Reel Chicago is a daily digital magazine that covers the news in Chicago on all aspects of advertising, film, TV, media and production. The content is original, written by industry experts and contributing Op Eds
Trio Video is expanding its fleet for the second time in less than two years with the infusion of a $10 million investment from two venture capital companies.
Management of the company is unchanged. Trio is owned by partners Jack Walsh and Gary Meagher, who will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their company next year.
Through the investment from Marquette Capital Partners of Chicago, BIA Digital Partners of Chantilly, Va., Trio is building its third HD/multi-format truck and a Beta support vehicle for delivery next March.
Dan Halperin of Epiphany Pictures is producing Craig Harris’ feature adaptation of Harris’ 2003 TV drama “Skin Complex” that garnered five Midwest Emmys, among other awards.
A Chicago native based in Los Angeles, Halperin is shopping “Skin Complex” to studio as well as actor- and director-affiliated production companies.
Wolfgang Bodison (“A Few Good Men”) starred in the TV version of “Skin Complex,” as an African American professor contemplating a revolutionary, irreversible “race change” operation. It aired nationally on WGN and PAX.
Leave it to Adrenalin TV’s daredevil Duke Hillinger to come up with the next big rage in action sports. You couldn’t guess what it is in a hundred years?unless you’re one of the 20 million (you read that right) avid fans of paintball games.
Now the games will be aired in a very big way. In fact, Hillinger’s Paintball Television Productions’ (PTP) deal with Superstation WGN is the biggest deal in paintball history.
PTP’s 46 hourlong “World Paintball League” will air in every city in 39 countries.
A NEW AD AGENCY called Houlihan Madison Most has been formed by Kevin Houlihan and Brad Most, for many years with the Chicago Creative Partnership. While HMM is clientless at the moment, it will compete for the former CCP Blue Cross account. Houlihan had been CCP president and chief creative officer; Most was head of client services. The Madison in their name is a nod to New York’s ad street.
While local spot production may be at the bottom of the scale, documentary production for cable can be viewed as a growth industry with the explosion of cable outlets and its voracious need for programming.
Experienced doc-cable producers Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs hope to tap into those cable opportunities through their new company, Siskel/Jacobs.
NEW LOBBYING FIRM FOR IPA. The Illinois Production Alliance has hired The Illinois Governmental Consulting Group to convince the Illinois legislature to extend the wage tax credit bill to a full five years from the one-year extension it got last December.
IGCG representatives are chief lobbyist Brian Hynes, who knows the film business through his Teamsters clients, and Elgie Sims, Jr. Meanwhile: IPA legislative committee, chaired by DGA’s Dan Moore, is finalizing the legislative agenda to present to the spring session.
Roger Ebert and six other Chicago TV veterans will be inducted into the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest cheaper of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Ebert, a Pulitzer Prize?winning writer, and co-host of nationally syndicated “Ebert & Roeper,” is also movie critic for Ch. 7.
The awards dinner will be held April 29 at the Drake Hotel.
Other honorees are: Linda Yu, a Ch. 7 news anchor since 1984 after five years at Ch. 5 ? Chicago native and sports veteran Greg Gumbel, host of CBS’ “The NFL Today,” who began his career as a Ch.
Seven films by Chicago filmmakers out of 25 features, documentaries and shorts will be screened at the 10th annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video, Aug. 7-19, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
They are Mike Merrill (“Even Trade”), Ytasha L. Womack (“Love Shorts”), Eldridge Valentine and Elliot V. Porter (“Player in Training”), Steven Foley and Marie-Fran?oise Theodore (“Strange as Angels”) Kirby Ashley (“Blast On”), Greg Samata (“Island”), and Ayana Haaruun (“First We Pray”).
This is the second in a two-part survey of local documentarians, who they are, their background and credits. Ranging from national leaders like Kartemquin, Towers and Kurtis Productions, to small to mid-size companies, they capture public imagination and affect social change by telling true stories.
When Jeff Santo’s 86-minute documentary about his father Ron Santo ended during a sneak preview at a Cubs convention at the Hilton in January, the SRO crowd of more than 1,000 gave it a standing ovation.
“This Old Cub” premieres March 24 as a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at the Chicago Historical Society. The film opens March 26 at select theatres in Chicago and Arizona, distributed by Emerging Pictures. Ron Santo will be guest of honor at the screening.
THE ILLINOIS TOURISM ACCOUNT ad account is up for review, as required by state law every two years. BBDO has had the $12 million businss for four years during which it also did a modicum of film office advertising. To be eligible to bid, an agency must have a minimum of 50 full-time employees and a significant presence in the Chicago area (whatever that means). Entry deadline is Sept. 22, decision on Sept. 24. What makes this more of a horse race is that agencies will pitch to a Democratic client, and who knows who has clout with the new decision-makers.