Jeep Grand Cherokee L Wildly Civilized campaign

The Jeep brand is launching its new marketing campaign “Wildly Civilized” for the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The “Wildly Civilized” campaign will run across television, social media channels and digital platforms. “This ‘Wildly Civilized’ campaign for the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L encapsulates the perfect center of gravity of the upscale SUV,” said Olivier Francois, Global … Continue reading “Jeep Grand Cherokee L Wildly Civilized campaign”

Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon at the Chicago Auto Show

Jeep 4×4 capability is legendary, and the brand continues its leadership position as the most capable 4×4 in the world. As the brand continues its 80th Anniversary this year, it is elevating its capability game yet again with the introduction of the new Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show on … Continue reading “Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon at the Chicago Auto Show”

Jeep & Ram Trucks Test Tracks at Chicago Auto Show

Fan-favorite attractions such as the Camp Jeep and Ram Trucks Territory test tracks will return to the 2021 Chicago Auto Show special edition, scheduled for July 15-19 at McCormick Place. This news comes approximately two weeks following the official announcement that the show will be allowed to open its doors to fans this summer. The Chicago Auto … Continue reading “Jeep & Ram Trucks Test Tracks at Chicago Auto Show”

Highdive’s new Jeep spot is worth making noise about

Highdive, Ad Age’s 2020 Small Agency of the Year and back-to-back winner of USA Today’s 2020 and 2021 AdMeter, premiered a new creative spot, directed by Lance Acord out of Park Pictures, for Jeep during last night’s Golden Globes. Titled “Earth Odyssey”, the spot marks the launch of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe as Jeep paves the … Continue reading “Highdive’s new Jeep spot is worth making noise about”

Jeep to air one spot during Super Bowl

Keeping their effort under wraps, Jeep announced it will debut one commercial during this Sunday’s (February 7, 2021) Big Game telecast. The spot will air in the second half of the game. Last year, the brand along with creative agency partner and Ad Age Small Agency of the Year Highdive, created the unforgettable, Emmy-nominated Groundhog … Continue reading “Jeep to air one spot during Super Bowl”

Highdive reveals Get. Dirty. Faster. 470hp Jeep Rubicon

November 17, 2020 wasn’t just another day. It was the day… the rules of speed were rewritten by the 470hp Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392. The brief was simple: capture the raw power of a vehicle capable of going wherever it wants to go, and doing whatever it wants to do. The video paired white-knuckle driving … Continue reading “Highdive reveals Get. Dirty. Faster. 470hp Jeep Rubicon”

Jeep debuts new spot during ‘One World’ global special

As part of the One World: Together At Home globally televised and digital special on Saturday night to support frontline health care workers and the World Health Organization, FCA premiered an all-new television commercials for the Jeep® brands. The 30-second video, “Seven Continents” for Jeep, aired during the two-hour TV special as part of the globally televised … Continue reading “Jeep debuts new spot during ‘One World’ global special”

Behind the scenes of the Jeep ‘Groundhog Day’ spot

Chicago-based Highdive Advertising reinvigorated an existential pop sensation through Groundhog Day, a commercial that became a classic before it even premiered during yesterday’s Super Bowl. In a fast-forward recreation of the identically-named 1993 film, the 60-second spot stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a weatherman caught in a kink of the space-time continuum. In scene … Continue reading “Behind the scenes of the Jeep ‘Groundhog Day’ spot”

Jeremy Renner stars in Jeep campaign by HighDive

I did not know Hawkeye could sing. Avengers, Mission Impossible and Bourne star, Jeremy Renner, is now not only featured on screen in a new Jeep brand television campaign that but in the audio as well as all three spots use the actor’s music tracks. Thanks to Chicago boutique agency HighDive, I now know different. … Continue reading “Jeremy Renner stars in Jeep campaign by HighDive”

Legends are made, not born in Highdive Jeep campaign

A pair of bold and righteous 30-second spots are paving the way for the brand’s integrated multi-market campaign Jeep has something to say about being a legend. “Legends aren’t born. They’re made.” It feels like that line wants to end with b*tches, but alas it doesn’t. The new 360-degree campaign, which reaffirms the automaker’s legendary … Continue reading “Legends are made, not born in Highdive Jeep campaign”

Highdive weaves stories of concert goers for Jeep

Jeep drivers and passengers are met with impromptu adventures revolving around the same live OneRepublic show       Gaaaaah! Sorry, that was my inner fan girl screaming at the notion that there is a national campaign with Grammy-nominated OneRepublic. Two-year boutique agency Highdive, led by former DDB creative execs Mark Gross and Chad Broude, … Continue reading “Highdive weaves stories of concert goers for Jeep”

Tom Pastorelle joins Sarofsky as Senior Editor

One-stop cross-media production company Sarofsky is adding Tom Pastorelle to its full-time staff as Senior Editor. The news was announced by company Principal and Executive Creative Director Erin Sarofsky, and Executive Producer Steven Anderson. “We are so thrilled to be adding Tom to our team,” Erin began. “He has edited a lot of amazing projects over the … Continue reading “Tom Pastorelle joins Sarofsky as Senior Editor”

Chicago Auto Show has better than expected attendance

The Chicago Auto Show opened to the public today better than anticipated attendance. The long awaited 2021 Special Edition is taking place July 15-19 inside McCormick Place’s West Building and outdoors along Indiana Avenue. This marks the first time in history that the show, traditionally hosted in February, will be held in the summertime, taking advantage of … Continue reading “Chicago Auto Show has better than expected attendance”

SweeTARTS contest wins Christina Aguilera mix session

SweeTARTS, the beloved candy brand that’s known for being more than just one thing, announces its SweetBEATS online music mixer and contest! Through a world of fresh sounds distilled from the unique properties of SweeTARTS’ delicious portfolio, candy-lovers and music fans alike can now combine rhythm and melody to craft a beat as unique as themselves. And … Continue reading “SweeTARTS contest wins Christina Aguilera mix session”

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”

Ford Maverick makes debut at Chicago Auto Show

Following the virtual reveal of the 2022 Maverick last week, Ford announced that the all-new compact pickup truck will make its global auto show debut at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show, to be held July 15-19 at McCormick Place. The Maverick adds to Ford’s already engaging vehicle lineup, including the all-new F-150, all-electric F-150 Lightning, Bronco, Bronco … Continue reading “Ford Maverick makes debut at Chicago Auto Show”

Cars.com says now is the time to sell your used car

Car shoppers are ready to take advantage of Memorial Day weekend deals — if they can find them, according to recent research from leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider Cars.com. However, shoppers may have better luck selling their vehicle to a local car dealership. With vehicle inventory levels falling, the demand for used cars is up, giving … Continue reading “Cars.com says now is the time to sell your used car”

Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place in July

The Chicago Auto Show, a marquee event that draws tourists from around the world, returns to McCormick Place marking the first large convention to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Chicago Auto Show will be held at McCormick Place from July 15 to 19 and will incorporate several innovative safety features – including … Continue reading “Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place in July”

Highdive and Ram Truck launch campaign ‘I’m a Ram’

The Ram Truck brand is reinforcing how its award-winning trucks are “Built to Serve” through a new storytelling campaign titled “I’m A Ram,” featuring five-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Chris Stapleton. The Highdive campaign includes a series of commercials and long-form content that spans across broadcast, digital and the Ram brand social media channels. Two spots … Continue reading “Highdive and Ram Truck launch campaign ‘I’m a Ram’”

Chicago agency Highdive soars again in Super Bowl

Congratulations to Highdive for once again landing atop of USA Today’s Admeter. The agency’s two 60-second Super Bowl LV spots for Quicken’s Rocket Mortgage were ranked number one and two. In 2020, Highdive scored the number one spot with Jeep. The spot featured a recreation of the hit romcom, Groundhog Day, and brought back Bill … Continue reading “Chicago agency Highdive soars again in Super Bowl”

Cheetos wins 2021 Kellogg School Super Bowl Review

Don’t get Super Bowl fatigue just yet. There’s a little bit more to our roundup. Cheetos is the big winner in strategic ad rankings with its “It Wasn’t Me” ad in the 17th consecutive Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other brands that earned top marks include Amazon, Bud Light Seltzer, Doritos, and Indeed. Not all advertisers had … Continue reading “Cheetos wins 2021 Kellogg School Super Bowl Review”

OKRP Creatives weigh in on Super Bowl ads

Despite the CBS All-Access crashing right at kick off. Despite a somewhat lame, yet spectacle-laden Half-Time Show thanks to “Should have been nominated for a Grammy” The Weeknd. Despite atrocious ref calling. Super Bowl LV was a historic telecast as we saw the oldest NFL coach Bruce Arians, 68, and the oldest QB Tom Brady, … Continue reading “OKRP Creatives weigh in on Super Bowl ads”

Laughlin Constable’s John Maxham on Super Bowl ads

Heading into the Super Bowl, the question on my mind was “How much of 2020 is going to wind up in the 2021 Super Bowl ads?” Mercifully, it wasn’t all that much. Not that there weren’t important issues to talk about, but we leaned so heavily into messaging around the pandemic and social issues this … Continue reading “Laughlin Constable’s John Maxham on Super Bowl ads”

Steeves and Cutters on the making of before/during/after

While many people dream of assembling a Who’s Who list of premier talents to help them tell their personal story on the big screen, highly accomplished actor turned screenwriter and producer Finnerty Steeves (Orange is the New Black) has brilliantly brought this widely cherished dream to Technicolor reality with Steeves’ independent dramedy feature, before/during/after. On the heels … Continue reading “Steeves and Cutters on the making of before/during/after”

Cutters promotes David Rubin to editor

High-end editorial boutique Cutters announces the promotion of David Rubin to Editor. The announcement was made by Cutters Studios President/Managing Director Craig Duncan and Managing Editor Grant Gustafson. Rubin landed an internship with Cutters immediately upon graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, leading to a position as Assistant Editor, mainly working for Gustafson. … Continue reading “Cutters promotes David Rubin to editor”

Burrell spot for Toyota Sienna celebrates spontaneity

The adventurous life awaits! “The Sienna Life” campaign, kicking off today, welcomes a refined and versatile minivan featuring bold design, available all-wheel drive, and enhanced fuel efficiency: the all-hybrid and all-new 2021 Toyota Sienna. The fully integrated campaign was developed against Toyota’s long-standing Total Toyota (T2) marketing model, fully considering the transcultural mainstream audiences across … Continue reading “Burrell spot for Toyota Sienna celebrates spontaneity”

2020 in Review: Top Chicago advertising campaigns

It’s hard to remember back in February 2020, when the Kansas City Chiefs bested the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV and Parasite was winning Best Picture, no one was talking about COVID, the election and Black Lives Matter. We had no idea we were only a few weeks and months away from all … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Top Chicago advertising campaigns”

2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories

What a year, huh? 2020, which felt like a decade, will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the worst years ever. And who will argue? Certainly not the staff at Reel Chicago. This year, COVID forced productions to shut down. Then start back up. Then shut back down. Then start back up. It … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories”

OKRP promotes Aubrey Walker to Exec Creative Director

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul is adding a level to its creative leadership with the promotion of Aubrey Walker to the new role of Executive Creative Director. He assumes leadership of the agency’s creative department from Laura Fegley who left the agency this summer. Walker has led the agency’s recent work for The Illinois Lottery, including … Continue reading “OKRP promotes Aubrey Walker to Exec Creative Director”

OKRP ‘Brings Back Joy’ in new Illinois Lottery campaign

A new campaign for the Illinois Lottery from its agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) stars a charming –  but somewhat flawed –  hamster who playfully demonstrates the real joy in gifting the Lottery’s holiday instant tickets. When not in his cage, Claude the Hamster exercises his love of scratching, leaving his scratch marks on all surfaces … Continue reading “OKRP ‘Brings Back Joy’ in new Illinois Lottery campaign”

Best of the Midwest goes to ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett

Best of the Midwest voted on by attendees as iconic ads are highlighted in benefit event for Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis food banks. The hors d’oeuvres were whatever you had on hand, the tinkling of cocktail glasses was done from afar and the applause was a bit muted, but that didn’t stop the Midwest advertising, … Continue reading “Best of the Midwest goes to ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett”

AICP Midwest Show is this Thursday, November 19

One of the most exciting stops on the AICP tour happens every year in Chicago. It’s one of the few opportunities for those in production, advertising and film to gather together, share a cocktail or four and just hang. This year, with a pandemic raging and cases on the rise again, the AICP Midwest Show … Continue reading “AICP Midwest Show is this Thursday, November 19”

Luke Sloma promoted to editor at Whitehouse Post

Continuing their tradition of growing exceptional editorial talent, Whitehouse Post proudly promotes Luke Sloma to Editor A 2010 graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Sloma boarded a Megabus bound for Chicago and hasn’t looked back.  Over the past decade, Sloma cut his teeth at various Chicago post houses working his way from intern to vault and spent 2 years … Continue reading “Luke Sloma promoted to editor at Whitehouse Post”

Diving into Highdive and their Emmy nomination

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

Craig Duncan takes on role of President of Cutters Studios

Cutters Studios’ Managing Director and Partner Craig Duncan has been promoted to the position of President. As announced by CEO Tim McGuire, in addition to his responsibilities as President, Duncan will continue to fulfill his duties as Managing Director. Well known in the creative industry as a premier editor himself, Tim McGuire launched Cutters as … Continue reading “Craig Duncan takes on role of President of Cutters Studios”

Highdive named Small Agency of the Year, Gold

Holy Jeep! Congratulations to our friends at Highdive Advertising. The independently-owned, full-service creative agency based in Chicago, announces today that it has been named Small Agency of the Year, Gold by Ad Age. This year’s honorees were named at the Small Agency Conference, which was hosted virtually on August 3-5. The Ad Age Small Agency Awards, now in their 11th … Continue reading “Highdive named Small Agency of the Year, Gold”

Chicago agencies nab 89 finalists in One Show

FCB Chicago leads Chicago agencies with 31 The One Show 2020, finalists, including 28 on behalf of Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.  Working with FCBXLord+Thomas, both Chicago, the agency has 16 for the organization’s “Most Dangerous Street”, and 12 with Lord+Thomas and The Mill, both Chicago, for “The Gun Violence Handbook.” Ogilvy Chicago with 27 including work for … Continue reading “Chicago agencies nab 89 finalists in One Show”

The New Normal – Sarofsky Studios

Editor’s Note: The world changed right before our very eyes. In a span of three weeks, movie theaters closed. Restaurants went to delivery or take-out only. Non-essential businesses shut down. States ordered individuals to stay home. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Wall Street is shook. Disneyland and Disneyworld closed indefinitely. We now work, live, exercise and entertain … Continue reading “The New Normal – Sarofsky Studios”

REEL WOMEN: Valerie Bulinski, Locations Manager

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 Reel Women During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready. Prior becoming a Locations Manager and founding Chicago Locations … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Valerie Bulinski, Locations Manager”

OKRP hires Aubrey Walker as Group Creative Director

Veteran agency copywriter and creative leader Aubrey Walker is joining O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul as a Group Creative Director. Walker has previously worked at such agencies as Leo Burnett, Carol H. Williams, Matlock, Burrell, The TRUE Agency, Globalhue, commonground, GMR, MKTG and FCBX before starting his own independent freelance consultancy. Walker’s initial focus includes leading … Continue reading “OKRP hires Aubrey Walker as Group Creative Director”

Murray Bros. Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament

The 20th annual Murray Bros. Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament returns to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida on April 30 and May 1, 2020. Thanks to the commitment of Murray Brothers, the annual golf outing has evolved into one of the most talked-about charity golf tournaments in the country. The annual … Continue reading “Murray Bros. Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament”

Optimus hires award-winning editor David Cea

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that it has added Editor David Cea to their roster. With 15 years of experience in New York and Chicago, David Cea has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry and he brings to Optimus an impressive portfolio, featuring many award-winning spots. “I’ve … Continue reading “Optimus hires award-winning editor David Cea”

Carbon strengthens roster across the USA

Key hires and promotions reinforce new Chicago studio and seamless continental workflow Visual effects and design studio Carbon is proud to announce the promotion of Phil Linturn to Managing Director of Carbon North America and Gretchen Praeger to Executive Producer of the Chicago office. Additionally, the company is excited to announce new hires including Jeff … Continue reading “Carbon strengthens roster across the USA”

Jeffrey DeChausse sows in with Seed

French / American director and artist combines documentary style with a strong performance background Emmy-winning filmmaker Jeffrey DeChausse has signed on to work with his long time friend, Roy Skillicorn, owner / EP of Seed Media Arts. Jeffrey was raised in Detroit, Michigan, and in the Loire valley in France, where he worked and lived … Continue reading “Jeffrey DeChausse sows in with Seed”

Towers and Weather Channel bring back ‘Storm Stories’

New, hour-long episodes will feature accounts of extreme weather disasters that inevitably bring out the very best in people The Weather Channel television network announced today the highly-anticipated return of fan favorite original series, Storm Stories: The Next Chapter, in partnership with Towers Productions. Premiering on August 18th, each hour-long episode will feature first-person accounts … Continue reading “Towers and Weather Channel bring back ‘Storm Stories’”

A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’

Chicago’s award-winning restaurateur and media personality films a quest for family and food in Southeast Asia Billy Dec’s Food. Roots. Philippines. explores an ancient recipe for success on the other side of the world. Currently in post-production, the PBS project is a journey into the country, culture, and cuisine of his ancestors. The Southeast Asian … Continue reading “A sneak peek at Billy Dec’s ‘Food. Roots. Philippines.’”

Almost Gold shines with major expansion

Chicago-based production studio celebrates five years of creativity Design-driven production studio Almost Gold is excited to unveil a major expansion of both environment and talent. In addition to production, animation, and motion graphics capabilities, Almost Gold now offers editorial, color, finish, VO recording, and audio mix in its newly completed East Wing. The expansion comes … Continue reading “Almost Gold shines with major expansion”

Cutters promotes a pair in Chicago

The editing and post-production studio moves Heather Richardson to Executive Producer, Patrick Casey to Head of Production Cutters Studios Managing Director and Partner Craig Duncan today announced the promotion of Heather Richardson to Executive Producer, and the promotion of Patrick Casey to Head of Production. Both Cutters Chicago leadership appointments are effective immediately. According to … Continue reading “Cutters promotes a pair in Chicago”

Pigeon Roost flocks to Chicago

Welcome to the Windy City, Pigeon Roost. The company, repped by Laurel Dobose at Gypsy, launched in Los Angeles and Memphis in 2016, and has since expanded to Chicago and Athens, Greece. Pigeon Roost is a commercial, branded content, and feature film production company. They describe themselves as a,”partner with brands and agencies big and … Continue reading “Pigeon Roost flocks to Chicago”

Reel Women: Erin Sarofsky, ECD / entrepreneur

Erin Sarofsky established her company, Sarofsky Corp., in January of 2009 in Chicago’s booming West Loop neighborhood. Sarofsky Corp. specializes in design-driven production, working with a broad range of clients in the advertising, broadcast, network, film and entertainment industries.   Erin and her team of talented artists and producers are best known for creating gorgeous, … Continue reading “Reel Women: Erin Sarofsky, ECD / entrepreneur”

The Reel Black List: Aubrey Walker, Advertising Guru

Aubrey Walker is a 15-year Creative originally from Milwaukee, WI. Aubrey has worked for such agencies as Burrell, Carol H. Williams, MKTG, GMR, Globalhue and The True Agency. His accounts have ranged from Nike, Gatorade to Jeep and Bombay Sapphire. Currently, Aubrey is the CCO of his newly formed started shop called, TEACHERS NEVER LIKED … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Aubrey Walker, Advertising Guru”

Escape Pod, Cutters, Periscope: hires and promotions

The Escape Pod promotes Celia Jones to Chief Executive Officer Celia Jones has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer at The Escape Pod. Jones, who joined the Chicago-based independent agency as Brand Director in June 2016, will concentrate on growth, integrated capabilities, new revenue, and recruitment. She will report to Norm Bilow, Co-founder and Managing … Continue reading “Escape Pod, Cutters, Periscope: hires and promotions”

FCB gets it Bright

FCB Chicago announced last week that Lisa Bright has has left Iris Worldwide, as its executive creative director, to join the Michigan Avenue shop as the agency’s newest SVP, Group Creative Director.

Bright will report directly to Chief Creative Officer, Liz Taylor, and will be responsible for creative leadership across a diversity of brands including Humana, Renew Life, Liquid Plumbr, Pine-Sol, and Glad.

DDB’s ECD Davis in new role as CCO/DDB San Francisco

DDB’S CHICAGO’S ECD KEVIN DREW DAVIS relocated to the agency’s San Francisco office where he will assume the position of chief creative officer at DDB San Francisco. He joined DDB in 2013 as CC of DDB Canada before being asked to assume the ECD role in Chicago in late 2014.

During his two years in Chicago, he was known for his McDonald’s work, spearheading the agency’s Cannes Lion-winning “Lovin’ the Super Bowl” Twitter campaign, which made McDonald’s the most retweeted brand ever in a single day.

The Whitehouse and Burnett the big TV Awards winners

Chicago agencies and post houses overwhelmed last week’s International Television Awards, scoring 10 out of 12 top awards for excellence in TV commercials. The awards were held Wednesday, April 20, at the AMC River North theatres before a full house.

The Whitehouse post scored four awards and Leo Burnett earned three.

“Empire” wraps season 2, will resume filming in July

TV UPDATE. “Empire” has wrapped its second season, with elegant scenes filmed at the Drake Hotel that lit up Michigan Ave. the past two days.  Fox TV’s hit series is expected to return to Chicago in July to start filming 18 episodes for season three.  

Cutters’ Flavor adds Elliott as third Flame artist

Cutters’ Flavor design division expanded again to 12 with the addition of Flame artist Christopher Elliott, who moved after a 16-month stint at Utopic and a decade at Red Car Chicago, with the title of director of finishing at both.

Flavor has a staff of 12 with Elliott, its third Flame compositor and finishing artist, working alongside Elliott is Flavor’s third Flame composite and finishing artist, working alongside motion graphic and 3D artists.

The Golf Channel airs mini- series golfers’ adventure

Filmmaker Martin Rodahl of 71 Degrees North aced a double eagle with his first long-form project: an original mini-series for The Golf Channel, about three friends who drive the ashes of their late friend to the Arctic Circle for golf at midnight the summer solstice. 

After nearly two years in the works, half-hour episodes of “The Longest Drive” air Tuesdays at 9:30 CT on The Golf Channel, through Nov. 20, with encores throughout the week.   

IFO adds Raul Esparza as assistant managing director

THE ILLINOIS FILM OFFICE hired seasoned location scout Raul Esparza as assistant managing director/location manager, replacing Todd Lizak who officially retired in January.  He was asked to return to the IFO as a 75 day contractual employee to help interview prospective candidates for the vacancy and handle location scouting until his successor was hired.

Carrie Holecek joins Red Car as managing director

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CARRIE HOLECEK left Bridges Media and crossed over to Larry Bridges’ Red Car post facility to become its newly appointed managing director.

Red Car’s executive producer Jon Desir, who also carried the managing director title, will continue to handle EP duties. Desir says the team approach he and Holecek will employ is a new one for the company.

AICP Show expects to host 1,000 guests Thursday, Nov. 17

AICP SHOW UPDATE. One thousand adbiz folks will start the year’s end/holiday celebration season by attending the Thursday, Nov. 17 AICP Show at the Cultural Center.
“It’s going to be a great show!” says an enthusiastic Mark Androw of Story, the president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the New York-based national organization over which Androw once presided.

Cutters Detroit starts up with a notable staff of six

 Already a part of the Detroit post scene with its partnership in RingSide Creative, newly established Cutters Detroit is creating its own identity in the Motor City’s multibillion dollar ad market in its own new offices in the RingSide facility in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park.

Cutters Detroit has a staff of six, headed by executive producer Mary Connolly, who was recruited from Griot Editorial, where she worked for 12 years, starting as a rep and moving to a producer’s position.

Emotional father and son reunion in Africa

Malachi Leopold of Left Brain, Right Brain Productions and three-man crew departed O’Hare in a snowstorm April 5 to spend a month in Sudan filming the reunion of a Lost Boy of Sudan and his parents after a 22-year separation.

This is Leopold’s second report from Africa, following Kuek Garang’s reunion with his divorced mother in Nairobi, now at Kuek’s father’s village.

The day of Kuek’s homecoming in his native village of Wernyol, in southern Sudan, was one of the most amazing and memorable days of my life, reports Leopold via Email.

Vadik starts shoot on first of four-film slate in collaboration with L.A.’s Albion Entertainment

Filmmaker Mark Vadik’s first feature, a romantic comedy, “Desertion,” starring Kim Rhodes (“Another World”) has begun production in Chicago and suburbs, directed by Francine Sondelli, a Wilmette native.

“Desertion” represents the first of several planned collaborations between Vadik of BYOB Multimedia Productions and Los Angeles-based producer Joel Miller of Albion Entertainment.

Miller and Sondelli co-wrote “Desertion,” about a woman who leaves her job as an ad executive and starts a new life in a small town.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

A FIRE AT THE THEATRE BUILDING last week, ignited by an apparent electrical/computer surge, caused significant smoke and water damage to the box office and second floor administrative offices.

None of the three ground floor theatres were directly affected.

An office rented by the Illinois Theatre Association, where the fire started, sustained the worst damage. Rescue efforts caused gaping hole in the roof and smashed windows in the front office and skylight.

Swell names 15-year staffer Radi Akel president as Mike Topel relinquishes role after 20 years

Swell’s new company president Radi Akel said it’s premature to talk about future plans under his stewardship for the post house, but strategy for change will be announced by the first of the year.

Fifteen-year Swell veteran Akel, VP/operations, becomes the company’s third president. He succeeds Mike Topel, who took over the company reins upon the death of his father, the iconoclastic director and filmmaker Walt Topel, who founded the editing house in 1985.

As director of operations, Akel had been dealing on a day-to-day basis with the company’s activities.

BBDO replaces Gant with auto expert

BBDO Chicago is gearing up for a new creative regime, it appears ? and most likely a new business blast ? with the arrival of the not inconsiderable talents of Marty Orzio as the agency’s new creative chief.

He replaces Phil Gant, the well-liked BBDO Chicago’s creative chief, who spent almost 20 years at the agency. Gant has moved to Detroit in the number two job as ECD on Daimler-Chrysler, BBDO-Detroit’s sole client, albeit a substantial one. Its estimated $850 million in billings is spent on Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, Jeep and some Mercedes-Benz models.