Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Mystique Helps to Illuminate Our Past

By Joelle Weber

As the holidays approach, and our season takes another turn toward a large line-up of shows, we wanted to take a moment and share a story that featured something unique, yet familiar—the architectural wonder that is the Auditorium Theatre itself.

Back at the beginning of the year, a DePaul student film crew under the direction of Nick Vassil picked two locations in which to film their inspiring short, The Mystique, a touching story about a magician’s last day employed at a Vaudeville theatre succumbing to the changes of the 1932 Chicago Depression. The Auditorium Theatre is featured prominently in this short film, from the familiar lobby shots, to the grand spectacle of the arched proscenium stage.

“In searching for a location for The Mystique, we wanted to keep the story as authentic as possible,” says Vassil. “The preservation of the Auditorium was amazing, and capturing the ornate architecture of that time period, as well as utilizing such a large space, was an important story element in the film.”

The crew spent two days filming in the space, for a total of 16 hours of work time. Although this was a very limited amount of time to capture what was needed for the film, Vassil praised the talents of his creative cast and crew, the Auditorium’s dedicated staff, as well as the ease of working in the theatre saying, “The footage speaks for itself. The authenticity of the space allowed us to live in the moment, rather than just acting for the camera.”

The last film to feature the Auditorium’s lobby was Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. The Mystique features shots of the main lobby, box office, upper dress circle lobby, stage fly system and of course, the famous house interior.

A version of The Mystique made its film festival debut at the Premiere VI festival at the Music Box Theater on June 6, 2011. It took home Best Sound Design and Best Production Design for the cut submitted. The film is currently being tweaked for additional festival entries this year.

Find more info about the film HERE.

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