WARNER BROS. SETS MAJOR FEATURE IN CHICAGO. A remake of a Korean movie now called “Il Mare” (“The Sea”) will start shooting in mid-March and is expected to be here for four months. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves star; Argentinean Alejandro Agresti directs. Location is a house presently being built on a lake in the Forest Preserves.
Chicago native David Auburn (“Proof”) scripted the story for Chicago. Production designer is Matthew Crowley. Production headquarters are located in the Sofitel Hotel.
“Lana’s Rain” writer/director Michael Ojeda celebrated the completion of his indie feature by moving to L.A. He’s also celebrating the DVD release of “Lana’s Rain” (Image, $19.99), marking the culmination of eight years of work.
A spot that WON’T be aired during the Super Bowl is a Bud Light/DDB spot poking fun at last year’s wardrobe malfunction. The decision came after Fox and Anheuser-Busch execs met to discuss the potential backlash. The spot: A man, backstage at last year’s half time show, uses Jackson’s dress, hanging over a chair, to get a better grip opening his bottle of Bud Light. This apparently damages the dress. Chances are, the spot will end up on the Web anyway.
JWT’s new executive producer is Harvey Lewis, who will oversee production on Nestle, Blockbuster, Stouffer’s Salton and Oscar Mayer. He was broadcast director with The Richards Group of Dallas before returning to Chicago and freelancing on major national commercials. He reports to broadcast chief Tony Wallace.
Emmy-winner Kevin McGurn joined Foundation Post editors James Lipetzky, Steve Morrisson and Devin Bousquet after nearly 15 years with Avenue. Vivian Craig is back in the post business as Foundation Post’s executive producer, after a decade at Red Car. Producers are Samantha Hart and Lori Abels.
Congratulations to Chicago natives John Logan and Virginia Madsen for their exciting Academy Award nominations. Logan is, of course, the celebrated screenwriter of “The Aviator,” who moved from Evanston to L.A. last year. Actress Madsen is honored for best supporting actress for “Sideways.” Another Chicago connection: Tom Rosenberg’s Lakeshore Entertainment produced best picture nominee “Million Dollar Baby.”
Starting Feb. 1, Ch. 11 will air a yearlong “Chicago Matters” series revolving around how money affects individuals, families and communities in and around Chicago. The 15th annual series was initiated and funded by the Chicago Community Trust.
Actor and musical star Ben Vereen, in town for Columbia College’s Conversations in the Arts, is slated to join dance lovers at the college’s Jazz-A-Long Community Dance Event. Takes place Feb. 10 at the Chicago Hilton’s Normandie Lounge (Grand Staircase).
Rich Stoddart, Leo Burnett USA’s new president, is embarking on what could be a six to 12 month search for new chief creative officer in Chicago. This person will succeed long-time CCO Cheryl Berman, who relinquishes day-to-day control over the creative work. She remains as Burnett North America board chairman.
Chicago’s Academy Award Party on Feb. 27 rolls out the red carpet at Park West, where you can see the TV presentations on four giant screens and 24 monitors. LeeAnn Trotter, host of “Metromix: The TV Show” emcees the evening, which includes contests and raffles all night long. Sponsors are the Chicago International Film Festival, the Tribune’s Metromix and Red Eye. Proceeds benefit the festival. Buy tickets, $30-$50 online at www.chicagofilmfestival.com.
Capps Digital, for the third consecutive year, was named “best of the best” in the 2004 Best Workplaces in America, by the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation.
FCB named Jenifer Lerman broadcast production manager. She was formerly a field producer for E! Entertainment.
On the rep beat Sandwick Films signed Nikki Weiss & Co. … Hilary Reps adds MOO Studios … Reelize selling Curious Pictures, all for Midwest sales … Vagabond Audio is repped by Jack Lewis & Associates.
Tom Burrell was elected to the AAF’s Advertising Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor. Now chairman emeritus of Burrell Communications Group, he founded one of Chicago’s first, and ultimately biggest and most successful, urban-targeted agencies.