TRADEMARK CONFLICT NOT FUNNY. Second City Television (SCTV) took umbrage over the SCTV acronym of the new Stand-Up Comedy Television cable channel and told the upstart channel to cease and desist. Second City’s Andrew Alexander claimed the trademark unequivocally belonged to Second City and the use of “SCTV” the TV show. Since Second City’s SCTV trademark lapsed in 1989, Stand-Up Comedy TV properly registered SCTV March 11, 2004 with the Patent & Trademark Office and as such, counterclaimed Joseph Fox the trademark belongs to them. Lawyers will battle over the trademark abandonment and usage issues.
THE (STAGE) RUMOR MILL. We hear there’s a group looking for backing to acquire a beautiful, multi-story former brewery at 18th and Canal. They would demolish the building and replace it with a multi-use studio, including stages. Because of its strategic location in the city’s wired terragrid, the building, to be called the Directors Studio, would feature high-speed data transmission. This group has been on the prowl for the past two years for a facility that would be eligible for city and state benefits.
OFF! IS ON. FCB senior producer Nathalyn McGinnis is producing an S.C. Johnson Off! spot featuring the return of Bill Clement, the former hockey player and present hockey broadcaster. FCB put Clement 15 years ago in an Off! spot. “That’s me 15 years ago” he says over scenes of the 1989 commercial. This time he’s in a tent Off-ing mosquitos. Dennis Manarchy directed at Essanay.
SCRIPT TO STAGE. Sergio Mims’ “Blood Creek” screenplay will get a Chicago ScriptWorks’ staged reading April 14 at the Hideout. Mims’ screenplay, a Western, is about a reformed outlaw who agrees to transport his son’s murderer to a town across dangerous territory. Performers are Dane Bolinger, Mike Bradecich, Larry Dahlke, Samuel J. Dyer, Joe Kennedy, John LaFlamboy, Aaron Mihelbergel, Brian Pollack, Lauren Ryland, Marty Shannon, Aaron Snook, Abby Strauss and Kris Vire. Producers are Vera Brooks and Andrea Klunder. Gregory Gerhard directs. (See Calendar for details.)
SWEET SALE. Clear Channel’s KISS FM (103.5) is currently running three spots featuring Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey that include Chicago scenes licensed from WTTW Broadcast Archives, reports licensing & business development director Barry O’Connell. See the spots on KISS FM website at www.kisschicago.com/nickandjess.html.
THREE’S THE CHARM. Writer/director Frank V. Ross starts shooting his DV romantic comedy/drama, “Quietly on By,” in June in Westmont. The self-financed, five-figure budget for the story about a family-run flower shop stars Anthony J. Baker, Lonnie Phillips and Denise Blank. This is Ross’ third feature. He is self-distributing his 2003 coming-of-age drama, “Oh! My Dear Desire,” through his Molehill Pictures. He directed the 2000 feature, “A Story in Life,” from a script by Baker. Ross’ phone is 630/963-5488.
A COOL MIX. VJDJ presents an April 19 program of worldwide films, video and new media shorts at Rodan, 1530 N. Milwaukee Av. from 6-10 p.m, screening at 7. Then, work from the program will be remixed live by VJ Delite Tchoi to beats spun by DJs Visudo and Liquid Squeeze, featuring special Euro mixes from Rotterdam artists DePlayer and WORM. One of the works is “Musicalidad” by local filmmaker Thomas Lee. The VJDJ group has taken the theme, Invisible Networks, as an experiment aimed at uncovering hidden connections and establishing new ones, by way of screening and live remixing. See www.vjdj.org.
DON’T FEEL BAD. Commercial production is not only soft here, it took a dive in L.A., dropping 8.8% in March, after a record February and five straight months of year-to-year gains. L.A.’s first quarter, however, is up 15% over 2003.