Tag Archives: Chris Storer

Sal vs. Sal: Parsing an actor’s dialect

Many of the characters in Sin Bin are composites of actual people in screenwriter Chris Storer’s life. For instance, Sal Picardi is one of the characters in the film. In the script, Sal is first introduced as “17, paranoid, ‘swooshy track pants’ that swoosh” when he walks. (In the days before the shooting began, the track pants were replaced with a different wardrobe nuisance.)

Sal Picardi is a composite of a real person the screenwriter grew up with; that person’s name is … Sal Picardi. (I know, so much for imagination.) Today, the real Sal Picardi is a 29- (or 30, or maybe 31, not sure) year-old man. When the producers cast Park Ridge native Nick Bastounes in the role of Sal, Bastounes set out to spend quality time with the real Sal. He wanted to capture all the real Sal’s quirks.

I know, the kid’s dedicated to his craft; he’s like Christian Bale, or something.

How’d Bastounes do? You be the judge. Here’s a video of the two Sals, the real one is on the left. 

If you ask me, he nailed it.



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Hey, Michael Seater: What’s going on?

Sin Bin wraps in about 36 hours.

Early on Thursday morning, the cast and crew finished shooting at one of the key locations in Park Ridge, a sleepy suburb nestled against Chicago’s Northwest shoulder.

On the chilly set Wednesday, I spoke with Seater just moments before he shot a scene with Tim Blake Nelson. In this video, Seater talks about Nelson’s coffee-drinking habit. It’s one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever heard. You’ll see what I mean.

You’ll also hear a voice off camera that isn’t mine. It belongs to Sin Bin screenwriter Chris Storer. He does have a nice voice, doesn’t he?


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The gopher dance

Ever see the movie Caddyshack?

Of course you have.

Matt Corrado, the 1st assistant director on Sin Bin, performed the “gopher dance” from Caddyshack. And then he riffed on a couple of the lines with Sin Bin screenwriter Chris Storer.

This video was shot Monday on the outskirts of Chicago’s Olive Park, along Grand Avenue near Navy Pier.

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Sex and movie-making: A comparative study

Watching my two friends Billy Federighi and Chris Storer make a movie—their first movie—has reminded me of several things I’ve never experienced: going to war, climbing a mountain, making a movie. One thing it is like that I can relate to is losing your virginity.

There are so many times in life, when—after days, months, or years—you realize the importance of a single moment. But so rarely do you realize in the actual moment that it is important, profound, even life-changing. Sex and making a movie are two times when you do realize the profundity of it all.*

But there are still mitigating factors to distract you.

For instance, as it’s actually happening (for men at least), you’re busy thinking about the next time you’re going to do it—and how often you’re going to do it—and the creeping fear that you might never do it again. And, of course, you’re fucking thrilled.  

Amid all these thoughts, it goes by so fast.

Today marks the start of the final week of principal photography. The making of Sin Bin has been quick and dirty. It’s a 20-day shoot, which I’m told is ridiculously fast for a script that’s about 118 pages. With this pace, will Billy and Chris remember the details?

Will they recall the musty smell of the Irish American Heritage Center?

The bright lights of Happy Foods at 3 a.m.?

The cool and soggy Friday night they spent shooting scenes outside a home in Park Ridge?

Or, as is often the case with the first time, will all the small details be washed away by nostalgia?

This has been my first experience behind-the-scenes of a movie. I will miss it once it’s all over. For better or for worse, there will never be another first time. I’m glad Billy and Chris brought me along for it, which—with my whole sex/movie-making metaphor—sounds weird, and maybe a little gross.

*You realize the profundity of the first time you have sex or make a movie as long as you’re not drunk and/or stoned during the experience. This is not the case for either of my first times. OK, maybe I was a little drunk for one of them. But just a little.

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Between scenes, April 22

Shooting for Sin Bin continued Thursday night in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago.

During a few moments of down time, I took these shoots of Sin Bin director Billy Federighi, screenwriter Chris Storer, and costume designer Elie Kaya.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “In between scenes“, posted with vodpod


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Checking the Sin Bin Twitter feed

Not sure how many of you are using Twitter, but you may have noticed (on the bottom right side of this screen) that the Sin Bin has a Twitter feed. In case you thought no one was listening on the other end, I watched Sin Bin screenwriter Chris Storer Monday night check in on “the Twitter” and tweet an update.

Sorry the lighting is shitty, but we were sitting in a minivan waiting for the crew to begin filming a night driving scene, which you can read more about here.

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Day 11 of Principal Photography: ‘Indie filmmaking at its finest’

It’s 9:45 on Monday night and I’m sitting in a rented Dodge minivan with Sin Bin stars Michael Seater and Brian Petsos, screenwriter Chris Storer, and the film’s set PA/driver Greg Brecher. In just a few minutes, Seater and Petsos will hop out of the minivan and into the Sin Bin van, where they will film a driving a scene.

It’s a tricky scene, because Petsos will actually drive the van, while acting and smoking a cigarette. Under ideal circumstances, a trailer would tow the van. That way the drivers could concentrate on their lines and cues and not worry about operating the vehicle.

Not the case tonight. Instead, Petsos will drive, act, and smoke—with a $50,000 camera strapped to the van and a giant light shining through the passenger side.

“It’s independent filmmaking at its finest,” said Sin Bin producer Gary Giudice.

This scene will take place along Belle Plaine Avenue in Park Ridge—the Chicago suburb where Storer and Sin Bin director Billy Federighi (and this blogger) grew up—in live traffic, while two vans—the one I’m in and another—flank the Sin Bin. On screen, it will appear as if Seater and Petsos are alone in the van, when in fact it’s quite crowded. Crouched behind the actors are Federighi, director of photography Seamus Tierney, sound mixer Tom Beach, and prop master Vanessa Conway.

A few minutes pass and the scene is ready to shoot. The actors step out of the minivan and walk to the Sin Bin for their “last looks,” that is, when hair and makeup give them a final touch up before the director yells action. Now I’m alone in the minivan with Storer and Brecher.

But there’s a problem with the Sin Bin, which everyone on set lovingly refers to as “Sinny”–it won’t start. Storer explains (and then we see and hear a few minutes of the scene from the minivan flanking the Sin Bin.)

(Storer mentioned 1st A.D. Matt Corrado and key set PA Meredith Nunnikhoven.)

After this scene, the crew reassembled at the current set on Prospect Avenue in Park Ridge, which is the home shared by Seater and Petsos’s characters, who are brothers.

Federighi , with the help of Seater and Petsos, explains what’s going on.

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