New Illinois Tourism Spots from Optimus Directing Team

New Illinois Tourism Spots from Optimus Directing Team

One at Optimus Directors Mark Pallman and Amanda Speva recently teamed with J. Walter Thompson to produce a series of spots for the Illinois Office of Tourism’s new “Are you up for amazing?” campaign. The documentary-style spots – shot at multiple locations across Illinois and feature both real people and actors. They are airing regionally, nationally and internationally now.

“The Illinois Office of Tourism project was a dream job,” said Speva. “We were so excited to helm these spots and represent ourselves as Midwest-born and raised directors. We were able to hire local crew and talent, feature some of the most beautiful locations in the state, while showcasing a few of our favorite Chicago experiences, making this a true passion project.”

Shot over the course of 10 days, the seven spots feature locations in Chicago and around the state, including the Green Mill Tavern, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Galena, Garden of the Gods, Historic Route 66, Springfield and more. They encourage viewers to consider that “The America you expect is somewhere unexpected,” and ask, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

“Mark and Amanda were always looking beyond the shooting boards to see what else they could film that was amazing,” said J. Walter Thompson Creative Director Mike Beamer. “They brought that same wide-eyed enthusiasm to the shoot that we were hoping to get from our talent. Their pride in Illinois came through on every day of filming.”

“We had so much fun traveling around the state with Carolyn and Ann from J. Walter Thompson,” said Pallman. “They really trusted us and gave us a ton of flexibility in developing the scenes. We built off their script, and had the liberty to create scenes that would feel real, alive and documentary. Editor Nate Cali was an amazing collaborator, devouring the footage and turning it into this beautiful end product.”

View all the spots here.

View Mark and Amanda’s reel here.


Client: Illinois Office of Tourism

Director: Cory Jobe

International Marketing Manager: Elisa Marcus

Marketing & Advertising Manager: Lisa Link

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Sr. Copy Writer: Mike Beamer

Freelance Art Director: Ann Sedgwick

Content Producer: Carolyn James

Account Director: Sarah Brick

Account Supervisor: Laura Doede

Cory Jobe – Director Illinois Office of Tourism

Jan Kemmerling – Local Tourism Division Manager

Lisa Link – Marketing Manager

Production: One at Optimus

Directors: Mark Pallman & Amanda Speva

DP: Travis Cline

Line Producer: Damian Huck

EP/Managing Director: Lisa Masseur

Post-Production: Optimus

Editor: Nate Cali

Post Producer: Tracy Spera

Assistant Editors: Lindsay Rynne, Jenny Schaye

Color: Ron Sudul

Color Assistant: Alex Frankland

Audio: Marina Bacci

Audio Assistant: Zach Scheitlin

Finishing Editors: Glen Noren, Ed Nichols