Walmart leads pack of explosive Q4 spot production

THE COMMERCIALS DAM has burst and this last quarter of 2011 should be busy and profitable for the commercial production/post scene. Directors’ reps are swamped fielding agency bids for major advertisers and out-of-town production companies in abundance have been and currently are shooting here.

Says Valerie Gobos, one of the estimated 40 directors/production company reps: “After a comparatively slow third quarter, the anticipated fourth quarter storyboard flow started out slowly, as agencies went through the creative approval process and exploded this week.”

Walmart is the Big Kahuna here, employing no less than four different production companies (alas, none of them local):  bicoastal Biscuit Works, Chelsea Pictures, Hungry Man and Compost Films of Greater Philadelphia. 

The Walmart crews are shooting in and around the city, at stores and private homes.

They say the Walmart business came to Chicago on the strength of Illinois’ competitively important but unheralded 30% film tax credit.

BIG AS WALMART IS, it’s overshadowed by a massive NFL Visa Super Bowl 2012 job that has an estimated $3 million budget, we’re told.  The 3-minute spot shoots for two days this and three days next week at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. 

The production company, bi-coastal Imperial Woodpecker, hired a large local crew, consisting of a local production manager, and some 16 union grips and electricians, rented cameras from Schumacher Camera and grip and lighting from Essanay.

STORY PRODUCED TWO SPOTS directed by John Komnenich: Allstate/Leo Burnett, a spot featuring Allstate CEO Tom Wilson and the Mayhem character, and promos for Rosie O’Donnell’s new show, one shot with Oprah, at Harpo Studios.

VITAMIN has produced a new promotional campaign for the final season of FX Networks’ “Sons of Anarchy.”  The spots employ a technique that gives it the feel of something out of a sketchbook. 

GREG ALLANS SONIXPHERE transformed combat dialog from a new game “Gears of War 3” via the Richards Group, Dallas, into a funky original song for a multi-platform campaign online, video pre-rolls and stores.