Memorial scheduled for Butch Stewart June 23-25

(Editor’s note: Chicago music giant Butch Stewart passed away in May. There will be a memorial held for him June 23, 24 and 25 at 1900 Greenwood Street in Evanston, Illinois. Emma Young wrote this moving tribute about Stewart and his company in 2014.)

Good Stewart Productions sits on an industrial street in Evanston. From the outside it looks quiet, but inside — there’ a whole lot going on!

Burrell “flips the script” on new campaign for Toyota

Face it, when you can point to the classic One Show Books as the reason you got into advertising, you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen in most spots.

If I haven’t just fast-forwarded by and actually stop to look, most of the time out of sheer horror, I can usually predict what line the person in the spot is going to say next.

Don’t worry advertising, I can do this for movies as well.

The journey to “Advertising Woman of the Year”

No doubt, Laurel Flatt earned the “Advertising Woman of the Year” title that the Chicago Advertising Federation bestowed upon her last week.

Since becoming president of Chicago’s McGarryBowen two years ago, she has helped the mid-sized agency get a spot on the Chicago Tribune’s “Best Places to Work” list and receive recognition as Advertising Age’s “Comeback Agency of the Year.”

Flatt credits many people for the success.

HBO picks up “Brown Girls” series set in Chicago

There is a bridge in Trenton NJ, that boldly says, “What Trenton Makes, The World Takes.” The same could be said for Chicago when it comes to entertainment.

Brown Girls, a web series made by Chicago-based writer Fatimah Asghar and director Samantha Bailey, has been picked up by HBO. The show, an untitled version of Brown Girls, will be produced by 3Arts and MXN Entertainment.

“Raising Adults” to premiere at Chop Shop June 7

Brittany Wagner and Kait Staley — who co-created, co-wrote and co-star in the new dark comedy webseries, Raising Adults — are not afraid to shoot scenes that feature at least one of them using the bathroom. And they’re the mature members of the cast.

“The series follows two young girls raising their crazy, disabled parents,” explains Britt. “It’s all about their struggle to get by, reluctantly taking care of the ones they love.”

EnergyBBDO, Leo Burnett score big at 2017 Effies

The 2017 North American Effies, touting the most effective marketers in the country, were announced Thursday, June 1, at a gala in New York.

While the Grand Effie was awarded to Burger King’s, “The McWhopper Proposal” campaign from Y&R New Zealand with contributing agencies DAVID The Agency, ABPR, Code & Theory and Turner Duckworth, several Chicago agencies did not go home empty handed.

EnergyBBDO brought home seven Effies for its Extra Gum brands, which was also deemed the second most effective marketer by the awards.

Netflix cancels “Sense8”

That’s all for “The Clusters.” Netflix has canceled drama SENSE8 after two seasons.

The diverse series was created and directed by Chicagoans Lilly and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Speed Racer, Jupiter Rising) and filmed in Chicago and at numerous locations around the country and internationally.

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the SENSE8 cluster is coming to an end,” said Cindy Holland, VP of Netflix original content.

Chicago’s wonder women talk about “Wonder Woman”

Does it take a “gal” (see what I did there?) to save the much-maligned and divisive DCEU?

After the critical floggings of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it would seem 4th time is the charm as Wonder Woman is a massive critical success.

Coming in at a 94% fresh tomato rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Amazonian Princess looks bound for a commercial success as well.

Vince Lawrence honored for contribution to house music

Composer and musician Vince Lawrence was officially recognized by the City of Chicago for his role in creating House Music during a ceremony at Millennium Park over the Memorial Day weekend.

An estimated crowd of 40,000 — on hand for the city’s annual Chicago House Party event — cheered as Lawrence took the stage to accept the award with his wife Tara, his mother Jean, his son London and his daughter Yasmine.

“Looking at where we started and where house music stands today,” he said afterwards. “It’s amazing.”

After MillerCoors win, Arc Worldwide expands to AK

Adweek reports that Chicago-based Arc Worldwide, the shopper marketing division of Leo Burnett Group, has announced plans to expand its presence by opening new offices in New York and Northwest Arkansas and adding new names to its leadership team.

According to the article, this expansion as an attempt to make the most of recent new business wins and to promote the network’s newly unveiled positioning, “Irresistible Commerce.”

Chicago team wins “Next Great Animated Series”

Odd Machine executive producer Alec Pinkston, director Gregory Hinchman and director Peter Stepnoski’s animated short, Senataur, took top honors in “The Next Great Animated Series” contest sponsored by Tongal and Project Greenlight.

The three-and-a-half-minute comedy trailer about a space alien centaur who forces his way into the American legislative branch is a no-holds-barred, graphic commentary on the nation’s sociopolitical landscape.

Leo Burnett and Special K “own” RAW this week

Clearly, I’m a man, but I do enjoy a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K either for breakfast or as a snack. The Fruit & Yogurt and Vanilla & Almond are my jams.

That said, the advertising, now back at Leo Burnett after a short stint at JWT, isn’t directed toward me.

It’s targeted at women, and that’s cool. But I can still appreciate the brand’s message.

That’s why this first spot since returning to Leo and the new tagline, “Own it,” is RAW — Reel Ad of the Week.

Getting comfortable in a domestic violence shelter

Spousal abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and attempted murder all make appearances in the opening scenes of The Haven, but creator/writer Mia McCullough describes the webseries about life in a domestic violence shelter as a “dramedy.”

“Shelters are a lot happier than people imagine,” she says. “But it’s hard to tell the story of someone going to a shelter in a funny way.”

Terrence Howard records “Empire” finale tune at CRC

It wasn’t too long ago that giant recording studios were the norm in Chicago. There was Streeterville, Universal and Paragon.

Now? All gone. But still left standing is CRC. Recently, the recording studio has provided ADR and mixing for films including Hidden Figures, Spike Lee’s Chi-raq and Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight as well as numerous commercials and podcasts even.

If you ask CRC business affairs director, Dave Dakich, CRC’s continued success is due in part to their constant mix of music artists, films and commercials.

In memory of Morris “Butch” Stewart, a Chicago legend

Chicago musician, entrepreneur, father, husband and founder of JoyArtMusic Morris “Butch” Stewart passed away last week after a bout with cancer. He was 64.

Born in Evanston, IL, Stewart’s professional career began when he joined Ramsey Lewis as a backing vocalist in 1975. Other artists working with Lewis at the time included Brenda Mitchell, who would later become Stewart’s his wife.

That same year, Stewart also began a fruitful relationship with the multi-platinum, multi-genre band Earth Wind & Fire, which was formed in Chicago in 1970.

Costello’s diary of a director part 5 – an essay

Editor’s Note — Our contributor, Colin Costello, recently enjoyed personal growth by moving from beyond a writer’s traditional role to actually directing and producing his short film, The After Party. We asked Colin to chronicle is journey.

Crowdfunding for your own film may be the most draining part of filmmaking.

Strike that. It IS the most taxing, emotional beatdown you can ever do. It puts a strain on you and your relationships.