Urgent business keeps Quinn from L.A. visit

GOV. PAT QUINN had to bow out of heading the Chicago contingent at the important TV Production Executives Dinner in L.A. on Aug. 1 due to pressing government business in Springfield that week.

The reason, a spokesperson says, is that the governor will be too busy with pension reform (indeed, a critical issue) to leave town that week. Nonetheless, the spokesperson adds, “Recruiting more films to Illinois is certainly a focus for the governor,” the spokesperson added.

(That said, we’re sure the Guv talked up the advantages of the Illinois tax incentives when he watched a recent Cubs game with Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis. The actors were here promoting their new movie, “Campaign,” and threw out the first pitch at the game.)

Jeff Crabtree, president of the Illinois Production Alliance, host of the L.A. dinner, says they’re still working out the details as to what high-ranked notable will be invited to deliver the Chicago pitch to the TV show execs.

IN THE WORKS. Executive producer Lisa Masseur left Radar Studios, after seven-plus years and will soon open her own AlligatorZebra production and creative venture covering all media.  Staff and offices are in the process of being organized and the website will be completed shortly.  In the meantime, Masseur can be reached at lisamasseur@gmail.com, or phone 312/342-6770.

At Radar, a replacement for Masseur is underway.  Radar founder/director Don Hoeg says he is searching for a new executive producer/head of sales and he can be reached at don@radarstudios.com   if you have a resume you’d like to send.   

IN SEARCH OF A NEW LIFE, Michael LaBellarte recently moved to L.A. to pursue his career as a commercial director.  His departure follows 20 years as a Chicago editor/director.  For several years LaBellarte headed his own production/post house, Outsider, and earlier had been an editor/partner at NuWorld.  His most recent gig was directing for Utopic.

CHANGING TIMES. New Zealand native Leon Wilson joined Energy BBDO as SVP/group creative director on the Wrigley Account.  Most recently he spent three years as group CD at Fallon Minneapolis and earlier worked at Mother in London.

“Leon is a global creative talent and a great cultural fit for us. In addition to his brilliant award winning portfolio, he authored one of my personal favorite campaigns,” says Dan Fietsam, Energy BBDO COO.

*New York-based Barcelona-born director, Ruben Latre, signed with STORY for exclusive representation in the U.S. His work spans commercials, music videos, documentaries and broadcast design. STORY has offices in New York, L.A. and Chicago.

*Composer Joshua Abrams, who scored filmmaker Steve James’ award-winning doc, “The Interrupters,” is available through Vagabond Audio to compose for demos and scores.

IN MEMORIAM:  Draftfcb producer since 2003, Sally Naylor Kern, 39, died recently after a three year battle with cancer.  Funeral services were held July 9.

*A pioneer in Chicago’s film industry, Jerri Fowler was one of Chicago’s very first women editors and a DGA assistant director member for 47 years.  A lifelong resident of Highland Park, Ms. Fowler died in May at age 81.

Ms. Fowler started her career at Wilding Studios as a script supervisor before moving into the male dominant province of editing.  She left Wilding in the early 1980s to work for the late John Hughes on all of his Chicago-made features from 1984 through 1991, as an assistant editor, editor and at times an assistant director. She was an avid and proficient skier who spent her winters in Vail.

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