Partners Paoli and Halihan back from L.A. to make dramatic short film here

The Chicago expatriates of Soul Mate Pictures are back in town this January to make the company’s third film, “Rain Today.”

Directed by veteran stuntman Carl Paoli (“Minority Report,” “Jurassic Park III”), “Rain Today” stars Robert Hildreth as a man who sustains a major head injury and experiences a succession of flashbacks and hallucinations until the nature of the injury is revealed at the end.

Monthly DVD and CD releases of short films/music are free, thanks to ads

Rich Seng wants to be an underground media mogul and he could be well on his way with his new concept: Cherry Bomb, free, monthly DVD compilations of film shorts and music, supported by advertising.

This month Seng begins a monthly Cherry Bomb CD series with a punk compilation, followed by love songs in February, hip hop in March, and indie rock in April. In May he’ll begin monthly DVD releases.

Moline’s Silver Oaks shoots 5-camera HD Christmas concert for PBS

Moline-based Silver Oaks Communications undertook an ambitious project for its first HD production: a five- camera shoot of the 14th Annual First Presbyterian Church Christmas Concert in neighboring Davenport, Iowa.

Silver Oaks shot the renowned choir’s concert Dec. 20-21, then had two days of post to get the hour-long program, “Sing We Now of Christmas: A Festival of Carols,” on the air Christmas Eve on the Quad Cities’ PBS affiliate WQPT.

From ‘Bounce’ to Albee to ‘Samurai’

By Jonathan Abarbanel

Comedian Richard Kind joked about his Jeff Awards.

REELSCREEN: News & Notes – 11/11/03

BURRELL NAMES BROADCAST HEAD. Burrell promoted Debbie Amsden to director of broadcast production, a position vacant since Sharon Kimbrough left the company earlier this year. “With production getting busier, we needed someone in that position,” said creative chief Mike Faems. Amsden leads a department of five producers and an associate producer.

YOUMANS SHOOTS IN EUROPE.

Olken’s human trafficking expos? in
debut feature “Slave” at Facets

Erinn Strain stars in Noel Olken’s “Slave,” Nov. 12 at Facets

Catania to direct/lens his first indie,
‘Cup of My Blood,’ a horror film

Lance Catania directing/lensing Ch. 7 promos on location.

Up and Down the Avenue – 10/30/03

With Noreen Szeluga’s departure from Big Deahl, Rosemary and David Deahl and Dennis Manarchy and Dan Lundmark are exploring “possible synergy” between the two companies, says Lundmark. He is currently splitting his time between the two companies as a first step. “So far that part’s been cool,” he adds.

Jim Jarmusch (“Ghost Dog,” “Stranger than Paradise”) will topline the second anniversary event Dec. 13-14. See www.movieside.com.

Scary Halloween for the 100 people we heard Burnett laid off Friday.

Costello, Jorden’s first feature a
Lion’s Gate video release

Rappers Mr. Cheeks and Trina star in “A Miami Tail,” now out on video from Lion’s Gate.

Producer vows ?the magic will
happen’ to bring script to screen

“Sweet Home Chicago” up next for Epiphany Films’ Dan Halperin and Mark Frazel

REELSCENE: News and Notes 9/29/03

BBDO OPTS OUT. BBDO declined to participate in the review for Tourism’s $12 million account. Agency CEO Tonise Paul said “agency resources could be better utilized serving other areas of our business.” But she also predicted BBDO would be back in the travel and tourism business within a year. No count yet of the number of agencies soliciting the business. An announcement will be made in December. FCB and O&M were past Tourism agencies.

Zacuto Rentals buys $125,000 D5 deck

The Chicago HD equipment scene was greatly enhanced the purchase of a $125,000 Panasonic D5 cinema mastering recorder by Zacuto Rentals “of everything HD,” said Steve Zacuto.

Panasonic’s D5 is one of the few mastering recorders to enter the U.S. rental market. “We like to buy equipment we think the market is looking for,” Zacuto said. “We like items that are in very short supply.”

Many large post houses have the D5 master recorder, he noted. “But only one other rental facility in the U.S.

Sound/Video team working in Vegas

A crew from Sound/Video Impressions is in Las Vegas on a fast-paced, weeklong shoot-and-edit assignment for long-time client At Home America, the people who host home furnishings parties.

SVI president Bill Holtane and Sue Holtane, editors Chris Steward and Mindy Hilt and makeup artist Cindy Surman (for the principals onstage) are working out of the MGM Grand, where At Home America is holding a sales meeting, award program and other activities for 1,500 attendees.

The SVI team spent two days in preproduction and to set up an Avid shipped out by Roscor.

What’s Normal? Downstate reporter asks IFO director at film premiere

IFO director Brenda Sexton made news earlier this month when she attended the “Legally Blond 2” premiere in Springfield. Here’s the story as reported Downstate earlier this month by Doug Finke, statehouse reporter for the Springfield Journal-Register.

Critics may not think much of “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde,” but it has Illinois officials jumping for joy.

Since part of the film was shot in Springfield and it opened last week, it gave officials an excuse to talk up the new tax breaks available to movie companies that film in Illinois.

Cerny/American enjoys rise in feature sound jobs

Sound work is humming along at Cerny/American Creative, with spot business remaining strong and a growing emphasis on feature films.

“We’ve been doing a lot more sound to picture work, though we still do some of the best radio in the country,” said JoBe Cerny, president of the 16-year-old shop. “We’ve been concentrating on bringing in more feature work.

The reality is, city shut down TV show building over permit lack

The City of Chicago shut down construction on the house where the network reality series “Starting Over” was set to shoot.

So you think your show belongs on cable?

By Ruth L Ratny

Cable guru Ray Solley once produced for Ch. 11.

Swell’s Joe Otting hits feature paydirt with Splendid Pictures

Joe Otting turned his Project Greenlight bid into a Splendid Pictures production deal.

REELSCENE: PRODUCTION NEWS

WATCH FOR “SAUDI ARABIA, a Complicated Ally,” a special presentation of A&E to run almost immediately from Kurtis Productions. Bill Kurtis, Post Effects’ producers Scott Jacobs and Mitch Apley journeyed to Saudi Arabia last fall to tape the special. It will continue to air throughout the conflict. Michael Harvey was supervising editor, David Fortney edited; David Huizenga scored.