Monday, February 27, 2017

People on the Move

  • Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017
Ben Hibon named head creative director at Luma
Ben Hibon
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Creative studio Luma, known for its visual effects work, has hired Ben Hibon to serve as head creative director.
A career as an artist and animation director has taken Hibon from television commercials to branded content to video game creation for clients like Disney, Microsoft, Sony, and Riot Games. He has lent his design skills to feature films such as Snow White and the Huntsman and The Last Witch Hunter. Most notably he was at the helm of the Academy Award-nominated The Tale of Three Brothers animated sequence from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
VFX house Luma is expanding into the realm of original content. Luma’s Santa Monica and Melbourne studios will continue their exclusive service model while developing partnerships that enable the company to be active in creative as well. Hibon will be working with the heads of Luma’s animated and live action content, and new content and media arms, helping to shape and guide the new branches toward varied forms of storytelling.
Founded by Payam Shohadai, Luma Pictures debuted in 2002 with visual effects for Charlie’s Angels and has gone on to contribute visual effects for such films as Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, and Doctor Strange. 

  • Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
Michael Gregory upped to VFX creative director at MPC LA
Michael Gregory

MPC Los Angeles has promoted Michael Gregory to VFX creative director. He will work alongside VFX creative director Rob Hodgson to lead creative for the studio’s advertising VFX division.
Gregory joined the L.A. studio in March as head of 2D from MPC London, where for 13 years he was a sought after VFX supervisor and lead artist. His most recent work via MPC LA includes commercials for Nike, Samsung, State Farm and Atari | The Witcher, as well as the latest music video from the Rolling Stones—“Ride ‘Em On Down,” with directors Mark Romanek, Adam Berg, Wayne McClammy, Johnny Hardstaff and François Rousselet.

Gregory’s work has been honored with a VES Award for Outstanding Animated Commercial for Cadbury “Spots v Stripes” and a D&AD Pencil and British Arrow for Channel 4’s “Street Summer” campaign, for which he helped develop an innovative new filming technique.

He now teams with Hodgson whose credits span films such as Inception, X-Men: First Class, American Beauty and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and commercials for Visa, BMW, Apple, Guinness, Nike, DirecTV and GE.
“Michael is a proven leader and one of MPC’s most talented and accomplished artists,” said Justin Brukman, managing director, MPC U.S. “We’re pleased to recognize his efforts over the past 14 years with the pivotal leadership role of VFX creative director. Working with Rob Hodgson in a formidable partnership, Michael will lead MPC’s talented team of artists, giving them the freedom to excel in craft and storytelling, while collaborating with our clients on innovative and effective content. We look forward to the road ahead which will see the release of some the studio’s most exciting work to date.”
“I’m fortunate to have learned the art of visual effects and come into my own as an artist amongst the wonderful craft of the UK ad industry,” said Gregory. “The move to the U.S. earlier this year enabled me to begin the next chapter of my career in the renowned American ad market, tapping into endless opportunity with continued support from MPC. I enjoy building and working within successful teams, and look forward to being part of the studio’s growth and continued success in Los Angeles.”

MPC maintains facilities in London, L.A., New York, Vancouver, Montreal, Bangalore, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Paris.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
JAMM adds Flame artist Mark Holden
Mark Holden
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Visual effects boutique JAMM has brought on board veteran Flame artist Mark Holden. He brings more than 20 years of experience in postproduction in London, followed by the last six years in Los Angeles at MPC LA. As a creative finishing artist working with agencies on both sides of the Atlantic, he has touched a significant range of projects spanning the worlds of retail, automotive, food and beauty.
Holden dove right in with JAMM for Space 150’s Buffalo Wild Wings’ Super Bowl pre-game spot starring Brett Favre and, directed by the Snorri Brothers. 
Holden is known not only for his visual prowess, but also for turning projects around under tight deadlines and offering his clients as many solutions as possible to amplify the postproduction process. This has earned him work with agencies such as Fallon, Mother, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, 180, TBWA/Chiat/Day, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Deutsch, David & Goliath, and Team One. Further, he has worked with brands from all verticals including Lexus, Activision, Adidas, Chevy, GEICO, Grammys, Kia, Lyft, Pepsi, Southwest Airlines, StubHub, McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Stella Artois, Silk, Heineken, and OLAY.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Tim Avery promoted to editor at Northern Lights
Tim Avery

Northern Lights has promoted Tim Avery from assistant editor to editor. Avery joined the NY-based entertainment agency in 2013, working under the mentorship of in-house talent on a variety of promos, commercials and co-branded content. As an editor, his storytelling skills can be seen in spots and promos for such clients as Walmart, E!, Oxiclean, AMC, Mercedes and Animal Planet. Avery brings a collaborative approach to each of his projects, honing in on the brand message while adding his own personal style to elevate the storytelling arc and visuals of every piece.

Avery has embraced Northern Lights’ agency offerings, working closely with sr. creative director Keith Kopnicki on network promo and co-branded projects concepted and executed in-house. They recently collaborated on spots for E! and The Voice in conjunction with Fashion Week as well as a series of one minute content pieces for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Susan McGuirl joins board of Behind the Scenes Foundation
Susan McGuirl

Susan McGuirl, the head of North America Entertainment, Entertainment Division, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, has accepted an invitation to join the Behind the Scenes Foundation's board of directors. McGuirl has been in the insurance industry for over 25 years holding various leadership positions in both claims and underwriting. Allianz Entertainment is the largest entertainment insurance writer in the U.S. focusing on providing specialized insurance solutions for the entertainment industry.  Prior to joining Allianz, she was the COO of Travelers Entertainment. McGuirl is a strong advocate for safety, encouraging collaboration between entertainment experts and the insurance community and was instrumental in developing the partnership between Allianz and the Event Safety Alliance.

Upon accepting the appointment, McGuirl commented, “I am honored to serve on the Behind the Scenes board of directors. BTS’ dedication to the entertainment industry is important and necessary in serving those who need our help and support.”

Rick Rudolph, the chair of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, said, “We are extremely honored to have Susan join us in our work. Her desire to support entertainment technology professionals in need is a natural extension of her longstanding commitment to making our industry a safer place. We look forward to breadth of experience and new ideas she will bring to the Board.”

The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, click here.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
LatinWorks fortifies leadership team
Christy Kranik (l) and Leo Olper.
AUSTIN, Texas -- 

LatinWorks, part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), has hired Leo Olper to serve as SVP and managing director. A former executive at Leo Burnett, and co-founder of Havas’ Totality multicultural practice, Olper will be based in New York and will be responsible for bringing best in class account stewardship to a large portion of LatinWorks’ client portfolio. He will also anchor and help fuel the agency’s growing presence in the Northeast.

In addition, Christy Kranik becomes the agency’s first partner and chief client officer. Kranik has been a key player in the agency’s leadership ranks for well over a decade. During this time the shop grew to become a leading creative and strategic organization in the multicultural industry.

“Leo’s arrival adds a new and welcomed dimension to our team” said Kranik, who in her new role will work closely with Olper to evolve strategic client service.

“I’m excited to join an agency with the creative track record of LatinWorks” said Olper. “I look forward to this new chapter of my professional life and to the opportunity to work with Christy and the rest of this outstanding group of talented people,” he added.

In an effort to accelerate the agency’s evolution and better meet client needs, the agency also announced several other moves among its executive ranks, including the appointment of Marc Wilson to VP, strategic planning; Scott Radigk to CFO; Michelle Aldrich to VP, financial operations; and the return of Luis Guido, a former director in the agency’s experiential and shopper marketing group, to the position of VP, experiential marketing. 

“These leadership appointments, and the elevation of Christy’s position to agency partner, are intended to not only recognize the individual contributions each has made to our agency, but also to help accelerate our transformation to a world-class organization that is able to adapt to changing client needs, in what has become a very dynamic marketing universe,” said Manny Flores, CEO and co-founder.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Zulu Alpha Kilo hires Marcelo Mariano as associate creative director
Marcelo Mariano

Zulu Alpha Kilo in Toronto has just brought on The Martin Agency’s award-winning digital talent Marcelo Mariano as associate creative director. At The Martin Agency, Mariano worked on notable projects such as "DeleteToFeed" for Land O’Lakes and Oreo Colorfilled. The Oreo project was highlighted in specialized media and awards as one of the most creative projects in e-commerce and pack customization. 
“Mariano bring a wealth of innovative digital thinking which further strengthens an already strong group of thinkers,” said Zak Mroueh, CCO and founder of Zulu Alpha Kilo.
Mariano started his career in Brazil, working at agency DM9DDB. Mariano’s work has been awarded by Cannes, One Show, Webby Awards, and the FWA. In 2008, he won a Gold Lion in the Young Lions Cyber Competition at the Cannes Festival.  At Zulu, Mariano will partner with Zulu CD Jon Webber.
“I’m really proud to be part of an agency with such a strong creative DNA and culture. I’ve always loved Canada and Zulu is an agency I’ve admired for a long time,” said Mariano.
The hire comes on the heels of Zulu winning its first U.S. AOR assignment for New York-based Wink, the DIY smart home platform with over 2.3 million devices connected.

  • Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
Publicis makes Prodigious hires for new production studio
Steve Evans

Prodigious, the content production arm of Publicis Groupe, has hired Steve Evans and Kevin Palmer as editors, and Andrew Granelli as sr. VFX artist.
The trio is the latest addition to the agency’s growing postproduction team, which recently moved into a state-of-the art campus in Brooklyn’s Industry City, where they’ll work on a wide array of projects for Publics Groupe clients, including P&G and Walmart. 
Evans has extensive experience editing commercials, web content, presentation videos, short documentaries, promos, music videos and claymation.  He has worked with top brands including Miller High Life, Samsung, ExxonMobil, Frye Boots, Folgers, Verizon Wireless, Old Navy, Jaguar, Microsoft and Intel.
Palmer has worked in both advertising and independent film, having cut two-time Academy Award nominee Bill Plympton’s animated features Cheatin’ and Idiots & Angels, as well as Zbigniew Bzymek’s debut feature Utopians.  Recently, Palmer has collaborated with playwright, director and musician Young Jean Lee on her short films Here Come the Girls and A Meaning Full Life.

Granelli, who comes to Prodigious from Click 3X, brings 15 years of visual effects and set supervision experience with high-end brands and complex effects. His addition to the team has driven a seamless experience between production and post on all VFX work.
“The hiring of Steve, Kevin and Andrew is part of our continued investment in scaling our filmed content production capability,” said Phil DeZutter, CEO, Publics Communications North America Production Platform. “We have a world-class studios in New York and across North America, and we’re committed to bringing in the best talent in the industry to deliver the highest levels of craft for our clients.”
Rounding out the new in-house team are three experienced and highly-talented audio engineers who joined Prodigious in 2016: John Grant, Steve Perski and Mark Turrigiano.

  • Friday, Feb. 17, 2017
Editor Nate Pence joins TwoPoint0; Company extends reach to Midwest
Nate Pence

Editor Nate Pence, based in Chicago, has joined TwoPoint0, the company launched in fall 2015 by co-founders Wendy Rosen and Anthony Marinelli. Working successfully in the New York market, TwoPoint0 now extends its reach to the Midwest with the addition of Pence. 

“Anthony and I are excited to expand TwoPoint0’s roster to Chicago,” said Rosen. “We feel Nate is the perfect editor to launch this venture. Nate’s reel speaks for his talent and skill. Whether it’s storytelling or design-based work, his editorial sensibility shines through.”

Pence began his career at Whitehouse Post in Los Angeles and along the way has made stops at Beast, Digital Kitchen and Conspiracy, which was his last roost prior to joining TwoPoint0. Especially drawn to design-based and docu-style projects, he’s worked internationally, on both coasts and on sets, in hotel rooms and motor homes and all points in between. With over a decade in postproduction he’s been a part of many notable campaigns including for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Intel, the Chicago Cubs and the first global efforts for Sailor Jerry Rum.

“We had a fantastic experience working with Nate,” said AJ Hassan, executive creative director for R/GA. “He’s a great storyteller and has an impeccable eye for detail. We appreciated his collaborative style, it made the whole process a pleasure.”

Jason Mann, creative director at Havas, noted: “The best thing about working with Nate is that you get much more than a top-notch editor. He had a point of view about every element of our projects that helped enhance each one of them.”

Director Ky Dickens of Story related, “Nate edited a piece that I directed for Koval Distillery. Nate offers the perfect mix of collaboration and idea generating. I love when editors can look at my footage and understand the story I hope to tell, while offering their own fresh perspective and voice. Nate has a great eye, a commitment to honest storytelling and quality, and a knack for timing and juxtaposition that makes him a joy to work with on creative endeavors.”

Pence is currently editing a Groupon campaign via O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul, Chicago. With its move into the Midwest market, TwoPoint0 plans on continuing to expand into other cities in the near future. Depending upon the clients and projects’ needs, TwoPointO is able to work with production and post partners they have known for years to find the right studio space and post services that are needed.

“Joining forces with TwoPoint0 is really exciting,” concluded Pence. “As the editorial business evolves, it’s crucial to be able to adapt and have more flexibility. The post model that Wendy and Anthony are pioneering makes so much sense and I’m fired up we’re on each others’ team.” 

TwoPoint0 features the talents of editors Rosen, Marinelli, Pence, David Cornman, Charlie Cusumano, Jane Keller, John Marinis, Debbie McMurtrey, Keith Olwell, Jon Rosen, Jón Stefánsson, and Terence Ziegler.

  • Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017
EP Brad Edelstein, art director Wes Ebelhar join Dress Code
Brad Edelstein

Dress Code has brought on board executive producer Brad Edelstein (Click 3X, Stink Studios) and art director Wes Ebelhar (The Mill, Hush). Edelstein has extensive experience in sales and strategy in the production and agency worlds, positioning him to introduce agencies and brands to the nearly decade-old Dress Code, which has intentionally stayed under the radar creating hyper-designed work for a small staple of loyal partners. 

Founded by Dan Covert and Andre Andreev, Dress Code is a production company active on both the live-action and animation fronts. Recent credits include a Schick campaign for J. Walter Thompson. Dress Code also earned three Vimeo staff picks for a film about Syracuse University, a music video for Violent Sands, and a short documentary profiling the oldest elevator operator in Los Angeles.

Edelstein said of his new roost, “We’re looking to work on a bigger stage, yet still stay small. We just upgraded offices for the first time and let’s just say we have no interest in ‘getting the floor above us,’ so to speak. This keeps us true to the roots of how the company started out: selective, grounded and focused on making dope work.”

Art director Ebelhar was trained at a top tier design school before climbing the ranks as a staff player, then as a freelancer at a “who’s who” of animation studios. He brings a designer’s sensibility and taste to illustration-based animation and motion graphics.