Filmed in Chicago, Station Eleven is a hit on HBO Max

Station Eleven, a ten-episode limited series drama filmed in Chicago, premiered last Thursday on HBO Max. No, it’s not just another sensational tale of global pandemic. Station Eleven, receiving a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, is based on the international award winning bestseller of the same name, by Canadian novelist Emily St. John Mandel. A … Continue reading “Filmed in Chicago, Station Eleven is a hit on HBO Max”

HBO Max orders ‘Young Love’ based on ‘Hair Love’

HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode season of the all-new, 2D animated series, Young Love, based on the characters introduced in the Academy Award®-winning short film, Hair Love from Oscar® winner and Chicago born  Matthew A. Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation. The new series for HBO Max is created by Cherry, who will showrun with long-time animation creative Carl Jones (The … Continue reading “HBO Max orders ‘Young Love’ based on ‘Hair Love’”

It’s the end of the road for HBO’s Lovecraft Country

It’s the end of the road for the characters of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The horror drama series will not be receiving a second season order, HBO told Deadline. “We will not be moving forward with a second season of Lovecraft Country,” HBO said in their statement. “We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of … Continue reading “It’s the end of the road for HBO’s Lovecraft Country”

Chicago is setting for new HBO Ma-Xmas film

Production is currently underway on 8-Bit Christmas, a Max Original film from New Line directed by Michael Dowse. Set in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s, the film is a humorous and heartfelt look back at the adventures of childhood. The story centers on ten-year-old Jake Doyle’s (Winslow Fegley) herculean quest to get the latest and greatest … Continue reading “Chicago is setting for new HBO Ma-Xmas film”

Backyard Productions signs Director/DP Max Gutierrez

Backyard Productions announces that Award-winning Director/DP, Max Gutierrez, noted for his authentic lifestyle and warm family oriented work, has signed with the internationally acclaimed production house. With a passion for visual storytelling and capturing authentic slice of life moments, Max approaches his craft with a steadfast vision for finding the truth in a scene, having … Continue reading “Backyard Productions signs Director/DP Max Gutierrez”

First Artists-In-Residence for four INVEST neighborhoods

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) announced the first ever Artists-In-Residence for four of the City’s INVEST South/West neighborhoods: Auburn Gresham (Dorian Sylvain), Austin (Antonia Ruppert), Englewood (Eric Hotchkiss) and New City/Back of the Yards (Fernando Ramirez in partnership with … Continue reading “First Artists-In-Residence for four INVEST neighborhoods”


To celebrate the highly anticipated new series LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, HBO has announced Lovecraft Country: Sanctum, a series of exclusive virtual reality events transporting invited guests into a world inspired by the show. Join LOVECRAFT COUNTRY’s Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance and Michael Kenneth Williams For A Groundbreaking Virtual Experience. The series airs Sundays at 9:00 … Continue reading “HBO launches LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SANCTUM, VR”

HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace

Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, HBO’s new drama series from J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele and showrunner/executive producer Misha Green, LOVECRAFT COUNTRY debuts Sunday, August 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows … Continue reading “HBO debuts ‘Lovecraft Country’ filmed at Cinespace”

DDB & State Farm continue ‘Neighborhood of Good’

What happens to the concept of giving back when the decorations come down and the red Starbucks cups disappear? DDB Chicago continues their strong “Neighborhood of Good” State Farm campaign with a touching reminder that the season of giving back never really ends. Directed by Anonymous Content’s Aoife McArdle, the dynamic :60-second film highlights the … Continue reading “DDB & State Farm continue ‘Neighborhood of Good’”

DDB and State Farm launch “Neighborhood of Good”

Both DDB Chicago and their long-time client, State Farm, believe that at the heart of any strong community are neighbors who care. Moved by this belief, the two have partnered to launch the Neighborhood of Good initiative online and on broadcast TV.

Beginning with a moving 2-minute short film called, “The Following,” the two hope to encourage viewers to take action on important causes they care about.

AICP Show the climax of November’s many activities

11/7 GREEK FILM FESTIVAL FILM HELLENES  opens two different venues, the Patio Theatre and the Gene Siskel Film Center for the US premiere of “The Grocer.” This award-winning film by director Dimitris Koutsiabasakos will be preceded by student-filmmaker Stella Kyriakopoulos’ short, “Bob Goes to the Parthenon.” Thereafter, the festival of Greek storyteller in countries throughout the world takes place exclusively at the Patio

Lana Wachowski explains why now is the right time to return to The Matrix

We are only a couple of weeks away from the opening of the fourth, and long-awaited chapter, to The Matrix, the groundbreaking 1999 film that redefined a genre. That trilogy came from the visionary minds of Chicago-born writer/directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski. Now, Lana is out on her own as she brings The Matrix: Resurrections … Continue reading “Lana Wachowski explains why now is the right time to return to The Matrix”

Hoop Dreams goes to series as Lena Waithe inks Warner Bros TV deal

Warner Bros TV has announced that Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None, Queen & Slim, Ready Player One) has inked a new deal that brings the acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams to HBO Max as a scripted series. Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions will produce the series that is based on the Kartemquin Films sports documentary Hoop Dreams, produced by Frederick Marx, Steve … Continue reading “Hoop Dreams goes to series as Lena Waithe inks Warner Bros TV deal”

Macaulay Culkin living life to its fullest

Macaulay Culkin is trending, but not for hilarious social media shenanigans, or his latest project, but for his appearance at the Gucci Love Parade in Los Angeles last week. The star studded parade also included celebrities such as Jared Leto, Lizzo, Salma Hayek, Billie Eilish, James Corden, Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow, just to name … Continue reading “Macaulay Culkin living life to its fullest”

South Side announces Season 2 premiere date

The boys are back. South Side, the aspirational, scripted comedy set in and around the working-class neighborhood of Englewood on the South Side of Chicago is back for Season 2 on HBO Max. Executive Producer and writer, Diallo Riddle announced on his Instagram account, that the series would return on November 11. “IT’S OFFICIAL: South … Continue reading “South Side announces Season 2 premiere date”

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”

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”

‘In the Heights’ DP Alice Brooks talks crafting a big look

Cinematographer Alice Brooks discusses using DXL2 and G Series anamorphics to craft a big look for director Jon M. Chu’s musical In the Heights. In 2002, when cinematographer Alice Brooks and director Jon M. Chu were still film students at the University of Southern California, they partnered for the short When the Kids Are Away, a musical … Continue reading “‘In the Heights’ DP Alice Brooks talks crafting a big look”

Harry Lennix confirms he’s Martian Manhunter

Acclaimed actor Harry Lennix (The Matrix, Man of Steel) may have been born in Chicago, but soon the 56-year-old star, star of television’s hit series Blacklist will be from Mars – as Martian Manhunter in HBO Max’s upcoming Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The veteran stage and screen actor confirmed that his appearance will reveal that … Continue reading “Harry Lennix confirms he’s Martian Manhunter”

Don Burgess reteams with Zemeckis to adapt The Witches

The Witches marks the eighth feature collaboration between director Robert Zemeckis and cinematographer Don Burgess, ASC, following such titles as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Flight and Allied — and their partnership can be traced back even further, through Death Becomes Her and Back to the Future Part II and Part III, on which Burgess served as 2nd-unit director of photography. “It’s nice when you work with a … Continue reading “Don Burgess reteams with Zemeckis to adapt The Witches”

What reviews say about ‘Lovecraft Country’

The wait is over. Lovecraft Country, which was filmed at Cinespace Studios, premiered Sunday night on HBO to 760,000 viewers, the best since Watchmen. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle … Continue reading “What reviews say about ‘Lovecraft Country’”

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: Upcoming Episodes

From showrunner and executive producer Misha Green, HBO’s new drama series LOVECRAFT COUNTRY debuts SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Based on thenovel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood … Continue reading “LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: Upcoming Episodes”

Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate, NY Times adapt 1619 Project

Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Join Forces With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times to Adapt the Acclaimed 1619 Project Into a Portfolio of Films, Television Programming & Other Content Across All Studio Platforms Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times have chosen global content leader Lionsgate to be the home for … Continue reading “Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate, NY Times adapt 1619 Project”

Michael Shannon responds to Snyder’s ‘Justice League’

Back in 2013, Chicago fave actor, Michael Shannon, played General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. While the Chicago-shot film was divisive, it still grossed in the neighborhood of $600 million. And no one has ever criticized Shannon’s portrayal of the Kryptonian general. Shannon, always the professional, has never had a bad word to … Continue reading “Michael Shannon responds to Snyder’s ‘Justice League’”

Chicago’s Harry Lennix hints at Martian Manhunter role

Last week, Warner Bros made big headlines by announcing the release of Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League. In 2016, Snyder stepped away from the production and was replaced by Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon, who supervised several rewrites and reshoots to the film that saw many elements cut out. One … Continue reading “Chicago’s Harry Lennix hints at Martian Manhunter role”

UPDATED: Ruby Rose leaves ‘Batwoman’

Um…. well… This is Bat Sh*t crazy! Deadline is reporting that Ruby Rose, the star of the CW’s drama series Batwoman, is leaving the Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti Prods. drama after one season. The series, which shoots exteriors in Chicago, has been renewed for a second season, will continue with the title role getting recast. “I have made the … Continue reading “UPDATED: Ruby Rose leaves ‘Batwoman’”

Filming in Chicago: Intimate view into Amy Schumer’s life

Thursday, July 9th is the premiere of the three-part documentary series Expecting Amy on HBO Max. It’s an unfiltered and intimate view into comedian Amy Schumer’s life on tour creating a stand-up special during her difficult pregnancy, directed and edited by Alexander Hammer. Expecting Amy is an unfiltered three-part documentary that shows the struggle, strength and ambition that has made … Continue reading “Filming in Chicago: Intimate view into Amy Schumer’s life”

Bochian details fundraising plans for Seth Rogen Charity

Actress, author and philanthropist Ina Bochian, knows how to pull a team together for a good cause. This year, to help Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller’s not-for-profit charity raise donations, Bochian has enlisted Dr. Irene Yaymadjian, founder of Hillside Wellness Center, The Defunked Band members Danny Jay and Eric Johnson, and Facebook community Bricklayers, started … Continue reading “Bochian details fundraising plans for Seth Rogen Charity”

11 Dollar Bill launches Post-Production facility in Raleigh

11 Dollar Bill, a leading independent post-production studio specializing in creative design, editorial and finishing services, has opened a facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. The site boasts resources for creative editorial, design, motion graphics and animation as well as color correction and editorial finishing. It shares a high-speed connection with the company’s studios in Chicago … Continue reading “11 Dollar Bill launches Post-Production facility in Raleigh”

Mayor Lightfoot and DCASE announce new Chicago Made’ TV & Film Initiative

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced a new initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry. The new “Chicago Made” workforce development program and public awareness campaign are based on recommendations from the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force outlined … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot and DCASE announce new Chicago Made’ TV & Film Initiative”

FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Fest

FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF), one of only two Academy Award qualifying international children’s film festivals in the world, presented from Friday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov.14.  FACETS is pleased to offer limited in-person screenings as well as the entire festival available via national streaming. The in-person screenings will take place at FACETS, 1517 W. … Continue reading “FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Fest”

Cramer-Krasselt tells story of South Side landscapers in work for ECHO USA

A Mexican family of landscapers is at the heart of Cramer-Krasselt’s newest work for power tool company, ECHO USA. The agency says it’s the second installment in a series of storytelling-focused videos that bring the stories of professional landscapers to life.  In “Made In America,” C-K focuses on the story of the Diaz Group, a … Continue reading “Cramer-Krasselt tells story of South Side landscapers in work for ECHO USA”

Chicago’s Open Culture artist lineups and programs

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

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”

Music and more, summer events reopen across Chicago

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

EXTRA Gum offer fresh start to post-pandemic life

EXTRA Gum is all about shared moments of human connection—many of which have unfortunately, become distant memory due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until now: we can finally reconnect IRL! After a hard year of not seeing one another (and frankly, not being very mindful of how your breath smells) EXTRA is there to help give you … Continue reading “EXTRA Gum offer fresh start to post-pandemic life”

Chicago makes plans to welcome a new casino resort

Chicago aims to welcome a new casino resort by 2025. The City of Chicago today officially issued a Request for Proposal for the opportunity to apply for the sole casino license in the country’s third-largest metropolitan market. The selected partner will be able to propose its optimal site for the project, pending the approval by … Continue reading “Chicago makes plans to welcome a new casino resort”

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

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

Lightfoot announces further easing of Covid regulations

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced the further easing of COVID-19 regulations for Chicago businesses. Due to sustained progress in all four reopening metrics, effective immediately, indoor capacity at bars, restaurants and other businesses can increase to 50%. … Continue reading “Lightfoot announces further easing of Covid regulations”

NBC 5 & Telemundo Chicago grant applications are open

NBC 5 Chicago/WMAQ, Telemundo Chicago/WSNS and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation will present their Project Innovation grant challenge in Chicago for a fourth consecutive year when grant applications open on January 8, 2021.   Local nonprofits that are helping to move communities forward by encouraging a culture of equity and inclusion, creating pathways for individuals to … Continue reading “NBC 5 & Telemundo Chicago grant applications are open”

Lightfoot announces $10m hospitality grant program

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

Lightfoot eases Phase Four Guidelines for businesses

Progress in the fight against COVID-19 will allow for expanded indoor capacity, extended operating hours and loosening of other restrictions for businesses beginning October 1st. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced that Chicago has made sufficient progress in … Continue reading “Lightfoot eases Phase Four Guidelines for businesses”

Chicago’s new and reimagined World Music Events

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

Gov Pritzker and OKRP launch $5 M awareness campaign

Governor JB Pritzker and OKRP launched a new $5 million awareness campaign today to encourage Illinois residents to wear a face covering every time they’re in public — because it only works if you wear it. Following the data-driven approach that has guided Illinois’ coronavirus response, the campaign uses local information to advertise on broadcast … Continue reading “Gov Pritzker and OKRP launch $5 M awareness campaign”

‘Lovecraft Country’ cast talks family atmosphere

This year’s web-based San Diego Comic-Con featured a panel for HBO’s new series Lovecraft Country, from industry giants JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele, among others. H. P. Lovecraft, whose work inspired the surreal horror aspects of the show, was a prolific writer of unsettling pulp fiction in the early 1900’s.  The show, based on Matt … Continue reading “‘Lovecraft Country’ cast talks family atmosphere”

Mayor Lightfoot announces Artist-In-Residence Program

Mayor Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) announced today the first ever Artist-In-Residence Program as part of the City’s INVEST South/West (ISW) community investment and revitalization initiative. The ISW Artist-in-Residence Program will leverage art and creativity as part of a broad and integrated … Continue reading “Mayor Lightfoot announces Artist-In-Residence Program”

Cinespace donates 20,000 sq. ft. to Food Depository

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is donating 20,000 square feet of studio space to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for storage of food boxes for families affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On Friday, officials announced eight more deaths in Illinois related to the pandemic and 1,105 more cases statewide, raising the death toll to 65 … Continue reading “Cinespace donates 20,000 sq. ft. to Food Depository”

CineCares’ Mirkopoulos Internship cohort keeps it going

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

On location with October TV co-founder Chris DeWinter

Reel Chicago introduces ‘Reel People’, a collection of profiles of film and creative professionals that will run every Friday. Our inaugural installment features October TV co-founder Chris DeWinter’s behind-the-scenes recollection of a Kroger / Unilever campaign created by Geometry Global. — Dan Patton, Editor   Chicago-based production and post house October TV completed work for … Continue reading “On location with October TV co-founder Chris DeWinter”

McDonald’s brings international flavor to U.S.

New Worldwide Favorites campaign brings taste of Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands to U.S.stores Ever wonder what McDonald’s menu is like around the world? C’mon of course you have. Well, now the fast food giant is allowing its customers to sample some of their global menu items. For real. Or as they say in … Continue reading “McDonald’s brings international flavor to U.S.”

Beer Wars: Miller Lite goes medieval on Bud Light

New creative from agency DDB and a lawsuit take the battle to a whole new level Marsellus Wallace would be proud. The #corntroversy between Bud Light and Miller Lite, which began on the Super Bowl, has now turned into a Super Brawl. MillerCoors has taken the brewing battle with Bud Light to the next level … Continue reading “Beer Wars: Miller Lite goes medieval on Bud Light”

Reel Black List: Jeff Stanley, designer

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

Film Office Director Rich Moskal: a tough act to follow

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

The 2018 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

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

Explore Media adds two new directors

A pair of LA-based pros with wide-ranging commercial and film experience join the busy Chicago shop (Chicago — 24 October 2018) Explore Media, a commercial production company with headquarters in downtown Chicago, has announced the addition of Directors Dinh Thai and Christian Clark to its expanding roster. “We’re very excited to join forces with Dinh … Continue reading “Explore Media adds two new directors”

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”

39th annual Telly Awards winners unveiled

Vice, Condé Nast, Ryot, Great Big Story, Complex Networks, Radicalmedia, and Buzzfeed among next generation of multi-screen producers at this year’s event Winners reflect initiative to honor groundbreaking work “across all screens.” (New York — 22 May 2018) Marc Jacobs’ A-Z of Music, ESPN’s Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies 30 for 30, National Geographic’s Breaking 2, … Continue reading “39th annual Telly Awards winners unveiled”

The Kyles sisters’ “Cubicle Creepshow” is scary office fun

Cubicle Creepshow is a web series that makes fun of modern corporate culture with a cast of dolls who occasionally turn into monsters. Set in an office full of self-absorbed, undisciplined smart alecks, the familiar workplace situations fit perfectly with classic horror themes. All the usual and unusual suspects are there, from the boss who … Continue reading “The Kyles sisters’ “Cubicle Creepshow” is scary office fun”

DDB, State Farm kick off spot with Aaron Rodgers

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not fall. Yet. But when football kicks off how can you not start thinking about either heading out to your favorite bar or sitting on your couch, cracking open a cold one and watching The Bears? Then again, if the Bears play like last season you might want to consider … Continue reading “DDB, State Farm kick off spot with Aaron Rodgers”

A tribute to the legend, Ruth L Ratny

Ruth Louise Ratny, founder and editor of ReelChicago and Screen Magazine, passed away quietly in her sleep on the evening of February 21.

The only daughter of German immigrants who settled in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, Ruth lived through a Great Depression, a World War, the Beat Generation, Viet Nam, hippies, disco, the first great wave of Feminism, VHS, Betamax, yuppies, two Middle Eastern Wars, the next great wave of Feminism and sixteen US Presidents.

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.

Colin Costello boosted to top creative post in L.A.

IT ONLY TOOK A MONTH for Colin Costello, a former local agency CD and recent L.A. transplant, to land a big agency job.  Walton Isaacson (of which Magic Johnson is a partner), the agency for which he’s been freelancing, jumped him up to senior creative director, on staff, of course, after he executed successful campaigns for the agency’s Lexus and Los Angeles Dodgers accounts.

Chicago spot talent shows up on AICP Shortlist

Fourteen commercials produced by Chicago agencies and one production company are on the AICP Shortlist of 230 spots that are competing for a final slot on the prestigious annual AICP Show Reel and NEXT Awards. 

When the curators meet to make their final decision, the number of spots will shrink from the Shortlist’s 10 entrants in each of 23 categories, to from one-to-three spots per category.

‘Wedding Crashers’ writer sued over pilot script

What Imran Mukati wanted from Wedding Crashers writer Steve Faber was the script for a TV pilot: a “Sex and the City for guys” inspired by the dating experiences of Mukati and his friends. 

What Mukati got for his $75,000, according to a suit filed in federal court, was nothing.

Mukati, 32, filed the civil suit Jan. 23 in California Central District Court, Western Division in Los Angeles. 

Energy BBDO adds top European SVP/creative directors

AN INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR is spicing up our ad scene with Energy BBDO’s addition of SVP/creative directors Giovanni Settesoldi and Luissandro Del Gobbo, art director and copywriter, respectively, who landed here after four years at Grey Paris as CDs, following stints at JWT Paris and BBDO Milan.  Their work has garnered an awe-inspiring 60-plus national and international awards.

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Superman flies into Chicago to film here this summer

“SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL” lands in Chicago in early summer for a reported 12 weeks of prep and 12 weeks of filming.  The  Warner Bros. blockbuster-budgeted adventure/fantasy stars handsome, young Brit star Henry Cavill  (“The Tudors”) as the Caped Crusader and feisty Amy Adams (“The Fighter”) as smart, tough, warm ambitious and adoring Lois Lane.

Comma Music honored at AICP MoMa Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DP Bogehegn’s Old Town cottage one of 5 local homes featured in an HGTV show shooting here

DP Jens Bojehegn will be on the other side of the camera when he hosts a segment about his historical Old Town house to be featured on HGTV’s popular “Small Space, Big Style” series.

It’s one of five Chicago homes that will shoot here April 19-23, marking the show’s second visit here in a year.

Four other Chicago dwellings?houseboats to cottages to studio apartments that are 279-, 476-, 500- and 700 sq. ft.?will demonstrate how clever planning can maximize limited space.

Each half-hour episode features four different houses.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THE ONLY U.S. MEDIA LION awarded at Cannes this year went to Oprah for the much talked-about giveaway of more than 200 Pontiac G6 cars to Oprah Winfrey’s studio audience, engineered by GM’s media-planning agency, Publicis Groupe’s GM Planworks, Detroit. It was the only U.S. entry among more than 1,000 in the category to win a Lion.

ROGER EBERT’S STAR DEDICATION on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood Thursday was studded with stars, fellow movie columnists and friends of the critical icon.

Independent Production Roundup

CRAIG JAMES PIETROWIAK of Squid Brothers and Scott Preston of American Stonehenge Films are joining forces to co-produce two back-to-back HD features next year.

First up in spring is Pietrowiak’s under-$75,000 “Wrigleyville,” a coming-of-age ensemble drama that he’s been developing as a TV pilot. He plans both feature-length and hour-long cuts, “to maximize exposure.” Financing is from retired People’s Gas employee, E.P. Patrick Hogan.

Marisol Torres’ semi-autobiographical feature has local debut Oct. 9 at CIFF

After garnering a strong response at the Tribeca, UrbanWorld and New York Latino International film festivals, Marisol Torres’ debut feature “Boricua” has its first hometown screening Oct. 9 at the Chicago International Film Festival.

“The response has been phenomenal,” said Torres, who teaches film and video at Columbia College. “It’s a film that inspires conversation.”

Coppola amenable to give adaptation rights to “The Conversation” to little Pyewacket

INNOVATIVE PYEWACKET THEATRE TROUPE last year adapted Stephen King’s “Misery” for the stage, and had a huge hit that won several Joseph Jefferson Citations. This year, artistic director Kate Harris set her sights on adapting Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation.”

So she contacted the Big Man through American Zoetrope. Big Man had a little man respond that Coppola was “amenable” to an adaptation for $5,000 upfront plus 10% of the box office gross. Whoa! Pyewacket is one of those little Off-Loop troupes that operates on a five-figure annual budget. Coppola wanted a lotta’ clams.

Animators special report, Part I

The Chicago animation scene is dominated by commercial broadcast, many top firms being divisions of larger post houses or production companies, like Superior Street’s Flux Group, Swell’s Bazooka Graphics, Golan Production’s Atomic Imaging.

Dreamation Studios is developing a 3D feature and a 24-hour internationally broadcast animation network.

Creatives unite to hold fund-raiser for John Kerry’s White House bid

One day about six weeks ago, advertising photographer and loyal Democrat Steve Ewert got more steamed up than usual over something President Bush said. “We gotta do something to help John Kerry make it to the White House,” he stormed to West Loop Studio staff. They agreed. So did a cadre of Ewert’s friends.

The result is the June 30 Chicago Creatives for Kerry ? a mix of art and politics to be held in the gallery setting of West Loop Studio, 17 N. Elizabeth St., starting at 5:30 p.m.

The goal is to bring together the creative community ?

Telling Truth in Chicago:
A Survey of Local Docmakers, Part II

This is the second in a two-part survey of local documentarians, who they are, their background and credits. Ranging from national leaders like Kartemquin, Towers and Kurtis Productions, to small to mid-size companies, they capture public imagination and affect social change by telling true stories.

Bob Hercules

Producer vows ?the magic will
happen’ to bring script to screen

“Sweet Home Chicago” up next for Epiphany Films’ Dan Halperin and Mark Frazel

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