Escape Pod Promotes Leah Hattendorf to SVP

Independent agency The Escape Pod announced today that it has promoted Leah Hattendorf to Senior Vice President, Director of Strategy. In her new role, Leah will continue to lead The Escape Pod’s Research and Strategy group, in addition to spearheading new business efforts and building out additional revenue streams for the agency.

Wachowskis comments send a distorted message

Filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski have been on a media blitz lately, popping up in national magazines, local newspapers and radio.  What makes this is a huge story in itself is that the Beverly natives are notoriously secretive and rarely if ever give interviews.  Even the CIA is envious of the tight security at their CGI Kinowerks studios in Ravenswood.

The Wachowskis want to produce big movie here – but…

WE HEAR that Lana and Andy Wachowski want to make their next big budget, big name, big effects movie in Chicago.  Which makes sense since they operate out of their super secret North Side Ravenswood Kinowerks post and effects studio, and Andy has a home here.  Their project is “Jupiter Ascending,” the duo’s first major science fiction action franchise screenplay since The Matrix.  

Wachowskis’ Kinowerks the best of green technology

New York’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently gave a $6 million grant to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to use for various city programs. One of them is finding ways to create greater energy savings, a top item on Emanuel’s agenda for a greener Chicago.  

But when it comes to green buildings, however, few can compare with Lana and Andy Wachowski’s environmentally efficient Ravenswood Kinowerks postproduction and effects studio.

Rock Island set for $15 million movie

The pan-European team behind Great River Productions, LLC has set up shop in Rock Island to produce its $15 million 3D motion capture fantasy feature, “Troll: Tale of a Tale,” over the next two-and-a-half years.

Great River Productions will hire an estimated 100 animators, artists and crew from Illinois. Modeling starts in early January and casting begins in late February.

There are a number of firsts associated with this film, said Davenport-based J. Douglas Miller of the Quad-Cities Film Coalition, who worked for two years to bring and keep the project in the Quad-Cities.

White Sox get ready for spring with 3D sales tool

The Chicago White Sox is the first team in any league to utilize a realistic 3D environment of US Cellular Field to showcase sponsorships and corporate partnerships in action, created and produced by LimeGreen Entertainment Group.

“This new platform gives sponsors a more realistic idea of how their brand will come to life during US Cellular Field games and other events,” said Mike Stratta, LimeGreen managing partner.

Producing training videos ?people want to watch’

HoneyTech’s security training videos are eminently watchful, “mostly CGI with a high-tech feel– think ?Tron’ or ?The Matrix’ — because we wanted to change things,” says company president Lance Spitzner.

That’s one reason the Naperville-based company has expanded from two to nine employees in the past year. An upcoming video will be used to train government employees throughout the United Arab Emirates.

“Video training is a great way to reach a lot of people around the world,” says Spitzner.

New futuristic Wachowskis movie rumored

THE SUPER SECRETIVE WACHOWSKIS may be ramping up their next movie, with Huffington Post publisher and politico Ariana Huffington, of all people, involved in it. Photos she posted on Twitter suggest she has a role in their story about the war in Iraq from the POV of a futuristic society.

Since their “The Matrix” triology in 2003, Andy and Lana Wachowski have directed only one movie, last year’s “Speed Racer.” If a new movie is in the works, count on all the special effects coming from their fortress-like high-tech studio at 5645 N. Ravenswood.

The Wachowskis’ new movie is rumored

THE SUPER SECRETIVE WACHOWSKIS may be ramping up their next movie, with Huffington Post publisher and politico Ariana Huffington, of all people, involved in it. Photos she posted on Twitter suggest she has a role in their story about the war in Iraq from the POV of a futuristic society.

Since their “The Matrix” triology in 2003,

Andy and Lana Wachowski have directed only one movie, last year’s “Speed Racer.” If a new movie is in the works, count on all the special effects coming from their fortress-like high-tech studio at 5645 N. Ravenswood.

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post/FX facility should focus favorable attention on local scene

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The native South Siders of “The Matrix” fame, will open a high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood in what had been the Ravenswood Studio, a scenic design shop.

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The Wachowskis’ glitzy new special effects studio should provide new jobs

The Wachowskis’ new North Side post and special effects studio will give Chicago the Hollywood glitz it has long needed to move it into the foreground of production.

The native South Siders of “The Matrix” fame, will open a high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood in what had been the Ravenswood Studio, a scenic design shop.

Given the Wachowskis well-known propensity for privacy, little is known about the studio operation, such as the official date of opening, staff size or whether local artists will be hired or all imported from L.A.

Home from L.A. and CG work on blockbusters, Ryan heads collective of top visual artists

Senior Flame artist Chris Ryan?whose eye-popping list of Hollywood blockbusters includes “300” and “Titanic”?has set up Chaos Studios, a viral collective of some of the best 2D and 3D artists in the business.

“We work with the same hardware and software you’ll find at any large post house,” said Ryan of his associates.

But the big difference is, “We’re home-based for now. I have a fully-equipped studio in my basement and my partners?who I’ve freelanced with for the past 15 years?work the same way,” he said.

Motionflicks.com has a package short film auteurs should look into?and they promise payment

I recently came across an ad on Chicago Craigslist soliciting shorts for distribution via a new website, and?more importantly?promising payment.

I decided to look into the company in question because I assumed that it must be local. I was wrong. Although Motion Matrix isn’t based here, it has a setup worth hearing about.

Their site, Motionflicks.com, features streamable short films, specialized content aimed at a base of monthly subscribers, filmmaking advice and more.

Lennix talks about politics, film, theatre and the one Hollywood super star he truly hates

While his “Ray” colleagues wait to see if the movie wins Best Picture and Jamie Foxx is acclaimed best actor, Harry J. Lennix is hanging out on the North Shore.

The native Chicagoan and “Ray” co-star is taking a break from his busy movie career to star in Northlight Theatre’s riveting production of Thomas Gibbons’ drama “Permanent Collection” through March 6.

Transcending his everyday self and disappearing into roles is something that Lennix has been doing on stage since his days at Northwestern University in the early 1980s.

Emoto Music’s videoconferencing makes recording a session in Chicago or L.A. like being there

Early the other morning Emoto Music’s executive producer Paul Schultz got a harried call from Cramer/Krasselt clients. They needed to tweak a sound track Emoto had produced. Could the change be made, ah, in time for a 4 p.m. client meeting?

Sure, said Schultz, although the clients were in Chicago and the track would be revised in Emoto’s Santa Monica studios.

By 11 a.m., the clients were comfortably seated in Emoto’s one-of-a-kind studios in front of a giant, 5×7-ft.

Dreaming Tree shoots HD “revenge remix;” expands teen web series to ten cities in 2005

Dreaming Tree Films continues its combination of heavy-hitting sponsors and teen apprenticeships with a city-funded feature and a major expansion of its Wrigley-financed “Fresh Films” online series.

Next summer the four-year-old Dreaming Tree will expand its “Fresh Films” filmmaking contest series to 10 cities, up from two cities last summer.