THE REEL THING: News & Notes

HERE’S HOW IT SHAKES DOWN. The IFO’s Joe Amari and Todd Lizak, assisted by intern Lisa Banks, will share some of the duties handled by deputy director Bob Hudgins who exited the film office last month. Gone, however, is state-provided location scouting — another fallout from Hudgins’ departure. Now an IFO representative will ride with production companies while they decide if they’ll film here. Beyond that, the out-of-towners will have to hire freelance location scouts to finalize the deals.

NEWEST IFO STAFFER is Marian Kelly who moved over from Tourism to field questions about the wage tax credit. Queries about the tax credit constituted about half the calls Bob Hudgins handled. Kelly is taking various film courses to shore up her understanding of the business.

SCOTT SMITH, the advertising creative/filmmaker who lost the 2005 Project Greenlight gig by a hair, is back in the competition game. He’s one of 12 nominees for the TriggerStreet.com/Budweiser’s Filmmaker Discovery Award. Smith will be flown to New York’s Tribeca Film Festival for the April 28 awards ceremony. Smith’s 3-minute entry, “Ten,” is about a man who trespasses all Ten Commandments in a matter of minutes.

RUSS TUTTEROW is the perfect choice for the League of Chicago Theatre’s 2005 Artistic Leadership Award to be presented May 9. Tutterow has had a long and distinguished career in Chicago theatres and since 1986 has been artistic director of Chicago Dramatists.

MONICA DOOLEY is Plunkett Furniture’s new advertising manger. She’d freelanced for Plunkett and when the former ad manager resigned, she was the logical replacement. Dooley had been a senior producer for Eicoff for 10 years until 2000, when she went freelance. JWT was her biggest freelance client. And she spent a year producing the photo shoots for American Crew, MOP and DiFi hair product ads. Call Dooley at 312/217-5448.

IT WAS A FULL HOUSE at IFP’s “Get Money” day of lectures and panels last Saturday. All 96 seats at Columbia College’s theatre were filled as filmmakers heard from producers who’ve been in the trenches seeking funding for their indie films. Coming up in the popular Producer’s Workshop series: Production, April 30; Postproduction, May 14; Distribution, May 21. A bargain at $25 a session. Call IFP at 312/235-0161 for sign-up.

COMMUNITY FILM WORKSHOP that’s trained hundreds of filmmakers in its 32 years, is now permanently settled at Kennedy King College after a several years of seeking a new address. And it’s still run by Margaret Caples who’s been at CFC practically from the start. CFC and IPA will host a minority seminar April 27 called “Getting into the Movie Business” at Kennedy King. Call 773/994-3019.

O’CONNOR CASTING is casting “Bridezilla” for a second round of eight hourlong shows. September Productions of L.A. will tape Chicago brides being married from now through June 15. Families and friends of the happy couple are also being sought. Show airs on Women’s Entertainment.

FILMMAKERS HASKELL WEXLER, Mike Gray, Edward O. Bland and Rick Prelinger will be among the guest speakers at the Chicago Film Archives fundraiser May 13 at the Cultural Center. Funds will be used to acquire, preserve and exhibit films that express Chicago’s history. Tickets, $100, include food, drinks, live music and films. Call 773/478-3799; or see www.chicagofilmarchives.org.

FYI ? L.A. Feature filmmaker Matt Cooper and his brother David Cooper bought The Post Group-Hollywood via a stock deal for an undisclosed price. Former co-owner/chairman Fred Rheinstein remains with the company as vice chairman. The Post Group, founded in 1974, was one of the largest, independently-owned post companies in L.A. The Coopers also own Lightning Media, Vault Films and have a stake in iO Film.

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