REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 1/16/04

HIGH POWERED COO TO DK. New COO at Digital Kitchen is Bruce Hanson, formerly in sales and business development at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and considered a very visible high-tech expert. Hanson will be responsible for the business side of this very creative company, in charge of financial, accounting, legal, marketing and strategic alliances.

Coming from an entrepreneurial and operations background, Hanson said he’s looking forward to the challenges of helping a rapidly-growing business develop the proper balance of structure and business discipline while allowing enormous creativity to continue fueling our growth.

SPOTTED AND MORE. Fletcher sent Mike Sharon and a HUGE package of HD cameras and accessories package to Panama, where an Artisan feature film, “Walk the Trial” is being made … Michael Jordan was on Studio City’s stage wrapping a documentary that was three years in the works. CSC/ VP Ron DeRosa estimates that of the 150 Jordan spots, 100 were shot at Studio City …

Three weeks of still another “Batman” film will take place here… Washington production company Squire Knapp Dunn shot new TV spots for Democratic senatorial candidate Blair Hull at Essanay … Crossroads’ spot for Famous Footwear/Hiebing Media Group was directed by Brandon Dickerson of L.A.

QUESTION FOR YA ? What’s the company or individual behind the realtor looking for a large office/studio complex to buy/rent? Specs included a 60×80 stage. When told no stages that size existed outside of Studio City, the realtor cryptically said they found a couple of stages about to be vacated. Hmmm. Meanwhile, after having been stalled for a couple of years, Center City Studios is moving ahead with its ambitious plans for a TV studio complex.

A CHICAGOAN OF THE YEAR. That’s Pepe Vargas, founder/executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, so named by Chicago Tribune arts writers. Vargas runs the Latino Film Festival ? celebrating its 20th birthday this year ? and is starting a $50 million fundraising campaign for a new ILCC home, currently occupying modest offices at Columbia College.