Chicago-Powered Sci-Fi Pilot ‘Wizdom’ to Shoot in February; Pissios to Exec Produce

A thrilling new sci-fi pilot is arriving in Chicago in 2022. Thieves test their limits to survive each heist. Motorcycles race faster than the speed of light. Home cooked drugs enable users to bend the order of the cosmos. This is the world of Wizdom, which is set to film February 21st – 25th at CineCity Studios, with an exterior shoot the week prior in Gary, Indiana and around Chicago.

Layne Marie Williams directs the Wizdom pilot

Wizdom was written by Chicago filmmakers Ashton Swinford (Miss Information, Red Flag, Basic Witches) and Zack Sievers (Golden Voices, Desafío Candente, Zella). This Chicago-powered sci-fi thriller was created by Sievers, Swinford, and Chicago-LA filmmaker Layne Marie Williams (Zen Room, The Christmas Pitch, Scutly, Golden Voices).

Former Cinespace CEO Alex Pissios to Executive Produce

One of the most impactful champions of the Chicago production community over the last decade has also joined forces with the Wizdom team. Alex Pissios, former President and CEO of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, has come on board as one of the project’s Executive Producers. Pissios and his family have built Cinespace into one of the largest film studios in the United States. Cinespace has served as the home of highly successful series Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Empire, to name a few, generating tens of thousands of jobs for Illinois professionals along the way. SCREEN reported back in November that the Pissios family sold Cinespace for a whopping $1 billion, click here for full details.

Enter the Futuristic World of Wizdom

Wizdom co-creator Ashton Swinford plays lead role ‘Eos’

As for what you can expect from this promising new pilot… In a future where daylight is scarce, Wizdom follows Eos and Vayle, two professional thieves who live on the outskirts of a neon-lit colony ordered and dominated by the biotech corporation Wizdom. Using bionic enhancements and other posthuman biotechnologies, Eos and Vayle steal raw materials from Wizdom in order to cook up a drug that is rumored to show users visions of the future. Will the drug permanently enhance their vision and extrasensory powers? Will they survive the first dose? 

“Our heroes are not who you’d expect,” Swinford told SCREEN. “They’re arrogant, bold, adrenaline junkies, who get high on chemical substances. But when all that changes after a brush with their future, we get to see who they truly are in the face of new adversity.”

All-Star Chicago-Based Cast and Crew Lead the Way

Producers include Aimy Tien, Grace Hahn

Greenlit for production at Chicago’s own CineCity Studios, Wizdom stars Swinford (FOX’s New Girl, Chicago P.D., Unleashed) as lead protagonist “Eos,” a posthuman thief, and will be directed by Williams. The talented Chicago team includes production designer Jami Primmer (Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, Contagion), producer Grace Hahn (Princess Cyd, Once Upon a River, Zen Room), DP Dan Frantz (Super Host, Mach III, That Smile) formerly of The Mill, Producer Aimy Tien (Go to the Body, Scutly, Zen Room), as well as editor Ana Christian (Veiled Tractate,The Chi, Work In Progress), Colorist C. Ryan Stemple of Quicksilver Color, Gaffer Jon Benson and 1st AD Stuart Elmore (For the Love of Monsters, The Christmas Pitch). 

The project is being executive produced by Chicago-based company NextMissiun, as well as Chicago Media Angels and additional private investors. Production will be supported by Legacy Marie Pictures as well as a slew of Chicago production companies including Paragram Productions, post/vfx house Periscope, post-sound house NoiseFloor, and camera gear rental company Camera Ambassador, and the brand new space CineCity, opening in 2022, along with many other partners. 

“The world of Wizdom is truly inspired by the many, many incredible artists we were surrounded by when I was living in Chicago,” director Layne Marie Williams shared with SCREEN. “There is something about the intoxicating nature of nightlife there that made this visual world and the characters within it come to life. We are thrilled to see where it all goes.”

Check back at SCREEN for updates as Wizdom forges ahead into production in February. Until then, If you or your company is interested in partnering to bring the project to life, you can reach out to the team at WizdomProductionLLC@gmail.com.

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