Elder departs Luminair to freelance and enjoy family

George Elder, co-founder of Luminair

After 24 years in the heart of Chicago production as co-founder/president of Luminair Film Productions, George Elder has resigned from the company to freelance as a producer/director.

Elder says he and his wife, Beth, a principal in Luminair, will keep their house on the lake in Evanston and commute to L.A. where they will be able to spend longer periods of time with son Daniel, a rising theatrical film producer who just launched Elder Pictures, and daughter Lia’s young family.

Elder says he will be available as a freelance producer/director with Luminair as his first client.  He expects to continue as executive producer of the award-winning PSB series, “Mexico: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless.”

Taking Elder’s place as Luminair president is Jack O’Donnell, partner/director of development, while director/editor Scott Dummler, who joined the company in 1992 right out of college, will continue to handle production as the company continues to expand in the corporate realm. 

Elder a non-stop spot and corporate producer

Elder has produced corporate films and commercials for many Fortune 500 companies including McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, IR, Disney Interactive, LG, Levy Restaurants, Siemens among others.

He produced the 2008 teen comedy feature, “Boxboarders!” currently airing on the Starz network and produced and directed the 2006 feature-length concert documentary “Piaf: Her Story…Her Songs.”

Elder also has produced eight seasons, or 65 half-hour episodes of “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.”

Elder started Luminair with director/DP Robin Rutledge in 1988.  In 2001, he bought the company from Rutledge, who shifted into a different area of visual media.  The new company moved into space in what had been director Bob Ebel’s West Loop studio.

When the Ebel building was sold in 2008, Luminair headed to Bucktown where it occupies 3,000-sq. ft. or half a floor in a media arts building 1644 N. Honore.  The company employs six.

George Elder can be reached at 312-498-4555.