Steeltown Entertainment to Honor Romero, Isler; Mister Rogers and Zombies. [Derived Headline]

By Machosky, Michael | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 26, 2017 | Go to article overview

Steeltown Entertainment to Honor Romero, Isler; Mister Rogers and Zombies. [Derived Headline]


Machosky, Michael, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Mister Rogers and zombies.

If nothing is shot in Pittsburgh ever again, the city's peculiar, impressive legacy in film and television is set for all time.

Of course, that's not the end of it. But that's where it all begins, more or less.

That's why the Steeltown Entertainment Project -- which has played a big part in Pittsburgh's recent film and TV renaissance -- is honoring "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) director George Romero and Bill Isler, longtime CEO of the Fred Rogers Company, with its Elly Awards on April 27.

"Fred Rogers and George Romero -- you can't go to another town and find two people like that," says Carl Kurlander, president and CEO of Steeltown Entertainment Project. "People who 'stayed home' and built an industry."

Before he invented both the modern horror movie and the zombie flick -- and, perhaps the American independent film industry -- Romero directed "Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy."

Romero is getting the Pioneer Award, presented by director, producer and special-effects guru Greg Nicotero ("The Walking Dead," "The Chronicles of Narnia"). Nicotero, who's also from Pittsburgh, got started as assistant to special effects pioneer Tom Savini on Romero's "Day of the Dead" (1985).

Steve Tolin, who founded the Pittsburgh-based special effects company TolinFX, will receive the Impact Award, presented by Savini.

"(Tolin's) grown tremendously," Kurlander says. "He's worked on 'Jack Reacher,' 'The Dark Knight,' the (theatrical production, directed by Patrick Wilson) of 'The Full Monty' at CMU, a life-sized Noah's Ark in Kentucky.

"He works with so many people -- dozens of contractors in Pittsburgh. …

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