Spot production up 70% over 2002

If it feels to you like the spot business has picked up over last year, you’re absolutely right.

The Chicago Film Office, which keeps track of these things, reports a whopping 70% increase in the number of commercials shot here to date (as of Aug. 13).

CFO noted 61 commercial projects have filmed in the city, representing 104 shooting days to date. Compare that to last year’s 42 projects and 74 shooting days.

Among recent commercials produced:

Artisan of L.A. shot an Infinity car commercial with 250 extras smack dab in the middle of LaSalle and Washington Sts. ? on a Saturday and Sunday. No speaking parts, just those 250 people in a busy downtown location, reported the Chicago Film Office.

Dennis Manarchy directed four commercials for Minneapolis Heartland health care, via Milwaukee agency BVK. I-Cubed’s Arturo, who’s editing them, called them “ground-breaking” for the field.

Backyard Productions’ Kevin Smith directed a very big four-spot package for Earthlink. Tenner Paskal Rudnicke booked 28 principals and 80 extras for the package.

Redna Productions of Cincinnati tapped Rino Liberatore, one of the Hyde Park agency group, to freelance as a director on a P&G Mr. Clean spot in Cincinnati.

Also: Film & Tape Works’ Adam Marton directed a Sargento Cheese spot at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, edited by Barry Mainwood at Mainly Editing in Milwaukee… Chris Jones directed three spots for the Bulls new “History in the Making” campaign.

Extra: The big Anita Dee charter boat, docking behind McCormick Place, was the set for an R. Kelly music video that featured a large cast of musicians, dancers and extras cast by Jackie Conard.