U.S. Army releases ‘The Calling’ animated series

The U.S. Army released “The Calling,” a new animated film series that profiles the deeply emotional and diverse origin stories of five Soldiers as they make the most important decision of their lives: answering the call to serve. At a time of a widening military-civilian divide, “The Calling” provides an important and rare inside look … Continue reading “U.S. Army releases ‘The Calling’ animated series”

Minority New York agency sues DDB over Army account

Minority owned New York ad agency HERO Group (aka HERO Collective) filed suit against Omnicom-owned agency DDB in Illinois Northern District Court court this week, alleging DDB “exploited” HERO to win the U.S. Army contract and didn’t pay it for two years of work. Chicago-based Swanson, Martin & Bell and Beverly Hills-based Singh, Singh & … Continue reading “Minority New York agency sues DDB over Army account”

E. Morris/Wal-Mart HD doc “Buffalo Soldiers” on historic black Army unit to air over TV One

Wal-Mart’s first documentary made in honor of Black History month?”The Invisible Men of Honor: The Story of the Buffalo Soldiers”?will air exclusively throughout the year on TV One.

“Buffalo Soldiers” was commissioned by E. Morris Communications and long-time client Wal-Mart and produced and directed by Jim White of Post Effects.

The 44-minute doc, produced in HD for a budget around $160,000, premiered in Houston last month at the National Buffalo Soldiers’ Museum, to which Wal-Mart made a substantial contribution.

Protesters target Burnett for ?deceptive’ Army ads

An estimated 150 school and college students demonstrated March 28 outside the Leo Burnett building at Wacker and Dearborn, protesting the agency’s “Army of One” ad campaign, which they charge is deceptive and aggressively targets low-income African American and Latino youth for U.S. Army recruitment.

BBC doc on Army-JROTC model

Cong. Bobby Rush interviewed for the doc, with associate producer Pat Lofthouse.

The model of Chicago’s high schools and military academies with U.S. Army-run JROTC programs is so unique that the BBC sent a documentary crew to film them.

Top prizes to two diverse agencies

PENCILS? DDB and Leo Burnett, high-ranking winners in every competition they enter, were the only Chicago agencies to win prestigious Pencil Awards from New York’s One Show honoring creative excellence in advertising.

DDB won a gold and silver for Anheuser-Busch and Burnett took home a silver and bronze for the U.S. Army. The two Michigan Avenue biggies won out of a field of 12,900 tough competitors from 54 countries.

AND POLLIES. Three Pollie awards from the American Assn.

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”

Havas Chicago names McGarry as Chief Growth Officer

Furthering its commitment to building iconic brands through craft and culture, Havas Chicago has named Jamie McGarry as Chief Growth Officer to help ignite a new phase of growth for the agency. McGarry will serve as a key member of Havas Chicago’s executive leadership team, contributing to the agency’s overall strategic vision, performance and growth. … Continue reading “Havas Chicago names McGarry as Chief Growth Officer”

Davis returns to Sarofsky as VFX/Finishing Supervisor

Continuing its growth and its investments into excellence, design-driven production company Sarofsky is proud to announce the return of Cory Davis to its full-time staff. According to company Principal and Executive Creative Director Erin Sarofsky and Executive Producer Steven Anderson, Cory’s new title is VFX and Finishing Supervisor. Most recently 2D Lead Artist at The … Continue reading “Davis returns to Sarofsky as VFX/Finishing Supervisor”

Sam Ciaramitaro’s photos of BLM Demonstrations

Three-times Cannes Lion winner, Sam Ciaramitaro has become an accomplished director for Durable Goods and a producer with a distinct speciality for delivering poignant stories, often in an anthemic way, featuring people from all walks of life, including athletes, families and beyond. His two-decade career has spanned the agency, production and client side of the … Continue reading “Sam Ciaramitaro’s photos of BLM Demonstrations”

Chicago’s own host the National Memorial Day Concert

Chicago’s Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna host a special presentation of PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert: America’s Night of Remembrance. Featuring a Tribute to our American Heroes on the Front Lines of the Pandemic Crisis. PBS’ multi award-winning NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT returns for a special presentation hosted by Chicago’s Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise with new … Continue reading “Chicago’s own host the National Memorial Day Concert”

‘Wild Kingdom’ creator Don Meier, 1915-2019

TV pioneer turned millions of family rooms into theaters of untamed nature every Sunday night for decades Legendary Chicago filmmaker Donald Meier died peacefully of natural causes last Saturday night. Over the course of a half-century career, the 104-year-old creator, producer, and director of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom built a legacy that will last … Continue reading “‘Wild Kingdom’ creator Don Meier, 1915-2019”

Creative force Jon Flannery joins DDB Chicago

Award-winning leader accepts challenge to help make marquee client Capital One “even more successful.” DDB Chicago today announced that Jon Flannery has been hired as EVP, Executive Creative Director. As a creative leader, Flannery has a reputation for architecting innovative work that both grows brands and garners creative recognition. In his new role, he will … Continue reading “Creative force Jon Flannery joins DDB Chicago”

We Are Unlimited no longer a “dedicated” McD’s agency

The shop created exclusively for the restaurant may soon begin exploring additional opportunities Many of us have been there – it’s called the talk. “I think we should see other people.” According to AgencySpy, that conversation happened between McDonald’s and AOR We Are Unlimited. However, it seems like it was planned. The agency which was … Continue reading “We Are Unlimited no longer a “dedicated” McD’s agency”

Ewan McGregor, Backyard, Whitehouse industry moves

Ewan McGregor joins RSA as commercial director RSA Films president Jules Daly announced Monday that “The Force” is now with RSA as former Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor, has joined the Ridley Scott-owned company. The acclaimed film, theatre and TV actor, who won a Golden Globe this year for Best Actor in FX’s Fargo, joined for … Continue reading “Ewan McGregor, Backyard, Whitehouse industry moves”

No surprises in 5 agency finalists for Lottery account

So far so… well, so not according to plan.   The race to find a new ad agency for the Illinois Lottery has just begun, and already so much has happened that wasn’t necessarily expected to happen.

But first the latest development.  Tuesday morning, more than 12 hours after Illinois Lottery private manager (the first ever) Northstar Lottery Group was expected to name the four semifinalists for the Lottery ad account, the list finally was revealed.

And guess what?

Foundation’s internet presence expands

With “tons of internet business” flowing in, Foundation Content has hired Ben Poster as director/editor/interactive, who moves after five years as an Arc Worldwide art director.

Poster is the start of what will be Foundation’s internet department.

Burnett’s Jeff Brecker moves to Digital Kitchen

DIGITAL KITCHEN’S EXPANSION into all things digital started with the hiring of interactive heavy-hitter Jeff Brecker for the newly created position of executive producer/general manager. He starts June 21.

Brecker has been on the internet side of advertising since he entered the adbiz in 1996, after graduating from UW-Madison. He moved to Digital Kitchen from three years at Leo Burnett, where he’d been SVP/creative director.

Lake County Film Festival March 8-12 focuses on indie films; fewer venues centered in Libertyville

Nat Dykeman’s quest to bring a taste of independent and international cinema to the one million cinematically underserved Lake County residents continues with the 4th annual Lake County Film Festival March 8-12.

Dykeman, owner of Libertyville’s Dog Ear Music and Movies, founded the Lake County Film Festival in 2004 as a double feature, building it to 20 features and 60 shorts last year.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

CLINT EASTWOOD AND RYAN PHILLIPPE are in town through next week to wrap “Flags of our Fathers,” the tale of the soldiers who raised the flag at Iwo Jima in WWII.

NAMES IN THE NEWS: Leo Burnett’s production head Jonathan Davies departs the agency in December to assume the same role at Radical Media back in his native London. No replacement named as yet … Ann Brown joins FCB Nov. 3 as director of creative administration, from Element 79 Partners.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

VINCE VAUGHN, whose every meal, drink and partying fills inches of column space, will give columnists serious delirium long after his film, “The Break Up,” wraps and the players return to Hollywood.

Vaughn plans on becoming a permanent Chicago resident, by virtue of the condo he’s in the process of buying and his shiny new Illinois drivers’ license.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

HOT TICKET. A capacity crowd is expected at Joy Art’s Dec. 15 Christmas party at the 410 Club. “We’ve planned a fun evening for the holidays,” says Joy Art marketing director Roger Corbin. The party kicks off a series of monthly parties to reacquaint agencies to the musical talents of Joy Art composer/ producer Butch Stewart. Uncle Butchie’s Live House band performs with guest artists?plus food, cash, giveaways and a raffle. Fun starts at 5:30 p.m.

BBDO, Burnett, DDB score “best of show” honors at Chicago Creative Club Awards

Call it the battle of the big agencies shooting it out for honors at the recent second annual Chicago Creative Club Awards show. Four big agencies won 29 of the 32 categories of awards, while Leo Burnett won half, with 16 prizes mostly for Altoids gum.

DDB brought home seven Bricks (the award trophy) for Anheuser-Busch/Budweiser and Young & Rubicam won six awards mainly Miller Brewing.

Up & Down the Avenue – 07/26/04

Jennifer Aniston will be “Derailed,” starring opposite Clive Owen in the Miramax Films feature based on James Siegel’s best-selling novel, as reported exclusively in ReelChicago last week. Production begins in London and Chicago this fall. (Do you think Brad will tag along with Jen?)

Good news. It looks like the General Assembly has approved a one year extension for the wage tax credit.

Departures: Two 15-year post house veterans have parted ways with their respective companies.

Traveller Jones hits film
double header in TV sales

Daniel J. Travanti stars in “Design,” Traveller Jones’ debut feature airing on Showtime.

Big Dog making big tracks

Composer Jeff Jacobs of Big Dog Bites Music

PRSA launches Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Chicago, one of the country’s largest chapters, announces the launch of the PRSA Chicago Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship. The new initiative was created to grow the pipeline of upcoming multicultural talent in the field of public relations and communications while honoring the impactful contributions of one of the nation’s … Continue reading “PRSA launches Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship”

Female filmmakers wow crowd at Chicago Latino Fest

Women-directed films win audience choice best feature and best documentary for the second year in a row   Icíar Bollaín’s Yuli and Gretchen Hilebrand’s Decade of Fire honored as 2019 winners The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced today the winners and runner-ups of the 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival and for a second … Continue reading “Female filmmakers wow crowd at Chicago Latino Fest”

Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box

A cornucopia of classic genre screenings, premieres, and events to take place at Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre.     From June 21st through June 28th, a cornucopia of genre screenings and events will take place at the Music Box Theatre for its second annual Cinepocalypse. The film festival grinds together a gory cocktail of … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse fest from June 21 – 28 at Music Box”

Adam Green surprises with new “Hatchet” sequel

Well, didn’t see that coming.

But where else would you expect to find Twisted Sister’s Dee Snyder, Ron Jeremy in Crocs and Dread Central’s Uncle Creepie than the 10th Anniversary screening of the indie horror cult classic, Hatchet?

Or was it?

After addressing a packed Arclight Hollywood with an emotional speech about the impact that late directors Wes Craven and George Romero had on him, director Adam Green transformed an initially stunned audience into a room full of whooping fanatics.

Ex-agency ECD Moore to direct for Dictionary Films

CUTTERS’ DICTIONARY FILMS division this week added Jon Moore, a former agency ECD/art director to its current directorial roster of six.  He was with Leo Burnett for more than 20 years before  joining mcgarrybowen, with Ned Crosley, as its first creative team when the agency opened here in 2009.

“Production was my favorite part of working on the agency side,” Moore says. “I thought, why not make the leap and put my art direction skills, literally in motion.”

Veteran filmmaker’s doc honors vets on Memorial Day

About a year ago, Loyola film studies professor and Army veteran John C.P. Goheen embarked on a quest to honor military veterans by telling stories of war veterans filmed on the historic Veterans Day of 11/11/11. 

An internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker and Army veteran, Goheen put out the call to filmmakers throughout the country to join his endeavor and submit their capture of a veteran made on Nov. 11, 2011. More than 50 stories were received about different veterans of different wars, dating back to the Civil War’s battle of Shiloh. 

Ex-Marine cops top prize in Screenwriters’ contest

Winner of the grand prize of the recent Chicago Screenwriters Network’s third annual script contest was former U.S. Marine, Adedapo Akisanya, for his drama, Beneath the Rock.

He was one of 15 gold, silver and bronze winners in the categories of horror, family, comedy, action and drama.

Akisanya’s prizes were $500 cash, a six-month script listing on InkTip and having Hollywood production companies, agencies and managers consider his screenplay.

Hungry Man is the Hugos’ top TV choice

HUNGRY MAN of New York, famous for its creative directors and take on comedy commercials, has won the Commitment to Excellence Award for TV commercials from the 2010 Hugo Television Awards, announced Jesse Berkowitz, competitions coordinator at a party Thursday night.

Hungry Man’s managing partner/executive producer Kevin Byrne will accept the Gold Hugo on behalf of his company at the April 15 awards ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Famous for comedy commercials, Hungry Man’s work is always a dominant force on the Super Bowl.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

JASON ROSIN, former Local 600 business manager, starts his new job Jan. 23 as business manager of IA Studio Mechanics Local 491, with a membership of 550.

Rosin will headquarter in Wilmington, N.C. and cover North and South Carolina, mostly in the film-busy cities of Wilmington, Charlotte and Charleston, and Savannah, Ga.

Rosin, who was appointed, replaces Ben Adams, moved up to the IA’s rep in Florida. Interestingly, Adams and Rosin got to know each other when Adams worked as a DP in Detroit.

National guests draw big crowds at IFP/Chicago Filmmakers Conference

Donius presided over her first IFP Filmmakers Conference Oct. 21-24, featuring an expanded four-day schedule, a higher-profile roster of national figures and attendees from across the Midwest.

The Conference springboarded off the Chicago International Film Festival, which closed the night the Conference opened, drawing filmmakers who were in town for the fest: Alexander Payne, whose “Sideways” advance screening presaged the Conference, and director Dylan Kidd and star Laura Linney, whose “P.S.” headlined Friday night.

What’s in your shopping cart? —
Doc on homeless premieres at Doc Fest

At a Salvation Army in Los Angeles’ gritty Nickel District, local production designer Wesley Tabayoyong interviewed more than 30 homeless people about the contents of their shopping carts.

Tabayoyong and his collaborators combed the underbelly of LA’s skid row for interview subjects. “We covered an area called ‘Tent City,’ which is a quarter mile of makeshift tents, can fires, and some dangerous people,” Tabayoyong recalled.

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