REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 11/11/03

BURRELL NAMES BROADCAST HEAD. Burrell promoted Debbie Amsden to director of broadcast production, a position vacant since Sharon Kimbrough left the company earlier this year. “With production getting busier, we needed someone in that position,” said creative chief Mike Faems. Amsden leads a department of five producers and an associate producer.

YOUMANS SHOOTS IN EUROPE. DDB hired director/cameraman Bill Youmans to shoot a week of digibeta interviews and scenes in London, Dusseldorf and Cologne for a status report presentation to stockholders of world-wide Emerson Electric. He was accompanied by DDB’s GCD Marcia Iacobucci and Emerson’s marketing chief Kathy Buttonbell. Youmans and director/shooter Bob Richter Sr., leading another crew, shot in U.S. locations.

TRAVELLER JONES’ SECOND FEATURE. No sooner did filmmakers John Digles and Davidson Cole sell “Design” to television, they embarked on their second feature, “Angels,” where the afterlife is a business run by an oppressive corporation. Casting is by L.A. casting director Pam Dixon (“The Company,” “Cookie’s Fortune,” “The Mask of Zorro”). Production slated for mid-2004. Digles and Cole are represented by ICM.

CHICAGO FILM AT MILWAUKEE. Bob Hercules’ short, “The Last Frontier” screens Nov. 12 at the First Milwaukee International Film Festival as part of its Midwest Short series. Shot on 24P, “Frontier” is a satire of the commercialization of our culture where, in the near future, homeless people are forced to ‘sell’ their forehead space for corporate advertising. Actors were William Dick, William Norris and Ernest Perry, Jr.; Keith Walker was DP. The Festival, showcasing indie films, runs through Nov. 16. E

NEW STEWART TALENT SET UP. With the death of Stewart Talent director Maureen Brookman (see obituary), the talent agency has a “different set-up,” said agent Nancy Kidder. “We’re all working as a team, each one of us with a specialty, but without a director. Maureen was irreplacable.”

The team of four consists of Todd Turino, film/TV, who returned to Stewart from Nashville when Mrs. Brookman was stricken; Sam Samuelson, musical theatre; Jenny Wilson, children and Kidder, industrials.

EASTMAN KODAK bought LaserPacific Media Corp. a facility known for digital engineering innovations in film-originated entertainment, for $30.5 million. LaserPacific will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kodak, and become a part of the company’s Entertainment Imaging services group.

SOFTIMAGE cut the price of Softimage/XSI Essentials, a 3D nonlinear production environment, by 50% until Dec. 22. Upgrades to the latest version are free when purchasing 12 months of maintenance (no back maintenance charges apply). See http://www.softimage.com/promo.

EXPOSE YOURSELF is a contest sponsored by Alias Systems for digital artists who use Alias SketchBook Pro, from now through Feb. 13, 2004. Artists, illustrators, and designers can submit their sketches to www.sketchbookpro.com/contest.

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