THE REEL THING: News & Notes

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE? Just a year ago this month Brooke English and Lee Litis with great flourish announced their Dreamation Studio was moving into a huge Buffalo Grove facility to produce massive amounts of animated features and TV with an anticipated staff of 100.

In November 2004 they also staged the wildly successful Cineme animation film festival with bigger plans for 2005. It looked like they were here to stay.

Now it appears Dreamation and Cineme are in the wind. No phone numbers anywhere. Thinking the partners returned to L.A. the Reel found two Dreamations there, but neither the one from Chicago. If you know what happened to Dreamation/Cineme, please Email Ruth@ReelChicago.com and end the mystery of the missing film company.

KUDOS TO JACK KLUES, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, the winner of the 2005 American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to advertising. Klues receives the award at a special event hosted by the Chicago Advertising Federation, Aug. 10 at Galleria Marchetti.

DEANNA SHOSS is the new president/CEO of the League of Chicago Theatres. She succeeds the very able Marj Halperin who leaves the League stronger than ever after eight years at the non-profit collective. Shoss, who assumes her new position July 5, leaves her job as director of promotions at the Chicago Dept. of Aviation.

HAPPY ENDINGS for Wisconsin Film Office stalwarts Mary Idso and Scott Thom as the 19-year old Tourism division fades to black June 30. Idso, a 14-year WIF veteran, joined the J.F. Friedrick Conference Center on the UW campus in Madison in the events area. Scott Thom moves to Milwaukee to attend UW there to obtain the one last credit he needs for a film degree. His wife returns to the corporate world and Thom will stay home with their year-old baby for a year. Meanwhile, the successor film organization holds a meeting in Green Bay later this month.

WHEN COLDPLAY’S NEW ALBUM “X&Y” was released June 7, iTunes offered a first — a bonus video interview with the group as a downloadable extra. Thirdwave Productions commissioned FCP editor George Patay to construct the piece. At the June 22 Chicago Final Cut Pro Group’s meetng, Patay will tell the editing process to create that piece. There’s more: Presentations from hardware manufacturer LaCie and software “plug-in” manufacturer GenArts.

A NEW ADDRESS for the Chicago Film Office — 66 E. Randolph St., fourth floor, located across the street from the Cultural Center. Phone, 312/744-6415, remains the same. CFO had been located at 1 N. LaSalle for about 15 years.

UNION LEADERS and IFO director Brenda Sexton head for L.A. to host a June 22 breakfast to tell producers the details of the improved wage tax incentive. The breakfast is underwritten by the Four Seasons Chicago and Los Angeles, Teamsters Local 714, Studio Mechanics Local 476 and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

ACCOUNTS IN REVIEW. The good thing about the new business pitches for a total of $30 million in business is that the accounts would remain in Chicago. Pitching Harris Banks $10 million account are incumbent Euro RSCG, Element 79, O&M, Cramer/Krasselt and Two by Four. Vying for Northwestern Mutuals $20 million account at JWT are BBDO, Downtown Partners, Cramer/Krasselt and Hoffman York.

FOX TV’S “PRISON BREAK” the first TV series to film in Chicago in five years (“What About Joan,” with Joan Cusack was the last) has settled in at Chicago Studio City and shoots from June 21 to November. It is expected to air in late August.

Dominic Purcell plays a death row inmate who professes his innocence and his engineer brother, Wentworth Miller, gets placed in the prison to orchestrate a plan to help him escape. The series charts the prison break over the course of a season. Brett Rattner is executive producer, Gary Brown is producer. Chicago Studio City is now helmed by CSC owner’s son John Crededio Jr. aka J.C. John Sr. and son Joe own and operate the popular Grotto restaurant in Newberry Plaza.

NEW IPA BOARD MEMBERS serving from now until June 30, 2006 are: Tom Busch, John Digles, Tom Duff, Mark Egmon, Sally Fletcher, Sandy Gordon, Cliff Grant, Mark Hogan, Bob Hudgins, Jennifer Jobst, Sharon King, Wayne Kubacki, Dan Moore, Daniel Nearing, Apphia Parsons, Marty Rhomberg, Bruce Sheridan, Scott Smith, Margaret Thomas, Eileen Willenborg and Kit Woods.

JEREMY PIVEN comes to town July 15 for a sneak preview of an upcoming episode of “Entourage,” now in its second season on HBO, at the Leg Room. Piven, an Evanstonian, is a member of the Piven theatre family and school.

A NATIONAL DAYTIME EMMY was awarded to Bunin-Murray, the L.A. company that produced the first season of reality show “Starting Over” in Chicago, informs Pat Loftus. She worked on the show along with 10 producers, and five crews working six days a week, ten hours a day. The show moved to L.A. for succeeding seasons.

ARU CLIENTS can win music download iPod Shuffles, worth $100, by participating in a weekly drawing from now through Labor Day. Simple rules: Ad agency clients working in the studio fill out a ballot. No limit on the number of ballots. Drawings on Friday afternoons. Credit ARU engineer Mark Zeboski with the idea. For details, see www.aruchicago.com.

DATELINE NEW YORK. The Big Apple’s Made in NY incentive program, a 15% tax credit and 1% marketing credit, has attracted more than $300 million in new production business since January. In total, the new productions will employ at least 6,000 New Yorkers.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT. In less than five years, consumers will be spending $60 billion annually on DVR-like devices, satellite radio, iPods and mobile technology driving personalized media outside of the home.

One-fifth of all consumer spending will be on new content access and distribution technologies now in their early stages of growth, according to Bernstein Research.

Share your news with The Reel’s big readership in Chicago and nationally. Send info Ruth@ReelChicago.com. Photos always welcome, too.

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