Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Quigley Goes “Undercover” at Cinespace Chicago

Jan 15, 2016
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, went “undercover” as a Studio Mechanic at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. 

“Chicago is a rising star in the movie and television scene and Cinespace has been influential in making this happen,” said Rep. Quigley. “The growth of the film industry has many benefits for Chicago, including drawing more jobs – both in front and behind the camera – to our area. I greatly appreciate Alex Pissos, Joe Connelly and the IATSE Local 476 employees for a fun and educational afternoon of working as a grip on the set of NBC’s Chicago Fire.”

Rep. Quigley’s visit included a tour of Cinespace Chicago led by CFO Mark Degnen. Rep. Quigley saw the production and dressing rooms, studio space, and props on the set of NBC’s acclaimed television series Chicago Fire. During his tour, Rep. Quigley also learned about the studio’s Stage 18 program, an entertainment incubator that educates artists and up-and-coming filmmakers. After his tour, Rep. Quigley learned how to work as a studio mechanic and grip with Joe Connelly, Vice President of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 476 and Key Grip Stuart Slack. He helped technicians with lighting and provided support for the camera department by operating camera dollies.

Rep. Quigley working on the set of NBC’s Chicago Fire as a studio mechanic. 

Rep. Quigley operating a microphone on the set of NBC’s Chicago Fire.

“We appreciate the Congressman for taking time to tour Cinespace Chicago and our new Stage 18 facility,” said Alex Pissos, CEO of Cinespace Chicago. “It is exciting to watch the Chicago film market boom and witness the impact this investment is having on Chicago. It was a pleasure having Congressman Quigley on set with us today, working as a grip, and giving him the opportunity to see the crew hard at work ‘behind-the-scenes’.”

"Congressman Quigley quickly picked up on his job on set today, assisting the great crew members and ensuring quality takes,” said Joe Connelly, Vice President of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 476. “I appreciate the time he took to understand the importance and the depth of knowledge by the crew that goes into the television shows and movies people watch every day.”

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is located on the west side of downtown Chicago and occupies 1.45 million square feet of facility space. Cinespace Chicago specializes in the development, management and operation of studio facilities, and is the filming location for Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, and Empire.

Rep. Quigley’s “Undercover Congressman” series connects him with constituents at their place of employment to better understand the daily challenges they face in their industry and community. Since taking office in 2009, Rep. Quigley has performed a wide range of jobs as an Undercover Congressman, including cleaning animal pens as a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo, packaging beer and cleaning tanks at Half Acre Brewery, pouring metal at a local metal refinery and delivering mail with the United States Post Office.