In the early 2000s, hazy memories of Chicago’s heyday as a filmmaking hub for Hollywood began to fade. The city had difficulty adapting to the industry’s diminishing presence, and the Chicago Film Office closed in 2007.
But Alex Pissios, a longtime Hollywood producer and former Chicago resident helped resurrect the local film industry. Pissios returned to Chicago in 2009 to take over his family’s real estate business and invested some of his money in a small movie studio on the city’s North Side.
Giving Back and Paying It Forward
Alex Pissios’ return to Chicago mirrored his Hollywood career, which began in 1966 with a role as an extra on the TV series “Burke’s Law.” Next, he scored a job working for Universal Studios as a grip, loading, and unloading camera, before becoming the youngest assistant director in Hollywood at age 22.
In addition to his acting work, Pissios became a successful producer of commercials and films. His films include “Hoosiers” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” More recently, he produced “Jane Got a Gun,” which was shot in Chicago in 2013.
But after his success as a Hollywood producer, Pissios decided to move back to Chicago to help revitalize the local film industry, which was still reeling from the recession of 2008.
Pissios said he also wanted to return to Chicago because of his ties to the city and its people. His sister is a civic leader who helped fund one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Harold Washington Library, for which Pissios was honored with a renaming ceremony in 2015.
By creating this new studio, Alex Pissios has helped revive the local film industry, bringing jobs and opportunities for growth to Chicago.
Alex Pissios Studios
Although Alex Pissios is once again a local Chicago producer, his business has a Hollywood feel. Alex Pissios Studios studio in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood resembles California’s Paramount Pictures studios. It features large stages, sleek offices, and soundproof rooms with professional equipment.
Aside from his work as a producer for Hollywood films, Pissios said that he first established his studio in Chicago to help the local film industry.