“The Dark Knight” lights up Chicago for 3 months as possibly the biggest feature ever to shoot here

“THE DARK KNIGHT” the latest “Batman” installment will forever be known as “one of the biggest features we’ve ever had in terms of scope, spending and job creation,” says CFO’s Rich Moskal.

How big? Out of $150 million budget, it’s expected to pump $45 million into the local economy and hire 390 crew persons, 250 day players and 6,000 extras.

This week “Knight” shoots exteriors and helicopter shots, goes to London for two weeks, then returns to stay through early September.

Chicago native Chris Nolan again directs; the movie stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Heath Ledger and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The previous installment, “Batman Begins,” shot here for three weeks in 2004.

SCREAMING FANS greeted “Ocean’s Thirteen” stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle and producer Jerry Weintraub at the Chicago premiere Thursday night at the AMC River East theatre.

The premiere, and the glitzy $1,500 per person after party, was a benefit for Not On Our Watch, an organization Clooney started, to raise money and draw attention to the atrocities in Darfar

Not On Our Watch has raised at least $9 million since its May 24 fund-raising debut at Cannes. The money will go to aid projects that include setting up health care services at six clinics in Darfur, creating learning shelters for children and training local leaders on human rights.

DAVID ROLFE, DDB’S svp/director of content production, left the agency to return to return to former employer, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

His departure comes on the heels of the departure of two other major players — JWT’s president Ros King and ECD Graham Woodall, who are leaving as a consequence of the agency’s loss of the $180 million Kraft business of 70 years duration. (Nothing stays the same, does it?)

Toting up the account losses since 2004, Chicago’s aggregate ad revenues are $15 billion, $2 billion poorer in than in 2004.

A FIRST FOR KARTEMQUIN FILMS — a benefit to support its latest doc-in-progress, director Justine Nagan’s “TYPEFACE,” a film about cultural preservation and graphic design history.

It will be held, appropriately, at Columbia College’s Center for Book & Paper Art on June 15. The champagne and music evening includes a silent auction of terrific original art from local artists and organizations.

MARC USA named Bryan Hadlock its first chief creative officer for its Chicago and other offices. He’d been COO and president in Marc USA’s Indianapolis office.

BIG SCREEN EXPOSURE for several local filmmakers’ shorts at the July 17-Aug. 28 Outdoor Film Festival of movie classics in Grant Park. The CFO will announce the shorts a week before the festiva.

The 2007 free screening pays homage to centenarian Barbara Stanwyck and remembers the late actor Peter Boyle.

Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper will be on hand to introduce and discuss the opening night screening of “Young Frankenstein,” with Peter Boyle in the (ahem) title role, at 8:15 p.m.

COMMENTS