Optimus promotes Dave Buehrle to Executive Producer

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced the promotion of Dave Buehrle to executive producer, adding this title to his head of production role. As EP | Head of Production, Buehrle will lead Optimus production arm One at Optimus, working in close collaboration with Director of Sales Tim Jacobs on all production projects.  “This promotion is testament to … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Dave Buehrle to Executive Producer”

Editor Ariana DeSimone of Optimus teams with Chance the Rapper

After walking away with three Grammys for his 2016 record, Coloring Book, Chicago artist Chance the Rapper set out to perform a concert like no other. The private concert was held at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios back in 2017 for a select group of fans and intentionally staged and filmed as a movie, Magnificent Coloring World. … Continue reading “Editor Ariana DeSimone of Optimus teams with Chance the Rapper”

Optimus Design promotes Luis Mayorga and Tyler Nelson

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that Optimus Design has promoted Luis Mayorga to Animation Director and Tyler Nelson to Creative Director. The well-deserved and hard earned promotions shed a light on the talent who helped lead Optimus Design through a uniquely challenging time. The promotions come on the heels of significant momentum for Optimus Design. … Continue reading “Optimus Design promotes Luis Mayorga and Tyler Nelson”

Optimus promotes Joanna Woods to Executive Producer

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced it has promoted Joanna Woods to executive producer (EP). Woods joined Optimus from Beast/Company 3/Method Studios as a senior producer in 2018 along with Editors Angelo Valencia, Matt Glover and Emily Hayes and VFX Supervisor Ryan Wood. Woods has post-produced campaigns for brands including Allstate, AutoZone, BCBS, … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Joanna Woods to Executive Producer”

One at Optimus signs Director George Zwierzynski Jr.

One at Optimus, the production arm of leading production and post house Optimus, today announced George Zwierzynski Jr. has signed on as director. The award-winning director’s work ranges from comedic short films to commercial campaigns for brands including Ace Hardware, Avocados From Mexico, Boost Mobile, Dunkin’, Dyson, Intel, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Stella Artois, Totino’s, Truth and … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs Director George Zwierzynski Jr.”

Ogilvy, Optimus want us to “Stand By Our Mail”

The U.S. Postal service has gotten a lot of shit over the last few months from Planet Trump. The President criticized plans to fund the USPS in preparation for mail-in voting and said “if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money… That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting.”  Trump … Continue reading “Ogilvy, Optimus want us to “Stand By Our Mail””

Behind the scenes of “We Are Optimus”

They are Optimus. Whether it’s creating and delivering top-notch, award-winning content or throwing their legendary block party, which was talked about for an entire year… until the next, this diverse collective of award-winning editors, filmmakers, storytellers, and artists share an unrivaled passion for life. And more importantly, each other. You can feel it the moment … Continue reading “Behind the scenes of “We Are Optimus””

REEL WOMEN: Emily Hayes, Editor at Optimus

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. Emily joined Optimus in 2018 from Beast where she … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Emily Hayes, Editor at Optimus”

Optimus promotes Emily Hayes, Ben Winter to editor

Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that it has promoted both Emily Hayes and Ben Winter to Editor. The two have proven themselves with their unique creative voices and stellar work. Hayes has cut spots for brands including Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Campbell’s, Securian and Whirlpool. Winter has worked with … Continue reading “Optimus promotes Emily Hayes, Ben Winter to editor”

Optimus hires award-winning editor David Cea

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

Optimus joins forces with Pet Gorilla

Dynamic production and creative partnership promises to deliver robust directorial and creative capabilities (Chicago — 16 October 2018) Leading production and post house Optimus today announced that it has partnered with Los Angeles-based integrated production company Pet Gorilla. Created in 2014 by Director Luc Schurgers and EP Dominic Bernacchi, Pet Gorilla features a dynamic roster … Continue reading “Optimus joins forces with Pet Gorilla”

One at Optimus signs directors Mulholland, Patton

The pair of lensmasters brings cinematography, tabletop and stop motion expertise to the production company’s growing roster (Chicago — 26 September 2018) One at Optimus, the production arm of leading production and post house Optimus, today announced that Jamieson Mulholland and Jay Patton have signed with ONE as directors. “We’re thrilled to welcome Jamieson and … Continue reading “One at Optimus signs directors Mulholland, Patton”

Optimus welcomes colorist Paul Galati

Galati’s arrival marks the latest in a series of new moves at Chicago-based production, post, and design company, Optimus (Chicago — 31 July 2018) Optimus today announced that Paul Galati is joining the leading production and post house as colorist. With the move, Optimus will once again be offering in-house color correction. “We’ve seen the … Continue reading “Optimus welcomes colorist Paul Galati”

Ogilvy, Optimus, Mrs. Meyer’s show us flower power

Can gardening grow a more compassionate generation? That’s the question that SC Johnson’s Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, a home cleaning and personal brand inspired by gardening, along with agency Ogilvy Chicago and production company Optimus ask us in this installment of Reel Ad of the Week.   The answer is a hopeful yes. According to … Continue reading “Ogilvy, Optimus, Mrs. Meyer’s show us flower power”

Cutters, Mill, Optimus, Utopic among AICE Shortlisters

Rachelle Madden, VP, Post Production and Digital Production Affairs for AICP, has announced the Shortlist for this year’s AICE Awards for post production excellence. “Our 2018 Shortlist is the result of hours of work by our judges,” says Madden. “We want to thank them all for their contributions and also salute all the editors and … Continue reading “Cutters, Mill, Optimus, Utopic among AICE Shortlisters”

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 Deal with Optimus’ Mary Ann Holecek

One at Optimus, the production arm of the post house Optimus, announced earlier this month that Mary Ann Holecek has taken the reins as Executive Producer/Managing Director. For the past eight years, Holecek has freelanced at a variety of Chicago agencies including Energy BBDO, FCB, Rhea and Kaiser, SPM Marketing, The Escape Pod, Upshot and … Continue reading “The Reel Deal with Optimus’ Mary Ann Holecek”

Optimus editor Rynne helps create a Nike female force

Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy first came out with the shirt that said, “The Force is Female” last year, thrusting her into the SJW (Social Justice Warrior) spotlight. Now, Nike Chicago is supporting her and other women with a series of inspiring vignettes specifically created for Nike Chicago’s Instagram account by Director/DP Hannah Welever and editor … Continue reading “Optimus editor Rynne helps create a Nike female force”

Earhole and Optimus’ “Creative Cup” Golf Outing

Rory Mcllroy and Phil Mickelson would be proud. Two of Chicago’s most renowned Post-Production facilities, Earhole Music & Sound and Optimus, joined forces last weekend to launch “The Creative Cup”, an all- day golf extravaganza that pits the Chicago Advertising Creative Community against one another in pursuit of glory. Taking place at Hawk’s View Golf … Continue reading “Earhole and Optimus’ “Creative Cup” Golf Outing”

Optimus CD and effects artist cut into new roles

Production and post house Optimus announced the promotions of Mark Butchko to Creative Director and Jim Moss to Effects Artist.

In their new roles, Butchko will provide creative leadership on all design department projects and Moss will continue to support cross-departmental projects including design, VFX, motion graphics and finishing.

Optimus trolls Chicagoans with Heinz “Dog Sauce”

There’s a scene in Dirty Harry where Clint Eastwood berates his partner for doing the sin of sins — putting ketchup on his hotdog.

“Nobody puts ketchup on a hotdog,” is a truism shared by every true hotdog-eating, Cubs and Whitesox loving/hating Chicagoan.

But what about “Dog Sauce?”

Just in time for #NationalHotDogDay, Heinz has unveiled a Dog Sauce exclusively for Chicagoans.

Ingredients of the Dog Sauce include red ripe tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a blend of spices and flavorings.

Yeah… Ketchup. Suckas.

Optimus Audio promotes Marina Bacci, Ben Treimer

Chicago production and post house Optimus dialed up its sonic capabilities by promoting Marina Bacci to Senior Audio Engineer and Ben Treimer to Audio Engineer last week.

Highland Park native Marina joined Optimus as an intern shortly after graduating from DePaul University with a BS in Sound Recording Technology in 2008. Within nine years, her responsibilities had grown to include running the main audio studio and overseeing the audio department.

One at Optimus’ Mark & Amanda keep it real in IL

Last fall, Optimus directing duo Mark Pallman and Amanda Speva spent nearly two weeks filming throughout the Land of Lincoln for the Illinois Office of Tourism campaign Are You Up For Amazing?

Inspired to shoot “all that makes the state so special” — a concept presented by JWT Chicago’s Mike Beamer and Carolyn James in what Amanda describes as “a beautiful vision” — the directors relied on a documentary technique to capture unscripted spontaneity.

What’s up with Optimus’ new director Sam Macon?

It may seem odd that an accomplished indie film director like Sam Macon would enjoy taking orders from commercial clients, but that’s part of the reason he signed on with ONE at Optimus.

“With commercials, there is a limit to how much creative there is in a job,” he explains. “They are concepted from on high and my job is to execute the vision. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that. You’re freed up a little bit to explore when you’re executing someone else’s idea.”

Director Wolfe back at Optimus after White House gig

One at Optimus director Duncan Wolfe is packing up his Washington, D.C. apartment after a 14-month gig at the Obama White House and will head for Los Angeles as his base for the next phase of his filmmaking/social media career.

“And I’m looking forward to the positive effect of sunshine,” adds the St. Louis native about his move to LA.

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.

Optimus to stay at Grand Ave., amid other changes

Speculation as to Optimus’ plans about when or if it would occupy the 38,000-sq. ft. space it had leased in the Wrigley Building, after announcing a November move-in date last year, came to an end by announcing it would remain in its 161 E. Grand Ave. building.

The decision not to expand and to restructure was announced by Optimus president Tom Duff, along with two other changes – the closing of its 15-year old Santa Monica branch and the appointment of a new managing director, Chicago Business Journal reported.

New positions for One at Optimus’ Mueller, Jubinski

Two producer promotions at One at Optimus: Senior producer Jonah Mueller was named executive producer and associate producer Emma Jubinski to producer, “promotions that are well deserved,” says One at Optimus EP / Managing Director Lisa Masseur.

“Jonah and Emma have played critical roles in our continuing expansion,” Masseur says. “From the start he quickly forged great relationships with our directors and expertly managed technical jobs.”

Lisa Masseur named top executive at One at Optimus

Executive producer Lisa Masseur, who joined Optimus 16 months ago, was officially named executive producer/managing director of One at Optimus, the thriving production arm of the postproduction giant. 

Her appointment follows the recent, surprise departure of Craig Leffel after 18 years with the company, who had been One at Optimus’ director of production for the past three years.

2,500 expected at Optimus’ 19th Block Party Friday

Optimus’ president/partner Tom Duff isn’t talking about who the special surprise guest will be at its 19th annual Block Party Friday, Aug. 1, except to say “it’s a different approach from previous years because the guest isn’t in the entertainment industry.” 

Then he hints with a laugh, “But there will be a lot of dancing.”

‘Consolidation’ cited for Optimus’ downsizing staff

What made the news of Optimus laying off a reported 10% of its staff so poignant was — this is the first time in memory that Optimus – or any other large, operational post/production company  – had let a number of employees go at one time.*

The cutbacks primarily affect all Chicago post and production divisions within the company, and also its Santa Monica branch,  to a lesser degree.  

Desir joins Optimus in new EP/VFX design position

Starting Monday, Sept. 9, Jon Desir, who had spent his entire career at Red Car Chicago, will join Optimus in the newly-created position of executive director/VFX design.

Optimus president Tom Duff, who had reached out to Desir to join the company, complimented him as “a true class act, a consummate and incredibly talented professional.”

It’s that time again: Optimus Block Party on Aug. 2

OPTIMUS 18TH ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY is right around the corner on Friday, Aug. 2 (always the first Friday in August) bringing together clients, colleagues and friends for its annual summer afternoon-into-night of fun.  “Yes, we’ll have a special guest as always,” someone well known and unexpected promises Gretchen Praeger, VP/managing director of Optimus post, and one of the party planners. 

Lisa Masseur brings her EP skills to One at Optimus

NEW EXECUTIVE PRODUCER at One at Optimus is veteran producer Lisa Masseur, who officially joined the production company a few weeks ago after being a permalance producer there since last January.  She replaces Kipp Christensen who returned to freelancing and reports to director of production Craig Leffel.

Masseur began freelancing as a producer last July after a seven year stint as EP/managing director at Radar Studios, where she oversaw all production and post, as well as sales and marketing efforts.

Mini-cams amplify action in 426 Inc.-Optimus spot

In a TV commercial, demonstrating brake rotors – aka brake discs, as important to stopping a vehicle as brake pads — can be a snore or as exciting as the one multi-platform agency 426 Inc. produced for its client.

Their 60-second spot for Reactive One Performance brake rotors shot in California and finished at Optimus, plays on the National Auto Parts Association’s (NAPA) website, www.napaonline.com/ where the product is being sold.

Optimus brings Oboza back home as its top colorist

For Oscar Oboza, being named Optimus’ senior colorist means more than having a new position.  It’ll be a homecoming for the Chicago native who has spent the last 13 years in Minneapolis and Dallas. 

He joins Optimus Oct. 1, leading what Optimus president Tom Duff calls “one of the industry’s best color teams” — colorist Joel Signer, assistant Jeff Greco and colorist/data manager Ken Wald.

Optimus ups Ciacciarelli to ECD, Bauer to design CD

Optimus has made two important personnel changes, naming of 13-year post house veteran Mike (Chick) Ciacciarelli to the newly created position of Optimus executive creative director and promoting former design director Donnie Bauer to creative director, Ciacciarelli’s previous role.

As executive creative director, says Optimus president Tom Duff, “Chick will bring to the entire company the holistic approach to creative direction skills that he honed when leading the design group. 

Optimus trailers win 5 out of 9 Camp Kuleshov awards

The affectionate trailer for “Shark Song,” a fictional feel-good story created by The Whitehouse’s assistant editor Caleb Hepler, was the grand prize winner at the 10th annual AICE trailer editing competition.

Nine winners were announced at a party and awards show at the Bottom Lounge’s Volcano Room Thursday, Nov. 10.  Of these, five were assistant editors who won for Camp Kuleshov and four non-assistants, who work at AICE member companies and won for the Tent City division contest.

Of the nine winners, five were Optimus talents.

Optimus colorist Craig Leffel heads ONE’s production

As Optimus’ long-time partner/senior colorist Craig Leffel moves over to director of production at ONE at Optimus, the post house’s production division, and Tyler Roth has joined Optimus as colorist after more than four years at Filmworkers Club.

Leffel will be working closely with ONE’s executive producer, Kipp Christiansen, who joined the company in June, 2010 and has been largely overseeing spot production in L.A., through Optimus’ Santa Monica office.

Two new at One at Optimus; hot summer for TV shows

ONE AT OPTIMUS has expanded its Chicago-Santa Monica directorial roster with the addition of L.A.-based Jim Matlosz, who will focus on sports and product/tabletop, and Ryan Bosworth, who has a heavy  design and visual effects background.

Both directors have been freelancing, with Matlosz wrapping a series of Milka Chocolate spots in Mexico. Bosworth’s current national campaign is for Verizon.

Thousands expected at Optimus block party

Wearing his iconic red golf shirt and a big Irish smile, Optimus president Tom Duff on Friday will greet from 1,000 to 3,000 guests at Optimus’ 15th Block Party

The party, however, is not to mark Optimus’ 15th anniversary — that’s next year. Rather, it’s a tradition that began when four employees first celebrated their purchase of Optimus from Anheuser-Busch in 1996.

Following the signing of the sale papers at 8:30 a.m.

Optimus plays a part in Pitchfork Music Fest

ONE AT OPTIMUS for the fourth year is the official partner of the Pitchfork Music Festival, showcasing more than 40 of the best independent bands and artists at Union Park July 16-18.

Optimus’ audio engineer Joel Anderson leads the Optimus team in coordinating, shooting and producing live video feeds of the performances and crowds. The content will be projected on jumbotrons and streamed live on Pitchfork’s website.

All live audio is being handled by CRC’s American Mobile, headed by CRC general manager Chris Shepard.

Optimus’ Craig Lewandowski makes the cut

THE AICE CHICAGO’S BEST AWARD went to Optimus’ Craig Lewandowski for a spot for Cricket Wireless from Element 79, at the gala national AICE Awards Show held Thursday night at the Field Museum. The show was the 9th annual competition honoring creative excellence in editorial, design and visual effects.

Alas, Lewandowski was the sole Chicago winner among the 23 awardees, although the work of six local editors made it into the finals.

Optimus One becomes union signatory

After three hours of picketing by two union locals early Dec. 8 to protest a production company’s unwillingness to sign a labor agreement that provides health benefits to members, the targeted company agreed to become a signatory of both locals.

At issue was Optimus One’s hiring of a 23-person, non-union film crew for a national TV commercial being shot at Resolution Digital Studios.

Six months ago, Studio Mechanics Local 476 and Cameramen’s Local 600 had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a labor agreement with Optimus One, the in-house production arm of the post facility.

C-K creative duo win Optimus contest

The Cramer-Krasselt duo of copywriter Andrei Chahine and art director Ryan Stotts are the winners of Optimus’ second annual “One Shot” contest.

The script’s subject, non-profit ShelterBox, which provides emergency aid for victims of natural disasters, will be produced in October by Optimus’ production arm, ONE, and air as a 30-second PSA.

Optimus’ “One Shot” prize is produced spot

Potential entrants of Optimus’ second annual “One Shot” contest, that will produce the winning 30-second script as a high-quality commercial, will meet June 10 at Optimus for a contest briefing.

The winning entry will be produced from start-to-finish by Optimus’ ONE in-house production division, with the purpose of “showcasing genuine creativity and generate excitement about Chicago as a creative environment,” said Optimus president, Tom Duff.

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

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

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

Optimus wins Judges Choice and two gold prizes in Promax/BDA worldwide design competition

Optimus not only competed against thousands of the world’s biggest and best broadcast designers at the 2006 Promax and BDA National and World Gold?it won big.

Optimus took home three top awards?two gold prizes and the Judges’ Choice?during the Promax/BDA conference in New York June 20-22.

The Judges Choice for “originality and uniqueness of vision” was awarded for Optimus’ animation of 35 company logos used in the 2005 AICP Show presentation reel.

Optimus expands graphics department, adds Daly

OPTIMUS ADDED MATT DALY as visual effects director Jan. 18, as part of its graphics department restructuring. He’d been Digital Kitchen’s visual effects director.

One of Daly’s main responsibilities will be accommodating increased client requests for an effects specialist on the set.

Services have been expanded to include advanced design, 3D/CGI animation and graphics.

Partner Glen Noren heads the nine-person graphics department; Mike Ciacciarelli leads the internal design group and Daly, who says he plans to expand his department, visual effects.

Optimus-as-advertiser promotes creativity of
its staffers in “spots” airing on Comcast shows

For the second time this year, Optimus displays its collective creative chops in 23 wildly imaginative 30-second “commercials” that will air throughout December on popular cable shows.

The only reference to Optimus-as-sponsor is the name on clever three-second tags produced by the graphics and audio departments.

For the now-airing campaign, called Opti-TV II, 19 staffers in Chicago and Santa Monica offices produced 23 spots within the six weeks allotted them for completion.

Optimus “spots” air on Comcast

THIRTY OPTIMUS “SPOTS”?not about the post house, but 30-second creative confections by all Optimus employees and not just editors?have been airing as commercials on Comcast.

Staffers were told they could work as individuals or in teams. The only rules were the length, conform to TV standards and end with the distinctive Optimus logo.

There was no overall name or theme for the exercise, said client services director Doug Manley, who with assistant editor Dustin LaForce, whipped out their “spot” in a couple of hours.

Optimus’ Duff is chair of national AICE Show in Chicago this spring

Chicago’s vibrant editing scene gets a boost when the national AICE Show takes place here this spring. The third annual show will be an event that show chairman Tom Duff hopes “will knock their socks off.”

And well it could. For openers, the May 13 show, called “Editors Un-Veiled,” will take place at a unique venue ? the Cadillac Room in Soldier Field. “The room is similar to clubs at sporting venues like Sox Park,” said Red Car’s Bob Carr, local AICE board member.

Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, Adam Rudder team up on TV Pilot “The Donut Boyz”

The Donut Boyz, originally a hip-hop group, have been fusing comedy, rap, and snack foods into their musical stylings since 2006. Now Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, and Adam Rudder are aiming to bring that energy to your TV screens in the form of a half-hour scripted comedy series centering on the joy of Black male … Continue reading “Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, Adam Rudder team up on TV Pilot “The Donut Boyz””

The Mill announces Patrick Coleman as Head of Design

Creative production studio The Mill announced Patrick Coleman as their new Head of Design in Chicago.  With over a decade of experience with a focus in 3D motion design, Coleman’s beginnings began at OPTIMUS in 2004. He then went on to become Creative Director at Sarofsky. Since 2017, Coleman has been working closely with The Mill’s … Continue reading “The Mill announces Patrick Coleman as Head of Design”

Vinyl & OKRP launch Illinois Office of Tourism campaign

Vinyl, a Songtradr company that provides direct access to creative talent, commercial music licensing, pre-cleared music, sonic branding, and custom composition, announced today the commercial license of “Time for Me to Fly” by REO Speedwagon for the new Illinois Office of Tourism ad spot. The ad titled “Time for Me to Fly” encourages families to … Continue reading “Vinyl & OKRP launch Illinois Office of Tourism campaign”

Editor John Dingfield comes home to Cutters

High-end editorial boutique Cutters announces the return of Editor John Dingfield to its roster. The announcement was made by Cutters Studios President/Managing Director Craig Duncan and Managing Editor Grant Gustafson. Since launching his career with Cutters back in 2000, Dingfield has established himself as a go-to editor for comedic and storytelling campaigns of the highest … Continue reading “Editor John Dingfield comes home to Cutters”

Havas, Moen hold NFT Auction to support oceans

More than 5 trillion particles of plastic cover the ocean’s surface, causing serious problems for our Earth. Ohio-based Moen and our friends at Havas are using an innovative approach to help address this huge environmental challenge – auctioning  off five NFTs of artwork inspired by the five major ocean gyres located across the globe as … Continue reading “Havas, Moen hold NFT Auction to support oceans”

REEL WOMEN: Lisa Masseur, EP/Founder Tessa Films

Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2021 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory.” Production sage with an eye for … Continue reading “REEL WOMEN: Lisa Masseur, EP/Founder Tessa Films”

Squeak E Clean Chicago adds Angelina Phengphong

Global creative audio network Squeak E. Clean Studios has added Angelina Phengphong as Senior Post Producer out of its Chicago studio. Formerly serving as a Senior Producer in Squeak E. Clean Studios’ Sydney location, Phengphong made the move to expand the company’s post offerings across its three U.S. studios. Having spent four years at Nylon Studios before the company … Continue reading “Squeak E Clean Chicago adds Angelina Phengphong”

Phillips’ believes you deserve a good poop

Phillips’ not only believes that life is too short to be spent struggling with these problems, but that going should feel good. In a consumer study, nearly 40% of adults claimed to have suffered constipation at some point in their lives. Although a common problem, many don’t treat their symptoms because they feel shame around … Continue reading “Phillips’ believes you deserve a good poop”

LeBron James, AT&T celebrate Black Chicago

This Black History Month, AT&T Dream in Black presents the return of Black Future Makers, a future-forward celebration of inspirational people in the culture. The campaign was announced via a commercial celebrating frontline workers and everyday heroes from Chicago in a spot voiced by NBA superstar, philanthropist and entrepreneur LeBron James. James is also one of this … Continue reading “LeBron James, AT&T celebrate Black Chicago”

2020 in Review: Top Chicago advertising campaigns

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

2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories

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

Kerrygold embraces family moments in new Xmas spot

The last two days of news are making the Reel Chicago team wonder if Energy BBDO  has a secret farm somewhere. In the agency’s new Kerrygold butter spot the Irish dairy brand celebrates people coming together and enjoying small moments over a home-cooked meal. The campaign, which launched yesterday, is supported by a new film … Continue reading “Kerrygold embraces family moments in new Xmas spot”

Sarofsky adds Creative Director Stefan Draht

Sarofsky, with a reputation for breakthrough design, adds Creative Director Stefan Draht to its full-time staff. Continuing its growth and its investments into excellence, design-driven production company Sarofsky is adding Creative Director Stefan Draht to its full-time staff. The news was announced by company Principal and Executive Creative Director Erin Sarofsky, and Executive Producer Steven Anderson. “Adding another creative … Continue reading “Sarofsky adds Creative Director Stefan Draht”

Videoconference and chill with Coors Light

Tired of Zooming? Sick of looking at a Brady Bunch-inspired screen and pretending you’re interested? Coors Light feels you. And now the beer and Leo Burnett want to give you a moment to themselves.  Introducing the Coors Light Clone Machine. Now your team can create digital dopplegangers and loop a video of themselves to play during … Continue reading “Videoconference and chill with Coors Light”

Heinz commits $1m in grants for diner initiative

Who doesn’t love a diner? Especially if it’s a greaZy diner cheeseburger (with iceberg lettuce, white onions) and fries. They are the best. And the ketchup that is always there to go on said burger – Heinz. These are staples of Americana.  And nothing is more Americana and sacred than a diner. Today, the 150-year-old brand … Continue reading “Heinz commits $1m in grants for diner initiative”

At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.

Over the past week it’s safe to say that the Illinois film community is doing their best to ensure that their employees are safe during this unfortunate time. In light of worldwide health concerns about the impact from the COVID-19 virus, many have postponed production until further notice. Starting Monday, Cinespace will close the secondary … Continue reading “At Cinespace and beyond. Who’s working today.”

AICP Midwest lists all who are open for business

Reel Chicago supports all efforts of those who are working, boots on the ground, to service their clients during these most difficult times. Below is a list of AICP Midwest members who are open for business, supplied by Lisa Massuer, AICP Midwest President. FROM AICP MIDWEST  Collectively, the National AICP community has been working to … Continue reading “AICP Midwest lists all who are open for business”

‘Battle For Hope’ returns to Cubby Bear on May 14

The 8th annual Battle For Hope will return to the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville on May 14. Combining a live musical showcase with a jam-packed industry bash and one of the city’s most rocking fundraisers, the battle of the advertising agency bands has become a bacchanalian pre-summer tradition in the Chicago creative community. Besides live … Continue reading “‘Battle For Hope’ returns to Cubby Bear on May 14”

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”

Editor Dana Abel joins Hootenanny

Chicago post house Hootenanny has a new creative editor on their roster. Dana Abel comes to Hootenanny from Optimus, where she spent the majority of her 11-year editing career working for clients like Feeding America, McDonald’s, Chobani, and Esurance, to name a few. Big-name brands aside, you can also add music video editing and commercial … Continue reading “Editor Dana Abel joins Hootenanny”

Ogilvy helps CDW launch ‘Modern Modernization Today’

From Silicon Valley to business media to our culture at-large, talk of the latest trend or the next big thing often results in a lot of fluff and little substance. For people who work in information technology, the pressure to be “future-facing” can be especially intense. Tech solutions provider CDW understands the challenges their IT … Continue reading “Ogilvy helps CDW launch ‘Modern Modernization Today’”

Mark Pallman signs with Strange Loop Studios

One at Optimus alum joins six-person directorial roster stationed across LA, Minneapolis, and Chicago Production company Strange Loop Studios has announced the addition of Midwest-bred, commercial director, Mark Pallman. Known for infusing light, subtly absurd comedy into everyday routines and scenarios, Pallman has created campaigns for clients such as McDonald’s, US Bank, Esurance, Hefty and … Continue reading “Mark Pallman signs with Strange Loop Studios”

Fusion92 helps IG reach customers with Red Sheep

New spot directed by Julian Acosta “exceeds expectations” while challenging traders IG US, along with its Chicago-based creative agency, Fusion92, released an anthem video featuring an iconic red sheep to introduce their brand into the U.S. forex trading market. Challenging forex traders to join IG and separate from the pack of standard forex trading options, … Continue reading “Fusion92 helps IG reach customers with Red Sheep”

2019 Camp Kuleshov Winners

Optimus’ Kathryn Schade, Cutters’ Magdalena Hernandez, Another Country’s Logan Vines take first places in Graphics, Editorial, and Sound Design Camp Kuleshov, AICP’s annual trailer competition for assistants and junior-level employees at member companies, challenges entrants with re-imagining or reworking films by creating new trailers that cast the movie in a different genre than originally released. … Continue reading “2019 Camp Kuleshov Winners”

Prysm Studios and MK Films join forces

Post-production hybrid adds motion GFX, editorial, and visual effects savvy to 50,000 sq.-ft. Chicago facility This past summer, Ryan Gilbert opened Prysm Studios in a joint effort with MK Films to offer a full-service production and post-production facility. MK Films boasts 50,000 square-feet of production space with lighting, cameras, high-speed motion control robot, and now … Continue reading “Prysm Studios and MK Films join forces”

Tessa Films taps Sydney Thomson as Head of Production

  Highly experienced line producer is well-known in the Chicago community   Tessa Films has named Sydney Thomson, an experienced freelance producer and production supervisor who’s a fixture in the Chicago production community, to the newly-created position of Head of Production. The appointment was announced by Lisa Masseur, Tessa’s EP and Co-Founder. The move marks … Continue reading “Tessa Films taps Sydney Thomson as Head of Production”

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”

NFL’s Prescott, Barkley are “Champions of Chunky”

The NFL season is upon us and so are campaigns featuring NFL stars. Leo Burnett has teamed with Optimus to create Campbell’s Chunky soup’s gridiron effort, called “Champions of Chunky.” The official soup sponsor of the NFL’s spot, directed by Caviar’s Jonathan Krisel, features Dallas Cowboy QB Dak Prescott and New York Giants RB Saquon … Continue reading “NFL’s Prescott, Barkley are “Champions of Chunky””

Serena Williams shines spotlight on financial abuse

Domestic violence affects one in four women in America, and even though financial abuse is present in 99% of domestic violence situations, it’s seldom discussed and commonly misunderstood. The fact that nearly 50% of Americans are unaware that financial abuse is a form of domestic violence is staggering. Combine that with nearly one-third find the … Continue reading “Serena Williams shines spotlight on financial abuse”

Camp Kuleshov issues 2019 call for entries

AICP’s trailer contest for assistants releases list of source films for Editing, Graphic Design, and Sound Design, sets Labor Day deadline   Camp Kuleshov, AICP’s annual trailer competition for assistants, has issued its 2019 Call for Entries. Named for the Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov, Camp Kuleshov is open to assistants, junior creatives, admin and … Continue reading “Camp Kuleshov issues 2019 call for entries”

Fusion92 “lunches” new campaign for Buddig

New hyper-targeted marketing push looks to redefine “lunchtime” Lunch is actually my favorite meal of the day. Who doesn’t like a good sandwich? Apparently Carl Buddig and his brand Buddig, along with newly appointed AOR, Fusion92 do. The brand and agency have launched a national integrated campaign aimed at capturing the imagination of lunchmeat eaters … Continue reading “Fusion92 “lunches” new campaign for Buddig”

Free Spirit Media sharpens a thrilling Focus

The Chicago nonprofit’s energetic fundraiser brought media pros together with young artists for an exciting night at the Ivy Room Free Spirit Media’s annual Focus event started out as a cocktail reception and turned into a rocking throwdown over the course of three hours last Thursday night. When it ended, the organization had collected over … Continue reading “Free Spirit Media sharpens a thrilling Focus”

Escape Pod & Merrick Pet Care launch ‘The Barklorette’

Did you know that according to Match.com, 75% of women now say they wouldn’t date someone without their dog’s approval? True story. Apparently, dogs are in charge even when it comes to their pet parents dating habits. So, The Escape Pod and Merrick Pet Care have decided to put that to the test. Last Monday, … Continue reading “Escape Pod & Merrick Pet Care launch ‘The Barklorette’”

Bob Carr to be inducted into AICP Hall of Fame

Award-winning ‘great Chicago guy’ who mentored many and cut high-profile ads for Budweiser and McD’s to receive posthumous honor The late Bob Carr, an award-winning editor and co-founder of the Chicago post boutique NuWorld, will be inducted into the Post Hall of Fame at the 2019 AICP Post Awards, set to take place here on … Continue reading “Bob Carr to be inducted into AICP Hall of Fame”

Local 476 pickets non-union production

The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union works for interests that range far beyond the film industry   Members of Chicago Local 476 picketed a non-union production shooting in the city last weekend. Inspired to protect the opportunities, wages, and benefits of its members, the Studio Mechanics believe that their protest also serves interests far beyond the … Continue reading “Local 476 pickets non-union production”

Orbitz launches new campaign… Just like that

This is pretty fun. Orbitz and Havas, Chicago have launched a new 2019 campaign which continues the brand’s theme, ‘Just Like That.’ With a twist. The campaign is called, “Just like what?” Like what? Like that. Created by the Havas team of Senior Copywriter Kiley Saunders, and Art Director Miles Beauseigneur, the new campaign takes … Continue reading “Orbitz launches new campaign… Just like that”

Arturo Cubacub, President of I-Cubed, passes

The award-winning director and editor was a longtime member of the film, advertising and post-production communities As the Chicago film and advertising communities rang in a new year, it was also met with sad news as it was announced on his Facebook page, that president of I-Cubed Productions, Arturo Cubacub had passed away peacefully. He … Continue reading “Arturo Cubacub, President of I-Cubed, passes”

mcgarrybowen scores with star-studded Brita spot

Crafty footage and sharp cuts help Stephen Curry and Anwar Jibawi weave a message into an absurd and enjoyable dinnertime sketch mcgarrybowen Chicago has helped Brita score more than two million YouTube views (and counting) with an effective and hilarious extended commercial titled, Home for the Holidays. Featuring NBA superstar Stephen Curry as himself and … Continue reading “mcgarrybowen scores with star-studded Brita spot”

Tessa Films adds Director Amanda Speva

Her work in commercials, short films and music videos taps comedy, emotion and storytelling with a distinctively quirky sensibility.   (Chicago & Los Angeles — 12 November 2018) Tessa Films has signed director Amanda Speva to its directorial roster. A native of Chicago, Speva brings a talent for capturing comedy and emotion shaped by a … Continue reading “Tessa Films adds Director Amanda Speva”

Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday

“I started to realize, ‘oh, he’s putting together these clips to tell a story.’ That’s really what he loved about (editing).” David Carr, on his father, Bob The family of editor Bob Carr, who passed away last month, will host a memorial celebration in his honor at Healy’s bar in Forest Park this Sunday from … Continue reading “Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday”

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”

Greer and Panitch’s “Service to Man” available on Starz

Co-directed by a Loyola U professor and post-produced in Chicago, the film is inspired by the true story of a white Jewish student in a HBCU medical college Service to Man, a narrative film co-directed and produced by Chicago’s Aaron Greer and Alabama’s Seth Panitch, is set to have a broadcast debut and be available … Continue reading “Greer and Panitch’s “Service to Man” available on Starz”

Thornley directs The Imperial Sound’s ‘A Man Like You’

Commanding vocals and Tower of Power-style horns make an audiovisual sensation that jumps with nearly four minutes of soulful good times Melissa Thornley tapped into some of the best things about Chicago’s film industry and music scene while directing and producing the video for The Imperial Sound’s “A Man Like You.” Besides mixing the group’s … Continue reading “Thornley directs The Imperial Sound’s ‘A Man Like You’”

MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night

“When we’re talking about issues of gender equality and representation, I think it’s an everybody problem.” Executive Director, Amy Guth For the first time in its history, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will screen a juried selection of work during the annual Female Filmmakers Night celebration, which takes place Tuesday August 7th at Landmark Century … Continue reading “MIFF presents first-ever juried Female Filmmaker Night”

2018 Camp Kuleshov Trailer Competition opens

The challenging trailer contest for assistants casts a wider net, with entries now accepted from production as well as post studios.   (New York — 30 July 2018) Camp Kuleshov, the annual trailer competition named for the Russian film theorist Lev Kuleshov, has issued its 2018 Call for Entries. This year, the competition is open … Continue reading “2018 Camp Kuleshov Trailer Competition opens”

“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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Reel Women: Jacquelyn Jamjoom, Executive Producer

Jacquelyn Jamjoom is a film and television producer serving as Executive Producer of Chicago based film production company Digital Hydra. At Digital Hydra, Jacquelyn has produced internationally renowned TV series’, feature films, music videos and commercial content for brands such as McDonalds, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and Facebook. Jacquelyn also serves as contract producer and … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jacquelyn Jamjoom, Executive Producer”

Sun-Times launches anti-gun violence initiative

Created in partnership with Ogilvy, “31 bullets” identifies actions that Illinoisans can take to counter the negative effects of America’s gun problem   In an effort to combat gun violence, the Chicago Sun-Times has launched a new campaign on May 1 called “31 bullets” which identifies 31 specific actions Illinoisans can take to address this … Continue reading “Sun-Times launches anti-gun violence initiative”

Tessa, Blind Barber, and Bryce Harper’s bathroom secrets

Tessa Films partners with Blind Barber to introduce All-Star Bryce Harper as company spokesperson for signature product line Tessa Director / Writer Tim Mason and Creative Director Duncan Wolfe’s multi-faceted online strategy generates viral success, media coverage and brand awareness   (Chicago, Los Angeles — 17 April 2018) The new online campaign for Blind Barber, … Continue reading “Tessa, Blind Barber, and Bryce Harper’s bathroom secrets”

Reel Women: Marina Killion, Audio Engineer

Marina Killion is an accomplished audio engineer based in Chicago. She has been at Optimus for nine years, where she is currently Senior Audio Engineer. She does everything from sound design, dialog editing, Foley, ADR, to final mix. Marina has a background in classical music performance, studying Sound Recording Technology at DePaul University. She has … Continue reading “Reel Women: Marina Killion, Audio Engineer”

Reel Women: Nancy Reid — Producer

Nancy Reid has spent over twenty years in the film and video production community specializing in video marketing and television programming. She has worked as a television / corporate communications producer and General Manager for some of the most prestigious film and video production and post-production facilities in Chicago. She has managed projects for major … Continue reading “Reel Women: Nancy Reid — Producer”

Tessa, mcgarrybowen, Arc, Jenny Milkowski on the move

Puppet master and stop-motion specialist join Tessa Films’ roster Meghann Artes and Toben Seymour have joined the directorial roster at Tessa Films. The duo arrives at Tessa Films with skillsets that are bound to overlap in both conventional and unconventional ways. Artes is a master of stop motion. Seymour is a master of puppetry.   … Continue reading “Tessa, mcgarrybowen, Arc, Jenny Milkowski on the move”

The Reel Black List: Jonathan Desir, Executive Producer

Jonathan Desir is an Executive Producer at Optimus. He has been involved in post production for over a decade and is president of the board for Free Spirit Media as well. Jon achieved his B.A. in Psychology and minored in Business and Communication at Eastern Michigan University. Aside from studying, he was also involved with … Continue reading “The Reel Black List: Jonathan Desir, Executive Producer”

Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon, other recent moves

Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon Barry Burdiak, a nearly 30-year veteran of DDB Chicago, has left the agency to lead data-driven Epsilon Chicago as Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director. He’ll focus on new business efforts for new and existing clients. A mutiple Cannes Lion winner and Emmy nominee, he will report to a … Continue reading “Barry Burdiak leaves DDB for Epsilon, other recent moves”

gyro creates first Sentry spot in over 30 years

In 1984, Ronald Reagan was president. Marvin Gaye passed away. Terms of Endearment won the Oscar for Best Picture. The Celtics beat the Lakers in seven exciting games, and Prince had a little-known hit song called Purple Rain. It’s also around the last time Wisconsin-based Sentry Insurance aired a TV spot. In late December, Sentry … Continue reading “gyro creates first Sentry spot in over 30 years”

Seasons greetings from the industry

Reel Chicago wishes all of our readers Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Joyful Kwanzaa, and an awesome belated Solstice. But we’re not the only ones. Windy City ad, film, music, and production companies have been spreading the warmth for weeks. Below is a selection of customized wishes.     UPSHOT AGENCY     TESSA FILMS   … Continue reading “Seasons greetings from the industry”

Tessa Films’ cozy and familiar “Holiday Wish”

Chicago-based production company Tessa Films offers something for everyone in a season greeting that premiered yesterday on YouTube. Titled, A Holiday Wish, the cozy and humorous minute-long film shows how social media can disrupt even the warmest of family gatherings. Flawless visuals and smart camera work establish a mood that is not only believable but … Continue reading “Tessa Films’ cozy and familiar “Holiday Wish””

McGarryBowen creates a natural winner for Burt’s Bees

McGarryBowen helped introduce Burt’s Bees Beauty, a new makeup line from Burt’s Bees, with a celebration of the female dynamic and a focus on wholesome ingredients. Spanning TV, print, and digital, I Am Not Synthetic combines a multicultural lineup of women with colorful shots of product and soothing images of nature in a campaign that … Continue reading “McGarryBowen creates a natural winner for Burt’s Bees”

Cubs introduce W’ville

With the postseason here and the Cubs gearing up to #FlyTheW once more, it’s officially “W season” in Wrigleyville. And in a stroke of sports marketing genius, the Cubbies are converting Wrigleyville into a pop-up event right next to Wrigley stadium. ‘W’ville will feature free games, family-friendly entertainment, giveaways and opportunities to win 2017 Cubs … Continue reading “Cubs introduce W’ville”

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”

Tom Burrell inducted into the One Club Hall of Fame

Iconic advertising pioneer, Tom Burrell, whose illustrious career transformed both the way people of color were portrayed in marketing communications, as well as their roles within the industry itself, will be inducted into The One Club Creative Hall of Fame on September 18.

Burrell joins Susan Hoffman, David Lubars, Rebeca Méndez and Diane Cook-Tench as honorees.

The community-sourced video tribute Ruth Ratny

The March 29 Ruth Ratny Memorial Celebration at Untitled Supper Club featured speakers from some of the most well known businesses and organizations in the Chicago creative community.

Mark Androw, Tom Duff, Craig Duncan, Julieanna Richardson, Barbara Roche, Roy Skillicorn and Joy Tillis were among those who grabbed the mic and shared personal memories of ReelChicago’s legendary late founder with the room full of people who turned out to celebrate her life.

Hundreds honor ReelChicago founder Ruth L Ratny

Humorous stories, fond memories and sincere gratitude for Ruth L. Ratny were expressed by hundreds of guests who attended a memorial celebration in her honor at Untitled, the River North Supper Club, on Tuesday March 21.

In the course of her four-decade career, Ratny often boasted that she had “forged a community where none existed before.” The evening’s lineup of guest speakers proved those words to be true.

AICP Leads Commercial Production Seminar

Chicago Producers, Production Supervisors, their assistants and Coordinators now have a chance to gain valuable information and updates on live and digital productions at the first-annual AICP Commercial Production Training Seminar.

Already offered in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Atlanta, the weekend seminar will feature four breakout sessions taught by commercial production specialists in the city.

AICE & AMP partner on post/music mentorship program

Trade associations AICE and AMP (Assn. of Music Producers) have teamed up to launch PrePro, a new mentorship program to help local high school and college students explore careers in post and music for advertising.

The PrePro diversity program, open to students age 17 to 23, will kick off this coming semester in the active Chicago and New York chapters. Other chapters will follow as the year progresses.

“Exonerated” wins top prize in MIFF’s Shorts Night

The top three winners of Tuesday’s annual Midwest Independent Film Festival’s (MIFF) “Advertising Community Shorts Night,” out of 17 finalists, will compete for MIFF’s “Best in the Midwest Awards” Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Rocket Bar & Grill.

First prize in the Shorts contest went to “Exonerated,” a look into the lives of five people who had spent 23 years in jail for crimes they did not commit. Chicago commercial photographer Andy Goodwin directed and Patrick Duffy of Cutters’ Detroit office edited.

HistoryMakers’ Jarrett TV talk to air on national PBS

AN EVENING WITH VALERIE JARRETT,” a presentation of The HistoryMakers, the massive archive of interviews with notable African American leaders now part of the Library of Congress, airs on WTTW/11 today and tomorrow.

The interview with President Obama’s senior advisor about her rich life and career will air on national PBS in February. The program is dedicated in honor of Gwen Ifill, the late PBS media journalist who had hosted many HistoryMakers’ interviews in Washington, D.C. over the past 10 years.

MIFF’s Nov. 15 Ad Shorts Night to premiere 12 films

The 7th annual Ad Community Shorts Night at the Midwest Independent Film Festival will screen Tuesday, Nov. 15 instead of its regular First Tuesday Nov. 1 date, deemed as being too close to Nov. 8 election night. They are:

Hell,” John Malkovich reads Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” while illustrations depicting humans’ worst atrocities animate edited, graphics by Ryan Gilbert and sound design by Brian Leitner.

17 Chicago AICE assistants win Camp Kulshov awards

A wide swatch of Chicago post house assistant editors, graphic designers and audio mixers – 17 in all — were winners in the annual AICE international Camp Kuleshov trailer Competition among all AICE chapters.

Chicago chapter winners were announced Oct. 18 at the Fremont Chicago restaurant and nightclub in River North, attended by some 200 staffers of AICE Chicago’s 23 member companies. Aice. org

Burnett winner of two AICP Next Awards, here Nov. 3

The AICP Next Awards, an extension of the AICP Show that traditionally climaxes a year of special events in Chicago, screens Nov. 3 at the AMC 600 N. Michigan Ave. theatre.

Optimus executive producer and freelance spot producer Marsie Wallach are producing the Chicago Next Awards that honor winners of “the most innovative work in alternative media projects,” says AICP/Midwest president Mark Androw of STORY.

Androw reelected president of AICP/Midwest a third time

The Chicago-headquartered AICP / Midwest has elected new officers and board beginning Oct 1 for a two-year term, with Mark Androw of STORY reelected for a third term as president.

AICP / Midwest is one of seven regional chapters. Its membership consists of 22 General Member and 24 Associate Member companies.

The newly elected officers, in addition to Androw, are freelance producer Marsie Wallach as vice president, who is new to the board, and Essanay Studios’ Wayne Kubacki, returning for his second term as treasurer.

Spotmakers turn their talents to new comedy webseries

A six-part comedy web series, produced by three commercial filmmakers of Take-Take-Take Productions, premieres today and a new episode released released every Wednesday through Aug. 17 at 1 p.m.

The series, “Winner or Loser?” is the collaboration of writer / producer Tony Mendoza, a script supervisor; director Logan Hall, who is represented by One at Optimus and line producer Holli Hopkins McGinley.

AICP expects 300 guests at annual social event, 4/7

MEET. DRINK. TALK. — that’s the official title of AICP-Midwest’s popular annual event held exclusively for Midwest agency, commercial production and editorial professionals Thursday, April 7 at The Underground.

More than 300 guests are expected from AICP member production companies and their agency clients, “to eat, drink and “talk face-to-face in a comfortable, casual environment,” notes Stan Glapa, Cineverse rentals manager and a member of the event planning committee.

Now view “Two Chicagos” video on OTSC’s site

“There are two very different Chicagos that children can grow up in today. There is the world-class, opportunity-filled Chicago that many of us have been fortunate to give to our own kids,” says Rich Stoddart, CEO of Leo Burnett North America.

“And then there’s another Chicago, where access to so much of what we love about our city can be very, very distant.”

Camp Kuleshov winners did their AICE employers proud

Optimus assistant editor Aaron Porzel won the Grand Prize for Editing at the 4th annual 2014 AICE Camp Kuleshov Chicago trailer editing contest. The presentation last Wednesday at The Attic @ American Junkie was attended by 150 guests.

The contest, exclusively for AICE members’ assistant editors, assistant audio engineers and assistant or junior designer employees, received 58 entries.  

“Whirlwind” fall season yields good roles for actors

“A WHIRLWIND” SEASON of production – starting with a rush of commercials, four primetime network TV series, along with corporate and webs – has meant steady work for Chicago’s nationally respected talent.

“Agents have been busy overall,” notes David O’Connor of O’Connor Casting and the last month has been crazy for us, a whirlwind all year,” placing talent across the board.

Tohtz joins Key Code Media, now in its new building

Key Code Media’s Chicago/Central Region branch, led by digital/new media products pro John Connelly, Sr., and now settled into own 6,000-sq. ft. building in Schaumburg, last week hired Brad Tohtz as a regional account manager.

Tohtz is the tenth hire for the local branch of the LA-headquartered company. He is managing Key Code production and post accounts throughout the Midwest region.

Did C-K fire the client, or did Panera cut them off?

CRAMER-KRASSELT CHAIRMAN /CEO Peter Krivkovich candid internal memo Wednesday telling the staff why the agency fired two-year old client Panera Bread. He said whatever they did, how hard they worked, the results they gained, the client found fault with, not to mention politics getting in the way. 

Cutters a leader in AICE Awards with 7 finalists nods

Cutters is doing Chicago proud in the 2014 AICE Awards by having scored seven nominations, out of 90 US/Canadian nominees in 30 categories.  Cutters and Beast, with two finalists, compete for the Best of Chicago, and Cutters/Detroit made it into Best of Detroit.

The AICE Awards presentation will be made at Gustavino’s in New York, May 15.