• Friday, Sep. 24, 2021
VFX supervisor Pier Lefebvre joins Rodeo FX
Pier Lefebvre

Pier Lefebvre has joined Canadian studio Rodeo FX as a visual effect supervisor. With 20 years of experience in the VFX industry, Lefebvre has a body of work which includes visual effects Oscar winner 1917, as well as King Kong vs. Godzilla, Ghost in a Shell (for which he was nominated for an HPA Award for Outstanding Visual Effects) and the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife with Jason Reitman.

Lefebvre began his career in matte painting and advanced as an environment supervisor, on-set supervisor, and then VFX supervisor for Motion Picture Company (MPC). His work brought him around the world on award-winning shows set in Jordan, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, and more—an international journey that brought him back to his roots in Montreal.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 21, 2021
Annalisa Roy, Asad Shaykh appointed joint heads of strategy at Grey London
Grey London's (l-r) Annalisa Roy, Asad Shaykh and Raquel Chicourel

Annalisa Roy and Asad Shaykh have joined Grey London’s planning department as joint heads of strategy.

Roy, who until recently was working as an advertising strategy consultant, is former global brand strategy director of Publicis, and previously head of content strategy at AMV BBDO.

At AMV, she led innovation across several high-profile brands including Braun (P&G), BT, Eurostar, Mercedes Benz, and Foot Locker. At Publicis, she led the global strategy on SCA and worked closely with the ECD on creative development across the whole agency. 

She also worked at BBH as a consultant on a series of innovation projects involving a space launch for Samsung and the development of entirely recyclable paper bottles for Absolut Vodka.

Shaykh, most recently Grey Social’s digital strategy director, has previously held various head of strategy roles and is also both director of marketing and communications and head of brand for Pride London--voluntary roles he will continue.

Across a career spanning more than two decades, he has worked in the U,K., U.S. and EU on brand challenges ranging from crafting a bespoke IOT strategy for Vodafone Enterprise to launching Coca-Cola’s most successful market entrant across social in 2018. He has also worked on developing brands including ACCA, AVIVA, Coca-Cola, Dreams, Sky, Swarovski, Vodafone and HSBC. 

Roy and Shaykh will report to chief strategic officer Raquel Chicourel, who both will now report into. 

Their appointments mark the culmination of a hiring spree by Chicourel in recent months which has also included strategy director Ed Hayne from Saatchi & Saatchi; strategy director Bia Bonani from Saatchi & Saatchi; strategy director Hugo Cain from M&C Saatchi; strategist Polly Goodman from Saatchi & Saatchi; strategist Milan Zum Hebel from Havas London; and digital strategist Josh Hood.

Chicourel said, “The strategy squad at Grey is pretty different. We have been quietly building a team with some of the most beautiful different minds in London. Weird and wonderful, Oxbridge and BTEC, brand and digital. I’m proud that no two Grey strategists are the same. The logic behind this is simple. If you keep hiring the same kind of people you’ll keep getting the same kind of thinking. That’s why diversity lives through every level of our squad.” 

She continued, “I’m Brazilian, our heads of strategy are from Pakistan and Italy and some of our new hires are English. Some of us have university degrees, some don’t. Some come from brand and consultancy, others from digital and content. Some do photography and rugby whilst others are sneakerheads, write novels, knit and sketch anime in their spare time. This is how we hire and how we nurture our thinkers. If you want to make famous work that matters to real people in the real world, you need a hit of difference.”

  • Tuesday, Sep. 21, 2021
Jennifer Rees joins Partners + Napier as CFO
Jennifer Rees

Integrated creative and media agency Partners + Napier has hired Jennifer Rees, CPA, is its new chief financial officer.

Rees most recently served as the CFO for architecture firm CPL (formerly Clark Patterson Lee), now employing approximately 450 employees across 19 offices. During her nearly eight-year tenure at CPL, revenues more than doubled as Rees helped lead a transformational change within the organization to deliver significant organic and acquisition-related growth.

Among other career achievements, Rees held various leadership roles within the corporate financial planning and analysis team at Bausch + Lomb (a long-time Partners + Napier client), and technical accounting roles for Birds Eye Foods and Insero & Company.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 21, 2021
Sophie Vaughan joins Absolute as exec producer
Sophie Vaughan

Absolute has brought Sophie Vaughan (née Hogg) aboard as executive producer, following previous roles at The Mill, MPC, Cut+Run and more recently, OKAY STUDIO, where she was responsible for reshaping the studio and acquiring fresh new talent.

Following a somewhat atypical career start as a city lawyer, a fateful introduction to Pat Joseph presented her with an entry route into the industry, via an assistant role at The Mill. Over a decade later, Vaughan has forged relationships with agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy, BBH and Mother. She’s also worked with directors including Traktor, Dougal Wilson, Andreas Nilsson and Sam Brown across a range of offline, CG, motion graphics, fashion and music promo projects.

Vaughan lists her career highlights to date, however, as producing Pedro Martin-Calero’s award-winning “Up” campaign for Honda Civic, Rupert Sanders’ famous “Peace” campaign for AXE (which boasts over 1.8 million YouTube views to date) and Milka’s all-too-delicious “Biscuit Jar” campaign. 

Vaughan said of her new Absolute roost, “the breadth of their capabilities is impressive, from VFX, to CG, to color... not forgetting Blind Pig’s music and animation offering. It is truly an end-to-end studio.”

  • Monday, Sep. 20, 2021
Adina Birnbaum joins Chromista as exec producer
Adina Birnbaum

Creative content company Chromista, with bases of operation in L.A. and NY, has hired Adina Birnbaum as its EP of new business development.
Brooklyn-based Birnbaum began her career as a financial strategist for a leading hedge fund until she had an existential awakening. Ditching her forecasting models and power suits, she switched to advertising, landing her first gig in client services at the boutique editorial studio Breathe Editing, before joining BBDO as an assistant producer. 

Birnbaum has since worked at agencies including Arts & Letters, DDB, Doubleday & Cartwright, EnergyBBDO, Johannes Leonardo, Mullen, and Sid Lee. Her brand work includes campaigns and identities for Adidas Originals, Aflac, The Atlantic, AT&T, Belvedere, Quaker, Kate Spade and Wrigley.

Birnbaum led the first in-house broadcast productions for Chobani and Squarespace and served as Instagram Marketing’s first freelance producer hire, establishing a production pipeline, process for platform content surrounding new product launches, and education initiatives. 

Birnbaum has also been a creative EP at MPC, working on music videos for artists like Sia, feature films, fashion shorts, and integrated ad campaigns. She helped establish the New York post pipeline for feature films with Jon Watts’s Cop Car. She later post-produced two independent films for Netflix with the design and animation company Hey Beautiful Jerk. In the experiential world, she led a 3-store holiday pop-up for the Parisian luxury brand Hermès Petit H, involving the construction of large-scale custom interior merchandise display units, interactive holiday window displays, VIP events, printed collateral, and animation, which lived both in-store and online.  

  • Monday, Sep. 20, 2021
Big Spaceship hires Chris Huban as executive creative director 
Chris Huban

Big Spaceship has hired Chris Huban as executive creative director. Hailing from Spotify Advertising where he served as the global design lead, Huban will be responsible for envisioning product and brand experiences at Big Spaceship. Huban is based in New York and will report to Cedric Devitt, CCO. 

With almost 20 years of experience in the industry, Huban’s contributions have led to work recognized by D&AD, the Webby’s, Awwwards, CSS Design and the FWA. At Spotify Advertising, he was the global design lead on Wrapped for Advertising 2020, the redesign of ads.spotify.com, Culture Next Reports Volumes 2 & 3, and Outside Voices Seasons 1 & 2. Prior to his tenure at Spotify, Huban spent a decade at Huge where he served as creative director on accounts including Ralph Lauren Polo App, Thomson Reuters, NYU Langone, Comcast and Lowe’s. 

“Design can propel people, brands, businesses, and society forward,” said Huban. “To do this, we must consider who we design for, placing people at the forefront of our thinking. Then we can better envision and build products, services, and more meaningful experiences that delight us, connect us, support us, give us agency and drive us to take action. My role will be 50% focused on managing our work and 100% focused on mentoring our people. My goal is to create a product-focused vision that we can all believe in as a team and establish a structure that allows that vision to thrive in the work that we do.

  • Monday, Sep. 20, 2021
Camp + King hires E.B. Jackson as brand director for Papa John's
E.B. Jackson

Camp + King has brought E.B. Jackson aboard its Chicago office as brand director. Founded in 2011 by Jamie King and Roger Camp, Camp + King is a 60-person––and growing––creative agency located in San Francisco and Chicago. The addition of Jackson bolsters the agency’s brand management capabilities for the Papa John’s brand, as well as for Camp + King’s Chicago hub, an office that extends the agency’s geographical reach to better service Midwest and East Coast clients.

Jackson joins the team from 360i, where she was a VP of account management. Prior to her tenure at 360i, she held the role of account director at dentsu mcgarrybowen, working with clients including Brita and Kingsford for the Clorox Company; and Planters and Kool-Aid for The Kraft Heinz Company. While at Downtown Partners Chicago, Jackson served in the capacity of account management. After beginning her career at Marketing Werks, she rose through the ranks during her seven years at the firm to the position of account supervisor. In her new role as brand director for Papa John’s, Jackson will be reporting to Kristin Barbour, partner and managing director of Camp + King’s Chicago office.

  • Monday, Sep. 20, 2021
Framestore promotes three on its immersive team
Eugénie von Tunzelmann

Creative studio Framestore has appointed Eugénie von Tunzelmann to the newly created role of head of VFX, Attractions while Lauren Anderson and Maximilian McNair McEwan join Heather Kinal as executive producers. This trio of promotions is a move to solidify a team of specialist experience within the Attractions offering at Framestore and set the stage for the department’s growth. 

Von Tunzelmann rejoined Framestore in January 2016 having worked in film VFX for over 13 years with credits including Interstellar (CG supervisor), and Man of Steel (FX supervisor). She quickly became integral to Framestore’s Rides team, and has been instrumental in driving major theme park projects such as the Jurassic World Adventure ride at Universal’s brand-new theme park, Universal Studios Beijing and the Jurassic World VelociCoaster which recently launched at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando. With a Masters in Engineering and Computer Science, von Tunzelmann’s background is a rare mixture of technology and science combined with creativity. Her promotion to head of VFX, Attractions recognizes her contribution in leading both the projects and the team.

Anderson joined the company in 2016 overseeing projects within the Framestore Labs department, including the development and build of a unique brand studio for Ford within New York’s Oculus building at the World Trade Center. Following a move to Immersive, Anderson has produced theme park attractions for Lionsgate Entertainment World and is currently  heading up production on design and installation for national and international immersive museum projects and an unannounced dark rides project. Anderson will continue to focus on Immersive experiences under Framestore’s Attractions banner and ensure the growth of the department’s portfolio. 

Since joining Framestore in 2017, McEwan, has been driving the delivery of immersive projects including attractions and experiences for Lionsgate Entertainment World, Universal Creative and Walt Disney Imagineering. McEwan’s new role will see him continue to manage the production workflow within the Attractions team as well as working on sales and strategy as the department continues to rapidly expand.  Before coming to Framestore he worked on blockbuster titles including Interstellar, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, and War for the Planet of the Apes. 

“Together, Eugénie, Lauren, Max, and Heather have continued to excel in their roles, helping Framestore position itself firmly as a leader in the immersive space,” said Lottie Cooper, Managing Director, Advertising, TV & Immersive. “As the team grows they will be at the forefront of advancing the department, taking on pioneering projects that are set to thrill audiences globally.”

  • Friday, Sep. 17, 2021
Nicole Cousins joins COLLINS as associate designer
Nicole Cousins

Independent strategy and design company COLLINS has hired Nicole Cousins as associate designer. The move underscores the value of the shop’s internship program and reinforces a commitment to DEI and fostering unique, young talent from within. 

Cousins’ hiring marks a natural progression for the Brooklyn native, who first interned at COLLINS in 2017 as part of its program for high school designers. She then took on second and third internships at the company while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), from which she graduated in 2020. 

According to Cousins, the initial design internship at COLLINS provided an ideal springboard to nurture her innate talents, which she actually displayed before high school by using traditional media to craft book covers for writers she admired. “I saw the internship as an opportunity to learn more about art and design,” Cousins says. “Most of the mediums I worked with before were about personal expression, primarily consisting of drawing in charcoal and painting with acrylics. I’ve always wanted to try digital art, and it was through that work in the design internship that I realized that I could also help others communicate their ideas and ambitions through design. And I believe that that is where real power and influence can be.”

Under the tutelage of the COLLINS team, including design director Megan Bowker, Cousins developed a greater understanding as an intern of just how powerful and all-encompassing design can be. “One of the things I noticed when interning at COLLINS was the fact that design takes many forms,” she notes. “It covers multiple creative mediums like photography, digital graphics and interfaces, film and architecture – as well as new ways to think, collaborate and create. Being a designer lets you become a jack of all trades while also becoming a master of one.”

During her multifaceted internship at COLLINS, Cousins worked on memorable projects for Target and its “More than Magic” brand. In the process, she not only gained experience in customer audits, trend and market research, concepting, sketching and photography, but was able to showcase her colorful, uplifting approach to design, which can actually be traced back to her Flatbush, Brooklyn upbringing. Inspired by the culture, people, and trends around her, Cousins was showcasing her creativity early on with ideas that focused on the joy of the African diaspora and creating new ways of seeing the Black community. “Whether it be about music, clothing, or language, I wanted to make work about it,” she recalled. “I focused specifically on Black joy. Why do we create? Do we truly enjoy it, and what does this say about our culture? Our culture is what brings us contentment.” 

Cousins hopes to bring that same joy and refreshing perspective to her new associate designer role. “I tend to be drawn to expressive, colorful imagery and illustrations, and have come to the realization that I design to not only communicate meaningful ideas but to bring happiness,” she says.

It was Cousins’ infectious, upbeat nature that initially attracted COLLINS’ leadership before she even became an intern. “Nicole was a gifted artist in high school, a strong conceptual thinker who approached each project with curiosity and enthusiasm,” said the company’s director of talent Yocasta Lachapelle. “For us, her talent was obvious. We just had to wait and see if she’d apply to our program.”

Cousins joining COLLINS not only signifies the culmination of a long-standing, fruitful relationship, but the second time the company has brought on a high school intern into a full-time role. In essence, her hiring demonstrates the ongoing benefits of the company’s internship programs, which run parallel for high school and college students and are gradually evolving into remote and hybrid models, as has become the norm in the creative workforce.

Just as importantly, however, Lachapelle says Cousins coming aboard highlights COLLINS’ continued investment in next-generation talent and DEI initiatives. “I hope it reflects the tremendous value of a sustained long-term commitment to DEI,” she said. “Diversity is not a quick fix; to tackle systemic challenges, we must provide enduring systemic support. We’re honored to continue to invest in, and nurture, the next generation of designers and creative leaders.”

Brian Collins, chief creative officer, shared, “Here’s the real secret and real value we’ve all gained over the last seven years of this program: we’ve learned geometrically more from Nicole and her fellow interns than they’ve ever learned from us. It’s brought us vital new energy and broader perspectives we’d otherwise never have.”

Collins furthered, “To have Nicole join our full time staff was a full-circle moment, sure. But it is also an affirmation that programs like this must be long-term commitments. In this case, five years. To support students eager to build a creative career, it’s no quick, one time, one summer fix. It’s playing and supporting a long game with them over years. And, look--it works!”

  • Friday, Sep. 17, 2021
Nomad adds sr. lead Flame artist Morris, head of VFX production St. Vincent
Steve Morris

Nomad has added sr. lead Flame artist Steve Morris and head of VFX production Alyssa St. Vincent to its New York studio.

Morris joins Nomad after seven years as a sr. Flame artist at Method, where he worked on campaigns for brands such as Squarespace (featuring Oscar the Grouch and a Super Bowl spot with Winona Ryder), Heath and Johnson & Johnson via UM, and Comcast for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics via Spark Foundry. Prior to Method, Morris spent nearly five years as a VFX artist at Company3.

Morris is also no stranger to long-form content, having collaborated with Marvel on several projects including Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and The Defenders. His work has also been featured in blockbuster films like Drive, Tower Heist, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Runaway, to name a few.

Nomad’s NYC VFX team has been growing exponentially over the past year, starting from integrating more CG and design jobs into its editing projects and now branching further into independent VFX realms. In addition to overseeing all this work at Nomad NYC, Morris will also help mentor other East Coast artists, and will collaborate with Nomad’s international VFX teams in L.A., London, and Tokyo.

To help manage the fast growth in NYC, Nomad is also welcoming St. Vincent as head of VFX production. She joins the company from her most recent role as executive producer for Taylor James/Smoke & Mirrors. Prior to that, she served as an EP for Strange & Wonderful and Eight VFX, where she also worked not only on commercials but also on films like Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation and Craig Gilespie’s I, Tonya. Her credits span brands such as BMW, Rolex, Nike, AT&T, Puma and Mountain Dew, garnering multiple awards at Cannes and the D&AD Awards. Additionally, St. Vincent and Nomad partner/EP Jennifer Lederman served on the AICP board of directors for a number of years together.

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