Interview: Director Jack C. Newell on the Chicago Set for ‘Open Tables’

Chicago – You know you’re on a Jack C. Newell film set when his producer, Steve Tobiasz, offers you the best empanada you’ve ever eaten, from the Gourmet Food Truck that is crucial to the upcoming scene. “Open Tables” is director Jack C. Newell’s second feature film, coming in right after 2012’s “Close Quarters.”

The shot-in-Chicago movies are provocative in Newell’s style of direction. They both feature top Chicago improvisation talent – including T.J. Jagodowski, Dave Pasquesi, Susan Messing and in “Open Tables,” Joel Murray – and they both use the style of interpretive improv rather than a fixed dialogue script. Newell began his film career in 2004 with his directorial short film debut, “When Sara Looks Up,” and made TV movies and six other shorts before completing “Close Quarters” in 2012.

On Set with Director Jack C. Newell (right) for ‘Open Tables

Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for

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