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As Chicago’s Film and TV Business Booms, Periscope Grows With It

By Daniel Dvorkin
Over the past number of years, the landscape in Chicago’s film and TV world has been changing.

With Cinespace coming into the picture, four major shows in production (not including Showtime’s currently filming Chicago project, Executive Produced by Common), and production companies springing up like rabbits, there became a great need for a one-stop-shop post-house on the scene. Cue Periscope, a post-production company founded by Michael Nehs and Northwestern alum Jonathan Bross. Arriving early at the Periscope offices I was greeted by a construction crew and Alex Gaudieri, the company Sales guy. While we waited for the rest of the NU students to arrive, Alex took me on his dailies run, delivering that day’s filmed goods to production for first look.

Periscope provides dailies, color correction, full service audio, and usesĀ local talent in order to supply filmmakers with assistance using the Illinois tax credit. It’s no wonder they are currently expanding from a 2000 sq. ft. to 7500 as they take over an entire floor of the building. How else could they getĀ 200 songs recorded for Empire’s new season, up 100 from the last? The build-out will include a number of recording booths and a foley stage. Alex tells us that construction is always a part of overhead costs in their business.

With the changing atmosphere in Chicago and growing amount of work, there is sure to be a learning curve both in-front and behind the camera, but that’s what makes the atmosphere so great. There’s room to expand as a unit, grow as a city filled with raw potential and a lot of ambition. Periscope is using that to their advantage, one square foot at a time.