Colin Costello boosted to top creative post in L.A.

Adman/screenwriter Colin Costello

IT ONLY TOOK A MONTH for Colin Costello, a former local agency CD and recent L.A. transplant, to land a big agency job.  Walton Isaacson (of which Magic Johnson is a partner), the agency for which he’s been freelancing, jumped him up to senior creative director, on staff, of course, after he executed successful campaigns for the agency’s Lexus and Los Angeles Dodgers accounts.

A former CD for several local agencies, Costello has had a hand in such accounts as Gatorade, Budweiser, Finish Line, McDonald’s Foot Locker, OfficeMax, Sears, RadioShack, Nike, Toyota, and Caesars.

Costello recently left Our Town for Tinsel Town in order to forward his active screenwriting career while freelancing as a copywriter for Walton Isaacson.  He had been president of the active Chicago Screenwriters Group when he left for the West Coast. 

Among W-I’s clients are Samsung, McDonald’s, Verizon Wireless, Unilever’s Axe, Dove, Degree, TRESemme, Suave and Clear brands.

ALWAYS ON TOP OF THE CURVE, David O’Connor has opened a new division of his casting company, with the self-explanatory name of O’Connor Extras Casting or OCC, exclusively to book SAG-AFTRA union members as extras. Having this service will benefit clients who are already booking a union job that also requires union extras. 

OCC is especially beneficial to union members, who are paid according to the union contract rates and regulations.  They receive a daily wage of $323 (but no residuals) and receive other benefits given to principals, such as overtime and wardrobe fees, and credits towards their health and pension benefits.

O’Connor says he’d been thinking of this service for the past five years as it became increasingly difficult and demanding to find union actors who were available for extras work.

Union actors have signed with OCC “in the hundreds,” O’Connor says, and actors can register directly online; producers may call 312/226-4018 and speak to Virgina Anello, director of OCC Casting.

Speaking of talent: Shirley Hamilton, Inc. booked veteran actor Tony Mockus, last seen as an elderly man in a wheelchair in “Boss” as Mayor Kane’s (Kelsey Grammer) father-in-law, has a brief role in “Chicago Fire,” as an elderly man in a wheelchair, the former owner of “Mollie’s” bar, now owned by firemen.

LEO BURNETT will receive the Commitment to Excellence Award for TV Commercials at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards, formerly known for decades as the Hugo Awards, April 23 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.  ESPN also receives a Commitment to Excellence Award for TV productions.

TV newsman Walter Jacobson will be honored with the Chicago Legend award, with an introduction by his old friend and colleague Bill Kurtis.  (The first Chicago Legend award in 2010 was presented to moi.)

Jeanne Sparrow of WICU’s “You & Me This Morning” will host the evening.  Festivities start with a 5:30 reception, awards presentation, 7:30-9 p.m.  For tickets, call 312/683-0121 or order online

THE CITY WILL BE AWASH WITH SCI-FI features filming here from now through the end of September.  First up is the teen dystopia “Divergent,” filming throughout the city, the Loop and neighborhoods from now through July 14, according the Chicago Film Office.  The Summit-Lionsgate film stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Zoe Kravitz, Theo James and recently added Mekhi Phifer and Ray StevensonNeil Burger is the director and it’s headquartering at Cinespace.

Overlapping “Divergent” by a few day is Andy and Lana Wachowski’s “Jupiter Ascending,” currently scheduled to start filming July 10, also throughout the city.

While no definite date is set for “Transformers 4,” the Michael Bay-directed epic’s suggested shoot schedule here is August and September.  Stay tuned, since that’s subject to change.

And finally, “Doubt,” the last of the trio of TV pilots that filmed here since February, wraps this Friday, the 12th.

THE ESTIMATED 2012 REVENUE from entertainment projects hit $170 million, up about $9 million from 2011’s reported revenues.  The CFO reported 1,808 shoot days last year and it appears that 2013 will exceed previous records.

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