Thursday: Columbia’s Tribute to beloved Ronn Pitts

Beloved filmmaker Ronn Pitts

A TRIBUTE TO RONN PITTS by Columbia College Thursday evening, Oct. 17, will celebrate the unique life of a filmmaker who loved his Columbia students and was beloved in return, who was always there for them and his myriad friends and never said no to any of them. 

Mr. Pitts, who learned his cameraman’s trade the ground up while working as a shipping clerk at Chicago’s biggest camera rentals in the ‘60s and ‘70s, was the first African American in the local film industry.  He shot for some of the biggest and turned out the best, winning awards, accolades and enduring friendships along the way.  He was a Columbia College teacher for 30 years.

At Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash; doors open at 5:30, celebration 6-8 p.m.

WHO’S NEWS, LOCAL SCENE:  After 18 months at Energy BBDO, VP/CD Jimmy Dietzen, left the agency earlier this month and on Monday will start work as associate creative director at Cramer-Krasselt … Energy BBDO filled its first-ever music producer position and with Daniel Kuypers.

He joined the agency after nearly 5 years with Music Dealers, as senior CD/music supervisor … Meghan Ross of Chicago-based Avid Technology is now Field Marketing Specialist, Pro Video & Education, USA and Canada.

WHO’S NEWS, BICOASTAL DIVISION. At Comma Music’s Santa Monica office, Becca Major, who moved there earlier this year was promoted to EP, from senior producer.  In New York, Andy Lykens joined the company as Integrated Producer.  Previously, he was director of Non-Stop Music, Warner/Chappell’s music company.

Optimus/LA hired Darby Walker as senior producer, from Beast/LA where she had been head of production, also bringing experience in telecine and color.  Earlier, she freelanced at MTV Film, was EP at telecine/color New Hat and EP at Riot.  She reports to EP/managing director Therese Hunsberger.

IT’S A SELL-OUT the Englewood Film Festival Oct. 25 Opening Night at for the movie “Black Coffee, No Sugar, No Cream,” at the ICE Chatham 14 theatre on East 87th St.  Panels Saturday, Oct. 26 on such subjects as “Getting the Gig,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “Careers of Women vs. Men in Film Business” and “The Hollywood Truth.”

AGENCY ACTIVITIES. Boston’s Mfs Investment Mangement, a global asset management firm, moved its business on Draftfc from from Boston-based A&G agency …  

*Chicago residential mortgage company, Guaranteed Rate, named Omnicom’s Olson, Minneapolis its first agency of record, after a review of 19 agencies.  Dennis Ryan, formerly with DDB/Element 79, is Olson’s top creative honcho…

*Upshot is the new agency for LiftMaster, makers of residential garage door openers and other gate operators … 

*Omnicom-owned CAHG healthcare communications moved its offices to 225 N. Michigan under the same roof as other Omnicom companies OMD, Energy BBDO, Resolution Media and TPN. The spot probes a sleeping Luigi to alter his sleeping dream world, balancing with gameplay footage.

HOT SPOTS.  Agency 212 of New York tapped STORY director/cameraman Blair Hayes for a spot, “What Matters,” that evokes the authentic origins of America’s best-selling Italian wine. Hayes shot carefully art directed and choregraphed tabletop images of bottles being uncorked and wine pouring, a lot shot at 120 fps.  DPs were Mark Androw and Cliff Grant and Beast, New York edited.

Leo Burnett produced an intriguing “Sleeping Problems” Mario-Luigi Ninento 3DS spot, directed by Dave Laden of Hungry Man.  The spot balances doctors probing a sleeping Luigi with gameplay footage making the game seem like a lot of fun. Radar handled post; Mark P. Smith edited, EP Graham Gangi, producer Blake Nickle and CD Jason Guerrero.

WALT DISNEY was a Chicago native, so it’s nice that the Disney Company is celebrating its 90th Years of Walt Disney with an exhibition called “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,” at the Museum of Science & Industry. The “Treasures” feature nearly 300 artifacts, such as props, models and costumes from some of Disney’s most famous films. The exhibit runs until May, 2014.

IF RATINGS DON’T IMPROVE, we could lose one of the six TV series filming locally.  ABC’s Sunday drama “Betrayal” attracted a mere 0.8 rating/2 share in adults 18-49 in its timeslot last week, according to Nielsen.  It headquarters out of Chicago Studio City. (Remember “The Playboy Club?” Ratings were so dire ABC lopped is after 3 episodes.”)

ARU 25TH ANNI EPIC 112 w. hubbrd St. 10 17, 6 p.m.

MIDWEST  DIGITAL CORP/  is now representing Libec tripod and camera support items

Beloved filmmaker David Lynch’s daughter Jennifer Lynch is coming to Chicago next month, for the debut of her new film Despite the Gods at The Chicago Independent Film Festival. This is the US debut, and is showing at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St, on Thursday October 17th.  I am reaching out in hopes to gain some coverage on the film, Jennifer, and Appelonia who recorded the soundtrack for the movie.  If you would like to view the film a screener is available.

Despite the Gods is the story of cinema’s prodigal daughter Jennifer Lynch, braving the unmapped territory of Bollywood-Hollywood movie making, where chaos is the process and filmmaking doubles as a crash course in acceptance and self-realization. Lynch travels to India to direct Hisss, a tale about the snake Goddess Nagin. Surrounded by a truly wonderful Indian crew, her twelve-year-old daughter, and a cast of Bollywood stars, Lynch does her best to stay sane and guide the production through a minefield of disasters with uncensored candor.

Featuring Jennifer Lynch, Sydney Lynch, Indian Actress Malika Sherawat, and Directed by Penny.