Tandem’s Tyler Jay brings big comedy in JShip spot

Chicago-based JShip, a new online shipping service, has launched its first marketing campaign, featuring a new spot and social content directed by Tyler Jay, Commercial Director and Principle at Chicago-based Tandem, Inc. JShip’s agency of record, Detroit/San Diego-based D/CAL selected Tandem to execute their script and began collaborating with Jay in late 2020. “It was … Continue reading “Tandem’s Tyler Jay brings big comedy in JShip spot”

Tandem’s Tyler Jay films three spots for KSV

In early 2020, the independent creative agency, KSV asked Tandem, Inc. and commercial director Tyler Jay to produce, through finish three :30 live action spots.  “This production was a long time coming,” said Tyler Jay. Two days before filming back in March, COVID shut it down, on the day of the pre-pro meeting. Then, mid-August … Continue reading “Tandem’s Tyler Jay films three spots for KSV”

Tandem creates inspiring video for Chicagoans

There is now a total of 16,422 positive coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Illinois with 528 deaths. Even with the sobering numbers on the rise, that has not stopped Chicago-based production and post-houses from creating inspiring work for the community. Yesterday, we reported on a new video Utopic created for KOVAL Distillery. Today, we add Tandem … Continue reading “Tandem creates inspiring video for Chicagoans”

Tandem and Razorfish mix it up for Patrón

Chicago’s Tandem, Inc. helped Razorfish make learning fun in a new Patrón Tequila online video for National Margarita Day. How To Make the Patrón Classic Margarita turns the beloved cocktail recipe into 30 seconds of energetic footage and bouncy music. The effect lets people know that making Patrón margaritas at home is not only enjoyable, … Continue reading “Tandem and Razorfish mix it up for Patrón”

Tandem founder Tyler Jay to appear on ‘Shark Tank’

Chicago-based film director to pitch Plop Star, “the holy grail of toilet deodorizers” on Sunday, October 20 After sacrificing countless off-work hours transforming a product idea into a marketable reality, Tandem founder Tyler Jay will present the fruits of his labor to American television audiences. On the October 20 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank he … Continue reading “Tandem founder Tyler Jay to appear on ‘Shark Tank’”

Tandem helps Home Chef tout new hashtag

The Chicago-based production company captured tasty cuisine and smiling customers for a new campaign about ‘#DinnerTonight’ Chicago-based Tandem Inc. filmed nearly a hundred setups in two days while completing a series of spots for Home Chef’s new #DinnerTonight campaign. Created by the meal kit and food delivery company’s in-house marketing team, the campaign features an … Continue reading “Tandem helps Home Chef tout new hashtag”

Tandem creates unforgettable spot for Plop Star debut

Director Tyler Jay goes all out in a big way to help launch a new product that fights toilet odor Director Tyler Jay and his team at Tandem, Inc. wrote an exceptional script for a comedic testimonial video starring the founder of Plop Star, a new product that kills toilet odor. Plop Star works to … Continue reading “Tandem creates unforgettable spot for Plop Star debut”

Tandem captures Larry Macon’s 2,000 marathon

When Tandem Inc. arrived in San Antonio to shoot a Humana project on November 30th, Larry Macon had completed 1,999 marathons in his life. Five days later, as the 72-year-old athlete crossed his 2,000th finish line, director Tyler Jay captured the moment for a short film about the milestone that he and his crew had … Continue reading “Tandem captures Larry Macon’s 2,000 marathon”

Yolonda Ross on shaving her head for The Chi & $100k breast cancer donation

Yolonda Ross, star of the ground-breaking Showtime series The Chi, announced with Rhonda Feinberg, a special donation of $100,000, funded by The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, to three grassroots organizations serving women of color who are living with breast cancer. Based on personal life experiences and in tandem with her performance as “Jada” on … Continue reading “Yolonda Ross on shaving her head for The Chi & $100k breast cancer donation”

Siskel Center names L’Soft as Black Harvest associate programmer

The Gene Siskel Film Center has named L’Soft (they/them) as its Black Harvest Film Festival Associate Programmer.  In this new position for the Film Center, created with the aim of growing the Festival’s programming team and ensuring a thoughtfully and collaboratively curated lineup, L’Soft will work in tandem with Film Center Director of Programming Rebecca Fons and … Continue reading “Siskel Center names L’Soft as Black Harvest associate programmer”

Cinematographer Jack Donnelly discusses Godfather of Harlem

Following his work on Season 1 of Godfather of Harlem, cinematographer Jack Donnelly returned for Season 2 to focus on preserving “a consistent visual style” for the series. When Godfather of Harlem Season 2 begins, it’s February 1964, and the series’ eponymous gangster, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson (Forest Whitaker), has been in hiding for three months while notorious mafioso Vincent “Chin” Gigante … Continue reading “Cinematographer Jack Donnelly discusses Godfather of Harlem”

Ballast Point announces: Big Gus and Wee Gus

Celebrating 25 years of craft beer innovation in San Diego, Ballast Point is pleased to announce the addition of two new offerings to its year-round portfolio: Big Gus and Wee Gus. Clearly different from anything Ballast Point has released before, the crystal-clear duo — a R&D hoppy lager and a clear hazy IPA — mark the … Continue reading “Ballast Point announces: Big Gus and Wee Gus”

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

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

WGN weather anchor signs off social media until 2021

To say 2020 has been a hard year feels like a woeful understatement. Being forced to spend so much time alone has had deeply affected many Americans, but it may also provide an opportunity to reexamine our relationship with social media. Paul Konrad, the charismatic WGN weather anchor with over 38 thousand followers on twitter … Continue reading “WGN weather anchor signs off social media until 2021”

Sarofsky talks details on doc series, ‘A Mystery to Me’

The filmmakers behind A Mystery to Me, a new documentary series that aims to raise awareness of the rare neuromuscular disease myasthenia gravis (MG), give details on their innovative production approach behind the heartfelt project. Following last month’s debut as part of the Chicago International Film Festival, on Nov. 17, the series will premiere on MG-United.com, … Continue reading “Sarofsky talks details on doc series, ‘A Mystery to Me’”

The Mill launches augmented reality app, Mill Scout

The Mill has announced the launch of its virtual production tool, Mill Scout, the global studio’s latest IP, targeted at Directors and Creatives for on-set use. Mill Scout is an Augmented Reality (AR) application for smartphones and tablets that can help Directors, Creatives and Visual Effects Supervisors visualize CGI characters and objects live on-set, in-situ … Continue reading “The Mill launches augmented reality app, Mill Scout”

Cactus & EEH create ‘This is Personal’ campaign

Creative advertising agency, Cactus, Denver, CO, partnered with Edward Elmhurst Health (EEH) to create a campaign with the theme, “Everywhere else, it’s healthcare. Here, it’s personal.” The new work builds on their This is Personal campaign launched in 2019 to promote the cardiology service line of Edward-Elmhurst Health. The new creative encompasses the nature of … Continue reading “Cactus & EEH create ‘This is Personal’ campaign”

CPD launch support for officers’ mental health & wellness

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) today marked the completion of the City’s 90-day police reforms with the launch of two new pilot programs that are designed to ensure all CPD officers have the mental health and wellness supports they need. With the launch of the new Officer Support System (OSS), a pilot … Continue reading “CPD launch support for officers’ mental health & wellness”

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””

MFF offers free online Comedy Shorts Program

Just when we needed it the most, the Midwest Film Festival (MFF) is participating in #GivingTuesday by giving viewers access to their Comedy Shorts Program online, free of charge. Originally presented in February as the 2020 season opener program, there are 10 films available to view that touch on a wide variety of topics, all with one goal … Continue reading “MFF offers free online Comedy Shorts Program”

Kartemquin’s Gordon Quinn recovering from coronavirus

At a time when the coronavirus case numbers continue to climb, we are happy to pass along the encouraging news that Kartemquin’s co-founder, Gordon Quinn continues to improve. On March 20th Reel Chicago reported that Quinn was admitted to the ER at Northwestern Hospital for symptoms of coronavirus and shortly after was transferred to ICU … Continue reading “Kartemquin’s Gordon Quinn recovering from coronavirus”

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”

Strange Loop signs Yvette Represents

Chicago-based production company Strange Loop Studios is elated to announce signing West Coast Representation with Yvette Lubinsky of Yvette Represents. With over 20 years of experience, Lubinsky brings first-hand insight, loyal relations and a can-do attitude revered in her focus market and beyond. “Great partnerships, from client to vendor to consumer, are essential to our … Continue reading “Strange Loop signs Yvette Represents”

rEvolution on the rise

How a Chicago-based agency transforms sports into an exponentially evolving world of possibilities rEvolution Integrated Sports Marketing scores on ideas from all over the place. Combining national brands with famous players and professional teams, the agency keeps its clients in the game with a head-explodingly grand assortment of concepts involving recreational vehicles, fishing holes, and … Continue reading “rEvolution on the rise”

Picture North hires editor Talia Pasqua

The Chicago native with the expansive reel becomes the production and post company’s first full-time editor After freelancing for several years, Talia Pasqua has found a home for her versatility and emotive touch at Picture North. As the company’s first full-time editor, she represents a significant landmark in Picture North’s history. Executive producers Martin Rodahl … Continue reading “Picture North hires editor Talia Pasqua”

Leo B launches funny new Visionworks campaign

’Air Quotes’ and ‘Imitation Game’ add laughs to ‘new phase of growth’ with help from actor Karan Soni Leo Burnett’s new campaign for Visionworks introduces a cast of villainous eye care execs who want to make consumers lives as complex as possible. Titled, See the Difference, the work employs humor and an Austin Powers style … Continue reading “Leo B launches funny new Visionworks campaign”

Colle McVoy creates sobering campaign for Proof Alliance

Beer, wine, liquor – what is safest to drink during pregnancy? The answer: None of the above. But don’t take it from the experts. Take it from the REAL experts, or in this case the victims – kids affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Minneapolis-based Colle McVoy has teamed with client FASD to demonstrate how … Continue reading “Colle McVoy creates sobering campaign for Proof Alliance”

The year’s biggest posts about commercials

Chicago excels at beer, insurance, sea creatures, pickup trucks, romance, and sweet-smelling toilet bowls Outside the realm of direct advertising, the technique for measuring the success of a commercial can be somewhat fuzzy. Using a digital yardstick that combines Google analytics, social media engagement, and our thumbs-up button, we’ve determined the most widely acclaimed spots … Continue reading “The year’s biggest posts about commercials”

Immesoete directs Epsilon’s new Cracker Barrel spots

I have to admit, I do love me some Cracker Barrel. When I lived in the Midwest and the fam would take a drive into Wisconsin, dinner always seemed to end up at one of their restaurants. The down-home cooking and somewhat Southern charm of the Tennessee-based chain always had a folksy appeal to me. … Continue reading “Immesoete directs Epsilon’s new Cracker Barrel spots”

Laughlin Constable goes “Bucks” wild

A new, retro-flavored, funk-inspired campaign from Laughlin Constable’s in-house production company, Hive, should have Milwaukee Bucks fans cheering and dancing in their arm chairs. With energetic editing, existing footage, and a bouncy, in-your-face, Samuel Jackson style voice-over (Eddie Faura), the work helps the team make a convincing case that they are set to revisit the … Continue reading “Laughlin Constable goes “Bucks” wild”

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.

MPG’s Hercules’ comedy among Sunday’s Pitch contenders

Like so many filmmakers, Bob Hercules of Media Process Group, a company acclaimed for its many award-winning TV documentaries, labored over a narrative feature screenplay on and off for many years.

Now, after a total of 10 years in the works, his comedy, “Waiting for the Clash,” will be one of six projects competing at Sunday’s The Pitch session, for a substantial award of in-kind services, at Gallery at GreenRiver, 259 E. Erie, from 2 to 6 p.m., co-produced by CIFF and IFP Chicago.

Trisect cuts staff in wake of ConAgra account changes

BLENDED AGENCY TRISECT a recently went through a rough patch that caused it to reduce staff by 25%, letting between 20 and 30 staffers go as a consequence of changes in the ConAgra account.

The agency explained in a statement that this was “a proactive step to ensure the agency is well aligned with rapidly shifting client needs and their demands for leaner, more nimble partners. Trisect is centered on its care growth drivers – digital marketing, social media and cross-channel content production.”

Colonie & Beast editors among top AICE winners

“We did ourselves proud last night,” says Tom Duff, AICE Chicago chapter president, “not only in award-winning but in putting on a great show” – the 15th annual AICE Awards at Navy Pier with an audience of 500.

Chicago had had three top winners out of the Awards’ 33 categories.

Best of Chicago was awarded to Beast’s Angelo Valencia for DigitasLBi spot for Whirlpool.

The Colonie won twice: Brian Sepanik for GrubHub / Tandem, Inc., in the Dialog / Monolog / spoken Word category and Keith Kristinat for 71 Degrees North / Chevy Trucks in the Spec Spot category.

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.

City becomes a popular set for spots, films ahead

BUSY PRODUCTION IN WEEKS AHEAD on the streets of Chicago.  On the feature side: “Batman vs. Superman” moves after months in the Motor City to the Windy City and opens an office at Cinespace next week.  Shooting starts Nov. 3-14.  Scheduled locations include the farm house in Plainfield, the subway and the “Daily Planet” atrium at Willis Tower. 

R/GA’s Grey Goose savvy website in excellent taste

So what becomes the world’s best tasting vodka?  Well, nothing less than one of the slickest, most social media savvy sites now out there in the vast Internet world. 

We are talking about the newly-launched Web destination for Grey Goose premium vodka, which can be seen and savored to the fullest at www.GreyGoose.com

Altogether, the site is the handiwork of more than 20 people who worked at the R/GA office in Chicago, which for about the past year has been the digital agency of record for Grey Goose.

“Something for everybody”

Roger Ebert will make a special guest appearance at the closing ceremonies of the Naperville Film Festival, one of ten film festivals being held in Chicago and Downstate this month.

Altogether, around 500 independent films — narratives, horror, drama, documentary, animated, experimental, to suit every film buff, including many by local filmmakers — will be showcased.

And to cap this indie film month, the Independent Feature Project will hold its annual Film Gala, Sept. 26, to raise funds for programs and events to support local independent filmmakers.

Uganda is the setting for Dave McGowan’s “webumentary” on vets who treat ailing wildlife

In August, veteran filmmaker and environmental documentarian David McGowan will travel to war-torn Uganda to come lens-to-face with some of the world’s most dangerous, beautiful and endangered animals.

It’s about veterinarians who specialize in treating ailing and injured wildlife in the African jungle and it’s part of a series called “Envirovet.”

“Think of CSI for forensic veterinarians and you’ll get the idea,” said McGowan, whose Ravenswood Media has produced educational, corporate and training videos for more than 20 years.

Where to meet and greet

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

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