Judith Light narrates locally made holiday feature

“Scrooge & Marley,” a modern and gay version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” signed Tony and Emmy-winning actress Judith Light as the film’s narrator and recorded her in New York last week, reports executive producer Tracy Baim of Sam I Am Films (EP of 2009’s “Hannah Free,” starring Sharon Gless) and publisher of Windy City Times and other GLBT media. 

The comedy with music stars David Pevsner as Scrooge, Tim Kazurinsky as the Ghost of Jacob Marley, Rusty Schwimmer, Bruce Vilanch, Megan Cavanagh, Ronnie Kroell, David Moretti, Richard Ganoung, and performance artist JoJo Baby.

David Strzepek was co-executive producer; directors were Richard Knight, Jr. and filmmaker Peter Neville who also edited; music by Lisa McQueen.  Screenplay by Ellen Stoneking, Knight and the late Timothy Imse.

Shot in May, it’s currently in post and will be released in December. The producers are to be applauded for exceeding the difficult task of meeting their Indiegogo funding goal. They greatly exceeded it, in fact.  They sought $10,000 and received nearly $20,000 that’s being used to cover post costs.

See the trailer here.

THE FIRST EVER VOICEOVER EXPO “That’s Voiceover”  –“a national showcase to meet the people who hire the talent” and also to teach them what the business is all about — takes place Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Harris Theatre, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Top prizes for the winner of various rounds of auditions will be a paying gig on an NBC-sponsored promo or PSA, a Neumann TLM 102 microphone and a one-on-one meeting with agent Joan Sparks of Stewart Talent.

The 14 experts speaking at the main workshop part of the day include Chicago’s McgarryBowen’s senior business manager Kiri Powell; casting director David R. Lewis; the ever-busy VO actor Pete Stacker; NBC’s Jay Wadhwa, manager, creative services and the station’s entertainment reporter LeeAnn Trotter and Sparks.

NOW THAT “BOSS,” darker and more gripping, bowed Aug. 17 for a 10-episode second season, the other Chicago-shot shows will quickly follow.  On Sept. 17 Fox kicks off “The Mob Doctor;” NBC’s “Chicago Fire” begins on Oct. 10 and MTV’s “Underemployed” rounds out the quartet starting Oct. 16. 

Now the trick is to assure their long stay here, ratings willing, and continue the strategy of selling other TV series on the great value of our competitive resources.

NAPERVILLE-BASED RHEA + KAISER ANNOUNCED CREATIVE CHANGES as the full service and PR agency continues to expand at a rapid clip.  Award-winning Jim Myers, a 26-year R+K veteran, was promoted to creative director and will be the creative lead on the agency’s Bayer BIO and Selective Herbicide brands, Novus International and Sandvik accounts.

Returning to R&H after an absence of a dozen years absence is creative director Scott Pettit, who’d been VP/CD of Demi & Cooper Advertising.  He is the lead on nonprofit clients and some of agriculture accounts.  And copywriter Mark Gaspar has been added to the staff.  Previously he freelanced as a copywriter for Taproot Foundation, Acapella Media and R/West.

NEW BUSINESS for a local agency is always a pleasant announcement.  To wit: Ogilvy Chicago was named creative agency of record for Beam, Inc.’s Pinnacle Vodka, the fourth largest imported vodka brand in the US and cited as the fastest growing in 2011.  Creative plans include TV, digital, print and marketing.  Deerfield-based Beam acquired the brand in May. 

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