REELSCREEN: News & Notes 1/7/04

MARTIN ON HIS OWN. Ace editor Alarick Martin amicably departed Spots BME after three-and-a- half years to work as an independent editor. “It was time to move on,” he said. “I’m going to freelance in the short run and see how it goes,” he said, noting he is positioning his talents nationally. Up first is a package of Chrysler/BBDO spots via STS Editorial in Southfield, Michigan, with which he has a work and representation arrangement. Martin is no stranger to the Detroit market; he edited for Griot Editorial for several years. Reach him at 312/909-3876.

EAST COMES WEST FOR OPENERS. In a delicious switcheroo, New York Festivals came knocking on FLUX’ door seeking a new filmic approach to open its prestigious advertising festival. “They saw our reel on our Web site and said they were looking for someone new and we apparently filled the bill,” said FLUX producer Jamey Kitchens. Under the creative directorship of Mike Czerniuk, the opener, about 60- seconds in length, sets the mood for the Jan. 26-30 show, to be held at the Hudson Theatre, with festivities following at the Millenium Broadway Hotel.

LOCAL SLAMDANCE ENTRY. Screening in Slamdance’s main competition is the indie feature produced by Leigh Jones of Bucktown Productions. “Nightingale in a Music Box” is a mind-teasing thriller which follows special agent Burke (Kelley Hazen) as she attempts to solve a complicated case of a brainwashed woman. Screenings: Jan. 18 and 20 at the Treasure Mountain Inn, the official home of Slamdance in Park City, Utah.

CLASSIC DiMEO Five commercials produced by DiMeo & Co. for the Bulls (three) and the White Sox (two) took their places in the Classic Telly Awards’ best spots of the past 25 years. The Telly Awards were founded in 1980 to showcase outstanding non-network and cable commercials.

ON THE DOC FRONT. Towers Productions continues to produce “Storm Stories,” half-hour docs for the Weather Channel that air five days a week ? 10 times weekly with repeats ? plus specials. Shooting on mini-DVcam, the series centers on the survivors of natural weather disasters, via interviews, reenactments and archival footage. Supervising editor Ken Rowe (also “American Justice”) usually travels with a three- person crew to storm sites. (See Classifieds for three Towers job openings.)

RAPPING FOR GATORADE LL Cool J raps for Gatorade/Element 79 in a spot that broke during college football bowl games on New Year’s Day and is expected to score again during the Super Bowl. In the spot, LL Cool J raps about places where Gatorade can be enjoyed: “The Vet, the Met, the pit, the park, the lake, the Jake, the Bob.”

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