REELSCREEN: News & Notes

SHERRY LANSING departs Paramount Pictures after 12 years in 2005 as a dual result of a management shakeup and the fact the last six pictures made under her tutelage were box office disappointments. Paramount has not been a significant source of Chicago location shooting. In the past decade, it produced four pictures: “The Weatherman,” 2004, “Save the Last Dance,” 2000, “The Relic,” 1995 and “Losing Isiah” in 1994.

SAG/AFTRA’S Willenborg new IPA president

The Illinois Production Alliance elected its second slate of officers since officially organizing in 2003, headed by president Eileen Willenborg, SAG/AFTRA executive director, for one-year terms.

The officers are: first VP, Mark Egmon, AICP president and previously IPA president; second VP, Sharon King, casting director; secretary, Wayne Kubacki, Essanay; treasurer, Bob Hudgins, IFP/Chicago president.

A production assistants’ guide to the camera rental house

At the recent AICP-sponsored Production Assistants seminar at Essanay, Schumacher Camera general manager James Pope offered expert advice regarding responsibilities when picking up and returning equipment.

  • Know the hours of operation for the vendor you are visiting.
  • Always ask the Prep Tech or AC if the camera magazines are loaded. If so, they need to be stored upright. Do not be afraid to ask if you are unsure which side is up.

Chicago team pitches wage tax credit incentive to Madison Avenue producers

A whirlwind two-and-a-half day visit to New York ad agencies to promote commercial production in Chicago was “an unqualified success,” said AICP Midwest president Mark Egmon.

The Story Companies’ Mark Androw, national AICP chairman, the Illinois Film Office’s diversity officer Joyce Davis and Egmon made the trip last week. It was motivated by the local AICP’s feeling that getting the word about the wage tax incentive to commercial producers would help encourage new business, Egmon said.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes

PIONEER EDITORS HONORED. Three spot editors from back in the day who virtually invented the modern post house will be inducted into the AICE Hall of Fame at the AICE national meeting in Chicago May 13. They are Optimus founder Jimmy Smyth, Post Pro’s Bob Blanford and Edit Chicago co-founder Tony Izzo. Their 90-second presentation reels are being edited by, respectively, Red Car’s Bob Carr, a long-time Optimus editor; Tom Brassil of Outsiders and Blanford’s son-in-law and Ki’s Anthony Izzo, whose relationship to Tony needs no explanation.

The Original Up and Down the Avenue

Leo Burnett could see departure of the $40 million Sara Lee account this month. Pitching it are Element 79 and O&M, Chicago, TBWA/Chiat/Day, L.A. and McKinney & Silver, Raleigh.

Rumor has it that Zanies’ next comedy class, starting Feb. 2, will be taped for a TV show.

Musical arrangement, honoring new arrangements of existing songs for commercials, is a new AICP Show category, along with original music and sound design. Feb. 13 is the 2004 AICP Show entry deadline. See and

The Original Up and Down the Avenue – 12/15/03

An impressive investment: Film & Tape Works took delivery of a new DaVinci 2K+ color corrector to work in conjunction with its Spirit Data Cine.

It’s official: Chicago Story’s Mark Androw is AICP national chairman;’s Frank Stiefel elected vice chairman; The Artists Company’s Sally Antonacchio, treasurer.

Erich Funke, formerly a creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day/L.A. is BBDO’s new SVP/creative director on Jim Beam.

Up and Down the Avenue – 12/04/03

Expect Mark Androw of the Stories Companies to preside over national AICP. Running unopposed, Androw will be only the second AICP president in its 30 year history not from L.A. or N.Y.

BBDO Diane Jackson head of broadcast production, replacing the long-tenured Chuck Sheldon. She was executive producer on Energizer at DDB and also produced on other accounts.

Frankel boosted Michael Strip to VP/GCD, responsible for Coca Cola and Jose Cuervo accounts.

Still no word as to whether or not “Weather Man” is a go.

November an event filled month

Put your roller skates, get out your notepads and party clothes for the busiest, most informative and social November we’ve seen in years. See details in Calendar.

NOV. 6-9: SHOWBIZ EXPO comes to town for the first time ever in its 20 year history, with 100+ exhibitors and 35 panels discussions. At the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

NOV. 6-9 FIRST ANNUAL CINEME animation festival; opening night gala at Le Meridien hotel. Screenings and seminars at the Biograph and DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. Festival awards Nov 9 at the Cultural Center.

Up and Down the Avenue – 10/17/03

THE WINDY CITY AWARDS have morphed into the Chicago Creative Club and the new awards show takes place Nov. 13 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Judges are all from outside Chicago. Tim Kazurinsky MCs the show.

CONGRATULATIONS to Jeff Facklis and The Show Department on its 20th anniversary of business.

MACHETE hired graphics/effects designer Roman, formerly at Filmworkers Club, rounding out an expanded staff of nine. First job: a Pop Secret spot for Burrell.

IPA rally lays out details of wage-
tax credit bill in state legislature

Chicago Studio City’s John Crededio and Ron DeRosa were among the 200-plus filmmakers who attended the Illinois Production Alliance forum and membership rally at the Hilton hotel April 28.

Crededio listened intently to the speakers’ reports and plans, which had included the state’s acquisition of CSC’s West Side five-stage complex, although it may be a case of locking the barn door since the horse was stolen.

Industry rally set for Oscar Sunday

What better occasion than the Academy Awards to focus attention on the Illinois visual media industry. That’s what the Illinois Production Alliance rally Sunday, March 23 is counting on.

The rally, expected to draw thousands, will be held at noon at the Thompson Center (State of Illinois Building), Randolph and Clark.

The rally will express essentially a positive tone, said IPA spokesperson Mark Egmon.