Talent unions and advertising industry’s extend Commercial Contract talks to next spring

THE PRESSURE IS OFF for another six months so the actors’ unions and the ad industry can hammer out a mutually satisfactory Commercials Contract.

SAG, AFTRA and advertising’s ANA/4As negotiating wing, the Joint Policy Committee, agreed to extend the contract deadline through March 31, 2009. Both sides of the table will now have more time to work out sticky new media payment issues.

This latest extension adds six months to the previous two-year extension of the 2006-2008 agreement that was due to end Oct. 29 of this year.

A BIG SURPRISE was the quiet departure of chief operating officer Lor Gold from Rivet, a division of Interpublic, the boutique agency formed after the merger of Draft and FCB. Rivet president Yvonne Furth, who formed Rivet with Gold, opted for early retirement a year ago. With Gold’s solid gold agency creds, he shouldn’t be away from Michigan Ave for long ? unless he chooses to be.

FILM WISCONSIN executive director Scott Robbe reports the state’s incentives are resulting in a steady flow of feature production business for the state.

Now shooting in LaCrosse is the historical drama/romance “Fort McCoy,” written by writer/producer/actress Kate Connor, with Eric Stoltz, Camryn Manheim and Seymour Cassel starring.

“Nephilim,” budgeted at $2.5 million and starring John Savage starts filming Sept. 13 in Green Bay, in conjuction with Green Bay’s Pulse Studios, and Milwaukee.

CHICAGO’S MUSICAL TREASURE, Bradley Parker-Sparrow of Southport Records, composed the score of Michael Caplan’s new doc, “A Magical Vision,” The doc premieres at Siskel Film Center Sept. 12 . Caplan is a Columbia College professor who has been making docs for 15 years.

Sparrow will lead an end-of-summer special event Aug. 30 when he, song stylist Joanie Pallatto and the Southport All Stars will rock Katerina’s with a not-to-be-missed “After the Fest” jazz jam, following the annual Jazz Festival in Millennium, starting at 10 p.m.

HAROLD RAMIS is chairing a four-star committee to assure the second annual IFP Independent Film Gala Sept. 19 at The Primitive will be a night to remember. Funds raised will support IPF’s expanding programs for indie filmmakers.

Committee members are Bob Borchardt, Chaz and Roger Ebert, Michael A. Foster, Thea Flaum, Tony Loquercio, David O’Connor, Gigi Pritzker, Marci A. Rolnick, Jason Stephens, Ken O’Keefe, Jonathan Towers, Judith and Howard A. Tullman.

AFTER YEARS at the Cultural Center for its Chicago Scriptworks staged script readings, founder and managing director Vera Brooks has moved the monthly readings to Columbia College, starting Sept. 17 with the reading of “Cat Bunglers.”

The comedy is the work of Phoenix-based screenwriter Christopher Fowler, a graduate of UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting, an actor and improv comedian.

CHICAGO 2016 OLYMPICS SUPPORTERS can get into the act of telling by creating an under-60-second video on why Chicago is the best place for the 2016 games. Special channel Chicago2016.org allows videomakers to post their work.

DEADLINE ALERT. Aug. 29 is the final deadline for Illinois Film Office’s first Short Film Contest, a worthy successor to the recently retired , 15-year old Chicago/Illinois Script Contest.

The Short winning entry will receive a cash prize and premiere at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival in October. So submit your entry today!

The Reel is taking a hiatus and will return after Labor Day. But don’t let that stop you from sending your news to us. Have a great holiday!