• Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022
VMLY&R appoints Grodberg as global chief strategy officer
Andrea (Ring) Grodberg
NEW YORK -- 

Andrea (Ring) Grodberg has been appointed global chief strategy officer for VMLY&R. The role will provide strategic leadership across the network’s nearly 100 offices in 45 countries as Grodberg heads strategy for key client accounts including The Coca-Cola Company. Grodberg will join the agency’s global leadership team, reporting to global CEO Jon Cook.

Throughout her career, Grodberg has placed brand experience (BX) and customer experience (CX) at the center of her thinking. Grodberg most recently served as chief strategy officer at BBDO, where she leveraged principles of creativity, deep brand strategy, data rigor and advanced technology. Prior to that, Grodberg was global chief strategy officer at Big Spaceship serving clients like Starbucks, Chase Bank, and Pepsi. She spent 10 years at R/GA, including five heading strategy for the agency. Over the past 25 years, she has also held key strategy roles at J. Walter Thompson, Bigchalk.com, and Digital Pulp Advertising.

“Andrea is an industry leading talent, motivated to shape culture and grow brands,” said Cook. “She brings a depth of experience influencing strategy across regions, clients and diverse disciplines. And she is a true connector of ideas and people. Andrea’s finely honed brand expertise and XD craft will uncover new opportunities for our agency and client partners.” 

Grodberg has been awarded numerous strategy and creative awards including Cannes Lions, Chiat Strategy Awards, and Effies for brands including Nike, Barnes and Noble, MARS, Converse, and McCormick. She is dedicated to using the next chapter of her career to deepen her commitment to sustainability, equity, and helping all companies do good, by doing good.

Grodberg said, “The time for change in the world of business is here as is the time for agencies to take a more aggressive role in that change. Agencies have the privilege and responsibility to help brands modernize--to lead our clients to responsible growth and give people the progressive options and experiences they deserve. The only way to do this is to make it easy for our clients to be future-oriented. I’m thrilled to join an agency leading the industry’s most advanced, and actionable work across CX, BX and Commerce. At this point in my career, I can’t wait to join a team that has the power and potential to make a positive impact.”

Grodberg is based in New York and volunteers for Potential Energy, a climate-focused advertising project.

  • Friday, Aug. 12, 2022
Vinnie Hobbs joins Union as staff editor
Vinnie Hobbs
LOS ANGELES -- 

Vinnie Hobbs--who exploded onto the scene in 2015, cutting the now-legendary video for Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” directed by The Little Homies & Colin Tilley--has joined bicoastal Union Editorial as a staff editor, marking his first commercialmaking affiliation. A three-time Best Editing VMA nominee, during the pandemic he edited Cardi B’s crowd-pleasing “WAP” feat. Megan Thee Stallion (directed by Tilley), and MGK’s (Machine Gun Kelly) “Bloody Valentine” (Michael Garcia, dir.), which won Best Alternative Video at the VMAs in 2020. Enjoying a new run of hits, including Doja Cat’s “Vegas” (Child, dir.), Hobbs continues to produce music videos through his company, VH Post. On the spot front, he has cut projects for McDonald’s, Nintendo, Hennessy, Audi, and Rolls Royce, among others. His first assignment with Union is Nike Jordan Family’s “Back to School,” directed by Mez for Heirs.

“We are always looking for new talent who can bring something special to the table, and when Melissa  Ross, our West Coast rep, brought Vinnie’s Instagram feed to my attention I just knew we had to have him join us,” said Union partner/managing director Michael Raimondi. “Vinnie is a master storyteller and his edits are filled with a joy and energy that you rarely see. On top of that, he is a great guy who will thrive with a structure to support him. I can’t wait for the rest of the commercial world to meet Vinnie. He is going to rock their world.”

“When Michael approached me about joining Union,” Hobbs recalled, “the first project he presented was for Nike, and it allowed me to showcase another side of my skills, with dialogue, mood changes, and involvement with the music selects and sound design. That was a special project. The Union setting adds so much to the client experience, and the culture is something I’m really excited to be a part of, after going it alone for so long. The sense of community feels great.”

Born in Okinawa, Japan, to a pair of educators, Hobbs experienced Japanese culture while being “Americanized” at home. At 18, he went to the U.S. to study mass communications at Seattle University, where he honed his audiovisual skills. He next studied journalism and print advertising in India, before moving to Berkeley, Calif. There, he “learned video editing by making mistakes and experimenting” with low budget rap videos and BTS projects. He cut Jonathan Singer-Vine’s feature, Licks (2013), which screened at SXSW to great acclaim, precipitating a shuffle to Los Angeles. In 2014, Hobbs found himself in the same room as Tilley; the two clicked immediately, and, cutting videos for the likes of Birdman and Sean Kingston, Hobbs entered the world of big budgets, deadlines, clients, video commissioners, artists, managers, and directors.  

The success of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” video was followed by collaborations with Cardi B., Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Drake, Kanye West, Skrillex, and more, across 100+ music videos. Hobbs earned noms for MTV’s Video Music Award for Best Editing in 2016 (Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $” ), 2017 (Future’s “Mask Off”), and 2019 (Solange’s “Almeda,” shared credit; Anderson .Paak ft. Kendrick Lamar - “TINTS”).

“Alright” also led to Hobbs’ first :30 spot assignment, for Reebok. Commercials for Audi, and from there, Rolls Royce, followed, reflecting the organic evolution of the editor’s diverse career. He cut Under Armour’s “Curry,” and contributed to the editorial for sneaker doc Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 (dir: Dexton Deboree). The aforementioned “WAP” brought new life and energy to viewers during the pandemic, and Doja Cat’s “Vegas” is among Hobbs’ 2022 output, as he expands his collaborations to include directors Tanu Muino, Dave Meyers, Director X, Nadia Lee Cohen, and Jesse Terrero.  

Ever evolving, Hobbs said, “I’m always down to help people tell a story, especially new directors with a voice.” Hobbs also hopes to cut impactful features, which, he concluded, “is another fortuitous aspect of the association with Union,” given the company’s deep involvement in entertainment, including longform streaming projects, docs, and feature films.
 

 

  • Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022
Patrick Jones joins Compadre as exec creative director
Patrick Jones
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- 

Creative marketing agency Compadre has brought Patrick Jones on board as executive creative director, creative. He will work closely with Curtis Doss, executive creative director, design, overseeing projects and campaigns for Compadre’s existing clients, as well as helping expand the agency’s footprint into new verticals and markets with his expertise in social media, Web3/Metaverse, and experiential. 

Robert Blatchford, Compadre co-president, said of Jones, “He’s a big-picture conceptual thinker with strong experience in innovative 360 initiatives. That, coupled with Curtis’ beautifully designed storytelling, will lead the way in shaping and elevating the ‘big idea’ for our clients.”

“Compadre has a strong footprint in the world of entertainment marketing--from leading names like ESPN and CBS to tech-forward brands like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Meta that have emerged as big players in the space,” added Jones. “I’m excited to help build on that legacy and help break new ground as we harness the exciting things that are happening at the intersection of media, tech, and storytelling today.” 

Jones joins Compadre following a tenure at modern marketing agency Known, where, as group creative director for growth & innovation, he spearheaded campaigns and projects for HBO Max, Netflix, Spotify, Paramount Pictures, and CNN, to name just a few.

Another highlight from Known was the Promax-winning, immersive transmedia campaign for the TBS comedy series Chad, which saw Jones develop an in-world cross-platform social campaign where the titular awkward teen attempts to become a social media star. This allowed Jones and his team to collaborate with the show’s creator and star, SNL’s Nasim Pedrad, creating wholly original comedy content that ran parallel to the show’s first season.

“If a fan is going to follow our marketing, we want it to offer a deeper experience that builds on the world of the IP and rewards their investment,” observed Jones. “That’s the sweet spot, especially for Gen Z, who have infinite options to spend their attention and time on.” 

Another particularly innovative campaign of Jones’ saw Postmates team up with TikTok for an L.A.-exclusive experience, where local restaurants whipped up the platform’s most popular recipes for delivery, like whipped coffee and pancake cereal. The campaign, launched at the height of COVID-19, helped raise funds for local restaurants during lockdown and led Rolling Stone to comment, “Postmates launching a menu based on TikTok trends is the most 2020 thing ever.” 

Originally hailing from New Orleans, Jones studied both advertising and psychology at the University of West Florida--a perspective he sees as key to his marketing perspective. After beginning his career in NYC where he worked on numerous brands like Heineken, Charmin, Reebok, and Verizon, he relocated to Los Angeles in 2015 and transitioned primarily into entertainment marketing. Since making this shift, he has done everything from using bleeding-edge Adobe motion capture tech to host a livestream Q&A with Sherlock Gnomes, to launching the biggest continuous grid takeover in Instagram history for HBO Max, to writing and producing interactive video content with John Cena for Peacemaker (a career highlight for the WWE fan).

“Ultimately, the best creative is all about paying attention to shifts in the ways that audiences consume what you’re putting out there, and really asking yourself why fans care about something in the first place,” concluded Jones. “Once you know that, you can start to figure out where people will be in a few years, and get in on the ground floor. Plant your flag early, so that you’re not trying to play catch-up. Out on the edge is where the coolest stuff is typically done.”

  • Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022
Stink Studios appoints Etienne Chia as managing director in China
Etienne Chia
SHENZEN, China -- 

Stink Studios has appointed Etienne Chia to run both of its China offices as managing director. He replaces Ramzi Chaabane who is leaving the company. Chia will oversee the creative agency’s operations in APAC, reporting to group managing director, James Britton.

Chia joins Stink from Accenture Song, where he was responsible for the Jaguar Land Rover account. Before that he held several creative and strategic leadership roles in various digital and experiential agencies in China, including Freeman and Lightbridge. Chia will work closely with creative director Addie Hao, the Stink Studios veteran who oversees the creative output in the region.

Stink Studios opened its second office in China, located in Shenzhen, in March this year. The expansion followed a period of strong growth and represents a deepening commitment to the unique ecosystem of innovation offered by the China market, and the strengthening demand from Chinese technology and fashion brands for world class creative campaigns, design and digital experiences. Stink Studios works with several clients with headquarters in Shenzhen, including Tencent, Oppo and Oneplus. The company was early to the Chinese market, first opening its doors in Shanghai in 2015.

Chia said, “Stink Studios has a great reputation in China for craft and digital innovation, and I’m very proud to be joining this amazing team. I’m looking forward to developing our creative services and expertise and helping shape the future of brand experiences in China.” 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022
Golden Wolf promotes Sinnott, Jones, adds Stephenson
Dotti Sinnott
NEW YORK -- 

Animation studio Golden Wolf has promoted long-time executive producer Dotti Sinnott to the new title of managing director for the studio while adding Heidi Stephenson as head of production, and elevating Tan Jones to exec producer.  

Sinnott originally joined the studio’s London-based office in 2015 as a freelance producer where she oversaw projects for Nike, Disney, Ubisoft, and more. In 2017, she assumed the title of EP and spearheaded the studio’s expansion into New York City. Her leadership played an integral role for the studio’s transition into remote production during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now in her seventh year with Golden Wolf, Sinnott will now oversee the business operations for both the New York and London offices as managing director.  

Stephenson, a newcomer to the animation studio, has experience spanning from animation production all the way to broadcasting and will manage internal production across both offices as the head of production. Executive producer Jones assists in managing the production team and has overseen projects for brands such as Nike and Adidas. A fellow Golden Wolf veteran, Jones’ promotion includes the new responsibility of spearheading all new business ventures for the studio globally. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Dotti, Heidi and Tan by my side as we take Golden Wolf to the next stage of our evolution,” said Golden Wolf founder Ingi Erlingsson. “Having been my right hand woman for over half a decade, Dotti is the perfect person to lead this exceptional team into uncharted territory as we broaden our horizons into music, AI and more.”

Golden Wolf recently celebrated its ninth anniversary earlier this month. The studio has 27 staff members total, with team members hailing from countries around the world.  
 

  • Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022
Sr. colorist Todd Bochner joins Harbor
Todd Bochner
LOS ANGELES -- 

As Harbor doubles the footprint of its Los Angeles campus, founder and CEO Zak Tucker shared the news that sr. colorist Todd Bochner is joining the company’s talent roster. 

Bochner’s career spans more than two decades, including stints at Modern Videofilm as sr. colorist, and then at Sim as supervising sr. colorist during which time, he received the Hollywood Professional Association’s (HPA) Outstanding Color Grading-Television accolade in 2020 for his work on Watchmen.

Bochner’s recent credits include Good Sam, Invasion, Guilty Party, Star Trek: Discovery, Why Women Kill, Good Girls, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and the cult favorite, The Leftovers. Other notable credits include Krypton, Desperate Housewives, Mr. Mercedes, Madam Secretary, Sleepy Hollow and Jane the Virgin.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022
Camp + King promotes Burleson to sr. art director, Marimon to sr. 3D artist
Katie Burleson (l) and Justin Marimon
SAN FRANCISCO -- 

Camp + King has promoted Katie Burleson to sr. art director and Justin Marimon to sr. 3D artist.

Burleson is being promoted from art director. For the past four years, Burleson’s visual storytelling talent has been put into play in international galleries and for brands like Cesar Dog Food, Wells Fargo, Papa Johns, and RE/MAX. 

Of her promotion, Burleson said, “Since my first day at Camp + King I’ve felt lucky to be at an agency that prioritizes heart, creativity, and a good laugh! Better yet, I’ve been surrounded by great people who have helped me grow so much.”

Marimon is being promoted to sr. 3D artist from motion graphics artist. Marimon prides himself on being a multi-disciplinary designer, animator, and a lifetime-student of his craft. He started his career as a graphic designer with a passion for commercial photography and has since expanded his skillset to include CGI motion graphics as well as VFX and compositing. When art directors present groundbreaking concepts, Marimon aims to be the artist that can make it a reality, regardless of the toolset required.

“I started at Camp + King as a 2D visual designer with aspirations of learning animation,” said Marimon. “At every turn, they’ve supported my learning, growth, and constant exploration into new mediums.”
 

  • Monday, Aug. 1, 2022
Picture Shop adds sr. colorist Ken Van Deest
Ken Van Deest
LOS ANGELES -- 

Streamland Media’s picture division, Picture Shop, has added sr. colorist Ken Van Deest to its talent roster. Van Deest brings over 25 years of finishing experience on award-winning productions to his new roost.

“From Picture Shop’s earliest days, our aim has been to offer our clients incomparable creative input by our artists,” said Streamland CEO Bill Romeo. “Ken’s talent and collaborative spirit have supported the vision of many outstanding filmmakers and we are delighted he is joining our vibrant global community.”

Van Deest’s episodic credits range from drama to comedy to documentary. He has contributed to shows such as The Flash (CW), Reacher (Prime Video), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW), The Chef Show (Netflix), Project Blue Book (History Channel), Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX), Revolution (NBC), Prison Break (FOX), Cold Case (CBS) and many others.

Van Deest spent 13 years as a colorist for Riot, followed by a combined 13 years as a senior colorist for Encore and most recently Level 3 Post.

“I am thrilled to be joining the amazing team of artists and technologists at Picture Shop,” notes Van Deest. “Being part of a truly global community of filmmakers is an exciting prospect and I can’t wait to get started.”

In addition to Los Angeles, Picture Shop’s locations include New York, Vancouver and Toronto as well as U.K. facilities in London, Manchester, Bristol, and Wales, giving filmmakers worldwide access to a global talent pool, technical expertise and support from preproduction through post.

  • Thursday, Jul. 28, 2022
Open Swim adds head of production DesMarais, assistant editor Wenzel
Lian DesMarais
BROOKLYN, NY -- 

Open Swim, a full-service production company founded by director/editor Bradley Ross, has added Lian DesMarais as head of production and Jefferson Wenzel as assistant editor to the company’s team. 

“I love having someone on the team who is dedicated to the production process, and to keeping the quality and experience consistent for everyone,” said Open Swim’s EP Amyliz Pera. “Lian has the right variety of experience for Open Swim to be able to guide our teams--including long-form and documentary experience. Most importantly, she’s a decent person. She’s caring, really fun to have around, and happens to have an incredible sense of style.”

DesMarais joins Open Swim as no stranger to Ross as the two worked closely in the production industry years ago. With an in-depth knowledge of traditional production, digital media, branded content and live shows, DesMarais founded production service company Ren Kelley Productions in 2011, delivering exceptional work as an EP and line producer for notable clients including Calvin Klein, Nickelodeon, Adidas and Samsung.

“I’m so happy to be joining Open Swim; It’s rare to have the opportunity to be part of shaping something new and to work with a like-minded team,” offers DesMarais. “We all bring a unique perspective, but share a strong creative drive balanced with a healthy work culture. I take a lot of pride in my work and enjoy facilitating as ideas become fully formed. It’s an honor to bring your values and passions to work every day, and I look forward to what I’ll be able to build with Bradley and Amyliz.” 

DesMarais’ responsibilities will include overseeing Open Swim’s production and postproduction teams, the latter growing with the addition of Wenzel. Prior to joining Open Swim, Wenzel has worked as 3D modeler and animator on projects for fashion brand Collina Strada and retailer Showfields, and as a VFX compositor and assistant editor on the short film “Slow Pulse,” which debuted at the Tribecca Film Festival in 2021.

“Jefferson has the experience we need to assist in our editorial and postproduction process, but in filling this position, we’re fortunate that he comes with visual effects skills to be able to offer more capabilities in-house for our clients,” noted Pera.

Wenzel is another example of Open Swim  growing the team through pre-existing relationships. “Director/owner Bradley Ross’s mom plays in a band with Jefferson’s mom, so when the two started talking about their sons, the job search became much easier; it wasn’t just parental bragging--he really has talent,” added Pera.  

  • Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2022
DGA promotes Faith Santilla to assistant executive director
Faith Santilla
LOS ANGELES -- 

Faith Santilla has been promoted to assistant executive director at the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

“Since joining the DGA in 2015, Faith has helped to grow our field representative operations to address the unique needs of our members working in all categories,” said DGA national executive director Russell Hollander. “In her new role as assistant executive director, her deep union experience and specialized labor knowledge will now be put to work on behalf of our AD and UPM members, as she joins the DGA’s executive team.”

Santilla joined the DGA in 2015 as a field representative. In 2018, she was promoted to special assignments executive, and then promoted again to director of field operations in 2020 where her primary responsibility was to oversee the Western Field Representative Department. In her new role, she will work with assistant directors and unit production managers in the Western region and serve as the staff liaison to the Guild’s Western AD/UPM Council. Santilla will report to associate national executive director/Western executive director Danny Bush.

Prior to joining the Guild, Santilla began her career as a community organizer where she started an immigrant workers center in the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood in Los Angeles. She has also worked as a union organizer for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union and for the Editors Guild--IATSE Local 700. She was a sr. representative/organizer for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 and a manager of organizational development at SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.

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