Toronto comedy director Shamata now on Dictionary Films’ roster


Jesse Shamata, Dictionary Films’ latest director

TORONTO-BASED DIRECTOR Jesse Shamata formerly on the roster of Imported Artists in Canada and known for his comedic vision, has joined the roster of Dictionary Films, the 18-month old division of Cutters, and his first official U.S. market representation.  

“Jesse is a writer, director, editor, a great collaborator with the creatives – he does it all,” says Dictionary executive producer Megan Maples about their new addition. 

Earlier, Shamata spent five years with CBC’s “The Hour,” Canada’s late night talk show, as comedy producer/director and editor of comedy shorts featuring a formidable list of famous actors and celebrations. 

Dictionary is Shamata’s first official U.S. market representation.  “The people there are forward thinking, creatively driven who are producing great work across all mediums.  It embodies everything I was looking for in a U.S. production company,” he says.

In addition to Shamata, Dictionary, the 18-month old Cutters’ division, has on its directorial roster Chris Markos, Jay Patton, Bob Akers, Richard Yelland, Adam Wells and London-based Will Smith.  

CHANGING TIMES: At healthcare agency Abelson-Taylor, Casey Lewis was promoted to interactive producer, from associate producer.  Also: Andy Vitacek joined as senior interactive developer, from creative web developer at Cool International, Minneapolis, and Chris Mauck interactive developer, from owner, 

AS SCOOPED BY THE REEL (yes, you read it here first), Warner Bros.’ $175 million-budgeted “Superman: Man of Steel” will film in the area in August, and set construction will start in May, an insider shared with us.  Actual locations are as yet undecided and the Western suburbs, like Plano and Naperville, are all a’flutter over the possibility Superman will land there for scenes of Clark Kent’s boyhood life.

NBC’S “THE PLAYBOY CLUB” PILOT, meanwhile, constructed a replica of the original Playboy Club in Meigs Field and we hear the producers are negotiation with the Park District for a four-year lease of the site.  

In real life, in 1963, the exclusive club was located in a three-story brownstone on East Walton St. near Michigan Ave.

Directed by Alan Taylor, the story stars Eddie Cibrian as the ultimate playboy and an attorney with mob ties (of course), the ultimate playboy and keyholder at the exclusive club.  

The pilot also stars Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Leah Renee and Wes Ramsey, who may have to bare all, according to their contracts.   

As per Variety, the stipulation is unheard of for a network show. But it’s believed the clause is intended for when the show’s DVD and domestic and foreign cable syndication. The actors, though, can’t be forced to shoot nude scene.

If greenlighted, the Playboy Club may rise again this fall as a series.  And if the Park District rumor about a lease proves true, it could be a long-running show about Chicago that’s actually filmed here.

YOU CAN ASK SHAWN RYAN if “Chicago Code” will be renewed for another season of filming in Chicago, at the Hugo Awards celebrating the best in television, April 14 at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Ryan, “Chicago Code’s” creator, will receive a special  Hugo tribute and commercial production powerhouse @radical media will take home a big silver Hugo Award.  

Jay Levine and Mary Ann Childers host the evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, mingling and awards.   

There’s no 2011 Chicago Legend award this year, which means I get to wear my tiara for another year.