The punk rock filmmakers at Joe Losurdo and Chris Tillman’s Regressive Films – known for its fan-favorite doc, You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984 — have unfurled Buzzhaus Productions as the new banner for their commercial and corporate work.
Director/producer Losurdo and his wife, producer Tillman used Regressive Films for the past 10 years for their music documentary work. As their corporate production business increased over the past six or seven years, “We felt the Regressive name felt the name might turn off some commercial clients so we started Buzzhaus Productions,” Losurdo says.
Buzzhaus, their North Side-based full-service production company, specializes in corporate and retail web videos, with regular DPs Wes Tabayoyong and Chris Monaghan.
“With Buzzhaus, we’re more focused on the client’s needs and helping them with the direction they want to go in,” says Losurdo, who is also an editor and audio engineer.
“We actually like the challenge of making videos with higher production values and commercial appeal. But our collective experience doing independent films comes in handy when issues arise. We’re very good at thinking on our feet and creative problem solving.”
Buzzhaus recently shot a promotional video for a Chicago Sinfonietta fundraiser and they’re in prep on a spot for hearing aid manufacturer Beltone.
Current and past clients include Sears, Kenmore, LG, Electrolux, Cintas, United Airlines, LifeFitness, Black & Decker, Brylane Home, West Bend, and Chicago Metal
Under the Regressive Films label, Losurdo just shot a music video for indie rock super group Split Single, featuring members of Spoon, Bob Mould’s band, Superchunk, and Mountain Goats.
After four years in the works, their current narrative feature Sacrificial Youth, about a teen punk battling the campy forces of commercialization, premiered in April to a sold-out audience at the Chicago International Music & Movies Festival.
In October it will screen at the CBGB Music & Film Festival in New York and at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal, coincidentally within the same week.
They’re in production on their second feature doc, Wax Trax! Records: The Documentary, about the seminal Chicago industrial music label and record store.
It features interviews with musicians from the label’s roster, including members of Ministry, Front 242, and KMFDM, as well as Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, and Wax Trax staff. Julia Nash, daughter of late Wax Trax cofounder Jim Nash, is coproducing.
The subject matter wasn’t a stretch for Losurdo. For a decade earlier, he co-owned Hi-Fi Records, specializing in vinyl from Soul to Hardcore Punk, to Psych and Classical and pop genres inbetween.