- Friday, Oct. 27, 2000
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Veteran director/ DP William VanDerKloot has signed with Synergy Films, Atlanta, for spot representation. He was previously handled for commercials via his 25-year-old, Atlanta-based production house VanDerKloot Film Studio, through which he continues to be available for long-form projects.
The VanDerKloot shop's other director, Alan Hunter, is also looking for a different commercial roost, stated VanDerKloot. Hunter signed with the studio in late 1999, and is noted for being one of MTV's first veejays.
VanDerKloot joined Synergy on the heels of executive producer/co-owner Lynne Toll's retirement from that firm. On Aug. 1, Toll turned over her share of Synergy to George Watkins, now director/sole owner. Producer Mary Alice Nesmith has assumed Toll's responsibilities.
"We talked about her retirement a lot, [so it wasn't a surprise,]" noted Watkins, who co-founded Synergy with her seven years ago. Toll and her husband presently run an organic farm in the mountains of Blue Ridge, Ga.
VanDerKloot decided to sign with Synergy because he wanted to spend more time directing commercials, rather than marketing and other administrative duties. He explained that Little Mammoth Media, an in-house division of VanDerKloot Film Studio, which produces the children's TV show The Big Adventure Series, has grown over the past couple of years, requiring more of his and the staff's time. "I can't run all these different businesses [when] I love directing," said VanDerKloot. His company also comprises Magick Lantern, an in-house postproduction, design and animation shop.
According to Watkins, VanDerKloot "brings a cinematic scope" to Synergy. "If I'm about people, and Jon [Hill, Synergy director/DP] is about comedy, Bill's about majesty," he added. As part of the deal, Watkins said he will give preference to Magick Lantern on spot jobs.
Out of his VanDerKloot Film Studio, VanDerKloot's recent credits as director/DP include Colt's "American Legend" via Freebairn & Co., Altanta; Kroger's "Morning Has Broken" via Creative Consultants, Atlanta; and "Dummies," a client-direct PSA for the City of Atlanta and the State Department of Transportation. Synergy's marketing director/sales rep Sarah Mercer Tinnon handles national sales.