Miller Lite and Equality Illinois to hold first Open & Proud Town Hall

Miller Lite and Equality Federation announce the first Open & Proud Town Hall, to be held in Chicago. The Open & Proud initiative aims to create safe, inclusive spaces at bars for the LGBTQ community.  The program features a series of town hall events where LGBTQ individuals over 21 will share their candid, open experiences, and thoughts on … Continue reading “Miller Lite and Equality Illinois to hold first Open & Proud Town Hall”

Miller Lite creates Open & Proud safe spaces for LGBTQ

Miller Lite and Equality Federation are announcing the “Open & Proud” program, an initiative that aims to create safe, inclusive spaces at bars for the LGBTQ community. The program includes the development and implementation of inclusivity training materials for bar owners and employees at the 55,000 bars and nightclubs where Miller Lite is sold. These … Continue reading “Miller Lite creates Open & Proud safe spaces for LGBTQ”

Miller Lite & New Balance collide for first-ever beer shoe

To celebrate Father’s Day (June 20), Miller Lite and New Balance have collided to create the first-ever beer shoe, the Shoezie from DDB North America. Coming together the Father of Light Beer and the originators of the Dad Shoe crafted the shoe-meets-koozie to keep your beer cool in a fatherly fashion. Drawing from the iconic … Continue reading “Miller Lite & New Balance collide for first-ever beer shoe”

Miller Lite Level Up Fund announces $100k grant for IWD

Miller Lite announces the launch of the Miller Lite Level Up Fund, a $100,000 grant program that aims to provide financial support to uncelebrated communities in the gaming world. Coinciding with International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8, the Fund will raise awareness for the inspiring female streamers that deserve greater recognition and access to … Continue reading “Miller Lite Level Up Fund announces $100k grant for IWD”

Miller Lite is bringing International Beer Day stateside

It may not be easy to travel internationally to celebrate International Beer Day on Friday, so Miller Lite is celebrating stateside. On August 7th, consumers in 80+ cities named after countries can claim a free beer to make it Miller Time.  “We know that summer travel looks a little different this year, and for many beer … Continue reading “Miller Lite is bringing International Beer Day stateside”

DDB, Miller Lite, Eric Andre play ‘The Cantroller’

After you drink the beer inside, the Cantroller continues to operate your video games I’m suddenly reminded of the line Tim Robbins said in The Coen Brothers’ Hudsucker Proxy, “You know, for kids!” Okay, this “ludicrous” (DDB’s words in a press release, not ours) product innovation they’ve created for Miller Lite is definitely not for … Continue reading “DDB, Miller Lite, Eric Andre play ‘The Cantroller’”

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”

Jason Witten surprises fans in Miller Lite spot by DDB

New DDB Chicago video shows football legend Jason Witten trading in his jersey for a beer delivery uniform As a devout Philadelphia Eagles (“Iggles”) fan it really does pain me to write anything positive about THAT team in Dallas. But DDB Chicago has created a new video for client Miller Lite that tastes great. To … Continue reading “Jason Witten surprises fans in Miller Lite spot by DDB”

2 local agencies in pitch for $160mm Miller Lite biz

Three agencies – two of them here in Chicago – were tapped to compete in a MillerCoors formal review to come up with advertising ideas that will elevate its Miller Lite brand from a lengthy sales slump.

The agency with the most brilliant ideas will win the brand’s $160 million business. The brand will introduce the winning ads in March.

The local agencies are Publicis’ Leo Burnett and Royal Order, a digital agency acquired that Ogilvy, a WPP division, acquired in 2012.  Omnicom’s LA-based TBWA is the third agency in the review.

Spot follows real life in Miller Lite’s “The Race”

Two guys from multicultural agency Commonground, which has a diverse group of creatives, from Millennials to Baby Boomers got into a friendly debate about which of the two represented the best generation, the Gen Xer or the Gen Yer. 

The discussion between the Gen Xer, VP/creative director Mike Williams and younger Gen Y copywriter Nate DeLeon picked up good natured steam culminating in one of them saying, let’s take it to the street, let’s race. 

Miller Lite taps DraftFCB for $100 million account

Any substantial, new advertising account that lands in Chicago these days is a reason for rejoicing and DraftFCB’s winning MillerCoors’ Miller Lite was reason to break out the, well, Miller Lite and celebrate.

Its reported billings of more than $100 million are a good start in making up for the heavy hits the Chicago ad business has taken in the past three years.

The MillerCoors’ account moved over after two years at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York. BBH and DraftFCB had been competing for assignments on the brand since late last year.

Farewell, Work Holiday Parties — ‘Tis Miller Time

2020 has been filled with cancellations, but one thing that people are actually happy to have cancelled? Their work holiday parties. Miller Lite agrees: Cancelled work holiday parties means more time to drink Miller Lite with their real friends, or as they call it, Miller Time.  The brand is memorializing people’s cringiest moments in an … Continue reading “Farewell, Work Holiday Parties — ‘Tis Miller Time”

DDB brings back original social media – “Miller Time”

So many of us (you know who you are) are more concerned with having thousands of followers than a few good friends. In an engaging new campaign from DDB, the creative agency for Miller Lite, has tapped into this thought and created a campaign that is both engaging, smart and funny as hell. “With this … Continue reading “DDB brings back original social media – “Miller Time””

Lite versus Light: corn syrup dispute bubbles over

Miller Lite is calling foul on Bud Light for claims about sweeteners mentioned in Super Bowl spots After jousting with Game of Thrones’ episode The Mountain in its Bud Knight Super Bowl ad, Bud Light now finds itself in a tussle with competitor Miller Lite. As part of its Super Bowl strategy, Bud Light placed … Continue reading “Lite versus Light: corn syrup dispute bubbles over”

MillerCoors taps Michelle St. Jacques as new CMO

The former Kraft Heinz Senior Vice President inherits a portfolio of brands from the nation’s second-largest brewer MillerCoors has named Kraft Heinz executive Michelle St. Jacques as its new chief marketing officer, the first woman to ever hold the role. St. Jacques was most recently senior vice president and global head of brands and capabilities … Continue reading “MillerCoors taps Michelle St. Jacques as new CMO”

MillerCoors cuts Draftfcb in favor of WPP consortium

The news couldn’t have been more devastating. At 10:30 Tuesday morning DraftFCB/Chicago president Michael Fassnacht picked up his phone and discovered MillerCoors chief marketing officer Andy England was on the line. Without wasting time, England delivered the long-rumored bombshell.

Only it was worse than expected.

England told Fassnacht MillerCoors was pulling all its business — every single bit — out of DraftFCB and redistributing it across a couple of entities.

Dave Miller’s new web production company launches comedy webisodes Sept. 15

Opening Friday, Sept. 15 at a computer near you is “Assisted Living,” semi-improv comedy webisodes from Dave Miller’s new ViralFilmVideo (VFV), which is deep into producing videos, spots and promos for the web.

“We won’t heavily promote the new series until about five episodes are released,” says producer Miller, who also heads Mindlight Films.

“That way, a visitor can watch more than a couple episodes and hopefully get hooked,” he explains.

It’s happy hour in Chicago as beer returns to DDB

DDB Chicago, which has a storied history of creating award-winning work for beer brands — Anheuser-Busch to be specific — is ready to break out the beer steins again as Miller Lite consolidated its brand within the network.

As many industry pundits had predicted, DDB Chicago will be global AOR for Miller Lite and Adam&Eve. DDB will handle Miller Genuine Draft. The decision follows a formal creative review among several competitors.

AICP: Utopic, DDB, Cutters, Highdive rep Chicago in Next and Post Awards

The 2021 AICP Next and Post Awards debuted virtually this week in New York during AICP week, recognizing creative excellence in new and emerging media. Chicago post-houses and agencies did take home wins during the ceremonies. Utopic The post-house had a big win last night at the AICP Post Awards. Craig Lewandowski was honored with a win … Continue reading “AICP: Utopic, DDB, Cutters, Highdive rep Chicago in Next and Post Awards”

One Show: FCB Chicago wins eight Gold Pencils

FCB Chicago received eight One Show Gold Pencils this year.  They include four Golds with FCBX, Lord + Thomas and Current Global, all in Chicago, for the City of Chicago “Boards of Change” (three in Design, one in Digital Craft), three with FCB New York, Lord + Thomas, and Myles Beeson, both in Chicago, for Michelob ULTRA “Contract for Change” in Integrated, … Continue reading “One Show: FCB Chicago wins eight Gold Pencils”

Burnett, DDB, FCB represent Chicago at Andy Awards

The Andy Awards announced their winners on April 12 and Leo Burnett, DDB Chicago and FCB Chicago represented the windy city for their work on Kraft Heinz Country Time, Miller Lite and Coors Light respectively. Burnett The Chicago office took home an Idea Andy for their work on Country Time Lemonade’s Littlest Bailout. , which … Continue reading “Burnett, DDB, FCB represent Chicago at Andy Awards”

Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing

“Now is a good time to retire. After 37 years at Cutters and 47 in the industry, I’m ready to move forward and retire here at year end.” That’s the rare email message our friends at Cutters Studios received in late 2020 from Senior Partner/Editor Chris Claeys. The heartfelt message hit many emotional notes for … Continue reading “Cutters Chris Claeys retires from editing”

2020 in Review: 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”

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”

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”

Navy Pier Pride returns for 5th Annual Live Celebration

Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination, welcomes all to celebrate Pride Month in person at the People’s Pier for the fifth consecutive year of Navy Pier Pride. On Saturday, June 27 from 1 – 10 p.m., celebrate equality, love and the LGBTQ+ community at the newly-reopened People’s Pier. This free and safe daylong celebration will include scheduled live musical performances, resources from community partners and … Continue reading “Navy Pier Pride returns for 5th Annual Live Celebration”

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”

Cannabis operator Cresco Labs hires new CCO Greg Butler

Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, has hired Greg Butler as its first Chief Commercial Officer in the U.S. A graduate of the Harvard Business School and former marketing director for Miller Lite, Butler expressed enthusiasm for the groundbreaking nature of the newly created position, which … Continue reading “Cannabis operator Cresco Labs hires new CCO Greg Butler”

Molson Coors moving HQ to Chicago

Nation’s second-largest brewer intends to diversify, accelerate, and reduce expenses by moving to The Windy City Intending to reduce expenses by $150 million, brewer Molson Coors announced last week that it will move its headquarters from Denver to Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. The relocation is prompted in part by an industry-wide 5% decline … Continue reading “Molson Coors moving HQ to Chicago”

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”

The Escape Pod unveils new leadership team

“To help our clients win, we need to make sure our leadership team is the best in the business.” – Norm Bilow, Escape Pod Big moves are happening at indie agency The Escape Pod. The agency announced its new leadership team. This news includes Derek Sherman who has been appointed Executive Creative Director, Tyler Moore … Continue reading “The Escape Pod unveils new leadership team”

Burnett named lead agency for Coors Light

The Chicago shop will guide several agencies in a campaign to help the brewery “bring drinkers back to beer” MillerCoors this week tapped Leo Burnett to help reinforce the brand direction and overarching marketing campaigns for its Coors Light account. The account, which was previously handled by 72andSunny, went into review this past March. The … Continue reading “Burnett named lead agency for Coors Light”

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”

DDB taps into Blue Moon as AOR

After a month-long competitive review, the brand moves its creative to the newly created unit fifty5Zero Pass DDB Chicago a Blue Moon. The agency announced last week that client Chicago-based MillerCoors has decided to move creative responsibilities for its Blue Moon brand to fifty5Zero, a newly created unit of DDB. According to a spokeswoman, this … Continue reading “DDB taps into Blue Moon as AOR”

Lewis Williams named to AdWeek’s Creative 100 List

AdWeek recently listed Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer of Burrell Communications Group, on the 2018 Creative 100 List. Honored for his leadership in developing first-class collaborations to produce award-winning campaigns, Lewis Williams is recognized amongst notable leaders in advertising, entertainment and art, both locally and abroad. Other creatives listed include acclaimed filmmaker, Ava Duvernay, rapper … Continue reading “Lewis Williams named to AdWeek’s Creative 100 List”

Latest eye catching new work — 4.16.18

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a collection of spots and trailers that are currently holding Reel Chicago’s attention.   Blue Bunny Agency: FCB Chicago “Bye Bye britches!” FCB’s latest for Blue Bunny ice cream (a recent account win that we reported on last year) features the tagline, “Give into the bunny” and boasts just the … Continue reading “Latest eye catching new work — 4.16.18”

Optimus bolsters capabilities with new creative team

Led by Editor Angelo Valencia, Optimus roster expands by five (Chicago — 2 April 2018) Optimus announced today that they are welcoming aboard Editor/Partner Angelo Valencia, Editor Matt Glover, VFX Supervisor Ryan Wood, Senior Producer Joanna Woods and Assistant Editor Emily Hayes to join the leading production and post house.   This team most recently … Continue reading “Optimus bolsters capabilities with new creative team”

The Reel Black List: Lewis Williams, Creative Leader

“There is no better story than life itself.” Lewis is a passionate, award winning creative leader and storyteller with extensive experience in total, ethnic and multicultural marketing. As a thinker across all platforms, digital and traditional, he thrives for both breakthrough and effective solutions. During his career he has created work for major brands such … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Lewis Williams, Creative Leader”

Traveling Picture Show, David&Goliath, Story, Cary Ruby

Traveling Picture Show volunteers at food bank It’s a holiday tradition for Reel Chicago to cover the good things that Windy City ad agencies and production companies are doing for the community, like Scott Marvel’s annual Give a Shirt drive to help the homeless. But, what’s happening on the west coast? After contemplating all that … Continue reading “Traveling Picture Show, David&Goliath, Story, Cary Ruby”

Selikow leaves Burnett for DDB

DDB Chicago announced today that the agency had lured away 14-year Burnett veteran Colin Selikow to serve as Executive Creative Director on the Miller Lite and Mars Wrigley Confectionery accounts. Selikow rose to creative lead on both Samsung Mobile and United Healthcare. His team’s award-winning film entitled “Ostrich” recently earned seven Cannes Lions. “When I … Continue reading “Selikow leaves Burnett for DDB”

Rob Gregory, Gretchen Praeger, Carmichael Lynch

Rob Gregory wins American Photographic Awards “Series” category Congratulations are in order for local photographer, Rob Gregory, who was named a winner in the 2017 American Photographic Awards “Series” Category.   Earlier this year, we covered a series Gregory did for Cancer Kids featuring them as superheroes. Below are a couple of pieces from the … Continue reading “Rob Gregory, Gretchen Praeger, Carmichael Lynch”

Leadership roles for new Optimus EPs Spera and Desir

Optimus promoted senior producer Tracy Spera and EP/VFX and design John Desir to executive producers, “roles in which they also will assume internal leadership and business development responsibilities,” said EP/managing director Brian Hrastrar in making the announcement.

Tracy Spera is a 14-year veteran at Optimus, “where I felt lucky to have started my career,” she said, hired as an intern after graduating from Columbia College in 2002 with a BA in TV postproduction.

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.

Captains of Coors’ new Cavalry agency set to charge

So.  Here we go.  We’re now barely 12 weeks into the new adventure in beer advertising that is the Chicago-based Cavalry agency.  We don’t want to overstate the matter, but to a large degree, the immediate fate of American beer advertising may rest in the hands of  two gentlemen entrusted with the formidable task of determining how the Coors Light and Coors Banquet beer brands will be marketed in the months — and perhaps years — to come.

DDB’s Jim Larmon joins new Cavalry as inaugural CCO

Newly formed Cavalry – the Chicago agency WPP Group recently formed to exclusively handle Coors beer brands – hired DDB SVP/group creative director Jim Larmon as its first chief creative officer.

Larmon is one of the top talents that beer business veteran Marty Stock, Cavalry’s inaugural CEO, is recruiting for Coors’ new agency. Some 40 full time employees are being hired, mostly from WPP agencies Y&R and JWT, branding firm VML, digital talent from digital agency Landor and others. 

Draftfcb’s dilemma should also concern other agencies

How many hits can we take?  Year after year, for more than a decade, Chicago’s ad industry has suffered body blow after body blow — leaving most to wonder how long this business could survive such a pummeling.

Well, the good news is there still is an ad industry in Chicago.  And it still has signs of life.  But the bad news is the bad news obviously is not over. Not by a long shot. 

New Draftfcb clients making up S.C. Johnson loss

The big red notebook was missing.  That was the first thing we noticed — how could we not? — when Draft FCB/Chicago chief creative officer Todd Tilford barreled into the office where we had just settled in to chat with him and DraftFCB co-leader and president Michael Fassnacht.

It took us a second to adjust to that stunning development because the big red book Tilford had in hand during our first meeting last fall was such a prominent detail about the way he presented himself at the time.

Sundance parties welcome Chicagoans

CHICAGOANS AT SUNDANCE expected this weekend at Park City, Utah include Fox TV’s Robin Robinson and Ch. 7’s Sylvia Perez, providing TV coverage of the festivities; Julee White, NBC director of strategic sales and marketing; RDS’ Megan Ross; Kevin Farley, brother of the late Chris; the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg and Todd Lizak, Mesirow Financial’s Les Coney and Christina and Mike McGrath of Lexis McGrath.

“The Promotion” wins MWFF best feature award

PRACTICALLY EVERY INDIE FILMMAKERS turned out 350 strong at Rockit Bar & Grill Tuesday for Midwest Independent Film Festival’s annual awards and first-time fund-raiser.

Beautiful crystal awards were given to a variety of winners, and the grand prize went to “The Promotion,” the comedy written and directed by Steve Conrad, who was present, along with co-star Seann William Scott and producer Steven Jones. Richard Roeper made the presentation.

The write stuff from L.A. script expert

SCREENWRITERS WILL GET A CHANCE to quiz L.A. screenwriting consultant Phillippa Burgess on how to move their careers forward and other vital breakthrough info Dec. 7 at the Chicago Screenwriters Network meeting.

As a partner in Creative Convergence, a multifaceted entertainment company representing writers, directors, producers and the like, Burgess is certainly equipped to provide the answers.

‘Maya’ continues Pearle Vision’s strategy to showcase Small Moments

Pearle Vision has launched their latest installment in the award-winning Small Moments campaign, a cinematic mini-movie titled “Maya,” in which a young Indian girl goes from feeling like an outsider to a more confident young woman with the help of a Pearle Vision eye care expert.   “Maya” continues Pearle Vision’s strategy to showcase the … Continue reading “‘Maya’ continues Pearle Vision’s strategy to showcase Small Moments”

Earth Day: Lincoln Park Zoo’s price of extinction

Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo has announced their newest campaign, “The Price of Extinction.” Launching yesterday on Earth Day (April 22) the campaign draws attention to Earth’s most endangered species at the zoo with limited-edition zoo “passes.” This initiative provides animal lovers with the unique opportunity to pay a small price to help the species survive. … Continue reading “Earth Day: Lincoln Park Zoo’s price of extinction”

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’”

Meet the brains behind Mind Exchange Music

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

Chris Franklin named AICP Post Awards Chair

Matt Miller, President and CEO of AICP, announced that Chris Franklin, Owner/Editor at Big Sky Edit, will serve as the Chairperson of the 2020 AICP Post Awards. Franklin’s appointment marks the first time the association’s annual competition for excellence in the post production arts will adopt a chairperson structure for its judging panels and curatorial … Continue reading “Chris Franklin named AICP Post Awards Chair”

Bow + Arrow helps Trickshooter Social Club come alive

Bow + Arrow Films director Ted Lega combined live rock-n-roll with mesmerizing drama to create a retro-flavored video for “If I Could,” a new single by Trickshooter Social Club. In the aesthetic of early MTV, the video turns the music into a backdrop for a story about a girl. Filmed at Chicago’s Harlem Avenue Lounge, … Continue reading “Bow + Arrow helps Trickshooter Social Club come alive”

Biscuit stars in new spot by EP+Co and Quriosity

Quriosity Productions captured the beauty of breakfast in a new commercial for Bojangles restaurant by New York and Greenville-based agency EP+Co. Directed by Mike Maes, the 30-second Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit is one of several TV and online spots designed to create a new look for the legendary franchise. The work is part of … Continue reading “Biscuit stars in new spot by EP+Co and Quriosity”

Taking off with Bottle Rocket Media

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

The 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival

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

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.”

mcgarrybowen creates holiday thrills for Crayola

A colorful campaign rouses the holiday spirit with DIY adventure and lovable crayon characters The Crayola characters are back this holiday season and are starring in two action-packed holiday spots. Stepping out into the real world and leveraging cinematic appeal and humor, they connect with kids and adults alike. In Rube Goldberg Machine, Scarlet, Gus, … Continue reading “mcgarrybowen creates holiday thrills for Crayola”

Free DePaul Screenwriting Conference with top writers

The Midwest’s premiere screening event — DePaul School of Cinematic Arts’ annual Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference — Oct. 8 at its Loop campus, is an afternoon of panel discussions with the entertainment industry’s writers and producers, free and open to all.

Project Development kicks off the panels at 1 p.m., discussed by Brian Banks, Nickelodeon’s VP / executive in charge of production at Nickelodeon and Samantha Olsson Shear, head film and television development at Kickstart Productions. DePaul faculty member and screenwriter Chris Parrish will moderate.

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.

Industry shock as Roscor closes rental department

Approximately one hundred Roscor employees were reportedly terminated Friday, Oct. 28, as the Midwest’s largest reseller and rentals of production, broadcast and AV equipment shuttered its Sales and Rental Department after more than 30 years of business.

The layoffs allegedly shrunk the total Roscor staff of 130 to 30, according to sources who were familiar with the company, but not Roscor principals who could not be reached for comment late Friday afternoon when news of the closing began making the rounds.

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.

CSN’s script contest the write stuff

Getting Midwestern voices heard by the Hollywood studio system is the goal of the Chicago Screenwriters Network’s first script contest, with a call for entries Oct. 31-Dec. 31.

“We realize there are many other contests out there,” says CSN president Sonny Wareham. What sets our contest apart from others it that it’s only open to writers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.”

The CSN Contest will offer cash prizes to the grand prize winner and runners-up. “But that’s not the real gem,” explained Wareham.

The Show Department to celebrate its 25th anniversary; Town Hall meeting for SAG members

THE SHOW DEPARTMENT founders/owners president Lee Faclis and vice president Jeff Facklis will host a gala, invitation-only silver anniversary party for clients, colleagues and friends Thursday night at its Fulton Street facilities.

The AV equipment and supply rental service was founded in 1983 and has grown substantially to become one of the nation’s biggest companies.

Total number of employees among The Show Department and Resolution Digital Studio divisions numbers nearly 100.

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

GENIAL FRED BEYER, who filmmakers turn to for production insurance, reveals he is opening a downtown office for the first time after 24 years in business in South Holland and Wheaton. As of Jan. 1, Beyer Insurance’s new office will occupy 5,000-sq. ft. at 6 W. Hubbard St., and employee six and a number of insurance company reps.

Beyer is also expanding into financial and investment planning, hence the new name: Beyer Financial Group.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

THAT THE TAX INCENTIVE BOOSTS BUSINESS was evidenced during August 7-19 when six spot houses took advantage of Illinois’ 20% film tax credit.

Bi-coastal HSI produced for Sears agency Y&R and New York’s Harpoon Pictures for A. Eicoff, both expected back for more Sears work later this month. This week the Story Company is shooting for Sears.

SENATE PRESIDENT EMIL JONES will be Columbia College’s guest of honor Sept. 25 celebration at to thank Jones for his leadership in guiding the passage of the tax incentive extension through the state legislature.

THE REEL THING: News & Notes

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE? Just a year ago this month Brooke English and Lee Litis with great flourish announced their Dreamation Studio was moving into a huge Buffalo Grove facility to produce massive amounts of animated features and TV with an anticipated staff of 100.

In November 2004 they also staged the wildly successful Cineme animation film festival with bigger plans for 2005. It looked like they were here to stay.

Now it appears Dreamation and Cineme are in the wind. No phone numbers anywhere. Thinking the partners returned to L.A.

Baby Galigo Films closing on $10 million deal to shoot two features here starting this summer

Matt Pletcher of Baby Galigo Films said he’s weeks away from signing financing deals worth $10 million to shoot two films here this summer and fall.

Pletcher plans a September shoot for the $2.5-$3 million high school comedy “Sophomores,” a co-production with writer/director Joseph Weisman’s Hidden Treasure Productions.

Then in October he plans to start production on his directorial debut, the $7-7.5 million “Two Loon Inn,” a drama about the friendship between two women, set on a Wisconsin lake. Script is by Laurie Johnson and Pattie Hall.

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.

Up & Down the Avenue – 06/14/04

It took Leah Elder less than a New York minute to land a job in L.A. as assistant to the producer of a new TV show, “LAX.” Elder, daughter of Luminair’s Beth and George Elder, spent five years as assistant to Crossroads’ Joanne Bittmann . She moved to L.A. two weeks ago.

Producer Allison Gerlach, formerly in sales for Outsider, joined Crossroads. (She’s now on vacation in Istanbul) … After more than 20 years with Burrell, ECD Alma Hopkins left the agency …

Internet pioneers gear up for debut of 24/7 stand-up comedy channel

No sooner was the new Standup Comedy Television (SCTV) cable channel announced than “people were dropping off their resumes and show ideas,” said program director Peter Kimball, one of the first executives hired last summer when brothers Joseph and Avi Fox began assembling a team for America’s second full-time, 24-hour comedy channel.

A staff of 50 to 60 will be in place and ready to roll when SCTV launches next January over cable and satellite.

Traveller Jones hits film
double header in TV sales

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

Where to meet and greet

To network or not to network? In good times and bad, the smart answer is always "yes." Connecting with fellow media pros is a practice that can light a flame under a fledgling career, accelerate one that’s on the rise, or keep an old one out of the obits.

In Chicago, an enterprising networker can literally attend a different event every night of the week and still not cover them all. Some are rather formal affairs while others are as casual as drinks at a local bar.

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