Director Scott Smith joins Dictionary Films

AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR SCOTT SMITH, known for a steady output of short films, has joined the directors’ roster of Cutters’ production division Dictionary Films, alongside Bob Akers, Jay Patton, Chris Hafner, Adam and Will and Jesse Shamata.

Smith remains a partner with producer John Fromstein in Fulton Market Films, in the feature and short film production side of the company, where he has directed more than a dozen shorts. Smith’s comedy short in development is “Cheat Cheat Bang Bang,” about a young couple who have to do decide what to do after discovering the other had been cheating. 

On the feature side, Smith helmed the well-received feature doc  “Being Bucky,” about the seven individuals who play the University of Wisconsin mascot and will direct Fulton Market’s first narrative feature, “Ink,” in late summer or early fall, with Smith directing.

Earlier, Smith spent 20 years as a creative director at Element 79 and Leo Burnett. He left the agency business to direct films when he teamed with Fromstein in 2009.

“I see myself as a hybrid creative person,” Smith says.  I have filmmaking skills and storytelling ability, and a lot of branding and strategy experience from the agency side, so I can empathize with the agency and client.”

CREATIVE TALENT AGENTS will share at least 10% of their knowledge at the Dept. of Cultural Affairs’ monthly “Creative Work Form,” bringing forth topics dealing with the commercial arts on Monday, May 7.

The Chicago Film Office’s Rich Moskal moderates a panel of Linda Jack of Grossman & Jack Talent (actors), Steve Munro of Munro Campagna Artist Representatives (illustrators), Danielle Egan Miller of Browne Miller Literary Associates (authors), and Peter Strand of Leavens, Strand, Glover & Adler (musicians).

On the fifth floor at the Cultural Center, starting at 6 p.m. Free and open to all.

THE BIZ BUZZ! We hear that two famous award-winning visual effects houses, with offices in New York, L.A. and London, could be taking up residence in Chicago, possibly this summer.

They are MethodStudios, whose offices also include those in Australia, is wholly-owned by Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, which the owner of Beast editorial, so you put the pieces together, and The Mill, which designs for the advertising, film, TV games and music industries. 

And the Reel recently reported that Eyeball of New York is expected to open a branch here, headed by John Noble.

A FULL HOUSE is expected at the Chicago Screenwriters Network’s meeting Sunday, May 6, with Leslie Conliffe, manager of L.A.’s Intellectual Property Group, who will answer writers’ age-old question: “How the hell do I get a manager or agent?”  All will be revealed at the Pork Chop, 941 W. Randolph, starting at 6 p.m.

OPTIMUS AND CUTTERS were the only Chicago post houses whose work appears among the 95 spot finalists in 18 categories (not including the three finalists in each of the eight Best of Cities) vying for top honors at the May 10 AICE Awards.

Optimus clocked in with five nominations: Best of Chicago for Randy Palmer’s UPS Store; Craig Lewandowski and Rueben Vela’s Harris Bank spots won three spots out of 12 and a Best Design for Craftsman went to Optimus Design.

Cutters’ took four places: Two out of the three Best of Chicago places, going to Chris Hafner’s work on Fiat, which also got a nod in the Automotive category, and Cameron Yergler’s AICP show opening.  John Binder’s Allstate spot was nominated for sound design.

The Awards ceremonies will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey. 

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