benefit has shaped up as an evening to rival any Hollywood event. “It shouldn’t appeal solely to “Lost” fans, but to film and music buffs, philanthropists — anyone who enjoys a special night out in Chicago,” says Harris.
Tickets to the evening are $50 for students and actors (SAG, AFTRA, Equity, and DGA members); $125 general admission; $250 for VIP tickets for a private reception where guests can socialize with O’Quinn and have their pictures taken with and signed by him.
All tickets include hors d’oeuvres by Phil Stefani Catering, cocktails, music by local band Aubyn Beth, a preview of “Using” and the silent auction whose centerpiece is a clutch of scarce A-list TV shows — David Letterman, the Grammys, the Emmys and “Dancing with the Stars.”
There’s also an E-Bay auction of dinner for four with Terry O’Quinn, which includes dinner at Gene and Georgetti’s at 6 p.m., and five benefit tickets. The online auction ends July 21. See cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270600202341&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army’s Safe Harbor addiction rehab program.
The benefit kicks off at 8 p.m. at Park West, 322 W. Armitage. For tickets see benefitforusing.eventbrite.com/. —Ruth L Ratny
Terry O’Quinn at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. (David Perry, Lexington Herald-Leader / May 1, 2010)
Terry O’Quinn, best known for his role as John Locke on “Lost,” will be attending a fundraiser for the independent film, “Using” on July 31 at Park West. O’Quinn’s brother, Tom, is the writer, director and star of the movie.
According to a press release sent out Wednesday, the film is about “a father’s desperate fight to save his only daughter from self-destruction. ‘Using’ is a cautionary tale of addiction, betrayal and unlikely redemption, which asks the impossible question, ‘How far would you go to save a dying child?’ “
(I’m going to guess this one won’t be in 3-D.)
General admission tickets are $125 and VIP tickets are $200. Tickets for students are $50. There will be an ebay auction in advance to win a dinner with Terry O’Quinn the day of the benefit.
by lauren shapiro
Happy, ambitious faces, delicious food and a fantastic band that by the end of the evening had everyone on their feet made me want to stay at Park West in Chicago’s Lincoln Park for hours. And though the benefit for the film Using did eventually end, the buzz about the up-and-coming writer and director, Thomas Quinn, and his film most certainly will not any time soon.
Quinn and a tireless staff of interns, a production crew and countless volunteers are responsible for Using, a feature length, independent drama about betrayal, addiction and a father’s struggle to save his daughter from self-destruction. The screenplay, an original by Quinn, is a powerful piece produced by Fresh Bread Productions and Phenom Features, both non-profit organizations.
“The mission of Phenom Features is to mentor students to learn the art of filmmaking, and the mission of Fresh Bread Productions is to use art to give back to the community,” says Kymberly Harris, Fresh Bread producer. “Our missions are holding hands on Using, if you will.”
You can imagine that with two non-profits, eventually money would become an issue for any project. But though it might be a challenge, no one involved in Using is going to let money stand in the way of finishing the film. And the benefit that took place at Park West on Saturday evening was the perfect way to start to raise the money that they need for the film, while also spreading the word about the important topic of young drug addiction.
The evening was perfection, put on in association with Michelle Dupretti Events. The red carpet leading into the venue ended with friendly faces from the production companies, ushering you inside. There were hors d’oeurves from Phil Stefani Catering, the bar was nicely stocked and the silent auction had everything from vacations to artwork, again to help raise money for the film.
And usually, there would be nothing that could make such a perfectly described night even better. But most events don’t have Terry O’Quinn as the honorary guest, the actor that played both the heroic and infamous character John Locke on Lost.
O’Quinn is Quinn’s brother, and he was happy to come help amp up the event’s celebrity factor. O’Quinn happily took photographs with fans and greeted all of the guests at the event. He even donated John Locke’s famous dagger to the silent auction table, something that many fans at the event swooned over.
And when Aubyn Beth, the evening’s fantastic band, played their final song, the production crew, actors and the Quinn brothers were content with how the evening had ended. Thomas and Terry sat at a table in the back of the room for most of the evening, enjoying their time together. Harris was on the dance floor, mingling with friends and guests. Everyone had a fantastic time, and it was never overlooked that the fun came with benefiting a great film and a great cause.
Yes, Quinn and Harris and everyone involved in the film wanted to raise money and finish their project. That was a big goal. But there were other things on their minds when putting this benefit together. A portion of the proceeds went to both the Salvation Army Safe Harbor Shelters and Teen Challenge, and they also wanted to educate everyone on the darkness of addiction. The project is an ongoing process, not only to finish the film, but to bring awareness to the cause, as well.
It’s easy to see that this film is very important to everyone involved. Harris, most specifically, said that she knows teen drug addiction is something that is extremely dangerous and needs to be addressed.
“In the film, the daughter is educated and wealthy and has every material advantage, but she doesn’t have a true emotional bond with anyone or a safe place to express herself, and she turns to drugs and ends up on the streets,” she says.
In Terry O’Quinn’s final speech to address the attendees at the benefit to honor his younger brother, Thomas, he made it short and sweet and asked for help to make this film come to fruition. And that’s what this is: an important film that needs to succeed – for the filmmakers, everyone involved, and most importantly, for the general public to be educated on the strong and disturbing subject of teenage addiction.
For more information on the film, please visit the website at www.benefitforusing.eventbrite.com.
Hello my dear friends –
First off, ten points to the first person who gives me the name of the movie that inspired my post title. (The points aren’t worth anything, though. It’s all about the pride of winning them.) Also, as a reminder, be sure to roll your mouse over the pictures in this post in order to read their captions. I’m quite proud of a few of them this time around.
OK! As those of you connected to me on Facebook or following me on Twitter are aware, I got to hang with Terry O’Quinn again on Saturday, July 31 — this time on my home turf. Before I talk about that night, however, I have to give a big shout-out to another huge TO’Q fan, Kat S, who runsTerryOQuinn.org. Seeing as how I only spend a few minutes on Facebook each day and therefore don’t catch many of my friends’ updates on the news feed, I’m sure Lost devotees would agree that it was totally fate — and not a coincidence — that a month or so ago when I logged in I spied a message Kat had sent to my man Andy at DarkUFO. She told him that Terry O’Quinn would be appearing at the end of July for a benefit at the Park West. When I saw Kat’s message I thought to myself, “Hmm, that’s weird — there’s a Park West here in Chicago.”
I clicked on the link Kat had passed along to Andy and sure enough, the event was going to be right here in my ‘hood — mere blocks away from my condo. Within five minutes I’d asked my husband if it was OK for us to spring for the kinda expensive VIP tickets that guaranteed time with Terry. As my husband is, um, MY HUSBAND, he knew I was going to buy the tickets no matter what, so he was like, “Sure! Then you can get your picture signed! Go right ahead, my darling! What’s that? Noooo, I don’t think you’re the biggest dork on earth at all. And I have zero regrets about marrying you!”
So I bought the tickets.
But then, as the weeks went by, I grew unsure of whether I’d actually be able to attend. It just so happened that I had to turn in my second-to-last round of edits for my book manuscript on Monday, August 2… but I wasn’t able to sit down and start going through the 250-page document until the night before the benefit. D’oh! Even on the 31st I wasn’t positive I’d be able to pull it off, and ended up making the decision to go about two hours before the Park West opened its doors. I finally thought, “Hell, I’m only going to get this chance once,” and then jumped in the shower to get ready.
Terry was attending the event in order to help raise money for his brother Thomas Quinn’s independent film, Using. You can read about the benefit here… and the film here. What’s more, the team at Cheeky Chicago wrote a great piece here, and my friends atHollywood Chicago snapped a very nice head shot of Terry that night, which you can take a look at here.
To sum up the evening, I felt like my three worlds collided. My three worlds being the world of my book, the world of my movie-writing gig for redbox, and the world of Lost. Before the event, Terry had dinner at Chicago’s oldest chophouse, Gene & Georgetti, with the lucky winner (and five of his/her friends) of a fund-raising auction. I couldn’t help but laugh that of all places in the Windy City to hold the meal with Terry, the powers that be picked Gene & Georgetti. Why? Because this steakhouse also plays a pivotal role in my book. Then, of course, Terry’s brother’s film was connected to my redbox job writing about movies… and Terry’s Lost character is the namesake of the blog you’re reading right now (duh). Too… much… to… process!
Anywhoooo, on to the good stuff. Almost immediately after Terry arrived, people started lining up to get a picture with him. I was one of the first people in the queue — and this truly was not because I was a stalker, it was because the chick running the event came up to me and recommended that I get in line. I did not spend that long chatting with Terry — only a few minutes — and truth be told, that was totally fine with me because I was extremely nervous. More nervous, in fact, then whenmy husband and I ran into him on the Lost set in Oahu in October 2008. I think it was because this time I knew I was going to see him and talk to him and ask him to sign my infamous picture. Back then it was more of a surprise that we ran into him, and so I didn’t have time to work myself up about it beforehand. Plus, since I was asking him to sign a picture of us, I figured he would definitely think I was a tad psychotic. All in all, I guess I was a bit embarrassed.
My husband was very confused by how shy I was acting. In the past month, because of the subject of my book, I have had to contact and correspond with a number of very, very intimidating dudes — some of the most powerful men in the world, believe it or not. And so my husband was like, “You talked to X and Y and survived… and yet you’re scared to talk to Terry O’Quinn… even thoughwe’ve already met him… and we knowhe’s a nice guy!?! I don’t get it.” Well, my dear friends, I didn’t get it, either, but the bottom line is that I was really nervous. I think perhaps it’s because, to me, Lostrepresents a turning point in my life — if it weren’t for the show, I wouldn’t have stopped working for The Man and I wouldn’t have my redbox job and I wouldn’t have written my book. Terry is the person who represents Lost the most to me, because, as you know, his character is my site’s namesake. So I think that’s why I was freaking out. OK, enough psychoanalyzing.
When it was my turn to get a picture with him, I first asked if he would mind signing my other photo. I explained that it was taken in October 2008 during the filming of “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.” He acted genuinely excited and said, “I remember that day!” I also told him that I was back in Hawaii at the beginning of this year for the Sunset on the Beach premiere, and helped a fellow blogger, JOpinionated, host a fan party that Jeff Fahey (Frank Lapidus) ended up attending briefly. He laughed and replied, “I think I heard about that…”
Here’s the signed picture:
Next, a new picture had to be taken. Quite a change to be standing next to Terry while he was in a suit and tie and I was in a cocktail dress — as opposed to us both sweating our you-know-whats off in 90-degree weather in downtown Waikiki.
That being said, I’m never going to top my original picture with him, now am I?
After we got the shot, I busted the heck out of there before I broke out in a sweat, a purple flush, and hives (this happened following the Hawaii encounter… but thankfully it was a delayed response about 20 minutes after our run-in). As I was carefully putting my 8 x 10 into a folder, Terry halted the line of admirers and came over to ensure that my husband was able to get a good picture of us. I think he felt bad (for me) that I didn’t get to spend more time talking with him, since I was obviously a freakazoid Lost fan. I thanked him for checking and assured him that we did indeed get a nice shot.
Then my girl 0bFuSc8 — whom I’d met in Hawaii in January and who may just be a bigger fanatic than I am — had her turn.
She was able to spend quite a while chatting with Terry later on that evening, as she had brought a big ol’ stack of Lost memorabilia for him to sign (which she intends to auction off to various charities).
I needed to decompress after the adrenaline rush that came from being face-to-face with “Locke,” so we enjoyed some very yummy hors d’oeuvres and drinks while listening to a great band, Aubyn Beth. They performed a special song for the occasion, aptly entitled “Live Together, Die Alone,” which they’re currently in the process of recording. If you want to hear it once it becomes available, you can follow them on Facebook (note their cute profile pic with Terry!)… and they’re also on iTunes.
Later on, Terry’s brother Thomas said a few words about Using, and then Terry gave a short speech of support. He brought on stage with him Locke’s knife, which was up for grabs in the silent auction. I’m not sure how well you can see it in this picture, but he’s holding it (and that’s his bro to the left).
Fast-forward to 10:30 pm — guess who nabbed the knife? ObFuSc8, that’s who! You go, girl! (Thankfully she kept it sheathed in my presence.)
I was really happy that ObFuSc8 was there, because not only did my husband and I have a great time hanging out with her and chatting about Lost, but I also needed her encouragement (“encouragement” in the form of being physically dragged) when it came time to DANCE WITH TERRY.
Yes, my dear friends, ObFuSc8, my husband, and I boogied down to “Hey Ya!”, “I Gotta Feeling,” and “All the Single Ladies,” among other tunes, with the Man in Black himself.
I was surprised that:
1) He knew all of the words to every song the DJ played, and
2) He is a phenomenal dancer.
I am a harsh judge of guys who attempt to dance (this is a fault of mine, and I’m aware of it and am working on it), so I cannot tell you how relieved I was that Terry didn’t need to resort to the typical “white dude” moves. He had rhythm, people! He was awesome. The whole night was incredible. I can’t believe it happened.
So there you have it, folks. Needless to say, I do not regret taking a break from my manuscript. Thanks again to Kat for unknowingly giving me the heads up, to ObFuSc8 for getting my butt on the dance floor, and to my husband for his undying patience (at least this time HE got a picture with Terry, too).
The epilogue to this tale is that I sat at my laptop, editing away, for over fourteen hours straight onboth Sunday and Monday immediately following the Using event. I technically still turned my manuscript in to my publisher on time (very, very late on Monday, my due date), BUT my left shoulder locked up in the process. I’ve had to have acupuncture and a professional shoulder/rotator-cuff massage to try and get things back to normal, but I’m still quite sore and in pain. The weird thing is that the only other time this happened to my shoulder was right after my day-trip to Oahu when I ran into Terry in 2008. Maybe he makes me come down with The Sickness?
Who knows, but the reality is that I have yet another round of (supposedly final) manuscript edits coming up between August 13 – 23, so in an attempt to not destroy my body — especially since I still write two posts a day, every week day, for redbox — I don’t intend to start working on my Lostfinale post any time soon. That’s right, I haven’t even had time to start it yet. I gotta focus on projects that pay the bills, my poor doggy who had serious surgery this past week, the ten bazillion visitors we have staying with us this summer, and a ton of other stuff I won’t bore you with. But I WILL EVENTUALLY FINISH IT. Since I screwed up majorly by guesstimating that it would be done in June… and then July… I won’t let myself be wrong a third time by mentioning a date/month I think it could be finished.
So, that being said, If you are still interested in reading my take on “The End” but don’t want to keep checking back to this site every week, you have four options:
1) Friend me on Facebook — I always link to Long Live Locke posts there.
2) Follow me on Twitter — I will be sure to tweet a link when the post goes live.
3) Sign up for emailed posts in the right-hand column of this blog.
4) Get the RSS feed for this site — also accessible in the right-hand column of this blog.
Yep, the ol’ shoulder is a-burnin’ right about now… and this post is merely 1/1000th the length that my finale post will be (and took me three hours to write). So I need to recuperate — stat!
Thanks again for your patience,
About Tom Quinn
Tom Quinn is writer/director of Using, and also playing Edward McNeil. Illinois Wesleyan University Professor Thomas Anthony Quinn teaches Playwriting, Acting and Directing. Mr. Quinn’s original screenplay, The Land of Youth, co-written with his brother, Terry O’Quinn (Lost) is currently in circulation. A member of Actor’s Equity Association and MFA graduate of Illinois State University?s School of Theatre, Mr. Quinn has appeared on a host of stages around the country. His theatre credits include Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Center Stage in Baltimore, The Goodman, Briar Street, Steppenwolf, Commons, and Drury Lane in Chicago, New Stage in Jackson Mississippi and The American Inside Theatre in Milwaukee. He has created over sixty roles for the professional stage and dozens more for academic theatre. On television, Mr. Quinn co-starred in the mini-series, Burden of Proof, written by Scott Turrow for ABC.
This event appeals to all ? not only LOST fans, but appeals to film buffs, music buffs, auction bidders, philanthropic folks, anyone who enjoys special nights out in Chicago! This special evening features a VIP red carpet entrance, hors d’oeuvres from Phil Stefani Catering, cocktails, live entertainment, a silent auction, and a preview of the independent motion picture USING that is being filmed in Central Illinois and Chicago. Tickets to this evening are $250 VIP, $125 general admission, and $50 student/industry rate with I.D. To purchase tickets for this event please visit:http://benefitforusing.eventbrite.com.
Music will be provided by twice featured on television, Chicago’s own Aubyn Beth. Guests will have an opportunity to bid on our silent auction items featuring LOST items, tickets to The Emmy Awards, tickets to The Grammy Awards, tickets to Dancing with the Stars, tickets to David Letterman, exotic vacation packages to tropical islands and more!
USING is a feature-length drama about loving deception and a father’s desperate fight to save his only daughter from self-destruction. USING is a cautionary tale of addiction, betrayal and unlikely redemption, which asks the impossible question, “How far would you go to save a dying child?”
The original screenplay is written by Illinois Wesleyan University professor Thomas Anthony Quinn. Kymberly Harris Fresh Bread Productions is producing the film. Harris is also acting in Using. Harris is the Artistic Director of Fresh Bread Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit company. Please visit: http://phenomfeatures.org/projects, http://www.theatrescool.com/freshbread, and www.kymberlyharris.com for information on Phenom Features, Fresh Bread Productions and Kymberly Harris.
WGN- TV 9 Chicago
LOST’s Terry O’Quinn talks about his brother’s movie, Using! Watch the interview here!
|Make Sure You Are “Using” This Saturday Night|
|Written by JORDAN BRANDES|
|Wednesday, 28 July 2010|
|This Saturday night the Park West (322 W. Armitage) will open it’s doors for a good cause. Fresh Bread productions, a non-profit company, along with Phenom Features is hosting a VIP red carpet gala to help raise money for their new independent film “Using.”|
The film, which will feature a talented cast of Chicago actors, tells the story of a father’s desperate fight to save his only daughter from self-destruction. A tale of addiction, betrayal and unlikely redemption the film asks: how far would you go to save a dying child?
A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Salvation Army Safe Harbor Shelter. The event will feature a VIP red carpet entrance, hors d’oevres, cocktails and a live performance by Chicago band Aubyn Beth.
Guests will also be able to take part in a silent auction that includes such prizes as tickets to the Emmys, the Grammys, “Dancing With The Stars” and many more lucrative items.
The main event of the night will of course be special guest Terry O’Quinn, who is the brother of the writer and director of Using, Thomas Quinn. However, most of you will know him as Locke, the Emmy nominated character that captured so much attention during his time on Lost. VIP ticket holders will get the chance to mingle with the star one-on-one during the gala.
For more information and to buy your tickets call 312-988-9900