AICP Midwest Show is this Thursday, November 19

One of the most exciting stops on the AICP tour happens every year in Chicago. It’s one of the few opportunities for those in production, advertising and film to gather together, share a cocktail or four and just hang. This year, with a pandemic raging and cases on the rise again, the AICP Midwest Show … Continue reading “AICP Midwest Show is this Thursday, November 19”

AICP Midwest holding town hall on crew safety & filming

AICP Midwest presents: A Look Forward Crew Safety and Filming Thursday, June 4, 2020 10:30 am CST Via Zoom  A town hall Q & A for crew on navigating the road ahead when production resumes.  AICP Midwest Board Members/Moderators:Qadree Holmes – Founder / Executive Producer Quriosity ProductionsMarsie Wallach – Freelance Line Producer Panel: Tim Harris … Continue reading “AICP Midwest holding town hall on crew safety & filming”

AICP Midwest lists all who are open for business

Reel Chicago supports all efforts of those who are working, boots on the ground, to service their clients during these most difficult times. Below is a list of AICP Midwest members who are open for business, supplied by Lisa Massuer, AICP Midwest President. FROM AICP MIDWEST  Collectively, the National AICP community has been working to … Continue reading “AICP Midwest lists all who are open for business”

AICP Midwest Chapter sets active agenda for spring

A busy slate of events will culminate in the AICP Post Awards next month AICP’s Midwest Chapter is about to kick off a series of events for the local ad and production community that will provide opportunities for professional development, learning and networking. The slate is the product of planning and strategizing by the chapter’s … Continue reading “AICP Midwest Chapter sets active agenda for spring”

New AICP Midwest board includes four women members

Four members of AICP Midwest were newly elected to the 13-member board of directors in the annual election held Tuesday, Sept. 23.  They are Megan Maples, executive producer of Dictionary Films (Cutters), Melissa Thornley, managing director, Beast/Method/Company Three, Chicago and freelance line producers Marsie Wallach and Gayle McCormick. 

AICP Midwest Show welcomes 1,000 guests

The venue may have changed, but enthusiasm for what’s called “the party of the year” — the 18th annual AICP Midwest Show in Chicago — is higher than ever.

The 2009 AICP Show will be held Thursday, Nov. 19 at the bigger, grander Chicago Cultural, after 16 of its 18 sold-out years of filling the Chicago History Museum.

“The new, larger venue is the ideal place to hold the show in Chicago and will give it a whole, different tone,” notes AICP Midwest Show coordinator Chris Hill of Digital Kitchen.

AICP/Midwest presents Meet. Drink.Talk industry event

AICP is holding a much needed social evening of munching, sipping, and chatting with others in the industry on June 1. AICP/Midwest’s Meet. Drink.Talk is a social event created exclusively for Midwest agency, commercial production, and editorial professionals. Advertising agency creatives and producers; AICP/Midwest members, associate members, sponsors and crew are invited to Meet. Drink.Talk in … Continue reading “AICP/Midwest presents Meet. Drink.Talk industry event”

Friends and colleagues gather for AICP/Midwest Meet. Drink. Talk. event

Good times were had last evening at the Tunnel on Kinzie where AICP/Midwest held their Meet. Drink. Talk. Safely. social event, created exclusively for Midwest agency, commercial production, and editorial professionals. While all were welcome to attend, the event was designed specifically for AICP/Midwest members, their advertising agency creatives and producers, sponsors and crew. It … Continue reading “Friends and colleagues gather for AICP/Midwest Meet. Drink. Talk. event”

Androw reelected president of AICP/Midwest a third time

The Chicago-headquartered AICP / Midwest has elected new officers and board beginning Oct 1 for a two-year term, with Mark Androw of STORY reelected for a third term as president.

AICP / Midwest is one of seven regional chapters. Its membership consists of 22 General Member and 24 Associate Member companies.

The newly elected officers, in addition to Androw, are freelance producer Marsie Wallach as vice president, who is new to the board, and Essanay Studios’ Wayne Kubacki, returning for his second term as treasurer.

New AICP/Midwest, Local 476 wage pact

One of the changes in the new AICP/Midwest-Local 476 labor agreement is a provision that helps fund high-tech certification training programs for union personnel, in keeping with changes in the entertainment industry.

Story’s executive producer Mark Androw, representing commercial production companies, and Mark Hogan, 476’s business manager, negotiated changes to the new three-year contract that went into effect Feb. 1.

The Distillery Project makes merry for Meijer in midwest holiday campaign

Full-service ad agency The Distillery Project (TDP) has created a holiday brand campaign for retailer Meijer. The earnest and reflective spot highlights the value of family and the lasting memories we create together while reevaluating what the holidays mean and what’s truly important in 2021. Ultimately, it relays the idea that traditions carried on from childhood keep the … Continue reading “The Distillery Project makes merry for Meijer in midwest holiday campaign”

The Colonie ‘Sponsor Reel’ is a hit across all three AICP award shows

Before the official AICP winners were even announced, The Colonie won a major honor. For the first time in its history, the Chicago based post-production company was selected to create the Sponsor Reel for the National AICP awards show.  The Colonie’s reel played across all three AICP shows during their virtual premieres; the AICP Show, … Continue reading “The Colonie ‘Sponsor Reel’ is a hit across all three AICP award shows”

AICP event Meet. Drink. Talk. Safely.

Meet. Drink. Talk. Safely. AICP (The Association of Independent Commercial Producers) is holding a much needed social evening of munching, sipping, and chatting with others in the industry on October 7. AICP/Midwest’s Meet. Drink. Talk. Safely. is a social event created exclusively for Midwest agency, commercial production, and editorial professionals. The venue has a retractable roof … Continue reading “AICP event Meet. Drink. Talk. Safely.”

AICP: Utopic, DDB, Cutters, Highdive rep Chicago in Next and Post Awards

The 2021 AICP Next and Post Awards debuted virtually this week in New York during AICP week, recognizing creative excellence in new and emerging media. Chicago post-houses and agencies did take home wins during the ceremonies. Utopic The post-house had a big win last night at the AICP Post Awards. Craig Lewandowski was honored with a win … Continue reading “AICP: Utopic, DDB, Cutters, Highdive rep Chicago in Next and Post Awards”

Best of the Midwest goes to ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett

Best of the Midwest voted on by attendees as iconic ads are highlighted in benefit event for Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis food banks. The hors d’oeuvres were whatever you had on hand, the tinkling of cocktail glasses was done from afar and the applause was a bit muted, but that didn’t stop the Midwest advertising, … Continue reading “Best of the Midwest goes to ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett”

AICP townhall: Crew Safety and Filming (video)

Yesterday, members of the AICP Midwest held their second townhall, discussing the best practices for the safety of crew and everyone on set while filming. With the Chicago Film Office scheduled to begin issuing permits for filming on June 15, this was an important meeting as the Chicago film and TV industry prepares to get … Continue reading “AICP townhall: Crew Safety and Filming (video)”

AICP takes ‘A Look Forward: Agency, Production & Post’

When will what passes for ‘normal’ return? When will agencies be able to mount more traditional shoots? How does one make up for the missing synergy of the edit suite? And who’s missing lunch?  These were some of the questions kicked around by the six Chicago agency executives from the creative and production ranks who … Continue reading “AICP takes ‘A Look Forward: Agency, Production & Post’”

AICP panel discussion on navigating the road ahead

AICP Midwest presents:A Look Forward Partners in Production: Agency, Production, Post Thursday, May 14, 20203pm CST via Zoom AICP panel discussion on navigating the road ahead when production resumes. AICP National Board Members/Moderators: Lisa Masseur, Executive Producer/Founder, Tessa Films, AICP Midwest Pres./National Board Craig Duncan, Managing Director, Cutters Studios, AICP National Board ALSO READ: AICP … Continue reading “AICP panel discussion on navigating the road ahead”

Protokulture rocks 2019 AICP sponsorship video

When you’re always the last stop on the AICP NEXT Awards Show tour year after year, you know you have to come hard. There’s a reason (actually multiple) why the chatter among producers, creatives and reps, around the country,  is that Chicago is their favorite AICP city stop. The city’s advertising peeps from agencies to … Continue reading “Protokulture rocks 2019 AICP sponsorship video”

AICP helps feed the hungry and homeless

Every year the AICP chooses a local non-profit whose goal is to feed the hungry and homeless to sponsor during the season of giving. This year, AICP Midwest has chosen to team up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) by hosting both a traditional food drive-stationing drop off boxes around the city as well … Continue reading “AICP helps feed the hungry and homeless”

AICP announces stellar lineup for 2019 Awards

Panel guests for the Chicago finale include DDB Chief Britt Nolan, FCB Chief Andrés Ordóñez, and Leo Burnett Chief Liz Taylor Lisa Masseur, President of the AICP Midwest Chapter, today announced the panel line-up for the 2019 AICP Next Awards presentation, which will be presented as part of the AICP Awards in Chicago. Britt Nolan, … Continue reading “AICP announces stellar lineup for 2019 Awards”

Mark Androw receives AICP’s highest honor

The legendary Chicago producer and entrepreneur was presented with the Jay B. Eisenstat Award during last night’s AICP Show in NYC STORY co-founder and Executive Producer Mark Androw received the Jay B. Eisenstat Award at last night’s AICP Show in New York City. Almost single-handedly responsible for making AICP one of the most effective and … Continue reading “Mark Androw receives AICP’s highest honor”

AICP Post Awards announces 2019 Curatorial Committee

The select panel of editors, colorists, visual effects artists, directors and audio mixers will ensure work meets judging criteria and select Shortlist and Best in Show Matt Miller, President and CEO of AICP, today announced the makeup of the 2019 AICP Post Awards Curatorial Committee. The AICP Post Awards, part of AICP’s suite of competitions … Continue reading “AICP Post Awards announces 2019 Curatorial Committee”

Mark Androw’s post-AICP agenda

The recently retired AICP/Midwest President keeps busy with the organization, the industry, and STORY Mark Androw had a truly unique experience at the AICP Show last November. For the first time in more than a decade, he enjoyed the open bars, designer cuisine, and fancy couture without handling any responsibilities. “I got to see what … Continue reading “Mark Androw’s post-AICP agenda”

AICP Post Awards announces change with call for entries

Revamped and rebranded competition to focus on editorial, audio, VFX and color while opening entries to all AICP has announced the Call for Entries for the AICP Post Awards, its revamped and rebranded competition for excellence in the post-production arts. Formerly the AICE Awards, its categories have been re-imagined with a focus on recognizing standout … Continue reading “AICP Post Awards announces change with call for entries”

Midwest Indie Fest reveals Ad Community Shorts lineup

Working with a jury of pros from the likes of Quriosity, The Mill, and The Onion, MIFF and AICP present the popular program Nov. 6 (Chicago — 22 October 2018) The Midwest Independent Film Festival, in partnership with AICP Midwest, has announced the program lineup for the 2018 Advertising Community Shorts Night, an annual event … Continue reading “Midwest Indie Fest reveals Ad Community Shorts lineup”

AICP explains how to cover your production’s assets

Don’t find out what you don’t have when there’s a claim   Mark Egmon of The TEAM Companies will moderate an insurance forum for creators, producers and post-producers of commercials and other advertising content. Leading the discussion will be experts Scott Taylor, President of Taylor & Taylor Insurance and Denise Gilmartin, VP of Business Affairs … Continue reading “AICP explains how to cover your production’s assets”

Craig Duncan joins board of newly merged AICE/AICP

After joining AICP and AICE into a single association under the AICP brand, the newly formed organization announced that Craig Duncan, Managing Director and Partner of Cutters Studios Chicago, has joined the AICP National Board. “We’ve thought long and hard about how to advance our mission of support and advocacy for the post-production industry, and … Continue reading “Craig Duncan joins board of newly merged AICE/AICP”

AICP Leads Commercial Production Seminar

Chicago Producers, Production Supervisors, their assistants and Coordinators now have a chance to gain valuable information and updates on live and digital productions at the first-annual AICP Commercial Production Training Seminar.

Already offered in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Atlanta, the weekend seminar will feature four breakout sessions taught by commercial production specialists in the city.

Quriosity’s Lumpkin producing the AICP Show

When Quriosity senior producer Jennifer Lumpkin attended her first AICP Show at the Cultural Center four years ago, she was “overwhelmed” and remembers thinking, “It was gorgeous and so inspiring.”

On Thursday, Nov. 17, she’ll be at the show as a co-producer.

Lumpkin, one of several volunteers who worked on the show, planned to shadow five-year executive producer Gayle McCormick this year and assume the lead role in 2017, when McCormick steps down to accommodate her growing responsibilities as executive producer at Ogilvy.

Burnett winner of two AICP Next Awards, here Nov. 3

The AICP Next Awards, an extension of the AICP Show that traditionally climaxes a year of special events in Chicago, screens Nov. 3 at the AMC 600 N. Michigan Ave. theatre.

Optimus executive producer and freelance spot producer Marsie Wallach are producing the Chicago Next Awards that honor winners of “the most innovative work in alternative media projects,” says AICP/Midwest president Mark Androw of STORY.

AICP expects 300 guests at annual social event, 4/7

MEET. DRINK. TALK. — that’s the official title of AICP-Midwest’s popular annual event held exclusively for Midwest agency, commercial production and editorial professionals Thursday, April 7 at The Underground.

More than 300 guests are expected from AICP member production companies and their agency clients, “to eat, drink and “talk face-to-face in a comfortable, casual environment,” notes Stan Glapa, Cineverse rentals manager and a member of the event planning committee.

Burnett again in awards spotlight, winning at AICP

THE AICP NEXT AWARDS held last night in New York as part of AICP Week, presented its 2015 Most Next honor to Leo Burnett’s Allstate’s “Social Savvy Burglar.”  As part of the award, the winner gets to donate a $5,000 grant from the AICP Foundation to an educational institution of its choosing.  The recipient was nonprofit Marwen, which offers offering free, arts-based youth development programs for underserved Chicago students in grade

Biggest attendance yet expected at AICP Show

The annual AICP Show, the industry’s giant grand finale party, expects 1,200-1,500 guests when it arrives Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Chicago Cultural Center, the third city on its annual year-end tour of 10 major US advertising markets.

Kansas City is the first stop on itinerary, for the first time, Nov. 6, as the AICP Midwest chapter reaches out to embrace more Midwest advertising markets, according to chapter president, STORY’s Mark Androw.

AICP Show the climax of November’s many activities

11/7 GREEK FILM FESTIVAL FILM HELLENES  opens two different venues, the Patio Theatre and the Gene Siskel Film Center for the US premiere of “The Grocer.” This award-winning film by director Dimitris Koutsiabasakos will be preceded by student-filmmaker Stella Kyriakopoulos’ short, “Bob Goes to the Parthenon.” Thereafter, the festival of Greek storyteller in countries throughout the world takes place exclusively at the Patio

Chicago spot talent shows up on AICP Shortlist

Fourteen commercials produced by Chicago agencies and one production company are on the AICP Shortlist of 230 spots that are competing for a final slot on the prestigious annual AICP Show Reel and NEXT Awards. 

When the curators meet to make their final decision, the number of spots will shrink from the Shortlist’s 10 entrants in each of 23 categories, to from one-to-three spots per category.

AICP Show expects to host 1,000 guests Thursday, Nov. 17

AICP SHOW UPDATE. One thousand adbiz folks will start the year’s end/holiday celebration season by attending the Thursday, Nov. 17 AICP Show at the Cultural Center.
“It’s going to be a great show!” says an enthusiastic Mark Androw of Story, the president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the New York-based national organization over which Androw once presided.

Nov. 17 AICP meeting to discuss new agreement

PRIOR TO THE NOV. 18 AICP SHOW, a general membership meeting will convene Nov. 17 at Fletcher Cameras. AICP president Matt Miller and AICP VP/labor relations Jane Nunez from New York will discuss the new IATSE national agreement that went into effect Nov. 1 and how it affects commercial production.

“The meeting is open to all interested parties,” says Mark Androw, who was recently officially elected president of the AICP Midwest Chapter. Meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Come all ye faithful to the annual AICP Show

With 1,000 guests expected Nov. 18 at the Chicago Cultural Center, the 19th annual AICP Show will again deliver as advertising’s biggest and most anticipated social event of the year.

Digital Kitchen’s Chris Hill, the event producer, says the host committee is “keeping it fairly simple this year. We’re providing a great atmosphere, from furniture to flowers to menu ? but not a lot of entertainment.”

Which really is superfluous when practically everyone knows everyone else, or will get acquainted quickly enough as the evening progresses.

AICP survey: Commercials a $5 billion industry

While the state of TV commercial production is changing as fast as new apps are created, it remains a robust $5 billion industry, when factoring in post, talent payments and other indirect expenditures.

That was one of the findings in AICP’s 7th annual Survey of the Commercial Production Industry that give members a sense of changes and challenges ahead.

AICP members account for 85% of all commercials aired nationally. The AICP/Midwest chapter has 22 general members and 10 associate members.

THE REEL THING: Egmom ends AICP presidency

MARK EGMON decided to step down as president of AICP’s Midwest chapter after an intense six years of service “to focus more intensely” on his growing branded entertainment company, Outer Radius.

The big Nov. 16 AICP Show will be Egmon’s seventh and he is predicting the biggest, with more than 800 attendees.

AICP board treasurer Joanne Bittmann of Crossroads also decided not to seek reelection next month.

IPA also will vote for a new board president as Eileen Willenborg, SAG/AFTRA executive director, won’t seek reelection.

Everyone in ad biz, commercials expected to attend AICP show Nov. 16 at History Museum

Don’t let the fact that only three local companies?none of the big ones you’d expect to be represented?deter you from attending the 15th annual AICP Show Nov. 16 at the Chicago History Museum.

This year’s show expected to attract a record audience of 800, making it not only advertising’s, but the visual arts community’s biggest event of the year.

Centerpiece of the evening is the 90-minute reel honoring the art and technique of the commercial in 23 categories and mostly produced by the big bicoastal companied.

THE REEL THING: Egmon ends AICP presidency

MARK EGMON decided to step down as president of AICP’s Midwest chapter after an intense six years of service “to focus more intensely” on his growing branded entertainment company, Outer Radius.

The big Nov. 16 AICP Show will be Egmon’s seventh and he is predicting the biggest, with more than 800 attendees.

AICP board treasurer Joanne Bittmann of Crossroads also decided not to seek reelection next month.

IPA also will vote for a new board president as Eileen Willenborg, SAG/AFTRA executive director, won’t seek reelection.

Story Companies’ Androw ascends to lead national AICP’s 479 members

Mark Androw has been traveling to New York and California on AICP business at least four times a year for the last 15 years serving on the national board in various influential capacities.

As newly-elected chairman of an association representing $4 billion in gross member billings, he anticipates ramping up his frequent flyer miles.

Androw is owner/executive producer of The Story Companies, based in Chicago with offices in Los Angeles and New York and a staff of 19.

Optimism high for fourth quarter upturn

Mark Androw says he usually doesn’t speculate about how business will shape up in the future. “But this year is different,” states the AICP Midwest Chapter president and STORY executive producer.

Androw is one of several production/post executives feeling positive effects of the recessive economy charging forward in the fourth quarter, right on target as predicted by financial pundits.

Economists said that the economy would begin an upturn in August.

Ad community shorts on display Oct. 6

Eighty minutes worth of short films, from comedy to dreamy gritty docs produced by creatives at ad agencies and post/production houses, will be showcased Oct. 6, thanks the first-time link-up between AICP Midwest and the Midwest Independent Film Festival.

The first annual Advertising Community Shorts Night takes place Oct. 6 at the Landmark Century theatre.

Nine of the dozen shorts of varying lengths were home grown; other submissions came from Indianapolis, Southfield, Mich. and Minneapolis.

2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories

What a year, huh? 2020, which felt like a decade, will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the worst years ever. And who will argue? Certainly not the staff at Reel Chicago. This year, COVID forced productions to shut down. Then start back up. Then shut back down. Then start back up. It … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories”

Carbon strengthens roster across the USA

Key hires and promotions reinforce new Chicago studio and seamless continental workflow Visual effects and design studio Carbon is proud to announce the promotion of Phil Linturn to Managing Director of Carbon North America and Gretchen Praeger to Executive Producer of the Chicago office. Additionally, the company is excited to announce new hires including Jeff … Continue reading “Carbon strengthens roster across the USA”

The Mill Chicago welcomes new EP Jenny Lumpkin

“Force to be reckoned with” brings industry expertise and relationship-building finesse to full-service production studio The Mill announced today that Jenny Lumpkin has joined their Chicago studio as Executive Producer. Lumpkin arrives at The Mill after spending the last seven years at Quriosity Productions, a Chicago-based production company. As Senior Producer, she developed Quriosity’s production … Continue reading “The Mill Chicago welcomes new EP Jenny Lumpkin”

The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP

Qadree Holmes has successfully risen from intern to production assistant to producer and, finally, to the Founder / Executive Producer of Quriosity Productions. While line producing, he recognized a significant shift in the market — clients and agencies were seeking integrated creative talent options to represent the different social channels now available. Conversely, they did … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP”

Did C-K fire the client, or did Panera cut them off?

CRAMER-KRASSELT CHAIRMAN /CEO Peter Krivkovich candid internal memo Wednesday telling the staff why the agency fired two-year old client Panera Bread. He said whatever they did, how hard they worked, the results they gained, the client found fault with, not to mention politics getting in the way. 

Ad Community Shorts Night screens 15 films Oct. 1

The 3rd annual Advertising Community Shorts Night Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, Tuesday, Oct. 1, presents the work of 15 filmmeisters from ad and marketing agencies, post/production houses, still photographers, Second City and Steppenwolf, from Chicago, Madison and Detroit.

Earlier this month a jury of knowledgeable souls from various aspects of visual media production judged an imaginative collection of entries from one to 16 minutes in length.

‘The Alpinist’ producer Mike Negri joins 11 Dollar Bill

Mike Negri, producer of the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Alpinist and the SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary The Dawn Wall, has joined 11 Dollar Bill as Senior Producer. Negri, who brings extensive experience in film, television, advertising and branded content, will be based out of the company’s facility in Boulder and support projects originating there and at its Chicago and Raleigh … Continue reading “‘The Alpinist’ producer Mike Negri joins 11 Dollar Bill”

Bert Lindberg, Chief Chargeman, former President of Local 476 passes at 95

Bert Lindberg, Chief Chargeman of Fred A. Niles Studios for 30 years and former President of Local 476 has passed at 95. Bert’s son, Mark Lindberg, also a member of local 476, said his father passed peacefully on Monday evening January 24, 2022, having lived a long, full, happy life. Bert (George Bertil Lindberg) was … Continue reading “Bert Lindberg, Chief Chargeman, former President of Local 476 passes at 95”

Sheila R. Brown exits from CineCares after a long history of changing lives

Sheila R. Brown has stepped down from her position as Executive Director of the CineCares Division of Cinespace Film Studios. Brown joined the Mirkopoulos and Pissios families at Cinespace in 2016 to help partner in the development of the Mirkopoulos Inclusion Program. The program was part of the CineCares Foundation, created to help young adults, … Continue reading “Sheila R. Brown exits from CineCares after a long history of changing lives”

Sarofsky creates dazzling 3D glass-house main titles for The Staircase

Sarofsky’s dazzling 3D glass house main titles for the HBO Max limited series The Staircase are so captivating that it will make you hit rewind to take another look. Inspired by a true story, the eight-episode Max Original limited series The Staircase, debuted Thursday, May 5 on HBO Max. The Staircase explores the life of … Continue reading “Sarofsky creates dazzling 3D glass-house main titles for The Staircase”

Leo Burnett Chicago named Top Global Agency in Creative Rankings

A stellar year for Change the Ref’s The Lost Class earned Leo Burnett Chicago the distinction of the number one agency in the world, according to The One Show 2022 Global Creative Rankings. The Lost Class also propelled Hungry Man and Bryan Buckley to the number one ranking for production companies and directors, respectively. Overall, … Continue reading “Leo Burnett Chicago named Top Global Agency in Creative Rankings”

Miller Lite and DDB Chicago introduce Beercoal to ‘Lite’ up summer grills

Summer is the season of beer. Warmer temps make cold ones a no-brainer from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, but not all light beers are created equal, and not all grill owners are BBQ masters. Miller Lite is bringing its iconic beer taste where it belongs – the grill. Introducing Miller Lite Beercoal, the … Continue reading “Miller Lite and DDB Chicago introduce Beercoal to ‘Lite’ up summer grills”

Chuck E. Cheese kicks-off Summer of Fun with Navy Pier Concert Series

Chuck E. Cheese, the number one family entertainment venue, announced today that their second annual national live tour with Mr. Munch’s Make Believe Band will kick-off June 4 in Chicago at Navy Pier. The iconic group will return to the stage this summer to jam with families across the country, with shows in Chicago, Miami, Santa Monica and Dallas-Ft. Worth. One lucky fan will … Continue reading “Chuck E. Cheese kicks-off Summer of Fun with Navy Pier Concert Series”

Finalists pitch their films for 2022 Community Builders Grant

Come celebrate the Finalists for the 2022 Community Builders Grant in STYLE, as they pitch their projects for the final stage of the grant! Get ready to PARTY! 🥳🎉 Finalists will pitch their films for a chance to win the Community Builders Grant. Prizes include $5,000 in gear credit and $5,000 cash. Join us to … Continue reading “Finalists pitch their films for 2022 Community Builders Grant”

Chicago Med Finale pics & promo for And Now We Come To The End

The Chicago Med finale is this Wednesday.  Chicago Med ends Season 7 with lots of surprises in the final episode titled And Now We Come To The End airing Wednesday at 7 PM CST on NBC.  Here’s the official information that NBC has made available for Wednesday’s episode: Will and Hannah clash over a patient in need of a kidney transplant. Crockett … Continue reading “Chicago Med Finale pics & promo for And Now We Come To The End”

Second City and Columbia College alum Aidy Bryant leaves SNL

One of Chicago’s favorites, Aidy Bryant takes the stage exit door at SNL following Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, and Kyle Mooney who are all expected to take a final bow on Saturday’s finale. As in the end of every season on SNL there is speculation as to who’s in and who’s out but this is … Continue reading “Second City and Columbia College alum Aidy Bryant leaves SNL”

INTERVIEW: Chicago’s own Jane Lynch at home in the directors chair

Jane Lynch accepted a new challenge by jumping into the directors chair and joining a growing list of talented actresses who appear in front of, and behind the camera. What better place to hone her skills than her hometown Chicago where she not only directed the spots for the new Illinois Tourism campaign for STORY … Continue reading “INTERVIEW: Chicago’s own Jane Lynch at home in the directors chair”

Chicago PD: this week’s pics & promo ‘Lies’

This week’s new episode of Chicago P.D. titled Lies is airing Wednesday at 9 PM CST on NBC 5. Here’s the official information that NBC has made available for Wednesday’s episode: Voight employs his new informant to help solve a tricky drug trafficking case. Atwater, who once again struggles to reconcile his personal and professional life, reaches a decision.  Below are … Continue reading “Chicago PD: this week’s pics & promo ‘Lies’”

Mayor Lightfoot and DCASE announce new Chicago Made’ TV & Film Initiative

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced a new initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry. The new “Chicago Made” workforce development program and public awareness campaign are based on recommendations from the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force outlined … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot and DCASE announce new Chicago Made’ TV & Film Initiative”

UPDATE: Burrell CCO Lewis Williams to join Weber Shandwick

Yesterday, Reel Chicago broke the story that award-winning Chief Creative Officer, Lewis Williams, had resigned from Burrell Communications. He will join Weber Shandwick as EVP, head of Brand Impact early next year. Terrence Burrell will take the helm as Interim Chief Creative Officer. In this role, Terrence will lead the agency’s creative teams in developing strategic … Continue reading “UPDATE: Burrell CCO Lewis Williams to join Weber Shandwick”

One at Optimus signs directors Ashley C. Battle and Chris Vanderwall

Ashley C. Battle and Chris Vanderwall join the directorial roster of ONE, the production arm of Optimus. The latest in a series of moves marking significant growth for the leading production and post house, the new directors further expand ONE’s creative offerings. Battle brings visual storytelling and fashion expertise, and Vanderwall excels in performance-driven pieces, docu-style work, and comedy. … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs directors Ashley C. Battle and Chris Vanderwall”

Navy Pier names Amanda Willard as VP of Marketing and Communications

Navy Pier announced the appointment of Amanda Willard to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In her new role, Willard will lead the Pier’s marketing, branding and communications initiatives to create unique opportunities to attract more locals and tourists to Navy Pier. Willard brings over 19 years of experience transforming brands to better connect … Continue reading “Navy Pier names Amanda Willard as VP of Marketing and Communications”

Randolph Street Market returns with Mag Mile Pop-Up

Randolph Street Market lights up the Magnificent Mile with three Holiday Market weekends.  After a 2 year break, Randolph Street Market comes back to Chicago and will be decking the halls this holiday season for three weekends December 4 & 5, 11 & 12, and 18 & 19 at 830 N. Michigan Avenue, formerly the … Continue reading “Randolph Street Market returns with Mag Mile Pop-Up”

Composing duo Robl + Sutta score Chicago film Grasshoppers

The composing duo Robl + Sutta recently scored the original soundtrack for Grasshoppers, award-winning filmmaker Brad Bischoff’s directorial feature film debut. The emotionally charged drama recently made its world premiere as an Official Selection of the 18th Annual Bend Film Festival. The director, Brad Bischoff is a native of Chicago and the film was shot the in the … Continue reading “Composing duo Robl + Sutta score Chicago film Grasshoppers”

Chicago Thanksgiving Parade returns with hundreds of talented performers

This year marks the 87th year of the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade with hundreds of talented performers from near and far. Several hundred thousand Chicagoans and visitors are expected to line the streets in celebration of this time-honored event.  On Thursday, November 25, the free, family-friendly event will kick off at 8 a.m. on the corner … Continue reading “Chicago Thanksgiving Parade returns with hundreds of talented performers”

Chicago PD: this week’s pics & promo ‘Trust Me’

This week’s new episode of Chicago P.D. titled Trust Me is airing Wednesday at 9 PM CST on NBC 5. Here’s the official information that NBC has made available for Wednesday’s episode: As the team works to bring down a drug ring, Voight builds trust with a new informant. However, it soon becomes clear she has a plan of her own.  … Continue reading “Chicago PD: this week’s pics & promo ‘Trust Me’”

Tom Pastorelle joins Sarofsky as Senior Editor

One-stop cross-media production company Sarofsky is adding Tom Pastorelle to its full-time staff as Senior Editor. The news was announced by company Principal and Executive Creative Director Erin Sarofsky, and Executive Producer Steven Anderson. “We are so thrilled to be adding Tom to our team,” Erin began. “He has edited a lot of amazing projects over the … Continue reading “Tom Pastorelle joins Sarofsky as Senior Editor”

2020 in Review: Mark Egmon of The Team Companies

Editor’s Note: In 2020, the world changed right before our very eyes. Ad agencies, production companies and post houses were forced to adapt and begin a “new normal” working, living, exercising and entertaining out of home. Now that we have just entered 2021, we asked around our industry friends to reflect back on the year and … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Mark Egmon of The Team Companies”

Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago

Panavision has named Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys to lead the company’s Chicago office as Vice President and General Manager. Borys will ensure Panavision’s customers continue to receive the highest level of service and support throughout the commercial, television, and feature sectors, and will be supported by Chicago Operations Manager Stan Glapa. Sharon Walker Retires Borys’ appointment … Continue reading “Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM Panavision Chicago”

Zoom Interview: with David and Joan of O’Connor Casting

There are two sides to every camera story: those behind it creating movie magic, and the talented performers in front.  What many may not consider are the people who bridge the gap between the two worlds; one of these departments being Casting.  One company that’s been adjusting during these turbulent times is O’Connor Casting, run … Continue reading “Zoom Interview: with David and Joan of O’Connor Casting”

At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.

Over the past week it’s safe to say that the Illinois film community is doing their best to ensure that their employees are safe during this unfortunate time. In light of worldwide health concerns about the impact from the COVID-19 virus, many have postponed production until further notice. Starting Monday, Cinespace will close the secondary … Continue reading “At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.”

The biggest stories of 2019

The City of Chicago reigned supreme in 2019. Advertising agencies blended social justice with clever branding. Content creators reinforced Chicago’s reputation for inclusivity. Film studios entertained the nation while helping the local neighborhoods. And a handful of friends said goodbye. Below is a list of Reel Chicago’s top articles for 2019, separated by category and … Continue reading “The biggest stories of 2019”

2019 Camp Kuleshov Winners

Optimus’ Kathryn Schade, Cutters’ Magdalena Hernandez, Another Country’s Logan Vines take first places in Graphics, Editorial, and Sound Design Camp Kuleshov, AICP’s annual trailer competition for assistants and junior-level employees at member companies, challenges entrants with re-imagining or reworking films by creating new trailers that cast the movie in a different genre than originally released. … Continue reading “2019 Camp Kuleshov Winners”

A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’

Chicago’s award-winning restaurateur and media personality films a quest for family and food in Southeast Asia Billy Dec’s Food. Roots. Philippines. explores an ancient recipe for success on the other side of the world. Currently in post-production, the PBS project is a journey into the country, culture, and cuisine of his ancestors. The Southeast Asian … Continue reading “A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’”

Human brings audio expertise to Chicago

The agency’s new West Loop studio and office will be led by veteran Creative Director Justin Hori Human pushes its industry-leading talents into fresh territories, joining the robust Chicago creative market with a new West Loop studio and office under the leadership of veteran composer/producer Justin Hori. Complemented by offices in New York, Los Angeles, … Continue reading “Human brings audio expertise to Chicago”

The Mill promotes Erica Hilbert, hires Blake Nickle

Erica Hilbert is now Head of Production and Blake Nickle is Executive Producer at The Mill’s Chicago office The Mill is thrilled to appoint a new Head of Production and an Executive Producer to further bolster the growing production team at their Chicago studio. Newly appointed as Head of Production, Erica Hilbert has already taken … Continue reading “The Mill promotes Erica Hilbert, hires Blake Nickle”

Colourist Oisin O’Driscoll joins The Mill Chicago

With experience ranging from Adidas to Radiohead, the formerly London-based huemaster is part of the VFX and creative content studio’s continued expansion (Chicago — 26 July 2018) – Oisin O’Driscoll joins Chicago’s expanding colour team from The Mill London where he crafted a highly impressive body of work since joining in 2014. O’Driscoll — known … Continue reading “Colourist Oisin O’Driscoll joins The Mill Chicago”

New leadership for The Mill in Chicago

  The Mill Chicago announces new Managing Director and Creative Leadership     The Mill has appointed three new leadership roles to its Chicago studio. Carl Phillips will serve as Managing Director, Andrew Doman as Deputy Managing Director, and Jay Bandlish as Executive Creative Director. Phillips joined The Mill in Chicago as Head of Production … Continue reading “New leadership for The Mill in Chicago”

Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer

Jenny Lumpkin is the international Artist Agent and Senior Producer for Quriosity Productions. Politely referred to as “Q #2”, she is armed with a BFA in both graphic design and creative writing from the Kansas City Art Institute. Besides offering an intimate understanding of the art of visual communication in advertising and entertainment, Jenny is … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer”

Cutters, Mill, Optimus, Utopic among AICE Shortlisters

Rachelle Madden, VP, Post Production and Digital Production Affairs for AICP, has announced the Shortlist for this year’s AICE Awards for post production excellence. “Our 2018 Shortlist is the result of hours of work by our judges,” says Madden. “We want to thank them all for their contributions and also salute all the editors and … Continue reading “Cutters, Mill, Optimus, Utopic among AICE Shortlisters”

Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon, other recent moves

Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon Barry Burdiak, a nearly 30-year veteran of DDB Chicago, has left the agency to lead data-driven Epsilon Chicago as Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director. He’ll focus on new business efforts for new and existing clients. A mutiple Cannes Lion winner and Emmy nominee, he will report to a … Continue reading “Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon, other recent moves”

Chicago creative community to aid hurricane victims

Seeking to comfort victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, independent agency Schafer Condon Carter and several trade organizations yesterday launched Chicago Creative Relief, an industry-wide effort to raise $500,000 for affected areas in the US and Caribbean. The program intends to channel the generosity of Chicago’s creative community through a secure online portal that enables … Continue reading “Chicago creative community to aid hurricane victims”

Governor removes tax credit from endangered list

After four months of concern over how future film business would be affected by the suspension of the Illinois Filmmakers Tax Credits — a consequence of the state’s on-going budget impasse  — the Governor’s Office last night officially announced that film tax incentives remain viable and applications are welcome.  

Comma’s Pecorella opens 2014 AMP music awards

Comma’s Larry Pecorella, national president of the Association of Music Producers, announced the 2014 AMP Awards for Music & Sound show will be held in New York next spring.

AMP is the only US industry forum recognizing excellence in music and sound for advertising and branding. “And it serves as an advocacy and standard-setter for the commercial music industry, like AICP and AICE for postproduction,” he said.

Editor Nadav Kurtz wins top Ad Shorts prize at MWFF

Tuesday night’s Annual Ad Community Shorts program of 14 films vividly displayed the high quality and imagination of filmmakers who work in various capacities in agencies and production houses. 

The 14 programmed films were so compelling, so good within their genres that the jury must’ve tossed coins to slot their final choices into traditional first-second-third places.

Cutters will host 800 at “Bloodbath” costume party

CUTTERS HALLOWEEN PARTY Thursday night, one of the two biggest, must-attend parties of the year (along with AICP’s big night Nov. 15) expects a record-breaking 800 guests – 90% of them wearing costumes. 

The party, themed as “Bloodbath on the Orient Express,” takes place at The Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake, starting at 6 p.m.  The costume contest winners will be announced at 9:30 and the winner of the most outrageous/creative/daring costume will go home with a thousand bucks, second place winner with $500.  

So few ACIP honors for Chicago they’re invisible

CHICAGO AGENCY APPEARANCES on the prestigious AICP Show Reel or agency honors list were virtually non-existent.  The 21st annual AICP Show and the NEXT Awards, was held June 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and attended by a number of local adfolk who apparently weren’t going to Cannes next week.

Comma’s Pecorella heads AMP; forms Latino division

For the first time since the organization was formed in 1998, the national Assn. of Music Producers recently elected a Chicago-based president. 

Larry Pecorella, creative director and partner in Comma Music and Particle sound design, is leading the some 80 music companies AMP members nationwide that represent the sound of music in advertising.

With national headquarters in New York, AMP is similar to AICE in that it establishes guidelines for standards and practices throughout the start-to-finish process of creating high-quality advertising music and sound design.

Zacuto Films, Punch Films, Orbark are non-broadcast Emmy winners

A GUESSTIMATED 135 INDIVIDUALS went home with golden Emmy statuettes last Sunday, Nov. 6, at the 53rd annual Emmy Awards, the winners in more than 60 broadcast categories.  About 30 of those categories were non-news, a la documentaries, PSAs, cultural and other programming.  Out of these categories and sub-categories, we could only discern three shows that were not produced as a broadcasting entity.

Every night booked through the end of the month

Take advantage of the last of the big, important events in November, especially during the two weekends prior to Thanksgiving, including several film festivals, a tour of Cinespace studios and a night with The HistoryMarkers.  Then we swing into holiday mode.  

The first cheery Christmas party invitation from LimeGreen may signal a month of holiday parties, to celebrate the season and also a year that many say was better than expected.  Send along your party information and add your forthcoming events to our Calendar page.

Job openings continue for laid-off Roscor veterans

JOB OFFERS KEEP POURING IN for Roscor’s former skilled employees, 100 of whom were suddenly and sadly terminated from the 35-year old Mt. Prospect-based AV equipment company on Black Friday, Oct. 28.  Many had been with the company for 20 years, and some as long as 30 years. 

Companies from all over who learned about the mass layoffs have reached out to the former staffers with job openings! 

Invitations to send in letters, resumes and applications appear in the BackTalk, or comments section, following our recent Roscor stories.

Ad Shorts Night seeks entries till July 29

In the heart of many an ad professional who creates commercials for a living lurks the heart of an artist, striving for recognition by his peers of his Creative Expression.

And that chance for stardom is just around the corner, by submitting a short film for the AICP-sponsored 3rd annual Advertising Shorts Night to be presented Oct. 4 by the Midwest Independent Film Festival. 

The festival will screen original shorts that are conceived, produced, directed, edited and scored by the best of the Midwest commercial industry.

Plenty of activity piling up this week

WHAT A WEEK this is turning out to be ? crammed with activities, information, good food, fun ? a fitting climax to what’s turned out to be a very good business year. So here’s what’s going on.

On Wednesday, there’s a 6 p.m. AIC Midwest general membership meeting at Fletcher camera, with key speakers New York-based AICP president Matt Miller and AICP VP/labor relations Jane Nunez discussing the how the new IATSE national agreement affects commercial production. The meeting is open to all interested persons.

WIFC’s Focus Award honors Merri Dee

WOMEN IN FILM has made a righteous choice to honor broadcast trailblazer, talk show host, news anchor and community activist Merri Dee as its 2010 Focus Award honoree.

Dee has parlayed her celebrity into many children’s and educational charitable works. She spearheaded Illinois’ victims rights’ legislation after she and one of her talk show guests had been kidnapped, driven to a wooded area, shot twice in the head and left for dead, in 1971.

After retiring from WGN-TV in 2008 after 30 years, Dee formed full-service MD Communications.

Optimus One becomes union signatory

After three hours of picketing by two union locals early Dec. 8 to protest a production company’s unwillingness to sign a labor agreement that provides health benefits to members, the targeted company agreed to become a signatory of both locals.

At issue was Optimus One’s hiring of a 23-person, non-union film crew for a national TV commercial being shot at Resolution Digital Studios.

Six months ago, Studio Mechanics Local 476 and Cameramen’s Local 600 had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a labor agreement with Optimus One, the in-house production arm of the post facility.

Becky Cattie casting for Towers

FIRST ASSIGNMENT for Towers Productions’ new casting director, Becky Cattie is to find the perfect cast for Towers’ “Housewives of Chicago” reality TV show, currently in development.

Cattie, who moved here from L.A. last summer, has six years experience casting unscripted TV shows, including “Extreme Makeover,” “America’s Got Talent,” “My Fair Wedding,” “10 Years Younger” and “The Simple Life.”

Response to the “Housewives” casting call has been “fantastic,” says Cattie.

Good L.A. reception for Chicago sales team

DURING THEIR FOUR WHIRLWIND DAYS in L.A., a Chicago sales contingent saw 19 producers, several with possible projects for the state, says Local 476’s Mark Hogan. He was accompanied by Teamsters 726’s John Coli and IFO director Betsey Steinberg on their latest sales mission.

Any new projects heading our way?

Bitter Jester Creatives goes home with the gold

THREE GOLD AURORA 2008 AWARDS for documentaries went to Bitter Jester Creative, a creative content company in Highland Park that’s led by CD Nicolas DeGrazia, DP Daniel Kullman and editor Travis Marriott.

Their winning entries: “Meet the Honorees 2007,” the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner honoring high school students; “Our Stories,” a video created for parents and students by the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition and “Jonas Gerard: A Distinctive Voice,” a 3-minute trailer for a feature about the artist’s life.

Madison spot house signs L.A. director

Spot FilmWorks’ signing of Chris Neil for Midwest representation gives the Madison-based company its second Hollywood marquee name director.

Neil, a nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, who lives in Venice, California, joins Spot FilmWorks’ small but elite roster of president/director Michael Graf and L.A.-based Jay Torres, award-winning commercial director, who also directs prime-time TV episodes (“Desperate Housewives,” “Aliens”).

Said Neil, “I was keen to branch out into the Midwest market and I was immediately drawn to Spot FilmWorks.

1,000 will celebrate the best in commercials

Even the rocky economy can’t stop a good show and a great party as attested by the tide of RSVPs to the Nov. 20 17th Annual Midwest AICP Show honoring the uber best of the best in American commercials.

One thousand guests attired in creative black tie plan to attend at the Chicago History Museum for the year-end soiree.

This is the same number of attendees as last year, indicating how the AICP Show is the place to celebrate a year in advertising, regardless of how good, so-so or we’re-not-talking as it may have been.

“Meals for Monologues” helps the hungry

“MEALS FOR MONOLOGUES,” Claire Simon Casting’s third annual food drive benefiting a number of charities, is a way to give back to the community “and it’s also a lot of fun for the actors,” says Teresa Thoma, a Claire Simon casting associate.

Actors are invited to present a 2-minute contemporary monolog and headshot at an open call when they bring two non-perishable food items on Friday, Nov. 21, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m.

Nov. 20: Advertising’s night to cheer

An estimated 1,000 guests are expected for the 17th Annual Midwest AICP Show, advertising’s year-end gala and screening of the world’s best commercials Nov. 20 at the Chicago History Museum.

The host committee “thought that the economy would negatively impact our attendance, but it hasn’t,” says Show coordinator Chris Hill, a Digital Kitchen development producer.

Not only is attendance holding up ?

Robert Townsend leads the professionals who
will launch IFP’s first fund-raising Gala Sept. 28

DIRECTOR ROBERT TOWNSEND will be among the esteemed group of industry professionals celebrating IFP’s first Independent Film Gala, Sept. 28 at Salvage One. All proceeds will go to expand IFP’s services and programs.

They include the Production Fund of $100,000 in in-kind services, the annual Midwest Filmmakers Summit coming up Oct. 19-21, mentorship programs, the Flyover Zone Film Festival and more.

Tickets are $100 ($150) for two and membership is a low $80 a year. See for details.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

DP MARC MILLER IS IRAQ-BOUND for a month of filming Jake Rademacher’s theatrical documentary, “Brothers at War.” They received Army permission and clearance Dec. 1 after many delays.

“This is the most exciting and challenging project of my career to date,” says Miller. While they will be gone during the holidays, “it will provide us with some interesting situations for filming with our troops during that time,” he says.


REELSCREEN: News & Notes

SHERRY LANSING departs Paramount Pictures after 12 years in 2005 as a dual result of a management shakeup and the fact the last six pictures made under her tutelage were box office disappointments. Paramount has not been a significant source of Chicago location shooting. In the past decade, it produced four pictures: “The Weatherman,” 2004, “Save the Last Dance,” 2000, “The Relic,” 1995 and “Losing Isiah” in 1994.

Chicago team pitches wage tax credit incentive to Madison Avenue producers

A whirlwind two-and-a-half day visit to New York ad agencies to promote commercial production in Chicago was “an unqualified success,” said AICP Midwest president Mark Egmon.

The Story Companies’ Mark Androw, national AICP chairman, the Illinois Film Office’s diversity officer Joyce Davis and Egmon made the trip last week. It was motivated by the local AICP’s feeling that getting the word about the wage tax incentive to commercial producers would help encourage new business, Egmon said.