I'm Phil Ranstrom. Welcome to my profile.

Phil Ranstrom's Bio:

Phil Ranstrom is an Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/director and marketing & public relations professional with over 25 years of experience working for a variety of clients in the fields of:entertainment, news, and public affairs.  

Phil is also a critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker, producing such films as:

CHEAT YOU FAIR: THE STORY OF MAXWELL STREET, a feature-length documentary about the rise & fall of Chicago's Maxwell Street, the birthplace of the electric, urban blues, which became rock & roll.  Narrated by actor, Joe Mantegna, this critically-acclaimed saga details the history of this ethnic melting pot "where the only color that mattered was green" and cooperation was essential for the survival of the diverse immigrants and poor poeple who landed there.  Considered both the "Ellis Island of the midwest" and "the New Orleans of the north", this was the birthplace of the electric, urban blues, which became rock & roll.  This documentary features the last recorded interview of Bo Diddley, one of the creators of rock & roll who developed his skills playing there.  Despite Maxwell Street's great impact on Chicago and the world of music, no formal history had ever been culled until Ranstrom came upon the market in 1994, just as it was about to be destroyed by its neighbor, the University of Illinois/Chicago (UIC) who seized the land for campus expansion.  Knowing very little about the market, yet seeing that this hisory would soon be lost if someone didn't act immediately, Ranstrom plunged himself into recording interviews with the remaining vendors from the market, learning their stories and documenting the struggle to save the market.  After over 10 years, this 3-act documentary was born and an important history preserved.  This documentary received a Chicago Emmy Award nominatIon for Best Writing - Program/Non News & won an Emmy for Best Original Music Composition/ Arrangement.

ELECTRIFIED: THE STORY OF THE MAXWELL STREET URBAN BLUES, screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

UPTOWN CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS, about the lives of the Jesus People USA living in Uptown, Chicago

I REMEMBER RIVERVIEW, about Chicago's beloved amusement park

RECLAIMING AMERICA, about the American Agricultural Movement's protest at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1985, protesting the short-selling of their grain products in the future's market, which has effectlvely put (smaller) family farms out of business.   

THE COCAINE EXPRESS, a collaboration between Ranstrom and two prize-winning journalists from The Chicago Sun-Times, photographer, Henry Gill, and writer, Rick Sol.  Based on these two journalist's investigation of the illegal drug trade in South American, The Cocaine Express consists entirely of B&W still photos and narration by the reporters and was a precursor to the work of Ken Burns.   This critically-acclaimed documentary was Ranstrom's first documentary out of college and was nominated for Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for Best Investigative Report.

 

OTHER:

Phil has interviewed Tom Waits, Timothy Leary, Buckminster Fuller, The Talking Heads, The Ramones, Bo Diddley (last recorded interview before he passed away) and shown his work, worldwide.   The DVD for this documentary, CHEAT YOU FAIR is available at the film's webstie at www.MaxwellStreetDocumentary.com, on Amazon, at 29 Best Buy stores in the Chicago area, at Target, Barnes & Noble and The Jazz Record Mart, Chicago.  

Phil is also a public speaker, interviewer, personality, film actor, former 9-time amateur kickboxing champion, boxer, runner, adventurer and world traveler.

Phil Ranstrom's Experience:

  • President/Writer/Producer/Director at Maxwell Street Documentary, LLC

    Created the Emmy Award-winning, "Cheat You Fair: The Story of Maxwell Street", a feature length, independent, historical documentary about the rise & fall of Chicago's beloved Maxwell Street market, home of the modern blues, narrated by Joe Mantegna; recruited Fender Musical Instruments USA and Columbia College Chicago as sponsors; screened film in various film festivals throughout the U.S., including the 2008 Sundance Film Festival; film screening tour in Poland, Belgium & Amsterdam for international screening; currently market DVD in on-line and U.S. retail outlets including 28 Best Buy stores throughout the Chicago area; market DVD in various Japanese retail outlets; procured broadcast premiere of documentary on WTTW/PBS Oct. 27, 2011; developed in-store promotional events at Best Buy with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, including screenings, musical performances, guitar-giveaways, Q&A's and DVD signings.

  • Writer, producer, director at Documentary Film Maker

    Manage company, promotions, productions, distribution, create partnerships, fundraising, etc.

  • President/Writer/Producer/Director at Affiliated News Network, Inc.

    Developed business plan to market video/film production & distribution services to both public relations agencies and companies; created VNRs, PSAs and other video/film programs for broadcast and corporate use; worked with business partner to monitor broadcast results of VNRs & PSAs and deliver detailed follow-up reporting to clients.

  • Writer/Producer at KEF Media Associates

    Wrote produced & directed video news releases (VNRs) and public services announcements (PSAs) and corporate videos; developed client proposals, treatments, campaigns, pitches; traveled throughout U.S., Mexico & the Caribbean; recruited local production services, as needed.

  • Writer/Producer at Burson Marsteller Public Relations

    Worked with team to create comprehensive public relations campaigns for clients. • Wrote press releases, scripts, brochures, proposals and a variety of scripted presentations • Produced both radio and video programs

  • Producer at Telaction Corporation

    A precursor to the internet, this was a start-up venture by J.C. Penny’s to create interactive home-shopping via a cable TV channel and a telephone keypad. Wrote and produced commercial presentations for products in the Tel Action (television) shopping mall.

Phil Ranstrom's Education:

  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

    Bachelor of Arts
  • Elgin Community College

    Associate in Arts
    Concentration: Liberal Arts

Phil Ranstrom's Interests & Activities:

Films, music, books, poetry, fitness, politics, psychology, nature, travel.