Spring blooms with spot business

You can take this to the bank: Film business historically slows down before Easter and spikes thereafter. In fact, the second quarter of the year has begun with a bang for spotmakers.

Crossroads, for one, is enjoying the curve. It’s in the midst of two weeks of shooting for the ongoing Joan Cusack U.S. Cellular campaign for Doner USA, Detroit, resulting in five spots. Director is Jesse Peretz and DP is Tom Richmond of New York.

Both Essanay’s Wayne Kubaki and Schumacher Cameras’ Carole Schumacher have spotted the trend. Kubacki is seeing a shift in the usually predicable 75% out-of-town-to-25% locally-originated business. During the first quarter of 2003 just ended, he noted a shift towards more commercial business for Radar, Crossroads, Mr. Big, One World and X-Ray.

Schumacher noted that “our local clients are getting larger jobs and rentals are longer than before.” She cited Crossroads, John Komnenich’s White Sox job, Spoke’s shoot for Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Dennis Manarchy’s plum Illinois Tourism assignment.

Extra: The Chicago Film Office figured the city in 2002 hosted 436 shooting days vs. 540 the year before. Number of commercial shooting days in ’02 was 86, compared with 95 the year before. Considering how second quarter commercials are racing out of the gate, 2003’s numbers could exceed 2002.