Rollin’ at Golan

Director Keeps Reeling Them In
By Erik J. Martin.

Ari Golan can’t understand it. The director/cameraman/owner of eight-year-old Golan Productions says he is “amazed to hear everyone is so slow. His production business has ballooned 200% year-to-date. “We’ve never been busier.”

Recently, he directed commercials for Sathers Candy and Amoco, business tv for Calumet Coach and Adams Elevator, and video news releases for a Ziggy Marley concert at Chicago’s Drinks Bar and the local opening of Planet Hollywood.

But his latest venture, “Sound & Vision,” also may be his biggest. “Sound & Vision” is a weekly music video tv series with a minimum 36-week commitment that Golan will direct and co-produce along with Jam Productions and Blake Carrsonn Studios, a Chicago-based entertainment marketing company.

The program, simulcast with 93 WXRT, is set to debut Oct. 8 in a 1:00a.m. weekly time slot on Ch. 50, where the co-producers are buying time. Much like “JBTV,” the first such Chicago show that’s nationally syndicated and airing locally on Ch. 66, “Sound & Vision” mixes interviews and live acts with standard clips.

Golan originally conceived the show two years ago as a weekly live remote from the World Music Theater in Tinley Park. “There was little sponsor interest and too many high-dollar demands from the acts themselves,” he says.

His interest was renewed, however, when co-producer Pat Blake of Blake Carrsonn approached Golan six months ago to take the idea off the shelf and turn it into a proprietary series, with interviews and performances taped on Blake Carrsonn’s in-house stage, and Golan Productions editing.

Though Golan said it’s too early to comment on committed sponsorship, budget, or syndication plans, the show’s producers are pursuing the big networks, with presentations to Fox and NBC planned this week.

After a lengthy talent search conducted by Jam, “Sound & Vision” can vaunt an impressive lineup for the debut program alone; Hothouse Flowers, Smashing Pumpkins, Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil and The Spin Doctors are slated to appear.

The “JBTV” spin doctors, however, have not let their new competitor in the market go unnoticed. They’ve reportedly issued warnings to label reps stating, ‘We will be offended if artists that we have nurtured over the years appear on ‘Sound & Vision.'”

All the fuss surprises Golan. “The whole thing really doesn’t matter to us,” he says. “We’re involved in so many other areas of competition that to go into an environment with only one competitor is a relief.”

Golan operates three divisions: Golan Productions, a full-service production company spreading over two floors with film/video post capabilities out of its two edit suites; Roadworthy Image Magnification, a live multi-camera remote department and supplier of giant screen projections; and Atomic Imaging, a computer animation studio (Golan is creative director) and videowall production support group.

Luckily, Golan can depend on a permanent staff of 14, including VP/operations manager and right-hand-man Aigar Dombrovskis, and a lengthy roster of freelancers to assist in the smooth functioning of his three divisions.

Overall, Golan’s business breaks down to 40% corporate work, 30% spots and 30% live/remote concerts and music video production. Though corporate has been his bread-and-butter over the years, Golan reports more involvement lately with features. Atomic Imaging has supplied equipment, personnel and animation for “Groundhog Day,” “Baby’s Day Out” and “Natural Born Killers.”

“I feel very lucky doing what I’m doing,” he states. “Heck, I’d do it as a hobby for nothing if I weren’t doing it for a living.”

Golan Productions is located at 507 W. North Ave.; phone, 274-3456.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1993
VOL 15 N0. 33
PG 28

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