Four Avenue veterans start editing boutique

COLONIE, A NEW EDITING BOUTIQUE, has been formed by four former Avenue Edit veterans: Producer Mary Rieger and editors Brian Stepanic, Bob Ackerman and Joe Clear, all highly favorites for big national spots.

It’s located in what had been Outsider’s original space at 610 N. Fairbanks.

Other former long-time Avenue staffers opened their own companies this year. Liz Tate and Jim Annerino, launched Hootenanny in April, Jamie Vanadia who started NoiseFloor audio boutique in October, and editors Jeff Nolan and Gale Gilbert who set up independent shops.

THE SPOT BUSINESS shows signs of improvement, after a sluggish summer. Story producer Cliff Grant reports a steady stream of bids, while upcoming is a Glade/DraftFCB spot directed by Laurie Rubin at Bob Ebel’s former West Loop stage ? Similarly, Radar reports renewed bidding activity.

Essanay, whose stages had been quiet, has L.A. house Dark Light shooting Rush Medical Centers on its big stage ? Dark Light’s third time in Chicago for the same client.

NEW AT CUTTERS in Santa Monica and Chicago are three editors, and the promotion of three assistants to editors.

In Santa Monica: Christine Brown moved over from Mad River Post, Lenny Mesina from Sunset Post, and Addison James, most recently editor on virals for the Honeyshed online home shopping network initiative. The new assistants-to-editors are Eric Houtz and Traci Weingardt in Chicago and Ryan McGuire in Santa Monica.

FLASHPOINT’S FIRST ENDEAVOR when it opened in September, 2007, was Dean Paul Froehle leading the production of an 8-minute short with students and faculty as a test run for Froehle’s innovative “immersive learning” concept of how to best teach film production.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say, as “The Collector” was one of 200 films chosen from a field of 1,000 for showcasing in the Dec. 3-7 Santa Fe Film Festival.

THE PHIZZPOP DESIGN CHALLENGE, hosted by Microsoft, is back in Chicago for the second year to engage Chicago agencies in a competition of design, development and creativity. The kickoff is Nov. 20 at the Cultural Center, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in conjunction with the Chicago Convergence.

TWO NEW YORK SHOWS of the world’s best commercials will screen here in late November. The Nov. 20 2008 AICP Show takes place at the History Museum, for a $150 ticket, and the Nov. 25 2008 One Show at Columbia College is free and open to all. Read details in Screenings & Events.

SPLIT PILLOW, which moved into its first public space at 4001 N. Ravenswood, is taking proposals for the fourth and fifth volumes of its “Chicago360” documentary series. Phone 773/857-7727.