57th Chicago International Film Festival announces Industry Days

The 57th Chicago International Film Festival announced the program for Industry Days, to be held October 14 – 17, 2021, with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.  Highlights include this year’s Keynote talk with Brenda Gilbert, President and Co-Founder of BRON Studios, which has received six Academy … Continue reading “57th Chicago International Film Festival announces Industry Days”

Chicago Int’l Film Festival’s Industry Days goes virtual

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, today announced this year’s Industry Days will be held virtually for a global audience, October 12-18, 2020. Early Bird accreditation is now available for qualified participants to secure registration at the lowest price. Registration prices will increase to the regular rate on August 21. Film and media professionals interested in … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Festival’s Industry Days goes virtual”

ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda

Master Classes with Oscar and Sundance winners are just a few of the events scheduled for October 17-20 program     The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced today the program for Industry Days (October 17-20, 2019) with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the film and entertainment community.   A … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest unveils Industry Days agenda”

Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule

Headliners include Oscar-­winning director Steve McQueen, Emmy-­nominated writer Bashir Salahuddin, and award-­winning producers Albert Berger and Bob Teitel (Chicago — 26 September 2018) The complete program of Industry Days (Oct. 11­14) at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival was announced today with an impressive list of guest speakers to inspire and illuminate the Midwest film … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases Industry Days schedule”

CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, announced the formation of the organization’s Chicago Industry Exchange (CIX), the new name for its year-round industry programming, along with the launch of CIX:Lab The CIX:Lab is a year-long creative development lab focusing on 4-5 feature film projects made by diverse voices and underrepresented filmmakers in the region. CIX will build on … Continue reading “CIFF launches Chicago Industry Exchange and CIX:Lab”

Barbizon shares list of support resources for the industry

Barbizon Lighting has compiled a resource list of discounted or free educational opportunities and tools for our industry. If you are aware of one not listed below send an email to Tobin Neis tneis@barbizon.com with the item and a link and we can get it added! The lights will come up again; in theatres, on film sets, museums, … Continue reading “Barbizon shares list of support resources for the industry”

Dee Rees, Yessian LA lead the week’s industry moves

“Mudbound” director Dee Rees signs with Anonymous Content Production and Management Company Anonymous Content has announced Mudbound director Dee Rees has signed for commercial representation in the U.S. and U.K. The news kicks off a groundbreaking 2018 for Rees, whose feature drama Mudbound has been met with sweeping praise and four Academy Award nominations, including two … Continue reading “Dee Rees, Yessian LA lead the week’s industry moves”

VSA, Museum of Science and Industry reignite curiosity

These days, with so many of us seemingly caught up in what selfie to post, Beyoncé, The Real Housewives or whether or not Kellyanne’s eye luggage has gotten puffier, the topic of science feels pushed to the side. Some would even say it feels trite right now.

Which seems strange given that we have a never-ending stream of talk about rising ocean levels, populations, disease and even more.

Pipe Dream intros animatics in “5 days for $5,000”

For advertising agencies that need to test ideas fast, Pipe Dreams has introduced a practical and economical solution.  “PD eXpress is ideal for last-minute projects,” says Rick Livingston, studio director of the Chicago branch of the London-based global animatics company.

The new “five days for $5,000” deal allows an agency to develop multiple ideas and scripts for the traditional cost of one high-end 3D animatic, in a frame shrunk from their typical 12-14 day schedule.

2012 shoot days of 1,808 up 45% over previous year

Chicago production had its busiest year ever in 2012.  A total of 406 total projects across all visual media shot 1,808 days.  This is up 45%, when 391 projects shot 1,234 days the year before, according to stats provided by the Chicago Film Office direct Rich Moskal.

The tally was bolstered by a record-breaking four episodic TV series shooting entire seasons in Chicago.

“The closest we came before was in ’98 or ’99 when we had three shows shooting,” Illinois Film Office director Betsy Steinberg says.

Industry shock as Roscor fires most of its 130 staff

The announcement that Roscor Corporation, reseller and renter of audiovisual equipment, on Friday, Oct. 28 closed its rental and service departments and mass fired 100 of its 130 employees, sent shockwaves through the Midwest AV industry.

The 35-year old Mt. Prospect-based company, owned by brothers Paul and Mitch Roston, president and CEO/CFO respectively, said it would restructure as an engineering design firm.  Its mission would be to designing integrated systems based on the best-value equipment, while providing tech support.

R.I.P. Mary Kay, the calming voice of a chaotic industry

If you remember my original Screen magazine you’ll undoubtedly recall the dulcet voice that answered the phone and faithfully took your messages. “I can still hear her voice in my head saying ‘Screen Magazine’ like a voiceover temptress,” says former Screenite Dan Page.

That lovely voice – “a calming voice in a chaotic industry,” as Tom Test put it – belonged to Mary Kleinman, or Mary Kay as she was known, our rock of a receptionist of many years.

Industry mourns death of agent Mickey Grossman

Michael “Mickey” Grossman, a partner in Grossman & Jack Talent, was universally regarded as one of the most respected agents in the business, by the actors he represented and loved and by the clients he served in everyone’s best interest.

Mr. Grossman died Monday, on his 58th birthday, after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer, in his home.  

A memorial service is planned for the evening of Monday, June 13, with a time and place to be announced.

AICP survey: Commercials a $5 billion industry

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

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

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

Two days, 43 speakers, 1,500 attendees to see the future at the Chicago New Media Summit

Forty-three experts will bring the future of new media in all its forms into the present for the 1,500 attendees expected to attend the Sept. 15-16 Chicago New Media Summit at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

They will explore the opportunities at hand created by the convergence and emergence of new digital components and industries, said Summit founder/president John Patterson.

Thanks to incentives, Chicago enjoyed a record rise in revenues and shoot days in all film areas

Chicago enjoyed a banner year across all areas of film, TV and commercial production in 2007, according to figures released by the Chicago Film Office.

A total of 469 productions shot for 1,381 total days, according to CFO statistics, which track permitted days on Chicago city streets, not including suburban, Downstate, or unpermitted interior shooting.

“There was an abundance of production of all different budget sizes and lengths of shooting,” said CFO director Rich Moskal.

Revised AICP guidelines reflect industry changes

National Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) has announced revisions to its national guidelines, which outline subjects to consider for production companies and agencies during contract negotiations.

The updates, which address payment issues for both live action and digital productions, reflect the “new realities,” according to letters recently sent to AICP members and to agency business managers and producers.

Feature film revenues hit $90 million in 2005; Year in Review cites 243 TV production days

The Illinois Film Office estimated that state production revenues reached $90 million in 2005, up from $77 million reported in 2004 and $25.6 million in 2003. Projections for 2006 put production on track to approach the $125 million levels set in the late ’90s.

Studio features shot for a total of 150 days, according to the Chicago Film Office, up from 109 in 2004 and 80 in 2003.

CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 6th edition of Industry Days: Go to the Body, written and directed by Kyra Jones (co-creator of The Right Swipe) and produced by Angellic Ross.  The film follows Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer who is sexually assaulted by a fellow activist … Continue reading “CIFF announces ‘Go to the Body’ as winner of The Pitch”

Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman

Today is the beginning of the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. Unlike other years, the prestigious festival is a bit different than the ones we have experienced in the past. With an ongoing pandemic and COVID on the rise in Illinois, the fest is combining streaming on-demand and appointment screenings and an in-person drive-in theatre … Continue reading “Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman”

Two Kino Lorber films to screen at CIFF next week

Next week begins the 56th Chicago International Film Festival and Reel Chicago will bring you coverage of the films. This year, we can look forward to two award-winning films from Kino Lorber. THE REASON I JUMPDirected by Jerry Rothwell **WINNER! Sundance 2020 Film Festival Audience Award,World Cinema Documentary** Based on the best-selling book by Naoki … Continue reading “Two Kino Lorber films to screen at CIFF next week”

CIFF announces Gardner as keynote speaker

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, has announced this year’s Industry Keynote conversation with Academy Award-winning producer and president of Plan B Entertainment Dede Gardner. Her credits include 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight. Both presented at past editions of the Festival. Additionally, Industry Days will host master classes with Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter … Continue reading “CIFF announces Gardner as keynote speaker”

Filmscape 2020 goes online with virtual exhibitor booths

Filmscape 2020 goes virtual August 29 & 30. Exhibitors get a virtual booth on a dedicated page on the Filmscape website. Every year, Filmscape Chicago, an educational nonprofit focused on skill building for technicians and artists in the Chicago film and television industry, holds an annual event which hosts high-profile vendors, educational workshops, panels, and … Continue reading “Filmscape 2020 goes online with virtual exhibitor booths”

The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival goes virtual

The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced that the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival will shift to a virtual format and will take place from September 18-27. The Festival was originally scheduled for April 16-30 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, but was postponed on March 13th when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered … Continue reading “The 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival goes virtual”

PorchlightPalooza Festival honors Joel Grey

Porchlight Music Theatre announces PorchlightPalooza, a three-day festival and fundraiser celebrating its 25th Anniversary, hosted by Bill Kurtis, and honoring Broadway legend Joel Grey. PorchlightPalooza, Friday, Aug. 21 – Sunday, Aug. 23 will include performances from Chicago’s best talents, highlights from its award-winning history and an exclusive interview hosted by legendary newsman Bill Kurtis with the 2020 … Continue reading “PorchlightPalooza Festival honors Joel Grey”

Indie Film Town Hall: Legal and Insurance Challenges

The Indie Film Town Hall series brings together Chicago’s independent film and media-making community during these difficult times.  In a series of lunchtime meetings over Zoom, members of Chicago’s indie film and media organizations will discuss the challenges that face our industries and actions we are taking in support of each other and Chicago-area creators. … Continue reading “Indie Film Town Hall: Legal and Insurance Challenges”

Chicago Filmmakers hints at Reeling festival going virtual

Today, Thursday May 14th, The Indie Film Town Hall met to discuss the future of production in Illinois.  The panel included Christine Dudley (IPA) Angie Gaffney (IFA), Peter Hawley (Illinois Film Office), Anthony Kaufman (Chicago International Film Festival Industry) Brenda Webb (Chicago Filmmakers), Colette Ghunim (Mezcla Media Collective).  The discussion was led by Angie Gaffney, … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers hints at Reeling festival going virtual”

The first Indie Film Town Hall meeting on Thursday

On Thursday, May 14th, the Independent Film Alliance Chicago, the Chicago International Film Festival and Industry days are hosting their first Indie Film Town Hall, bringing together Chicago’s independent film and media-making community during these difficult times. From 1-2 pm CST, grab your lunch and join panelists from Chicago’s indie film and media organizations as they discuss the challenges that face … Continue reading “The first Indie Film Town Hall meeting on Thursday”

REEL WOMEN: Colette Gabriel, GM of Keslow Camera

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. Colette Gabriel is the General Manager of Keslow Camera … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Colette Gabriel, GM of Keslow Camera”

ChiFilmFest to receive $25K NEA grant

Cinema/Chicago has been approved for a $25,000 Art Works grant to support the 56th Chicago International Film Festival (ChiFilmFest) taking place October 14-25, 2020. This grant will support the Festival and related programming including Industry Days and Cinema/Chicago’s free Summer Screenings Program. The National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest to receive $25K NEA grant”

‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch

Aemilia Scott, Holli McGinley film follows a single mother living on the edge of Chicago’s Humboldt Park The 55th Chicago International Film Festival has announced the winner of The Pitch at the 5th edition of Industry Days: Three Hours, directed by Aemilia Scott and produced by Holli McGinley. The film follows a single mother living … Continue reading “‘Three Hours’ wins ChiFilmFest’s $20K Pitch”

ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch”

Five film projects to compete for $20,000 awards package of in-kind goods and services   The 55th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of five narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched in front of a live audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days … Continue reading “ChiFilmFest announces slate for “The Pitch””

Architecture, racecars, and the Blues

The ChiFilmFest 2019 program offers moviegoers art, thrills, and the music that inspired Buddy Guy The Chicago International Film Festival announced an ambitious schedule for its 55th annual run during a press event yesterday morning at AMC Theatres River East. Hosted by Artistic Director Mimi Plauché and programmers Anthony Kaufman, Alissa Simon, and Sam Flancher, … Continue reading “Architecture, racecars, and the Blues”

Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases 54th annual lineup

Big-budget premieres, exquisite docs, thoughtful shorts, special events, and a deep well of unsung gems create the “stunning variety” of this year’s program The Chicago International Film Festival announced the majority the films screening over its 54th annual run at the AMC Theaters earlier today. Culling from more than 6,000 submissions — the highest in … Continue reading “Chicago Int’l Film Fest releases 54th annual lineup”

Trisect cuts staff in wake of ConAgra account changes

BLENDED AGENCY TRISECT a recently went through a rough patch that caused it to reduce staff by 25%, letting between 20 and 30 staffers go as a consequence of changes in the ConAgra account.

The agency explained in a statement that this was “a proactive step to ensure the agency is well aligned with rapidly shifting client needs and their demands for leaner, more nimble partners. Trisect is centered on its care growth drivers – digital marketing, social media and cross-channel content production.”

Chicago’s love/hate relationship with major film productions

Chicago’s disenchantment with filmmaking, and how Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the largest film studio in the U.S. partners with their neighbors. The film industry has steadily been growing into a booming business for the City of Chicago and while the business has provided a substantial increase in revenue and jobs for Chicagoans, not everyone is … Continue reading “Chicago’s love/hate relationship with major film productions”

Chicago chosen #1 Best Big City in the U.S. for fifth consecutive year!

With more than 800,000 readers submitted responses, Condé Nast Traveler recognized the City of Chicago as the #1 Best Big City in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row in the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Since 2017, Chicago has ranked number one in this category for its incredible restaurants, interesting and diverse attractions, and … Continue reading “Chicago chosen #1 Best Big City in the U.S. for fifth consecutive year!”

Vance Malone and John Marx launch Blue Label Productions

Longtime Director/Producer team Vance Malone and John Marx have made it official, partnering to launch their own boutique production company, Blue Label Productions. Malone, an award-winning director of commercials, content and short films, is renowned for a body of work with evocative performances and stylish visuals, while Marx enjoys a reputation as one of the industry’s … Continue reading “Vance Malone and John Marx launch Blue Label Productions”

IATSE members prepare for nationwide strike

IATSE members are mobilizing in preparation of a nationwide strike as they meet a stalemate after months of contract negotiations with producers. The strike vote may happen as early as October 3 which will impact the many shows currently in production in Chicago. The key points of concern are the health and safety of crew, … Continue reading “IATSE members prepare for nationwide strike”

NBC releases new One Chicago promo poster for Chicago Med, Fire, P.D.

The timing could not be more appropriate for a Labor Day release of the new One Chicago promo poster for the upcoming season of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. NBC has released the new poster for the upcoming fall season of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med bringing together the casts of the One Chicago three hit dramas … Continue reading “NBC releases new One Chicago promo poster for Chicago Med, Fire, P.D.”

Chicago film community mourns loss of Jeff Marpé

The Chicago film community is sadden by the loss of film pioneer Jeff Marpé, executive producer, director and founder of Line 9 Productions who passed away suddenly on July 14th. Jeff’s sudden passing came as a shock to his family, son Breydon age 23, daughter Kali age 20, and ex-wife Rose who said that Jeff had … Continue reading “Chicago film community mourns loss of Jeff Marpé”

Between the Keyframes with Erin Sarofsky & Austin Shaw

Design visionaries Erin Sarofsky and Austin Shaw are launching Between the Keyframes vidcast covering the craft and culture of motion design, and it will be hosted by these two formidable experts in the motion design industry. Austin literally wrote the book on motion design (“Design for Motion: Fundamentals and Techniques of Motion Design,” Routledge, 2nd … Continue reading “Between the Keyframes with Erin Sarofsky & Austin Shaw”

Chicago’s Open Culture artist lineups and programs

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced even more returning, new and reimagined summer cultural events across Chicago — plus artist lineups and other details for City programs previously announced as part of “Open Culture” — just one component of the Mayor’s Open Chicago initiative to safely and fully reopen the city.  … Continue reading “Chicago’s Open Culture artist lineups and programs”

Director/Writer/DP Steve Conry joins Seed Media Arts

Award winning storyteller, Director/Writer/DP Steve Conry has joined the Seed Media Arts roster. This announcement comes days after a musical performance directed by Conry featuring JP Saxe and Julian Michaels aired nationally as part of the 2021 JUNO Awards.  Conry’s style of visual storytelling is becoming increasingly sought after by brands looking to grow their … Continue reading “Director/Writer/DP Steve Conry joins Seed Media Arts”

Open Chicago Night at the Museums this Friday night

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with Chicago museum leadership, today announced for one night only, select Chicago museums will be open late for visitors under the Mayor’s Open Chicago initiative as the city moves to Phase 5, Friday, June 11.   The move to fully reopen the city makes Chicago the largest city in the … Continue reading “Open Chicago Night at the Museums this Friday night”

Our Top 10 list of the best TV shows set in Chicago

As we say goodbye to our favorite heroes from One Chicago for the summer, it’s fun to look back on all the amazing TV shows set in the Windy City over the years. Chicago has been a production powerhouse for decades and has given us some of the best movies and TV shows that were … Continue reading “Our Top 10 list of the best TV shows set in Chicago”

Grubhub & Restaurant Strong help restaurants reopen

Today, Grubhub, a leading food-ordering and delivery marketplace, and The Greg Hill Foundation’s Restaurant Strong Fund announced the latest phase in their commitment to supporting restaurants: the Restaurant Stronger program, a new initiative to provide $5,000 grants to eligible independent restaurants. As the industry faces new challenges post-pandemic, the Restaurant Stronger grants will help restaurants fully reopen their doors, including … Continue reading “Grubhub & Restaurant Strong help restaurants reopen”

Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago

“Open Culture” signals the reopening of summer events in Chicago’s diverse and legendary cultural scene with music, dance, public art, markets, and more at Millennium Park and venues citywide. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago’s cultural community announced “Open Culture” — the next phase … Continue reading “Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago”

Sonixphere adds Matt Brooks, Int’l Business Development

Sonixphere, the award-winning music and sound creators for advertising, series TV and film, announced that Matt Brooks has joined the company as Head of International Business Development. The addition of Matt comes at a strategic time for Sonixphere as it continues to build a global presence. Matt was previously Regional Director of Operations at Sofar … Continue reading “Sonixphere adds Matt Brooks, Int’l Business Development”

CAF’s 2021 American Advertising Award Winners

The Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) announced the winners of the local 2021 American Advertising Awards (AAA). One of the industry’s largest creative competitions, AAA rewards the spirit of creative excellence in advertising, seeing tens of thousands of submissions from both professional organizations and students each year. CAF gold and silver winners were advanced to the District 6 … Continue reading “CAF’s 2021 American Advertising Award Winners”

REEL WOMEN: Lisa Masseur, EP/Founder Tessa Films

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2021 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory.” Production sage with an eye for … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Lisa Masseur, EP/Founder Tessa Films”

RBL Spotlight: actor, comedian, filmmaker Tyler Davis

Editor’s Note: “The Reel Black List” is our annual spotlight of brothers and sisters in the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, radio and media who are making a difference through their contributions and creativity on a daily basis. For the month of February, you will be able to celebrate wonderful human beings, like Tyler Davis with … Continue reading “RBL Spotlight: actor, comedian, filmmaker Tyler Davis”

Production set to begin on Zen Room this spring

Production of new single-cam, mockumentary style comedy series Zen Room is set to commence early March after news of Cheri Oteri (former SNL cast member, Grown Ups 2) joining the cast as lead, executive producer, and writer. While plenty of film production has been shuttered due to Covid-19, actress and writer Ashley Joyce (Gilmore Girls, … Continue reading “Production set to begin on Zen Room this spring”

Gandhi’s journey from Google search to first feature

Chicago’s Ravin Gandhi made many people think he was crazy for shooting 100 Days to Live, an award-winning, suicide-based thriller debuting this week on Amazon, Apple and several other platforms. After pitching the film in 2017, the fledgling writer/director decided not only to finance the script that he had written, but also to temporarily relocate … Continue reading “Gandhi’s journey from Google search to first feature”

Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations

Film Independent announced nominations for the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Not just another pretty face on the awards circuit, the Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for the nonprofit Film Independent’s year-round slate of programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. Film Independent President Josh … Continue reading “Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations”

Lena Waithe headlines DePaul screenwriting conference

Emmy Award-winning writer, creator, producer and actor Lena Waithe of  Twenties, The Chi and Queen & Slim will headline DePaul University’s Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference Feb. 5-6.  DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts will present a series of virtual panel discussions with top screenwriting talent and TV and film executives from across the entertainment industry. Slated speakers include screenwriters Liz Hannah of The Post and Nicole Perlman of Guardians of … Continue reading “Lena Waithe headlines DePaul screenwriting conference”

Year in Review: Dan Fisher of Bottle Rocket Media

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

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”

2020 in Review: Mary Caddy of The Colonie

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

2020 in Review: Director, Jeremy Pinckert of Explore

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

Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker is mentoring Chicago kids

One person’s determination can really make all the difference, and Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker is proof of this. To set the scene, Firehouse 51 may not have the magnetic Wallace Boden if it weren’t for the one-on-one encouragement Eamonn received from a school teacher at nine years-old. It was London in the 1970’s and Eamonn … Continue reading “Chicago Fire’s Eamonn Walker is mentoring Chicago kids”

Lightfoot announces $10m hospitality grant program

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined City and business leaders to announce an emergency COVID-19 relief package for the hospitality industry, including a $10 million grant program for Chicago’s restaurants and bars that continue to face significant challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis.  Opening for applications this month, the Chicago Hospitality Grant Program will reallocate CARES … Continue reading “Lightfoot announces $10m hospitality grant program”

Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges

This past summer, director and writer Sean Sankalp Raju won the Camera Ambassador Community Builders Grant for his project A Nickname. The autobiographical short film tells the story of how the filmmaker received the moniker, Sean, as an Indian American child. In an economy where funding an independent film is especially difficult, Raju was ecstatic … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador Grant winner Raju faces challenges”

CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch”

The 56th Chicago International Film Festival announced a slate of four narrative feature film projects in active development that will be pitched live in front of a virtual audience and a panel of distinguished industry judges during the Festival’s Industry Days on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.  Now in its sixth year, The Pitch at Industry Days has established itself as a leading industry showcase spotlighting bold, original work from the Chicago region. Past projects from The Pitch at Industry Days have gone onto completion, including Jennifer Reader’s Signature Move, and two films showing at last year’s Chicago International Film Festival: Knives and Skin, also directed by Jennifer Reeder, and Haroula Rose’s Once Upon a River. This year’s filmmakers represent a diversity of voices that continue to reinforce the breadth and vitality of Chicago-area filmmakers and projects: from a sci-fi comedy horror film set in the suburbs to a drama set along the Mexico-American border, to the story of a sexual assault within a Black community and an estranged daughter in an Iraqi-American family who impersonates her recently deceased father. See below for loglines. The winning pitch receives an awards package of in-kind goods and services worth tens of thousands of dollars. Contributors include Keslow Camera, IFA Chicago and The Story Stage at CineSpace, Chicago Media Angels, Ramo Law PC, and the Sundance Institute. “Right now, during the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to develop, workshop, hone, and fine-tune feature film projects and make them great,” said Chicago International Film Festival and Industry Days Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman. “The Pitch is a terrific way for the Festival to support and encourage local filmmakers and help push their projects forward.” This year’s Pitch will be hosted by IFA Chicago Executive Director and producer Angie Gaffney, and this year’s jury includes: Bronwyn Cornelius, producer of Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Clemency; Ilyse McKimmie, Deputy Director for Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program; and Yvonne Huff Lee, co-CEO of Lagralane Group. The selected projects for 2020’s The Pitch at Industry Days are: Anchor Baby After witnessing his father nearly beat a Mexican immigrant to death while patrolling the desert border, a thirteen-year-old boy growing up in the Arizona Border Militia finds solace in an unlikely place — the arms of the new undocumented migrant girl in town. Screenwriter: Anna Hozian Director: Danny Mooney Producer: Dale Armin Johnson Go to the Body After Sanaa, a rising racial justice organizer, is sexually assaulted by a fellow activist, she tries to push past her trauma and return to her normal life. The only thing standing in the way is her fianceé, Kendrick, an overprotective boxer who has his own idea of justice. Writer/Director: Kyra Jones Producer: Angellic Ross Invasion of the Housewives … Continue reading “CIFF selects four IL film projects for “The Pitch””

BTS: Miller, Lewandowski on new UCM spot

Last Friday, a brave and emotional new spot for the University of Chicago Medicine broke on regional TV. Crafted by independent, digitally driven, creative agency Schafer Condon Carter, the minute-long spot, directed by Sandro Miller, powerfully captures the raw emotions that patients and families feel when confronted with a life-threatening diagnosis. Titled ‘Not Fair,’ the … Continue reading “BTS: Miller, Lewandowski on new UCM spot”

Diving into Highdive and their Emmy nomination

Daring to break the traditional agency mold, Highdive is producing exciting work that pushes the envelope in new ways. Most recently, the Ad Age Small Agency of the Year partnered with Jeep to create a Super Bowl spot celebrating the 90’s classic Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. The commercial resonated with audiences as it was … Continue reading “Diving into Highdive and their Emmy nomination”

‘Fargo’ creator and stars talk about new season

Reel Chicago reports back after attending the FX Networks TCA Press Day where Fargo Creator and cast revealed details about the upcoming new season and how they were able to complete principal photography during COVID. Anticipation has been building for FX’s Fargo, which despite the recent COVID-19 challenges, just wrapped its principal photography in Chicago. … Continue reading “‘Fargo’ creator and stars talk about new season”

‘Chicago Fire’ firehouse dog takes center stage

Despite walking on all fours, barking, and having a spotted coat, Tuesday, the Chicago Fire firehouse dog, is a professional actress who trains for her role, rehearses her scenes, and works under strict rules and regulations just like her costars. Tuesday is one of the most beloved crew members stationed at Firehouse 51 and one … Continue reading “‘Chicago Fire’ firehouse dog takes center stage”

Chicago’s new and reimagined World Music Events

The Year of Chicago Music will celebrate Chicago’s Jazz and World Music Festivals with virtual performances over the Labor Day holiday and Sundays throughout September. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced today new and reimagined Jazz and World Music events as part of the Year of … Continue reading “Chicago’s new and reimagined World Music Events”

Chicagoan Stefan Holt returns to anchor NBC 5 News

Stefan Holt, son of NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, will be relocating to the Chicago area with his family to anchor NBC 5 News at 4pm and 10pm on weekdays. NBC 5 Chicago / WMAQ today announced a series of changes to its weekday midday, afternoon and evening anchor lineup. Anchor Stefan Holt will return … Continue reading “Chicagoan Stefan Holt returns to anchor NBC 5 News”

Colonie’s remote capabilities tapped for State Farm

The Marketing Arm called on The Colonie’s remote-savvy team to provide editing, color grading, and creative services for a recent State Farm spot with a message of encouragement and support for those financially impacted by COVID-19.   The two Chicago-based companies collaborated remotely on the :30 spot. Titled New Norm, the broadcast commercial features live-action footage … Continue reading “Colonie’s remote capabilities tapped for State Farm”

Leo Burnett copywriter, Trans Lifeline co-lead, Len Sheth

Leo Burnett junior copywriter Len Sheth opens up about their highly successful work with Trans Lifeline, brands authentically extending their reach, and even a competitive tap-dancing past. Two years ago, Len Sheth began their journey as a Burnetter—and since then, the junior copywriter has created exceptional work for a diversified client portfolio including American Heart … Continue reading “Leo Burnett copywriter, Trans Lifeline co-lead, Len Sheth”

WGN America announces ‘News Nation’ team

WGN America, Nexstar’s cable network, has announced the official weekday and weekend anchor lineup for its live newscast, News Nation. The three-hour nightly news show will debut Sept. 1 and will be led by a team of journalists from WGN-TV, the Nexstar station in Chicago and across the country. The team will be led by … Continue reading “WGN America announces ‘News Nation’ team”

Chicago takes a home a bundle of Telly Awards

The 41st annual Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television content across all screens, has announced the 2020 winners. With a collection of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, Chicago-based standouts range from Bottle Rocket Media’s “Nicholas Brinley Experiences” and Studio 1847’s “Make It With Menards: Glassblower Jason Wein” to There Be Dragons LLC’s “Dustburgs” and Iron Light, PACO Collective, WTTW … Continue reading “Chicago takes a home a bundle of Telly Awards”

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

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

Lucky expands collaboration with SamuelGuthrey

SamuelGuthrey, the next iteration of Gay Guthrey & Associates, has expanded its collaboration with Lucky (Lucky 21 + Lucky Post) to encompass Midwest and Texas representation. The collaboration is, in many ways, a return home for Gay Guthrey, who relocated to Austin two years ago. “Moving back to Texas, to the amazing city of Austin, has allowed … Continue reading “Lucky expands collaboration with SamuelGuthrey”

Mayor Lightfoot announces plans for reopening Chicago

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, alongside the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), announced the “Protecting Chicago” framework that the City will be using to guide Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19. The framework – organized into five phases in alignment with the State of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan – will advise Chicagoans on how to safely exit from … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot announces plans for reopening Chicago”

Lightfoot launches weekly series ‘Stay Home. Hit Play.’

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Citadel today announced the launch of Stay Home. Hit Play., a twice-weekly video series on WTTW that will bring engaging, educational programming from Chicago institutions to students and families across the city. The series will partner with the city’s museums and cultural institutions to invite students to go behind the scenes … Continue reading “Lightfoot launches weekly series ‘Stay Home. Hit Play.’”

Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music

As productions across the globe come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, most filmmakers have found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Some have turned to sourdough bread baking and Tiger King, while others have decided to revisit back-burnered personal projects. Around the country, temporarily shelved footage has been brought to … Continue reading “Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music”

Joint Letter: from the unions and guilds to the workforce

These are unsettling times as COVID-19 has impacted our personal and professional lives. Or unions and guilds have come together to assist the working professionals in this industry. In a display of unity, the following joint letter was sent to entertainment workers from the major entertainment unions and guilds, including the AFM, DGA, IATSE, Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, … Continue reading “Joint Letter: from the unions and guilds to the workforce”

Behind the Scenes: documentary filmmaker Robert Hanna

Noah Kadner, Editor-in-chief at AbelCine goes Behind the Scenes with filmmaker Robert Hanna. Cinematographer Robert Hanna is an Emmy-award winning, veteran commerical, and documentary filmmaker, whose credits include Carrier, Circus, and A Portrait of Robert Frank. His current project is Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, a documentary miniseries for HBO debuted in April 2020. In this exclusive … Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: documentary filmmaker Robert Hanna”

New Normal: Cinespace more than just a studio

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. Located … Continue reading “New Normal: Cinespace more than just a studio”

Chicago Filmmakers offers online filmmaking courses

Chicago Filmmakers, a community media arts organization based in Chicago, announces today the launch of several online filmmaking courses for adults and youth starting in April. In response to the social distancing measures imposed in mid-March, Chicago Filmmakers is adapting several of its filmmaking courses for the web to continue serving the film community with … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers offers online filmmaking courses”

New Normal: 11 Dollar Bill at home until Mayor says OK

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. 11 … Continue reading “New Normal: 11 Dollar Bill at home until Mayor says OK”

REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula

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. Grace is a Polish-American filmmaker native to the Northwest … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula”

Explore creates humor & suspense for new Go RVing spot

With a tough week behind us, and possibly some tougher days ahead, we figured no better time than now to spread a little sunshine, by going behind the scenes of Explore’s outdoor vs. indoor comedy spot, “Stubborn Camper.” Chicago production company Explore created wind and rain to go along with the humor and suspense in … Continue reading “Explore creates humor & suspense for new Go RVing spot”

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”

The New Normal – DIY Your Own Home Recording Studio

We have entered a new reality. There has been a change in the way voice actors and narrators have been used.  Long ago are the days that talent would just show up at a studio or agency/agent and do their session or audition with a script printed, freshly sharpened pencils on the stand, and a … Continue reading “The New Normal – DIY Your Own Home Recording Studio”

Can out of work film crews help prepare for COVID-19

Workers in the entertainment industry have been particularly hard hit as production sets and performance venues find themselves completely shut down as a precaution against the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. According to IATSE who spoke to The Wrap, 120,000 below-the-line production people are out of work in Hollywood.  Tobin Neis is the Director of Marketing at … Continue reading “Can out of work film crews help prepare for COVID-19”

REEL WOMEN: Christina Varotsis, producer, UPM

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. Christina has produced a wide variety of studio and … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Christina Varotsis, producer, UPM”

COVID-19 claims Chicago & NY St. Patty’s Day parades

The mayor was not alone in her decision as New York City, Boston, Dallas, Dublin and other cities dropped their festivities for the holiday. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Lightfoot made her decision after days of speculation. Also included in the decision were the South Side’s Irish Parade and even the smaller Northwestern Side … Continue reading “COVID-19 claims Chicago & NY St. Patty’s Day parades”

Reel Women: Award-winning filmmaker, April Wright

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. April Wright is an award winning filmmaker who brings … Continue reading “Reel Women: Award-winning filmmaker, April Wright”

Inside look at the ScreenCraft Writers Summit

Chicago will become the center of the TV and film universe when it hosts the eighth annual ScreenCraft Writers Summit at the Hotel Allegro next month from April 24 to April 27. Agents, producers, show runners, financiers, studio execs, and, of course, writers are scheduled to share their wisdom. Designed to connect blockbuster movie professionals with emerging … Continue reading “Inside look at the ScreenCraft Writers Summit”

Reel Women: Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers Exec Dir

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. Brenda Webb started at Chicago Filmmakers in 1978 as … Continue reading “Reel Women: Brenda Webb, Chicago Filmmakers Exec Dir”

Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media

Glenance Green, Deputy Director of Free Spirit Media, joins the 2020 Reel Chicago Black List, a celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Glenance Green is … Continue reading “Glenance Green, Deputy Director, Free Spirit Media”

One Club, Spotify partner for Portfolio Night All-Stars

The One Club for Creativity, the world’s foremost non-profit organization recognizing creative excellence in advertising and design, has announced a partnership with Spotify to serve as exclusive sponsor of the club’s 2020 Portfolio Night All-Stars program. Long recognized as the world’s largest advertising portfolio review program, Portfolio Night is a fast-paced evening of advice, networking … Continue reading “One Club, Spotify partner for Portfolio Night All-Stars”

Victoria Lee, writer, creator, cellist

Victoria Lee, director and producer, joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes Global Mixx founder Mary Datcher, McDonald’s US Marketing Director Lizette Williams, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view the archives, click here. Writer, creator and … Continue reading “Victoria Lee, writer, creator, cellist”

MFF launches 2020 season under new director Duffy

Erica Duffy, a transplant from San Francisco, has been part of the Chicago film community for 6 years and counting. No stranger to film production, she’s the proud owner of Camera Ambassador, a local rental house in Chicago. Camera Ambassador provides resources and services to filmmakers such as workshops and screenings.  The space also hosts … Continue reading “MFF launches 2020 season under new director Duffy”

Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney

Angie Gaffney chaperones a lot of dreams in the Windy City. As Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance — an organization recently formed by combining the Independent Filmmaker Project with Stage 18 — she helps people achieve their goals, and their goals are to make movies. Or short films. Or pilots. Or web … Continue reading “Behind the scenes with the Chicago IFA’s Angie Gaffney”

Howard, Daufenbach join Sheen series production team

Dr. Peter Howard and Lawrence Daufenbach have joined the producing team for a Bishop Fulton Sheen TV series currently in development. A Chicago-based production partner to the motion picture industry, Lawrence Daufenbach is the CEO of Daufenbach Camera. Dr. Peter Howard is one of the world’s foremost Sheen scholars and founder of the Fulton Sheen … Continue reading “Howard, Daufenbach join Sheen series production team”

Maestro Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios’ Flavor

The leaders from creative production studio Flavor are very proud to announce the addition of Rob Churchill to their Chicago staff in the position of VFX Director. The announcement was made by Flavor’s Executive Producer, Neal Cohen. According to Churchill and executives from Flavor parent Cutters Studios, this momentous development also involves Churchill as a … Continue reading “Maestro Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios’ Flavor”

Local 476 appoints Connelly to increase commercial work

I.A.T.S.E. Local 476 is sending VP Joe Connelly on a mission to forge partnerships with advertising agencies and commercial shops throughout the city. A production industry supplier with deep roots, the Chicago Studio Mechanics Union intends to reinforce a foundation it laid nearly a century ago. “This union is built on commercial work,” says Local … Continue reading “Local 476 appoints Connelly to increase commercial work”

CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going

A cohort of young professionals assured industry leaders that the future of Chicago production is in good hands at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios on Monday afternoon. Highlighting the Wrap Party for the Mirkopoulos Internship Program, each member of the group had just finished working as temporary crew on Chicago Fire / PD / Med, and … Continue reading “CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going”

At Sundance w/Kartemquin’s Steve James & Zak Piper

Reel Chicago correspondent, reporter, and film critic Pamela Powell interviews Kartemquin Films’ Oscar-nominated director Steve James and Emmy Award-winning producer Zak Piper at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Chicago-based documentarian Steve James presented his newest endeavor, a four-episode mini series City So Real, to the Sundance Film Festival patrons just days ago in the quaint … Continue reading “At Sundance w/Kartemquin’s Steve James & Zak Piper”

In the kitchen with ‘Chicago Med’ artist Dina Cimarusti

Dina Cimarusti is an artist and pastry chef who found her calling through blood and guts. Winner of the Syfy Channel’s 2014 Face Off special effects competition, the native Chicagoan and IATSE Local 476 member now works her magic as a special effects technician with CirqueFX Studio, where her creations frequently appear on NBC’s top-rated … Continue reading “In the kitchen with ‘Chicago Med’ artist Dina Cimarusti”

AICP short film asks, are you ‘Obsessed With Craft’?

Obsessed with Craft is a new short film released by AICP to promote entries to the AICP Awards — The AICP Show, The AICP Post Awards and The AICP Next Awards. It features the world’s most obsessive crafter talking about her love of craft and her belief that, at its heart, “craft is a symphony … Continue reading “AICP short film asks, are you ‘Obsessed With Craft’?”

Erica Duffy describes her Midwest Film Fest vision

For the past 15 years, the Midwest Independent Film Festival has been showcasing Midwest filmmakers at monthly screenings known as “First Tuesdays.” Over the past two years, MIFF leadership, board members, and volunteers have weathered personnel changes, programming challenges, and attendance ebbs and flows. Now, the Fest is embarking on a major transformation, led by … Continue reading “Erica Duffy describes her Midwest Film Fest vision”

Celebrating the “Six Degrees of ‘One Chicago'”

In the fall of 2018, NBC began airing Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD back-to-back-to-back as a trifecta called One Chicago on Wednesday nights. The decision generated lots of enthusiasm and a little bit of curiosity among fans of the Dick Wolf franchises. Everyone seemed to wonder: would viewers have the time and inclination … Continue reading “Celebrating the “Six Degrees of ‘One Chicago’””

Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media

Award-winning Chicago-based video content agency wields a startling variety of depth and expertise Chicago video content agency Bottle Rocket Media fuels traditional expertise with DIY spirit. Guided by a pair of visionaries who met while working at the Oprah Winfrey Show, the company has become one of the industry’s most unique production and post operations … Continue reading “Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media”

One Club launches Freelancer of the Year award

The One Club for Creativity, the foremost nonprofit organization for the global creative community, enhances its support for freelancers through a new partnership with creative hiring platform Working Not Working for the ADC 99th Annual Awards. As part of the partnership, The One Club introduces the ADC Freelancer of the Year Award. All ADC 99th … Continue reading “One Club launches Freelancer of the Year award”

Advertising Community Shorts night lineup

Midwest Independent Film Festival’s popular annual industry tradition tomorrow night at Landmark Century The advertising and independent filmmaking communities converge for an inspiring night of short films as First Tuesdays with The Midwest Independent Film Festival hosts its tenth annual Advertising Community Shorts Night on Tuesday, November 5th. The evening will open at 6 p.m. … Continue reading “Advertising Community Shorts night lineup”

Interview with ‘Good Kisser’ director Wendy Jo Carlton

Spotlight on the award-winning filmmaker whose ‘lesbian love triangle’ plays Siskel Center October 25-31 Wendy Jo Carlton’s award-winning new film, Good Kisser, follows the evolution of an all-female ménage à trois over the course of a single night. Sexy and fun, no doubt; but like most of Carlton’s work, the love taps into a world … Continue reading “Interview with ‘Good Kisser’ director Wendy Jo Carlton”

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”

3% Conference touts ‘amazing’ 2019 lineup

Authors, CEO’s and former NFL players among speakers scheduled for annual event at Navy Pier   The organization built on a commitment to women is looking for men. The 8th annual 3 Percent Conference — taking place this year on November 7-8 at Navy Pier — explains the gender bias on the front page of … Continue reading “3% Conference touts ‘amazing’ 2019 lineup”

Reel’s Nancy Lasch starts new chapter in AZ

With boundless gratitude, we offer a heartfelt bon voyage to a true champion of keeping it Reel Reel Chicago offers a heartfelt bon voyage to Nancy J. Lasch, who served as the magazine’s office manager, bookkeeper, and all around master of everything for nearly twenty years before announcing her retirement last month. Raised in Chicago’s … Continue reading “Reel’s Nancy Lasch starts new chapter in AZ”

SOCIALDEVIANT “iterates to great”

Combining traditional expertise and Millennial wisdom, the Chicago shop is proving that “good guys can win”   In many ways, SOCIALDEVIANT is more of an experiment than an advertising agency. It is a place where clients are invited to fiddle with work in progress, employees are expected to be restless, and beer is brewed onsite. … Continue reading “SOCIALDEVIANT “iterates to great””

SRW appoints new VP of Accounts, Strategy

Health and wellness agency hires new “marketing ninja” to lead strategist/account hybrid team Bennett Dixon has joined SRW — an independent, full-service marketing agency with a penchant for growing natural health and wellness brands — as their first Vice President of Accounts and Strategy. In this new role, Dixon will lead a team of hybrid … Continue reading “SRW appoints new VP of Accounts, Strategy”

The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival

The Gene Siskel Film Center’s 25th annual celebration of African Americans and the African diaspora August 3-29 The Gene Siskel Film Center celebrates the stories, dreams, history, and legacy of African Americans and the African diaspora in the 25th edition of the annual Black Harvest Film Festival. In addition to 50-plus film screenings, there will … Continue reading “The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival”

Filmscape Chicago open for registration

The gear and education expo brings equipment expertise, and community together at Cinespace on September 7-8 A portion of the curriculum for this year’s Filmscape Chicago was announced today, and if registration goes anything like the event’s predecessor, classes are going to fill up quickly. Although technically an inaugural run, Filmscape is actually an updated … Continue reading “Filmscape Chicago open for registration”

Tandem helps Home Chef tout new hashtag

The Chicago-based production company captured tasty cuisine and smiling customers for a new campaign about ‘#DinnerTonight’ Chicago-based Tandem Inc. filmed nearly a hundred setups in two days while completing a series of spots for Home Chef’s new #DinnerTonight campaign. Created by the meal kit and food delivery company’s in-house marketing team, the campaign features an … Continue reading “Tandem helps Home Chef tout new hashtag”

Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings Program

Films from around the world screen for free at the Chicago Cultural Center every Wednesday through October 2 Cinema/Chicago’s annual free Summer Screenings Program goes from the blossom of young romance and swimsuit sunbathing to the mythology of mermaids and the search for alien life. With 17 feature films and one short screening at the … Continue reading “Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings Program”

FCB appoints staffers to ‘socialeyes’ at Cannes

The recipients of the agency’s third-annual #FCBsocialEYEs program will engage festival attendees at La Côte d’azur FCB has announced that Eunice Kindred and Wilbert Cheng are the recipients of the agency’s third-annual #FCBsocialEYEs at Cannes 2019. Eunice and Wilbert were chosen from more than 50 FCB applicants worldwide as part of the #FCBSocialEye contest, which … Continue reading “FCB appoints staffers to ‘socialeyes’ at Cannes”

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”

Local 476 pickets non-union production

The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union works for interests that range far beyond the film industry   Members of Chicago Local 476 picketed a non-union production shooting in the city last weekend. Inspired to protect the opportunities, wages, and benefits of its members, the Studio Mechanics believe that their protest also serves interests far beyond the … Continue reading “Local 476 pickets non-union production”

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”

Reel Women: Megan Maples — producer, leader

The 15-year film and advertising veteran recalls a career track that began with an internship during her college years Megan Maples has been an active part of the Chicago advertising and film community for over 15 years. Besides working in production and post-production working on numerous brands, she also served as President of Women in … Continue reading “Reel Women: Megan Maples — producer, leader”

Filmscape to keep Chicago production “on the forefront”

The two-day September event will feature more of what made its predecessor a success, plus a few new things Filmscape Chicago is a two-day, pro-level series of equipment demos, state-of-the-art training, and speakers happening at Cinespace Studios over the weekend of September 7th and 8th. Although technically an inaugural run, Filmscape is actually an enhanced … Continue reading “Filmscape to keep Chicago production “on the forefront””

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24

Consolidated series presents premieres, partner screenings, special guests and sixteen films, from across the Asian continent Non-profit pan-Asian film organization Sophia’s Choice today announces Asian Pop-Up Cinema – Season Eight, the spring film series presenting sixteen films from across Asia, running March 12 through April 24, 2019. The schedule represents a consolidated schedule, with more … Continue reading “Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 12 – April 24”

Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman

Acting on Showtime’s hit series “The Chi” is just one of the versatile artist’s many career success stories Native Chicagoan La Donna Tittle is an accomplished actor, model, radio personality and CEO / producer / host of Cookin’ Wit’ Tittle … Bon Appetite, Let’s Eat, a spirited show about food and drink on CAN TV … Continue reading “Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman”

Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters

George Bogdanich’s new documentary explores how the Justice Department’s greed, corruption, and overreach resulted in tragedy George Bogdanich’s 2019 documentary, Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters Union, alleges that former Chicago Teamster Bill Hogan and his family are victims of intimidation and fraud committed by the United States government. Evidence presented in the … Continue reading “Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters”

Reel Black List: Jeff Stanley, designer

“Seeing students’ eyes light up and hearing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ about what you’ve done feels really good.” A jack of all trades in the design industry, Jeff Stanley has more than a decade of advertising and design experience creating work for; Sears, Office Max, AARP, WalMart and McDonald’s. The projects for these clients include: general … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Jeff Stanley, designer”

Reel Black List: Pemon Rami, Chicago film legend

Meet the man who has worked with Cab Calloway, Chaka Khan, Angela Bassett, John Belushi, Aretha Franklin, James Earl Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., and more Pemon Rami is an international film producer, theatre director, arts administrator, historian, lecturer, and consultant who wields one of the most impressive film pedigrees in Chicago and beyond. The features … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Pemon Rami, Chicago film legend”

Reel Black List: Anita Luckett – artist manager, producer

The producer of “Canal Street” has provided career assistance for the likes of Halle Berry, Tika Sumpter, Darren Criss, and Rhyan LaMarr Anita Luckett, known for her grace and Kre8tivity, has achieved success as an Artist Manager and Producer. After graduating from Columbia College, the native Chicagoan took her education, charm, and work ethic to … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Anita Luckett – artist manager, producer”

2019 Best of the Midwest Awards

“The film festival is about bringing people together and supporting all of the members of the filmmaking community.” MIFF Executive Director Amy Guth The Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual Best of the Midwest Awards inspired a swanky good time last night at The Promontory in Hyde Park. Complementing a candlelit vibe with cocktail dresses, sport … Continue reading “2019 Best of the Midwest Awards”

Remembering Marc Hauser

Sando Miller, Tony D’Orio, and Tony Fitzpatrick pay tribute to their friend, the legendary Chicago artist Marc Hauser created memories that will last forever. From the start of his career in the mid-1970s until his passing in late 2018, the Chicago-based photographer built a genre of portraiture and editorial that will inspire generations. According to … Continue reading “Remembering Marc Hauser”

‘Rendezvous in Chicago’ hometown premiere at the Siskel

“You can make a good movie for $20,000 and a good film for $100,000, but you shouldn’t use the same script for both.” Michael Glover Smith Michael Glover Smith’s Rendezvous in Chicago will make its hometown premiere with four screenings at the Gene Siskel Film Center in February 2019. On the festival circuit, the feature-length … Continue reading “‘Rendezvous in Chicago’ hometown premiere at the Siskel”

Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow

The man who arranged gunfights on the el, demolition in the loop, and “Transformer” battles on Wacker Drive explains how the CFO got it done Rich Moskal helped to present the Windy City as a place of beauty, romance, destruction, and chaos in more than 5,000 films, TV shows, web series, and commercials while serving … Continue reading “Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow”

NBC’s “One Chicago” suite to film six additional episodes

Chicago’s record-setting year of television production just got more record-settinger Dick Wolf’s award-winning trio of Windy City-based dramas — Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med — will collectively shoot a half-dozen additional episodes for the 2018 season, according to recent reports. Chicago PD executive producer/director Eriq LaSalle announced the news to fans in an … Continue reading “NBC’s “One Chicago” suite to film six additional episodes”

Director Tim Armstrong’s work has gone to the dogs

The filmmaker captures pets and owners in a video to support an industry “Pet Rescue Party” at Biagio on Dec. 8 Director Tim Armstrong unleashed a pack of lovable dogs in a video invitation for a December 8 benefit party supporting the Chicagoland Rescue Intervention & Support Program (CRISP), an organization dedicated to helping Windy … Continue reading “Director Tim Armstrong’s work has gone to the dogs”

Festivault brings a world of films to remote screens

New technology aims to offer thousands of films that might otherwise disappear after screening at regional festivals Chicago film entrepreneurs Saj Adibs and Hamzah Jamjoom are bringing film festivals to viewers around the world through a new web application called Festivault. Festivault allows users to screen select film festival programs on individual laptops, tablets, and … Continue reading “Festivault brings a world of films to remote screens”

Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday

“I started to realize, ‘oh, he’s putting together these clips to tell a story.’ That’s really what he loved about (editing).” David Carr, on his father, Bob The family of editor Bob Carr, who passed away last month, will host a memorial celebration in his honor at Healy’s bar in Forest Park this Sunday from … Continue reading “Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday”

Getting reel with Kurt Fries, CCO of mcgarrybowen

“The job of creatives within this agency is to make me slightly uncomfortable.” —Kurt Fries   Last Summer, veteran advertising creative Kurt Fries took over as CCO for mcgarrybowen Chicago. Reel Chicago sat down with the affable creative leader to see how the year’s been.   Reel Chicago: So how did you get started in … Continue reading “Getting reel with Kurt Fries, CCO of mcgarrybowen”

Hollywood Comes to Chicago — 1979

“Blues Brothers” director John Landis describes impending explosions while scouting locations in John Davies’ vintage short film In 1979, Chicago filmmaker John Davies produced a short titled, Hollywood Comes to Chicago, that featured a tour through the Windy City and its film production industry. He planned to submit the piece to WTTW’s Image Union, a … Continue reading “Hollywood Comes to Chicago — 1979”

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”

Pemon Rami and Maséqua Myers at Black Harvest

An enjoyable and informative conversation with the co-recipients of this year’s Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership Pemon Rami and Maséqua Myers created a thrill wherever they went during opening night of the Black Harvest Film Festival. The popular married couple seemed to know everyone at the celebration and hobnobbed with grace. They … Continue reading “Pemon Rami and Maséqua Myers at Black Harvest”

Camera Ambassador expands with a pair of grip trucks

A 5-ton GMC and a 3-ton Ford are the most recent additions to the Chicago-based, multifunctional vendor and production partner Camera Ambassador added a pair of grip trucks to its rental inventory this summer. Both of the vehicles in the new fleet — a 5-ton GMC and a 3-ton Ford — were customized by founders … Continue reading “Camera Ambassador expands with a pair of grip trucks”

Global Mixx Forum announces 2018 lineup

“The World is Yours” — the 12th annual Global Mixx Music & Film Forum Presented by ComEd — announces music, film and keynote speaker lineup (Chicago — 17 July 2018) Global Mixx Media Group announces that Emmy award-winning television and film producer Rushion McDonald and Grammy-nominated producer and international DJ The Twilite Tone will be … Continue reading “Global Mixx Forum announces 2018 lineup”

Madalinski’s “Two in the Bush” premieres at LA Outfest

“Just because you haven’t read this in a book, or seen it in a movie to tell you it’s right, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Only you know what’s right for you.”   Director Laura Madalinski’s feature-film debut, Two in the Bush: A Love Story, is a romantic comedy that will premiere on July 19th at … Continue reading “Madalinski’s “Two in the Bush” premieres at LA Outfest”

Talking hues with Company 3 Senior Colorist Tyler Roth

  One of Chicago’s busiest color pros looks ahead while remembering the past       As a Senior Colorist at Company 3, Tyler Roth operates in a spectrum that literally runs as wide as the eye can see. Mixing pixels of red, green, and blue at different levels of brightness and saturation, he’s got … Continue reading “Talking hues with Company 3 Senior Colorist Tyler Roth”

“Kappa Force” to deliver punch at Logan on July 29

The new web-series features five sorority sisters fighting the patriarchy, one frat boy at a time   Kappa Force is a satirical web series about a crime-fighting sorority that takes on the evil El Douche of Sigma Sigma Epsilon. Director Hannah Welever and writer/producer Addison Heimann’s Kappa Force is having its hometown premiere on Sunday, … Continue reading ““Kappa Force” to deliver punch at Logan on July 29”

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Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018

Four new shows filming this summer and fall increase Windy City TV production to a record ten series   Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced ten shows will film this summer and fall in Chicago. This includes filming for four new shows, … Continue reading “Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018”

Versa Media’s “Cerebral” to premiere at SeriesFest

The supernatural anthology series is one of 13 pilots accepted to premiere at the festival known as the “Sundance for TV” (Chicago — 6 June 2018) Versa Media, a North American production house designed for a disruptive age, today announces that its brand new series Cerebral will make its international debut at SeriesFest at the … Continue reading “Versa Media’s “Cerebral” to premiere at SeriesFest”

Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup

CUFF adds second screening of “Industrial Accident,” the opening night film about Wax Trax! Records that sold out hours after going on sale After selling out the initioal opening night screening in less than an hour, the 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival has added a special encore presentation of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of … Continue reading “Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup”

Coolfire Studios helps grant an out-of-this-world wish

Fifteen-year-old Peyton Crump is just like any other Springfield, Missouri teen boy who loves Star Wars. He’s incredibly talented, creative and bursting with imagination. The only real difference between Peyton and other boys his age is that he suffers from a very serious case of uncontrollable Epilepsy. The Star Wars fanboy has had multiple surgeries … Continue reading “Coolfire Studios helps grant an out-of-this-world wish”

Bartoli, Hafner, Zumbrunnen to join AICE Hall of Fame

Beloved and respected editors with Hybrid, Cutters and Exile to be honored posthumously   (Los Angeles, CA – April 10, 2018) Three West Coast-based editors whose lives and work made an impact on their colleagues, their clients and their peers are being honored with posthumous induction into the AICE Hall of Fame at this year’s … Continue reading “Bartoli, Hafner, Zumbrunnen to join AICE Hall of Fame”

Reel Women: Jeanne Caliendo, “Chi Med” co-producer

Jeanne Caliendo is a born and bred Chicagoan who graduated from Columbia College with a degree in film. By her own admission, she has had “one fulltime job my entire life.” “I worked at Studio Lighting, which was absorbed by Essanay,” she explains. “I did a little bit of everything, until I found my niche … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jeanne Caliendo, “Chi Med” co-producer”

Free Spirit moves the filmmakers of the future

Industry experts advise future filmmakers that “antagonists are not totally bad” and “people in Hollywood don’t read.” Six young filmmakers presented movie concepts to a panel of industry experts during Free Spirit Media’s pitch night at the film incubator Stage 18 last Thursday night. They spoke one at a time, clicking through slide shows on … Continue reading “Free Spirit moves the filmmakers of the future”

Reel Women: Sheila Brown — Media Entrepreneur

Sheila Brown is a Chicago native who is Executive Director of the CineCares Foundation at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Sheila developed a desire for professional success early in life. She obtained her first job at age 15. Seven years later, Sheila began her career in broadcast television where she was fortunate enough to work alongside … Continue reading “Reel Women: Sheila Brown — Media Entrepreneur”

Tribute to a legend: Jay B. Ross, Entertainment Lawyer

Attorney Jay B. Ross passed away on March 1. A beloved member of Chicago’s media community, Ross’s former client list reads like a who’s who of American music. James Brown, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie, Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, Koko Taylor, Albertina Walker, and Willie Dixon were among the legends who relied on his … Continue reading “Tribute to a legend: Jay B. Ross, Entertainment Lawyer”

United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news

United Airlines joins other brands in NRA boycott Chicago-based United Airlines has joined other major brands including Delta Airlines, Hertz, National and Avis car rentals as well as MetLife, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines in discontinuing or altering their relationships with the National Rifle Association. In a tweet, United said it is … Continue reading “United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news”

“A-List” Burrell, Russell Stover, Zapwater, box office

Burrell among Chicago shops on Ad Age’s annual A-list While some were out shopping for mattresses or watching Marvel’s Black Panther for a third time on President’s Day, Ad Age dropped its annual “A-List” issue of the best agencies, and some Chicago shops made the list. We’re not surprised. We’ve been covering them all year. … Continue reading ““A-List” Burrell, Russell Stover, Zapwater, box office”

Optimus editor Rynne helps create a Nike female force

Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy first came out with the shirt that said, “The Force is Female” last year, thrusting her into the SJW (Social Justice Warrior) spotlight. Now, Nike Chicago is supporting her and other women with a series of inspiring vignettes specifically created for Nike Chicago’s Instagram account by Director/DP Hannah Welever and editor … Continue reading “Optimus editor Rynne helps create a Nike female force”

Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news

Escape Pod launches freelance recruitment app Go Shortlist Today, Escape Pod announced the creation of a free online platform connecting the industry’s top creative freelancers with top ad agencies. Created by Escape Pod’s interactive arm, Ora Interactive, “Go Shortlist” uses a proprietary algorithm combined with a personalized talent assessment to rank the top creative freelancers, … Continue reading “Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news”

Easy Abby, Seed, Give a Shirt, DDB in the news

Viral Chicago series Easy Abby returns for season two Easy Abby, the “Lesbian RomCom Series” that scored more than 30 million views with thirteen episodes in its first season, returns Dec. 15 on Revry, “the world’s first LGBTQ+ digital streaming platform.” Created, written, and directed by Chicago filmmaker Wendy Jo Carlton, Easy Abby chronicles the … Continue reading “Easy Abby, Seed, Give a Shirt, DDB in the news”

Regarding the financial backing of Jennifer Samaan

During the AFM (American Film Market), which was held November 1 – 8 in Santa Monica, one is exposed to all kinds of films at various levels of quality. You can see very good at the market and you can see very, very, very bad. Looking at you China Salesman! Then there are the interesting … Continue reading “Regarding the financial backing of Jennifer Samaan”

Havas, Escape Pod, MIFF, Thor, Larry David in the news

Anna Parker promoted to Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Havas Chicago announced that it has promoted Anna (Newburn) Parker to Chief Strategy Officer. She joins Havas Chicago’s executive leadership team which includes Paul Marobella, Jason Peterson, Tatia Torrey, Jennifer Marszalek, Lisa Evia and Angelo Kritikos. Considered a major contributor to the transformation of the Havas … Continue reading “Havas, Escape Pod, MIFF, Thor, Larry David in the news”

OKRP, Robin Stevens, WGA-E, Ron Smith in the news

OKRP Juices up Lots of OKRP-in-Cincinnati Chicago news these days (70’s babies will understand what I did there). In addition to their great new Chili’s work, O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has acquired Chicago-based, award-winning Juice Interactive, a digital marketing agency with a roster that includes MillerCoors and SAP Hybris. The move follows the boutique agency’s … Continue reading “OKRP, Robin Stevens, WGA-E, Ron Smith in the news”

1:53 p.m. — Alex Pissios, Cinespace President

Alex Pissios just finished giving a tour to a group of people who do not seem to be directly connected to the film industry. That’s fine with him. “My Uncle Nick was big on giving back to the neighborhood,” Pissios explains. “He used to tell me that, ‘these people have lived here a long time. … Continue reading “1:53 p.m. — Alex Pissios, Cinespace President”

2:32 p.m. — 321 Fast Draw

It’s getting close to quitting time for most businesses, but 321 Fast Draw is preparing to work well into the night. “Three videos need to be done for ESPN,” says partner Sal Pecoraro. “It’s a simple, 2D animation explaining an app.” Pecoraro founded 321 Fast Draw with former college friend Ken Nilsson and production vet … Continue reading “2:32 p.m. — 321 Fast Draw”