Marquee Network signs exclusive Chicago Cubs deal

This Saturday, the Marquee Sports Network will make its debut as exclusive television home of the Chicago Cubs by airing the team’s first Spring Training game against the Oakland Athletics in Mesa, Arizona. Formed by a partnership between the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Marquee fills a position that opened up when the Cubs parted … Continue reading “Marquee Network signs exclusive Chicago Cubs deal”

Chicago Cubs strike out by hiring a New York agency

In the eyes of a lot of local ad executives, the Chicago Cubs have just struck out.  Big time.

The team lost a big chunk of potential fans from Chicago’s advertising industry in recent days when the Cubs rather quietly announced it had retained a New York-based ad agency, quaintly-named The Brooklyn Brothers, to orchestrate its newest ad campaign with the theme line “Baseball Is Better.” 

Cubs fantasy doc with many Chicago movie stars screens Aug. 31 to benefit Children’s Memorial

Matt Liston’s feature-length “Chasing October: A Fan’s Crusade,” about a crazy fan who will do anything to get the Cubs into the World Series debuts Aug. 31 at the Music Box to benefit Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Comedian-actor Liston, a Chicagoan who lives in L.A., describes it as a hybrid?a documentary with scripted scenes.

“We shot the documentary for four years and I wrote a script around the scenes we had in place,” he said.

Congratulations to the winners of the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

Congratulations nominees and winners! There were 71 categories this year with 80 award winners. The 63rd Annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards, held on Sunday evening was a well produced virtual presentation hosted by comedian Pat McGann who paid tribute throughout the evening to the hosts of the past. Bob Newhart dropped by virtually for a delightlful … Continue reading “Congratulations to the winners of the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards”

List of nominees for the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards Dec 5

The 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards will be a virtual presentation held on Sunday, December 5 at 7:00 pm. Comedian Pat McGann, the South Side Chicago native who hosted the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2020, returns to emcee the show this year and legendary Bob Newhart is expected to make a guest appearance. The virtual presentation … Continue reading “List of nominees for the 63rd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards Dec 5”

Jason Sudeikis gives a shout out to Chicago in Emmy acceptance speech

Our predictions on Reel 360 became a reality as Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, one of the most hilarious shows on television, took home seven Emmys after being nominated for an impressive 20 awards. The series won best comedy after Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein all scored acting accolades. This broke the record for … Continue reading “Jason Sudeikis gives a shout out to Chicago in Emmy acceptance speech”

Cubs Marquee Sports Network says ‘We Get All of It’

Marquee Sports Network, the exclusive television home of Chicago Cubs baseball, has launched a new multi-platform advertising campaign as the TV network enters its second season, and first with a full 162-game schedule. The campaign centers around the tagline We Get All of It, acknowledging not only Marquee’s commitment to covering the team around the … Continue reading “Cubs Marquee Sports Network says ‘We Get All of It’”

Congratulations to the 2020 Chicago Emmy recipients

Reel Chicago congratulates the winners of the 62nd Chicago / Midwest Emmy Awards. A big shout out to two of our loyal advertisers, October TV and WTTW for taking home Emmys. The Chicago / Midwest Emmy Awards are presented annually for outstanding achievements in broadcasting. Members come from all areas of the industry and include … Continue reading “Congratulations to the 2020 Chicago Emmy recipients”

2019-2020 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Nominations List

Congratulations to our friends and advertisers who have received nominations for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy. The 62nd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards will broadcast virtually in November. Regions covered by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter include Chicago, Illinois; Peoria-Bloomington, Illinois; Rockford, Illinois; South Bend-Elkhart, Indiana; Green Bay-Appleton, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Wausau-Rhinelander, Wisconsin; and Madison, Wisconsin. Here is the complete list … Continue reading “2019-2020 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Nominations List”

Cubs and White Sox read for CPL ‘Live From the Library’

Chicago Public Library announced that the upcoming group of celebrity readers for the popular “Live From the Library” program will celebrate the beginning of Major League Baseball. “Live From the Library” which features a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, will highlight notable representatives of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox organizations, … Continue reading “Cubs and White Sox read for CPL ‘Live From the Library’”

Chicago teams launch “We Are All One Home Team”

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in partnership with Chicago’s sports teams launched the “We Are All One Home Team” campaign to encourage the city’s youth to wear masks, practice social distancing and follow the latest public health guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy. Building on the City’s recent “We Are Not Playing” … Continue reading “Chicago teams launch “We Are All One Home Team””

‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the lineup of Chicago and national celebrities who have come together to celebrate and pay tribute to the over 35,000 graduating high school seniors across Chicago. “Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago.” is a live, commercial-free 60-minute ceremony hosted and co-created by the City of Chicago and Citadel to … Continue reading “‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup”

Cinespace joins Sweet Home Chicago live stream event

Sweet Home Chicago Relief & Recovery live stream event packed with Chicago celebs airs May 16 at 5PM CDT on NBC Sports Chicago, the telethon will also simultaneously stream on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.   The Chicago CEO COVID-19 Coalition, founded by John Koudounis, is excited to announce that Wintrust Financial and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios have joined Calamos … Continue reading “Cinespace joins Sweet Home Chicago live stream event”

82-game season for Cubs, Sox could start on July 4

Major League Baseball’s 32 owners have approved a strategy for players to return to summer’s official sport in early July. The plan calls for an 82-game season with teams playing their divisional rivals and other nearby teams to minimize travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Spring training could begin in early to mid-June, a person familiar … Continue reading “82-game season for Cubs, Sox could start on July 4”

Chicago sports teams combat COVID ‘We Are Not Playing’

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced a groundbreaking campaign, “We Are Not Playing,” in partnership with Chicago’s professional sports teams to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Each of Chicago’s hometown professional sports teams –  including the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Fire, Red Stars, Sky, White Sox – has signed on to the initiative, … Continue reading “Chicago sports teams combat COVID ‘We Are Not Playing’”

Wieden+Kennedy does ‘Chicago Style’ for Nike

Windy City people and pride abound in new 60-second ‘Sport Changes Everything’ commercial Chicago sports, culture, and attitude come to life in a new spot for Nike’s Sport Changes Everything campaign by Wieden+Kennedy. Titled, Chicago Style, the minute-long commercial packs a no-nonsense series of references and metaphors into a food order at a classic Windy … Continue reading “Wieden+Kennedy does ‘Chicago Style’ for Nike”

WTTW’s “Chicago on Vacation” with Geoffrey Baer

WTTW special revisits the great Midwest family road trip with Geoffrey Baer When your family piled into the car for a vacation, where did you go? Starved Rock? Lake Geneva? The Wisconsin Dells? Maybe the Indiana Dunes? Or Michigan’s Harbor Country? The road trip is a time-honored tradition, and “are we there yet?” is a … Continue reading “WTTW’s “Chicago on Vacation” with Geoffrey Baer”

The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

The 60th annual celebration of the standard bearers for excellence in the television broadcasting industry   The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Chicago Ballroom, 540 N. Michigan.       The Nominees Outstanding Achievement for News Programming – Evening Newscast: Larger … Continue reading “The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards”

The Chicago advertising connection to ‘Space Jam’

LeBron James scores off an assist from a Windy City boutique that launched Michael Jordan’s off-court media stardom In many ways, the thrill ignited by LeBron James’ decision to produce a Space Jam sequel started in suburban Oak Park, IL, nearly three decades ago. That was where, in 1992, Chicago-based Creative Director Bernie Pitzel heard … Continue reading “The Chicago advertising connection to ‘Space Jam’”

Chicago actor Max Jenkins gets “Lost in Space”

Exclusive interview with the cast member of the Netflix’s series premiering today At 12-years-old, one can’t really say Lincoln Square resident Max Jenkins has had a long and storied acting career yet, but he has certainly had an impactful one.     The mandolin player in the band “Cowboy Jesus and Sugar Bum” made his … Continue reading “Chicago actor Max Jenkins gets “Lost in Space””

Cubs’ Javier Baez reigns in New Era work

Well, this is dope. Just in time for opening day, 72andSunny New York and New Era Caps has launched “We Who Reign,” a new, multi-platform campaign that juxtaposes traditional kings and queens with today’s reigning cultural creators in their modern day “crowns” — the iconic New Era Authentic Collection 59FIFTY Fitted. And it’s a home … Continue reading “Cubs’ Javier Baez reigns in New Era work”

The Reel Chicago Black List: Patrick Wimp, filmmaker

Patrick is the first MFA graduate from DePaul University Digital Cinema. Throughout his career, he has written and produced films, commercials, and TV series all over the world. Pat is the co-founder and owner of Digital Hydra, an Emmy award-winning production company that has crafted commercial and creative content for a variety of major brands … Continue reading “The Reel Chicago Black List: Patrick Wimp, filmmaker”

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”

Cubs name Lauren Fritts VP of Marketing

We are not that far from when pitchers and catchers will report to Sloan Stadium in Mesa, Arizona to begin Spring Training. And with Spring Training comes a new marketing campaign to sell our beloved Cubbies to fans. That responsibility will now fall on the shoulders of Lauren Fritts, whom the organization named the VP … Continue reading “Cubs name Lauren Fritts VP of Marketing”

Potenza and Daily Planet win Chicago Emmys

There were many smiling faces at the 59th annual regional Emmy Awards Saturday night. Sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the awards show was streamed live on from the Swissotel Hotel. Both Potenza Productions and Daily Planet Productions, Ltd came away with Emmys. Potenza — which … Continue reading “Potenza and Daily Planet win Chicago Emmys”

Cubs introduce W’ville

With the postseason here and the Cubs gearing up to #FlyTheW once more, it’s officially “W season” in Wrigleyville. And in a stroke of sports marketing genius, the Cubbies are converting Wrigleyville into a pop-up event right next to Wrigley stadium. ‘W’ville will feature free games, family-friendly entertainment, giveaways and opportunities to win 2017 Cubs … Continue reading “Cubs introduce W’ville”

Optimus trolls Chicagoans with Heinz “Dog Sauce”

There’s a scene in Dirty Harry where Clint Eastwood berates his partner for doing the sin of sins — putting ketchup on his hotdog.

“Nobody puts ketchup on a hotdog,” is a truism shared by every true hotdog-eating, Cubs and Whitesox loving/hating Chicagoan.

But what about “Dog Sauce?”

Just in time for #NationalHotDogDay, Heinz has unveiled a Dog Sauce exclusively for Chicagoans.

Ingredients of the Dog Sauce include red ripe tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a blend of spices and flavorings.

Yeah… Ketchup. Suckas.

ISA brings TV Weekend’s Master Series to Chicago

For all the Chicago Writers who crave to write TV, an important weekend is about to happen, brought to them by Los Angeles-based the International Screenwriters’ Association.

Founded by award-winning Chicago native and filmmaker, Craig James Pietrowiak, the renowned screenwriting organization is bringing their Masters Series Seminar “TV Weekend: From Concept to Studio Deal” to Chicago on May 5, 2017.

Feature debut glorifies the healing power of the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have been a remedy for happiness in actor/producer Ann Hagemann’s family since 1945.

That’s when her father began supporting the team as a young boy who wanted to momentarily forget that his family was poor, his father was dying of tuberculosis and, as World War II raged overseas, he lived in a country that did not appreciate his German heritage, especially near the farm where he grew up in downstate Illinois.

OTSC luncheon raffle ticket could win you 4 Cubs seats

To help raise money for Off the Street Club at its Thursday, Dec. 1 annual Holiday Luncheon, one of the two big raffle prizes is Cubs tickets for four Wrigley Field dugout seats — or $10,000 in cash provided by an anonymous donor.

This year’s income goal is more than the $582,000 that the 2015 event yielded, to be raised exclusively through the luncheon at the Swissotel, 323 E. Upper Wacker Dr., starting with an 11 a.m. cocktail reception and luncheon at noon.

Filmmaker scores funding at AFM for his Cubs’ feature

That long-awaited and exciting Chicago Cubs 10-8 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians not only elated millions of Cubs fans, but it instilled confidence in one filmmaker that his Cubs’ film will be produced without having to wait decades to do so.

The filmmaker is Chicago writer / producer / director Anil Sunkara, a devoted Cubs fan for 23 years, who this week is attending the American Film Market (AMF) in Santa Monica, where he successfully found funding for his “Cubs & Goats” comedy sports feature.

Nominations announced for Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards

The 2016 Chicago/Midwest regional Emmy nominations were announced this week simultaneously in Chicago and Milwaukee this week – more than 200 recognitions in 41 categories of broadcast programming.

Winners will be announced at the 58th annual Emmy Awards ceremony Dec. 3 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, 540 N. Michigan.

Highland Park-based Bitter Jester Creative garnered six Crafts Achievement Off-Air category nods; October Productions scored three. On the broadcast side, Fox overwhelmed with a record 27 nominations.

SCC’s Cubs spot goes wildly viral with millions of hits

A 30-SECOND CUBS SPOT, “Fly the W,” created by Chicago Cubs’ agency Schafer Carter Condon (SCC) featuring the narration of injured Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber, was designed to get fans excited about the Cubs’ National Division Series playoffs starting Oct. 7.

And it did it ever! — the spot was a hit waaaay out of the park, beyond anyone’s expectations, by garnering an amazing two million-plus views since it was posted on Facebook a scant two weeks ago.

Cubs announcer Hughes produces ‘Baseball Voices’ CDs

Cubs’ radio play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes turns to production when he’s not on the air this summer, as he begins editing material for “Baseball Voices”, the CD series that he produces honoring baseball announcers inducted into the broadcaster’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Longtime New York Yankees/”This Week in Baseball” voice Mel Allen is his likely next tribute subject, to be recorded in the off-season.

Cubs hit a homer by naming local SCC their agency

Everyone knows s**t happens in the ad biz.  Sure.  But every now and then good stuff does too  And sometimes, when the stars are really aligned, several really good things happen at an ad agency at once that pull it off the sidelines and position it center stage.

That is exactly what seems to have happened at Schafer Condon Carter, one of Chicago’s mid-sized shops that had been plugging along (in a good way) for as long as we can remember.

“We Believe” Cubs doc producer sued by investors

A CAUTIONARY TALE.  A couple who believed that their investment in the upbeat 2008-09 Cubs documentary, “We Believe,” would return an ROI has filed a lawsuit against the producer who invited their investment.  

Husband and wife plaintiffs, Peter Cerbin and wife Hilary Carr, invested $650,000 of the doc’s $1.5 million budget with producer Chad Smith. They claim in 2008 Smith told them he had secured distributors and corporate sponsors. Not true, their lawsuit alleges. 

Advertise with REEL CHICAGO

Reel Chicago and national spinoff, Reel 360, are the trusted sources for news, information, industry trends, new campaigns, and the people behind the scenes in advertising, film, TV, music, digital, social and entertainment since 2004.  Speak Directly to Industry Influencers and Potential Clients! Our audience includes: Agencies: Ad Agency Chief Creative Officers, Creative Directors, Heads … Continue reading “Advertise with REEL CHICAGO”

Draftfcb catches Cubs ticket sales campaign

“You win some, you lose some” is a philosophy equally applicable to Chicago advertising as it is the city’s sports teams.

Consider: The little-known Jones Agency in 2007 came from left field to win the Cubs ticket sales campaign from Draft (pre FCB merger), which had the account for one year at that point. And now it’s Draftfcb’s turn at bat again.

Jones president and executive creative director Scott Maney says, “It’s been a great experience,” another philosophic statement that covers all bases.

Why not Chicago?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? Michael Mann’s 1930s crime movie “Public Enemies,” which spent $25 million filming in Chicago and the state last year, will have various premieres, advance and special showings everywhere else except Chicago before the movie’s national July 1 opening.

Its world premiere will be the centerpiece of the Los Angeles Film Festival June 18-28.

In Wisconsin, which is already benefiting from tourism to movie locations, has at least two pre-release events planned so far.

Cubs doc, “We Believe,” previews June 2

“We Believe,” the authorized Chicago Cubs documentary, debuts locally June 2 at the cutting-edge the theatre in theWit, the new Loop hotel, before an invitational audience.

“We Believe,” ironically filmed in 2008, the 100th anniversary of the last time the Cubs won a World Series, is about the powerful relationship with Chicago’s hometown sports team — the excitement, loyalty and heartbreak.

Optimistic sports/TV producer readies Cubs comedy doc for post-season premiere

At least on one level, Matt Liston’s epic quest is close to fruition. Since 2002, Liston has been documenting his “Just Believe Campaign,” a quixotic endeavor to land the Cubs a World Series victory through sheer positive thinking and a series of highly publicized stunts.

Now, two years later, the Cubs are struggling for the wild card spot, but Liston is weeks away from completing his comedic feature doc about the experience, “Wait til This Year.”

“Table Read,” BBDO, DDB, Gitersonke in the news

A 30-SECOND CUBS SPOT, “Fly the W,” created by Chicago Cubs’ agency Schafer Carter Condon (SCC) featuring the narration of injured Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber, was designed to get fans excited about the Cubs’ National Division Series playoffs starting Oct. 7.

And it did it ever! — the spot was a hit waaaay out of the park, beyond anyone’s expectations, by garnering an amazing two million-plus views since it was posted on Facebook a scant two weeks ago.

The flag “is the fabric that brings an entire nation together,” Schwarber says.  “It says to the world, we will never lose faith … and maybe this October, if we fly it high enough, and loud enough and proud enough, well, you get the idea.”

Was SCC’s CD Ron Sone, who created the spot with CD Michael Dorich, surprised at the overwhelming reaction? “No, just at the speed it caught on,” he says. And those  two million hits were only from a Facebook posting, although the spot also appears on other social media outlets.

rEvolution unites Winnebago and Maddon to get RAW

And here I thought Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon lived in the dugout.

Apparently not!

Turns out Maddon and his wife, Jaye, live in a $500,000 Winnebago Grand Tour. During the off-season, the two pal around the country in their spectacular home away from home.

Joe Maddon’s love of RVs became popularized three years ago, when he first introduced the world to his mobile home named, “Cousin Eddie.” It’s derived from the slob Randy Quaid played in the Vacation movies.

New Smithe spot plays off the upcoming NATO summit

Nobody puts more mirth into their marketing initiatives than the trio of Smithe brothers — Tim, Mark and Walter — who preside over the well-known local furniture store chain Walter E. Smithe.

The chain is so familiar to so many because for years the company has made a point of producing any number of wacky TV commercials — many of which cleverly tie in with iconic Chicago institutions (such as the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks) or pointedly spoof important local events.

Big Hurt buys Field of Dreams

Former White Sox Frank Thomas has made another clutch hit. The baseball legendary Hall of Famer has now purchased a controlling interest in the Field of Dreams Movie Site located in Dyersville, Iowa. The transaction was announced Thursday. The purchase from the previous owner, Go the Distance Baseball LLC and sister company, All-Star Ballpark Heaven, … Continue reading “Big Hurt buys Field of Dreams”

Film and TV workers now eligible for vaccine

The City of Chicago officially entered phase 1c of the vaccine rollout on Monday, March 29th meaning all essential workers and adults with underlying medical conditions are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Film and TV workers are classified as Group 1C for vaccine. The City has announced that two new mass vaccination sites will open in … Continue reading “Film and TV workers now eligible for vaccine”

Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing

“Now is a good time to retire. After 37 years at Cutters and 47 in the industry, I’m ready to move forward and retire here at year end.” That’s the rare email message our friends at Cutters Studios received in late 2020 from Senior Partner/Editor Chris Claeys. The heartfelt message hit many emotional notes for … Continue reading “Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing”

SCC takes Small Agency of the Year, Silver

Chicago-based independent creative and technology agency, Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) won its second Small Agency of the Year Award in three years taking the Ad Age Silver. The metaphoric icing atop the agency’s 30th birthday cake, Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) has pushed boundaries by taking its mission statement, “We work for humans,” to heart through … Continue reading “SCC takes Small Agency of the Year, Silver”

mcgarrybowen announces new US strategic leadership

Jennifer Zimmerman, Global Chief Strategy officer at mcgarrybowen, today announced changes in the agency’s U.S. strategic leadership. Jamie Shuttleworth has been promoted from Chief Strategy Officer of the Chicago office to U.S. Chief Strategy Officer and will have responsibility for leading strategy across the agency’s U.S. presence, currently with offices in New York, Chicago, and … Continue reading “mcgarrybowen announces new US strategic leadership”

Wayne Kubacki retires from Essanay Studios

Last month, Essanay Studio and Lighting Company co-owner Wayne Kubacki retired from the nationally recognized company that he co-founded decades ago. Widely admired for his extensive knowledge, punctilious care, and conversational efficiency, he leaves a vacancy that will reverberate far beyond the company’s Goose Island facility. “I’m going to miss him,” says Jules Tomko, Essanay’s … Continue reading “Wayne Kubacki retires from Essanay Studios”

Alexan highlights Chelios Massage in new video

Healing technique comes alive with endorsements from Blackhawk Chris Chelios and Cub Randy Hundley To highlight the power of the Chelios Massage Method, Chicago filmmaker Kamelya Alexan created a promotional video that opens with a testimonial from Chicago Blackhawk Chris Chelios, a satisfied customer of the technique developed by his sister, Penny. The Chelios Massage … Continue reading “Alexan highlights Chelios Massage in new video”

Banner unveils branding and leadership re-launch

Blackhawks TV spinoff is a ‘little company with a big heart’ that pumps far beyond the world of sports Celebrating a decade of creating video content for clients such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs, Google, Amazon, and Reddi-wip, Banner today announced the re-launch of its business under the direction of new leadership that expands … Continue reading “Banner unveils branding and leadership re-launch”

rEvolution on the rise

How a Chicago-based agency transforms sports into an exponentially evolving world of possibilities rEvolution Integrated Sports Marketing scores on ideas from all over the place. Combining national brands with famous players and professional teams, the agency keeps its clients in the game with a head-explodingly grand assortment of concepts involving recreational vehicles, fishing holes, and … Continue reading “rEvolution on the rise”

SCC wins big in Ad Age’s Small Agency awards

Schafer Condon Carter takes home gold in Advertising Age’s annual agency awards According to Ad Age’s Small Agency Awards landing page one of the biggest advantages of being a small agency is, “One of the biggest advantages of being a small agency is having more hands-on time with clients, less red tape and the ability … Continue reading “SCC wins big in Ad Age’s Small Agency awards”

The Ads of Summer

Being America’s “national pastime” alone does not sell tickets. A select group of professional baseball teams told Reel Chicago how they’re bringing fans into the stadium this season.   Chicago Cubs Everybody In | Shaefer Condon Carter Alyson Cohen — Public Relations Manager What is the creative? The creative thematic, Everybody In, is meant to … Continue reading “The Ads of Summer”

rEvolution wins big at the Telly Awards, again

Chicago marketing agency rEvolution’s ‘micro-sitcom’ for Winnebago scored a pair of Silver nods from the 39th annual Telly Awards on May 22.   Meet the Maddons, an online sitcom by rEvolution for Winnebago, won Silver Telly Awards in both the business-to-consumer campaigns and the comedy webseries categories earlier this week. Breezing through everyday snippets of … Continue reading “rEvolution wins big at the Telly Awards, again”

Kargo, Tronc, The Avengers, Radio Hall of Fame in news

Kargo seeks to reduce damages awarded to former employee

Arguing that a New York Labor law should not apply to a Chicago resident, mobile ad shop Kargo filed a motion last Friday to reduce the $40 million awarded to former employee Alexis Berger by $36.5 million.

Berger was the former SVP of Sales for the Midwest and West Coast for Kargo when she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim in spring 2016. Prior to her late-July termination, she was the agency’s highest paid employee and managed approximately 30 employees.

SCC’s new MAKE274 studio is dedicated to social media

Schafer Condon Carter’s (SCC) officially launched its “ala carte content creation studio,” MAKE247, offering video, animation, motion graphics and photography to brands that seek specialized multi-platform, social media content.

“The explosive need for brand content is here to stay and we have an incredible amount of talent and resources that have been doing killer work for our AOR clients,” says SCC co-founder Tim Condon.

First-ever book about teen movie master John Hughes

IF YOU LOVED JOHN HUGHES’ MOVIES you’ll be especially engrossed in the first book ever written about the “philosopher of adolescence,” as Roger Ebert once called him. Jason Diamond, who like Hughes was a North Shore native and suffered painful teen years, has authored “Searching For John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know About Life, I Learned from Watching 80s’Movies.”

Advertising artist Neumann signs with Envisionaire

Storyboard artist Jerry Neumann’s name is more or less out there.  After he drew the storyboards for DDB’s State Farm campaign, agency creative directors Barry Burdiak and John Hayes decided to honor the artist.  They gave the name of “Jerry Neumann” to the hapless guy who crashed his car after he cancelled his car insurance and hopes his State Farm agent will reinstate his policy.

Lottery counting on baseball tickets for $$$ hits

Batter up!  Amid reports that private manager Northstar Lottery Group isn’t making the revenue numbers it brashly told Illinois officials it could hit, the Illinois Lottery this week is turning its attention to a new game to entice more people to buy Lottery tickets.

The new offering is designed to attract the vast legions of fans of that most all-American of sports — baseball. 

On verdict watch for United Airlines’ account shift

ORLANDO, WHERE THE exceedingly-hyped Casey Anthony case has gone to the jury for deliberation, isn’t the only town on high-profile verdict watch these days.  Chicago has a couple of major agency reviews in progress that are sure to generate plenty of ink too when a decision is finally reached.

We refer, of course, to the S.C. Johnson review, where a verdict should come first. DraftFCB/Chicago is the incumbent on that account, but the agency is viewed as a long shot to retain the business with upwards of $1 billion in billings.

Steppenwolf Films’ first feature, “Diminished Capacity,” opens in theatres

Culminating in six years of development, Steppenwolf Films’ first film, “Diminished Capacity,” opened July 4 to generally good reviews by major film critics.

The comedy, budgeted at $2 million, was directed by Steppenwolf’s Terry Kinney, one of the founders of the theatre company, and stars Mathhew Broderick, Alan Alda and Virginia Madsen.

“Capacity” was highly praised at its Sundance premiere, where it was picked up for distribution by the Independent Film Channel and compared to smash hit “Little Miss Sunshine” by reviewers.

Gamebeat Studios wins the Lottery — music house to score big Summer Campaign spot package

A NICE 10TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENT for Darryl S. Duncan’s Gamebeat Studios was landing the scoring assignment for the Illinois Lottery’s Summer Campaign for the second year in a row.

Gamebeat will compose music for three TV and two radio spots each for the urban market, with version for general and Hispanic markets for lottery agency R.J. Dale and producer Darryl Manuel.

A former songwriter for Warner Bros. and A&M records in Hollywood, Duncan founded his company in April, 1998. He employs seven and works out of a 3,000-sq. ft.

Director/indie filmmaker Ron Lazzeretti joins FCB in new creative development director post

Award-winning spot director and independent filmmaker Ron Lazzeretti joined FCB as SVP/creative development director, a position created exclusively for him.

“How many agencies have an accomplished director in house? Ron gives us a real edge by making our culture more creative,” said ECD Tom O’Keefe.

Added Jonathan Harries, FCB Chicago chairman/CEO: “Ron is a funny guy. He knows funny, he thinks funny and we want funny.”

In 2003, Lazzeretti and partner Ed Amaya started 59 Films, after a three-year stint at Spoke Films.

Memorial services for producer Katie Hoban today

The Chicago production family was stunned and saddened to learn that 44-year-old Producer and Post-Production Supervisor, Katie Hoban passed away suddenly at the beginning of this month, on January 4, 2022. Katie was the daughter of Kathleen Johnston and Michael Hoban. Adjectives that come to mind when describing Hoban are “lovely and spirited,” “a positive … Continue reading “Memorial services for producer Katie Hoban today”

Catalina Snacks Keto-friendly cereals uses Gopuff delivery

Catalina Crunch, America’s fastest growing keto-friendly cereal and snack brand, announced a partnership with Gopuff, the go-to platform for consumers’ everyday needs, to offer its Keto-Friendly Cereals to customers throughout a number of select cities including Chicago, Dallas, Austin and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Now, customers can order the brand’s four most popular flavors – Cinnamon Toast, … Continue reading “Catalina Snacks Keto-friendly cereals uses Gopuff delivery”

White Sox cancel 2021 SoxFest due to COVID

Following the Cubs move to cancel the 2021 Cubs Convention, the Chicago White Sox have now canceled SoxFest 2021 due to the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic. The 28th edition was scheduled for Jan. 22-23 at McCormick Place. “Each season, the entire organization looks forward to bringing our team and fans together at our annual … Continue reading “White Sox cancel 2021 SoxFest due to COVID”

Legendary Pam Zekman honored with virtual tributes

The team at Reel Chicago feels that Pam Zekman is as much a part of Chicago as Navy Pier, the Cubs, and Vienna dogs. Clearly the people of Chicago feel the same way. Comments and tributes began pouring in after hearing the disturbing news that Pam lost her position of 39 years as investigative reporter … Continue reading “Legendary Pam Zekman honored with virtual tributes”

FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’

The Obamas and Oprah are among the Chicago celebrities reading children’s books across the Chicago Public Library social channels. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Library (CPL), one of the largest libraries in the US with over 385 professional librarians, and the CPL Foundation have partnered to host ‘Live from the Library,’ a daily story … Continue reading “FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’”

New Normal: October, in their new production landscape

Editor’s Note: The world changed right before our very eyes. We now work, live, exercise and entertain ourselves in our homes. This is the new normal. In this new on-going series, we check in on ad agencies, production companies, post-houses, and anyone else who wants to talk about their personal experiences during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. October … Continue reading “New Normal: October, in their new production landscape”

MIFF holds St. Paddy’s weekend Spring Donation Drive

Donate now for a chance to win Cubs tickets, White Sox tickets, and $100 restaurant gift certificates The Midwest Independent Film Festival has announced a Spring Donation Drive to run the duration of St. Patrick’s Day weekend to help fund operational and programming costs associated with the festival. To help encourage support, each multiple of … Continue reading “MIFF holds St. Paddy’s weekend Spring Donation Drive”

The GoPro of the 19th century

The “Pancake” Camera that changed film and natural history in Mr. Akeley’s Movie Camera exhibition   What do Hollywood directors, the US Army during World War I, and a taxidermist all have in common? A portable, easily maneuverable “pancake” camera invented by Carl Akeley, the Field Museum’s first chief taxidermist. To explore Carl Akeley’s contributions … Continue reading “The GoPro of the 19th century”

Windy City Fest to premiere Wertheimer’s “Skippers”

“Listen to the wind. Listen to the leaves and the water brushing the sand. When a stone speaks to you, you bend down and you pick it up.” Carver from “Skippers”   Writer/director Aaron Wertheimer’s feature-length Skippers will premiere on Sunday, July 15 at the second annual Windy City International Film Festival. “It’s a beautiful … Continue reading “Windy City Fest to premiere Wertheimer’s “Skippers””

Cinespace helps Anixter raise thousands at annual gala

Chicago film industry scores one of the year’s most significant milestones while helping people wih disabilities Last night on the campus of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, hundreds of guests raised thousands of dollars for people with disabilities during the Anixter Center’s 7th annual gala, held this year in honor of Cinespace President Alexander Pissios. Temporarily … Continue reading “Cinespace helps Anixter raise thousands at annual gala”

Ferrell and McHale get real in Hammer Museum short

Hmm, do I even call this 6-minute video from Hecho en 72, “Reel Ad of the Week?” Or at 6-minutes long, should it be “Branded film of the Week?” “Branded short-form video Ad of the Week?” I am as befuddled as A-list comedians Will Ferrell and Joel McHale are in this very, very funny video … Continue reading “Ferrell and McHale get real in Hammer Museum short”

Karabas, “Real Prayers,” “Make Out Party,” and more

RSA Films promotes Chris Karabas to executive producer Before the promotion, Chris Karabas was the Midwest representative for RSA Films. In his new role, Karabas is expected to utilize RSA Films’ resources to branch out into multiplatform storytelling – especially social media. Previously, Karabas worked for Shafer Antelis Music in the early 90s, was a … Continue reading “Karabas, “Real Prayers,” “Make Out Party,” and more”

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”

Female filmmakers win big at the BMAs

Seven of the ten “Best” trophies handed out during last night’s BMA awards went to female filmmakers or films that were made with significant contributions by women. It was a great night for everyone. Master of Ceremonies LaRoyce Hawkins, who plays Detective Kevin Atwater on Chicago PD, was so touched by the enthusiasm that he … Continue reading “Female filmmakers win big at the BMAs”

Daily Planet, Potenza, SCC among Emmy noms

The Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy Arts and Sciences announced nominees last Thursday night at Rockit Bar and Grill. Hosted by WCIU’s “The Jam” team of Jordan Cornette, Danielle Robay and Felicia Lawrence, nominations were announced in a total of twenty-eight categories. Among those nominated were Ogilvy, Chicago, who has been tearing up awards … Continue reading “Daily Planet, Potenza, SCC among Emmy noms”

No Limit, Comcast, NBC, charlieuniformtango in news

No Limit Agency has found its new president in industry and current independent consultant, Bryan Van Dyke.

Prior, Van Dyke spent nearly two years as chief operating officer for AutonomyWorks. Before that, Van Dyke was with Razorfish for eleven and a half years where he led client engagement for a decade and served as managing director before his departure in June of 2013.

Founded in 2008 as a social media agency, No Limit Agency bills itself as a “biography agency,” telling brand stories through all communications channels.

ECD Batthany now a Disney Parks top creative in LA

MULTI-HONORED JEAN BATTHANY has departed DDB as ECD/EVP after four years to join Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as VP / Global Creative in LA. A native New Yorker and an art director by profession, with more than 20 years experience, Batthany has been an advocate for changing the ratio of men to women in creative leadership roles.

At DDB she received tons of industry awards including Women in Film’s Focus Award, Business Insider’s Most Creative Women in Advertising and the Keith Reinhard People Award. Chicago will miss her.

Internationally-experienced Dolan joins Onion, Inc.

THE ONION named award-winning international media producer Michael Dolan as director of strategic brand partnerships.  In his role, Dolan wil lfocus on selling Onion Productions’ comprehensive video production and post-production services. 

Dolan reports to Kristine Desrochers. VP/strategic partnerships.  Prior to joining Onion, Inc., he had been Bridges Media’s global business director for two years.

Hollywood actors in Digital Hydra/Aaron’s TV pilot

Digital Hydra, LLC  partners Patrick Wimp and Hamzah Jamjoon are currently shopping their spec TV show pilot, Dine and Dash, created and hosted by Chicago comedian Matthew Aaron, host of the LA-based podcast, The Matthew Aaron Show.

Shot at trendy Beverly Hills restaurant Scarpetta, in February, it features Hollywood name actors Joe Carnahan, Kate Walsh, Common, Lucy Lawless, and Dermot Mulroney.

WGN starts taping Wrigley Field 2014 centennial doc

WGN-TV has started production on a two-hour special to mark Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday in 2014, by traveling to tape interviews with great Cubs of the past, including one in Dallas with former Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux.  

Station officials declined to comment on the anniversary show, possibly because it’s too early in the game to provide any conclusive details.  

NEP’s Trio no longer handles crewing for CSN events

Despite forthcoming lost revenue from the NHL players’ lockout, Trio Video’s first six months under ownership by mobile TV giant NEP has gone smoothly.

“It’s helped out a lot,” said Gary Meagher, who stayed on with Trio co-founder Jack Walsh to provide stability of management as vice presidents for Chicago’s longtime leading remote-truck production company.

Comcast Sportsnet gets into sports game shows

Regional basic cable’s Comcast SportsNet Chicago (CSN)is getting into the game-show business through old-school thrifty ingenuity and an uptick in sponsorship, with studio-produced “Batter’s Box” and on-location “Gas Money” — rare Chicago-produced game shows on any outlet.

For the first show, fans who correctly answer sports-trivia questions win ballpark luxury-suite access/tossing-out-the-first-pitch honors and for the second, literally gas money.

Urgent business keeps Quinn from L.A. visit

GOV. PAT QUINN had to bow out of heading the Chicago contingent at the important TV Production Executives Dinner in L.A. on Aug. 1 due to pressing government business in Springfield that week.

The reason, a spokesperson says, is that the governor will be too busy with pension reform (indeed, a critical issue) to leave town that week. Nonetheless, the spokesperson adds, “Recruiting more films to Illinois is certainly a focus for the governor,” the spokesperson added.

World’s biggest mobile TV firm acquires Trio Video

After 29 years as a privately-held provider of mobile HD production facilities, Trio Video has been acquired by Pittsburg-based NEP, the world’s largest truck vendor operating more than 50 trucks throughout North America.

Owners Gary Meagher and Jack Walsh, who founded the business in 1983 with the late Dick Shapiro (hence the Trio name) closed the deal at 11 a.m. March 21.  Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

O&M’s Diedrich hits a home run with “Ballhawks” doc

Mike Diedrich was videotaping outside a Cubs-Pirates game in 2004 when there were two home runs in the first inning.  “There were four or five ballhawks out there,” Diedrich says.

“They got each home run because they were in position.  When you heard the crack of the bat, they took four or five steps toward where the ball was going to land.  They looked like Major League players tracking a fly ball.”

Art gallery owner “Chit Chats” on CAN-TV

Executive producer David Leonardis has rounded up a diverse group of Chicagoans with celebrity status to discuss wide-ranging topics on his upcoming TV series, bowed Tuesday on CAN-TV at 10 p.m.

His show, “Chit Chat,” is a series of eight hourlong shows, with eight encores, and features established Wicker Park art gallery owner Leonardis and co-host Sarah Cooley, a reality show personality.

The premiere show gets red carpet treatment at The Joynt, a sophisticated retro club and live jazz bar in River North, where four “Chit Chats” were taped last winter.

Gary to be transformed into the Ukraine

GARY, INDIANA WILL DOUBLE for the Urkaine in “Transformers 3,” which is a welcome twist as all too many times European cities are passed off as U.S. locales, in pre-shoots April 12-13 at the Majestic Star Casino at Buffington Harbor. In this scene, robotic vehicles will approach industrial property near the Casino.

Kartemquin fills two important new positions

KARTEMQUIN FILMS’ LONG RANGE PLANS under executive director Justine Nagan are taking shape with two new additions.

Martin Perdoux is the new Director of Development, the former Associate Director of Development at the School of the Art Institute and faculty in its graduate-level art therapy program. Earlier he was with Columbia College’s interdisciplinary Arts graduate program.

Jacinta Banks, who spent seven years at Kraft Foods in project management, joined as Distribution Associate.

A novel way to help fund a film

If the Cubs win the World Series, the production team of Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs could win more than $1,000 pledged to a website that would help fund their latest feature documentary.

Siskel/Jacobs signed up with, a “Make Something Happen” site that helps raises money for a variety of impossible dreams, such as a dome to shield Chicago in the winter.

The Red camera revealed; Timothy Hutton heads the cast of “Leverage;” nifty auction items for IFP

THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RED CAMERA debuts in Chicago Wednesday at an SRO demo at RDS given by RDS’ Mitch Apley and Optimus’ Craig Leffel answering the question: Does the 4K Red live up to its advanance buzz?

Designed by Jim Jannard, owner of Oakley sunglasses of Orange County, the Red sells for $17,000. Fletcher Chicago bought nine of them for rentals.

TIMOTHY HUTTON stars in “Leverage,” the TV pilot written and directed by Dean Devlin of TNT Entertainment that goes into production here Oct. 6-15.

Wottrich sells Voices Unlimited talent agency to national Innovative Artists

Chicago’s status as a talent center has been elevated to the national level with bi-coastal Innovative Artists’ purchase of Sharon Wottrich’s 17-year old Voices Unlimited.

Wottrich will continue as director of the agency, now called Innovative Artists Chicago, or IAC.

She reports to Hollywood agency veteran Marcia Hurwitz, president of IV’s national commercial and voiceover division, who will oversee the new Chicago branch.

Innovative’s entry into the market also marks the first non-SAG franchised Chicago talent agency in 15 years.

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.

Up & Down the Avenue

GLANT COHEN, Leo Burnett’s SVP/associate director of TV production, retired from the agency after “23 spectacular years” at the agency. He joined Burnett in 1981 to work on McDonald’s and was named an executive producer five years later. “My joke for years has been to retire before anyone asks ?is Glant still there?'” he joked.

Led by head of production Jonathan Davis, Burnett has a massive production department; a total of 80 persons include 30 odd producers.

Joe Mantegna — a seventh inning surprise

by Jonathan Abarbanel

JOE MANTEGNA made a surprise appearance at the Royal George Theatre last week, delighting the cast and audience of “Bleacher Bums,” the show about die-hard Cubs fans now enjoying a 25th anniversary production. Mantegna conceived and co-authored the show when he was a member of the Organic Theater Company, along with the then-unknown Dennis Franz.

Mantegna visited with the cast and performed the nightly guest cameo role, leading the audience in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as part of the show’s Seventh Inning Stretch.


South Sider Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox (left) squares off against North Sider Dusty Baker of the Cubs for the best Subway sandwich. Each believes the sandwich he made is tastiest. Now it’s up to Chicago to declare the winner. Fusion Idea Lab created the spot with Fluxgroup and Superior Street. It airs for a month locally. “We focused heavily on the graphics and color to bring the spot to life,” says Flux CD Cassie Scroggins.

A Christmas date for “Proof” ?

By Jonathan Abarbanel

“Proof,” the film shot mostly in Chicago (plus some interiors in London) based on the award- winning play by David Auburn, is set for a Dec. 24 release date by Miramax. The play is set in Hyde Park (ours, not London’s) and concerns a University of Chicago theoretical mathematician and his daughter.

The stars are Anthony Hopkins as the professor, Gwynneth Paltrow as his daughter, Jake Gyllenhaal as the love interest, and Hope Davis as an older sister.

REELSCREEN: News and Notes

THE FOUNDATION OPENS. When his 10-year Red Car contract ended, editor James Lipinsky decided the time had come to go into business for himself. On March 1, he opened the doors to the Foundation, located in spacious quarters at 200 E. Ohio St., and in West Hollywood, with three employees and a steady stream of major agency clients.

The current staff consists of editor Steve Morrison, who joined after four years at Superior Street, Producer Laurie Abels, an Element 79 associate producer, and assistant Rob Chambers, a Columbia College grad.

Joe Mantegna narrates Ron Santo doc premiering at JDRF benefit March 24

When Jeff Santo’s 86-minute documentary about his father Ron Santo ended during a sneak preview at a Cubs convention at the Hilton in January, the SRO crowd of more than 1,000 gave it a standing ovation.

“This Old Cub” premieres March 24 as a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at the Chicago Historical Society. The film opens March 26 at select theatres in Chicago and Arizona, distributed by Emerging Pictures. Ron Santo will be guest of honor at the screening.

Out-of-towners shooting spots here

While the Illinois Film Office wonders what’s next ? it looks like “Barber Shop 2” will be the only major studio film to shoot here this year ? the Chicago Film Office is going gangbusters working with out-of-town spotmakers. Some of the activity around town:

Joe Pytka is the biggest news on the spot front, and we welcome the A-plus director to add some luster to our film city image. While the project is super hush-hush, ReelScene has learned that the Great One, famous for sports celebrities, will film our sluggin’ Cubs and Sox stars for client Pepsi.