The 9th annual 3% Conference goes virtual Monday

The 3% Movement will host a digital conference themed “The Radically Inclusive Future of Work” for their 9th annual event, July 27-29, where attendees are invited to reimagine work from the comfort of their own homes. Between a global pandemic and racial unrest in our country, this moment in history is serving as the ultimate … Continue reading “The 9th annual 3% Conference goes virtual Monday”

3% Conference touts ‘amazing’ 2019 lineup

Authors, CEO’s and former NFL players among speakers scheduled for annual event at Navy Pier   The organization built on a commitment to women is looking for men. The 8th annual 3 Percent Conference — taking place this year on November 7-8 at Navy Pier — explains the gender bias on the front page of … Continue reading “3% Conference touts ‘amazing’ 2019 lineup”

3% Movement: brand purpose will win Super Bowl

Together with Sprinklr, Twitter, and Papa John’s, the 3% Movement encourages fans to track purpose-driven campaigns by using the hashtag #3percentsb In its sixth year of generating real-time feedback to Big Game ads, The 3% Movement is now setting out to capture what that feedback suggests about brand purpose. Using sophisticated data analytics in partnership … Continue reading “3% Movement: brand purpose will win Super Bowl”

3% announces Athena Advertising Awards winners

TBWA\Chiat\Day T3 Droga5 FCB India earn top honors at the second annual creative event (New York — 9 November 2018) The 3% Movement, the advertising/creative industry’s leading voice in gender equality and diversity overall, and the Athena Film Festival, which showcases films that celebrate the stories of fierce and fearless women leaders, announced the winners … Continue reading “3% announces Athena Advertising Awards winners”

A “Privilege Check” from Heat and the 3% Movement

Heat Executive Creative Director Elaine Cox talks about privilege, video games, and workplace diversity Attendees who checked their jackets at the November 8-9 3% Conference in Chicago were given a scratch off filled with statements like “I do not have any learning disabilities,” “I have never gone to bed hungry,” and “I fit the demographic … Continue reading “A “Privilege Check” from Heat and the 3% Movement”

The 3% Conference rises in Chicago

Expert speakers, engaging activities, and sensational presentations helped to guide 1,300 industry attendees onto the same important long-term group project   Besides being informative, last month’s 3% Conference at Navy Pier was enlightening, collaborative, optimistic, intense, cosmopolitan, introspective, touching, intimate, raunchy, and hilarious. And that was just during the final few hours of the two-day … Continue reading “The 3% Conference rises in Chicago”

72andSunny seeks applicants for 3% Conference Chicago

The agency will sponsor five young people to join them at the November 8–9 Navy Pier event. To bring more diversity to the agency culture, The 3% Movement was formed. The movement aims to create opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to break glass ceilings and join in on what is happening in the creative … Continue reading “72andSunny seeks applicants for 3% Conference Chicago”

SAG/AFTRA-agency contract boosts
session fees 7%; P&W to 14.3%

The lightning-fast negotiations for a proposed new three-year SAG/AFTRA commercials contract providing a 6.1% to 15% boost in payments was approved Oct. 1 by a huge margin by the two actors unions and the advertising industry.

By a vote of 81% to 19% taken by videoconference, both SAG/AFTRA’s joint boards and the Joint Policy Committee of the 4As and the Assn. of National Advertisers recommended the new package’s ratification by the unions’ 140,000 members.

Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, Adam Rudder team up on TV Pilot “The Donut Boyz”

The Donut Boyz, originally a hip-hop group, have been fusing comedy, rap, and snack foods into their musical stylings since 2006. Now Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, and Adam Rudder are aiming to bring that energy to your TV screens in the form of a half-hour scripted comedy series centering on the joy of Black male … Continue reading “Erica Duffy, Julio Desir, Adam Rudder team up on TV Pilot “The Donut Boyz””

Pritzker mandates vaccine for all healthcare workers, teachers, students

As COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates across the state continue to increase, particularly in downstate communities with the lowest vaccination rates, Governor JB Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike today announced vaccine requirements for individuals in high risk settings. All healthcare workers, including nursing home employees, all pre-k-12 teachers and staff, as well as … Continue reading “Pritzker mandates vaccine for all healthcare workers, teachers, students”

Production has begun on Rhyan LaMarr’s North of the 10

Rhyan LaMarr and Red Guerrilla Entertainment have facilitated the production of North of the 10, an international “bromantic comedy” starring Don Benjamin, Tosin Morohunfola, DeStorm Power, Mykelti Williamson, George Lopez and many more. LaMarr, who was on Reel Chicago’s Reel Black List, is directing and producing the film set in 2007 during the rise of … Continue reading “Production has begun on Rhyan LaMarr’s North of the 10”

Study reveals the best and worst fictional towns on TV

Television has provided much-needed escapism for many of us during the pandemic, allowing us to get lost in the fictional worlds of American dramas, homegrown soaps and nostalgic classics. But if TV land’s best-known towns were real, which would be the best and worst ones to live in? Entertainment experts MrQ analyzed thousands of television … Continue reading “Study reveals the best and worst fictional towns on TV”

Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. how they ended

After a difficult year due to the global pandemic, the One Chicago family should be congratulated for providing their loyal viewers with top notch storytelling, excitement and suspense in this latest season, which culminated in an incredible prime time event.  Spoiler alert! This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, … Continue reading “Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. how they ended”

Our Top 10 list of the best TV shows set in Chicago

As we say goodbye to our favorite heroes from One Chicago for the summer, it’s fun to look back on all the amazing TV shows set in the Windy City over the years. Chicago has been a production powerhouse for decades and has given us some of the best movies and TV shows that were … Continue reading “Our Top 10 list of the best TV shows set in Chicago”

American consumers expect return to normalcy by July 4

Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has launched a new holiday sentiment study to understand the impact of the pandemic and vaccination status on upcoming holidays, and specifically, how people plan to celebrate, shop and spend for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Father’s Day 2021. The sentiment survey of nearly 4,000 consumers … Continue reading “American consumers expect return to normalcy by July 4”

Chicago actress puts faith into Alzheimer’s fundraiser

This year, for her annual Alzheimer’s and Dementia Fundraiser, Chicago-based actress and author, Ina Bochian, will host a book club and a series of wellness events between April 19th and July 18th.  The raised proceeds will benefit HFC. Founded in 2012 by Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller Rogen, HFC is “a national non-profit organization whose mission … Continue reading “Chicago actress puts faith into Alzheimer’s fundraiser”

REVIEW: Family, friendly Thunder Force

Warning: contains spoilers. Last week Netflix released the Chicago-set feature film Thunder Force, starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy as well as an extensive cast of recognizable faces. This family friendly, slapstick, “action and adventure comedy” is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. in Netflix’s top ten trending list.  And … Continue reading “REVIEW: Family, friendly Thunder Force”

Episode Recap: Chicago Med – “For the Want of a Nail”

SJ Main Muñoz is the first Latina director to be invited into the Television Academy as part of a diversity initiative and was one of the 2019-20 finalists of NBCUniversal’s Female Forward program. Muñoz has returned to direct her second episode of Chicago Med titled For the Want of a Nail, which aired last night. In … Continue reading “Episode Recap: Chicago Med – “For the Want of a Nail””

Miller Lite Level Up Fund announces $100k grant for IWD

Miller Lite announces the launch of the Miller Lite Level Up Fund, a $100,000 grant program that aims to provide financial support to uncelebrated communities in the gaming world. Coinciding with International Women’s Day on Monday, March 8, the Fund will raise awareness for the inspiring female streamers that deserve greater recognition and access to … Continue reading “Miller Lite Level Up Fund announces $100k grant for IWD”

New Fantastic Four fan film is faaaaantastic

Writer, producer, and Chicagoan Harry Bauer has found a way to exhibit his creativity in a series of short fan films based on The Fantastic Four comic books. As we all know, comic book fans are passionate about their characters. With the huge growth of film festivals dedicated to fan films such as the GeekFest, … Continue reading “New Fantastic Four fan film is faaaaantastic”

Our Top 10 Valentine’s Day Chicago films

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and with the global pandemic, many couples are choosing to stream movies at home “and chill”. There are many romantic movies filmed in the windy city and we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the top ten best romantic films set in Chicago that you can … Continue reading “Our Top 10 Valentine’s Day Chicago films”

Film studio planned for Marshall Field’s warehouse

Knickpoint Ventures, owner of the sprawling 22-acre former Marshall Field’s warehouse complex on the Northwest Side, plans to create a film production campus on the site. Chicago Tribune has reported that real estate developer Knickpoint, who has owned the property at 4000 W. Diversey Ave. since 2018, are in preliminary discussions with members of Mayor … Continue reading “Film studio planned for Marshall Field’s warehouse”

Think you know everything about Groundhog Day?

Every February 2 on Groundhog Day, North Americans wait with bated breath to discover if there will be six more weeks of winter or if there will be an early spring as foretold by Punxsutawney Phil when he emerges from his “den.” Since 1887 the large terrestrial rodent (as well as his predecessors) has been … Continue reading “Think you know everything about Groundhog Day?”

Super Bowl consumer spending down

Chicago-based Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has launched a consumer sentiment study to understand how consumers plan to watch and spend regarding Super Bowl LV. Overall, there will be fewer repeat watchers, fewer gatherings, and less planned spend. Numerator polled 1,500 past Super Bowl viewers, evaluating responses using psychographic … Continue reading “Super Bowl consumer spending down”

Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations

Film Independent announced nominations for the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Not just another pretty face on the awards circuit, the Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for the nonprofit Film Independent’s year-round slate of programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. Film Independent President Josh … Continue reading “Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations”

Nicole Brandell Joins FCB as Chief Strategy Officer

FCB today announced that Nicole Brandell has been brought on board as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of FCB Chicago. As the CSO, Brandell will partner closely with Kelly Graves, FCB Chicago President, and Andrés Ordóñez, FCB Chicago Chief Creative Officer, to drive the strategic vision for the Agency, deliver world-class creative work across over 30 brands, … Continue reading “Nicole Brandell Joins FCB as Chief Strategy Officer”

REVIEW: Boseman, Davis make ‘Ma Rainey’s’ a must-see

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is the long-awaited adaptation of the hit stage play, written by August Wilson by the same name. Aside from a few scenes in the beginning of the film, it is blocked and feels very much like a play, which provides an intimacy between the characters and the audience that most films … Continue reading “REVIEW: Boseman, Davis make ‘Ma Rainey’s’ a must-see”

REVIEW: ‘Trial of Chicago 7’ is compelling entertainment

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a compelling courtroom drama that is filled with crisp dialogue that debuted on Netflix a month before the election. While Trump’s Justice Department labeled the film as political propaganda, writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s latest shows how much has not changed when it comes to our judicial system. Up to … Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Trial of Chicago 7’ is compelling entertainment”

Jon McDaniel, Wolfgang Puck pair for masterclass

This is tasty. On November 19, 2020, Provence Rosé Group (PRG) will present “A Perfect Pairing,” a special virtual Thanksgiving and rosé wine event featuring Food & Wine Magazine’s 2018 Sommelier of the Year and Chicago’s Jon McDaniel and renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. The announcement was made today by PRG CEO Bob Gaudreau. Live from the kitchen of WP … Continue reading “Jon McDaniel, Wolfgang Puck pair for masterclass”

Juan Woodbury joins FCB to transform branded content

FCB Chicago has announced that prolific producer Juan Woodbury has joined the agency as EVP, Director of Branded Content & Entertainment. In this newly created role, Woodbury will be responsible for founding a branded content & entertainment practice within FCB. While he will report directly to Chief Creative Officer Andrés Ordóñez, his hybrid role will extend across … Continue reading “Juan Woodbury joins FCB to transform branded content”

Zakat and mothers hold Anti-Police Violence Rally

Zakat Foundation of America, in partnership with Our Lady of Suyapa Sanctuary and Readi Chicago, a Heartland Alliance program, is taking to the streets. Armed with peace and prayer, mothers lift up their voices as people who have lost their children to police brutality, gathering August 8 at the Daley Plaza. “When George Floyd cried … Continue reading “Zakat and mothers hold Anti-Police Violence Rally”

Back-to-School ads down 50% with uncertainty of opening

Numerator, the Chicago data and tech company serving the market research space, has launched a Back to School Index to understand how brands and consumers are managing through the uncertainty of school openings. The index monitors ad spend, promotional activity, and purchase behaviors versus a year ago to quantify shifts in everything from advertising strategy to … Continue reading “Back-to-School ads down 50% with uncertainty of opening”

Sam Ciaramitaro’s photos of BLM Demonstrations

Three-times Cannes Lion winner, Sam Ciaramitaro has become an accomplished director for Durable Goods and a producer with a distinct speciality for delivering poignant stories, often in an anthemic way, featuring people from all walks of life, including athletes, families and beyond. His two-decade career has spanned the agency, production and client side of the … Continue reading “Sam Ciaramitaro’s photos of BLM Demonstrations”

City of Chicago prepares for cautious reopening

Following several days of violent protests, the City of Chicago restores access to the Central Business District to prepare for cautious reopening. Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced restored access to the Central Business District and Loop, to prepare the city for reopening on June 3. While full access to the area will be reintroduced … Continue reading “City of Chicago prepares for cautious reopening”

‘Fire’ encore matches highest ratings since 2017

Chicago Fire is well, on fire. Even in reruns. A rebroadcast of the beloved NBC series (0.6 rating in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall from 9-10 p.m. ET) matched the show’s highest rating for a rebroadcast since Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at 10 p.m. (0.7). Versus the previous week’s encore, Fire increased by +0.1 of … Continue reading “‘Fire’ encore matches highest ratings since 2017”

Burnett wins Agency of the Year from AAA

Congratulations to our friends at Leo Burnett and mcgarrybowen. Each agency took home three Gold statues from the American Advertising Awards which were announced April 28 virtually. Oh, and the agency at 35 West Wacker also took home “Agency of the Year.” Well done. Both agencies also took home awards in the “Best of” categories. … Continue reading “Burnett wins Agency of the Year from AAA”

McDonald’s Q1 “significantly disrupted” by COVID-19

McDonald’s Corporation today announced results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2020. During its investor earnings conference call live over the Internet, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said, “Following our strong performance in 2019, McDonald’s began 2020 with exceptional global momentum, and our January and February sales were reflective of that trend. Since … Continue reading “McDonald’s Q1 “significantly disrupted” by COVID-19″

‘Chicago Fire’ ‘Med’ season finales #1 and #2 in ratings

NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago Med led the network in total viewers. The shows ended their season ranking #1-2, respectively. The season-concluding Chicago P.D. captured the show’s most-watched episode. The Masked Singer, Survivor  and ABC’s comedies all lost out the season closer of Chicago Med (1.1 rating in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall from 8-9 … Continue reading “‘Chicago Fire’ ‘Med’ season finales #1 and #2 in ratings”

BCBS commits $3 Billion to members and first responders

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced that the network of 36 independent and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP), have committed nearly $3 billion to date in support of members, health care workers and local communities to aid in the ongoing fight against … Continue reading “BCBS commits $3 Billion to members and first responders”

‘CHICAGO TONIGHT’ provides local coverage of COVID

CHICAGO TONIGHT, correspondent/producer Paris Schutz reports live from Chicago neighborhoods highlighting community challenges and solutions The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered everyday life for Chicagoans as they try to adjust to a new normal. Now more than ever, our communities need fact-based news and trusted information about this developing public health crisis. … Continue reading “‘CHICAGO TONIGHT’ provides local coverage of COVID”

Behind the Scenes: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ DP, Dan Mindel

Behind the Scenes: Honoring the visual tradition of the first eight films, Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC, SASC reteams with Panavision to conclude the Star Wars saga with Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker In February 2019, director J.J. Abrams called “Cut!” for the last time during principal photography of the ninth chapter of the long-running Star Wars saga. Star Wars: … Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ DP, Dan Mindel”

Alma Klein & Liz Rinaldi take lactation out of the closet

In a few weeks, Arc Worldwide Vice President Creative Director, Alma Klein and VP/Design Director, Liz Ranaldi will be spreading a lactation ‘gospel’ at South by Southwest.  The journey to the pulpit, which is actually a four-person panel, started years ago, when Alma was a new mother who altered her nursing schedule to avoid operating … Continue reading “Alma Klein & Liz Rinaldi take lactation out of the closet”

Mary Datcher, founder, Global Mixx Music & Film Forum

Mary Datcher, founder of the annual Global Mixx Music & Film Forum, joins the 2020 edition of Reel Chicago Black List, an annual celebration of African-American creativity published during Black History Month. The Reel Chicago Black List includes ‘The Chi’ cast member LaDonna Tittle, house music pioneer Vince Lawrence, and filmmaker Rhyan LaMarr. To view … Continue reading “Mary Datcher, founder, Global Mixx Music & Film Forum”

WGN America to launch prime-time ‘News Nation’

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. announced today that its wholly-owned cable network, WGN America, which reaches approximately 75 million U.S. TV households, will begin airing a live daily three-hour national newscast called News Nation this summer. News Nation will air in prime-time, from 8 pm ET to 11 pm ET, and will draw on the local … Continue reading “WGN America to launch prime-time ‘News Nation’”

Leo Burnett names Matt Marcus Chief Experience Officer

Seasoned creative leader will help brands connect with consumers through technology Leo Burnett North America has today named Matt Marcus to the newly created role of Chief Experience Officer. Marcus’ client portfolio will include Kellogg, Kraft, General Motors and Miller Coors, among others. He starts in the position immediately, reporting to Liz Taylor, chief creative … Continue reading “Leo Burnett names Matt Marcus Chief Experience Officer”

Winners announced for Heartland Film Fest

The Heartland International Film Festival announced the filmmaker award winners for the film festival’s 28th edition during an Awards Brunch on Saturday, October 19. The Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature (and a cash prize of $15,000) went to Bora Kim’s House of Hummingbird, with one of the film’s stars, Seung-Yun Lee on hand to … Continue reading “Winners announced for Heartland Film Fest”

SOCIALDEVIANT “iterates to great”

Combining traditional expertise and Millennial wisdom, the Chicago shop is proving that “good guys can win”   In many ways, SOCIALDEVIANT is more of an experiment than an advertising agency. It is a place where clients are invited to fiddle with work in progress, employees are expected to be restless, and beer is brewed onsite. … Continue reading “SOCIALDEVIANT “iterates to great””

One Club promotes Karolak to Gender Equality role

Move strengthens new initiatives like the organization’s first gender equality conference for senior agency leaders The One Club for Creativity, the world’s foremost nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and celebrate the success of the global creative community, has promoted Kasia Karolak into a newly-created role to lead its gender equality programming. In the … Continue reading “One Club promotes Karolak to Gender Equality role”

Heat’s Hookup Stations spark Lolla dialogue

“Let’s Get Consensual” campaign utilizes phone-charging stations to spread awareness on consent Last weekend at Lollapalooza, VIP ticket holders used Let’s Get Consensual’s Hookup Stations. These Hookup Stations charged phones and served as an interactive tool on consent. Before users plugged in, they were asked if it was a consensual connection, were given basic information … Continue reading “Heat’s Hookup Stations spark Lolla dialogue”

Chicago shops score at the Telly Awards

AbelsonTaylor, Daily Planet, Delack, KemperLesnik, Mimi, rEvolution, Richter Studios, Spirit Juice, Strange Loop among 2019 winners The Telly Awards announced this year’s winners on May 21. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, the awards represent the world’s largest honor for video and television content across all screens. Entries were judged by jury members from creative … Continue reading “Chicago shops score at the Telly Awards”

You’re Fired! WGA implements agency Code of Conduct

After talks broke down between the Writers Guild of America and The Association of Talent Agencies members began firing their agents Things just got real. After talks between The Writers Guild East (WGAEast) and West(WGA) and Association of Talent Agencies (ATA) broke down at the Beverly Hilton on April 12, Guild leaders sent members form … Continue reading “You’re Fired! WGA implements agency Code of Conduct”

Reel Women: Susan Betteridge, Group Creative Director

The mcgarrybowen creative leader and SheRunsIt Working Mom of the Year describes how she is “still figuring it out” Susan Betteridge has made a profound and positive impact on a lot of people since moving to Chicago from Grand Rapids nearly two decades ago. Besides clients and coworkers at mcgarrybowen, where she has been a … Continue reading “Reel Women: Susan Betteridge, Group Creative Director”

WGA puts talent agencies on blast in new report

“Agents unwilling to represent writers will have to find another line of work” – WGA A scathing new report issued Monday morning from The Writers Guild of America has targeted two of Hollywood’s largest talent agencies – William Morris Endeavor (WME) and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for their continued behavior in engaging in a series … Continue reading “WGA puts talent agencies on blast in new report”

Havas Chicago adds purpose to its black coffee

An experiential coffee shop meets cultural conversation in Havas’ latest lobby installment (donuts included) Coffee is a piping hot vehicle that can showcase what many black people experience, and have experienced, in corporate America. The Havas Chicago team is at it again. Having become known for their amazing and provocative lobby installations tying into noteworthy … Continue reading “Havas Chicago adds purpose to its black coffee”

Fast Horse enlists ‘SNL’ alum Cheri Oteri for Fiber One

The Minneapolis agency and the versatile funnywoman help the snack maker encourage people who need more fiber in their diet According to “Food Navigator” for some consumers, digestive health is about avoiding foods that make them feel bloated or lethargic, for some, it’s about ‘roughage’ and ‘regularity.’ Fiber One does not want to be avoided. … Continue reading “Fast Horse enlists ‘SNL’ alum Cheri Oteri for Fiber One”

giveashi*t holiday party mixes giving with good times

Socialize with friends, hear great music, eat delicious food, and enjoy tasty beverages while helping others tonight at Daily Planet Continuing a tradition of generosity and compassion, Daily Planet Ltd. hosts its annual giveshi*t holiday party tonight. Beer, wine, snacks, music, and a surprise Special Musical Guest will complement the evening’s star attraction: the annual … Continue reading “giveashi*t holiday party mixes giving with good times”

Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday

“I started to realize, ‘oh, he’s putting together these clips to tell a story.’ That’s really what he loved about (editing).” David Carr, on his father, Bob The family of editor Bob Carr, who passed away last month, will host a memorial celebration in his honor at Healy’s bar in Forest Park this Sunday from … Continue reading “Carr family hosts tribute to Bob Carr this Sunday”

Daily Planet premieres Streetwise film during gala event

“Like You” is a mini-doc that celebrates a community built on hard work, dedication, and hope In a three-day span last week, Chicago production and post company Daily Planet shot and edited a film about the people who sell the Streetwise newspaper. Titled, Like You, the one-minute and 45-second mini-doc is a story told by … Continue reading “Daily Planet premieres Streetwise film during gala event”

Reverse-engineering creative so it will seem scientific

Every agency I ever worked at romanticized their data… a lot. —Steffan Postaer One of the things I’ve come to disdain about our business is how damn serious we take it. Not the craft itself — creating, curating and choreography — but the extemporaneous crap we built around it. Stuff like process and proprietary tools; … Continue reading “Reverse-engineering creative so it will seem scientific”

DGA: first-time TV directors more inclusive than ever

‘It’s not just the right thing to do, it is vitally important to keep our industry growing, changing and innovating.’ DGA President Thomas Schlamme (Los Angeles — 30 August 2018) In a business where success often hinges on getting that initial break to prove yourself, probably nothing has more power to make the pool of … Continue reading “DGA: first-time TV directors more inclusive than ever”

Moxie and resilience on display at Cannes Lions

A screening of select shorts from the Athena Film Festival demonstrate the dynamic grace and power of today’s female filmmakers   Four short films directed by women were screened at the Cannes Lions 2018 International Festival of Creativity as a part of a June 20 presentation by FCB Chicago’s CCO Liz Taylor and The 3% … Continue reading “Moxie and resilience on display at Cannes Lions”

NYC-based Athena Advertising Awards go global

FCB’s Liz Taylor and 3% Movement’s Kat Gordon announced that the femme-focused advertising competition is now open to women around the world   During a presentation at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, FCB Chicago’s Chief Creative Officer Liz Taylor and 3% Movement founder Kat Gordon announced that the Athena Advertising Awards are going global … Continue reading “NYC-based Athena Advertising Awards go global”

The unforgettable drama of “Raising Adults”

The “in your face” and “embarrassingly autobiographical” indie web series packs more drama than most, but that’s life   Chicago-based writer / producer Brittany Wagner is currently completing post-production for the second season of Raising Adults, a web series that lost an original cast member to suicide in February, and the actor who took his … Continue reading “The unforgettable drama of “Raising Adults””

Hey! Is that my graffiti in your film?

Entertainment lawyer Travis Life explains how courts settle disputes about copyrighted material appearing in films without legal clearance Filmmakers are usually so focused on the production of their story that sometimes they miss the little things contained in their work. These “little things” — posters, paintings, graffiti, etc. — can cause big problems if they … Continue reading “Hey! Is that my graffiti in your film?”

Report: How feelings impact business decisions

gyro — in association with the Financial Times — reveals the feelings that drive business decisions   While it’s easy for marketers to get distracted by the power of data and technology, a new report reminds us what really drives business decisions: feelings. I feel the urge to sing a song here, but I will … Continue reading “Report: How feelings impact business decisions”

BBDO studies political impact on Hispanic consumers

Despite an “increase in displays of prejudice,” Hispanics are actually spending more than ever.   Chicago marketing and advertising powerhouse Energy BBDO partnered with Culturati Research & Consulting, Inc. to conduct a study on whether or not the Hispanic community has been buying and shopping less as a result of anti-immigration fervor and a tense … Continue reading “BBDO studies political impact on Hispanic consumers”

Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer

Jenny Lumpkin is the international Artist Agent and Senior Producer for Quriosity Productions. Politely referred to as “Q #2”, she is armed with a BFA in both graphic design and creative writing from the Kansas City Art Institute. Besides offering an intimate understanding of the art of visual communication in advertising and entertainment, Jenny is … Continue reading “Reel Women: Jenny Lumpkin, Agent and Producer”

Goodman, Lawson confront taboos in “The Nest”

Jennifer A. Goodman (also known as Jennifer Karum) wrote and co-directed with Jessica Hebda Lawson a short film called The Nest. This 20-minute short is intended to be a concept film that Goodman and Lawson both hope to turn into a feature. The film is Goodman’s next big project following the pilot of Conrad.   … Continue reading “Goodman, Lawson confront taboos in “The Nest””

Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley

Christine Dudley rarely goes to the movies. That may seem odd for the Director of the Illinois Film Office, but she’s dedicated to a job that begins before most of the scenes are even shot and ends, like, never. So what does she do?     When Dudley’s not pitching Hollywood studios, she’s reading the … Continue reading “Pitching with IL Film Office Director Christine Dudley”

Chicago helps grow diversity in Illinois productions

Women and minorities represented 53% of all crew hires reported in 2017, according to a January 25 press release issued by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. The amount marks a new record for diversity in the state’s film industry. “These productions generated $423 million in estimated Illinois spending,” the document continues, “and … Continue reading “Chicago helps grow diversity in Illinois productions”

Seasons greetings from the industry

Reel Chicago wishes all of our readers Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Joyful Kwanzaa, and an awesome belated Solstice. But we’re not the only ones. Windy City ad, film, music, and production companies have been spreading the warmth for weeks. Below is a selection of customized wishes.     UPSHOT AGENCY     TESSA FILMS   … Continue reading “Seasons greetings from the industry”

Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news

Escape Pod launches freelance recruitment app Go Shortlist Today, Escape Pod announced the creation of a free online platform connecting the industry’s top creative freelancers with top ad agencies. Created by Escape Pod’s interactive arm, Ora Interactive, “Go Shortlist” uses a proprietary algorithm combined with a personalized talent assessment to rank the top creative freelancers, … Continue reading “Escape Pod, Ogilvy, Box Office, Foo Fighters in the news”

Havas, Escape Pod, MIFF, Thor, Larry David in the news

Anna Parker promoted to Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Havas Chicago announced that it has promoted Anna (Newburn) Parker to Chief Strategy Officer. She joins Havas Chicago’s executive leadership team which includes Paul Marobella, Jason Peterson, Tatia Torrey, Jennifer Marszalek, Lisa Evia and Angelo Kritikos. Considered a major contributor to the transformation of the Havas … Continue reading “Havas, Escape Pod, MIFF, Thor, Larry David in the news”

SAG-AFTRA, AMPTP reach tentative agreement

Looks as if actors and actresses belonging to SAG-AFTRA will continue to talk and not walk as, according to Deadline, the union has reached a tentative agreement with AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).

SAG-AFTRA’s current contract expired June 30 at midnight PT and had been extended each of the past three nights. If a deal hadn’t been reached, union leaders had vowed to ask their members for strike authorization.

Sears slashes 400 jobs in corporate offices

According to multiple June 13 reports, Sears announced it would cut 400 jobs, affecting mostly its employees at its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates.

The layoffs come as part of an effort to restructure, which is designed to deliver Sears $1.25 billion in annual cost reductions.

On top of the corporate office jobs, positions at field operations will be affected as well due to store closures Sears initiated earlier in June.

Cutters Studio Detroit livestreams new Lions’ uniforms

On April 13, Cutters Studio Detroit (CSD) helped the Detroit Lions rally their fan base and earn national headlines by hosting a sensational “uniform unveil” event that was live-streamed by more than 300,000 viewers.

Cutters, with studios in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Tokyo, conceived and produced the entire media events behind the scenes of the fanfare which consisted of several brand films, a complete on-air graphics package and an experiential art installation.

Daily Planet president embraces vegan office philosophy

In the course of abstaining from all animal products, including milk and eggs, Daily Planet Productions’ president and dedicated nonmeat-eater Scott Marvel was enlightened by a recent epiphany.

“It dawned on me,” he says. “If I made Daily Planet a vegan company… we would be innovative.”

The ensuing effect of his philosophy on Daily Planet’s staff and operations is documented in a hilarious video — Exciting News from Daily Planet — that the company released yesterday.

DGA “overwhelmingly” ratified its new AMPTP contract

THE DGA RATIFIED its new collective bargaining agreements with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) by an overwhelming membership vote.

“Our major gains in SVOD residuals, together with our improvements in wages and pensions, were the result of our forward-thinking preparation,” said DGA president Paris Barclay.

STRATA survey shows agency optimism for the new year

ACCORDING TO A SURVEY conducted by Comcast-owned STRATA, 43% of agencies reported in Q4 2016 that their business will increase in Q1 2017. Of these, 42% are anticipating adding employees while none of the agencies surveyed planned to reduce staff.

The biggest challenge, 51% of the respondents stated, is expanding their client base. Video advertising remains the dominant focus, reported 34%, followed by digital video as the dominant focus reported by 27% of responding agencies — a 79% increase over 2016.

Burnett again in awards spotlight, winning at AICP

THE AICP NEXT AWARDS held last night in New York as part of AICP Week, presented its 2015 Most Next honor to Leo Burnett’s Allstate’s “Social Savvy Burglar.”  As part of the award, the winner gets to donate a $5,000 grant from the AICP Foundation to an educational institution of its choosing.  The recipient was nonprofit Marwen, which offers offering free, arts-based youth development programs for underserved Chicago students in grade

Judy Baar Topinka: The film industry’s great friend

When she held the office of State Treasurer, Judy Baar Topinka, who died Tuesday of a stroke, was the Illinois film industry’s great financial friend. 

In looking for new, efficient ways to benefit the state, in 2001 she set up “Lights, Camera, Illinois!” (LCI) the only state-sponsored loan program for filmmakers in the U.S.

Two Midwest SAG AFTRA offices to merge with Chicago

Recent decisions made by national SAG AFTRA were positive and not necessarily so positive for the talent unions that merged in early 2013 after 30 years of discussion and now representing more than 165,000 members in front of and behind the camera.

On the plus side, the union’s National Board and the advertising industry’s Joint Policy Committee in late April agreed on terms of a new television and radio contract.

Three famous filmmakers here covering NATO protests

Three famous Chicago native filmmakers, who established their reputations during the shocking turbulence surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, are returning this week as a team to document the many political, economic and environmental protests of the NATO Summit. 

Two-time Oscar winner cinematographer Haskell Wexler, director Andrew Davis and writer/director Mike Gray, with local activist/filmmaker producer Suree Towfighnia and a contingent of 15 to 20 filmmakers, will capture stories about the people in the various movements.

With amendments, film incentives bill expects to pass

Michigan moved closer to new film incentives Dec. 1 with the House Commerce Committee revising SB 569 and sending it out of committee with a passing vote of 16-1.

The Film Production Assistance Program bill will return to the Senate for approval of the added amendments and is expected to sail through the full House this week. 

The Committee made several amendments to the bill. The most significant one removes commercials, but another gives a boost to post houses by requiring that 5% of all monies appropriated are designated for postproduction in Michigan.

Well-deserved grants to three worthy arts companies

YEAR’S END always brings accolades in the form of always-welcome grants, and there are three to acknowledge, starting with the generosity of The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation.

The Meier Foundation, which quietly has been making substantial no-strings-attached gifts to mid-career artists for the past six years, announced the three 2011 recipients. They are:

Senate passes 5-year, $25 mm cap grant-based film funding

Michigan’s formerly flourishing film industry had some life breathed into it by the senate’s passage of the Film Production Assistance Program (SB 569), a project-by-project grant-based funding system that has been employed this year.

SB 569 passed by a vote of 34-4 Thursday, Nov. 3, and heads to the house for passage.  GOP film industry advocate, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Randy Richardville, sponsored the bill.

Draftfcb/Chicago cuts 100 jobs in wake of SC Johnson account loss

Draftfcb has laid off the largest number of employee at one time with its cut of 10% of the Chicago workforce, or 100 jobs out of the agency’s estimated 1,000 employees.  The jobs were cut across the board, at all functions and levels.

The layoffs were not unexpected in the aftermath of Draftfcb losing the $1 billion SC Johnson business after 60 years, although the cuts came quickly.  Less than three weeks ago, SC Johnson officially announced the account switch to Ogilvy & Mather and Energy BBDO.

AICP survey: Spot business rebounds to 2008 levels

THE COMEBACK of commercial production business this past year is a sure signal that the economy is rebounding, as production expenditures are up by 5% and nearly back to 2008 levels.

Confirmation of the rebound comes from the AICP’s 9th annual Survey of the Commercial Production Industry – an industry measured at $4.5 billion – made by L.A.-based Resolve Market Research.

The survey reports California still rules live action production, shoot days on locations were the highest since 2008 heights and the amount of digital production soared.

AKA Media makes Inc. Magazine’s 2010 list

Video production and creative web firm AKA Media Inc., is Chicago’s sole privately held media company to make Inc. Magazine’s 2010 list of 5,000 fastest growing companies. The company was also listed in 2009.

“We’re a 12-year overnight sensation,” says CEO/ executive producer Andrew Krause, who is grateful for his company’s success despite the rough economy affecting the industry.

The company ranked #4,615 in 2010, thanks to a continuing 15% growth rate since 2006. Revenues reached $2.4 million in 2009, a $200,000 increase in 12 months.

Thank YOU, Ron Howard!

WHAT AN UNEXPECTEDLY NICE GESTURE. In surely what’s got to be a first in the 35-year annals of Hollywood-in-Chicago entertainment production, departing director Ron Howard, stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, and the cast and crew of “The Dilemma,” placed a full page ad in the Sun-Times Friday.

The ad thanked Chicago “for a great shoot and a great time in your town!”

The ad offered “Our special thanks to ?

Bruce Willis hits town to promote — vodka

Bruce Willis, who has defended hostages in “Die Hard” and bartended bar at Manhattan’s Kamikaze while attempting to break into New York theatre. Now in Chicago Aug. 11, the action star will blast his way into Binny’s Beverage Depot in Lincoln Park.

As international spokesman for Sobieski Vodka, the star’s mission is to promote the brand at a cocktail party and raise money for charity.

At the upcoming soiree, when Binny’s will be closed for private event guests will be served cocktails made with Sobieski Vodka, along with champagne and appetizers.

Quinn campaign targets younger voters

Gov. Pat Quinn’s gubernatorial campaign attempts to mitigate the reduced impact of traditional advertising with “Quinn Stories,” a weekly series of two-minute webisodes designed to reach voters who might otherwise be overlooked by conventional campaign strategies.

“Quinn Stories,” produced by director Barry Poltermann’s About Face Media, began in November and will continue through the Feb. 2 gubernatorial primary.

The Dec.

Chicago #4 in Variety’s ’10 Greatest Locations’

VARIETY NAMED CHICAGO the number four filming location on a list of “10 Greatest Locations in North America,” in a special issue published next month. We rank behind California, of course, New York, right, and New Mexico.

Speaking of locations: The recent six-day Buick shoot by Form of L.A., racked up the most locations, on 59 city blocks, or 53% of the locations used for filming, during the month of September, so far.

The 2016 Olympic films came in second with shoots on 14 blocks or 22% of locations used, according to

Doc star Ken Burns speaks in Chicago

DOCUMENTARIAN KEN BURNS comes to Chicago Sept. 16 to speak at a luncheon and presentation for his new book, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” at the Union League Club.

The six-episode PBS series of the same name, directed by Burns and written and co-produced by Dayton Duncan, who co-wrote the book, will air this fall. The series recounts the adventures, mythmaking and intense political battles behind the evolution of the park system and the ideals that fostered its growth.

SAG, Producers Alliance pact approved

At last! After nearly a year of contentious wrangling between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, SAG members voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract, which immediately triggered activity on a backlog of stalled L.A.-generated movie and TV production.

According to SAG, 78% of those who voted supported the contract. About 35% of the union’s 110,000 members returned ballots.

2008 film revenues hit $141 million

The estimated $25 million spent by Michael Mann’s blockbuster “Public Enemies” in the state last year pumped up officially-tallied 2008 revenues to $141 million, from production of film, TV shows and commercials production.

Nine features and one TV series contributed $132.5 million to the total, while spot production tumbled to $18.5 million, the Illinois Film Office reported.

New niche widens for Vagabond Audio

When Oscar-nominated producer/director Tod Lending needed to improve audio on his latest project ?- an hourlong, $1.5 million doc, “The Principal Story,” scheduled for a “POV” episode on PBS this fall — he took the track to Drew Weir at Vagabond Audio.

Long form audio isn’t Vagabond’s main business, which comes from a full range of audio services for commercials.

“But it is becoming a niche we’re developing,” says executive producer Rise Sanders, Vagabond Audio partner and wife of engineer/sound designer Weir.

Webisode star “Citizen Kate” shines at the DCN and RNC and her fame extends to other sites

POLITICOS WEREN’T ALONE IN THE SPOTLIGHT at the recent Democratic and Republican Conventions.

Producer Carey Lundin’s alter ego, “Citizen Kate,” star of the increasing popular website,, struck high saturation pay dirt. “We proved that hard work, planning, creativity and just showing up, are all it takes to be successful,” says Lundin. At the two national conventions, “Kate,” aka actress Kate Soglin, got her share of the spotlight.

“Peep Show” for Spike TV appears to be the
only new TV pilot set to shoot in Chicago soon

THE ONLY NEW TV SHOW on the Chicago horizon seems to be “Peep Show” for Spike TV. The pilot of the Americanized version of the British hit series is scheduled to shoot here in September or October.

Tenner Paskal Rudnicke is casting eight or nine actors for lead roles, “but no one is officially cast yet,” says TPR partner Jennifer Rudnickne.

On the commercial front, TPR’s recent casting was for 59 Films’ two-day shoot for Coors/DraftFCB, calling in the four “regular guys” for the latest entry in the ongoing campaign.

AFTRA and non-broadcast producers extend contract providing rates, benefits increases

National AFTRA and non-broadcast producers reached an agreement for an 18-month extension to the contract that covers on-camera/voiceover for business videos and new media-distributed informational and promotional messages.

The deal includes a 3% general rate increase and a one-half percent increase in the contribution rates into the union’s health and retirement funds equaling the commercials contract rate of 14.8%.

The 18-month extended pact became effective on May 1, 2008, when the current contract expired, and remains in full force until midnight Oct.

First in the Midwest, Fletcher’s 3-perf camera proving ?it gives 35mm look for 16mm budget’

Fletcher Chicago scores another first in the Midwest with the addition of the 3-Perforation film camera that gives users 35mm quality for 16mm prices.

Originated for shooting commercials, it’s a standard Arri 35 camera that uses an alternative advancement system of 3-perforation movement per image frame, vs. the traditional 4-perf.

With the emergence of 16×9 HDTV and DI, 3-Perf’s mainstream popularity is increasing, notes Tom Fletcher, VP/marketing.

“The technology is simple,” he says.

Seven U.S. states give rebates — with caveats

For more than a decade, New Mexico, with its 25% tax rebate on all production expenditures, was the paragon state to beat. It has no minimum spending requirement and no cap.

Up until Michigan’s dramatic entry, no other state has come close to New Mexico’s cash-back enticements.

Six other states presently tempt producers with rebates, out of the 31 that offer varying amounts of tax and other incentives. The only state among these six without qualifiers is Minnesota’s straight-forward 15% cash rebate.

The write stuff from L.A. script expert

SCREENWRITERS WILL GET A CHANCE to quiz L.A. screenwriting consultant Phillippa Burgess on how to move their careers forward and other vital breakthrough info Dec. 7 at the Chicago Screenwriters Network meeting.

As a partner in Creative Convergence, a multifaceted entertainment company representing writers, directors, producers and the like, Burgess is certainly equipped to provide the answers.

List of 31 states with film incentives shows how
the battle for production dollars has heated up

Illinois and Wisconsin are among the 31 states listed below that have legislated generous incentives to entice the motion picture industry away from the Coasts and spend some of its annual $60 billion within their borders.

An asterisk highlights the 14 states with the added appeal of sales and use tax exemptions (helllo, City Hall!).

*CALIFORNIA: Free permits and no location fees for California state properties; 5% sales tax exemption on postproduction equipment; no state hotel tax on occupancy.

One significant change in 4th annual AICP survey shows more non-traditional advertising is up 70%

AICP’s fourth annual Survey of the Commercial Production Industry shows that nearly 70% of member companies produced non-traditional advertising outside of the traditional television commercial during the study year of 2005.

Not surprising was that Southern California remains the most popular location, and Canada is still the top-ranked foreign location.

Los Angeles-based Goodwin Simon Victoria Research conducted the survey to measure how and where spot dollars are spent and what the major issues are to members.

Actors unions and ad industry agree to a two-year extension of current commercials contract

Meeting as a Joint Board, directors of SAG and AFTRA on Aug. 26 overwhelmingly approved a two-year extension to the commercials contracts with the advertising industry by an almost 95% margin.

AFTRA and SAG members will now vote on final ratification of the extension. Referendum ballots are scheduled to be mailed Sept. 5 and due back September 26.

The extension runs through Oct. 28, 2008; the current contract expires Oct. 29, 2006.

Treasurer boosts Lights, Camera, Illinois! loan program with six new films on tap

The Lights, Camera, Illinois! program is poised within the next two months to add as many as six films to the roster of eight that have been awarded the low interest loan.

Program administrator Chuck Hagopian described the increase in loan awards as part of an overall effort by State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka’s office to aggressively promote Illinois production through the program.

Up and Down the Avenue – 03/10/04

FLYING HIGH. IFO director Brenda Sexton returns from her sixth L.A. trip in 11 months reporting tremendous interest” in the wage tax credit bill from meetings set up by MPAA lobbyist Dans Stevenson. Paul Caselton, deputy general counsel of the Illinois Dept. of Revenue tax division went to explain how the credit workswage tax credit works. Freshman state rep Ken Dunkin, cosponsor of the bill, also made the trip. And Local 476’s Paul Oddo decided this would be a good time to shop the union’s low-budget contract in L.A.

AICP survey: $3.5 BB for production; L.A. still biggest U.S. spot center

Everyone knows the commercial production industry is big, but how big didn’t hit home until the new AICP survey spotlighted its immense size.

According to the survey, direct production expenditures were a massive $3.5 billion. When factoring in additional expenditures, including talent and post, the total impact climbs to $5.5 billion.

What makes this number so astounding is that expenditures were reported by AICP’s approximately 250 general members and 250 associate members, a relatively small but elite and powerful group.

Chicago theater is big business

By Jonathan Abarbanel

An exuberant John Calloway moderated a recent City Club of Chicago luncheon panel devoted to the business of live theater, the first City Club event focused on the arts within anyone’s memory.

As keynote speaker, League of Chicago Theatres executive director Marj Halperin unveiled a new study setting the economic impact of local theater at $347 million annually and growing, an increase of 110% in the seven years since the last study.

REELSCENE: News & Notes – 10/30/03

TOURISM NARROWS AGENCY CHOICES. The local branches of three foreign-owned ad agencies got the nod from the Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as finalists for the $12.5 million Illinois Tourism account. Independents Grant/Jacoby and Hoffman York and Campbell-Mithun’s local office were out.

The finalists are WPP Group shops J. Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam, and Havas’ Euro RSCG Tatham Partners.

DCEO communications director Laura Hunter will oversee the final reviews with Jan Jostner, Tourism’s deputy director.

Ad spending higher in first 6 months

Although network TV lost ground, total ad spending grew 6.8% to hit $61.7 billion during the first half of the year. Total broadcasting rose 4.7% to $31.3 billion and print increased 8.6% to $25.9 billion.

Some of the strongest gains came from cable TV, nationally syndicated broadcasting and Spanish-language TV, according to ad tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Internet advertising had one of the biggest gains, rising to 15.3%.