Are talent contracts holding up commercial shoots?

COMMERCIAL SHOOTS IN CHICAGO have winnowed down to almost next to nothing. Many believe the reason may be the always nervous-making salary and residual contract negotiations between SAG AFTRA and the advertising industry that began in mid-February.  

The union’s commercial contract, covering roughly $1 billion in actors’ annual earnings, is due to expire just days away on March 31.  And no one wants a repeat of the contentious six-month SAG strike of 2000.

There’s not the slightest hint of what’s taking place at the bargaining table as both sides have blacked out any disclosure.


The Denis Leary comedy pilot “Sirens” returns here March 20-21 for pickup shots, which is considered a good sign about the possibility the pilot getting greenlit as a series. 

On the casting side, Claire Simon sent local actors to TV pilots “Doubt” and “Betrayal,” and will be working on sci-fi feature “Divergent.” Pascal & Rudnicke did the honors on the “Influence” pilot.

ACCOUNT GROWTH at Havas Worldwide has spurred staff expansion, with some 21 new hires since last October. More staffers are expected to be added to service the big Citi Bank account the agency brought in last December. 

New hires include: Director of Broadcast and Digital Production Matt Faris, from 22squared in Tampa where he had restructured broadcast, digital, and print production into the agency’s first integrated production department.

Scott Suchta, senior production artist, who’d freelanced at Havas and G2 Marketing; senior A/D Beckie O’Connor from UMarketing; digital production artist Andrew Caturano, previously a graphic designer for Walker Sands Communications; senior copywriter Leslie Gray, from McKinney and earlier O&M and  junior copywriter Bob Howe, from Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide and Pitchfork Music Festival.

DIGITAS made Ad Age’s 2013 Agency Standouts A-List in the #2 position, by virtue of huge account wins eBay and Taco Bell’s interactive, and than 100 creative awards in less than 12 months.

AFTER SEVERAL YEARS of effort, the 2012 AICP Show will visit Milwaukee.

Wednesday, March 20, making it the first Midwestern city outside of Chicago to host the best of advertising show that we here look forward to every November. 

United Adworkers, led by Gary Mueller of BZK, is the ad club hosting the show at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where 100 guests are expected to congregate starting at 5:30 p.m., says STORY’S Mark Androw, president of the Chicago/Midwest AICP. 

“We’ve been working for three years to expand the show to other cities throughout the Midwest – Milwaukee, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis – working with ad clubs in each market and Milwaukee is the first to host the show,” Androw says.

Milwaukee now will be included in the traveling tour of the annual show that originates every May at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

TOP TV PROFESSIONALS  will lend their experienced voices to the Chicago/Midwest NARAS’ 2013 Career Day, Saturday, April 6 at Columbia College. 

Confirmed panelists include Ch. 2 news anchor Kris Guitierrez; scenic designer Mary Margaret Bartley, M&M Productions; WCIU assistant art director Jeff Hinkle; Ch. 9 art director/director Kristina Ballas and Ch. 7 general assignment photographer/editor Mike Locashio.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHICAGO FILM DESIGN is exemplified in the Chicago Film Archives’ Out of the Vault program April 7 about avant garde filmmakers Mort and Millie Goldsholl whose Northbrook Goldshool Design and Film/Associates studio reigned for 30 year, starting in the late ‘50s, producing and pioneering innovative animated, stop motion and live action films, mostly for corporate clients.

The program is comprised of 13 short films originally shot on 16mm, including those for Kimberly Clark, Pabst Brewing, Chrysler and Magazine Publishers Association. 

Following the screening, at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Cultural Center, will be a panel discussion with Victor Margolin, professor emeritus of Design History at UIC, Susan Keig, designer and former VP/design department at Goldsholl Design & Film Associates and Wayne Boyer, filmmaker and professor emeritus at UIC.  Amy Beste, author of “How Creative Minds Changed Society” which includes a chapter on the Goldsholls, introduces the program.