Laura Szymber’s Axiom Megamedia is working with ESPN to develop a series of Monday Night Football promos for the cable network’s 2011 NFL season.
The full-service production company was named ESPN’s “preferred Chicago video production resource for upcoming network game promotions” in December, after acting as the Chicago production company for last fall’s promos for the Bears/Packers “Monday Night Football” game.
The project took form last September when Szymber acted on a referral and contacted ESPN. “I quickly pulled together a fantastic Chicago crew. We joined with ESPN directors Rico Labbe and Mike Seillis to shoot Julius Peppers at Halas Hall,” she says.
“I recruited a lot of Bears and Packers fans and shot them in various settings getting ready for the ‘showdown’ between the two teams, along with filming some beautiful Chicago location footage.
The ESPN directors were pleased with the footage and a few weeks later, Szymber notes, “I got a call from the ESPN production manager saying that he and the network were thrilled with the promos and that they would like to make Axiom Megamedia their preferred Chicago production vendor.”
Axiom will produce an as yet undetermined number of 15-to-60 second promos for the 2011 “Monday Night Football” games which Szymber hopes will expand into work for other ESPN sports coverage.
Company owner Szymber has a producing background
For South Side native and sports fan Szymber, “This is the perfect assignment,” adding, proudly, that she’s an avid Bears and White Sox fan.
One of the few women business owners of local production companies, Szymber founded Axiom in 2007, following a five-year partnership in a production company that ended when her partner left to work in Los Angeles. There, she says she developed “fantastic relationships with clients and crews,” that she maintains at Axiom.
Earlier, she’d had a nine-year stint as a producer with a boutique agency, whose clients included General Mills, Keebler, Nextel (predecessor to Sprint) and Orange Glo International. She is an NIU graduate with a Radio/TV/Film degree.
Syzmber’s Axiom team includes producing partner/DP/editor Brian Kallies and DP/editor/DVD programmer Tom Desch.
On another project, Szymber is associate producer, and Kallies is co-producer/editor of John Davies’s “Phunny Business: A Black Comedy,” a documentary about the rise and fall of All Jokes Aside, Chicago’s first black-owned comedy club in the 1990s.
With agency Schawk! Retail, Szymber and Desch recently completed a 30-minute in-store Bath Seminar video now playing in The Great Indoors stores nationwide.
“This was a graphics based presentation involving over 90 images with an animated DVD menu intro and advanced DVD programming so that the presenter can easily advance through to different sections of the presentation as needed,” Szymber says.
Axiom also produced a video tribute featuring interviews with colleagues and surgeons for spinal surgeon Dr. Gunnar Andersson of Rush Hospital’s Midwest Orthopaedics Group, winner of the Freedom of Movement Award at the Arthritis Foundation’s 2010 black tie gala at the Four Seasons.
Szymber also produced Dean Berdusis’ dramatic short “A Perfect Manhattan,” starring Danny Goldring, which screened at the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival and is currently on the festival circuit. Kallies shot and edited.
Axiom Megamedia is at 355 S. Laflin St.; phone, 312/850-2090. See axiommegamedia.com. —Ed M. Koziarski