Zig/Chicago losing its zip without Kevin Lynch

ZIG/CHICAGO MAY ZAG with the loss of creative director Kevin Lynch come early February, when he leaves the Chicago branch of Toronto-based Zig. Two years ago Zig acquired hot creative boutique agency Hadrian’s Wall, of which Lynch was co-founder.

Lynch’s stated reason for leaving, he told the Sun-Times, was simply because he wanted a change. He said he is considering all career options in advertising and beyond.

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY for producer/director Adam Marton’s AM Films, as he shot three of the nation’s largest Christmas tree lighting ceremonies for a 5-minute film on holiday safety marketing initiatives for Chicago-based Underwriters Laboratories.

The HD project, hosted by ABC/Ch. 7’s Michelle Alegria (“190 North”), was released this week to a global audience of UL employees, along PSAs by Keri Russell (“Felicity”)

Marton and a crew of five shot President and Mrs. Bush at the National Tree Lighting Ceremony and tree lighting ceremonies at Chicago’s Daley Plaza and Manhattan’s Rockerfeller Plaza.

A NEW IFP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR should be named in early January when the IFP board concludes its final round of interviews with a select group of candidates and announces who will fill the position.

Acting director Lynn Steadman will resume her former position as deputy director when the top post is filled.

The director’s position, requiring knowledge of both film production and grant writing, has been vacant since early September when Elizabeth Donius, director for five years, resigned in early September to move back East for family reasons.

FIRST UP NEXT YEAR is the Jan. 4 Chicago Screenwritrs Network meeting with writer/producer Steve Conrad (“The Promotion,” “The Weatherman”).

He will tell the usually SRO crowd how a local filmmaker made it big time in Hollywood and yet is able to live and work in Sweet Home Chicago.

I^3HYPERMEDIA the reincarnated company of editor Arturo Cubacub has kicked off its official counter-broadcast web channel at http://i3hypermedia.com. The show is a simple looping program featuring Arturo’s first 1981 video, virtual tourettes of the studio, original produced work and pieces from I^3’s quadrennial (international | independent | interstitial) festival.

“This channel is a forward motion in our efforts to create, seek out and spread interstitial work that challenges existing formats, structures and techniques,” says Arturo, a leader in avant-garde alternative media.

FYI: The DGA will bestow an honorary life membership on Roger Ebert at the guild’s Jan. 31 awards dinner in L.A. ? Executive producer Scott Kemper joined DDB from Arnold Worldwide, New York, where he worked on clients like Hershey, McDonald’s Timex and Merck ? Another New Yorker is former freelance designer/animator Jessica Plummer, who joined Calabash Animation, now very engrossed in a big broadcast and online campaign for General Mills.

GOOD PLANNING. Two weeks in Mexico the end of cold, cold January is producer/director George Elder’s schedule. He and his crew will shoot footage for restaurateur Rick Bayless’ popular PBS show, “One Plate at a Time.” Season seven’s 13 episodes will feature the authentic dishes of Mexico City.

AT CRC, Chris Steinmetz is producing promising new singer Jennifer Porter’s new iTunes album for the Universal Music label ? And there’s a lot of ADR work going for director Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies.”

THERE’S TALK, but nothing official, that “B3,” the sequel to “The Dark Knight” could shoot in Chicago and a Chicago production office would open in early 2009. A “B3” screenplay-in-progress has been confirmed, so the sequel sounds like a go.

If you missed “The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience” last year, you can catch it when it returns to Navy Pier IMAX Theatre Jan. 23-March 6. During its previous engagement, the IMAX version attracted an audience of 100,000.

HAVE A LAUGH and forget about Blagojevich, the economy, the weather and other crazy weirdness of the past month by taking in the 8th annual Chicago Comedy Sketch Festival, the largest one of its kind, Jan. 8-18 at the Theatre Building Chicago.

Over two weeks, 100 sketch comedy troupes will perform 125 shows. In addition to the performances, there will be workshops, networking events, and children’s programming. Call 773/327-5252. See