The governor’s boast has a hollow ring

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH BOASTS the estimated $21.5 million revenues generated from “The Express” and $3 million each from “Eagle Eye” and “The Lucky Ones,” was ? according to the press release — a result of the 20% tax incentive that “put Illinois back on the film industry map.”

The release had the testicular fortitude to state, as per the governor: “By renewing the tax credit, we have held on to our competitive position and are helping to ensure that filmmakers will continue coming here to make their movies.”

As of now, the ONLY Hollywood company scouting here is DreamWorks’ secret project. It is also scouting Michigan, which projects $400 million 2008 revenues from film production.

SIGN OF THE TIMES. Like far too many ad agencies these days, regardless of size, 30-year old E. Morris has shrunk to a core staff following the loss of the Wal-Mart account earlier last spring. Nonetheless, the agency continues to work on long-time ComEd account.

THE LOTTERY’S AD BUSINESS has been put out for review to local agencies. R.J. Dale has been the incumbent agency for the state Lottery’s $23 million general market advertising account for five years.

Marketing director Sarah Cummins said RFIs were sent to 16 4As agencies, of which 10 replied. (See Lottery story.)

TO GENERATE INTEREST in its Nov. 8 event, the Geneva Film Festival is sponsoring an Oct. 11 “Digital Shoot Out” for amateur filmmakers. The competition takes place in downtown Geneva, where filmmakers and local businesses partner to make a 2-5-minute film in 12 hours.

“We felt by teaming filmmakers and merchants it would give more insight into the production process,” says Cheryl Klein, Digital Video Shootout organizer. “It’s also a way of bringing visibility to the merchants that get involved. Not to mention it’s a lot of fun.”

CALL IT “THE DEPAUL SCHOOL OF BROADCASTING.” DPU Continuing and Professional Education offers a certificate in commercial voiceovers “to help you put your voice on advertising,” states the pitch to former grad students.

“The course “emphasizes the business side of the industry and the performance skills necessary to work consistently in the field.” Surely that “emphasis” will include the enormous competition among union actors and decreasing opportunities afforded them.

FLASHPOINT ACADEMY named former agency and freelance producer Linda Wolfe director of student placement, a new position, announced Flashpoint president/CEO Howard Tullman. Her mission, she says, “is to build and maintain relationships with companies in the booming film and digital realms and create job opportunities for our students.”

ANOTHER POLITICAL SPOT from adman Tom Unger of the Unger Group. He said a second spot to help get out the vote was never intended, but he was motivated to create “Make Believe,” the new spot, “after listening to the onslaught of falsehoods, day after day.”

“Make Believe” is simply comprised of a series comments made by the Republican president and vice president candidates, and “by historical precursors who utilized a similiar strategy,” says Unger.

“Make Believe” airs through election day on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Headline News, History Channel, ESPN, TBS, TNT, and Lifetime.

IN MEMORIAM. Adman Marion Dawson, 67, who gave the lasting iconic label of “Die Hard” to a Sears’ car battery and created Rusty Jones and the Car-X man, died at his San Francisco home after a long illness.

Mr.Dawson had been a principal in Dawson, Johns & Black (with the late account executive Powell Johns and art director Jim Black), one of the hot, medium-sized local agencies of the late ?80s and ?90s.