ACTOR MATT DILLON will portray Leonard Chess, the legendary founder of the South Side Chicago blues label Chess Records, in Sony/BMG Film’s “Cadillac Records.”
Written and directed by Darnell Martin (“Prison Song”), filming of the 1950’s story is set to begin in January in New Jersey and Chicago. Jeffrey Wright also stars.
Chess, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, scoured the South, checking out the various blues scenes and selling records from the back of his Cadillac.
From the ’50s through the late ’60s, the Chess brothers’ modest recording studio at 2120 S. Michigan was the creative home of such artists as Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, Sonny Boy Williamson and Chuck Berry.
STARTING OUT THE NEW YEAR. b|media marketing changed its name to Fusion92 and expanded space, staff and equipment at a new location at 59 W. Seegers Rd., Arlington Heights. New phone, 847/839-8900.
A NEW AD AGENCY — the Chicago office of New York-based McGarryBowen — is the first Chicago outpost of a Manhattan agency in nearly 30 years.
Leading the new venture are Leo Burnett veterans Ned Crowley and Jon Moore, who left the agency earlier this year.
McGarryBowen opens with clients Chase, Kraft and Disney theme parks and resorts, and a full-time staff of five located at 549 W. Randolph.
STATE STREET PRODUCTIONS, the L.A.-based production company of Chicagoans George Tillman, Jr. and Bob Teitel, will produce a movie here about a Humboldt Park Latino family for six weeks in early February.
Stars are John Leguizamo and Bucktown native Freddy Rodriquez (“Six Feet Under”), who is also an executive producer, along with Filmmakers Club’s Reid Brody and others.
Director is Alfredo De Villa (“Adrift in Manhattan”).
SPONGE, the ad agency founded by former DDB creative veteran Paul Brourman, celebrates its first year in business. After 18 years with a large agency, Brourman opened his River West shop no permanent employees, a flexible roster of freelancing ad pros and the goal of working with clients at the earliest possible stage and at a deeper level.
“THE DARK KNIGHT,” the “Batman Begins” sequel that lit up Chicago’s film scene last summer, can be glimpsed at the Navy Pier IMAX theatre.
The 6-minute prologue introduces Heath Ledger as the Joker and marks the world premiere of the first footage ever shot with extremely high resolution IMAX cameras for a major motion picture release. The movie opens nationally next July.
PHILIP BAJORAT gave no reason for his resignation after six years as competitions coordinator of Cinema/Chicago, the non-theatrical wing of the Chicago International Film Festival. His replacement, Jesse Berkowitz, can be reached at 312/683-0121, ext. 102.
GARY MEAGHER AND JACK WALSH, owners of Trio Video mobile facilities and crew company for TV station shows, are among the seven TV Academy 2008 Silver Circle Honorees. Cited for their lengthy contributions in television, they will be honored May 2 at the Millennium Knickerbocker hotel.
GOLDEN TIME. Cameraman’s Local 600 presented veteran cinematographer Bill Birch with a gold card, signifying a half-century of union membership. The presentation was made at 600’s annual holiday party at Gibson’s in Rosemont.
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