LeBron James, AT&T celebrate Black Chicago

This Black History Month, AT&T Dream in Black presents the return of Black Future Makers, a future-forward celebration of inspirational people in the culture. The campaign was announced via a commercial celebrating frontline workers and everyday heroes from Chicago in a spot voiced by NBA superstar, philanthropist and entrepreneur LeBron James. James is also one of this … Continue reading “LeBron James, AT&T celebrate Black Chicago”

Chicago neighborhood food pantries get boost from AT&T

Food pantries and organizations helping residents address food insecurity issues in Chicago’s south and west side neighborhoods are receiving support from AT&T, including three neighborhoods – Austin, Auburn Gresham and South Shore – receiving special focus by Mayor Lightfoot and the City’s Racial Equity Rapid Response Team. AT&T is supporting the effort through its Believe … Continue reading “Chicago neighborhood food pantries get boost from AT&T”

AT&T provides meals to 6,000 Chicago Police officers

During this National Police Week, AT&T is recognizing police officers’ service and sacrifice with support to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which is providing meals to 6,000 Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers on the street and on duty across every police district in the city.  The initiative will also provide gift cards for the families … Continue reading “AT&T provides meals to 6,000 Chicago Police officers”

Digital Kitchen brings ‘Westworld’ to Chicago AT&T stores

Fans get close to the action in Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston “Everything in this world is magic, except for the magician.” Dr. Ford The line uttered by Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Ford in Westworld’s first season speaks to the power of illusion and belief and the blurred lines between realities within HBO‘s runaway hit sci-fi … Continue reading “Digital Kitchen brings ‘Westworld’ to Chicago AT&T stores”

Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian

Open Television author and creator is helping to bring marginalized creators and content into the spotlight of American culture   Over the last four years, Dr. Aymar Jean Christian has inspired a community of artists and intellectuals to disrupt one of the greatest institutions in America. With analytical expertise, online manipulation, shrewd outreach, and boundless … Continue reading “Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian”

Chicago-made ‘Trained’ rolls into 33 million homes

Yuri Rutman’s guerilla-filmed, psychoerotic short begins streaming tomorrow on ShortsTV Kiev-born, Chicago-raised, LA-based filmmaker Yuri Rutman endured 48 hours of the Windy City winter to make a film that becomes available for streaming in 33 million homes tomorrow. His 18-minute short, Trained, is a love story like no other. Offering a glimpse into the lives … Continue reading “Chicago-made ‘Trained’ rolls into 33 million homes”

Blue Chip elevates three to executive team

The Chicago-based independent agency promotes Elizabeth Bleser to SVP of Integrated Media; Jason Geis and Joel Walker will co-lead Creative Chicago-based independent agency Blue Chip is proud to announce that it has added three new members to its executive leadership team. Elizabeth Bleser has been promoted to senior vice president of Integrated Media. Bleser joined … Continue reading “Blue Chip elevates three to executive team”

The Colonie hires artist/designer Ashley Lee

Former UNLTD. creative brings agency chops to expanding and “formidable” department offerings The Colonie has added Motion Designer and 3D Artist Ashley Lee to its full-service editorial and postproduction staff. Before becoming a part of The Colonie’s expanding Motion Design Department, Lee spent two years animating and crafting content for a variety of online platforms … Continue reading “The Colonie hires artist/designer Ashley Lee”

SocialDeviant hires new CCO, opens new studio

Hart Rusen becomes Chief Creative Officer as agency grows by 2,400 sq. ft. in downtown Chicago Seven years after its founding as a modern agency for modern brands, SocialDeviant is doubling down on its commitment to creativity by hiring Hart Rusen as its Chief Creative Officer, effective immediately. This, along with building out their own … Continue reading “SocialDeviant hires new CCO, opens new studio”

‘Chicago at the Crossroad’ world premiere at ABFF

Windy City doc committed to reducing gun violence screens at the American Black Film Festival in Miami, June 12 – 16 The world premiere of Chicago at the Crossroad — a film by Chicago-based Schodorf Media Creative — is one of only five documentaries set to screen at the 23rd Annual American Black Film Festival … Continue reading “‘Chicago at the Crossroad’ world premiere at ABFF”

AICP announces Community Award and Shortlists

Wieden + Kennedy, Apple and MJZ lead Shortlist nominations. Matt Miller, President and CEO of AICP, today announced the first-ever “Community Award,” to be presented during AICP Week in June. The Community Award is an unfiltered way to give the entire industry the ability to voice its opinion on the favorite spot of the year. … Continue reading “AICP announces Community Award and Shortlists”

NY-based Nice Shoes expands into Chicago

“Since making our way to Chicago in 2014, we have really enjoyed being a part of the creative community.” —Tara Holmes NYC-based creative studio Nice Shoes has expanded its Midwest presence by opening a stand-alone space in Chicago’s vibrant River North district. The studio will be led by Senior Colorist Ron Sudul and Color Assistant … Continue reading “NY-based Nice Shoes expands into Chicago”

Reel Black List: Charles Andrew Gardner, actor

“I am most proud when I’m able to shift peoples’ perspectives through the work that I do.” Born and raised on Chicago’s south side, SAG-AFTRA Chicago local president Charles Andrew Gardner is an actor with a passion for illuminating the stories of the underrepresented. On-camera credits include episodes of The Chi and Chicago PD; feature … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Charles Andrew Gardner, actor”

‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival

“Olympia” received rave reviews at the Chicago Int’l Film Fest and is the latest from Chicago’s growing film community (Chicago, IL — 23 October 2018) Right off of a successful three-screening run at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival, Cow Lamp Films announce the film Olympia to screen for college audiences at the upcoming Chicago … Continue reading “‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival”

Women in Comedy’s inaugural Short Screening

These filmmakers are not only naturally funny, but they’ve also been honing their chops in professional arenas for years One of the most unique film collections of the year will light up the creative business incubator 2112 next week. The Chicago Women in Comedy’s Comedy Short Screening will culminate a six-month workshop designed to help … Continue reading “Women in Comedy’s inaugural Short Screening”

Charles Andrew Gardner at Black Harvest Film Fest

“We are starting to have a way for our stories to be shared, told, and heard … it’s only gonna make us and the entertainment industry stronger … It’s time” Charles Andrew Gardener, President of SAG-AFTRA Chicago, was among the guests enjoying the reception following Black Harvest Film Festival’s opening night at The Joffrey Ballet. … Continue reading “Charles Andrew Gardner at Black Harvest Film Fest”

Reese Witherspoon helps build female film careers

The Oscar-winning actress has teamed up with Fresh Films and AT&T to create a summer filmmaking lab for teen females   Though women make up 50% of moviegoers, they represent only 17% of creators in Hollywood, outnumbered by men in most roles within film and TV production, from writing and cinematography to production and editing … Continue reading “Reese Witherspoon helps build female film careers”

Chicago Filmmakers pitch for $1MM Tribeca competition

The Year Between, a project written by Chicago filmmaker and comedian Alex Heller in development with Full Spectrum Features, will compete in AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, a live pitch event presented by AT&T and Tribeca Film Institute. Five teams will compete to receive a $1 million to produce their film. The competition will take place … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers pitch for $1MM Tribeca competition”

Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley

Christine Dudley rarely goes to the movies. That may seem odd for the Director of the Illinois Film Office, but she’s dedicated to a job that begins before most of the scenes are even shot and ends, like, never. So what does she do?     When Dudley’s not pitching Hollywood studios, she’s reading the … Continue reading “Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley”

The Reel Black List: Jeff Morrow, Vocal Music Producer

Jeff Morrow is an accomplished singer, vocal producer, voice-over artist, arranger, voice coach and contractor. He is currently the vocal producer for the hit Fox TV show Empire. This past summer he worked as the vocal contractor and toured with Aretha Franklin. He has worked with Stevie Wonder, R. Kelly, Janelle Monae, Michael Bolton, Celine … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jeff Morrow, Vocal Music Producer”

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”

Hires and exits in Chicago agencies and posthouses

SCC names new CEO in reorganization Cubs’ AOR Schafer Condon Carter shuffled their leadership team into new roles effective this month. According to an agency memo from co-founder, Tim Condon, the changes are attributed to the company’s growth. “SCC has come of age. And while we’re still a feisty, scrappy group — and always will be … Continue reading “Hires and exits in Chicago agencies and posthouses”

“Middle class” actors, writers, crew hit hard

It’s official. President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which we’ll call the “Tax Jobs Law”) during an Oval Office ceremony this morning. Next stop, holiday in Florida. With the corporate tax rate set to drop from 35% to 21%, the Tax Jobs Law has been hailed as a “middle-class miracle” by … Continue reading ““Middle class” actors, writers, crew hit hard”

Energy BBDO calls up new smart phone for ZTE

On Friday, ZTE, the Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, released their most innovative, revolutionary device yet to market – the dual screen ZTE Axon M. To launch the product, which is exclusive to AT&T, the brand debuted an entertaining new marketing effort from Energy BBDO that features the simple … Continue reading “Energy BBDO calls up new smart phone for ZTE”

Digital Kitchen supports launch of AI-powered TV

Zone•tv is taking a quantum leap forward in the television viewing experience with the recently announced launch of 14 curated TV channels delivering digital-first content augmented with artificial intelligence. The company announced that it is enlisting top-tier brand design agency Digital Kitchen to help shape and introduce its delivery of next generation television. What is … Continue reading “Digital Kitchen supports launch of AI-powered TV”

AICE seeks funds for ad, PR campaign

LOCAL MEMBERS OF AICE are being asked for $1,000 each to be used to fund an advertising and PR campaign to combat competition from agency in-house editorial departments.

The campaign started last month with a full page ad in Brandweek, as an open letter to advertisers laying out the dangers of the increasing growth of these in-house departments and the value of independent editors.

NBC premieres L.A. party special Oct. 27

COMEDIAN TOM DREESEN will MC the Oct. 27 invitation-only NBC premiere of the TV special shot by Resolution Digital Studios at the recent Sweet Home Illinois party, hosted by Brenda Sexton’s Chicago Link Productions and presented by AT&T.

Sexton, the former IFO director, is hosting the premiere at the new, super swank Elysian Hotel on Walton St. Sun-Times columnists Bill Zwecker and Richard Roeper are the red carpet hosts and Beth Malone and David Pisor the Elysian hosts who will be greeting the VIP guests.

Premiere for NBC’s “The Heart of Hollywood”

COMEDIAN TOM DRESSEN will MC the Oct. 27 invitation-only NBC premiere of the TV special, “The Heart of Hollywood: The Chicago Link,” shot by RDS at the recent Sweet Home Illinois party in Santa Monday, hosted by Brenda Sexton’s Chicago Link Productions and presented by AT&T.

The cocktail reception and premiere takes place at the new, super swank Elysian Hotel on Walton St. Sun-Times columnists Bill Zwecker and Richard Roeper are the red carpet hosts. Beth Malone and David Pisor will greet the VIP guests on behalf of the Elysian.

Virginia and Elaine Madsen’s doc screens

NOT EVERYONE gets the pleasure and satisfaction of working with their mother, but Oscar winner Virginia Madsen teamed up with her filmmaker mom, Elaine Madsen, to produce a provocative doc. “I Know a Woman Like That,” features interviews with extraordinary women ages 64 to 94.

Produced by Virginia and directed by Emmy-winning Elaine, “Woman” will screen Oct. 13 at Columbia College, prior to which Brenda Sexton and Chaz Ebert will host a cocktail reception in the Madsen’s honor. BTW, the Madsens are Chicago natives.

New talent revitalizes Vitamin digital media

Infused with a batch of proven new talent from Dallas, Vitamin, the digital media arm of Filmworkers Club, has been relaunched and revitalized with plans for expansion into broadcast and feature entertainment graphics.

New executive creative director is Danny DelPurgatorio, along with three cohorts, who were transported here from Radium/Reel FX, Dallas, a prominent movie and TV commercial/effects company with a Santa Monica office.

New team members from Dallas are art directors Matt Behary, a Cincinnati native, and Rob Foster, originally from Tampa.

How Razorfish stays way out in front

Razorfish, one of the world’s largest interactive marketing and technology companies, has a Chicago office employing 170-plus digital specialists, who work with top brands like Kraft, JC Penney and AT&T.

ReelChicago’s Tim Horsburgh spoke with Razorfish’s Julie Novack, SVP/general manager, about its future plans and how the Chicago visual media industry can stay ahead of the game.

ReelChicago: Razorfish’s new report notes that 76% of consumers welcome advertising on social networks. I’d say this is a big new trend.

Beck retires from CFO after 28 years; Chicago Creative Club holds Awards Night Sept. 10

DEBBIE BECK RETIRED from the Chicago Film Office last week without fanfare, after a remarkable and dedicated 28 years serving the film community.

“Debbie’s warm, unaffected personality, matched with unsurpassed longevity, made her almost iconic — the heart and soul of the office. She will be extraordinarily missed,” says Rich Moskal, who was appointed CFO director when Beck was into her sixteenth year on the job.

There at the beginning of the Chicago Film Office, Debbie Beck retires after an impressive 28 years

AFTER A REMARKABLE 28 YEARS, DEBBIE BECK retired Friday from the Chicago Film Office without fanfare.

She had joined in June, 1980 a scant three months after the office was officially created by Mayor Jane Byrne as an adjunct of the police department and was headed by a police sergeant, Sam Babich.

Beck shared an office with police officers Babich, Jim Cunningham and Tom Flanagan in cramped space on the eighth floor of City Hall.

They’re number one: Chicago’s first and only DI boutique blows out first year birthday candle

Nolo Digital Film partners Mike Matusek, Boris Seagraves and Joe Flanagan are celebrating the first anniversary this month of Chicago’s first and only DI-dedicated boutique.

With a record year of high demand under their belts, it’s clear that “digital intermediate” is finally on the map as producers and creatives embrace the term and its new wave of color correction techniques.

“We saw the future and it was about options and accommodating all formats,” says Matusek.

Yvonne Furth to retire as Rivet’s top exec, Lor Gold steps up as COO and global director

RIVET PRESIDENT YVONNE FURTH announced she will retire from the agency Aug. 31 after 26 years with Draft/Chicago, Rivet’s parent company.

Lor Gold, also from Draft who formed Rivet with Furth last January, remains as Rivet’s CCO and new position of global managing director.

The 2005 Ad Woman of the Year, and possessor of an arms-length worth of awards, Furth previously was Draft/Chicago president/CEO. She joined Draft in ?81 as assistant account exec and ascended through the ranks to become president/COO in ’02.

Neuberger produces music festival webcast

HANK NEUBERGER, Chicago’s sound guru, is currently in Palm Springs where he will head a 90-member crew, including lots of Chicago guys, to produce a three day webcast of the big annual Coachella Music Festival of contemporary rock and pop music.

The festival will be captured with 18 HD cameras, with video support provided by Trio Video.

It will run on website www.at&tblueroom.com for 10 hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The following weekend, the entire crew moves to the Empire Polo Field in nearby Indio, Calif.

Trio Video’s truck fleet grows to six with a
$10 million investment for two new HD trucks

Trio Video is expanding its fleet for the second time in less than two years with the infusion of a $10 million investment from two venture capital companies.

Management of the company is unchanged. Trio is owned by partners Jack Walsh and Gary Meagher, who will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their company next year.

Through the investment from Marquette Capital Partners of Chicago, BIA Digital Partners of Chantilly, Va., Trio is building its third HD/multi-format truck and a Beta support vehicle for delivery next March.

Short films offer a huge profit opportunity as new media markets hunger for short-as-product

After decades of film school/festival exile, the film short-as-product is back, feeding a huge and growing entertainment market in international television, web-based film and cell cinema venues.

And Chicago filmmakers are in an ideal position to take advantage of the scores of dedicated short subject distributors dropping serious acquisition coin.

Hoping to boost sales, Sony is sponsoring a series of short films designed for its PlayStation Portable (PSP). Verizon and Fox Entertainment Group launched three “mobisode” series for cell phone screens.

Benefit for IFP grant winner to raise additional funds

IFP/Chicago 2003 Production Fund winner Karen Friedberg holds a benefit for her film, “King of the Tango,” to raise additional finishing funds not covered by the IFP’s $85,000 in-kind grant.

The benefit takes place March 22 at I-Space and Schneider Galleries, 230 W. Superior, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Friedberg plans to shoot “Tango” in June 20-25. “At this point I’m producing the film,” said Friedberg, who is in the midst of pulling together key crew.