The town is jumping with movie and TV projects; Backyard’s Kevin Smith shoots a short this week

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DIRECTOR KEVIN SMITH of Backyard Productions of L.A. and Chicago departs from his role of directing commercials to helm a 20-minute short titled “Bubblerama” around town this week. Leigh Jones is producing.

The story is about a young woman played by actress Annie Paresse, a bohemian artist type, who reinvents herself during the process of researching an upscale life style.

“Bubblerama” will head for the festival circuit when completed.

The never-idle Jones then jumps into production of a comedy-thriller, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.” directed by Ruth Leitman (“Lipstick and Dynamite”). They’re talking with Amy Sedaris (“Strangers with Candy”) for a featured role.

DANA ANDERSON, DDB’s president/CEO since 2004, has resigned, citing family reasons. Her replacement is DDB/L.A. president/CEO Rick Carpenter.

“I am very proud of my tenure and accomplishments at DDB, yet I want to take some time and be with my daughter before she leaves for college next year,” Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson joined DDB as president in 2004 from FCB where she’d been president/CEO. Prior to FCB, she served as Global Planner on the Kraft business at JWT. She started her career at Y&R, where she worked for eight years.

Anderson is the second agency president to resign within a month. Rivet pesident Yvonne Furth announced she will retire Aug. 31 after 26 years with Draft/Chicago, Rivet’s parent company.

Both Anderson and Furth are former Chicago Ad Women of the Year.

THE PILOT FOR “FAMILY PRACTICE,” an hourlong Lifetime series about a Chicago law firm, is scheduled to shoot in Chicago in September. It was one of a slate of 10 pilots headed for networks and cable from Sony Pictures Television.

MILWAUKEE GETS IN ON THE ACTION with another Sony pilot, “The Watch” (working title) for NBC. Emmy-winning director Charles McDougall (“Desperate Housewives”) and a cast and crew of 25-30 will be in Milwaukee next week to shoot a scene and some establishing shots for the new one-hour drama, set in Milwaukee and its suburbs.

Film Wisconsin will hold a short media event to formally usher in what they hope “will be a new and exciting film and television industry for Wisconsin and Milwaukee when the new state tax incentives take effect Jan. 1,” according to Film Wisconsin member Dave Fantle.

BATMAN WRAPS Sept. 2 after two-and-a-half smooth-going months here. During those 10 weeks, the Warners’ production had a $50 million economic impact on the city, hired 350 local crew and 6,000 extras.

Shortly thereafter on Sept. 7, “Wanted” departs as do the paparazzi who’ve been chasing Brangelina all over town. They may prolong their stay for a week or so for plates and reshoots.

Inbetween those two dates, “The Cache” starts principal production Sept. 6. Sean Bean stars as another bad guy in this $5 million “revenge thriller about a man who involuntarily brings a couple of kids into his unlawful operations.” Steve Anderson directs.

THIS ONE GOT AWAY is Chicago-set “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” based on the love story/science fiction-like debut novel of Audrey Niffenegger. Canada was the location choice because of so-called better economic benefits, t’is said. Filming was slated for Toronto but Vancouver might be the ultimate Chicago substitute.

“THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE” with Pat and Vanna will spin its fun in Chicago taping three weeks worth of shows in three long days at Navy Pier in March 2008, and crews are already here shooting familiar landmarks for use in the show, which Tourism has got to love.

Coming up on Oct. 10 in our area is the show’s Wheelmobile, the 32-ft. Winnebago that tours nationwide in search of contestants. It will park at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero to audition hopeful “Wheel” aspirants.

FLETCHER CHICAGO EXPANDS its rental department with the addition of Megan Donnelly, camera rental customer liaison. She coordinates customer account set-up and also manages the company’s production offices. Previously, she was an assistant business manager and technical assistant at Ebel Productions.

ADMAN PAUL BROUMAN, who left DDB last year with the departure of account JC Penney on which he was GCD, has started an agency called Sponge in the West Loop.

The “staff” is a lengthy list of freelance consultants who help a client when launching or reviving a brand. Brouman spent most of his career at DDB.

WOMAN POWER will glow at a panel of three recent Ad Women of the Year at Petterino’s Sept. 19. Who better to share their experiences on the path to ad industry leadership than Fay Ferguson, co-CEO of Burrell/Chicago; Yvonne Furth, retired president and COO of Rivet, and Marlena Peleo-Lazar, chief creative officer, McDonald’s. USA Today’s ad director Anne O’Malley will moderate.

NOTED: Christian Robins was promoted to chief creative officer from creative director at Bridges Media. He’s been with the company since it started in 2002? Upshot promoted Patrick Lyman and Chris Martiniano to VP/creative services? Ch. 7’s veteran City Hall and political reporter Andy Shaw was named 2007 Chicago Journalist of the Year. He’ll be honored by the Chicago Journalists Association Sept. 28 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Center? Patrick Friel has left Chicago Filmmakers after 11 years of dedicated service.

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