Marie Ullrich on Milwaukee Avenue.
It’s annoying to see your job or your city portrayed inaccurately in the media, but as someone who spent years as a Chicago courier I was pleasantly surprised by Faster!, a short by filmmaker Marie (“MAH-ree”) Ullrich, which has played several international festivals. Although it’s a work of fiction, the writer/director/producer did a solid job of realistically depicting the nuts and bolts of Chicago’s bike delivery business. You can view the trailer for Faster! here (embedded below). Other locally filmed, bike-related projects she’s completed include an award-winning ad for Chrome messenger bags and an experimental short about ghost bike memorials.
Now Ullrich is trying to raise $35,000 via a Kickstarter campaign to shoot The Alley Cat, a full-length movie starring Jasper, the female messenger who is the main character from Faster!, played by Jenny Strubin. While the short follows Jasper on a rough day of courier work, the action in the feature film would revolve around a late-night alleycat (underground courier race) gone awry. Ullrich hopes to shoot the movie this summer before she leaves town for a full-time gig teaching in Michigan. I recently sat down with her at Café Mustache in Logan Square to get some background on her work and the deets about her future plans.