Top of the Morning, May 11, 2014

Top of the Morning, May 11, 2014

Coming soon: The chance to appear in a movie. Better yet, a chance for your muscle car to hit the big screen.

Filming of "Food" is scheduled to begin May 27 in and around Champaign. Directed by Daryl Wein and starring Zoe Lister-Jones, the independent feature is described as "Erin Brockovich meets Traffic" — a thriller about a Midwestern mother's journey to uncover her son's mysterious illness. Anyway, they need extras and muscle cars from the late '60s and early '70s. So if parked in your garage is, say, a Ford Mustang, Chevy Malibu, Buick Skylark, Pontiac Grand Am or Plymouth Belvedere, email Who knows, your AMC Javelin might make it big?

Here's more on "Food" from the movie's producer, Brett Hays of Shatterglass Studios, who said more of the cast — "there will be some big names coming here" — will be announced next week.

Are good looks a must for landing a spot as an extra?

Not at all. Extras are supposed to be real people in the scene (unless you're filming something like the "Walking Dead") so the more natural they look the better. This film "Food" that we are making is supposed to take place in the Midwest in real-life situations, so we want the scenes to look like they take place here, not on America's Next Top Model.

What's the key to a good audition?

I think authenticity is crucial. It's hard to fake that and get away with it for too long.

Any chance "Food" plays at Ebertfest 2015?

Would I love for a film I produce to one day play at Ebertfest? YES! I dream of having a gold thumb in my office one day.

What's the biggest movie in which C-U has been spotlighted?

"2001: A Space Odyssey." Hal was built in Urbana. You can't get bigger than that film!

Where should I head to mingle with the stars when they're in C-U?

Probably at the places that make C-U the great town that it already is. And maybe hit up the Urbana Farmers Market.

Why C-U for a movie?

C-U is not just a fantastic place to make a movie, but it's actually a place that's ideal for film production as an industry. Making a film requires a lot of things, but much of it has to do with the support the community gives. C-U has a long history of supporting innovation and creativity both at the university as well as in the public sector. We also have organizations like the C-U Film Society and Champaign Movie Makers doing programs like Pens To Lens for the community. Making a film is an artistic expression, but it's also a business that brings money to the local economy by employing crews, hiring actors, purchasing wardrobe, building sets, lodging large groups of people, feeding them multiple meals a day, renting buildings, etc. "Food" might be the largest film to have ever been shot in C-U, but I can assure you that it won't be that way for very long. We've got some big films planned over the next couple years and we are excited to be bringing them to C-U.

Cars needed for the movie include:

1964-78 Mustang

1974-79 Chevy Nova

1970-83 Chevy Malibu

1967-81 Firebird

1969-79 Mercury Cougar

1968-75 Dodge Coronet, Dodge Dart, Plymouth Belvedere

1975-81 Trans Am

1971-75 Buick Skylark

1960s-70s Grand Am / Grand Prix

1960s-70s AMC Javelin

1960s-70s Ford Torino

1960s-70s Olds Cutlass

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