Kraft Heinz to use one non-local production house

IN TUESDAY’S COLUMN I cheerfully wrote that it was good news for local production companies that Kraft Heinz’ forthcoming new agency would not be handling production, which will be outsourced to production houses.

I was very wrong, according to an informed ad professional.

“This is really bad news,” they emailed. “This is an end of an era for the production community who have called Kraft a client for so many years.”

“Kraft Heinz will be working with ONE production company and it won’t be in Chicago. The plan is to consolidate all production in one place and I believe it is Hogarth,” this person said.

“They are the only ones in that space and already working that way with Nestle.” 

London headquartered Hogarth Worldwide is a WPP-owned global company with offices in New York and has joint ventures with Grey London and Ogilvy, JWT and RKCR Y&R in the U.S.   


“As for the search for a new Kraft Heinz agency,” the ad pro said, “I think the RFP is for looks only and comparison metrics.  The plan is to consolidate all production in one place. Unless the agencies are agreeing to give up production, they will be out.”

THE CINESPACE FAMILY is honoring the life and memory of its founder, the late Nikolaos “Nick” Mirkopoulos, by naming the block at Rockwell at 16th in his honor, Thursday, Oct. 22.

Scheduled to lead the ceremony are Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, Aldermen Jason Ervin (D-24) and Michael Scott D-28); other city officials are expected.  Production on “Chicago Fire” will cease for 10 minutes so its cast and crew may attend the ceremony.

COMMON’S CHICAGO-SET SHOWTIME PILOT, a coming-of-age, hourlong drama, titled for now “The Chicago Project,” will film Oct. 13-30 at Cinespace.  The pilot revolves around a young African American male for whom just growing up can be a matter of life or death.

Chicago native and Grammy and Oscar-winning Common is executive producer, with Clark Johnson (“Homeland”) who is also directing, and Aaron Kaplan (“Secrets and Lies”). Concept and screenplay by Lena Waithe (“Dear White People.”

Cast includes Aisha Hinds (“Under The Dome”), Tequan Richmond (“Everybody Hates Chris”), Alex Henderson, Olivia Dawson  (both “Empire”), Sierra McClain (‘House of Payne”), and Jason Weaver (“The Ladykillers”).

ANOTHER DISTINGUISHED HONOR FOR LAURENS GRANT is the Film Producer of the Year Award from African American Women in Cinema, to be presented to the Chicago native filmmaker Friday Oct. 9 in New York. 

Grant is the producer of the new, highly-acclaimed feature doc, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” for PBS and now going into theatrical release.  The Peabody and Emmy winning filmmaker is the daughter of producer Nate Grant.

THIS BEING OCTOBER, the Craft Beer Symposium presented by Elevated Films Chicago Thursday, Oct. 8 at Whole Foods in Lincoln Park is very much in order. For the $5 donation, you can sample more than 30 beers, spirits and wines, and take home a commemorative three ounce tasting glass.

The 5-8 p.m. event also features a DJ and some food samples.  The first 100 guests to arrive will receive an event goody bag.

WRITERS CAN LEARN how to “Write your Memoir in 6 Easy Steps” Saturday, Oct. 10 from in-demand creative writing instructor and author Sue Roupp.  In addition to writing memoir, Roupp will teach how to write non-fiction, short stories and crime mystery, thrillers, sci-fi and horror.

Presented by Linda Frothingham’s ChicagoHollywood at VentureShot, 744 N. Wells St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets, $50, including lunch, may be purchased here. 

ReelChicago readers, when you sign up use promo code ReelChi20 for a 20% discount on the workshop.

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