R/GA Chicago brings aboard two A-list creatives

TWO TOP AWARD-WINNING CREATIVES, Ken Erke and Matt Marcus, joined the Chicago office of R/GA, called advertising’s most creative interactive agency, as executive creative directors to help bolster the agency’s work out of Chicago.

R/GA Chicago currently has 13 employees and looks to grow to upwards of 30 by the end of the year.

Previously, Erke was an EVP/CCC at Y&R and crafted award-winning integrated campaigns for Sears, Craftsman and Die Hard, among others, and launched the Miller Genuine Draft “MGD 64” campaign. Among his awards are five Cannes gold and silver Lions. Before that, as VP/group CD at Cramer/Krasselt, Erke helped relaunch Corona Light.

Marcus was the managing principal of Segue Strategy on premiere brands before spending the last two years as an independent consultant delivery global ebusiness strategies for many multiple industries.

ODD MACHINE, the new production/post studio, signed Mary Ida Bonadio for exclusive commercial representation in the Midwest, East Coast and Southwest. “Mary Ida brings a wealth of experience in business development and marketing, and helping up-and-coming companies like Odd Machine evolve,” comments Odd Machine executive producer Tom Leonard.

BMEDIA IS BRANCHING OUT to rentals of its digital HD cameras and other equipment and will open a Florida office managed by account executive Jim Musial.

In addition to several camera packages, including the Red and Canon D5, bmedia rents video decks, recorders, broadcast monitors and an SD-HD converter, plus Final Cut Pro, the DaVinci Resolve System and an Avid Nitro Suite.

Musial recently moved to Florida where bmedia will open a Palm Beach office next year, in addition to the company’s East Dundee studio, which has a staff of nine, in East Dundee.

Meanwhile, bmedia digital entertainment company partner Carl Amari is planning to produce a major, $80 million feature, tentatively titled “WireMan,” in Chicago early next year. The rights to Amari’s screenplay, based on true childhood events, were acquired by Warner Bros. and Clint Eastwood in 2009.

DAUFFENBACH CAMERA’S 3D launch party Oct. 25 at 6 to 9 p.m. at 320 N. Damen, will serve up refreshments, 3D footage screenings and a live 3D demo.

“ROGER EBERT PRESENTS AT THE MOVIES” is taping at Ch. 11 studios, returning to its production roots of 30 years ago, with a staff that has lengthy ties to Ebert’s previous shows. Producer/director Don Dupree returns to direct after 15 years with “Siskel & Ebert at the Movies” and continuing with Disney until two years ago.

Associate producer Sonia Evans was VP/development at children’s programming Spicerack Productions. David Plummer, who began his professional career as a college intern with Siskel & Ebert and rose to executive producer of “At the Movies,” serves as consultant. Co-executive producers are Chaz and Roger Ebert; Chaz Ebert, producer.

The show premieres Jan. 21 at 8:30 p.m. on presenting station Ch. 11 and will be distributed by American Public Television to PBS stations.

ADMAN TOM UNGER of the Unger Group produced a spot called “The Father of Modern Advertising,” about agency pioneer Albert D. Lasker, to promote the Oct. 26 one night marketing symposium hosted by Northwestern University’s Medill IMC program.

Seven hundred students, faculty and communications professionals are expected to attend. Many issues facing advertising’s role will be discussed by industry experts sharing insights about market success down the line.

FYI: Lasker was founder of Lord & Thomas, which in the 1940s transformed into Foote, Cone & Belding whose successor is Draftfcb.

“T3” PRODUCERS WERE CLEARED by Indiana OSHA investigators of wrongdoing in the Sept. 1 accident that left 24-year old extra Gabriella Cedillo paralyzed on her left side and permanently brain-damaged.

OSHA said it believed the accident occurred “due to a failure of a weld connecting a car to a two cable. The weld was made by a certified welder and all necessary precautions were taken. Thus, no citations or fines will be issued.”

Lawyers on behalf of Cedillo’s family filed a lawsuit against Paramount Studios claiming neglect.

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY JERRY GLOVER will be honored at the Lawyers for the Creative Arts luncheon Oct. 28, receiving this year’s Thomas R. Leavens Award. He is a partner in the law firm of Leavens, Strand and Glover, LLC. Leavens, for whom the award is named, was LCA’s first director in the ?80s.

Former SAG/AFTRA executive Kit Woods will receive LCA’s Distinguished Service to the Arts Award, for her years of dedication to union actors and for all aspects of the visual media industry in Chicago.

The luncheon is being held at the Palmer House; tickets are $125.