REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 08/30/04

FEATURE IN THE WORKS. Not only is Jerry Rose’s Total Living Network staff of 70 now ensconced in new $18 million Aurora headquarters, but Rose and his company, Christian Communications, are financing part of the $2.6 million feature, “The Visitation,” based on popular author Frank Peretti’s Christian-themed book. Filming starts in September in L.A.

A previous Rose-backed film based on Perettti’s “The Hangman’s Curse,” with David Keith and Mel Harris, went almost straight to video where Christian movies seem to find a wider market than in theatrical release.

McBLAINE FILES BANKRUPTCY. Beset by overwhelming personal and financial difficulties, it came as no surprise when McBlaine & Associates’ owner Mary Poplawski declared bankruptcy and shuttered the 20-year old company founded by her mother, the late Pat McBlaine. Corporate clients were referred to new agency, Get into the Act, Inc., that’s in possession of McBlaine’s talent files. The new agency’s registered agent is Russ Stewart, who is also listed as attorney for debtor on McBlaine’s bankruptcy filing.

MIDWEST MEDIA EXPANDS. Midwest Media Group has branched out to offer “more complete solutions,” said partner John Connolly, by becoming a reseller of Panasonic equipment (excepting the Varicam), Ikegami and Snell and Wilcox. Midwest recently added Pete DeBenny from Sony as director of broadcast sales and new business development.

MAYFLY’S GRAND OPENING. New music and digital arts house Mayfly holds an open house Sept. 22 at the Improv Kitchen, 3419 N. Clark, to introduce you to its artists and producers. Open bar from 6 to 8 p.m., plus gourmet hors d’oeuvres, video art and live DJs.

HOST SOUGHT. Producer Ted Kay’s TMK Productions of Northfield must wrap its hourlong Alzheimer’s doc by November to deliver to American Public Television of Boston for a national PBS review for potential airing. If greenlighted, the doc could air nationally by April 2005. Still missing is an internationally-known celebrity to serve as on-camera host. Working title is “Alzheimer’s Disease & Diversity: A Multicultural View.”

IN-HOUSE EDITORS ASSOCIATION. Ad agency in-house editing facilities are forming a national trade association. Purposes are to address concerns, share information and raise industry awareness that they have become a significant creative force. More than 55 agencies have expressed interest in becoming part of the as yet unnamed organization, according to Michael Aaron, supervising editorial producer of The Assembly Line, the in-house editorial arm of Minneapolis-based Fallon.

FREELANCE NEED STILL HOT. Creative services staffing expert Heather Holahan says that although her H2 Agency business “is great, the economy is still slow. Companies that are still skittish about paying fulltime salaries are bringing in freelancers.” H2 supplies agencies with designers, production artists, photo researchers and art buyers. H2’s staff of five moved to new offices at 70 W. Madison; phone is 312/427-0192.

MOBIUS’ NEW SYSTEM. The Mobius Advertising Awards is using Beam TV, an online entry management system, to simplify the entry process and “create TV and radio quality that judges anywhere in the world can review,” said Lee Gluckman, chairman of the 34-year old international competition. Deadline for the 2004 competition is Oct. 1. A new category is Online Advertising. See