Winchester is first actor signed for “Chicago Law”

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“Chicago Law’s” Philip Winchester

HANDSOME, FIRM-JAWED PHILIP WINCHESTER (“The Player”) is the first actor to be cast in NBC-Dick Wolf’s upcoming “Chicago Law.”  Look for the new series to be launched as a backdoor pilot during an episode of “Chicago PD,” to plant seeds for the new series that will launch midseason 2016-17.

“Chicago Law” will join its fellow “Chicago” franchisees at Cinespace, which will start building additional stages early next month to accommodate the latest network series. 

Two floors of the former “Boss” set were converted in two weeks into office space to accommodate the three Fox pilots that will roll here in March and April. 

LOCAL 476 Studio Mechanics swore in 104 new members, which boosted its membership to more than 1,300 workers who will continue to meet the needs of growing visual media production in Chicago.

“Many of the new members have been working with us for a long time,” notes 476 president Brad Matthys, “and their skills run across the full spectrum of work we perform, such as grip and lighting, props, set designers, painters, carpenters, hair and makeup and more.” 

New members received their union cards following 476’s monthly business meeting Feb. 8 at their Northwest Side office.

O’CONNOR CASTING is holding call back auditions today for what will be 15 competitors in a Norwegian reality TV show, “Alt For Norge,” that O’Connor has been casting for seven seasons.  Some 40 Norwegian-Americans were flown in from throughout the US, including Hawaii and Alaska, to audition for the 15 slots in the show, in which they discover their heritage and culture. 

TWO TIMELY TOPICS will be discussed at ChiCPUG’s Wednesday, Feb. 24 meeting.  First up: Aerial drone photography, with eminent photojournalist, commercial photographer and film producer/editor Fred Pfeifer of the Manfred Group, and Mark Segal of SkyPan International.

Next up will be Motion Post partner Jeff Evenson to reveal how he uses his Adobe Creative Suite to deliver low-cost, broadcast-ready local commercials.  At DDB, 200 E. Randolph, 6:15-9 p.m.; Members, $5, non-embers, $10.  

THE MUSIC BOX THEATRE is inaugurating a discussion series called “Field Trips: Cinema Science with the Field Museum,” to follow movies like “The Big Year,” playing Tuesday, Feb. 23, to take the audience into the science behind the story.

“The Big Year,” the 2011 comedy starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson, is about a competition among birders to see who can see and identify the greatest number of birds in America in a calendar year.

The post-screening discussion will be led by Field Museum ornithologist Josh Engel, who has been watching birds as long as he can remember. At 3733 N. Southport, 7 p.m.; tickets, $10. 

MARCH 11 IS THE DEADLINE for submissions to the 52nd Chicago International Television Awards (formerly the Hugos) honoring work in more than 70 categories.  Ceremony at Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Drive. Check out complete details here.  

TAKE TIME OUT from your busy day to send us your news and notes to share with our coast-to-coast readership.  Email ruth@reelchicago.com or phone 312/274-9980.

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