Illinois Lottery produces 100% Illinois spot

A WINNING LOTTERY STORY for a change. The Illinois Lottery’s agency, Energy BBDO, actually assigned its new commercial to a 100% bona fide Chicago production company. Foundation Content, an Illinois corporation, staff created and produced the 3D all-graphics spot for the Hispanic market.

In other Foundation news: Heavy hitter Beth Goss was hired as senior strategist for Foundation’s L.A. office. “Beth is helping us expand our business into longer content formats and webisodes,” notes co-president Samantha Hart.

Goss is a former Cartoon Network EVP and branded content head at NBC/Universal. She joins producer Stacy Paris in the L.A. office.

SIDEBAR: I-Cubed Media’s Arturo is editing the general market Lottery spots, recently produced by 59 Films and directed by New York’s Harold Einstein.

A THIRD TELLY AWARD for Vagabond Audio ? a Silver this time (they have two bronze Tellys) for Drew Weir’s unique sound design for a JC Penney furniture spot for the web.

The spot was shot from a dog’s POV as he looks throughout the house for his master to go on a walk. Weir created the sounds that gave the dog personality and poignancy and brought the spot to life.

The spot was produced and directed by Rick Smith’s Gant? Films of Oak Park and shot by DP Oral Berat User.

REEL MICHIGAN: “Stone” a psychological drama starring Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton, starts shooting in several locations, including Detroit, Webster Township and the Southern Michigan Correctional Facility near Jackson.

“The Irishman,” the true story of a tough Irish thug working for the mob in the 1970s, shoots in Detroit. It stars Val Kilmer, Christopher Walkin and Ray Stevenson.

Director Rob Reiner is expected to start filming “Flipped: in Michigan this month. The coming-of-age comedy is set to star Aiden Quinn, Rebecca DeMornay and Penelope Ann Miller.

And did you know that the new HBO series, “Hung,” is a Michigan production?

BTW, When “Nightmare on Elm Street” departs Chicago in a couple of weeks, not one studio feature will be filming, or is scheduled to shoot, in Chicago/Illinois, for the first time in recent memory.

STORY’S NEWEST DIRECTOR is L.A.-based Jeff France, who previously worked through Santa Monica’s Thomas Winter Cooke. His previous affiliations include Blind Spot Media, Coppos Films and Harmony Pictures. He began his career as an agency creative.

DP ANDY SPARACO, who lives here but largely works in New Orleans, informs that Louisiana’s first new film processing and transfer house is the first new film lab to be built in the U.S. in the past decade.

“Three new major studio/stage complexes are under construction in NOLA,” he adds.

Next week Sparaco starts preproduction on “The Somnambulist,” a horror/psychological thriller he co-wrote and will co-direct and DP. He will direct and DP two indie features thereafter.

CORONA LIGHT BEER, the No. 6 ranking import beer, leaves Chicago after decades with local agencies, as creative duties are being shifted to Publicis, New York from Cramer/Krasselt. Not all is lost, however, as C/K will continue to handle much larger Corona Extra brand and Modelo Especial.

THE CHICAGO SOUTHLAND COMEDY TEAM of Lance Allen and Jason Ritchey speak to the July 5 Chicago Screenwriters Network at the Lincoln Restaurant, how they advanced from middle school comedy experiments to winning an a first place NAACP ACT-SO filmmaking award for their screenwriting.

COMPOSER/MUSICIAN DAVID BLAMIRES joined Earhole Studios, after nine years with Steve Ford Music, and three years of freelancing as a composer for national TV spots. The native Brit grew up in Canada.

In Toronto he was a top session singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He recorded three Grammy-winning albums with the Pat Metheny Group.

SAVE MONEY AT LATV FEST and 2009 Pitch Pit, July 8-9 in L.A. The creative TV and digital content event offers a special Chicago rate of $395, or $100 savings. They brag about 30 sessions, 70 top industry leaders, networking events and on and on and a free lunch. Use promo code FroLATV9 when you go to

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