Jim started his post-production career at Editel/Chicago. While there, he learned every aspect of the industry by working in production, audio, graphics, editing, and client services. A move to the sales department not only produced record revenues, but instilled an entrepreneurial spirit that has endured. In 1996, with two partners, he opened the music production company The Rhythm Cafe, which quickly grew to become one of the most respected shops in the Midwest. As President and Executive Producer, Jim’s skill set expanded to include accounting, human resources, and marketing. He successfully produced music campaigns for The Oprah Winfrey Show, HBO, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, and more. Creatively, the Rhythm Cafe’s projects ranged from an eighty-piece orchestra in Prague, a marching band in Los Angeles, a hip-hop track in New York, and countless other styles and tracks out of the Chicago studio. Jim has often been referenced as a professional conduit, connecting the dots between a client that has a need, with a vendor, artist, or individual who can make that need a reality. Jim closed The Rhythm Cafe in 2011 and started Creative Arts Consulting which addresses the need of many creative entrepreneurs by marrying the left brain to the right brain . In 2012, Jim joined the staff of New Chapter Entertainment, and served as the Creative Director/Director of Branded Entertainment. While there, Jim wrote and produced digital show concepts, corporate communication videos, live branding experiences, and everything in between. In late 2014, Jim transitioned back to a freelance role with a focus on building entertaining video content that consistently exceeds his clients’ expectations. Jim has often been asked to join companies through exclusive (long-term) contracts. In recent years, he has served as a Sr. Manager/Content & Experiential at Tribune Publishing, and most recently as Director, Content & Business Development at the experiential agency Cardenas Marketing Network [CMN].
Jim Olen’s LinkedIn Profile
Back in the day… As mentioned, I did some work for HBO, producing an original music track for the Clinton Global Initiative in a campaign to have individuals around the world to get tested for HIV. Here is a piece of content that was shown on HBO, as well as the :60 PSA “Get Tested”
Working with Jim is always inspirational. His guidance and creativity are to be held in high regard. His experience and knowledge of the business is second to none and I trust Jim as a leader and as someone who will help me get to the next level.
Jim has a unique duality to his entertainment-business presence. He is at once an expert and a layman. As an expert, he can immediately identify great from just plain good, and as a layman he knows how any given artistic endeavor will be interpreted by the average consumer. As my business partner he was always the voice of the client. He would regularly analyze for usefulness, check to make sure we didn’t lose “the magic” of the original idea, and always ask the hard questions.
Inherently street-wise & business savvy, Jim is unafraid to take the difficult path if that’s the way the arrow points. He gives of his time and advice freely to friends and associates and never asks for anything in return.
He has built up a great deal of trust in the advertising and entertainment industries, and clients know that at the very core of his being he stays true to his vision: always tell the truth & never do anything in a small way.
To this day Jim & I still work together on various projects and I always look forward to the great exchange of ideas, energy & excitement!
I have known and worked with Jim at several companies. First at Editel working as a producer, then at Rhythm Cafe as a music producer. As a principal at Rhythm Cafe he was always easy to work with and very flexible with client requests. Jim is a forward thinker, planning and making decisions that are well thought out. Jim has a broad knowledge of music, broadcast and commercial production. His vast network of industry contacts is key at connecting clients and getting deals done