“PRISON BREAK” has broken through the ratings so strongly that Fox TV has given the go-ahead for nine more episodes for a total of 22. The producers are no less thrilled than all the locals benefiting from the business.
Break” is the first TV creation of producer Paul Scheuring, a feature screenwriter.
Angry Local 600 Central Region members blame the guild’s West Coast-based national president for the “devastating” departure of the business agent they called “the best we ever had.”
Jason Rosin, professional organizer for the Central Region’s 500-700 members, left Sept. 13 under “indirect pressure” precipitated by president Gary Dunham’s secret investigation of complaints about Rosin from a handful of non-union local vendors and producers, members said.
THE FOUNDATION post house expanded this week by moving into a full, 6,000-sq. ft. floor with seven editing rooms at 200 E. Ohio, from 2,800-sq. ft. and four editing rooms in the same building. That’s mighty impressive for being in business for just 18 months.
Owned by ace editor James Lipetzky and his wife, Samantha Hart The Foundation employs 10.
COLIN COSTELLO’S COMEDY sitcom pilot, “Friends like These,” was picked up by Black Family Channel’s new show, “Pilot Central,” debuting in October or November.
JOHN MALKOVICH stars in the indie production “Drunkboat” that shoots May 23-June 25. Writer/director is Chicago native and theatre director Bob Meyer who, like his old friend Malkovich from early, early Steppenwolf days, makes his home in France.
The story, based on Meyer’s life in Chicago, is about a teen boy conspiring with his uncle (Malkovich), who likes the sauce a lot and hence the title, to buy a boat.
Dave Leffel, formerly audio designer at Swell, joined Brian Reed’s BAM! Studio as audio engineer for BAM!’s new, second audio suite.
“Overall, the new suite adds to our current surround sound capabilities and is conducive to our ?one-on-one’ way of doing business,'” said Reed, who opened BAM! in 1999.
BAM!’s 2,500-sq. ft. studio includes the two suites, two control rooms each with voiceover booths, a shared machine room, kitchen and room with a pool table.
AMY LIKUS, former Optimus editor joined Outsider editorial? SMS Productions moved to 1229 N. North Branch after a dozen years entrenched at 676 N. LaSalle. Phone, 312/440-8963, Email, firstname.lastname@example.org? Caption and Subtitle Services is the new name of Terry Thomas’ former Christian Captions.
NBC’S RENEWAL OF “ER” for two more seasons means continued work for local crews. Roger Anderson’s Sterling Films is essentially the show’s local producer.
STARS HERE IN APRIL. Director Marc Forster’s comedy, “Stranger than Fiction,” starts shooting April 25 at Chicago locations. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifa, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Will Ferrell.
The story’s about an IRS auditor who suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.
WARNER BROS. SETS MAJOR FEATURE IN CHICAGO. A remake of a Korean movie now called “Il Mare” (“The Sea”) will start shooting in mid-March and is expected to be here for four months. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves star; Argentinean Alejandro Agresti directs. Location is a house presently being built on a lake in the Forest Preserves.
Chicago native David Auburn (“Proof”) scripted the story for Chicago. Production designer is Matthew Crowley. Production headquarters are located in the Sofitel Hotel.
Local 476 is taking action against Paramount to lift its hiring ban against the two white union members who allegedly perpetrated racial harassment against an African-American set decorator. Paramount said the two men would not be hired on a Paramount movie for a period of 18 months. Paramount also sent a two- page “sensitivity training” letter along with paychecks to the union crew that worked on the studio’s movie, “The Weatherman,” that filmed here last winter.
MOVIEMAKING AT THE MUSEUM. A tremendous amount of work went into “Action: An Adventure in Moviemaking,” the exhibit at the The Museum of Science & Industry. Presented by BankOne, the exhibit goes through the gamut of filmmaking, and includes such fun stuff as more than 100 artifacts including costumes from “X2: X-Men United” and the MagLev car from “Minority Report.” There’s a “Meet the Filmmakers” section Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.
It took Leah Elder less than a New York minute to land a job in L.A. as assistant to the producer of a new TV show, “LAX.” Elder, daughter of Luminair’s Beth and George Elder, spent five years as assistant to Crossroads’ Joanne Bittmann . She moved to L.A. two weeks ago.
Producer Allison Gerlach, formerly in sales for Outsider, joined Crossroads. (She’s now on vacation in Istanbul) … After more than 20 years with Burrell, ECD Alma Hopkins left the agency …
THE FOUNDATION OPENS. When his 10-year Red Car contract ended, editor James Lipinsky decided the time had come to go into business for himself. On March 1, he opened the doors to the Foundation, located in spacious quarters at 200 E. Ohio St., and in West Hollywood, with three employees and a steady stream of major agency clients.
The current staff consists of editor Steve Morrison, who joined after four years at Superior Street, Producer Laurie Abels, an Element 79 associate producer, and assistant Rob Chambers, a Columbia College grad.
Barely a year after its move into commercial music, Matteson-based GameBeat Studios picked up a Silver Addy last March from the Madison Ad Federation (MAF) for a theme for the Kalahari Resort Hotel near Wisconsin Dells.
GameBeat president Darryl Duncan was a staff writer from Warner Bros. and A&M in Los Angeles, writing and producing for artists including R. Kelly, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Chaka Khan. “I exited the mainstream music industry to have something where I didn’t need a hit record to feed my kids,” he said.
THE WAGE TAX CREDIT BILL (HB 5180) is en route to a five-year extension, having passed the Illinois house and is now under consideration by the state senate. Originally a sunset bill, it was due to end Dec. 31.
NOBLE BBDS’ new EVP/CD is Allyson Hunter, who left Leo Burnett after 17 years where she worked on McDonald’s, P&G, Kraft et al.
VP STRIPES for DDB’s Mike Schif, CD on Home Depot.
THE TRIBUNE’S search for a new agency is down to Burnett, DDB, Draft and Y&R.
The Chicago Advertising Federation will bestow its prestigious Silver Medal Award upon Bob Scarpelli for his 27 years of dedication to the Chicago advertising community.
Scarpelli, DDB Chicago chairman and DDB U.S. chief creative officer, will receive the award a June 1 dinner at the Cadillac Club at Soldier Field where at least 250 guests are expected.
When the Tribune told Marc USA it wanted a review, Marc politely declined participating and the 8-year association was severed. The Trib account bills $8-$10 million.
John Malkovich comes here April 12-June 5 to star in Steppenwolf’s premiere of “Lost Land,” by Stephen Jeffries.
John Mahoney also returns to Steppenwolf Sept. 16-Nov. 14 in “The Dresser,” co-starring Tracy Letts and directed by Amy Morton.
I-Cubed’s Arturo was creative editor on new Alberto VO-5 spots for Element 79, winning the account from beleaguered Tatham.
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.