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My Dad's brother John and wife Sue got the Lopatka Clan together on Sunday, October 15th, 2006, on the 43rd floor of their building.  While we were there looking toward the Marina Towers, Allstate Insurance was filming a re-creation of a scene shot 27 years ago during Steve McQueen's final film, "The Hunter." But this was no movie remake. Sunday's take will be part of a million-dollar-plus commercial.  Click here for the rest of the story.  (Insurance rates too high?) The Photos of the car falling were taken by Brian Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times.

John gave us a Genetic History Report for the Lopatka Clan that was compiled by National Geographic. It explores our own genetic journey with DNA analysis it includes a depiction of our ancient ancestors and an interactive map tracing our genetic lineage around the world and through the ages.      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

 Thanks John and Sue!

Click on the pictures below to see a larger image. 

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(Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

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(Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

(Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

(Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

This picture is from the Movie "The Hunter".

Repeating the plunge
Car hurls off Marina City for an ad this time

October 16, 2006
One of the most spectacular movie stunts ever filmed in Chicago was restaged Sunday when a black Oldsmobile Cutlass smashed through the cables on the 17th floor of Marina City and executed a graceful somersault -- plunging 180 feet into the center of the Chicago River.

The stunning splash was a re-creation of a similar scene shot 27 years ago during Steve McQueen's final film, "The Hunter." But this was no movie remake. Sunday's take will be part of a million-dollar-plus commercial for Allstate Insurance in which two drivers get into a fender-bender on Wacker Drive after being distracted by the river plunge.

Stephanie Simpson, an art director at the Leo Burnett ad agency, envisioned a commercial that would pay homage to great Hollywood chase scenes while ending up with one of those realistic crashes featured in Allstate's ads.

Doing research, she discovered "The Hunter" stunt and found it was filmed right across the river from her office. The rest is history. The shoot also borrowed from "The French Connection," transposing its famous under-the-L-tracks chase to Lake Street between LaSalle and Wabash.

Those scenes, filmed Saturday, proved even more challenging than Sunday's dive, said director Phil Joanou.

"The jump was something we had total control over. The really tough part was closing off five city blocks and racing 75 mph under the tracks and making sure that no civilians got out on the street."

Joanou, director of several feature films, including "Gridiron Gang," said, "We're trying to create a cinematic experience. If I were shooting this for a $50 million movie I wouldn't be doing it any different."

agolab@suntimes .com