We are grateful to all our clients for the opportunity to tell amazing stories. Our films team collectively wrote, directed, shot and edited over 100 films in 2017. Below you will find our "best of," in this, the season of entertainment awards.



coming attractions

Canaryville to Bonneville is the quitnisessial American narrative of a Southside Chicago father and son duo that actively built their own empire. Jimmy and JB met our fig films director Joseph Martinez at a tailgate before a Bears Game. Joseph is actively working on completing his first feature length documentary, Bear Down, with our team.

"As a resident of Chicago, I find it nourishing to the soul to learn the history of the communities long-term residents," says James Gustin.

Canaryville to Bonneville is currently in post-production.

James Gustin and Joseph Martinez on location in the salt flats. 

James Gustin and Joseph Martinez on location in the salt flats. 

Opening Feature: SOCIAL JUSTICE Documentary "We Can't Wait." 

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of fighting for justice and equality in our nation. Director Melissa Fox spent a year creating the documentary, "We Can't Wait," that reflects the soul of the center's mission through authentic storytelling and connection with her subjects.

"I think it is easy to feel helpless in our current climate as a nation," says director Melissa Fox, "I am so grateful to the Shriver Center for the opportunity to meet and tell stories of people who believe that change is possible. Everyone I have met at the center has inspired me."

This organization can and will change systems in our nation, create equality and together helps end poverty through advocacy work that empowers communities. This group of lawyers and community members are on the front lines of the work every day and will inspire you to see poverty and equality as a solvable problem.

This marks our fifth year creating content with the Shriver Center. We can not thank them enough for helping us live into our mission of making a better planet, one film at time. 


Team: Megan Taylor, James Gustin, Melissa Fox 


Our photography and film teams worked in tandem to capture media for the launch of a new cookie line for Mrs. Thinsters. You may know Haylie Duff from Real Girls Kitchen...or if you are like us and had a fangirl moment for Napoleon Dynamite. We created lay-flat product photography, B-roll for PR and Media pushes as well as 25 launch clips from Haylie herself. 

"It was fun to bring the Mrs. Thinsters brand to life through film, photo and social," said producer Megan Taylor.  Haylie Duff was an amazing talent to work with and we had a blast putting this together. The energy of the set and team was infectious and we ended up delivering more great media than expected, we were all delighted! Oh, and I love the cookies!" 

Team: Megan Taylor, Melissa Fox, James Gustin, Brian Carey and Codi Palm. 

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Team shot taken at the end of production. 

Team shot taken at the end of production. 


We're so excited for you to meet Brianna Vargas-Gonzalez, a remarkable young leader at Erie Neighborhood House

This is our sixth project with Erie Neighborhood House and we could not be prouder of the direction for this years film. 

"I grew up on the South Side of Chicago," says Melissa Fox, " I can relate to the grit and determination that Brianna brought to the table. I feel incredibly lucky to tell the stories of their community year after year." 

Where I Stand follows Brianna, a young woman who using the resources in front of her to elevate herself through hard work, determination and resilience. A first generation immigrant, Brianna and her siblings will be the first in her family to graduate college. We are inspired by Brianna's mission to be a writer and our director insisted that she write part of the film. The teaser received over 20K views on Facebook and Erie House was contacted by a Univision producer to do a feature on Brianna. After the film screened Brianna walked up to the stage to a standing ovation and assisted in a paddle raise that brought in $90,000.00 at the event. 


If we were to give an A+ award for a new client that wrote their own script, it would be Baltimore based Humanim. Our team spent an afternoon inside the old Motorola campus in Libertyville documenting the transition of over 30,000 peices of furniture to Chicago non-profits. We worked through Tankia Davis at The Hatcher Group to write the script. She took our coaching and put together a great foundation for director Melissa Fox to work with.

To say we were impressed by these guys is an understatement.

We LOVE thier mission. We hope you do too.

Codi Palm and James Gustin prep for filming. 

Codi Palm and James Gustin prep for filming. 

Team: Michele Gustin, James Gustin, Melissa Fox, Codi Palm and Troy Walsh


Celebrating four generations of jewelers at their new location, our film team documented the history and traditions that make Lester Lampert Jewelers unique. LL is one of the few remaining jewelers (in Chicago?) who create all of their own designs and then hand craft them in house in their state of the art new production facility. We focused on the family traditions of these amazing artisans and created a branded film that reflects and honors the legacy aspect of their business, and were duly impressed that many of their clients have been with them since their inception. 

Team: James Gustin, Michele Gustin, Melissa Fox 


We saved this project for last as we are super sad to see it go. Community Created Performances is an initiative lead by Lyric Opera of Chicago. They gave three community groups in Chicago the opportunity to create their own musical work using talent from Lyric Opera. 2017 marked the closing year of the program. The groups spend 16 weeks writing and rehearsing their work before performing it in front of a large audience at the Harris Theatre for one night only. Our team spent the year documenting the process, filming the final performance and interviewing the participants after it was all over. This project fueled our soul. Not only is it transformative to hear stories from parts of Chicago that don't get much "stage time," but to see people who walk in not thinking they can sing and then take the stage and blow us away reminds us just how amazing we all are. We wish you were in the room with us that night. Our director Melissa Fox was backstage capturing the reaction of the participants as they completed their performances. 

"I am going to miss this project. I laughed and cried at every stage of its creation. The team at the Lyric was a dream to work with and the participants warmed my soul," says director Melissa Fox, " I think telling the untold stories of Chicago in this was was truly unique. I wish you were there to see it but honored that you can relive it through my eyes and the eyes of the participants and staff." 

Team: Michele Gustin, James Gustin, Melissa Fox, Codi Palm

Want to make a film with our team? Fill out the form below and tell us which films from our 2017 festival you liked best! 

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