Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and anybody who ever wanted to cruise with a caravan. There are stories to be told, and wonders to behold and we’re here to do just that.
We’re Gypsy Chicago Productions and we’ve put together a band with an intercultural plan to document histories of the told and untold variety. We’re storytellers with advertising degrees from the life school of the narrative arts and we want to take you down roads less roamed and times less traveled as we explore diversity, adversity, happenstance, circumstance and the meaning of life. All done in the theatre of documentary filmmaking.
So beginning now, we start telling a story near you.
CHANNELS CHANGERS – A DOCUMENTARY
Lowell Thompson, Co-Executive Producer – Channels Changers
Lowell is a Chicago-born, bred and based artist/writer/creative catalyst. He calls himself a “recovering adman” because he spent the first 35 years of his adulthood creating ads and commercials for many of the nation’s biggest ad agencies, companies and brands, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Taster’s Choice, United Airlines, Leo Burnett, Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, and many more.
He was one of the first Blacks hired in a top ten advertising agency when corporate America finally opened itself up to “unwhites” after the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the urban riots that followed.
Today, his photo-journalistic paintings are part of many Chicago art collections, his pictorial history book, African Americans in Chicago, is in every branch of the Chicago Public Library and his Uptown’s Colored Wheel has become a must-see site in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
Cotton Stevenson, Co-Executive Producer – Channels Changers
Cotton has over forty years of experience with Multinational Advertising Agencies both in the United States and Canada starting at McCann Erickson with time spent at Leo Burnett and FCB, all in Chicago. After that he was Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director at FCB Canada.
During that time he created campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands including: Coors, Colgate, General Mills, Mazda, Nestle, Pizza Hut, Seagram’s and many more.
Today he is a filmmaker whose documentaries include: STAND, the story behind the making of the statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in their iconic raised fist pose from the 1968 Olympics, Good Brothers, the history of African American San Jose State athletes in the early 1960’s and what it was like for them at the time, and Diversity University, the history of diversity at San Jose State University.
In addition he has been recognized for his efforts in the fields of diversity and inclusion by San Jose State University and with a Joint Resolution by both Houses of the Tennessee State Legislature.
Laurel Dobose, Production Manager – Channels Changers
Laurel Dobose, currently curator of creative production resource, Gypsy, is a Chicago native and an advertising brat. Hanging out at her Dad’s production company as a kid, she always enjoyed the production process. So when looking to take a year off before going on to college, Dad got her a job as an admin at Leo Burnett right out of high school.
After falling in love with the whole advertising process she continued her education by moving on to the AdCom agency where she experienced the account management side of things. Seven years later, Laurel experienced an epiphany, and moved to FCB where she would pursue her first love… production.
She spent many, many happy years at FCB until it was time to leave the corporate world behind. Her next move was to get involved with representation of directorial talent to the agencies.
She now enjoys running her own company, and a job that offers the opportunity to make connections between agency creative teams and director talent with the end result being shared creativity and lifelong friendships. She gets crazy about collaboration, sunsets on the beach, a good power ballad, and is completely jazzed to be working on the Channels Changers documentary film.