Webisode star “Citizen Kate” shines at the DCN and RNC and her fame extends to other sites

POLITICOS WEREN’T ALONE IN THE SPOTLIGHT at the recent Democratic and Republican Conventions.

Producer Carey Lundin’s alter ego, “Citizen Kate,” star of the increasing popular website, www.citizenkate.com, struck high saturation pay dirt. “We proved that hard work, planning, creativity and just showing up, are all it takes to be successful,” says Lundin. At the two national conventions, “Kate,” aka actress Kate Soglin, got her share of the spotlight. She was interviewed by Fox Network News, Congressional Quarterly, Glamour, CosmoGirl and others.

“Our pieces were, and continue to be, featured on a number of websites,” Lundin reports. They include Lifetime TV’s website (all women’s TV), Alice 105.9 (Denver’s largest 18-49-year old radio station), webcastr.com (professional content only), veoh.com (99th most popular website) and sevenload.com (Germany).

RICHARD ROEPER will announce the most nominations ever for the 2008 Emmy Awards Sept. 9 at the glitzy new Trump International Hotel and Tower Grand Ballroom. Winners will be honored at a formal dinner Oct. 18.

SEPT. 10 IS AWARDS NIGHT for the Chicago Creative Club, hosted by the Chicago Ad Federation, will showcase the best of Chicago’s creative ad work at the United Club at Soldier Field.

ACTRESS BONNIE HUNT vows if her new NBC talk show on NBC is successful (and we have every reason to believe it will), she will move it from L.A. and make Ch. 5 Chicago its home base. Not just tape a few shows here, as Ellen, Letterman and Leno have done in the past, but air from her home town every day, a la Oprah.

“I WAS OVERWHELMED,” says Peace on Earth Film Festival founder Nick Angotti, of non-profit New Thought Chicago, by the turnout and enthusiastic support for the recently ended two-day festival at the Victory Gardens-Biograph theatre.

An estimated audience of over 200 saw 40 films on peace, non-violence and social justice. Of these 40, six received top awards for excellence in various “Best of” categories; none of the filmmakers, however, were from Chicago.

“We exceeded expectations and are setting plans for next year and the honoring peace-building filmmakers from around the world,” Angotti notes.

OPUSCULE PRODUCTIONS celebrates moving into new space at 4109 N. Kedzie with a party Sept. 19. Opuscule specializes in “production, digital media and all around awesomeness,” comments president Robert C. Bowman III, who founded the company in 2002.

It’s also the parent company of film, record and publishing companies, all operating under the Opuscule banner.

ANOTHER AWARD coming up Sept. 25 for Tony-winning Steppenwolf playwright Tracy Letts. He will be honored by the Illinois Arts Alliance annual at its awards gala. The arts advocate being honored is philanthropist Sandra Guthman, CEO of the Polk Bros. Foundation.

SIUC IS NOT “A PARTY SCHOOL,” and is trying to shake that reputation with a cinema ad aimed at 3 million Illinois movie-goers. Barking Dawg Productions, a branch of SIUC’s marketing division, produced the spot.

That “party school” image keeps parents and high school guidance counselors from recommending Carbondale, says Terry Clark, Barking Dawg director.

The spot focuses on a Carbondale grad student in business driving Chicago streets at night, with a voiceover inner-monolog, ending with her first-time arrival on the SIUC campus.

“SHE WILL BE EXTRAORDINARILY MISSED,” says CFO director Rich Moskal about the recent retirement of staffer Debbie Beck, who spent 28 years serving the film community.

“Debbie’s warm, unaffected personality, matched with unsurpassed longevity, made her almost iconic — the heart and soul of the office,” says Rich Moskal, who was appointed CFO director when Beck was into her sixteenth year on the job.

Beck had joined in June, 1980 shortly after Mayor Jane Byrne officially created the film office as an adjunct of the police department to issue permits for a budding crop of film, and was headed by a police sergeant.

Beck’s position (she mostly recently was coordinators of photography and the now-defunct screenwriting contest) will not be filled at this time, due to current city budget shortfalls, leaving the office with a staff of just three ? Yolanda Arias, who handles commercials and still photography, Kathy Byrne (no relation to former Mayor Byrne), film and television, and Moskal.

FYI: ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT Nearly one-fifth of American households who use the internet watch television shows online, double the viewership from 2006. Among the reasons: They don’t like watching a set schedule and they can avoid commercials.

The official TV channel homepage and YouTube.com are the top two online show destinations.

Among consumers connecting to online broadcasts, 43% watch the news, 39 % watch dramas, 34 % view sitcom/comedy shows, 23% go for reality shows, 16% see sports, and 15% like user-generated content.

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