Crazy good couple of weeks for commercial production

CHICAGO’S COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION continues to hum along, either with a crush of work crammed into several weeks, or stretches of head-scratching as to where the business went. The last three weeks were fairly typical of the former, when mostly out-of-town companies descended upon the city to shoot spots for their prestigious clients.

According to the Chicago Film Office’s Rich Moskal, Chicago locations were used for these one-a-day shoots, starting July 9: George Brand of LA for Value City; America Filmworks for McDonald’s; McDonald’s, Radar; US Bank, Optimus; BB&T Corp., Backyard, Epoch Films, Apple; Carlin Films, Van Art Furniture; Optimus, and Toyota; and three days this week, Spur Productions for Adidas.

Anonymous Content’s assignment July 16-19 for Turkish Airlines was undoubtedly the biggest job to hit town in a long time, with an estimated budget of possibly $500,000.

All the grip and electric gear was supplied by Essanay Studio & Lighting.

As you may note, three-fourths of the production companies are LA-based and film here to enjoy the benefits of the Illinois tax credit, currently on hold.  Which led Local 476 business manager Mark Hogan to comment, “The union is pleased that advertisers continued to have trust in our tax incentives and they’ve not been impacted by the deferral.”

“PIXELS” ANIMATION MOVIE TOUR comes to Chicago via Quantum, the workflow discussion group, Aug. 4 at Webster Place 11, 1471 W. Webster. Following the discussion will be a private screening of “Pixels,” starring the voices of Adam Sandler and Kevin James.  Free and open to all. Register here.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE Sunday, July 26 before midnight for the 20th Chicago Artists Month (CAM), taking place Oct. 1-Nov. 1, with the theme “The City as Studio.” It looks at Chicago as a place for production, investigation, innovation, experimental and encourages a dialog with the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial opening in October.  Click here. for information and to submit events.  Sponsored by the Dept. of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

REMINDER: The Chicago Creative Cocktail Party takes place Tuesday, July 28 at Rockit Bar & Grill, hosted by the Independent Filmmaking Project, one of six film-related organizations sponsoring what will be a monthly event. Register here.  

DIRECTOR/DP SEAN FAHEY was signed by new LA-based Blueyed Pictures for representation not only on commercials but also for his growth as a director for features, reality shows and branded content.  His feature doc, “Bailout,” is making the festival rounds.  His prize-winning work has screened at 30 festivals including Cannes, CIFF, Hot Docs and Beirut, among others.

REELCHICAGO is on hiatus and will return Monday, Aug. 3. During our recess, we’ll start updating our website, among other overdue chores.  But our short absence shouldn’t deter you from sending us your news and notes. Send to