The Tam and Kevin Show to premiere The Second City YouTube network

The Second City is proud to announce the world premiere of The Tam and Kevin Show, its first original web series, to debut on The Second City YouTube channel June 13.  Between navigating Karens, trying to raise socially pragmatic kids and Black Lives Mattering, The Tam and Kevin Show have too much on their plates. It is a … Continue reading “The Tam and Kevin Show to premiere The Second City YouTube network”

The Second City launches Victor Wong Fellowship for AAPI

Legendary Chicago comedy institution The Second City is announces the creation of The Victor Wong Fellowship, a program to train and mentor up-and-coming comedians. Named after The Second City’s first Asian American performer and funded by Peng Zhao, CEO of Citadel Securities, and his wife, Cherry Chen, the fellowship will focus on developing the next generation of Asian … Continue reading “The Second City launches Victor Wong Fellowship for AAPI”

Celebrity moms star in The Second City PSA ‘Get Vaccinated’

The Second City joined celebrity moms in a new public service announcement that encourages parents and their children ages five through adulthood to get vaccinated now, particularly as omicron cases are on the rise. The PSA was produced and created by The Second City and sponsored by Made to Save, in partnership with YourMomCares and the #WeCanDoThis COVID-19 vaccine … Continue reading “Celebrity moms star in The Second City PSA ‘Get Vaccinated’”

The Second City reopens their e.t.c. Theater Stage

The Second City, the world’s leader in satirical comedy, has reopened their e.t.c. stage at Piper’s Alley to audiences. The return of the e.t.c. theater with a new show, “Out of the House Party,” a blend of archival sketches and improv featuring beloved and thoroughly missed cast members, advances Second City’s reopening progress since welcoming … Continue reading “The Second City reopens their e.t.c. Theater Stage”

‘The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth’

Topic, the streaming service from First Look Media, announced today that they are partnering with legendary comedy force and improvisational theater troupe The Second City for a half-hour sketch and variety limited series event called The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth. The limited series event will stream exclusively on Topic in … Continue reading “‘The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth’”

Second City and Columbia College alum Aidy Bryant leaves SNL

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

IFA partners with SeriesFest and Second City Film School for Pitch-A-Thon

SeriesFest’s Pitch-A-Thon is on the road to Chicago! The program provides independent content creators with an opportunity to participate in an exclusive live pitch session with top television, new media and digital executives in hopes of moving their unproduced projects forward.  In partnership with Second City Film School, IFA Chicago and made possible by Ed … Continue reading “IFA partners with SeriesFest and Second City Film School for Pitch-A-Thon”

Second City Teacher, Marine Vet screens film in GI Fest

Chicago filmmaker and Marine Corps veteran Jonah Saeson is featured in this years GI Film Festival. This veteran turned actor and filmmaker is the director of the GI Festival contending film  The Sweatshirt. This comedic short which blenders Chicago crime show style interbred with sarcastic undertones is about a woman who must negotiate the release … Continue reading “Second City Teacher, Marine Vet screens film in GI Fest”

Iconic Second City acquired by New York-based ZMC

This is no laughing matter. New York-based private equity firm ZMC announced today that it has acquired The Second City, the world’s premier brand in improvisation and sketch-based comedy entertainment and education. Founded in Chicago in 1959, The Second City is an iconic brand that has become the most influential and prolific comedy empire in the world. … Continue reading “Iconic Second City acquired by New York-based ZMC”

Second City, ‘SNL’ announce scholarship recipients

Legendary comedy institution The Second City announces the recipients of a new scholarship for diverse comedic talent in partnership with Saturday Night Live. The creation of the SNL Scholarship, announced in October, was designed to grant comedians at varying levels of experience the opportunity to further their professional development at The Second City. In addition to receiving performance and writing … Continue reading “Second City, ‘SNL’ announce scholarship recipients”

Former SNL writer, Second City vet McCarthy passes at 61

Chicago has lost a beloved writer, actor, comedian, teacher, husband and father. Former SNL writer, Michael Clayton McCarthy, who was also an active member of The Second City, iO Comedy and DePaul University faculties, passed away peacefully after a two-year bout with a debilitating form of cancer on April 8, 2020.  He was 61. His … Continue reading “Former SNL writer, Second City vet McCarthy passes at 61”

Second City Stage Manager Craig Taylor passes at 63

“I guess I learned how to take the lights out at the right moment. You just have to always be looking for the right end.” –Craig Taylor Not all of Second City’s stars appeared on stage. Some of the biggest ones were behind the scenes. This past weekend, Second City announced that longtime stage manager, Craig … Continue reading “Second City Stage Manager Craig Taylor passes at 63”

UPDATED: Second City, Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz go virtual

When audiences and comedy lovers think Improv, they usually think Chicago, home to popular destinations like the infamous The Second City and iO Comedy.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that the closures of all schools, theaters, and public venues has also hit the improv world hard.  Not only has the COVID-19 Pandemic forced these popular establishments … Continue reading “UPDATED: Second City, Annoyance, iO, ComedySportz go virtual”

Second City alums help launch ‘Studio B’ web series

Genre-bending music web series that’s “so Chicago it’s basically deep dish pizza” will be released October 22 (Chicago — 16 October 2018) What happens when a group of talented Chicago musicians, actors, improvisers, stand-ups, songwriters, and DJs collaborate on a web series? You get STUDIO B, the three-episode workplace comedy of a struggling Chicago recording … Continue reading “Second City alums help launch ‘Studio B’ web series”

DePaul, Second City to offer comedy film degrees

No Joke: DePaul collaborates with world’s largest school of improvisation to offer degrees in comedy filmmaking (Chicago — 3 May 2018) The Second City and DePaul University today announced a collaboration designed to expand comedy education. Starting in fall 2018, DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts will offer comprehensive new undergraduate and graduate degrees in comedy … Continue reading “DePaul, Second City to offer comedy film degrees”

Second City classes to aid improvisers with film work

Classes starting June 23 at the Second City Training Center will include a new program on TV, film and digital to give improv actors a place to hone their on-screen skills in Chicago.

“That’s the need that we see and I think that it’s long overdue,” Jack C. Newell, who heads the program, told DNAinfo. 

Second City helps the Lyric change its marketing tune

Circa 2012, it’s a whole new world at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The city’s world-renowned opera company has over the past couple of years begun to completely transform its approach to marketing. And just in time, by all accounts.

Lyric no longer is an island unto itself where the powers-that-be in the marketing department can readily assume a new season will come close to selling out as soon as tickets go on sale.

Second City training pioneer Jo Forsberg dies at 90

Chicago improv legend Josephine Raciti Forsberg passed away at age 90 on Oct. 3. Forsberg was present at the birth of what became the Second City, working with its earliest predecessor, the Playwrights Theatre Club.

She taught workshops with Viola Spolin; produced and directed the Children’s Theatre at the Second City for decades; and also taught at the Players Workshop, a forerunner of the current Second City Training Center.
 

Second City goes digital: Partners with L.A.’s MRC to create short online pieces, bowing next month

The Second City is getting into the short film content business online, according to Andrew Alexander, Second City’s executive producer.

“We had been talking about it for at least two years and had been searching around for what we felt would be the right mix of partnership,” he said.

Second City will partner with Los Angeles-based Media Rights Capital (MRC), an independent film/television and digital studio, to create short pieces specifically geared for online distribution.

Second City made the connection with MRC through the Gersh Agency in New York.

Mercury theatre building set for March auction; Second City etc cast developing sitcom for Sony

The decade-long partnership between producer Michael Cullen and restaurateur Joe Carlucci has come to an end, and apparently not amicably. The two are co-owners of the choice property at 3741-47 N. Southport that houses Carlucci’s Strega Nona Restaurant and Cullen’s Bar & Grill, separated by the 300-seat Mercury Theatre operated by Cullen.

Second City actors star in new video thriller from Sorelosers Productions

Richard T. Celenza Jr. grew up in a family of gamblers. As a young man he ran small-time card games and worked as a bookie “before the Internet took over the industry,” he said.

“Being involved in gambling makes you build up confidence in yourself, makes you willing to take chances that would be too overwhelming for others, which you need to do to succeed in film,” said Celenza, who is wrapping post on his second feature. “Being a bookie is all about keeping control, balancing things out, keeping trust going both ways, which is a lot like being on a shoot.”

Chicago Studio City adds state of-the-art stages in a major expansion

Phase one of a major expansion is near completion at Chicago Studio City, as three new state-of-the-art stages are being added to the campus. Phase two will include an additional 66,000 sq. ft. of new stage space next year. When completed, the expansion will add a total of 185,000 sq. ft. of new production space … Continue reading “Chicago Studio City adds state of-the-art stages in a major expansion”

Mayor Lightfoot unveils citywide vision for network of trails and corridors

The City of Chicago has released a citywide vision of trails and open spaces that will contribute to a network of community-led green infrastructure projects that promote the health and well-being of Chicago residents and visitors.   “Our residents enjoy world-class parks, an unparalleled Lakefront Trail, and many open space assets along the river and our … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot unveils citywide vision for network of trails and corridors”

Power Book IV: Force has been renewed for a second season

STARZ has announced that Power Book IV: Force has been renewed for a second season. The third spinoff in the Power franchise debuted February 6 as the most-watched premiere ever in STARZ history with 3.3M multiplatform views in the U.S. alone. Along with the announcement of the renewal, STARZ also shared that the series creator … Continue reading “Power Book IV: Force has been renewed for a second season”

Chicago Filmmakers announces competition programs for Onion City Festival

Chicago Filmmakers announces the competition programs for the 32nd Onion City Experimental Film + Video Festival, which will take place March 31 to April 3. The five competition programs will feature 35 short films exploring themes of digital media production, politics of memory, and the value of physical spaces from the United States, France, Canada, South … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers announces competition programs for Onion City Festival”

City of Chicago announces return of the Kathy Osterman Awards

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the return of the Kathy Osterman Awards, which will recognize City Employees across various departments who exceeded expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award luncheon, the first since 2014, will honor employees who demonstrated integrity, innovation, leadership, teamwork, mentorship, and compassion during the city’s response to COVID-19. Ten winners and … Continue reading “City of Chicago announces return of the Kathy Osterman Awards”

Chicago made Christmas with Felicity premieres on AMC+ on Thanksgiving

The family-friendly holiday movie Christmas with Felicity, directed by award-winning, Chicago-based filmmaker, Jack C. Newell (Monuments), will premiere on AMC+ Thanksgiving Day, November 25.  While Christmas with Felicity is primarily set in the fictitious Wisconsin town of Aspen Grove, the majority of the film was shot on location in Historic Downtown Long Grove and included … Continue reading “Chicago made Christmas with Felicity premieres on AMC+ on Thanksgiving”

City of Chicago will require all city employees to be vaccinated

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that, effective October 15, 2021, the City of Chicago will require all City employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, joining many other major municipalities and government agencies in taking this important preventive step. While masking and social distancing requirements in the workplace remain, the best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination.   … Continue reading “City of Chicago will require all city employees to be vaccinated”

John Conroy, transports Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

John Conroy, ISC helps transport Showtime’s horror franchise ‘Penny Dreadful’ to a new period and location with ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’ Having photographed episodes of the Showtime horror drama Penny Dreadful’s second and third seasons, John Conroy, ISC was eager to reteam with showrunner John Logan to help create its new spin-off, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.  Described … Continue reading “John Conroy, transports Penny Dreadful: City of Angels”

City of Chicago prepares for cautious reopening

Following several days of violent protests, the City of Chicago restores access to the Central Business District to prepare for cautious reopening. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced restored access to the Central Business District and Loop, to prepare the city for reopening on June 3. While full access to the area will be reintroduced … Continue reading “City of Chicago prepares for cautious reopening”

Chicago Filmmakers announces Onion City lineup

Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to announce the full lineup for the 30th anniversary edition of the Onion City Experimental Film + Video Festival, which will take place Thursday, March 12 to Sunday, March 15 at Chicago Filmmakers’ Firehouse Cinema in Edgewater. Featuring an array of beautiful, timely, and formidable works that transcend borders from Chicago … Continue reading “Chicago Filmmakers announces Onion City lineup”

City Lights Orchestra celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr

The Chicago-based City Lights Orchestra celebrated the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail in an 11-minute rhapsody composed by Bradley Williams and narrated by Art Hoyle. The piece begins with introspective piano and horns reminiscent of a Miles Davis / Gil Evans collaborations. The melody undulates and swells into a … Continue reading “City Lights Orchestra celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr”

Showtime renews ‘Work in Progress’ for second season

Last month, Reel Chicago reported that Abby McEnany and Tim Mason’s new Showtime comedy series Work in Progress has inspired “an impending cultural sensation.” Now it appears that viewing audiences agree, as multiple outlets are reporting that the network has renewed the show for a second season. Boasting a perfect 100% score on the Rotten … Continue reading “Showtime renews ‘Work in Progress’ for second season”

The 5th Annual Big Teeth 60-second Film Festival

Short films, free craft beer, delicious popcorn, and the Ravenswood Art Walk are the “best way to spend 15 minutes” this year The 5th Annual Big Teeth 60-second Film Festival happens next weekend at Big Teeth Films & Animation’s 2,000 square-foot studio in Ravenswood. One of the Chicago creative community’s most beloved traditions, this year’s … Continue reading “The 5th Annual Big Teeth 60-second Film Festival”

Cutters opens full-force studio in Kansas City

The expanding production and post company adds a trio of highly specialized suites in the city’s Crossroads Arts District Back in August, 2017, the principals of international creative company Cutters Studios announced the opening of a satellite studio in Kansas City. Resulting in high profile collaborations for numerous brands including Dairy Queen, Gatorade, Big O … Continue reading “Cutters opens full-force studio in Kansas City”

mcgarry brings ‘heartfelt authenticity’ to Hallmark spots

With an abundance of simple yet passionate drama, the agency and the client add life to the #CareEnough initiative mcgarrybowen helped Hallmark Gold Crown travel down roads rarely taken by creating four new spots in support of the online and retail gift company’s #CareEnough initiative. Ranging from 30 to 120 seconds, the series features a … Continue reading “mcgarry brings ‘heartfelt authenticity’ to Hallmark spots”

Windy City Horrorama call for entries

Submissions for the international April 26-28 Windy City Horrorama are being accepted via Film Freeway   The second annual Windy City Horrorama will bring the horror to Lincoln Square’s Davis Theater once again next Spring on April 26th – April 28th​, 2019.​ Horrorama is in search of the scariest and most fun work in the … Continue reading “Windy City Horrorama call for entries”

Windy City Fest to premiere Wertheimer’s “Skippers”

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

Philly-based JTwo Films expands into the Windy City

JTWO Films has already hit the ground running and collaborating with agencies and clients in the Greater Chicago area   (Chicago — 12 June 2018) Coming onto their ninth year as a full-service video production company, JTWO has officially opened shop in Chicago, where they will be bringing their full range of Video Production and … Continue reading “Philly-based JTwo Films expands into the Windy City”

“Chicago Fire” a $1 bb economic engine for the city

NBC’s “Chicago Fire” about the firefighters and paramedics at the firehouse of Engine 51, marked the airing of its 100th episode last week and with it, a high economic milestone for the Chicago film industry.

The show currently ranks as NBC’s second highest-rated series behind Tuesday night’s ensemble drama, “This is Us.”

Ratings have gone up from year-to-year. The Dec. 6 episode captured 7.774 million viewers, which certainly has to have a positive effect on tourism. And the odds are definitely in favor of a sixth season for the show.

312UAV: City’s only store devoted to drone filming

Tucked away in a small retail store in Wicker Park is the next game changer for the film industry. Owner / photographer / VFX pro Stan Miskiewicz opened 312UAV two years ago as the first and only store dedicated to drone technology and aerial services in Chicago – and other states.

Miskiewicz believes drone usage opens doors for independent filmmakers to capture shots that were formerly too expensive or impossible to shoot. It allows them to get lower altitude shots up to 400-feet with a variety of angles and perspectives.

City becomes a popular set for spots, films ahead

BUSY PRODUCTION IN WEEKS AHEAD on the streets of Chicago.  On the feature side: “Batman vs. Superman” moves after months in the Motor City to the Windy City and opens an office at Cinespace next week.  Shooting starts Nov. 3-14.  Scheduled locations include the farm house in Plainfield, the subway and the “Daily Planet” atrium at Willis Tower. 

FCB agency for Choose Chicago, city’s tourism arm

FCB was the agency choice of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism arm, to promote the city as a tourist destination throughout the world. Starcom USA will handle media planning. 

FCB topped other finalists Leo Burnett and Magnani for the estimated $3 to $4 million account, which doesn’t include the invaluable prestige associated with business. 

Capacity crowd for May 16 AICE Awards, tix going fast!

BUY YOUR AICE TICKETS NOW as the national Awards Show is reaching space capacity, advises Optimus’ Tom Duff, AICE Chicago chapter. The show will be held Thursday, May 16, throughout the entire Museum of Broadcast Communications: cocktail reception on the third floor, awards presentations on the fourth floor, and after-party on the second floor.

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. 

Grandiose City Cultural Plan doesn’t address funding

It’ll never happen. Whatever good Mayor Rahm Emanuel hoped might come from his hideously verbose Chicago Cultural Plan — a draft of which was released Monday — isn’t going to come to pass for one simple reason.

Yes, you got that right.  MONEY.

The simple, blunt truth about everything this cultural plan proposes is that Chicago will need a lot of cold, hard cash from somewhere to implement this plan and make culture more than it already is in this city.

Secret funder behind Aug. 12-15 wINDIE City Shootout

A secret angel picking up the cost of the event and donating his own funds for the $28,000 prize money, all for the good of the local arts community, makes the Aug. 12-15 wINDIE City Shootout’s 72 Hour Film Race very intriguing, indeed. 

“Believe me, I understand this is a bit unorthodox,” says Matt Benepe, about the backer’s request for both anonymity and that the five event organizers serve as the face of the event.

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.

400 Chicago-L.A. folks partied at Windy City

WINDY CITY WEST’S PARTY Monday night in L.A. was the smash hit everyone expected from Brenda Sexton, whose Chicago-L.A. Link brought together 400 folks with Chicago connections jam-packed” at La Grande Orange restaurant in Santa Monica.

“We got rave reviews on everything, especially favorite food from Chicago which was fantastic,” an exhilarated Sexton told the Reel. To give the event a hot Hollywood vibe, TV cameras were placed around the room as guests were interviewed by columnist/Ch.

“ER” and the city exchange presentations Friday

MAYOR DALEY PROCLAIMS JAN. 30 “ER” DAY in Chicago, and in a twist you rarely if ever hear of ? “ER” will present a gift to the city, “in recognition of the generosity the people of Chicago have shown while the hit series has filmed in the city for the past 15 years.”

The mutual presentation of proclamation and gift takes place at the Upton Baptist Church, 1011 W. Wilson at 11:30 a.m

The Mayor will be there, along with producer Chris Chulack, and “ER” cast members Noah Wyle, Parminder Nagra and David Lyons.

Hollywood, Michigan? That’s what proposed Center City Studios of Lansing is shooting for

After only six months from the enactment of Michigan’s film incentives, the state’s second biggest film complex is being planned for downtown Lansing.

The $9 million studio is being developed by a partnership between the Gillespie Group, an East Lansing real estate development company, and Ahptic Film & Digital, a full-service production/post company.

The 71,000-sq. ft. facility would be second in size to Grace & Wild’s Studio Center headquarters in Farmington and its three other Southfield locations, which encompass over 100,000 sq. ft.

Fox’ “Prison Break” escapes from Joliet and Chicago Studio City and heads for Texas

When “Prison Break” announced in March it would resume filming a second season of the top-rated show June 15, the producers neglected to say where it would be filmed.

That the location will be Texas and not Chicago came as a shock to the 150-plus people involved in the production since last June.

The announcement was made Thursday morning by “Prison Break” producer and Texas resident Garry Brown to union and department heads on the set at Chicago Studio City.

Twenty-two episodes were shot in Chicago during the first season.

City Lit richer thanks to John Logan cash gift in honor of new artistic director Terry McCabe

JOHN LOGAN, Oscar-nominated author of “The Aviator,” has made a $43,200 gift to the small City Lit Theatre Company, thereby eliminating a long-term debt that’s clung to City Lit since 1999.

Logan’s unsolicited gift was in honor of City Lit’s new artistic director, Off-Loop theatre veteran Terry McCabe, a long-time Logan friend and colleague.

John Logan

He’s the sole Chicagoan on AICP’s national board, but Mark Androw is chairman for the second year

Mark Androw frankly admits his loves his job as board chairman of the 255-member Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers.

The president/executive producer of The Story Companies was recently reelected to a second one-year term. “There’s an amazing group of producers on the board and it’s a it’s a privilege to serve with them,” he says.

Fatcake follows “Stuffed” with second Mexican-set travel pilot “Tracking Expats”

Fresh off Jeff Garlin’s feature debut and the season premiere of CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” Misty Tosh of Fatcake Productions is on her way to Baja, Mexico to produce a pilot for the series “Tracking Expats.”

“It’s a totally off-the-cuff, spontaneous road show about tracking down American expatriates in foreign countries, really covering how they make the move, what they do once they arrive, and what kind of life they are leading, or looking to leave,” Tosh said. “It’s geared toward National Geographic Channel.”

Jane Lynch to accept a Comedy Film Fest award

A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD will be presented to actress/comedian Jane Lynch, a Chicago area native, by the Chicago Comedy Film Festival (CCFF) and the Second City’s Harold Ramis Film School, Thursday, Nov, 10 before a sold-out audience at The Second City Training Center.

Lynch will receive the award from Jessica Hardy, CIFF founder / artistic director and Second City president Andrew Alexander. The 7 p.m. presentation will be followed at 8:30 p.m. by the Chicago Filmmakers Shorts Program of a dozen locally-made comedy films.

Andy St. Clair: comedy writer on new “Sirens” special

Two years ago Chicago lost another great writer/performer to the lure of Hollywood. Andy St. Clair spent years on the Second City Mainstage and touring company in ”Campaign SuperNova (How Many Democrats Does it Take to Lose an Election?),” “Studs Terkel’s Networking,” and the Mainstage show, “The Taming of the Flu.”

Still, he’s not quite sure how he ended-up a staff writer for Denis Leary’s new series, “Sirens.”

25th anniversary for “Chicago Tonight”

In the TV world of head-spinning change, it’s rare when a show can sustain itself, night after night, for a quarter of a century, as WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” has done.

In celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary, WTTW is celebrating with a benefit gala at the Harris Theatre April 17, with host Tim Kazurinsky and a galaxy of local stars.

They include gospel legend Mavis Staples, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, the top brass from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Second City performers and 7-year-old piano prodigy Emily Bear.

50th anniversary celebration of Chicago improv comedy dates back to Compass Players roots

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Chicago improv that had its genesis in the legendary Compass Players, which in turn spawned The Second City.

Paying homage to that revolution in comedy, Chicago Improv Festival’s subtitle is “From the ?Compass’ to the World, Celebrating 50 years of Improvisational Theater.”

In 1955, University of Chicago alums Paul Sills and David Shepherd founded the pioneering comedy of the Compass Players in a converted storefront cabaret theatre near the U of C.

The first Second City revue show premiered in 1959.

Day puts sketch group GayCo’s satiric comedy on video with Split Pillow’s surprising budget assist

GAY IS THE GIVEN, not the punchline.

They’re funny. They’re gay. And when I saw their runway summer hit “Weddings of Mass Destruction,” my first thought was, “I can’t believe they’re not on television.” But if all goes according to plan, that’s about to change.

The Second City-born GayCo rolls in its ninth anniversary as a celebrated Chicago sketch comedy stage ensemble with the introduction of its newly completed series of TV-style sketch videos, “GayCo Presents?”

It was the most fun I’ve had producing anything for the screen.

Rewind to summer 2004.

Talarico-Koetz comedy collaboration to screen at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival

Three former performer/writers who worked together at The Second City combined their considerable comedy talents in a comedy short directed by award-winning spot director Leroy Koetz.

The payoff: “Jakarta Boom Boom” will be one of 19 comedy shorts presented at the prestigious and career-boosting HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Feb. 9-13.

The 12-minute short is based on a performance of the improvisational group “Dasariski,” comprised of co-writer/performers Craig Cackowski, Robert Dassie and Rich Talarico.

Bill Murray teams with Aziz Ansari in Searchlight comedy-drama

We never pass up a story about Chicago’s favorite son, Bill Murray. And Bill Murray is trending again. Not for his globetrotting antics or reliving the same day in February over and over again. Murray has joined up with Emmy award winner, Master of None creator, writer, director, and star, Aziz Ansari in the upcoming … Continue reading “Bill Murray teams with Aziz Ansari in Searchlight comedy-drama”

Chicago mourns the death of actress Lindsey Pearlman

Chicago friends, family and co-workers were shocked to hear of the sudden passing of actress Lindsey Pearlman last week when she was found deceased in her car near a popular Los Angeles hiking trail. Lindsey was just 43 years old and had been reported missing a few days prior to the heartbreaking discovery. Full story reported … Continue reading “Chicago mourns the death of actress Lindsey Pearlman”

Joseph Sikora reprises his role as Tommy Egan in Power Book IV: Force

The wait is almost over! Premiering this Sunday, Sikora reprises his role as Tommy Egan in Power Book IV: Force, the highly-anticipated Power spin-off.  Fans of Chicago local, Joseph Sikora were absolutely thrilled to catch glimpses of him as Starz’s newest series Power Book IV: Force was filming throughout the Chicago area beginning last March … Continue reading “Joseph Sikora reprises his role as Tommy Egan in Power Book IV: Force”

Chicago Film XLerator Program for BIPOC creators announces 2022 winner

The Chicago Film XLerator, a Creative Cypher Project is a content lab intended to discover new BIPOC talent and increase creative pipelines in the entertainment industry. Founder Troy Pryor is an advocate for connecting undiscovered diverse talent to mainstream media platforms through his entertainment brands Creative Cypher and Pryor Holdings. On Thursday, January 19th, 2022, … Continue reading “Chicago Film XLerator Program for BIPOC creators announces 2022 winner”

How a trailblazing woman made Chicago the home of improv

Chicago’s greatest cultural export just might be improv theater, which was born at Jane Addams’ Hull House during the Great Depression and carried out into the world by the likes of Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Stephen Colbert. While to most people improv might seem synonymous with comedy, the art form was devised … Continue reading “How a trailblazing woman made Chicago the home of improv”

Squeak E. Clean promotes composer Julie B Nichols to Creative Director

Global creative audio network Squeak E. Clean Studios has promoted Julie B Nichols to Creative Director after two years as a senior composer with the company. A renowned Chicago-based composer, songwriter, director and producer, Nichols has over a decade of experience as a well-rounded musician composing across commercials, film, live theater and her with band The Chicago Soul … Continue reading “Squeak E. Clean promotes composer Julie B Nichols to Creative Director”

Work in Progress Comedy Showcase at Navy Pier

When it comes to comedy, Chicago is no second city—we take center stage. Celebrate our city’s local talent with a comedy showcase featuring sets from up-and-coming voices curated by improv mainstay Abby McEnany, whose hit Showtime series Work in Progress is set and filmed in Chicago. To kick off the show’s second season, join CHF at Navy … Continue reading “Work in Progress Comedy Showcase at Navy Pier”

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”

Noisefloor welcomes Carly Glenn to the family

Noisefloor welcomes singer/songwriter, filmmaker, and writer Carly Glenn to the family. Carly has worked in production for almost 3 years and brings many talents to the table. “Carly is a great fit for us. Her willingness to wear multiple hats and learn new skills is exactly what we were looking for,” says Noisefloor partner Cory … Continue reading “Noisefloor welcomes Carly Glenn to the family”

Players Workshop offering free virtual classes

Players Workshop, the original school of improvisation in Chicago established in 1970, is offering free virtual workshops to teachers and furloughed or laid off workers to help them overcome some of the work challenges from the pandemic. Teachers will learn improvisation exercises they can use to engage and focus their students in virtual classrooms. Those looking for work will learn how to become a … Continue reading “Players Workshop offering free virtual classes”

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

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

ALG to represent John Belushi and Blues Brothers’ estate

ALG Brands has been tapped to represent the estate of John Belushi and the Blues Brothers for licensing and legacy opportunities. Announced by ALG COO Scott Austin, the branding firm will manage Mr. Belushi’s personality rights and will oversee the evolution of the Blues Brothers’ iconic intellectual property via brand collaborations, media projects, experiential events … Continue reading “ALG to represent John Belushi and Blues Brothers’ estate”

Chicago area celebs join CPL’s “Live From the Library”

Chicago Public Library announced this week’s group of celebrity readers for the Live From the Library program, featuring a combination of librarians, authors, celebrities, and notable Chicagoans, reading stories to children and families daily at 10 a.m. CST. Actor Joe Mantegna (7/13), actress Denise Richards (7/14), and Inside Edition Chief Investigative Reporter Lisa Guerrero (7/15) will be the latest Chicago notables … Continue reading “Chicago area celebs join CPL’s “Live From the Library””

‘Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago’ lineup

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

FCB & Mayor Lightfoot launch ‘Live from the Library’

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

IWOC & C3 free webinar on keeping your brand alive

Responding to the “Virus Crisis,” the Independent Writers of Chicago (IWOC) and the Chicago Creative Coalition (C3) have teamed up to come to the rescue of freelancers particularly hard hit in these desperate times with a FREE webinar on Tuesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. on “Building and Preserving Your Personal Brand in COVID-19 Times,” featuring … Continue reading “IWOC & C3 free webinar on keeping your brand alive”

From cosplay to comics, C2E2 comes to Chicago

Those who know me best might be surprised to learn that I’ve never attended a comic con, nor have I ever truly attempted cosplay. Conceptual modeling? Yes. Cosplay? Not so much. Last Halloween, I was excited to take on the challenge of creating my favorite Mortal Kombat character of all time (Kitana), while simultaneously making … Continue reading “From cosplay to comics, C2E2 comes to Chicago”

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”

LGBTQ Voices in Comedy panel at CCFF

The Chicago Comedy Film Festival, sponsored by Columbia College Cinema and Television Department, will present a panel of films and guest speakers around the topic of LGBTQ voices and conversations in the comedy film industry. The program is made possible by a grant from Columbia College’s academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department. It will serve … Continue reading “LGBTQ Voices in Comedy panel at CCFF”

‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul

Breaking Bad producer Stewart Lyons will be among the TV and film creators appearing at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artists Series this winter. The award-winning guest, who also produces Better Call Saul, will take part in the VAS’ series of feature screenings and onstage discussions with leading talent in the entertainment industry … Continue reading “‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul”

Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films

Indie distributor scores ‘Open Tables’ and ‘Close Quarters’ by Second City’s Harold Ramis School Program Director Cow Lamp Films — the Midwest’s first and only full-service, independent film and television distributor — has acquired two movies by romantic comedy legend Jack C. Newell. In Newell’s signature style, both of the stories use food and humor … Continue reading “Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films”

Film & TV pros share expertise at ‘Courier 12’

’BlacKkKlansman’ screenwriters among panelists appearing at DePaul’s all-day industry conference on Saturday, Sept. 28   DePaul University’s annual Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference will take place this Saturday, September 28, from noon to 7 p.m. in the school’s Daley Building, 247 S. State St. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For … Continue reading “Film & TV pros share expertise at ‘Courier 12’”

The venerable Players Workshop is reborn

Chicago institution that helped train Bill Murray, Bonnie Hunt, David Mamet, Amy Sedaris reopens “for people from all walks of life” after 15-year break Players Workshop, the original Chicago school of improvisation founded in 1970, is reopening its doors just in time for a 50th anniversary celebration next year. New owner Jeff Rogers, actor, creative … Continue reading “The venerable Players Workshop is reborn”

‘CHI-nanigans’ and the ‘perfect imperfections of youth’

An endearing new Windy City-based family web series offers laughs and lessons while helping young people build confidence It’s hard not to fall in love with the kids in CHI-nanigans, a new Chicago-based family web series with ASL translation created by Harold Ramis Film School alum Jill Ross set to premiere August 4 on YouTube. … Continue reading “‘CHI-nanigans’ and the ‘perfect imperfections of youth’”

Harold Ramis Film School Info Session & Tour

The world’s first film school dedicated to comedy will accept Fall session applications unitl May 15 The Harold Ramis Film School at Second City will host an Info Session and Tour next Friday, April 26, from 4-5:30 p.m. in its Old Town location at 230 W. North Ave. Founded in 2016 as “the world’s first … Continue reading “Harold Ramis Film School Info Session & Tour”

Chicago-made ‘Curtains’ rolls through festival circuit

“People would like to see Denim Underwear, Hula-hoop, or The Phases of the Moon play.” Gar Hoover More than a year after production, Beth and Gar Hoover’s Curtains continues to roll through a festival circuit that has stopped in seemingly every city but their hometown of Chicago. The 25-minute comedy is about a disgraced avant-garde … Continue reading “Chicago-made ‘Curtains’ rolls through festival circuit”

‘Olympia’ at Chicago Comedy Film Festival

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

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”

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”

Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are bringing their new HBO series to Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Titled Lovecraft Country, the series is based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name. According to IMDb, the story is about “a young African-American (who) travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing … Continue reading “Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace”

“SNL’s” Rachel Dratch in new Ruby Tuesday campaign

Confession time. I’ve always had an odd crush on Rachel Dratch. Yeah, Debby Downer. Her. I can’t explain it, but I have always found the Second City alum kind of alluring through all of her oddball skits. So imagine my surprise and deep down joy (lust?) when I saw these amusing new Ruby Tuesday spots … Continue reading ““SNL’s” Rachel Dratch in new Ruby Tuesday campaign”

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

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

Jenny Milkowski on her departure from Fox 32

(Editor’s note:) Last Friday, Fox 32 abruptly parted ways with their Emmy award winning traffic reporter, Jenny Milkowski. The #1 digital talent in the Chicago market (via Sharerocket), Milkowski was understandably stunned and saddened by the decision. She issued the following statement to her Chicago followers and fans.       I remember the day … Continue reading “Jenny Milkowski on her departure from Fox 32”

Chicago Media Standards

An Open Letter to the Chicago Film Community: The Chicago film industry continues to enjoy record-breaking growth and development. But there’s one change we are not seeing fast enough — an unequivocal rejection of the culture of sexism, misogyny, and discrimination that has long dominated this business. If our community is to continue to thrive, … Continue reading “Chicago Media Standards”

Paonessa Talent actors head for TV and film stardom

The next 10 days will be especially exciting for talent agent Marisa Paonessa. She will be making two consecutive weekend trips to New York to celebrate the TV and film premieres of two of her agency’s talent.

She will attend the Oct. 1 premiere of “Saturday Night Live’s” 42nd season, in which her client, improv artist and sketch performer, Alex Moffat, will debut as a regular member of the iconic TV series.

Well done short tickles the palette of famous chefs

Food luminaries from around the world flocked to Chicago to applaud winners of the “Oscars of the Food World” – the 25th annual James Beard Foundation Awards gala — May 4 at the Lyric Opera, the first time the awards were held outside of New York in its history. 

Sunday’s Film Summit & Expo earns 4 stars all around

In no uncertain terms, Sunday’s Film Summit & Expo was a rousing success – and a somewhat surprising one given the short time frame the organizers had for assembling the parts that made it so successful: the 1,000 professionals attendees, out of 1,500 who registered. The SRO panel discussions.  Dick Wolf’s candid speech.  The crowded roomful of exhibitors.

“Boss” an important show for director Van Peebles

Say this for Mario Van Peebles: Despite the dark themes of Startz “Boss,” the director presides over a festive set.  Before filming ended on the second season July 10, Van Peebles shot a final scene at in a private suite at Arlington Park racetrack.

Despite the chandeliers and gratuitous Doric columns, Van Peebles wore lime green shorts and boat shoes. The rest of the largely Chicago crew wore hats – fedoras, panamas, newsboy – in honor of their day at the races, darting off to make bets in between scenes. 

John Mahoney to honor Kelsey Grammer at Hugos

AN ADDED SPECIAL TREAT for Hugo Awards attendees.  John Mahoney will be on hand to honor his “Frasier” co-star Kelsey Grammer at the Hugo awards ceremony Thursday, April 19 at the new Chicago Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N. Columbus Drive. 

Mahoney, an Oak Park resident, and Grammer, star of Starz series “Boss,” played Dr. Martin Crane, father of Dr. Frasier Crane in the comedy series that ran a record-breaking 11 years on NBC. Tickets are $100 and may be purchased at www.chicagofilmfestival.com or by calling 312/683-0121.

Film Critics Awards back Jan. 7 after 5 year absence

After a five-year absence, the 22nd Chicago Film Critics Awards (CFCA) takes the spotlight at the Broadway Playhouse in Water Tower on Jan. 7, it again will be the first of the many awards presentations for Hollywood’s best that climax with the Oscars.

At CFCA’s first show in 1990, shy almost reclusive writer/director John Hughes received the first Commitment to Chicago Award. By then he had already had produced 11 films in Chicago.

Keefe produces fridaynitebYtes web comedy series

JOE KEEFE of Long Tail Media Group is producing fridaynitebYtes,  a streaming comedy sketch series targeted to tween-and-teen internet users. The members contribute their sketch ideas and a professional cast and crew creates a show based on their ideas.

“This is where young members can contribute to upcoming episodes and learn comedy and production skills,” says Keefe, the founding executive producer of Second City Com he says.

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.

Chicago’s invisibility on the national scene is no help when it comes to expanding business

The AICP added a committee of 15 persons to judge a new category called Advertising Excellence/Next for the upcoming 2008 AICP Show, which arrives in Chicago five months after the New York presentation.

In scanning the list of judges, I was again struck with the deplorable lack of Chicagoans on the committee.

Maybe that’s because East and West Coast counterparts are nationally known. They consistently blow their own horns for recognition, whereas dead silence is mostly what’s heard from Chicago.

Harpo to produce two primetime shows

THE QUEEN OF DAYTIME is headed for primetime. Oprah’s Harpo Productions sold two reality shows to ABC, the first time she’s attached her name to a weekly primetime series.

These are the first series to emerge from Harpo’s recently formed TV development group, headed by EVPs Ellen Rakieten and Harriet Seitler.

The shows will be shot in L.A. Oprah is said to appear in at least one of the two shows, although it’s not known if she’ll be the host on either one.

Harpo to produce two primetime shows

THE QUEEN OF DAYTIME is headed for primetime. Oprah’s Harpo Productions sold two reality shows to ABC, the first time she’s attached her name to a weekly primetime series.

These are the first series to emerge from Harpo’s recently formed TV development group, headed by EVPs Ellen Rakieten and Harriet Seitler.

The shows will be shot in L.A. Oprah is said to appear in at least one of the two shows, although it’s not known if she’ll be the host on either one.

Actor Jim Zulevic dies of heart attack at age 40

I love Chicago comedy. The artists are funny, intelligent, have a great work ethic and a strong point of view. In L.A. it’s easier to find good pizza than those qualities.”?Jim Zulevic (1965-2006), in a 2005 interview.

Chicago lost a darling Saturday, Jan. 7, when Jim Zulevic died from an apparent heart attack shortly before he was due to host his weekly radio show.

SNL, MADtv acts among 110 performing at eighth annual Chicago Improv Festival now through May 1

In the world of improv and sketch comedy, Chicago reigns supreme. Nowhere is that more evident than in the eighth annual Chicago Improv Festival, now through May 1 at the Athenaenum Theatre and other venues.

CIF8 is bigger and more energetic than ever than ever before, with a celebrity soup roster of 125 improv and sketch ensembles.

They come from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chapel Hill, Toronto, Honolulu and Oslo, Norway.

Voiceover Harlan Hogan back in theatre; Burnett’s Ira Antelis musical showcases in major workshop

Voiceover superstar Harlan Hogan has returned to the legitimate theatre for the first time in more than 25 years. Looking very dapper and trim in a well-fitted double-breasted suit, Hogan plays Edvard Lunt, a famous novelist and a bridegroom, in “Impossible Marriage,” a comedy by Beth Henley.

Nothing goes according to plan in this Southern Gothic comedy, set in a splendid garden (kudos to scenic designer Joey Wade).

But Hogan does get the much-younger-girl before the final curtain, even if her wedding gown includes giant, iridescent butterfly wings.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

Actor/writer/producer Trevor Anthony states he has the experience and moxie to make it big in Hollywood. And he’s willing to sell a piece of his ultimate success to investors on Ebay. “With this purchase we’ll start in the red and end in the GOLD,” he promises. “Invest in my dream and I’ll take you along.” To date, the $24 response to his ad won’t quite get him to Sunset Blvd., but it is a creative bid for attention. See it at ebay.com.

4th Chicago Sketchfest spotlights 100+ comedy acts from US, Canada; includes writing workshop

The 4th Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, aka Sketchfest, at the Theatre Building is running on all three 150-seat stages simultaneously from now through Jan. 16.

One hundred-plus shows will be mounted by 83 local, national and Canadian sketch troupes chosen from more than 160 applicants.

Sketchfest’s special events include a comedy writing workshop, “How to be Funny Even if You’re Sketchy,” taught by John Vorhaus, veteran Hollywood comedy/sitcom writer (“Married?with Children”) Jan. 15. It will be followed by a panel of Chicago’s premier comedymeisters.

Audiences love Chicago theatre?Actors Equity figures show actors bookings set all-time high

Figures released last month by Actors Equity Association (Equity) confirm that Chicago once again fueled Equity’s 13-state Central Region to a record-setting year, as measured by total work weeks booked under various Equity contracts.

For the 2003-2004 season (July 1-June 30), the Central Region booked 45,026 work weeks, up nearly 6% over 2002-2003. The Central Region supplied 15.6% of all Equity work weeks nationally, even though only 8.6% of all Equity members live in the region.

1979 seems like yesterday

By Ruth L Ratny

Twenty-five years ago, in January, 1979, I launched Screen the Weekly Newsletter. My friend, the astrologer Laurie Brady, advised an auspicious start would be on the new moon of Jan. 29, a time of new beginnings.

Auspicious astrologically perhaps, but not on Planet Earth. Screen bowed during a wicked blizzard and a SAG actors strike at a time when the once- thriving film business was fading to black.

Director Mark Schimmel signs with Road Pictures

Road Pictures has announced it has signed director Mark Schimmel for national representation. The union between Greg Malone, Executive Producer and owner of Road Pictures, and Schimmel is a long-standing one. Their work relationship has included sharing second unit producing responsibilities for the Farrelly brother’s mini-series The Now, as well as other commercial projects. An … Continue reading “Director Mark Schimmel signs with Road Pictures”

Chicago Riverwalk 2022 summer season events announced

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and DCASE spotlight a slate of engaging summer arts and recreational programming taking place on the Chicago Riverwalk, a magnificent urban space located on the south bank of the Chicago River. The award-winning, pedestrian-friendly Chicago Riverwalk stretches 1.25 miles from Lake Michigan to Lake Street offering restaurants, wineries and bars, live … Continue reading “Chicago Riverwalk 2022 summer season events announced”

John David Held, 1st Executive Director of AICE has passed at 97

John David Held, who went from writing copy for newspapers and TV stations to a far-flung career as an agency producer to being the first formal leader of a major industry trade association, has passed away. Held died on June 3 in Wyoming, where he had resided for a number of years. He was 97. … Continue reading “John David Held, 1st Executive Director of AICE has passed at 97”

Former Chicagoan Niko Vitacco returns home for the filming of Guys Night

Former Chicagoan, actor/ writer/ producer, Niko Vitacco, will return home to begin filming in August on the feature film, Guys Night. As if he followed the advice of Hemingway and Mark Twain, to write what you know, Vitacco has a heartfelt memory of his youth that is bursting to be told. Drawing from his own … Continue reading “Former Chicagoan Niko Vitacco returns home for the filming of Guys Night”

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

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

The Chicago Film Society begins their 28th Season

The Chicago Film Society begins their 28th Season with screenings at NEIU and the Music Box Theater throughout the summer from May 11 thru August 31. See the full schedule and ticket information below. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SEASON FROM THE CHICAGO FILM SOCIETY Sometimes it feels like the state of cinema is one last … Continue reading “The Chicago Film Society begins their 28th Season”

Five new cast members join the Kay Oyegun ABC pilot as filming begins

Five new cast members join the Kay Oyegun untitled ABC pilot that is expected to begin filming in Chicago on Friday, May 13. 20th Television is onboard as the production company. Oyegun is the writer/ Executive Producer. The story revolves around five therapists in Philadelphia who find unique ways to solve problems in their patients’ … Continue reading “Five new cast members join the Kay Oyegun ABC pilot as filming begins”

Coors Light beats the heat with Chillboards energy-efficient campaign

In order to combat Miami’s frequent extreme heat waves, Coors Light debuted Chillboards, a new experiential eco-and social-conscious campaign directed by HELO’s Set Free Richardson via DDB. Helping communities keep cool and lower utility bills, Coors Light installed billboards with minimalist ad messaging on the roofs of 96 apartment buildings in Miami. The Chillboards feature white … Continue reading “Coors Light beats the heat with Chillboards energy-efficient campaign”

Two feature debuts take top honors at Chicago Latino Film Festival

The 38th Chicago Latino Film Festival announced today the winners and runners-up for its Audience Choice Awards. The slate of 50 features and 36 shorts from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States, included an array of premieres, stories of underrepresented communities, and an increase in LGBTQIA+ films. Even though the festival is a non-competitive … Continue reading “Two feature debuts take top honors at Chicago Latino Film Festival”

Chicago native, longtime character actor Mike Hagerty, has died at 67

Mike Hagerty, longtime character actor, best known as Mr. Teeger the building manager on Friends, passed away suddenly at 67. Hagerty was born in Chicago and got his start in acting at Second City. He has a long list of credits, having appeared in episodes of Cheers, Boston Legal, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Community, CSI, Curb Your … Continue reading “Chicago native, longtime character actor Mike Hagerty, has died at 67”

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

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

Backyard Productions signs directors Mac Eldridge and John M. Lopez

Backyard Productions announces the additions of Mac Eldridge and John M. Lopez to their roster of acclaimed directors for US commercial representation.    Mac Eldridge is a multidisciplinary director with a rich background in crafting films, branded content, and commercials. Acclaimed for bringing his captivating visual style and narrative-driven storytelling to the sporting industry, his work … Continue reading “Backyard Productions signs directors Mac Eldridge and John M. Lopez”

Chicago filmmakers premiere their first feature ‘That Night’

Broken Bulb Productions, a new Chicago film production company, premieres their first feature film, That Night, on Saturday, April 30th at Logan Theatre.  The comedy, written and directed by 26-year-old Lisle, IL native Zachary Trussell, is about a drunken night with friends that gives a struggling artist the opportunity to advance his career and win back the love … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers premiere their first feature ‘That Night’”

Production veteran Kate Smith returns to Flavor as Executive Producer

Flavor and Cutters Studios announce the return of production veteran Kate Smith in the role of Executive Producer. The announcement was made by Flavor’s Managing Director Neal Cohen and Executive Creative Director Brian McCauley. Previously a Producer for Flavor, Smith spent the past year as Senior Producer with Carbon developing high-profile brand campaigns, including BBH … Continue reading “Production veteran Kate Smith returns to Flavor as Executive Producer”

Police ask for help and release videos of Kwame Amoaku’s attackers

Chicago Police Department posted a tweet with a video of three people brutally attacking Kwame Amoaku, Director of the Chicago Film Office. The post also included surveillance video of his attackers shopping at the North Riverside Park Mall after the attack. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed Amoaku to lead the city’s film office in July … Continue reading “Police ask for help and release videos of Kwame Amoaku’s attackers”

Reel Women: Angie Gaffney, Executive Director at IFA Chicago, film producer

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2022 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Women like Angie Gaffney are making “Herstory.” Strong, confident, capable, Angie Gaffney is a true renaissance woman … Continue reading “Reel Women: Angie Gaffney, Executive Director at IFA Chicago, film producer”

Update: New details on the Kwame Amoaku attack

Friday, Reel Chicago reported that beloved Chicago Film Director Kwame Amoaku, was brutally attacked Wednesday morning. He posted on his Facebook page: “This a.m. I was attacked beaten and my car stolen by three kids. Thanks to all who have reached out. I’m in the ICU I’m going to be ok.” His Facebook post was … Continue reading “Update: New details on the Kwame Amoaku attack”

Midwest Film Festival presents Relative a film by Michael Glover Smith

The Midwest Film Festival (MFF) presents its second entry of their 2022 season. On Tuesday, April 5, at 7 pm, MFF will host an hour-long networking soiree before featuring the Midwest premiere of Michael Glover Smith’s feature-length film: Relative at 8 pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center. This screening will be followed by a … Continue reading “Midwest Film Festival presents Relative a film by Michael Glover Smith”

Merri Dee Chicago’s homegrown broadcasting legend has passed at 85

American philanthropist and former WGN-TV (Channel 9) television journalist, who survived a kidnapping and murder attempt, Merri Dee passed away at age 85. Her death was confirmed Wednesday by a statement shared by WGN,  “Chicago’s Very Own, Merri Dee, was a one-of-a-kind legend. From WGN staff announcer to hosting parade telecasts, telethons and even the … Continue reading “Merri Dee Chicago’s homegrown broadcasting legend has passed at 85”

1o8 adds top creative talent Jen Bills as EVP/ECD

Chicago-based 1o8, the evolved performance marketing agency, attracts top creative talent Jen Bills in the new role of Executive Vice President / Executive Creative Director. Bills comes directly from O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) where she was Group Creative Director.  1o8 is a minority owned agency founded by Aalap Shah in 2018. Shah is mindfully building … Continue reading “1o8 adds top creative talent Jen Bills as EVP/ECD”

What new series are setting up in Chicago and what’s leaving

What do HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix, NBC/Uni, Sony, Disney, AMC Studios, Showtime, STARZ all have in common? They’ve all moved into town, setup shop, and made themselves a home in Chicago to shoot a tv series. I’ve lived through the ebb and flow of the Chicago film industry since the mid 80s. This … Continue reading “What new series are setting up in Chicago and what’s leaving”

Bob Odenkirk opens up about life, death, and reinventing himself

Chicagoland native, Emmy-winning writer, Golden Globe-nominated actor, comedian, director, producer, and Second City alum Bob Odenkirk returned to Chicago to promote his book at an event at the Music Box Theatre. Odenkirk was joined by Tim Meadows, actor/comedian and Second City alum, who you might also recognize from his appearance in the Chicago set of … Continue reading “Bob Odenkirk opens up about life, death, and reinventing himself”

Ari Wegner ACS captures The Power of the Dog with Panavision optics

Cinematographer Ari Wegner, ACS is no stranger to dramatic filming locations. For the 2013 feature Ruin, she worked in the Cambodian jungle; the remote landscapes of the 2018 drama Stray were captured in New Zealand; and the 2019 biopic True History of the Kelly Gang features several spectacular filming spots around the Australian countryside. Her most recent project The Power of … Continue reading “Ari Wegner ACS captures The Power of the Dog with Panavision optics”

Chicago P.D.’s Tracy Spiridakos makes dramatic Chicago River rescue

We’re taking you behind the scenes to show you how Tracy Spiridakos and stunt double Kelli Victoria Scarangello pulled off Chicago P.D.’s most challenging scene of the season. Chicago P.D. is making a splash with their upcoming Episode 9.13 Still Water. The episode begins with Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) chatting with Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) as … Continue reading “Chicago P.D.’s Tracy Spiridakos makes dramatic Chicago River rescue”

Fargo has been picked up for Season 5

Fargo fans should be thrilled to hear that Noah Hawley’s Emmy-winning anthology series is officially returning for a fifth season. FX announced during their presentation at the Television Critics Association’s virtual winter press tour that the network has ordered a fifth season of the series inspired by the Coen Brothers’ 1996 cult classic film.  We … Continue reading “Fargo has been picked up for Season 5”

HBO Max renews comedy series ‘South Side’ for a third season

South Side got a thumbs up from HBO Max for a third season. The streaming service announced the renewal of the Chicago series. The second season of the beloved, critically acclaimed comedy series premiered as a Max Original in November 2021. Starring Bashir Salahuddin, Sultan Salahuddin, Kareme Young, Quincy Young, Chandra Russell, Zuri Salahuddin, Nefetari Spencer, … Continue reading “HBO Max renews comedy series ‘South Side’ for a third season”

South Side Short Film Series showcases talented and emerging filmmakers

In storytelling, there are four P’s: people, place, purpose and plot. The South Side Short Film Series, Reel Black Filmmakers, a program of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, will feature five short films exemplifying the power of the four P’s. South Side Short Film Series, Reel Black Filmmakers on Wednesday, February 23 from 7-8:30p … Continue reading “South Side Short Film Series showcases talented and emerging filmmakers”

Where in the world is Bill Murray?

For the past few months our beloved Second City alum Bill Murray has been all over, making news and finding himself trending on social media. From Charleston, South Carolina to New York, to Monterey County, California, his heartwarming hijinks are entertaining fans.  Charleston, South Carolina Although Bill Murray was born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, … Continue reading “Where in the world is Bill Murray?”

The Cotton Club: The Musicians’ Story released for streaming

Champaign-based Transcendence Broadcasting, a Telly Award-winning TV production studio, with deep roots in Chicago, has completed post-production for its latest documentary film,  The Cotton Club: The Musicians’ Story (2022) and plans to release it on Paus.TV, a leading streaming service in the European market.  The film features well known talent from Chicago, including Dee Alexander, … Continue reading “The Cotton Club: The Musicians’ Story released for streaming”

Life imitates art with a daring real-life rescue on the set of Chicago Med

Three Chicago Med crew members make a daring real-life rescue. If you are lucky enough to know a fireman or first responder, then no doubt you have witnessed a rare breed, and the abundance of compassion that calls them to duty. The call to save lives does not end when they clock out and leave … Continue reading “Life imitates art with a daring real-life rescue on the set of Chicago Med”

Bob Odenkirk with Tim Meadows: Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama

Chicago Humanities Festival will present Chicago’s own Bob Odenkirk in conversation with Tim Meadows at the Music Box Theatre on March 2 Odenkirk opens up about the highs and lows of Hollywood with fellow SNL alum Meadows. The two legends get candid about all the comedy and drama in showbiz that Odenkirk has lived through and writes about in his … Continue reading “Bob Odenkirk with Tim Meadows: Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama”

Chicago P.D. pauses filming due to positive Covid tests

Chicago P.D. is the latest TV series to fall victim to the Omicron variant Covid-19 surge, requiring a pause in production Thursday morning after a number of positive Covid tests were reported. Some of the cases were in Zone A, which includes the cast and those who directly interact with them. Our sources say that … Continue reading “Chicago P.D. pauses filming due to positive Covid tests”

Directors Steve Conry & Christian Schultz find the heart of Electric Forest

Directors Steve Conry and Christian Schultz recently released this heart felt documentary that celebrates the 10 year anniversary of world famous music festival, Electric Forest. Steve Conroy is on the Seed Media Arts director’s roster. Electric Forest is co-produced by Madison House Presents and Insomniac Events who gave Conry and Schultz carte blanche to document … Continue reading “Directors Steve Conry & Christian Schultz find the heart of Electric Forest”

The Best of Reel Chicago interviews in 2021

Human beings are social animals. Personal contact and social interaction with others is simply essential. In opposition, Covid created lock downs, quarantines and generally created a need to rethink how we communicate with each other. Because communicate, we must. Although we all had hopes for 2021, it has pushed, provoked, squished and forced its way upon us … Continue reading “The Best of Reel Chicago interviews in 2021”

Chicago P.D. recap of mid-season finale No Way Out

Not to be outdone by Chicago Med and Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. has gotten into the holiday spirit by gifting fans one of the most intriguing mid-season finales ever. The episode titled No Way Out begins at Roy’s grave where Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) is given a choice by Special Agent Walker North (Alex … Continue reading “Chicago P.D. recap of mid-season finale No Way Out”

Shonda Nelson Joins Fusion92 as SVP, People Strategy

Fusion92, a Chicago-based marketing innovation company, announced that Shonda Nelson has been named SVP, People Strategy and will lead the firm’s expanded Human Resources Department. She will report to Fusion92 President Doug Dome.  Nelson has more than two decades of HR leadership experience across multiple industries, including marketing & advertising, technology, and public relations. She has driven a wide array of HR initiatives and facilitated organizational change, gaining … Continue reading “Shonda Nelson Joins Fusion92 as SVP, People Strategy”

Chicago Med recap of winter finale ‘Secret Santa Has a Gift for You’

It’s that time of year again! Decorate the tree, get a nice cup of cocoa, and cozy up on the couch to watch the One Chicago dramas presenting their holiday episodes. Chicago Med did not disappoint with their final episode before holiday hiatus. Chicago Med, Fire and P.D. will return with new episodes on Wednesday, … Continue reading “Chicago Med recap of winter finale ‘Secret Santa Has a Gift for You’”

Chicago Critics Film Festival announces full lineup

The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), today announces the complete lineup, schedule and special guests expected for the eighth Chicago Critics Film Festival, November 12-14. The festival opens with the Chicago premiere of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley and Peter Sarsgaard. The weekend-long festival will close with … Continue reading “Chicago Critics Film Festival announces full lineup”

IFA Block Party celebrates the growth of the Chicago film industry

IFA Chicago’s inaugural Fall Into Film Block Party event, celebrates the growth of the film industry in Chicago, the arts, creatives & filmmakers, and the local community. Whether you are a creator/filmmaker, member of the community, sponsor, business in the neighborhood or a local community member…all those looking to support our mission – this event … Continue reading “IFA Block Party celebrates the growth of the Chicago film industry”

Full festival schedule for the 27th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center announces the full festival schedule for its 27th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival, which will take place both virtually and in person at the Gene Siskel Film Center from November 5 through December 2. The festival’s month-long showcase of Black stories will feature … Continue reading “Full festival schedule for the 27th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival”

Interview: writer and director of ‘Ghostwriter’ beautifully filmed in Chicago

Ghostwriter is a beautifully filmed black and white Indie film, about a bartender who, as a once published writer, has struggled for years with his second novel, and how he helps a combat veteran face his fears over completing a short story about his time in Iraq. Filmed in Chicago, the film is written by … Continue reading “Interview: writer and director of ‘Ghostwriter’ beautifully filmed in Chicago”

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”

Guinness announces Chicago taproom in West Loop

Irish heritage, tradition, grit, and resilience all run deep in Chicago, and in the not-too-distant future, so will Guinness roots. This great American city will be the home to the new Guinness Chicago Taproom, slated to open to the public in 2023 in the city’s lively West Loop neighborhood. Located at 375 N. Morgan Street, the 15,000-square-foot … Continue reading “Guinness announces Chicago taproom in West Loop”

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

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

Lovecraft Country represents Chicago with two Emmy wins

Last night, the 73rd Emmy Awards were held with Cedric the Entertainer hosting on CBS. While most of the big Emmy news for Chicago will be pointed (deservedly so) toward Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis’, who studied here at the IO Theater, Second City and Anonymous, and co-creator, co-star and Chicagoan Brendan Hunt’s wins, another Chicago-based … Continue reading “Lovecraft Country represents Chicago with two Emmy wins”

Pritzker mandates vaccine for all healthcare workers, teachers, students

As COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates across the state continue to increase, particularly in downstate communities with the lowest vaccination rates, Governor JB Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike today announced vaccine requirements for individuals in high risk settings. All healthcare workers, including nursing home employees, all pre-k-12 teachers and staff, as well as … Continue reading “Pritzker mandates vaccine for all healthcare workers, teachers, students”

Work in Progress: the concept, the talent, and plans for Season 2

Showtime’s brilliant series Work in Progress is back for a second season. The hit series revolves around the life of a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke, Abby (Abby McEnany) as she encounters death, doubt, suicide and depression while becoming an altogether likable heroine.   Abby McEnany, creator, writer, and star of series is a fixture in … Continue reading “Work in Progress: the concept, the talent, and plans for Season 2”

Star-studded doc honors life and career of Chicago’s Michael Madsen

There is an impressive group of Hollywood’s A-List in the new documentary American Badass: A Michael Madsen Retrospective. Among those who honor the life and career of Michael Madsen are Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Ron Perlman, Virginia Madsen, Charlie Sheen, William Baldwin, Paul Sorvino, the late Harry Dean Stanton, Daryl Hannah, Chuck Zito. Born in … Continue reading “Star-studded doc honors life and career of Chicago’s Michael Madsen”

Cinematographer Jack Donnelly discusses Godfather of Harlem

Following his work on Season 1 of Godfather of Harlem, cinematographer Jack Donnelly returned for Season 2 to focus on preserving “a consistent visual style” for the series. When Godfather of Harlem Season 2 begins, it’s February 1964, and the series’ eponymous gangster, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson (Forest Whitaker), has been in hiding for three months while notorious mafioso Vincent “Chin” Gigante … Continue reading “Cinematographer Jack Donnelly discusses Godfather of Harlem”

Navy Pier plans lots of fun but no fireworks on July 4th

Navy Pier is set to celebrate Independence Day this year with a full weekend of family-friendly programming and activities, including live music, dance performances and more as part of its nonprofit mission to provide the community with access to free arts and cultural programs. However, the Pier will not host a fireworks show on Saturday, … Continue reading “Navy Pier plans lots of fun but no fireworks on July 4th”

FCB continues its winning streak at Cannes Lions

The FCB Network continues its winning streak on day two of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, taking home two more Grand Prix trophies – the first, in the category of Media – Social Behaviour for FCB Chicago’s “Boards of Change,” on behalf of the City of Chicago. The second Grand Prix was awarded … Continue reading “FCB continues its winning streak at Cannes Lions”

Chicago filmmakers’ Monuments opens at Siskel Center

This Friday, June 4, is the exclusive Chicago streaming engagement of Monuments, from local filmmaker and Gene Siskel Film Center alum Jack C. Newell (Open Tables, 42 Grams), and Chicago Producer, Angie Gaffney (Executive Director of the Chicago Independent Film Alliance). The road film, featuring many Chicago landmarks and faces, stars David Sullivan (Primer, Flaked, Sharp Objects) as a college … Continue reading “Chicago filmmakers’ Monuments opens at Siskel Center”

World famous Bud Billiken Parade and Festival is Back!

Chicago’s youth will march alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and a number of other local and national stars in the 92nd Annual Bud Billiken Parade on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10 a.m. The theme for this year’s parade is “Back to School, Back to Life, Back to Bud Billiken.” Produced by the Chicago Defender Charities, it is the largest … Continue reading “World famous Bud Billiken Parade and Festival is Back!”

2021 Chicago beach season kicks off this weekend

22 beaches have officially opened for the 2021 season. The return of beach season is another step forward with Open Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot‘s initiative to safely and fully reopen the city. This marks the first time Chicago beaches have opened for public use since September 2, 2019, due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions. The 2021 beach … Continue reading “2021 Chicago beach season kicks off this weekend”

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”

Blue Chip’s new Merrell campaign says “Take a Hike”

Merrell is blazing a new trail with Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG), in a new campaign that broadens the notion of hiking to attract younger, more urban consumers who shop at DSG. Video and graphic ads on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube support three new models available at DSG – MOAB Flight, Nova and Antora 2 – … Continue reading “Blue Chip’s new Merrell campaign says “Take a Hike””

Skillicorn takes on partner moves Seed headquarters to LA

Seed Media Arts is expanding and moving their headquarters to Los Angeles. This originally Chicago-based company founded in 2011 by Roy Skillicorn has recently partnered with Los Angeles based Executive Producer Brad Johnson. As Johnson expands Seed to Los Angeles, Roy Skillicorn and Nathan Skillicorn are continuing in Chicago as the midwest representation.  “Chicago is where … Continue reading “Skillicorn takes on partner moves Seed headquarters to LA”

Google, Global Citizen & FCB partner to Save the Planet

What if you could save the planet from an impending environmental atrocity with a single click? Google, in partnership with Global Citizen, FCB and 360i, teamed up to bring this to life. A new 30-second spot, on YouTube, shows a photograph of a house and its surroundings being burned down by a wildfire. The audio … Continue reading “Google, Global Citizen & FCB partner to Save the Planet”

Chicago director, Christian Taylor screening at GI Fest

The directorial debut of Chicago native Christian Taylor with The Girl Who Wore Freedom is an education on empathy. This documentary being shown at the GI Film Festival San Diego tells the untold WWII stories of the men, women, and children of Normandy, France, who lived through German occupation, the D-Day invasion, and the liberation … Continue reading “Chicago director, Christian Taylor screening at GI Fest”

Chicago Independent Producers Lab selects 5 producers

Full Spectrum Features, the Chicago-based non-profit committed to driving equity into the film industry, announced the five producers selected for its second annual Chicago Independent Producers Lab, a year-long project incubator designed to cultivate Chicago’s vibrant independent film industry. In partnership with the Chicago Film Office’s Independent Film Initiative, the Lab offers one-on-one customized mentorship … Continue reading “Chicago Independent Producers Lab selects 5 producers”