Optimus “spots” air on Comcast

THIRTY OPTIMUS “SPOTS”?not about the post house, but 30-second creative confections by all Optimus employees and not just editors?have been airing as commercials on Comcast.

Staffers were told they could work as individuals or in teams. The only rules were the length, conform to TV standards and end with the distinctive Optimus logo.

There was no overall name or theme for the exercise, said client services director Doug Manley, who with assistant editor Dustin LaForce, whipped out their “spot” in a couple of hours. Part of the fun “was getting a chance to see other aspects of the company we don’t get a chance to see,” Manley said.

Optimus bought time on Comcast, which is airing the house ads in rotation on select channels Bravo, Lifetime, BET and the Comedy Channel throughout May. The spots may air again this summer.

You can see the Optimus output on www.optitv.com.

“OUTDOOR INVESTIGATIONS” SERIES from Towers Productions has started airing on the Comcast-owned Outdoor Living Network (OLN). Hosts are Holly Morris, creator of the “Adventure Divas” PBS series and an avid outdoor sportswoman, and Jon Prescott

The 10-episode series runs from now through June 26, when it breaks for the Tour de France bicycle race, and resumes in August. The series has been in production since last November.

Towers supervising producer was Marsha Anderson who collaborated with Bob Schneiger, VP/production. Producers were Amy Martinez, David Garte, Chris Karnak, Scott Alexander, Donna Wilson and Alex Dawson.

GRAMMY WINNER KANYE WEST tells kids the advantages of staying in high school in 12-minute video produced by Superior Street now being shown at Chicago public high schools.

“Dropping Out: Life without a Diploma” tracks the experiences of several high school dropouts and the effect that leaving school has had on their lives. West is a graduate of Homewood/Flossmoor high school.

Maggie Magee produced, Paul Chilsen directed and John Anderson shot in DVcam and edited on an Avid. David Parsons of Flux Group designed the graphics.

FOR TELEMUNDO SPI-tv is re-doing the graphics “look” for the network’s local news shows. “This includes redoing the show open and creating all new name and locator banners and intros for weather, sports, topicals, logos, and backgrounds,” says SPI-tv producer Rogelio Gazga.

“WALGREEN’S HEALTH CORNER” returns for a second season of 26 shows shooting at The Production Center at WTTW. This season series is being produced by Milwaukee-based Marx Creative instead of Tom Engel and Mike Rafayko who had done such great job on the show’s first round. Curt Walbrandt is the show’s producer. Marx produces Walgreen’s in-house training.

AT POST EFFECTS Adam Rudman’s Spiffy Pictures is spending 10 weeks on the big stage shooting a 26-week children’s puppet series that will air on Noggin, a Nickelodeon channel.

SCHUMACHER CAMERA provided four 16mm cameras with full support for the Wilco band directed by famed fashion photographer Sam Jones of Tool of North America.

AT SPACE STAGE STUDIOS Thea Flaum is filming her “From Junky to Funky” series?26 half-hours for HGTV’s new DIY (Do It Yourself) network, now through September when the show airs. Dan Lombardi directs. <

FILM & TAPE WORKS STAGE has been booked practically non-stop, says producer Adam Marton, who also directed a two-camera HD, five-day in the studio and three in the field for Humana informercials. Greg Steinbrecher was the primary DP.

To accommodate the sharp spike in HD production, FTW added three HD Avid Unity systems. “It works like a computer network, enabling editors to work on one project in different suites,” said Marton.

Email news of your latest productions to Ruth@ReelChicago.com or to Edk@homesickblues.com. Photos always welcome, too.