Sandra Gordon divides her time between
freelance production and presiding over the IPA

WHO SHE IS: A freelace producer and postproducer of commercials and long-form films for 15 years, Sandra Gordon is president of the volunteer Illinois Production Alliance.

As IPA president, Gordon’s goal is to grow and promote the market, and to inform filmmakers about the Illinois filmmakers tax incentives. “The IPA was responsible for their enactment,” she says.

PROS OF FREELANCING: “It’s not a mundane, everyday job. There’s constant variety in the type of work you do and people you deal with.”

CONS: “The stress of not being able to predict the future … if you’re going to work the next day.”

You have to go with the flow and understand things may not necessarily work out the way you planned them in your head.”

CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Getting her philantropic TV reality show ready for market. She produced Macy’s spots for a New York editing house earlier this year and has gigs lined up for the New Year.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: “I was standing on the corner of Lincoln and Roscoe on a Friday night when the bars were closing. I was working on John Hughes’ ?Baby’s Night Out,’ with no sleep for 32 hours, trying to lock down traffic and stop a clearly inebriated woman who was crossing the street from throwing up on my shoes.”

BIG BREAK: “Every time my career path takes a new twist, it could be my next big break,” she says. The job she had with World Cup Soccer as entertainment and ceremonies manager “got me into a whole new line of work.”

HEADACHES: “Managing a lot of different personalities on the set. It’s a definite challenge to keep everyone happy while you keep the project moving along.”

KEY TO SUCCESS: “I like to learn and try new things. I keep a positive attitude and let all life experiences bring a smile to my face.”

BACKSTORY: A North Shore native, Gordon earned a BA in TV and radio and a minor in Spanish from Ithaca College. Her career kicked off as locations assistant on the feature “Rudy.”

The Chicago World Soccer job led to her producing opening and closing ceremonies for the Para Olympic Games in Atlanta in ’96. In L.A. she was production coordinator/associate producer for KCOP’s Specials department, winning an Emmy in the process.

Back in Chicago in 1998, Gordon was assistant production coordinator on the “Early Edition” TV series and from there moved to The Whitehouse as a postproducer on all Sears/Y&R and international McDonald’s/DDB campaigns.

ON THE SIDE: “I always have something going on as a side projects. I’ve written two books about industry jobs. I spent a lot of time developing my reality TV show.

WHAT CHICAGO COULD USE: “A group spirit pulling together to find new ways for Chicago to thrive as an production center.”

WORDS OF ADVICE: “Don’t make your entire life about work and let the world pass you by.”

Sandra Gordon’s Email is