Flashpoint Chicago will close in May 2022 after the spring semester

In a sad turn of events Flashpoint Chicago, located on the campus of Roosevelt University, is closing its doors in May of 2022 after the spring semester. Flashpoint Chicago began in 2018 as a branch campus of Columbia College Hollywood. Columbia College Hollywood is a private liberal arts college, originally established in 1953 as a Los Angeles satellite … Continue reading “Flashpoint Chicago will close in May 2022 after the spring semester”

DePaul, Columbia and Flashpoint plan for Fall 2020

Chicago’s DePaul, Flashpoint and Columbia College are preparing for fall. Here’s what they are doing to keep their students safe, as they guide them toward their careers. Between online classes, the evolving COVID-19 regulations, and increased challenges on set from budget constraints and social distancing, the production process has changed.      In an industry where people … Continue reading “DePaul, Columbia and Flashpoint plan for Fall 2020”

A second Loop campus for expanding Tribeca Flashpoint

Fast-growing Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, with an enrollment of 600, has expanded to its second Loop campus since opening at the Burnham Building at 28 N. Dearborn four years ago. 

The new campus at 33 N. LaSalle, which conveniently connects to the Burnham building by a throughway, adds 20,000-sq. ft. to the school.  The second and third floors of what originally had been the classic high-ceiling headquarters of the American National Bank has been in the process of remodeling since the move-in two months ago. 

Equity firm acquires majority of Tribeca Flashpoint

Northbrook-based private equity firm Sterling Partners acquired a majority interest in five-year old Tribeca Flashpoint Academy (TFA). The school, which has an enrollment of about 600 students, will use the new capital to “enhance and expand TFA’s ability to train tomorrow’s innovators in digital media,” said CEO/president Howard Tullman.

Flashpoint has new name, partners

At a Wednesday morning meeting of the school’s 450 students, staff and teachers, president/CEO Howard Tullman and academic dean Paula Froehle announced that the school is now Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy.

Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal’s New York-based Tribeca Enterprises has become a 50% partner in the school in a deal that was concluded April 8 after months of discussions.

No changes are expected in management or curriculum.

Live from Chicago, it’s Chevy Chase! Actor surprises Flashpoint Academy students with visit

Flashpoint Academy students will be talking about the surprise visit tutorial from famous comedian/actor Chevy Chase who spent an hour with them after a tour of the facilities.

Chase talked about the importance of creative collaboration, honing in on writing and took Q&A from the students, reported Flashpoint spokesperson Rachel Landry.

So how did Connecticut resident Chase and his wife, Jayni, find their way to brand new, three-month old Flashpoint visual arts school in the heart of Chicago’s Loop?

Flashpoint’s first film festival bound

FLASHPOINT ACADEMY’S FIRST ENDEAVOR when it opened in September, 2007, was Dean Paula Froehle leading the production of an 8-minute short with students and faculty as a test run for Froehle’s innovative “immersive learning” concept of how to best teach film production.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say, as “The Collector” was one of 200 films chosen from a field of 1,000 for showcasing in the Dec. 3-7 Santa Fe Film Festival.

Flashpoint appoints Wolfe to new position

FLASHPOINT ACADEMY named former agency producer Linda Wolfe director of student placement, a new position, announced Flashpoint president/CEO Howard Tullman.

Her mission, she says, “is to build and maintain relationships with companies in the booming film and digital realms and create job opportunities for our students.”

Wolfe is a former FCB executive producer who left the agency to freelance for 10 years primarily on high-end national commercials.. She also had a 3-year stint as broadcast production head at J.

Flashpoint tapes Michael Phelps in Chicago

OLYMPIAN MICHAEL PHELPS and other gold medalists were taped by a Flashpoint Academy team last week, as they followed the champions around Chicago for a webcast.

During the whirlwind 14-hour shoot day, the team shot man-on-the-street interviews with Phelps’ fans at Millennium Park, asking about their attitude towards Chicago possibly winning the bid for the 2016 Games.

Flashpoint Academy and producer Gary Sherman launch first Actors Workshop for movie set skills

Veteran film/TV producer/director Gary Sherman is heading a one-of-a-kind Actors Workshop as the first program to be held at Flashpoint Academy’s new broadcast media studios at the Merchandise Mart.

Starting June 23, the one-of-a-kind workshop series will offer professionally trained actors “the skills necessary to feel at home on a film set,” says Sherman.

“We believe Gary’s workshops are a much needed program and we’re delighted to having found a way to work with him and having the Workshop inaugurate the new studio,” says Howard Tullman, Flashpoint president.

Flashpoint to provide Art Chicago 2008 Fair with daily live website and video booth coverage

Art lovers will flock to the Merchandise Mart April 25-28 to see the riches of Artropolis, Chicago’s international celebration of art, antique and culture displayed by 780 exhibitors.

But those who can’t make it to the Mart will be able to catch the video highpoints on Art Chicago’s website, provided by Flashpoint Academy all four days.

Flashpoint partnered with the management of Art Chicago 2008, an international contemporary and modern art fair, which brings together 180 of the world’s leading galleries, representing the work of more than 2,000 renowned artists.

Flashpoint’s Howard Tullman receives honor from NU; an award to Film Wisconsin founders

HOWARD TULLMAN, FLASHPOINT ACADEMY’S CEO, received Northwestern Law School’s Distinguished Entprepreneur Award, at the Law School’s Small Business Opportunity Conference March 1 at Thorne Hall.

Tullman, who has a law degree, is also chairman/CEO of Experiencia and president emeritus of Kendall College among many other management and entrepreneurial achievements.

HOWARD TULLMAN, FLASHPOINT ACADEMY’S CEO, received Northwestern Law Schools Distinguished Entprepreneur Award at the Law School’s Small Business Opportunity Conference March 1 at Thorne Hall.

International megastar David Broza records song during guest artist appearance at Flashpoint

Flashpoint Academy students and faculty had front row center seats at the school Jan. 7 for a million dollar performance of one of the world’s most acclaimed composer/singer and world-class guitarists.

International megastar David Broza jetted to Chicago between concerts in New York and Punta Del Este, Uruguay for a recording session, performance and Q&A at Flashpoint’s Loop facilities.

Flashpoint Academy produces a high quality short film to demonstrate innovative teaching approach

Weeks before Flashpoint Academy officially opens next month, new students helped produce their first film, an 8-minute short that academic dean Paula Froehle says “turned out beautifully”?in more ways than one.

The five-day shoot was actually a test run for Froehle’s innovative “immersive learning” concept of how best to teach film production.

And, like the film, it was deemed successful.

Froehle says her idea of interactive production and instruction has never been done before, based on her own experience as a tenured college professor and distinguished filmmaker.

Flashpoint, an innovative concept in digital arts education, to open state-of-the-art Loop campus

A school as advanced as the digital arts and entertainment technologies being taught will open Sept. 17 in the historical Burnham building in the heart of Chicago’s Loop.

Flashpoint, the Academy of Media Arts & Sciences will offer aggressive 40 hour, two-year programs focused on preparing students for jobs in the trillion-dollar digital entertainment industry.

Mayor Daley has been invited to walk across the street to from City Hall and cut the ribbon to the revolutionary new school, said Howard A.

Optimus Promotes Zach Scheitlin to Audio Engineer

Optimus today announced that Zach Scheitlin has been promoted to Audio Engineer. Scheitlin’s elevation bolsters an already formidable audio team under the leadership of Senior Audio Engineer Marina Killion, and drives the department forward as it serves a rapidly expanding production and post business. “Zach has been a pinch hitter for us since his first days at Optimus,” … Continue reading “Optimus Promotes Zach Scheitlin to Audio Engineer”

Chicago film community mourns loss of Andrew Biesen

It is always difficult to hear of a fellow filmmaker passing, especially someone as wonderful and influential as Andrew Beisen. Those who knew him best say that Andrew was talented, kind, ambitious, and empathetic in every way possible.  He was always optimistic, and a great problem solver, the type of person who would lend a … Continue reading “Chicago film community mourns loss of Andrew Biesen”

Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s adapted 2020 Programming

To keep our community and artists safe, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival announces new and adapted programming for the 14th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival and summer/fall 2020. While it will not be possible to produce the Festival in its multi venue format, the Festival’s programming this year seeks to provide audiences with safe and joyous free … Continue reading “Hyde Park Jazz Festival’s adapted 2020 Programming”

REEL WOMEN: Emily Hayes, Editor at Optimus

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Emily joined Optimus in 2018 from Beast where she … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Emily Hayes, Editor at Optimus”

Optimus promotes Emily Hayes, Ben Winter to editor

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that it has promoted both Emily Hayes and Ben Winter to Editor. The two have proven themselves with their unique creative voices and stellar work. Hayes has cut spots for brands including Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Campbell’s, Securian and Whirlpool. Winter has worked with … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Emily Hayes, Ben Winter to editor”

‘Moving Parts’ to premiere at Siskel Center in January

The Gene Siskel Film Center will screen the Chicago premiere of the award-winning film, Moving Parts, on January 3rd, 6th, and 7th. Sponsored by IFP Chicago, Moving Parts is a narrative feature written and directed by Emilie Upczak. Filmed in the Caribbean and finished in Chicago, it tells the story of Zhenzhen, a Chinese woman … Continue reading “‘Moving Parts’ to premiere at Siskel Center in January”

Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward

Newly installed office-holders explain their plans for keeping Chicago and Illinois on the path of success The thriving regional film industry is only going to get better, according to two of its recently appointed top leaders. Illinois Film Office Executive Director Peter Hawley and Director of the Chicago Film Office Kwame Amoaku described their visions … Continue reading “Hawley and Amoaku help film industry move forward”

Audio pro Jordan Stalling joins Another Country

Award-Winning sound designer / mix engineer brings considerable advertising campaign experience to Chicago studio Managing Director John Binder, Executive Producer Tim Konn, and their colleagues at the acclaimed sound design studio Another Country are very proud to announce the addition of award-winning Sound Designer and Mix Engineer Jordan Stalling to their staff. Effective immediately, Stalling … Continue reading “Audio pro Jordan Stalling joins Another Country”

2019 CineYouth audience and jury awards

”No Such Sunrise” and “Mad Lib Pixie Dream Girl” earn top honors from passionate global audience CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced award winners for the 2019 program that was held April 26-28 at the Music Box Theatre. No Such Sunrise — by 22 year olds Dana Brandes-Simon, Laura Li, and Cella Wright from Oberlin, … Continue reading “2019 CineYouth audience and jury awards”

‘Jawline’ to open CineYouth Festival

Director Liza Mandelup’s teen-focused doc that wowed at Sundance screens April 26 at the Music Box CineYouth Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, today announced the Opening Night presentation of award-winning documentary Jawline, directed by Liza Mandelup, which had its world at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Jawline follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the … Continue reading “‘Jawline’ to open CineYouth Festival”

CineYouth unveils 2019 film and program schedule

Cinema/Chicago’s young filmmaker celebration will light up the Music Box Theatre with 64 films screening April 26-28 Celebrating its 15th edition in 2019, CineYouth, presented by Cinema/Chicago, yesterday announced the selection of 64 thrilling and diverse short films for a weekend of free screenings, discussions, and events. The three-day film festival will be held April … Continue reading “CineYouth unveils 2019 film and program schedule”

Local 476 elections reflect unprecedented growth

The Studio Mechanics’ record-setting year is is complemented by growing diversity in leadership and membership The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union Local 476, a chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), designated more than a dozen officers, board members, and trustees after tallying the votes of its December 10 election. Returning to positions … Continue reading “Local 476 elections reflect unprecedented growth”

Post Meridian acquires staff, studio for business growth

The Schaumburg production company accommodates busy clients with new hires and a state of the art studio expansion Last week, Post Meridian moved into a new 2,500-square-foot studio on Wiley Road in Schaumburg, Illinois. Owner and Executive Producer Adrian Dinu founded the Schaumburg shop in 2002 as a corporate video and local commercial agency with … Continue reading “Post Meridian acquires staff, studio for business growth”

Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12

Features seventeen films from across the Asian continents, presents premieres including Japanese zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” as Closing Night — tickets on sale now (Chicago — 13 August 2018) — Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Seven, the fall film series presenting seventeen films from … Continue reading “Asian Pop-Up Cinema returns to Chicago September 12”

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”

Multi-talented Jin’s comedy sitcom premieres Jan. 22

THE FIRST SEASON of “Chop Chop TV Show,” a comedy sitcom with a realty show feel, created and produced by Meiling Jin of Studio Meiling Productions in the South Loop, is now seen on Comcast, Xfinity, Wow and RCN broadcast systems Ch. 25 at 11 p.m. through March 9.

The series of 13 22-minute episodes, explores two Asian Millennials, Jin and DePaul student Ivy Li, navigating love, careers and the complexities of life in Chicago.

ARU mourns death of sound designer De Irisarri, 33

The year ended on a sad note for the ARU staff with the death of bilingual sound designer / composer / DJ Ana De Irisarri, 33, on Dec. 14 at her Chicago home from undetermined causes.

A native of Bogata, Columbia, who had enjoyed a fulfilling music career in Buenos Aires, De Irisarri moved to Chicago in 2013 to continue her musical and creative pursuits. She joined ARU as an intern in May, 2015 and soon thereafter became a full-time ARU staffer.

Particle’s Stalling wins an AICE contest Grand Prize

Assistant engineer Jordan Stalling told his colleagues at Particle Audio that he wasn’t going to enter the 2016 International Camp Kuleshov trailer contest this year because he felt he wouldn’t have the time to create an entry.

He was going to be the best man at his brother’s upcoming out-of-town wedding and needed time to prepare for that.

“We told him, go ahead and just do it,” says sound designer / mixer Steven Aguilar. “He did, and when we saw his piece, it was just incredible.”

Find indie films and crews on JJack’s new ETC site

Filmmaker Justin Jackola’s JJack Productions’ recently launched “Expose the Crew” (ETC), a double-duty online platform that showcases the latest films produced by local independent filmmakers it’s also a source from which to hire experienced crews.

Each Tuesday, “Exposing the Crew” highlights an indie film project, along with one of its crewmembers.

Artisans to sell their wares at CRC’s “Rock & Shop”

CHICAGO RECORDING is getting into the holiday spirit with its first “Rock and Shop,” Tuesday, Nov. 12, a chance to shop for a variety of unique artisan creations all made by agency and production people after they leave their day jobs.

Studio manager Rose Razal has gathered together 16 such artisans, whose jewelry, fine art, home decorations, knits, glassware, clothing, food, leather accessories, photographs and more will be open for business.

“We certainly invite other artists we may have missed to participate,” Razal says. 

Haskell Wexler’s NATO Summit doc screens here Friday

When Oscar-winning director Haskell Wexler put together his A-team last year to film the demonstrations against the NATO Summit in Chicago, the late Ronn Pitts was at the top of his list.  Wexler’s film, “Four Days in Chicago” will screen Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. as part of the Chicago International Social Change Festival at the ION Theatre, 150 W. Roosevelt.  Wexler is expected to attend.

Season of TV series and movie filming gets underway

ENTERTAINMENT FILMING has begun in earnest with action on features and TV series from now through October.  Although teen sci-fi “Divergent” wraps July 17 after a large second unit shoot, The Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic “Jupiter Ascending” officially starts rolling July 13. It will film at Cinespace and on many locations around the city.

20 West’s new docusoap set in famous Texas bar/grill

TWO NEW SHOWS FOR 20 WEST PRODUCTIONS. According to Scot Thor, SVP/development and production, the Intersport division is going into production into its first MTV program – a docusoap called “South of Heaven.” It follows the beautiful 20something girls who work at the famous “Redneck Restaurant and Bar (a fan gave it 5 stars: 3 stars for the food and an extra 2 stars for the women) in Lewisville, Texas, near Ft. Worth. 

DePaul, Cinespace form film education partnership

It’s axiomatic that college grads go where the jobs are and in the film industry that points to Los Angeles. But wait!  With the announcement of a partnership between DePaul University’s cinema studios and Cinespace, graduates now may have the option of a successful entertainment film career in Chicago.

Good Pitch Chicago accepts doc submissions April 1

Three years after a trio of social issue documentary leaders agreed on the many advantages of holding an international Good Pitch event here, Good pitch Chicago arrives Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Sponsored by Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, the intense, day long pitch of six-to-eight docmakers to nonprofit funders will take place at Tribeca Flashpoint’s new LaSalle Street space before an interested audience. 

New Film Institute offers hands-on production training

Brent Kado and Emile Cambry, Jr. have set out to bring film education in Chicago a combination of innovation, flexibility and affordability that they say it needs.

They’ve launched the Chicago Film Institute, a non-academic program that offers intensive, hands-on production courses to “fill needs that traditional institutions are missing, such as cost-effective instruction, real-world applications and accessible education to individuals from all backgrounds,” says Kado. 

Bertha Palmer a Ch. 11 Women’s History Month doc

Amelia Dellos’ documentary Love Under Fire: The Story of Bertha & Potter Palmer, will have its broadcast premiere March 24 over Ch. 11 at 5:30 p.m. as part of the station’s slate of Women’s History Month programming.

Love Under Fire tells the love story of Bertha Honoré and Potter Palmer (the original founder of Marshall Field’s and Palmer House fame), who together were instrumental in rebuilding Chicago after the 1871 Great Fire.

Mike Roe to Energy BBDO; writer Mike Roe to Mbira

AFTER A SHORT STINT at McGarryBowen where he worked on the equally short-lived Bud Light account, executive creative director Mike Roe returned to Energy BBDO the start of the New Year.  Roe had been with Energy BBDO for eight years, departing in February, 2012 for a top position on the Bud Light creative team.  Then, last August, McGarryBowen lost the account to Translation Advertising without a review and Energy BBDO was delighted to welcome him back..

Gravity Studios’ Doug McBride still down to Earth

Welcome to the inaugural column of REELtoREAL, where ReelChicago contributor, music producer and musician Lou Carlozo takes on the city’s vibrant recording and music scene.

In the 1990s, when Chicago studios garnered lots of love from the national press, Gravity Studios owner Doug McBride was sometimes overlooked, but an integral part of the indie buzz in Wicker Park.

Gov. Quinn’s L.A. visit a ‘we’ll see’ situation

GOVERNOR’S L.A. UPDATE. Gov. Pat Quinn’s appointment schedule for next week has not been completely finalized, says a spokesperson for the governor, which kinda suggests that he just might be able to make the important Aug. 1 TV Production Executives Dinner in L.A. after all. 

Cutters wins at AICE; Beast boosts Bradley

KUDOS TO CUTTERS for winning three top 2012 AICE awards at the ceremony held Thursday in Marina Del Ray Ritz Carlton. Editor Chris Hafner scored Best of Chicago and Best Automotive for Fiat 500 “Karl Abarth,” and John Binder of Another Country aced Best Sound Design for Allstate.  Optimus Design won for Best Design for Craftsman. 

Dennis Farina to appear at MWFF’S Best Awards Dec. 6

VETERAN ACTOR DENNIS FARINA and director Joe Maggio of indie feature “The Last Rites of Joe May,” will be special guests at the Midwest Independent Film Festival’s Best of the Midwest Awards Dec. 6 at Rockit Bar & Grill.  “The Last Rites” is a contender for a BMA award. 

Actor David Pasquesi, whose newspaper editor character on “Boss” was screwed out of his job by the mayor’s people, will also attend, along with just about everyone else in town, myself included.

Corn Bred Films aims to reap bumper crop of projects

A chance meeting at a restaurant between two budding screenwriters 11 years ago led to more than love and an exchange of “I do’s” at the altar. It also resulted in the creation of a most ambitious new production company.

Husband-and-wife team Eric Anderson and Amelia Dellos launched Corn Bred Films, a moniker they thought fitting, since their projects will originate in the Midwest (a la “corn country”).

Roscor holds free Tech Expo May 19-20 at RDS

MORE THAN 60 EXHIBITORS will display their latest and greatest at Roscor’s 3rd annual Communications Technology Expo May 19-20 in the big first floor stage at Resolution Digital Studios.   

Representatives from 18 of these companies will lead seminars on various practical subjects, such as designing videowalls with microtiles, conference systems for the boardroom, digital technologies, corporate and campus-wide mass notification solutions and using production asset management and media asset management. 

No second season for ‘The Chicago Code’ series

FOX TV Monday night did what was not unexpected by canceling freshman entry, The Chicago Code, due to ratings that started out so-so and didn’t improve. While everyone involved with the show, and especially the IFO which has its hopes pinned on series television shooting here, they knew in their hearts that while the Chicago scenes were impressive, the plotline was not.

New web series on success entrepreneurship

This winter, Malachi Leopold of Left Brain/Right Brain Productions is rolling out the 24-episode entrepreneurship web series, “Trep Life,” which he says offers a “unique, 360-degree view of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.”

The series been funded, and the first 12 episodes will be shot through the end of February. Episodes will play on treppingout.com and various streaming services and social networking sites.

Leopold is producing with Scotty Cadenhead of Cadenworks LLC.

Horror film “King of the Dead” shooting weekends

EMIL HYDE of Massive Ego Productions (“The Landlord”) is shooting the horror film “King of the Dead” on weekends through December. They’ve shot eight of 23 days so far.

The story is about “a group of night-shift workers trapped in a museum with the spirit of an evil Egyptian sorcerer, who the staff archaeologist unleashed from a mummy,” Hyde says.

Big extras casting call for “Contagion”

AN OPEN EXTRAS CASTING CALLS for Steven Soderbergh’s big budget, big cast “Contagion” will be held by Rich King Casting of L.A. Sept. 25 at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 Lincoln Park West, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Sept. 26 at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

King says he’s looking for adult men and women, 18 and older, all sizes, shapes, types and ethnicities. It’s a paid gig and meals are included.

“Contagion,” will spend two months shooting in and around Chicago, starting Oct. 19, arriving here from filming in Hong Kong.

IFP Film Gala honors Tribeca cofounders

New York-based Tribeca Enterprises, the strategic partner in Chicago’s Tribeca Flashpoint Academy of the Media Arts, is the honoree at the Independent Feature Project’s fourth annual Film Gala Sept. 24 at Excalibur.

Representing Tribeca at the Gala will be producer Jane Rosenthal and her husband, Craig Hatkoff, who with Robert DeNiro founded global media company Tribeca Enterprises in 2003.

IFP Gala chairman Colleen O’Neill says the committee expects 400 guests from the local indie community, along with many local independent filmmakers.

Roger Ebert’s TV show debuts in January

Roger Ebert returns to television next January with a new weekly half-hour show, “Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies,” produced by Chaz and Roger Ebert, and featuring two co-hosts.

It will air on WTTW and be syndicated to PBS stations by WTTW National Productions. “I believe that by returning to its public television roots, our new show will win better and more consistent time slots in more markets.

Co-hosts of the new show are Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and contributing critic Elvis Mitchell of NPR and former The New York Times film critic.

A gala welcome for Tribeca Enterprises

Robert DeNiro in Chicago this fall? Possibly, since Tribeca Enterprises of New York, partner in Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy of Chicago, will be IFP/Chicago’s honoree at its 4th annual Independent Film Gala, Friday, Sept. 24 at Excalibur nightclub.

Tribeca Enterprises was chosen “to welcome them to Chicago and for all they’ve done for independent filmmakers,” says gala director Colleen O’Neill.

“This year’s gala will have a different vibe, since we’ll be at a bigger venue — the newly renovated Excalibur nightclub, with a dance floor, balconies and several bars.

Comma Music honored at AICP MoMa Show

COMMA MUSIC was the only Chicago honoree among the hundreds of bi-coastal commercial companies that swept the 19th annual AICP Show June 8 held annually at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The winning reel will screen in Chicago Nov. 18 at the annual AICP Show.

Comma was honored in the Musical Arrangement category for its 2-minute music video for Nike/Wieden & Kennedy, featuring basketball stars LaBron James and Kobe Bryant, and rapper Lupe Fiasco.

Canon DSLR workshop here June 18-20

Cinematographer Nancy Schrieber, ASC, award-winning DP/cinematographer of largely documentaries, comes to Chicago to lead the first Canon EOS Moving Image Workshop, a three-day intensive with a vast amount of Canon cameras and accessories for hands-on instruction.

Schrieber will be joined by cinematographer/still shooter and consultant Jared Abrams of Hollywood, and Mike Sippel, Fletcher Cameras’ director of engineering.

Sundance parties welcome Chicagoans

CHICAGOANS AT SUNDANCE expected this weekend at Park City, Utah include Fox TV’s Robin Robinson and Ch. 7’s Sylvia Perez, providing TV coverage of the festivities; Julee White, NBC director of strategic sales and marketing; RDS’ Megan Ross; Kevin Farley, brother of the late Chris; the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg and Todd Lizak, Mesirow Financial’s Les Coney and Christina and Mike McGrath of Lexis McGrath.

Local work shines in Talking Films Film Festival

Filmmakers Ines Sommer and Kathy Berger say the films they’ve lined up for their May 1-3 Talking Films Festival are expected to draw more than 1,000 movie fans from the North Shore.

An extension of their popular monthly Reeltime program, Evanston’s first film festival will screen 20 programs of features and shorts made since 2007.

The festival mixes the work of local filmmakers with indie features, high-profile animations, indie features and challenging documentaries from the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

?Always accept a beverage when offered’

There will be thousands of visual media outlets in the next few years, said “media goddess” Laurie Scheer, talking to filmmakers eager to learn first-hand from this Hollywood insider in our midst at last Saturday’s IFP conference

With the proliferation of outlets providing so many opportunities to sell content, “you must think beyond the traditional 60- to 90-minute format,” she asserted.

“Networks are dead,” she proclaimed.

Laurie Scheer brings L.A. insights to Chicago

For the past 20 years, “media goddess” Laurie Scheer has been at the forefront of ever-changing Hollywood needs and relaying them to an army of devoted followers through her online and personally-led seminars and teaching at colleges throughout the country.

Since September, Scheer has been in our very midst sharing her insights at Flashpoint Academy.

Filmworkers names Hung general manager

FILMWORKERS NEW GENERAL MANAGER is 14-year veteran Manuela Hung, who now manages Filmworkers and Astro Labs in Chicago and Dallas and Lift motion graphics division in Chicago. (Production division, Vitamin, is headed by David Rosen).

Hung originally came to Filmworkers Club to build the company’s first Sanitary Lab and then merged it into Astro Lab when it was purchased a few years later.

Hung has the distinction of being one of only two women in the entire U.S.

Kartemquin trio goes behind the scenes

IFP’S 2009 PRODUCERS SERIES April 4-6 and April 18-29 at Columbia College focuses on documentaries. Toplining the series is a Kartemquin trio of creative director Gordon Quinn, producer director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) and editor/director of post Leslie Simmer.

Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC to light up Chicago

It isn’t everyday that a legendary cinematographer visits Chicago, so it was no surprise that the workshop Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC will conduct in Chicago on Feb. 8 was instantly sold out.

Zsigmond and fellow cinematographer James Chressanthis, ASC will headline the three-part Celebration of Cinematography Feb. 7 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and Feb. 8 at Essanay Studio & Lighting.

“FilmFellas” get together for industry talks

Zacuto USA founder Steve Weiss is happy to find himself back in the director’s chair after a seven-year hiatus as co-producer/director on a series of up-close-and personal discussions on the practical business side of independent filmmaking.

Shot with multiple cameras, the webshow, “FilmFellas,” appears on the social network site Vimeo the first and 15th of the month.

Weiss said the purpose of the show is to go beyond the cash- and-carry trade and to give Zacuto’s customers personalized insights into the complex world of indie filmmaking.

Four Avenue veterans start editing boutique

COLONIE, A NEW EDITING BOUTIQUE, has been formed by four former Avenue Edit veterans: Producer Mary Rieger and editors Brian Stepanic, Bob Ackerman and Joe Clear, all highly favorites for big national spots.

It’s located in what had been Outsider’s original space at 610 N. Fairbanks.

Other former long-time Avenue staffers opened their own companies this year.

Joe Malecki memorial Tuesday at Outsider;
Jeff Daniels comes to town for new musical

JOE MALECKI’S MANY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES will gather for a memorial service Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Outsider, Inc., 230 E. Ohio St. The studio was graciously provided by director/editor Mike LaBallarte, a friend and former NuWorld partner of Mr. Malecki. (Tributes follow story in News.)

ACTORS JEFF DANIELS and Rachel York will arrive in Chicago shortly to start rehearsals for a new musical, “The Turn of the Century,” at the Goodman Theatre, opening Sept. 19.

“Peep Show” for Spike TV appears to be the
only new TV pilot set to shoot in Chicago soon

THE ONLY NEW TV SHOW on the Chicago horizon seems to be “Peep Show” for Spike TV. The pilot of the Americanized version of the British hit series is scheduled to shoot here in September or October.

Tenner Paskal Rudnicke is casting eight or nine actors for lead roles, “but no one is officially cast yet,” says TPR partner Jennifer Rudnickne.

On the commercial front, TPR’s recent casting was for 59 Films’ two-day shoot for Coors/DraftFCB, calling in the four “regular guys” for the latest entry in the ongoing campaign.

Memorial service Monday for Dottie Fletcher; L.A. union execs speak at SAG/AFTRA meeting

A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held Monday for Dorothy Jean (Dottie) Fletcher, the Fletcher family matriarch, at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.

Mrs. Fletcher, 76, was the wife of Fletcher Chicago founder Archie Fletcher and mother of Tom (Cindy), Sally and David (Kimm) of Monticello, Illinois. The Fletchers had been married for 47 years.

Mrs. Fletcher had been a registered nurse specializing in public health, substance abuse and orthopedics until she retired in 1994.

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.

Optimus’ first catered affair for 500 a stylish introduction to two new facility features

OPTIMUS’ PARTY Thursday for 500 invited clients to introduce two new facility features, was one of the most elegant business-sponsored events in recent memory ? and Optimus’ first-ever formally catered party, said president Tom Duff, with catered nouvelle food stations and lavish bars on each of the four floors visited by guests.

Located on the second floor is their new “more tricked out,” bells and whistles audio room, manned by engineer Joel Anderson.

Sharing the vision: 100 expected for the April 23 planning meeting for the New Media Summit

Following the advice of Chicago visionary Daniel Burnham, Pixel Brothers’ John Patterson is “making no little plans” as he sets in motion positioning Chicago as the New Media Center of the world.

Patterson will assemble local heavyweights from the worlds of entertainment, technology and commerce to participate in the Chicago New Media Summit, June 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

More than 100 guests are expected to attend the planning meeting to be held April 23 at RDS from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The Third Coast of Filmmaking has a lot to talk about at this week’s Location Expo in L.A.

SELLING THEIR WARES at Location Expo in L.A. this week is what Scott Robbe would call “A Third Coast coalition” as film office heads and associates from Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan meet and greet at Location Expo this week in L.A.

Incentives are the hot topic, of course. Illinois’ CFO’s Rich Moskal, the IFO’s Todd Lizak and Lisa Banks and Local 476’s Mark Hogan are talking up ours, while Michigan’s Janet Lockwood and Wisconsin’s Robbe are doing the same for theirs. May they all come out winners.

Hugo Awards honorees are Kartemquin for
TV production and L.A.’s Smuggler for spots

KARTEMQUIN FILMS, the granddaddy of social commentary docs (including “Hoop Dreams”) is the 2008 Hugo Awards honoree for Commitment to Excellence in TV Productions, and L.A.-based Smuggler is the Commitment to Excellence in TV Commercials honoree.

Six-year-old Smuggler, co-owned by Brian Carmody and Patrick Milling Smith, is known for ground breaking spot campaigns and music videos for major advertisers (Nike, Dell, BMW) and winner of many awards.

The Hugo Awards take place May 1 at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Cultural Center.

Three of Chicago’s best indie producers and a newcomer have entries in SXSW Film Festival

AS SUNDANCE EXCITEMENT ENDS, South by Southwest Film Festival takes center stage, March 7-15, 2008 in Austin, Texas where the work of three of Chicago’s best indie filmmakers and a newcomer will premiere.

They are: Steven James and Peter Gilbert’s “At the Death House Door,” Joe Swanberg’s “Nights and Weekends” and ? at last ? Steve Conrad and Steven A.

Chicago-connected films and filmmakers head for Sundance; “Obama in Africa” gets local premiere

CHEVY CHASE hosts an evening at Sundance for the world premiere of Phil Ranstrom’s doc, “Electrified: The Story of the Maxwell St. Urban Blues” Jan 25 at Harry O’s in Park City.

Narrated by Chicago native Joe Mantegna, “Electrified” tells how Maxwell Street’s neighborhood led to the hard driving sound of the urban blues and ultimately to rock ?n’ roll.

Ranstrom’s companion film, “Cheat You Fair,” documents the last days of Maxwell Street market. Ranstrom began both projects in 1994 shortly before the Maxwell Street market was demolished.

BET’s Jackie Taylor to receive a Special Jeff Award Oct. 29; Jeff Garlin to host Chicago Emmys

A SHOUT OUT TO JACKIE TAYLOR, who after 31 years of staging more than 100 musical shows will receive a Special Award from the Jeff Awards honoring her outstanding contribution to theatre in Chicago.

Taylor, who grew up in Cabrini-Green, founded BET in 1976 with a $1,200 loan and free legal work from Lawyers for the Creative Arts and has built it into a $1.6 million-dollar cultural organization earning national recognition.

A new BET theatre breaks ground next year at 4440 N. Clark, not far from its long time location on Beacon and Montrose.

O’Connor Casting to hold local auditions Sept. 24 for “Miss Horrorfest 2007” for After Dark Flms

“MISS HORRORFEST 2007” is being sought in Chicago by O’Connor Casting as part of a nationwide search for a spokesperson to represent After Dark Films.

Auditions will be held Sept. 24, 5-7 p.m. at O’Connor’s West Loop offices, says casting director Christine Rumore, who is holding down the fort while David O’Connor is on a three-week African safari.