Tuesday, March 20, 2018

People on the Move

  • Monday, Mar. 19, 2018
AKQA Atlanta promotes Roman Ptakowski, Sallie Baskervill
Sallie Baskervill (l) and Roman Ptakowski

AKQA in Atlanta has promoted Roman Ptakowski to general manager, and Sallie Baskervill to director of client services. Ptakowski and Baskervill will lead the Atlanta studio, its partnerships and client collaborations.

Prior to Ptakowski’s appointment as general manager, he served as director of client services in Atlanta, overseeing assignments for Delta Air Lines, Universal Parks and Resorts, Coca-Cola and Chick-fil-A. 

Baskervill began her career at an independent integrated agency where she worked with a number of retail, financial services and automotive brands. She joined AKQA in 2013 to manage the Delta Air Lines activity. 

  • Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018
VML expands brand strategy & data team with senior-level hires and promotion
Chase Cornett

Ad agency VML has announced five new hires and one high-level promotion within its brand strategy and data department.

“Great strategy thrives on the richness and diversity of talent and perspective,” said Amy Winger, chief strategy officer. “That’s what I love about all of these people. Our ensemble has never been stronger. The brand planning discipline is central to VML’s marketing communications work. Researchers, data scientists, and planners work together to uncover insights and create strategies that fuel VML’s connected consumer experience work.”

Chase Cornett has been hired as a group planning director. Cornett relocated from Chicago where he worked as the SVP, strategic planning director, at FCB Global, with prior experience at PlanG Holdings. Cornett’s primary responsibility will be leading work on multiple PepsiCo brands. He will report to Ian Davidson, managing director, strategy and insights.

Adrian Adshade has joined VML as a group planning director. Adshade comes from TBWA\Asia Pacific where he led the strategy team for TBWA’s digital transformation specialist agency, Digital Arts Network (DAN) Singapore. He brings extensive experience that spans diverse regional marketing scopes including greater China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Oceania. Adshade will report to Ian Davidson, managing director, strategy and insights.

Todd Harris has been hired as a group planning director. Harris will lead VML strategic partnerships and innovation initiatives, particularly custom integrations with platforms, startups, and emerging technologies, on behalf of Gatorade and other VML clients. Harris has 16 years of industry experience and has worked at CBS Corporation and iHeartMedia. His most recent role was executive vice president of strategic partnerships at the SaaS company, SquareOffs. He will report to Ian Davidson, managing director, strategy and insights.

Carrie Patterson Reed joins VML as group director, research. Patterson Reed’s new role will aid the planning, experience design and channel teams in understanding consumer insights and translating those insights into impactful strategies in the creative development process. She brings 15 years of experience working in brand development, strategy and insights research. She has spent the majority of her career working with Fortune 500 companies to articulate brand messages that build deeper relevance with consumers. She will report to Paul Hauser, managing director, strategy and insights.

Jerod Overley arrives at VML in the role of group director, data technology. Overley will oversee the agency’s data sciences group, which is based out of VML Kansas City. He has more than 20 years of experience and previously led the analytics and insights group at Boehringer Ingelheim. Overley will report to Eric Beane, managing director, strategy and insights.

Nick Yecke has been promoted to group director, integrated strategy. Yecke will lead the work for Bayer Animal Health. He has worked with multiple brands over his 16 years in marketing, bringing a range of knowledge and understanding in this new role within the global advisory practice. Yecke will continue to assist partners in solving a range of challenges, from product development to customer acquisition, retention, business transformation and communications planning. He will report to Frank Jurden.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018
Ergin Kuke joins Mill+ as creative director
Ergin Kuke

Mill+ has added creative director Ergin Kuke to its Chicago studio.

Kuke is a multidisciplinary, hands-on creative director. He’s a live action director, a VFX supervisor and, has created media for advertising, motion pictures and, for experiential and interactive installations.

Kuke hails from Tirana, Albania where he was a translator for U.S. journalists covering the War in Kosovo before starting his career in advertising. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000s, studying at Gnomon, then working for Sony, Rhythm & Hues and Mind Over Eye.

Kuke has worked on blockbuster films including Polar Express and Superman Returns and crafted onstage visuals for bands such as Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Jovi, among others. He’s also extensively collaborated with automotive brands including Dodge, Jaguar and Infiniti.

Brian Smego, executive producer of Mill+ at The Mill in Chicago, said, “Having someone of Ergin’s breadth of knowledge and versatility based in our Chicago studio bolsters our growing team of extremely talented Mill+ creatives. His automotive and experiential work in particular are areas of focus that we look forward to bringing to our market. He’s a tremendous addition to the city and I think his joining is indicative of the quality of work that’s happening in the Midwest, making it possible to draw talent of his caliber from the coasts.”

  • Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018
Fiona Chilton joins Method Studios as head of production, Sydney
Fiona Chilton

As global VFX company Method Studios, a Deluxe company, continues to expand its production capabilities worldwide, it has brought on veteran VFX and animation production executive Fiona Chilton as head of production in Sydney. In this new role reporting to Sydney general manager Jeannette Manifold, Chilton will lead all feature film VFX productions in Sydney, supporting and guiding artist and producer teams, continuing to build the studio’s roster of artistic talent, and ensuring seamless collaboration with Method’s global studios.

In a 20-year career in VFX and animation production, Chilton has led teams from 50 to 650 across global locations. Her more than 25 feature film credits include associate producer on The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and VFX producer/executive producer roles on Ted, Ted 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Iron Man, Happy Feet and more. The native Australian joins Method most recently from Animal Logic, and previously has held long tenures and leadership roles with VFX and animation studios all over the world, including Framestore/CFC, Tippet Studios, The Orphanage and Universal Pictures.

  • Monday, Mar. 12, 2018
Michael Bennett to head Laundry's new San Francisco office
Michael Bennett

Design and animation studio Laundry has opened a new location in the South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood of San Francisco. The company has hired industry veteran Michael Bennett as San Francisco managing director to spearhead its entry into the S.F. market. Bennett will work closely with Los Angeles managing director James Sweigert to ensure seamless integration of talent and capabilities between both offices. Designed for client sessions, the S.F. space houses a growing creative and production staff to provide a broad range of capabilities, from ideation and concept development to live-action, animation, graphics, editorial, and finishing.

Bennett’s hiring reunites him with Laundry, where he spent five years as executive producer in Los Angeles and played an integral role in the company’s growth from 2010-’15.

In addition to nurturing Laundry’s ad agency and direct-to-brand relationships, Bennett will also strategize with Sweigert and the studio’s various in-house and out-of-house reps, including Reber Covington, which has a strong presence in both the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets.

Bennett brings extensive experience in branded content, specifically within the disciplines of design, animation, and VFX. He was most recently director of business development/managing EP at finishing company Ntropic in San Francisco. Other notable stints include director of business development, commercial and gaming at yU+Co, as well as handling business development for Belief Design.

“[Laundry executive creative director] Tony [Liu] and I are both from the Bay Area and feel it’s the perfect return to our stomping ground as artists and designers,” says PJ Richardson, Laundry Executive Creative Director, who co-founded the award-winning studio with Liu in 2006. “We’re excited for Michael to be returning to Laundry in this capacity, and helping us nurture partnerships with the agencies and brands anchored in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.”

Bennett characterized the San Francisco market as being “the perfect setting for their unique vibe, animation style, and design-driven storytelling.” 

  • Friday, Mar. 9, 2018
Uppercut hires Kathrin Lausch as exec producer
Kathrin Lausch

Creative postproduction shop Uppercut has added Kathrin Lausch as executive producer. Lausch has over two decades of experience as an EP for production and post companies such as MPC, Ntropic, B-Reel, Nice Shoes, Partizan and Compass Films, among others. 

Half French, half German-born, Lausch followed dual pursuits in law and art to NYC and quickly navigated her way to the world of production. She launched Passport Films, which later became Compass Films, in 1994 to usher European talent into the U.S. market and rapidly built a multi award-winning international production powerhouse. After selling the company, she followed the onset of the digital advertising marketplace, landing with B-Reel where she ushered in talent at the convergence of entertainment and technology for a wide-range of branded projects. She made the shift to postproduction, further embracing the new digital landscape as executive producer at Nice Shoes and Ntropic before landing as head of new business at MPC.

Lausch noted, “The hierarchy of the industry is changing, which calls for adoption and change but also opens the door to a whole new world of opportunity. Uppercut not only has a great boutique sensibility and team of talented visual storytellers, but they are also in the nimble stage of their growth, which allows them to be able to lean in to these opportunities and embrace the change.”

Uppercut owner/editor Micah Scarpelli, said, “Kathrin has an impressive, 360-degree background in advertising and entertainment and her excitement toward industry shifts truly aligns with our approach. With her on board, we’re looking forward to embracing change, not work against it, and dive into new opportunities.”

  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018
Shawn Shahani named director of strategy at 3AM
Shawn Shahani

3AM, the award-winning entertainment marketing agency founded in 2014 as a joint venture between Ridley Scott’s RSA Films and Wild Card, has brought Shawn Shahani on board as director of strategy. Shahani will work closely with 3AM’s leadership to evolve the strategy practice, strengthening the company’s approach to translating audience research and data into outstanding creative opportunities for filmmakers, studios and brands — and contributing to all phases of the 3AM process. Prior to joining 3AM, Shahani was strategy director at R/GA’s Hustle, leading the agency’s strategy team and servicing culture-first clients such as Beats by Dre and Twentieth Century Fox.

Shahani brings a deep expertise in brand and digital strategy and a proven ability to think strategically and act creatively. His additional experience includes working as co-head of social strategy for Havas New York, servicing brands such as Dos Equis, Hersheys, Liberty Mutual and Diageo, and social strategist at Momentum Worldwide, where he led his team in digital strategy for client Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. He was the first hire of Hearst-owned digital agency iCrossing’s Live Media Studio content practice and began his career at American Apparel where he helped launch its marketing and digital practice while developing online influencer outreach at the height of the company’s popularity.

“Shawn is a great fit for our team,” said Chris Eyerman, executive creative director, 3AM. “More than ever, the entertainment industry needs to get smarter, bolder and stronger. Nearly every second of the week is contested by quality content across every medium and a great idea no longer has a fighting chance without a brilliant core strategy, a truly distinctive hook and a killer distribution plan embedded at its core. Shawn has a proven track record of building attention-earning projects and communications that address these challenges.”

Alison Temple, managing partner, 3AM, added, “We’re always looking for creative disruptors at 3AM — people who understand how to tap into the entire continuum of modern storytelling and platform opportunities, and define the next generation of entertainment. Shawn’s unique ability to create elegant strategic solutions across the worlds of brand and entertainment will help us offer even more impactful work in the coming year. We’re excited to have him on the team.”

“The opportunity to join 3AM was an exciting one across the board,” Shahani commented. “The talent and work is already best-in-class and the leadership is inspiring and ambitious. Continuing to evolve our reputation that we think differently, understand people better than anyone else and know how to strategically find the right moments to grab the world’s attention is an exciting challenge.”

Among 3AM’s acclaimed work is a holistic prologue narrative concepted in partnership with Ridley Scott for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ critically acclaimed Blade Runner 2049. The prologue shorts include “2036: Nexus Dawn” with Jared Leto, and “2048: Nowhere to Run” with Dave Battista. 3AM also created the award-winning “Meet Walter” ft. Michael Fassbender, the branded entertainment partnership for Twentieth Century Fox’s Alien: Covenant and AMD, and Fox’s “The Martian Prologue” campaign.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018
Sophie Gold joins Wondros as exec producer
Sophie Gold

Wondros has brought Sophie Gold aboard its leadership team as executive producer.

Wondros founder/director Jesse Dylan described Gold as “the perfect executive producer to lead our commercial division. She has incredible director relationships and a keen eye for talent. She has a proven track record of building companies and talent, leveraging her background in sales and marketing, and taking them all to the next level. She is a true, hands-on director’s EP.”

During her career, Gold has produced numerous commercial campaigns for international brands around the world, including a partnership with Nissan on the Star Wars franchise for the launch of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Prior to joining Wondros, Gold most recently served as EP/partner at Quietman.

Gold said, “I have admired Wondros for some time, ever since I saw Jesse Dylan’s Emmy Award-winning ‘Yes We Can’ music video by Will.I.Am, which went viral. I was blown away by it. Wondros is an incredible and multifaceted company, collaborating with top brands and agencies around the world, helping them find their vision.”

  • Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018
Renee Krumweide joins Alldayeveryday as EP
Renee Krumweide

Production and entertainment company Alldayeveryday has added Renee Krumweide to its management team, hiring her as executive producer to head up the commercial division. The move comes on the heels of John Kaplan joining the company as partner and president.

Krumweide comes to Alldayeveryday with two decades of experience building connections and businesses across the advertising and entertainment industries and a reputation as a thoughtful matchmaker of today’s best creative talent. In 2012, she joined forces with Raquel Elfassi to form R&D Placement, a talent management company born from a desire to nurture and progress directorial talent. During her time at R&D, Krumweide also developed and produced a slate of documentaries, films and episodic content, including the Go90 docuseries Why We Fight.

Prior to R&D, Krumweide was part of the team at Resource LA, representing a roster of companies including Biscuit, The Directors Bureau, Spot Welders, and Serial Pictures. There, she worked with directors such as Noam Murro, Mike Mills, Roman Coppola and Tim Godsall.

Krumweide will be based in Allday’s LA Arts District office, where her focus will be developing and managing talent for both advertising and entertainment projects in a collaborative environment. Alldayeveryday is already off to a strong 2018, having produced work for clients including Nike, Beats, Nest, Puma, as well as upcoming film projects for HBO and Viceland.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018
The Mill hires creative director Donnie Bauer
Donnie Bauer

Donnie Bauer has joined the design team at The Mill in Chicago as creative director. He will lead the C4D pipeline within the design department, while increasing collaboration with the CG and 2D teams. Bauer will also be sharing his creative vision, working closely with clients to develop and deliver on their media-based needs.

Over the years he has developed expertise in a variety of roles, making him a uniquely versatile artist. He has dedicated his career to producing content for broadcast television and, along the way, has collaborated with clients including FITC, Pitchfork, Reebok, and Gatorade. Over the course of his formative 12 years in the industry and through his passion for design and animation, he’s earned accolades from AICE and PromaxBDA.

Prior to joining The Mill, Bauer had been a freelance designer for the past two years, working primarily as a motion designer and director.

Jeff Boddy, head of design at The Mill in Chicago, said, “Donnie is a veritable Swiss Army knife, with a skill set spanning the entire gamut of design, animation, and production disciplines. His arrival represents our focus on bolstering interdisciplinary creative solutions for production. As image makers, this keeps us nimble, flexible, and fresh.”