Netflix orders 16-episode season of Chicago Party Aunt animated series

Netflix announced the new adult animated comedy Chicago Party Aunt will premiere on Sept. 17, from the studio behind Big Mouth (Titmouse).   The half-hour animated comedy follows Diane Dunbrowski, AKA Chicago Party Aunt, staying true to her mantra ‘If life gives you lemons, turn that shit into Mike’s Hard Lemonade.’ Netflix has just ordered a … Continue reading “Netflix orders 16-episode season of Chicago Party Aunt animated series”

Steven Spielberg sets multiple feature deal with Netflix

Steven Spielberg, a filmmaker synonymous with big-screen enchantment, has set a new deal with Netflix in which his production company, Amblin Partners, will make multiple feature films per year for the streaming giant.  The partnership, one long courted by Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, is a major get for the company that, amid increasing … Continue reading “Steven Spielberg sets multiple feature deal with Netflix”

‘Queen Bess’ released on the Netflix Film Club

“Netflix went out and there and found a group of amazing filmmakers who you may not be aware of but should be, and their storytelling power is universal,” – – Executive Producer Qadree Holmes, Quriosity Productions. The uplifting and inspiring true story of Bessie Coleman, whose pioneering achievements behind the pilot’s stick of a Jenny … Continue reading “‘Queen Bess’ released on the Netflix Film Club”

LA Latino Film Fest, Netflix launch Latinx Fellowship

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) announced today the launch of LALIFF’s Inclusion Fellowship Series. This newly established program will focus on building a more inclusive and equitable industry for all members of the Latinx community. Each year, the fellowship will champion an underrepresented group from within the Latinx community. For its inaugural … Continue reading “LA Latino Film Fest, Netflix launch Latinx Fellowship”

Netflix to release Michelle Obama doc ‘Becoming’

Becoming. If you enjoyed the intimacy of former first lady, Michelle Obama’s autobiography, then good news. Netflix has announced the documentary portrait of Michelle Obama titled Becoming will premiere next week. The film, described as “an intimate look into the life of former first lady Michelle Obama” chronicles her 34-city book tour in 2018-2019 for … Continue reading “Netflix to release Michelle Obama doc ‘Becoming’”

Submit for Season 2 of Netflix’s ‘Love is Blind’ here

Single Chicagoans, here’s your chance to be cast on the second season of the popular Netflix Show Love is Blind. The first season of took viewers by storm with its absurd premise: Is Love Blind? Can a group of single men and women, having only spoken through a wall, never seeing one another face to … Continue reading “Submit for Season 2 of Netflix’s ‘Love is Blind’ here”

Netflix, ‘Klaus’ bring special delivery to Chicago kids

For World Kindness Day, which was November 13th, Netflix and their upcoming animated film, Klaus, along with the Brothers and Sisters of America brought holiday cheer to Chicago kids. As Jesper, the title character in Klaus, says, “a simple act of kindness can always spark another”, and on World Kindness Day, Netflix did just that! … Continue reading “Netflix, ‘Klaus’ bring special delivery to Chicago kids”

Cinespace signs production deal for Netflix’ ‘Mixtape’

Chicago film campus will be home to the musical drama that became an “internet favorite” after last summer’s pilot premier   Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, one of the largest film studios in the country, announced an agreement with Netflix to film ten episodes of the musical drama Mixtape, starring Jenna Dewan, Callie Hernandez and Madeleine … Continue reading “Cinespace signs production deal for Netflix’ ‘Mixtape’”

“All the Queen’s Horses” coming to Netflix on July 10

  Award-winning documentary explores how Rita Crundwell stole millions from Dixon, Illinois   (Chicago — 27 June 2018) Kartemquin Films and Helios Digital Learning are pleased to announce that director Kelly Richmond Pope’s award-winning documentary, All The Queen’s Horses, will be available to stream on Netflix from Tuesday, July 10. All The Queen’s Horses tells … Continue reading ““All the Queen’s Horses” coming to Netflix on July 10″

‘Black-ish’ star joins Netflix South Side hip-hop movie

Deadline is reporting that Black-ish star Anthony Anderson has come aboard to star in Netflix’s Beats, a coming-of-age drama set in Chicago’s South Side hip-hop scene. The pic, from Global Road Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment, just began filming with The New Edition Story director Chris Robinson helming Miles Orion Feldsott’s original script. A 2019 … Continue reading “‘Black-ish’ star joins Netflix South Side hip-hop movie”

The Obama’s Netflix deal is great news for viewers

“President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix” Twitter, 9:00 AM – 21 May 2018 According to the statement above, which was posted on Netflix’ Twitter account today, President and First Lady Obama will soon be in show business. Although the Tweet described the … Continue reading “The Obama’s Netflix deal is great news for viewers”

Battery creates campaign for Chris Rock Netflix show

Thank you, Battery and Netflix, I wanted to get my girlfriend a rock for Valentine’s Day and you have now made that possible. LA-based Battery has created a nifty new global campaign for Netflix to promote Chris Rock’s stand-up comedy special, Tamborine, that debuts on the streaming giant on Valentine’s Day.   The spot opens … Continue reading “Battery creates campaign for Chris Rock Netflix show”

Sarofsky makes friends for new Netflix series

The new Netflix original series, Friends from College, from writer/director Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and spouse/co-writer Francesca Delbanco (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek) finally debuted earlier this month.

Directed and executive produced by Stoller, the eight-episode show delves into interwoven and complicated relationships, including former romantic entanglements and comedic explorations of old bonds. As everyone tries to manage their lives as adults, they also experience nostalgia.

Netflix cancels “Sense8”

That’s all for “The Clusters.” Netflix has canceled drama SENSE8 after two seasons.

The diverse series was created and directed by Chicagoans Lilly and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Speed Racer, Jupiter Rising) and filmed in Chicago and at numerous locations around the country and internationally.

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the SENSE8 cluster is coming to an end,” said Cindy Holland, VP of Netflix original content.

The Wachowskis’ Netflix sci-fi “Sense8” to shoot here

NETFLIX’ “SENSE8” sci-fi series has returned to Cinespace, setting up offices there for filming scenes here June 4-14 for Season 2.  The series is written and executive produced by what have become the Wachowski sisters, Lana and Lily, and J. Michael Stracznski.

The story is about eight strangers around the globe who are connected through shared visions and thoughts. Stracznski said at a recent press tour that the fan response for the show has been overwhelming.

Swanberg producing “Easy” Chicago-set Netflix series

Joe Swanberg, Chicago’s well known and most prolific micro-budget indie producer, is moving into television, with a series called “Easy,” for Netflix, which has been making an aggressive push into comedy.

Swanberg, in his signature mumblecore style, will write, EP, star and direct the half-hour, eight-episode single-camera anthology series that “explores diverse Chicago characters as they wend their way through love, sex, technology and culture,” as described by The Hollywood Reporter.

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”

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

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

Production has begun on Rhyan LaMarr’s North of the 10

Rhyan LaMarr and Red Guerrilla Entertainment have facilitated the production of North of the 10, an international “bromantic comedy” starring Don Benjamin, Tosin Morohunfola, DeStorm Power, Mykelti Williamson, George Lopez and many more. LaMarr, who was on Reel Chicago’s Reel Black List, is directing and producing the film set in 2007 during the rise of … Continue reading “Production has begun on Rhyan LaMarr’s North of the 10”

South Shore’s Regal Mile Studios receives city approval

The Regal Mile Studios, a proposed $60 million film studio planned for Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood received preliminary approval from a Chicago commission. The Plan Commission unanimously approved a proposal for a “state-of-the-art media campus” with 220,000 square feet of studio space on a 6.5-acre plot in the far southwest corner of South Shore. A … Continue reading “South Shore’s Regal Mile Studios receives city approval”

Attend a Red Carpet screening of The Breakfast Club

Get your hair crimpers, neon shades, double Izods, acid wash jean jackets, and Tretorn sneakers ready for a fun evening with the Chicago screening of The Breakfast Club, along with Anthony Michael Hall who is in Chicago filming his new movie, The Class. On Monday, July 26th  6:00pm, Generation Z meet Generation X at the Classic Cinemas … Continue reading “Attend a Red Carpet screening of The Breakfast Club”

Paper Girls filming scenes in Wheeling this week

Paper Girls completed filming scenes in Wheeling this week. According to a tweet from the Wheeling Police and Fire Department, production ended last night. The new Olive Productions /Amazon Studios /Legendary Entertainment series Paper Girls will continue filming in the Chicago area through mid September. “That’s a wrap! Film crews from Olive Productions, LLC in … Continue reading “Paper Girls filming scenes in Wheeling this week”

Seed adds multi-talented Director, Kali Bailey to roster

Seed Media Arts announces the addition of Director, Kali Bailey, to its roster. This continues Seed’s recent run of partnerships with experienced cinematic storytellers all having expertise in numerous aspects of filmmaking. Bailey is an accomplished Director with a strong background in Writing, Cinematography, and Editorial that is proudly rooted in the LGBTQ+ community. Kali … Continue reading “Seed adds multi-talented Director, Kali Bailey to roster”

Study reveals the best and worst fictional towns on TV

Television has provided much-needed escapism for many of us during the pandemic, allowing us to get lost in the fictional worlds of American dramas, homegrown soaps and nostalgic classics. But if TV land’s best-known towns were real, which would be the best and worst ones to live in? Entertainment experts MrQ analyzed thousands of television … Continue reading “Study reveals the best and worst fictional towns on TV”

The Chi producer plans $60M film studio on South Side

Film and TV production in Chicago is 100% up and running, and expanding to the south side. The executive producer of The Chi television series, Derek Dudley is joining forces with Loop Capital Chairman and CEO, Jim Reynolds with plans for a film studio that they expect will bring thousands of jobs to the South … Continue reading “The Chi producer plans $60M film studio on South Side”

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”

Anthony Michael Hall & Debbie Gibson to film in Chicago

Monaco Films is set to begin production on The Class this summer in Chicago. The coming of age high school drama will star Anthony Michael Hall and Broadway actress and pop icon Debbie Gibson. Also joining the cast is an ensemble of the newest generation of Hollywood’s rising television actors. The Class, written by Nicholas Celozzi, (Shattered, The Lost … Continue reading “Anthony Michael Hall & Debbie Gibson to film in Chicago”

REVIEW: Family, friendly Thunder Force

Warning: contains spoilers. Last week Netflix released the Chicago-set feature film Thunder Force, starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy as well as an extensive cast of recognizable faces. This family friendly, slapstick, “action and adventure comedy” is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. in Netflix’s top ten trending list.  And … Continue reading “REVIEW: Family, friendly Thunder Force”

Handmaid Tale’s Moss to shoot new series in Chicago

Cameras are set to roll next month on the new Apple series The Shining Girls starring Emmy Award winner Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Invisble Man), for its streaming service. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is set to produce. Described by Los Angeles-based MRC Entertainment as “a metaphysical thriller,” and not to be confused with the … Continue reading “Handmaid Tale’s Moss to shoot new series in Chicago”

NBC orders Chicago Fire alum pilot to series

Charlie Barnett, who was featured on Chicago Fire for its first three seasons and currently plays Alan Zaveri on the Netflix comedy series Russian Doll, co-stars in the new drama NBC Ordinary Joe, which was just ordered to series. The new series explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a … Continue reading “NBC orders Chicago Fire alum pilot to series”

RBL Spotlight: producer, Storm Smith

Editor’s Note: “The Reel Black List” is our annual spotlight of brothers and sisters in the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, radio and media who are making a difference through their contributions and creativity on a daily basis. During the month of February, you will be able to celebrate wonderful human beings, like Storm Smith with … Continue reading “RBL Spotlight: producer, Storm Smith”

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”

REVIEW: ‘Trial of Chicago 7’ is compelling entertainment

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a compelling courtroom drama that is filled with crisp dialogue that debuted on Netflix a month before the election. While Trump’s Justice Department labeled the film as political propaganda, writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s latest shows how much has not changed when it comes to our judicial system. Up to … Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Trial of Chicago 7’ is compelling entertainment”

ArtClass partners with SG+Partners as Midwest rep

Bicoastal production company ArtClass has partnered with SG+Partners for Midwest representation. ArtClass joins a collective of production, post, and VFX talent represented by SG+Partners, led by Sarah Gitersonke, who launched the agency in 2017 after working in the Chicago production scene as a producer and executive producer for more than a decade. “ArtClass is unlike any other company in … Continue reading “ArtClass partners with SG+Partners as Midwest rep”

Independent Filmmaker Day on Zoom November 18-19

Rubenstein Business Law and Ornstein Schuler State Film Tax Credits present Independent Filmmaker Day, held Live via Zoom on November 18th & 19th, 2020. IFD helps independent creators from around the world develop new projects, connect within the industry, and champion collaborative and impactful storytelling at all stages.  At each event, you will hear from acclaimed industry experts … Continue reading “Independent Filmmaker Day on Zoom November 18-19”

Seamus Tierney talks tricks & treats of Hubie Halloween

Cinematographer Seamus Tierney captures the tricks and treats of Hubie Halloween in large format with DXL2. Hubert Shubert “Hubie” Dubois was born and raised in Salem, Mass. He loves his hometown, and as Salem’s self-appointed “official volunteer Halloween helper,” he makes it his duty every October 31 to ensure a safe and fun holiday is enjoyed by … Continue reading “Seamus Tierney talks tricks & treats of Hubie Halloween”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” trailer shows 1920s Chicago

Netflix released the first trailer for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” showing the lush period setting of 1920s Chicago “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” is Chad Boseman’s final performance, and adapted screenplay by Pulitzer Prize winner, August Wilson. The film is set on the backdrop of Chicago, in 1927. It touches upon race, art, religion and the exposed unfair … Continue reading ““Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” trailer shows 1920s Chicago”

Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman

Today is the beginning of the 56th Chicago International Film Festival. Unlike other years, the prestigious festival is a bit different than the ones we have experienced in the past. With an ongoing pandemic and COVID on the rise in Illinois, the fest is combining streaming on-demand and appointment screenings and an in-person drive-in theatre … Continue reading “Interview: CIFF Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman”

Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals program lineup

The Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals (CoSAFF), a first-of-its-kind event to bring together seven established South Asian film festivals from the US and Canada, announces its industry programming lineup. The virtual festival is scheduled for October 3-17, 2020, which is entirely free to view for all audiences. CoSAFF 2020 is powered by Vimeo’s OTT … Continue reading “Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals program lineup”

Chicago native Alex Meneses talks about upcoming film

In honor of Latino Heritage Month, we sat down with actress, model and philanthropist Alex Meneses. Alex is a Chicago native living in Los Angeles, who fell in love with acting while in high school after being inspired by a performance from Rita Moreno in West Side Story. Following high school, Alex landed a modeling contract and moved to Europe … Continue reading “Chicago native Alex Meneses talks about upcoming film”

CIFF announces Gardner as keynote speaker

The Chicago International Film Festival, presented by Cinema/Chicago, has announced this year’s Industry Keynote conversation with Academy Award-winning producer and president of Plan B Entertainment Dede Gardner. Her credits include 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight. Both presented at past editions of the Festival. Additionally, Industry Days will host master classes with Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter … Continue reading “CIFF announces Gardner as keynote speaker”

‘Echo Boomers’ picked up by Saban Films

The Chicago Feature Echo Boomers has found its home with Saban Films. The company has acquired the North American distribution rights to Seth Savoy’s directorial debut before the opening of the Toronto film market. The term “echo boomer” stands synonymous with millennial. Disillusioned by a world where economic odds seem stacked against them, the film’s … Continue reading “‘Echo Boomers’ picked up by Saban Films”

Chadwick Boseman’s final film, ‘Ma Rainey’ delayed

Netflix has halted the release of the new Chicago-set drama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Chadwick Boseman due to the shocking and devastating news of his death. The star was 43, and lost his 4-year battle to colon cancer.  A virtual preview of first-seen clips from the film was scheduled for Monday, as well as a … Continue reading “Chadwick Boseman’s final film, ‘Ma Rainey’ delayed”

Boathouse Agency X Studio makes the Inc. 5000 List

Inc. magazine today revealed that The Boathouse Agency x Studio is No. 1,223 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The Boathouse Agency x Studio started with CEO/Founder Aram Rappaport cold calling clients from his 150 square foot bedroom in Manhattan four years ago. “I was on a mission to change the … Continue reading “Boathouse Agency X Studio makes the Inc. 5000 List”

Gary Sinise to receive LMGI Humanitarian Award

Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Gary Sinise will receive the esteemed Humanitarian Award from the Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) at the 7th Annual LMGI Awards. Celebrating the theme “2020 Vision: We See It First,” the 2020 Awards will honor the exemplary commitment that Sinise and his foundation have made to give back to those who sacrifice for our nation and create a … Continue reading “Gary Sinise to receive LMGI Humanitarian Award”

Wachowski says ‘Matrix’ is transgender allegory

Before COVID-19 shut down production last March, Chicago-born director Lana Wachowski was deep into filming the fourth, the first of a new trilogy, Matrix film for Warner Bros. Since then, the Keanu Reeves-Carrie Anne-Moss sci-fi pic has resumed production in Belgium. Sister Lilly, who identified as trans along with her sister after the films came … Continue reading “Wachowski says ‘Matrix’ is transgender allegory”

Barack to be first guest on ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’

In the July 29th premiere episode of ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’ the former first lady and her husband will hold an intimate conversation about life after eight years in the White House. Last summer, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, announced a partnership with Spotify to produce podcasts exclusive to the platform. The first project in the ongoing … Continue reading “Barack to be first guest on ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’”

Lil Rel brings big laughs to NBC’s ‘Small Fortune’

NBC has named Chicago comedian, actor, writer and producer Lil Rel Howery as host of the new game show, Small Fortune. Howery, who will also serve as executive producer, joins the pint-sized series that will offer contestants the opportunity to amass large sums of money on the smallest of scales. “I’m really excited to host this … Continue reading “Lil Rel brings big laughs to NBC’s ‘Small Fortune’”

Ruben Latre’s MONSTER takes best at Quarantine Fest

Ruben Latre of Hostage Films took The Quarantine Film Festival’s call to action as a welcome storytelling challenge. The festival asked artists to make short films utilizing only their living space and the people with whom they were quarantined. With the support of his family, Ruben went all-in for the adventure — the resulting short, Monster, … Continue reading “Ruben Latre’s MONSTER takes best at Quarantine Fest”

Lilly Wachowski on why she left Hollywood

Like other big budget productions, The Matrix 4, directed by Lana Wachowski, has shut down until the current Coronavirus pandemic has cleared enough for studios to feel safe to go back into production. The third sequel to 1999’s original blockbuster was co-directed by Wachowski and her sister Lilly. Lilly is not returning to the co-director’s chair … Continue reading “Lilly Wachowski on why she left Hollywood”

‘The Last Dance:’ Jordan, Rodman and Electra

When the Chicago Bulls acquired Dennis Rodman from the San Antonio Spurs for 7-foot center Will Purdue before the 1995 season, it transformed the frontcourt of an already uber-talented Michael Jordan squad into something akin to basketball’s version of The Beatles. Games on the road were as if the Harlem Globetrotters, Ringling Bros., Cirque du … Continue reading “‘The Last Dance:’ Jordan, Rodman and Electra”

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”

The Last Dance: Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls

ESPN’s Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance” will debut on April 19 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The 10-part documentary series takes an in-depth look at the the Chicago Bulls‘ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. The Bulls allowed an NBA Entertainment crew to follow the team around for that entire … Continue reading “The Last Dance: Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls”

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

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

‘Empire’ airs 100th episode tonight on Fox

What does Fox’s Empire, now in its sixth and final season, have in common with NBC’s Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. have hit E.R. and even Showtime’s  Shameless? They are all scripted shows based and filmed in Chicago that have reached the milestone of 100 shows.   The hip-hop drama, once a ratings powerhouse and pop culture phenom, … Continue reading “‘Empire’ airs 100th episode tonight on Fox”

REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula

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. Grace is a Polish-American filmmaker native to the Northwest … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Independent Filmmaker, Grace Pisula”

REEL WOMEN: Laurie Adrianopoli, EP Sales/Mktg at Carbon

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. Laurie is a native Chicagoan who enjoys being a … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Laurie Adrianopoli, EP Sales/Mktg at Carbon”

Physical distancing, not social distancing at MARC USA

Well, we’re officially one week into social distancing at MARC USA, and like everyone else, learning to adjust to our “new normal” as an agency. We’re fortunate to work in an industry where HOW we work has always been more powerful than WHERE we work, and even though it’s been an adjustment for some, technology … Continue reading “Physical distancing, not social distancing at MARC USA”

REEL WOMEN: Hana Mitchell, editor at Impakt Studio

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. Hana is a professional film and video editor with … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Hana Mitchell, editor at Impakt Studio”

‘Fargo’ on hiatus,’Candyman’ wraps amid COVID-19 crisis

Coronavirus, COVID-19, is hitting the media and entertainment industries hard.  With local, state and federal shutdowns occurring across the United States and theater chains closing, larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, all thriving entertainment hubs, are being impacted hardest as many in those communities – from actors to crew – … Continue reading “‘Fargo’ on hiatus,’Candyman’ wraps amid COVID-19 crisis”

UPDATED: ‘Chicago Med, PD & Fire’ halt production

All three Chicago Dick Wolf shows Chicago Med, PD and Fire have halted production and will not be returning until next season. In addition to the Chicago shows, the list includes other Wolf series Law & Order: SVU for NBC and FBI for CBS, as well as NBC’s New Amsterdam — all from Universal Television — upcoming limited series for Peacock Angelyne starring … Continue reading “UPDATED: ‘Chicago Med, PD & Fire’ halt production”

Inside look at the ScreenCraft Writers Summit

Chicago will become the center of the TV and film universe when it hosts the eighth annual ScreenCraft Writers Summit at the Hotel Allegro next month from April 24 to April 27. Agents, producers, show runners, financiers, studio execs, and, of course, writers are scheduled to share their wisdom. Designed to connect blockbuster movie professionals with emerging … Continue reading “Inside look at the ScreenCraft Writers Summit”

Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive

Twelve screenwriters have been selected to participate in Sundance Institute’s eighth annual Screenwriters Intensive in Los Angeles, to take place March 4-5, 2020. One of the students selected is Chicagoan, Jason Park. The Intensive, a two-day workshop for select emerging writers and writer/directors from underrepresented communities, focuses on the development of first fiction features. Fellows … Continue reading “Sundance picks 12 Filmmakers for Screenwriters Intensive”

Chi Comedy Fest to screen ‘Waikiki PD’ at March show

Aaward-winning filmmaker, Jeff Orig, wrote, directed, edited, and produced his first feature film, Waikiki PD, which was just selected for the Chicago Comedy Film Festival. A Creative Lab Hawai’i graduate fellow who participated in the WebSeries Immersive and Motion Picture Immersive program, Orig was mentored by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Executive Producer Bernie Su while … Continue reading “Chi Comedy Fest to screen ‘Waikiki PD’ at March show”

Director Josh Cohen signs with Minimal

Chicago-based boutique production company Minimal Productions has added Brooklyn-based commercial director Josh Cohen to their creative roster. Cohen is a multi-disciplinary director, writer, and designer. He is a self-taught filmmaker with a background in art direction, as evidenced through his meticulous sense of color, composition, and production design. His playfulness and sense of humor lend … Continue reading “Director Josh Cohen signs with Minimal”

‘Breaking Bad’ producer Stewart Lyons at DePaul

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

‘61st Street’ to begin shooting at Cinespace this April

AMC announced today from the Television Critics’ Association (TCA) Press Tour that Emmy Award-winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Lovecraft Country, Genius) will star in its upcoming thrilling courtroom drama 61st Street, from BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of, Your Honor) and executive-produced by Michael B. … Continue reading “‘61st Street’ to begin shooting at Cinespace this April”

The biggest stories of 2019

The City of Chicago reigned supreme in 2019. Advertising agencies blended social justice with clever branding. Content creators reinforced Chicago’s reputation for inclusivity. Film studios entertained the nation while helping the local neighborhoods. And a handful of friends said goodbye. Below is a list of Reel Chicago’s top articles for 2019, separated by category and … Continue reading “The biggest stories of 2019”

Cow Lamp acquires a pair of Jack Newell films

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

Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian

Open Television author and creator is helping to bring marginalized creators and content into the spotlight of American culture   Over the last four years, Dr. Aymar Jean Christian has inspired a community of artists and intellectuals to disrupt one of the greatest institutions in America. With analytical expertise, online manipulation, shrewd outreach, and boundless … Continue reading “Interview with OTV founder Dr. Aymar Jean Christian”

Kartemquin benefit to honor Julia Reichert

Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon will also feature exclusive preview of Steve James’ newest project Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago-based documentary not-for-profit behind films such as Hoop Dreams and Minding the Gap, announced today it will honor documentary legend and three-time Academy Award nominee Julia Reichert at the organization’s 2019 Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon on October … Continue reading “Kartemquin benefit to honor Julia Reichert”

Amoaku named Chicago Film Office Director

Versatile 25-year vet is the first African-American appointed to vital and visible leadership role The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced Kwame Amoaku as Director of the Chicago Film Office. Amoaku replaces longtime director of the Chicago Film Office, Rich Moskal, who retired last November. The first African American to hold … Continue reading “Amoaku named Chicago Film Office Director”

Mauro wraps production on 4th film ‘Voci del diario’

(Entries) features an all-Italian cast and was shot on location in Northern Italy Chicago-based writer/director Lucia Mauro and husband/producer Joe Orlandino – the co-founders of the non-profit film organization In My Brother’s Shoes, Inc. wrapped shooting in Italy on their fourth short film, titled, Voci del diario (Entries). The inspiring independent art film is a … Continue reading “Mauro wraps production on 4th film ‘Voci del diario’”

Jon Favreau, Siskel Center Renaissance Winner

The hugely talented actor, director, and producer pleases everyone while interviewing with Robert Downey Jr. at the Four Seasons   Last Saturday night, Jon Favreau told a room full of people that he achieved success in Hollywood by failing in Chicago, and everyone burst into applause. “I want to thank Chicago for giving me that … Continue reading “Jon Favreau, Siskel Center Renaissance Winner”

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”

Chicago shops score at the Telly Awards

AbelsonTaylor, Daily Planet, Delack, KemperLesnik, Mimi, rEvolution, Richter Studios, Spirit Juice, Strange Loop among 2019 winners The Telly Awards announced this year’s winners on May 21. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, the awards represent the world’s largest honor for video and television content across all screens. Entries were judged by jury members from creative … Continue reading “Chicago shops score at the Telly Awards”

‘The Chi’s’ Jason Mitchell fired

Star of Showtime series fired by network agent, management team and Netflix for misconduct on set Variety is reporting that The Chi star, Jason Mitchell, will not be returning for Season 3 as he faces possible misconduct allegations. Season 2 of the Showtime ensemble show, filmed here on location, premiered last month and will continue … Continue reading “‘The Chi’s’ Jason Mitchell fired”

Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley

The woman who helped Illinois make hundreds of TV shows and generate $2.5 billion in revenue talks about the ever-changing Midwestern filmscape Christine Dudley joined the Illinois Film Office at the exact time when the Illinois Film Office needed Christine Dudley. Combining exceptional legislative knowledge with a “modest background in production,” she helped guide the … Continue reading “Interview with former IFO Director Christine Dudley”

Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup

The June 13-20 Music Box Theatre fest opens with the World Premiere of Glenn Danzig’s “Verotika” Cinepocalypse, Chicago’s premiere festival for electrifying and provocative genre cinema, returns to the Music Box Theatre June 13th for eight days of features, shorts, events and surprises, including eight fantastic break-out world premieres! We’re proud to announce our new … Continue reading “Cinepocalypse unveils 2019 lineup”

‘Knock Down the House’ documents a new tradition

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive cohorts are part of a movement that will not be ignored   Knock Down the House, which debuts today on Netflix, is the story of four American women who turned their political frustrations into a national wakeup call. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela jumped … Continue reading “‘Knock Down the House’ documents a new tradition”

2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival

Highlights include 40th Anniversary screening of “Alien”, Chicago premiere of Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday”, guests Jay Duplass, Tatiana Maslany, Tom Skerritt, Jim Gaffigan The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism, today announces the complete lineup, schedule and special guests expected … Continue reading “2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival”

Haroula Rose’s ‘Once Upon A River’ premieres May 10

The Chicago / LA director’s first feature film screens at Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival n May 10 The world premiere of Haroula Rose’s first feature film, Once Upon A River, takes place at Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival on May 10, 2019. Filmed in Northeast Illinois, Once Upon A River is based on the … Continue reading “Haroula Rose’s ‘Once Upon A River’ premieres May 10”

9th Chicago Comedy Film Festival, April 5-7

With nearly three-dozen films for about $12 apiece, the program offers top-notch viewing for comedy lovers The Chicago Comedy Film Festival has released an all-star lineup for its 9th annual run, April 5th – 7th, at Columbia College Chicago. Fred Armisen, Mel Brooks, Angela Kinsey, Patton Oswalt, Kevin Pollack, Jaleel White, and Fred Willard are … Continue reading “9th Chicago Comedy Film Festival, April 5-7”

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”

Valerie Gobos, film & entertainment pro

Meet the woman who has gone “full circle” — actress, singer, dancer, model, producer, and film entrepreneur Valerie Gobos heads Gobos Film & Entertainment, working with a wide variety of directors, producers, animators, visual effects artists, editors, photographers musicians, authors and screenplay writers around the world, for advertising, television, film, and entertainment. Gobos has handled … Continue reading “Valerie Gobos, film & entertainment pro”

Reel Black List: Chakka Reeves, creative producer, mentor

The versatile pro has a proven knack for making an impact on film sets as well as classrooms Chakka Reeves is a creative producer, coach, and workforce development specialist who has been mentoring young artists and producing films for more than a dozen years. The corporations, institutions, and organizations that have benefitted from Chakka’s full … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Chakka Reeves, creative producer, mentor”

Beyond Meat engages Stun for branding and media

Relationship kicks off with video about plant-based protein diets starring “ambassador” Kyrie Irving Beyond Meat, the world’s leading plant-based meat company, has engaged Stun, an award-winning agency and content studio as its Branding and Media partner. The announcement was made today by Stun Principals & Co-Founders Mark Feldstein and Brad Roth, who is a native … Continue reading “Beyond Meat engages Stun for branding and media”

Tony Hawk helps spread “Concrete Dreams”

Chicago-made skatepark doc gains widespread distribution on legendary athlete’s YouTube channel Concrete Dreams, a documentary about public skateparks written and directed by Little Cabin Films co-founder Nick Nummerdor, has gained distribution through Tony Hawks’ RIDE Channel on YouTube. Concrete Dreams documents the decade-long struggle and ultimate triumph of Paulina Jimenez, a “suburban super-mom” who spearheads … Continue reading “Tony Hawk helps spread “Concrete Dreams””

‘Favourite’ and ‘Roma’ lead 91st Oscar noms

“A Star is Born,” “Vice,” and “Black Panther” follow closely behind with eight nods apiece Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) unveiled the list of nominees for the 2019 Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m ET/5 p.m. PT. The Academy of Motion … Continue reading “‘Favourite’ and ‘Roma’ lead 91st Oscar noms”

Leviathan announces massive staff expansion

The Chicago-based, specialized creative agency adds staff in creative, account, production and development disciplines   (Chicago — 5 November 2018) The principals of specialized creative agency Leviathan are very proud to announce several key new hires and promotions expanding their creative, account management, production and digital development strengths. The full-time staff additions include ACD Branded … Continue reading “Leviathan announces massive staff expansion”

From writing copy to writing novels: Jonathan Harries

“Arrogance is a terrible thing for a writer to have. I know what she’s thinking. I know what he’s thinking. You don’t.” Jonathan Harries   When I first met Jonathan Harries in the late 90s, I remember how engaging, funny and straight forward he was. I enjoyed his wit, humor and worldview over the ensuing … Continue reading “From writing copy to writing novels: Jonathan Harries”

Second City alums help launch ‘Studio B’ web series

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

Sarofsky creates titles for ‘Full Frontal w/Samantha Bee’

A monumental surprise will greet “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” fans when the show’s new main title sequence begins to roll. (Chicago / New York 13 — September 2018) Chicago creative entrepreneur Erin Sarofsky and the team at her eponymous production company designed and directed the new 20-second introduction for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. … Continue reading “Sarofsky creates titles for ‘Full Frontal w/Samantha Bee’”

Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs

Kartemquin will award grants ranging from $5-$10K to individual DVID fellows (Chicago — 6 September) — Applications are now open for Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID), a mentorship program for Midwestern documentary makers of color organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. Eight Midwest filmmakers will be selected from those who … Continue reading “Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs”

Starburns Industries signs with Liz Laine Reps

The studio behind projects like “Anomalisa,” “HarmonQuest,” and “Rick & Morty” teams with Liz Laine Reps for commercial representation Liz Laine Reps, Inc, is excited to announce they have signed Starburns Industries for commercial representation in United States and Canada. Along with her Canadian counterpart, Katie Ward Gerard, Liz Shaw will seek out opportunities and … Continue reading “Starburns Industries signs with Liz Laine Reps”

Bing Liu on the making of “Minding the Gap”

“It’s sort of like watching a child grow up, ‘cause I’ve made hundreds of rough cuts over the years.” – Director Bing Liu Chicago-based filmmaker Bing Liu, the director of the Sundance award-winning Minding the Gap, sat down with Reel Chicago to discuss the making of his cinema-verite-style documentary. The film currently has a 100% … Continue reading “Bing Liu on the making of “Minding the Gap””

Cow Lamp Films’ “Skeletons in the Closet” at Horrorama

The “hilarious” and “terrifying” anthology series starring The Widow and her dead husband, Charlie screens at the Davis Theater on September 7 (Chicago — 17 August 2018) Cow Lamp Films announce the World Premiere of its newly acquired indie horror comedy feature film Skeletons in the Closet by Chicago Directors Tony Wash and B.A. Lewandowski. … Continue reading “Cow Lamp Films’ “Skeletons in the Closet” at Horrorama”

Cutters Studios welcomes editor Livio Sanchez

Virtual reality storytelling pioneer and internationally-acclaimed editor Livio Sanchez joins Cutters Studios New York location   (New York — 20 July 2018) – Cutters Studios is very proud to announce the addition of internationally-acclaimed editor Livio Sanchez to its New York staff, effective immediately. The announcement was made by New York Executive Producer Elizabeth Krajewski. … Continue reading “Cutters Studios welcomes editor Livio Sanchez”

Cheers! “Shameless” drops first teaser for Season 9

  “Let’s Make America Gallagher Again!”     Time to get those showers running because the sleaziest (and funniest) family on the South Side is prepping for its return. Yes, Frank, Fiona, Lip, Debbie and the rest of the Gallagher clan is back as Shameless moves into Season 9. The mega-hit Showtime comedy, which is … Continue reading “Cheers! “Shameless” drops first teaser for Season 9″

Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film

Indie-film legends Steve James, Kris and Joe Swanberg discuss the Chicago film fest and Michael Kutza’s retirement.   Surrounded by the glitz of the Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF)’s Summer Gala at the Loews Chicago Hotel on July 14, it only makes sense that three of Chicago’s greatest independent filmmakers gravitated towards each other. Reel … Continue reading “Swanbergs and Steve James on Kutza, CIFF, and Chi film”

Macy nabs Emmy nom for Chi-based “Shameless”

Aside from Macy and “Roseanne’s” Laurie Metcalf, Chicago connections went ignored: nothing for “The Chi,” “Empire,” and Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” series   Frank Gallagher is the worst father on TV, but for Two-time Emmy winner William H. Macy, the shiftless dad is pure gold. The talented actor scored his fifth Emmy nomination for his work … Continue reading “Macy nabs Emmy nom for Chi-based “Shameless””

“Kappa Force” to deliver punch at Logan on July 29

The new web-series features five sorority sisters fighting the patriarchy, one frat boy at a time   Kappa Force is a satirical web series about a crime-fighting sorority that takes on the evil El Douche of Sigma Sigma Epsilon. Director Hannah Welever and writer/producer Addison Heimann’s Kappa Force is having its hometown premiere on Sunday, … Continue reading ““Kappa Force” to deliver punch at Logan on July 29”

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Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018

Four new shows filming this summer and fall increase Windy City TV production to a record ten series   Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced ten shows will film this summer and fall in Chicago. This includes filming for four new shows, … Continue reading “Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018”

Creative agency Leviathan adds three new staff

President Chad Hutson, ECD Jason White, and Leviathan proudly announce the hiring of executive producer Luvy Delgado, creative director Pedro Andres Sanchez and senior motion designer Krzysztof Pianko.   Luvy Delgado comes from Ayzenberg Group in Los Angeles, where she spent two years as director of digital products, working on award-winning AR, VR and MR … Continue reading “Creative agency Leviathan adds three new staff”

Fox picks up legal drama from “Empire” co-creator

Danny Strong is bringing yet another show to the Chicago production community. The co-creator of “Empire” has had his legal drama, “Proven Innocent,” greenlit by Fox for the Fall.   Led by a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice, a wrongful conviction firm reopens investigations, putting the team’s own lives in … Continue reading “Fox picks up legal drama from “Empire” co-creator”

Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace

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

Female-led “Range Runners” films in IL this summer

Fatal Funnel Films announces cast for upcoming thriller   Actors from Chicago’s hottest shows to perform in inaugural feature shooting in Shawnee National Forest and nearby Carbondale     (Chicago — 7 May 2018) Fatal Funnel Films, an Illinois-based independent film company, today announces the complete cast and production team of their inaugural feature film, … Continue reading “Female-led “Range Runners” films in IL this summer”

“Infinity War’s” new box office record and other news

In Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, intergalatic despot Thanos, otherwise known as the “Mad Titan,” hurls a moon at Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. The same can be said about Disney and Marvel as the behemoth event, also known as a film, did the same to the weekend box office.   The epic story, ten years … Continue reading ““Infinity War’s” new box office record and other news”

Clare Cooney’s “Runner” at Chicago Critics Film Festival

First-time filmmaker Clare Cooney’s award-winning short film, Runner, will screen at this year’s Chicago Critics Film Festival. It will open the shorts program on Sunday May 6th at 2:30pm at The Music Box Theatre. Runner is a psychological thriller about a woman who witnesses an accidental murder and must choose between intervention and her own … Continue reading “Clare Cooney’s “Runner” at Chicago Critics Film Festival”

ThinkLA announces 2018 IDEA awards finalists

(Los Angeles — 24 April 2018) ThinkLA has announced the finalists for the 2018 IDEA Awards. For the eighth year, the association celebrates Southern California’s advertising, marketing, and media superstars and pay tribute to Los Angeles as a hotbed of creativity and brand building. Over the past few months, hundreds of submissions were received from … Continue reading “ThinkLA announces 2018 IDEA awards finalists”

Chicago’s Cinespace Studios to add outdoor backlots

Chicago filmmakers have longed dreamt about turning Chicago into a Midwest Hollywood. Now, Cinespace Studios‘ president, Alex Pissios, has taken the steps to make that dream a reality. What has been in the works for two years came to fruition this past Wednesday when City Council passed an ordinance allowing the 1.45 million sq. ft. … Continue reading “Chicago’s Cinespace Studios to add outdoor backlots”

Chicago actor Max Jenkins gets “Lost in Space”

Exclusive interview with the cast member of the Netflix’s series premiering today At 12-years-old, one can’t really say Lincoln Square resident Max Jenkins has had a long and storied acting career yet, but he has certainly had an impactful one.     The mandolin player in the band “Cowboy Jesus and Sugar Bum” made his … Continue reading “Chicago actor Max Jenkins gets “Lost in Space””

“Stranger Things” closes out 35th annual PaleyFest

Yes, yes this news is a tad late about the 35th annual Paley Fest that I had the pleasure of attending for a first time, but it’s never too late to talk about Netflix’s hit series, Stranger Things. If you’re not familiar with the festival, it’s a TV lover’s dream, bringing together the stars and … Continue reading ““Stranger Things” closes out 35th annual PaleyFest”

Spoiler-free review: Colin Costello on “Lost In Space”

Audiences will want to get lost with these Robinsons Confession. I was never into Star Trek reruns as a kid. Yeah, I watched them and thought Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) had the best legs ever, but there was still something missing for me. That missing element I found with reruns of Lost in Space, which … Continue reading “Spoiler-free review: Colin Costello on “Lost In Space””

Reel Women: Laura Roeper, Assistant Prop Master

After earning a degree in advertising art design, Laura Roeper found her way into photography as a prop stylist, then as a studio manager. She eventually gained years of experience as an in-house art producer in the advertising industry before launching an extensive freelance career working with photographers as well as agencies.   Seeking more … Continue reading “Reel Women: Laura Roeper, Assistant Prop Master”

Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley

Christine Dudley rarely goes to the movies. That may seem odd for the Director of the Illinois Film Office, but she’s dedicated to a job that begins before most of the scenes are even shot and ends, like, never. So what does she do?     When Dudley’s not pitching Hollywood studios, she’s reading the … Continue reading “Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley”

Periscope praises “Empire,” Trump calls “Roseanne”

Half of ‘Empire’s’ mid-season premiere filmed as one-act play (Spoiler alert: Please don’t read ahead unless you’ve seen “Empire’s” midseason premiere.) Sheesh, it sure has been a minute since Empire has been on. The series, which is filmed at Cinespace Studios, returned with its mid-season premiere last night. In the episode titled “Birds in a … Continue reading “Periscope praises “Empire,” Trump calls “Roseanne””

Dee Rees, Yessian LA lead the week’s industry moves

“Mudbound” director Dee Rees signs with Anonymous Content Production and Management Company Anonymous Content has announced Mudbound director Dee Rees has signed for commercial representation in the U.S. and U.K. The news kicks off a groundbreaking 2018 for Rees, whose feature drama Mudbound has been met with sweeping praise and four Academy Award nominations, including two … Continue reading “Dee Rees, Yessian LA lead the week’s industry moves”

The Mill, Burrell, Cow Lamp, Obamas, Wakanda news

Live action director and VFX supervisor Ergin Kuke joins The Mill+ Chicago Ergin Kuke will soon begin working his LA-honed, box office savvy as Creative Director for The Mill+ Chicago, according to a press release issued today.     Kuke has notched an expansive variety of experience since relocating to the States from his native … Continue reading “The Mill, Burrell, Cow Lamp, Obamas, Wakanda news”

Katie Holmes’ pilot joins three others shooting in Chicago

The networks are turning Chicago into “Hollywood Midwest” Katie Holmes has joined an untitled Fox drama from former Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken and Melissa Scrivner Love, whose credits include CSI: Miami.       The drama focuses on FBI Special Agent Hazel Otis, played by Holmes. While investigating a domestic terrorist threat, her secret affair … Continue reading “Katie Holmes’ pilot joins three others shooting in Chicago”

New PSA focuses on backlogged rape kits

When Mariska Hargitay began the role of Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims’ Unit, the content of the scripts, as well as the work she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the staggering statistics about sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse in the United States. Her response was The … Continue reading “New PSA focuses on backlogged rape kits”

Doner launches creative incubator D-313

Doner Detroit is doubling down on bringing business, talent and marketing dollars to Detroit, with the launch of D-313 a new collaborative creative space that connects the agency more closely with the heart of the city’s downtown creative corridor. Located at 1456 Woodward Ave, in close proximity to the new Shinola Hotel, Quicken Loans, John Varvatos, and … Continue reading “Doner launches creative incubator D-313”

United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news

United Airlines joins other brands in NRA boycott Chicago-based United Airlines has joined other major brands including Delta Airlines, Hertz, National and Avis car rentals as well as MetLife, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines in discontinuing or altering their relationships with the National Rifle Association. In a tweet, United said it is … Continue reading “United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news”

Geoff Edwards tops busy week of moves in LA

CAA’s Geoff Edwards to helm R/GA Ad Age reports that Geoff Edwards, co-creator of peace coalition Saturday Morning and former CAA Marketing co-head of creative, has joined R/GA as VP Executive Creative Director of LA. Edwards, who spent a good deal of time in Chicago at DDB, FCB and Element79, is said to have a … Continue reading “Geoff Edwards tops busy week of moves in LA”

The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP

Qadree Holmes has successfully risen from intern to production assistant to producer and, finally, to the Founder / Executive Producer of Quriosity Productions. While line producing, he recognized a significant shift in the market — clients and agencies were seeking integrated creative talent options to represent the different social channels now available. Conversely, they did … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Qadree Holmes, Visionary EP”

Erv Dahl “nails” Rodney Dangerfield in new Lampoon film

Chicago performer Erv Dahl plays Rodney Dangerfield in the recently released Netflix movie, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, about the rise and fall of National Lampoon magazine. In addition to recreating the facial twitches and hand gestures that helped bring fame to the man who gets no respect, Dahl “nails Rodney Dangerfield’s voice,” according to … Continue reading “Erv Dahl “nails” Rodney Dangerfield in new Lampoon film”

Celebrity Super Bowl ads: what’s in it for your brand?

There were plenty of eye-popping fireworks during this year’s Super Bowl in terms of both offense on the field and the amount of high-profile celebrity helmed ads. While it was all good for the NFL’s brand, was it good for the brands that spent $5 million for a 30-second spot? It’s an age-old debate albeit … Continue reading “Celebrity Super Bowl ads: what’s in it for your brand?”

Schwimmer pushes Skittles for Super Bowl

Last week, Mars Wrigley Confectionary brand, Skittles, announced that it would create the most exclusive Super Bowl ad ever, and would only screen it to only one person, and that person happens to be Marcos Menendez a teenager from Canoga Park, California. According to an agency spokeswoman, Menendez is a real teenager, not a paid … Continue reading “Schwimmer pushes Skittles for Super Bowl”

SAG Awards, PGA Awards, Midnight Oil, Halo in the news

SAG Awards tee up “Three Billboards” for Oscar run Sunday night, the SAG Awards made it very clear that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a frontrunner for the Oscars. Chicago-born Frances McDormand was named Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture. In the film, McDormand portrays Mildred Hayes, a distraught mother … Continue reading “SAG Awards, PGA Awards, Midnight Oil, Halo in the news”

Yessian CD Andy Grush co-scores film with Danny Elfman

Former DDB CCO Bob Scarpelli once told me, “All good ideas eventually find a home.” That is certainly the case with the exciting two-year-old horror film, Before I Wake, which premiered on Netflix last Friday after playing overseas. Directed by Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game, Hush) the film stars Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane as foster … Continue reading “Yessian CD Andy Grush co-scores film with Danny Elfman”

Reel LA: Doner, Deutsch, PGA, WGA in the news

Doner LA feasts on Del Monte Doner LA is starting off its 2018 pretty much the same way it ended its 2017 – with a win. The shop has now been named lead agency for California-based Del Monte Foods, one of the nation’s largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food products, following … Continue reading “Reel LA: Doner, Deutsch, PGA, WGA in the news”

Behind the scenes of “Pottersville”

Director Seth Henrikson and writer Dan Meyer transformed an introspective remark by actor Michael Shannon into a holiday film that began streaming December 15 on Netflix. Pottersville is the story of a mild-mannered storekeeper named Maynard who gets mistaken for Sasquatch while drunkenly raging through the streets of a quaint but struggling New England mill … Continue reading “Behind the scenes of “Pottersville””

Chi Film Office announces 2018 Filmmakers in Residence

The producing team of Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri has been selected to be the 2018 Filmmakers in Residence by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (DCASE). Commissioner Mark Kelly cited the pair’s “originality and commitment to telling stories” as significant factors driving the decision. Besides being a filmmaker, Cordelia is a “writer … performance … Continue reading “Chi Film Office announces 2018 Filmmakers in Residence”

Parseghian and Ginos to charge Battery

LA-based agency Battery announced Friday the appointment of Mike Parseghian as Head of Brand and Becky Ginos as Associate Creative Director. As Head of Brand, Parseghian will report to Anson Sowby, Co-founder & CEO, and take lead new business efforts and manage current accounts including AECOM, Netflix and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. He joins the agency … Continue reading “Parseghian and Ginos to charge Battery”

AFI Closes with tribute to Aaron Sorkin

The 50th annual American Film Institute Festival came to a resounding close last Thursday night with a moving tribute at The Chinese Theater for writer/director Aaron Sorkin and his new (and directorial debut) film, Molly’s Game. AFI programming director, Jacqueline Lyanga, kicked off the tribute with a moving speech. “As Sorkin embarks on this next … Continue reading “AFI Closes with tribute to Aaron Sorkin”

American Film Market opens for shoppers of film and TV

It’s where dreams are born and the flames of hope are fanned as filmmakers, distributors, writers, producers, actors and actresses descend upon the Santa Monica Loews for the 38th annual American Film Market. Cannes might be the better-known film market, but the AFM is an absolute must-attend event in the industry. If you want to … Continue reading “American Film Market opens for shoppers of film and TV”

Burnett and Samsung’s cure for “Low Battery Anxiety”

I’ve been in this situation way too many times. I’m streaming Netflix on my phone streaming Spotify and suddenly my once inviting Green Lantern-green battery icon changes color into a vile Satanic red. I sweat trying to finish up my hike and song or search desperately in the dark for my power cord. Then wham! … Continue reading “Burnett and Samsung’s cure for “Low Battery Anxiety””

Was there a rogue phallus in “Maya the Bee”?

Last month, Netflix was forced to remove an episode of the popular animated children’s series Maya the Bee after a viewing mom posted a screen grab on Facebook that allegedly depicted a crude phallic drawing on the inside of a log during a scene in the show. Consumer opinions seem mixed about how offensive and … Continue reading “Was there a rogue phallus in “Maya the Bee”?”

AbelCine’s Chicago Cinema Tech Expo

AbelCine’s Chicago Cinema Tech Expo this Saturday will be “bigger than we’ve ever done before,” says Brian Khan, the company’s Business and Community Development Specialist. “Every year, we do a signature event,” he continues. “We did the open house two years ago, the Fall Tech Expo last year. This year, we’re going to have dozens … Continue reading “AbelCine’s Chicago Cinema Tech Expo”

“Stranger Things,” Energy BBDO, Rowley Samuel

Netflix cancels ‘Stranger Things’ bar Pop-up pop-culture bars are all the rage. In New York and LA, Tim Burton fans can do dinner and a show at “Beetlehouse.” Los Angeles is also home to the Star Wars-themed “Villainy and Scum” Cantina. And since August, Chicago has boasted the aptly named, “The Upside Down,” a Stranger … Continue reading ““Stranger Things,” Energy BBDO, Rowley Samuel”

Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago

Former DDBer Kristin Barbour will have a homecoming of sorts as she has been named managing director of Camp + King’s new Chicago satellite office, created in part to serve client Energizer. An advertising veteran, Barbour has worked with some of the nation’s most prestigious brands, including McDonald’s, Mars, Kraft and Chevrolet. The San Francisco-based … Continue reading “Barbour to lead Camp + King Chicago”

McPherrin, Facebook, Doner and opioids in the news

The opioid epidemic is a huge problem in the US, which is what led Detroit-based Doner’s Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio to create a stunning and smart new PSA campaign featuring a serious prevention message.

Titled “Know the Risks,” the multiplatform campaign is designed to show the effects opioid abuse has on families.

The effort is part of a larger year-long campaign created to flip the narrative of anti-drug campaigns.

Sam Jackson sings, Bears go red, Kirk leaves Sun-Times

I’ve been meaning to write about this for the last couple of weeks since I saw it, but finally got around to it. Have you seen the new Sam Jackson spot for Capital One and Spotify?

If you haven’t, it’s just a fun little piece where Sam puts the moves to Al Green’s classic song, “Let’s Stay Together.” As Jackson croons, Capital One announces that with the Quicksilver Card clients can receive 1.5 percent cashback on every purchase and 50 percent back on Spotify Premium.

Kurt Fries named CCO of McGarryBowen Chicago

Congratulations are in order for well-liked and respected advertising veteran, Kurt Fries, as he has been promoted to CCO of Mcgarrybowen Chicago.

According to an Adweek article published last weekend, the agency is shuffling its U.S. creative leadership as Matthew Bull, chief creative officer in New York, has decided to leave the agency.

“Outrageous rollbacks” reignite SAG-AFTRA strike threat

Just when we thought we all could breathe again after the WGA and the studios and networks came to terms on a new contract, The Wrap, Variety and Hollywood Reporter all report that talks have broken down over a new three-year contract between SAG-AFTRA and the AMTMP. SAG-AFTRA’s current master contract for film and primetime TV expires June 30. The union has about 160,000 members.

Chicago shops win Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions

(Cannes, France — 19 June, 2017) Even though McCann New York’s Fearless Girl was the big winner on the first night of the Cannes Lions Festival, Chicago agencies did manage to come home with lions as well. FCB Chicago, BBDO Chicago, DigitasLBI, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and Mather and Lapiz won lions in the categories of: Glass, Outdoor, PR, Promo & Activation and Print & Publishing. Below, see every Lion won by U.S. agencies on the night.

Esai Morales joins “Chicago PD” in major new role

ESAI MORALES (NYPD BLUE) is back on the beat with a new recurring role on “Chicago PD,” as Chief Lugo, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. The new character will be introduced in a three-show crossover, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chief Lugo grew up and flourished in the “old style” policing methods of the department. Now, he’s doing his best as a chief to steer the CPD towards the new style of policing.

Swanberg’s “Easy” one of 3 new TV series filming here

If 2016 was considered a great year for the Chicago media and entertainment business, 2017 is starting to shape up as even greater. It could even be the year when the Chicago market eases into $1 billion revenue from film status.

Thanks to Dick Wolf / NBC Universal and to Fox TV, six primetime TV series currently film here at Cinespace Studios, with three new TV series expected to start production in early February.

“Clash of the Vampires” series to film in Illinois

An all-local production will hit Illinois in late February when the new Netflix series, “Clash of the Vampires,” begins filming the ten-episode, hour-long action fantasy from producer Eric DeShazer of DeShazer Films and co-writer, Michael D. Ballard.

DeShazer Films has partnered with Downstate Heroic Age Studios for series production in their full-service facilities in Decatur and surrounding areas. Other locations will be in Chicago and Indiana.

Paonessa Talent actors head for TV and film stardom

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

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

New Fox TV series greenlit; Cinespace to add stages

Fox Television announced that two of its four dramatic pilots that filmed in Chicago this winter were greenlit for series production. While not officially stated, there’s strong reason to expect new series will return to Chicago.

“That would be extraordinarily good news,” notes Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal. “This surge of activity points to the quality of our crews, talent and facilities and Chicago’s ability to be a major player in episodic television.”

Dennis Ryan back in Chicago as Digital Kitchen’s CEO

Dennis Ryan’s first day as chief executive officer at Digital Kitchen will be Tuesday, May 17, marking his return to Chicago after five years in Minneapolis.

He will be in charge of DK’s three offices, in Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles, with a total of 94 employees, and is said to be “super excited to be returning to Chicago.”

Digital Kitchen’s clients include AT&T, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Netflix.

Incubator Stage 18 set for office and stage buildout

Construction of 7,500-sq. ft. of office space for Stage 18 at Cinespace Studios, the area’s first media and entertainment incubator, will start shortly and is expected to be finished within the next four months.

When completed, says Angie Gaffney of Black Apple Media, co-founder of Stage 18, “We will have a variety of small to large office suites, some open shared office space, conference rooms, a kitchen and cafeteria.”

Three new shows set up at Cinespace ready to roll

“Transformers” director Michael Bay will return to Chicago later this year to produce the fifth installment of his franchise, he told WGN’s Dean Richards.  But that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Here’s what ReelChicago learned is ahead for our production market in the foreseeable future, all headquartering and filming at Cinespace.

Four revolutionary ways to reach an indie audience

The days of begging distributors to take your work is over.  The days of receiving no money for your work is over.  Now, exciting new ways are emerging to reach an audience.

If you are an independent filmmaker, you must join this revolution in the cloud and stake out your own digital turf.  Get engaged with authentic conversations with your viewers and allow them a seamless and exciting digital cinema experience. 

Indie film “Dog Jack” a Black History Month release

Filmmaker Edward T. McDougal’s inspiring historical feature, “Dog Jack,” opens theatrically nationwide in celebration of February’s Black History Month — a year after the distributor discovered this gem at a regional film festival. 

The story – narrated by Lou Gossett, Jr. – is about young runaway slave Jed and his dog, who join the Pennsylvania 102nd Volunteers and must face a Confederate Army regiment led by Jed’s former master. 

L.A. companies on this spot this month

COMMERCIALS RULE this month, as a slew of bicoastal production companies are here or en route to shoot national spots on city streets with local crews and equipment.

The biggest gig is L.A.-based Form’s six-day shoot for Buick new car introductions. Form will shoot around the city Sept. 5-6 and for six days following the Labor Day weekend.

Directors Bureau shoots for Netflix for two days this week. Crossroads will be around for Kmart. @Radical Media has two jobs that get underway next week: A two day shoot for Titleist golf equipment Sept.

Golan’s new 6-camera remote production truck

Golan Productions unveils its new six-camera remote production truck, customized for concerts and special events, at an open house Thursday, July 23 at their studio on the Chicago River ‘s North Branch.

“Instead of renting trucks when we need them for multi-camera events, we’ll have them in our inventory,” said Ari Golan, owner of Golan Productions and sister company Atomic Imaging.

The new HD-SDI multi-camera remote truck features six Sony XDCAM EX3 HD cameras, 70 channels of 5.1 surround Pro Tools HD audio, all tapeless.

Building an online audience of paying customers

You don’t know it yet, but pretty soon you’re going to be watching your next movie on YouTube. What does this mean for the independent filmmaker?

According to panelists of CUFF’s New Media Exploitation panel at the Filmmakers Summit, you can distribute your film digitally and you may make back some of your investment.

Matt Dentler, guru of SXSW, highly read IndieWire blogger, and now Cinetic Media’s head of Marketing and Programming Rights Management, released Wayne Wang’s new film, “The Princess of Nebraska” on YouTube, for free.

Hugo Awards honorees are Kartemquin for
TV production and L.A.’s Smuggler for spots

KARTEMQUIN FILMS, the granddaddy of social commentary docs (including “Hoop Dreams”) is the 2008 Hugo Awards honoree for Commitment to Excellence in TV Productions, and L.A.-based Smuggler is the Commitment to Excellence in TV Commercials honoree.

Six-year-old Smuggler, co-owned by Brian Carmody and Patrick Milling Smith, is known for ground breaking spot campaigns and music videos for major advertisers (Nike, Dell, BMW) and winner of many awards.

The Hugo Awards take place May 1 at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Cultural Center.

Taproots’ controversial “Bulls of Suburbia” doc signs with Echelon for worldwide distribution

Alex LeMay’s personal bullfighting documentary, “The Bulls of Suburbia,” was picked up for worldwide video distribution by Echelon Entertainment, which will release it Dec. 19 through Netflix, along with foreign sales to third-party distributors and releasing through major national retailers.

“I always said that the company that picks this up would be a brave company,” said LeMay of Taproot Productions.

“Bulls of Suburbia” enjoyed is share of controversy during its healthy festival run.

Kitchen Film Productions’ DV gangster feature screens in 400 Spanish theaters via satellite

Cinedigital of Madrid, Spain will release Kitchen Film Productions’ microbudget gangster picture “Legit” on 400 screens throughout Spain this August.

Cinedigital minimizes its costs by transmitting the film via satellite from its home studio to theaters throughout Spain, a technology being pioneered domestically by Ira Deutchman’s Emerging Pictures that’s gaining traction in Europe faster than it is here.

“We’re excited to get a big summer release” in Spain, said producer John Stemberg.

Echelon Entertainment 2 to release DVD of Harris’ standup film “Barber Shop Jokes Live in Chicago”

Echelon Entertainment 2 has signed with Mark Harris of 1555 Filmworks to release Harris’ standup comedy film “Barber Shop Jokes Live in Chicago.”

“We’ll distribute the film to Netflix, Amazon, Ebay and Singa Home Entertainment, as well as VOD sites, and take it to all the major markets for international sales,” said Jackie Plaza of Echelon Entertainment.

A release date hasn’t been announced yet.

Glendale, Calif.-based Echelon Entertainment 2 released David Pasquesi’s “Nobody Knows Anything!” DVD in 2003.