Take Phil Lee’s challenge: Outlast him at riding Hogs & Honeys’ mechnical bull and win the prize

BEAT PHIL LEE AT BULLRIDING is the challenge the Avenue editor is hurling to creatives who need an excuse to mash up with other creatives after hours Thursday, June 21.

“We meet up at the Flatwater Grill, 321 N. Clark, from six to nine, then head on over the Hogs & Honeys, 1551 N. Sheffield at 9 p.m. for the contest,” says Lee.

Lee will ride “ferocious” mechanical bull for all it’s worth and anyone who can beat Lee and stay aboard the bull the longest wins a prize.

And a nice one it is, too ? an iPod mini ? plus sundry other souvenirs. Lee wants to organize a regular monthly evening to bring creatives together. (Great idea! Read Vince Kamin’s call to creative action in “In My Opinon.)

PRODUCTION IS UNDERWAY on Towers Productions’ second 15-episode series of improv comedy series, “Sports Action Team,” which throws together local improvisers with real-world sports celebrities in a spoof of behind-the-scenes athletic broadcasting. HDNet will finance and distribute. MGM is handling worldwide sales.

A LOCALLY GROWN EXPO for visual media pros, Chicago Cine Tech, is set for Sept. 27-29 on the renovated and improved eighth floor at Columbia College, Cine Tech’s cosponsor.

Equipment exhibits and workshops are scheduled for Sept. 27-28 and all-day screenings for Saturday, Sept. 29. For details and sign-ups call Helena Song of SMS at 312/440-8963.

MICHIGAN AVENUE may seem quieter this week as creative execs have taken off for the Cannes Lions, or the 54th International Advertising Festival all this week. In all, 9,500 adpersons are in attendance.

DraftFCB is discreetly visible there, having installed 50 spots and 50 framed print ads for “The Gallery of the Good” n the Palais des Festivals. The exhibit showcases the “best of” ACT Responsible and Cannes Lions cause-related ads over the past several years.

THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL should be packed June 28 when Bill Lamar, Jr., McDonald’s SVP/chief marketing officer and 22-year McDonald’s veteran, receives the AAF Silver Medal Lifetime Achievement award at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Presenters are Tom Burrell, a former Silver Medal recipient, McDonald’s USA president Don Thompson, SVP/creative chief Marlene Paleo Lazar, and Andrew Lamar, an account executive with the Morach agency in Atlanta.

DARRYL DUNCAN’S GAMEBEAT STUDIOS won the Lottery’s “Million Dollar Summer” assignment to score the campaign of four TV and four radio spots for agency R. J. Dale. Music genres include dance, elevator, ?n’ rock ?n’ rock.

JOHN CONDON, Leo Burnett’s creative chief, was named chairperson of Boards Creative Workshop that plans on coming to Chicago for the first time this summer. However, date, place, cost and guest speakers are TBA.

THE ALWAYS INVENTIVE THEATRE BUILDING has come up with a Wednesday night series of original long-form improvisations from three veteran improv directors ? James Honey, Jason Chin and Cholley Khuaneck – Wednesday nights at the Theatre Building now through Aug. 1.

It’s comforting to know that some things have longevity: The Theatre Building Chicago has been 30 years providing clever, offbeat entertainment for 30 years.

REWIND: While the current influx of Hollywood features and movie stars is exciting, the 2007 batch has a ways to go to catch up ith the record-breaking 50 projects that filmed here in 1999.

Among the 50 were three major television series, each counting as a single project, 24 Hollywood films or parts thereof, and 26 locally made indie films.

Together, they supplied the greatest source of revenue for 1999 — $125 million, according to the Chicago and Illinois Film Offices — and employed 19,000 permanent and freelance people.

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