Ex-agency ECD Moore to direct for Dictionary Films

Directing a new career for EDC Jon Moore

CUTTERS’ DICTIONARY FILMS division this week added Jon Moore, a former agency ECD/art director to its current directorial roster of six.  He was with Leo Burnett for more than 20 years before  joining mcgarrybowen, with Ned Crosley, as its first creative team when the agency opened here in 2009.

“Production was my favorite part of working on the agency side,” Moore says. “I thought, why not make the leap and put my art direction skills, literally in motion.”

Dictionary’s executive producer Chris Rossiter had worked with Moore at Burnett and says he felt and adding Moore’s unique  storytelling skills “would be a good fit for us.”

INDIE FILM MR. SOPHISTICATION, executive produced by and starring Chicago native and NU grad Harry Lennix, will be released Sept. 6 on VOD and on Oct. 20-21 it screens at the 49th Chicago International Film Festival’s Black Perspectives.  Lennix is scheduled to attend.  Director was Danny Green.

Lennix stars as a fictional start-up comedian Ron Waters, a Richard Pryor/Lenny Bruce-inspired observational comic, who settles in Chicago after increasing controversy doing standup routines at his wife’s (Tatum O’Neal) club, as he tries to regain the fame and success he lost due to his own self destructiveness.

Lennix also will be seen in NBC’s new series, “The Blacklist,” co-starring with James Spader, starting Sept. 23.

TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE here for the 49th Chicago International Film Festival for two spectacular weeks of films from around the world.  They include the feature “Nebraska,” directed by Oscar winner Alexander Payne and starring Chicago native Bruce Dern and Will Forte, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s Cannes Grand Prix winner, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” starring Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman.

IF YOU’RE IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS you will want the legal navigation of your career provided by entertainment attorney Tom Leavens in his book, “Music Law for the General Practitioner.”  It’s only been out for a few weeks and it’s already on the American Bar Association’s best-seller list.

Leavens, a partner in intellectual property firm of Leavens, Strand, Glover & Adler, spent a year writing it.

“Music Law” is a guide through the maze of music legalities in layman’s terms, covering such areas as digital music, copyrights, trademarks, right of publicity, music publishing, band organization and finance, distribution, how record companies and producers work, and so much more. 

Two chapters were provided by Heather Ryan Liberman, an associate at the law firm, who has also worked as a music licensing agent.

“Music Law” may be purchased through the ABA for $79.95.  It’s well worth the price when you consider the fee for an attorney’s time, at normal hourly rates, to advise on just one issue or subject of the book. 

Lawyers for the Creative Arts and Leavens’ law firm will host a reception for the author Sept. 19 at the firm’s LaSalle St. offices, where copies of “Music Law” may be purchased at $60, with proceeds going to LCA. 

IN MEMORIAM. Longtime voiceover actor Herb Graham, 87, considered one of the talent industry’s very best, died Aug. 19 after a long illness.  He was the voice of American Airlines for years, narrated thousands of national TV spots over the years and was the voiceover on spots for Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign. Political strategist David Axelrod called Mr. Graham his “go-to-guy for hundreds of political spots.” 

His radio life began when he joined the Army and was assigned to the Armed Forces Network.  For more than 20 years he performed on “Unshackled,” the Pacific Garden Mission radio drama that aired worldwide. He also had his own radio shows over the years and was a member of the SAG AFTRA Senior Radio Plays in which he also directed.  “He was smart, funny, a teacher and a mentor for so many,” recalled radio actress and friend Penny Lane.

Mr. Graham is survived by his wife, Estelle, his high school sweetheart, two daughters and four grandchildren.   A memorial service will be held Sunday, Oct. 6 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Doubletree Hilton in Skokie, adjacent to the Northlight Theatre. 

With the busy fall season starting, remember to send your news to ruth@reelchicago.com.