Local production company up for three Emmys
Bitter Jester Creative's Nicolas DeGrazia and Josh Tallo meet inside the firm's Highland Park office. The local production company has received three Emmy nominations for commercial spots, including two for Ravinia Festival. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times
Bitter Jester Creative
LOCATION: 838 Central Ave., Highland Park
SPECIALTY: Video production
Updated: December 5, 2012 8:25AM
HIGHLAND PARK — Bitter Jester Creative, a small Highland Park production company, has scored three Emmy nominations from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Two of the commercials were produced for the Ravinia Festival and grew out of a meeting that co-owners Nicolas DeGrazia and Daniel Kullman had with the festival’s marketing people.
“We had a different idea planned, but we had half-an-hour left in the meeting,” recalled DeGrazia. “I looked around the room and said, ‘Why don’t we just spitball some ideas.’ They lit on the idea of the iconic lawn experience and bringing the lawn to the people.
In the quick, 30-second spots, the lead characters — a LaSalle Street businessman in one case, a suburban mom in another — have been pushed to their limits by some calamity of daily living when in walks an orchestra conductor and a trio of musicians to roll out a green carpet of fresh sod.
“The commercial doesn’t try to explain what Ravinia is, but to remind people that they come out here for a good time,” said Nick Pulia, Ravinia’s director of communications, who also was nominated for the spot along with associate director Russell Jenkins. The commercials are nominated in the same category, Outstanding Achievement for single-spot commercials.
Bitter Jester Creative also has been nominated for a video capturing a competition among restaurant pastry chefs for the Chicago Restaurant Association. Sharing that nomination for Outstanding Achievement for Special Event Coverage are the executive producers from JMPUREPASTRY. The awards ceremony is Nov. 18.
DeGrazia says it was an honor for his small 12-year-old company to be selected by the Ravinia Festival for their first-ever television commercials. “If we don’t win for any of them, it is just something to strive for next year,” he said.
Pulia said the Bitter Jester Creative team is incredibly hard working and pays attention to every detail.
“These guys are truly talented filmmakers and Ravinia is proud to have been a part of their early success. We want to make sure they remember us when they are Oscar winners and come back to us for what we need.”
Of his own nomination, Pulia joked, “Even if we don’t win, we all are still lucky enough to call ourselves ‘Emmy-nominated’ for the rest of our lives.” The Ravinia commercials can be found on the firm’s website at www.bitterjester.com.