• Wednesday, May. 5, 2021
Alasdair Lloyd-Jones becomes president & CMO at Versus
Alasdair Lloyd-Jones
NEW YORK -- 

Alasdair Lloyd-Jones has been named president and chief marketing officer at Versus. His goal is to further define and grow the company as a leading creator of non-disposable content. 

Lloyd-Jones has spent the last 20 years in senior and executive positions for both brands and large creative agencies. He most recently served as chief consumer officer at luxury brand David Yurman. Earlier he was president and chief strategy officer at brand experience agency SET Management and before that COO at Big Spaceship. He now oversees Versus’ growth, direction and evolution as it looks to continue expanding its reach within the industry, offering new services and working with top-drawer brands across a variety of industry sectors.

“I was drawn to Versus because of the work that the company is producing, as well as the unique blend of voices and viewpoints that are the driving force behind that work,” said Lloyd-Jones. “Nowadays, anyone can produce content, and the flooded market doesn’t create a lasting impression with viewers, as they often see something and forget about it right away. At Versus, our goal is to create memorable, non-disposable content that resonates with the audience beyond that brief moment, as well as content that drives impactful results for our partners. This starts with content that’s aligned to traditional media formats, but we are now developing an original content arm as we look to deepen the level of engagement between brands and their audiences. We think about content as a product extension for brands and this goes well beyond advertising formats.”

Versus co-founder Samantha Louise said, “Alasdair’s experience and expertise will further enhance our leadership team as we continue to grow as a company and find new, innovative solutions that meet the needs of our partners.” 

Versus has been a producer of content for agencies and brands for over seven years. Disney, Audible, The Home Depot and JBL have seen the value of strategically imbued content and are key partners to Versus in the development of content’s role and effectiveness for brands. 

  • Tuesday, May. 4, 2021
Dan Forman joins the Stink Group as COO
Dan Forman
LONDON -- 

The Stink Group has appointed Dan Forman to the role of chief operating officer. 

In this newly created position, Forman will drive global growth and commercial strategy across both Stink Films and Stink Studios, with the objective of expanding both companies’ offerings to an even wider array of global clients. Forman will work closely with leads across both companies to oversee key commercial and operational aspects of the Stink Group’s 15+ offices.

Forman brings over 20 years of industry experience to the Stink Group. Over the course of his career, he’s served as the commercial director for BBH London, the CFO for Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon UK Group and UK & Nordics Group, the global commercial director for Geometry Global and, most recently, as the SVP of global client operations for WPP, where he was responsible for commercial delivery across the network’s major clients. 

“Without question, the last six years have been the most rewarding, challenging and fulfilling of my professional life and I’m grateful and proud to have had this experience with WPP,”  said Forman, adding, “I’m delighted to be joining the Stink family, a company that I’ve admired for many years.  I’m honored to now be a part of it and to have a major role in securing its future. Within the world that we’re living in; the changing media landscape that we’re experiencing, I believe Stink is perfectly positioned to be more relevant and able to deliver its unique value to clients.”

Daniel Bergmann, president, Stink Group, said of Forman, “His personality and experience is exactly what Stink needs at this stage. Dan is wise and friendly and open to tackling new challenges. We’re all very much looking forward to our collaboration.” 

Mark Pytlik, CEO, Stink Studios, added ”Dan’s impressive experience ranges across the commercial, financial and operational aspects of some of the most storied agencies on the planet. His knowledge, combined with Stink Studios’ world class creative capabilities, makes for a potent combination.”

Forman will be based out of the London office.

  • Monday, May. 3, 2021
Courtney Ryan Law, Gabe Sanchez join The Den
Courtney Ryan Law
LOS ANGELES -- 

Bicoastal woman-owned edit company The Den continues to expand its presence on the East Coast with the hire of Courtney Ryan Law as head of production in NY. Meanwhile joining The Den's Los Angeles shop is colorist and Flame artist Gabe Sanchez.
 
Law brings more than 15 years of insight and experience to The Den’s growing New York team. Most recently, she spent two-and-a-half years helping to build Daughter, Mother NY’s in-house content studio, after transitioning from the role of managing director of LVLY. Throughout Law’s career, she has worked direct-to-brand with Fortune 500 companies, including Victoria’s Secret, PepsiCo, and Johnson & Johnson. Her work has included large campaigns for Stella Artois, Target, Maybelline, Budweiser, and Neutrogena. 

Sanchez has spent the past decade honing his craft in color and finishing at studios including a52, Rock Paper Scissors, Arcade Edit, Timber, and Digital Domain. Sanchez’s love for visual storytelling draws inspiration from video games, film, and anime, all of which inform his distinctive style. His commercial work includes projects for Nike, Spotify, Miu Miu, EA Sports, and Madewell, as well as numerous collaborations on music videos and films.

  • Friday, Apr. 30, 2021
TikTok names exec at Chinese parent ByteDance as new CEO
This Sept. 28, 2020 file photo, shows a view of the TikTok app logo, in Tokyo. TikTok said Friday, April 30, 2021, that its new CEO is Shouzi Chew, the new CFO of its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. He is based in Singapore, where TikTok has an office. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

The hit video app TikTok said Friday that an executive at its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, will now also serve as TikTok CEO.

The new CEO, Shouzi Chew, is the chief financial officer of ByteDance. He is based in Singapore, where TikTok has an office. 

Vanessa Pappas, based in Los Angeles, has been interim head of TikTok since August 2020. That's when Kevin Mayer, a former top Disney executive who lasted just a few months as TikTok's chief, resigned. Pappas will become TikTok's chief operating officer. 

Chew became ByteDance CFO in March. He had previously been a top executive for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which went public in 2018.

TikTok's app features short videos, many with music and dancing, made by its users that has become a favorite of younger people. Research firm eMarketer predicts that TikTok will have 73 million U.S. users this year, and TikTok said last year that it has about 700 million users globally. There is a separate version of TikTok called Douyin for Chinese users.

TikTok named Mayer as its U.S.-based CEO last year amid scrutiny from President Donald Trump and his administration, which tried to ban the app based on vague national-security concerns and to force its sale to Oracle and Walmart. The Biden administration has put these efforts on hold  as it reviews national security threats posed by Chinese technology companies.

While it's still unclear what the Biden administration will decide to do with TikTok, the CEO choice suggests the pressure is off ByteDance compared with how the company fared under Trump, said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. "It does seem to me that the concern over ByteDance having to divest TikTok may be lessened. TikTok is trying to move forward as a truly global company, and one that hopefully isn't going to be broken up." 

ByteDance CEO Yiming Zhang said in a statement that Chew will focus on "corporate governance and long-term business initiatives," while Pappas oversees the app's operations. 

"We will continue building out our strong and deep management team as we set the stage for the next phase of TikTok's success," Chew said.

  • Friday, Apr. 30, 2021
Graham Turner joins Union as editor/partner
Graham Turner
LOS ANGELES -- 

Graham Turner--whose award-winning editorial credits include Donate Life’s public service film “The World’s Biggest Asshole” (via The Martin Agency, directed by Speck and Gordon), which garnered assorted honors including 10 Cannes Lions in 2017--has joined bicoastal Union as editor/partner. Additional projects for Nike, Apple, HP, Motorola, Hyundai, Toyota, and more round out the editor's filmography. Prior to joining Union, Turner was at Cabin Editing Company.

“Union has a great reputation, established offices in multiple markets, and a foothold in long form projects,” Turner said. “Beyond all of that, I love the culture - good people who genuinely care about one another. It’s fantastic to be an addition.”

“We are always pushing to make ourselves stronger as a company and Graham’s work is some of the best in the world. I am really looking forward to opening new doors together in commercials and long form. It’s incredibly exciting to have him as a partner,” said Union partner/managing director Michael Raimondi, who presides over the company with partner/managing director Caryn Maclean, alongside executive producer Melissa Lubin in NY, and executive producer Vicki Russell in Austin.

As a high school sophomore in his native Salt Lake City, Turner took classes in filmmaking, and got hooked on post. “Everyone did everything,” he recalled, “but I always ended up as the editor.” After graduation, he moved to LA, and at 21, he started at Mad River Post as a receptionist. Turner worked in the vault, then as an assistant editor. He joined Final Cut, where he became a staff editor, his profile growing with projects like the K-Swiss Kenny Powers campaign, created via 72andSunny and directed by Jody Hill. Moving to Cut + Run, Turner won an AICE Award for Best Comedy Editing on Motorola’s “Lazy Phone” (directed by Speck and Gordon; created via Droga5). At Cabin, standout projects included World of Warcraft (directed by Rob McElhenney; created via 72andSunny), Nissan with Brie Larson (directed by David Leitch; created via TBWA\Chiat\Day\NY), and a continuing relationship with Speck and Gordon, including a Pepsi Super Bowl spot with Steve Carrell (via GS&P).

“I enjoy taking the time to craft a story and to collaborate with all the creative people who are drawn to the same thing,” Turner concluded. “In the larger picture, pacing out the stories, finding those emotional arcs, and nailing the joke are all about giving audiences a feeling of joy.”

The aforementioned, highly lauded, humorous Donate Life film promoted organ donation by introducing us to Coleman F. Sweeney, billed as the world’s biggest a-hole. Portrayed by actor Thomas Jane, Sweeney is mean, belligerent, crude and someone you would want no part of. His bad behavior is front and center in this piece. Yet when he dies, we finally see something redeeming about him--he had signed up to be an organ donor and we see the good that results as his various organs give a new lease on life to others. The film shows us how easy saving a life can be, pointing out that almost anyone can do it--even the world’s biggest a-hole. The fact is that one person can help save and heal more than 50 lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

  • Thursday, Apr. 29, 2021
Editor John Dingfield returns to Cutters
John Dingfield
CHICAGO -- 

Editor John Dingfield has returned to the roster of Cutters. 

Since launching his career with Cutters back in 2000, Dingfield has established himself as a go-to editor for comedic and storytelling campaigns. His reel contains work crafted alongside directors Brian Billow, Bryan Buckley, Lloyd Lee Choi, Craig Gillespie, Paul Goldman, Martin Granger, Erich Joiner and Wayne McClammy, among others, After nine years with Cutters, Dingfield joined Beast in 2009 to anchor the firm’s new Chicago operation. In 2018, he moved on to Whitehouse Post Chicago, before returning home to Cutters. Atop scores of projects for agencies and brands that include seven Super Bowl spots, his most recent endeavors teamed him again with Billow (Ford Mustang Mach-E via Broadway Video), Goldman (Kansas Whiskey and ShipGo.com), and Choi (Walmart).

“John is an incredible comedic storyteller with impeccable timing,” assessed Cutters Studios president/managing director Craig Duncan. “His work on high-profile campaigns with top directors spans Ford, Capital One, State Farm, Raymond James, Fiat, CareerBuilder and Skittles, just to name a few. Having left our fold for a bit, built an incredible body of work and a wonderful group of loyal clients, our prodigal son has returned, bringing his quirky, offbeat sense of humor.”

Dingfield’s frequent collaborator Goldman assessed, “John creates stories that resonate with human insight, stories that move us in ways that last long after the first viewing,” he said. “As a working partner John fully understands how to subtly advocate for the best cut while still leaving everyone feeling engaged with the creative process. Whether it’s a fully storyboarded idea, or crafting vignettes to construct a narrative, John creates stories that leave us wanting more. And wanting more John.”

Director Billow added, “I’ve partnered with John for years on many commercial projects and personal films. When it comes to comedic timing, choosing the best performances, film knowledge, and just being an all-around pleasure to work with, I can sincerely say there is nobody better.”

Dingfield shared, “Starting out my career assisting Cutters partners Kathryn Hempel, Tim McGuire, and Chris Claeys, I found my editing ‘voice,’ and discovered that I loved cutting comedy. Thanks to Chris in particular, one of the first spots on my reel was directed by Christopher Guest, cut from a massive pile of improv footage he allowed me to play with. That has always been the atmosphere at Cutters: open, fun, creative, and collaborative.”

 

 

  • Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2021
Editor Gaia Borretti joins Rock Paper Scissors
Gaia Borretti
NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES -- 

Rock Paper Scissors has added editor Gaia Borretti to its roster for representation in the U.S. Borretti continues to be represented by The Assembly Rooms for commercials, music videos and film in the U.K. and Europe.

Borretti is known for stylistically-forward edits that effortlessly employ a rhythmic technical acumen. She is a frequent collaborator with director Ian Pons Jewell and most recently Vince Haycock and Agustin Alberdi. Her latest collaboration with Pons Jewell was for Facebook Oculus, delivering an epic three-minute film titled “First Steps,” which was co-created between an in-house creative team at Facebook and TBWA\Chiat\Day NY. Other projects include Nike’s “Further than Ever” with Wieden + Kennedy, Shanghai, as well as work for BBC 3 and the German brand Zalando.

Originally from Rome, Borretti considers herself a global citizen having spent time across the world in the service of film. Originally a classically trained musician, her introduction to the film industry began with assisting Italian film editor Jacopo Quadri. In 2018, her work on the feature-length documentary, To the Wildlands and Back, for Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon video game franchise garnered her multiple awards, including a D&AD Pencil, and a Cannes Lion in the festival’s Entertainment category.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2021
Sibling Films adds Nic Barnes as East Coast EP
Nic Barnes
NEW YORK -- 

Sibling Films, an independent creative production company partnering with clients like Nike, HPE, and Lexus, has added Nic Barnes as its new live-action East Coast executive producer. 

Barnes brings to Sibling Films over 20 years of experience working in broadcast, film and VFX. Her previous roost was The Mill+ where she held the position of sr. content producer for a decade. 

As part of The Mill team, she helped produce the PETA "98% Human" film that took home numerous awards including the Gold Cannes Lion for Film Craft: Visual Effects. She was also a part of the Hallmark "Mother Bird" shoot that won the AICP Show Animation award, Bronze Clio, and Hugo Gold Plaque. 

Joe Wright, co-founder and CCO at Sibling, said of Barnes, “Bringing decades of experience in the industry, she will be responsible for bolstering our live-action production team on the East Coast. Together with our recent hire of Darren Foldes as MD/EP based in Los Angeles, Nic will help to bridge the coasts, opening up a multitude of new opportunities for Sibling Films.”  

  • Monday, Apr. 26, 2021
Creative directors McCormick, O’Neill named to lead Domino's at WorkInProgress
Kelly McCormick (l) and D'Arcy O'Neill
BOULDER, Colo. -- 

WorkInProgress (WIP) has hired creative director duo Kelly McCormick and D’Arcy O’Neill to head up the agency’s Domino’s partnership, after the account moved to the independent shop in January. McCormick and O’Neill also assume key leadership roles at the Boulder-based shop.

McCormick began her career at McCann Erickson, N.Y. in 2007. After a very brief stint as a junior art director, she switched to copywriting, and helped win the agency’s first Cyber Lion for Golden Grahams cereal. From 2010 on, she worked at CPB Boulder, creating breakthrough work for American Express, Burger King, Best Buy, Infiniti, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and Domino’s, with highlights including the launch of Small Business Saturday for Amex, creating the ultimate “Dream Road” that Infiniti fans could drive on in fully immersive VR, and getting Amy Poehler to make dongle jokes on TV for Best Buy during the Super Bowl.

Much of McCormick’s favorite work was made when she and O’Neill became partners “in a rare arranged work marriage that actually worked out” to run the Domino’s account at CPB. Together, McCormick and O’Neill crafted the iconic Ferris Bueller Tracker shot-for-shot remake, launched the first ever pizza wedding registry, and rolled up their sleeves and hit the pavement—literally—to pave potholes in all 50 states. Their work impacted every consumer touchpoint, from evolving Domino’s rewards program by giving people loyalty points for eating pizza even if it wasn’t Domino’s, to creating pizza damage insurance, to allowing people to get pizza delivered to places without a physical address.

O’Neill also began his career in New York by landing a job at Mother. This was followed by a brief stint at Euro RSCG, another at Modernista! in Boston, and a residency at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. “I worked with people I learned a lot from and got to touch many brands in nearly every category,” he noted. Eventually, D’Arcy landed at CPB in Boulder, before joining WIP. Standout campaigns include the “Official Sponsor of Birthdays” for American Cancer Society, “The Vodka” for Stolichnaya, and “The World’s Largest Blind Taste Test” for Kraft Mac & Cheese.

McCormick and O’Neill are excited to continue their partnership together and with Domino’s--at WIP where they will collaborate with talent that has worked on the brand’s biggest actions and successes both past and present spanning over a decade, a reference to the founding team at WIP who led the Domino’s ensemble while at CPB prior to founding the agency in 2016. O’Neill praised WIP’s indie spirit and vision of creating long-term partnerships, not just ads, and the special, trust-based relationship that exists with the Domino’s team.

“I had the privilege of working with Kelly and D’Arcy while at CPB years ago,” said WIP CCO Matt Talbot. “I’ve followed their successes from not very afar and am so excited to see the work that comes from our shared vision of creating bold, action-based work that generates true business results.”

  • Friday, Apr. 23, 2021
Nelson Coates reelected president of Art Directors Guild
Nelson Coates
LOS ANGELES -- 

Production designer Nelson Coates has been reelected to a second three-year term as president of the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800). Art director/set designer Jim Wallis returns as VP and art director/set designer Judy Cosgrove as Guild secretary. Set designer Rick Nichol was newly elected as the Guild’s treasurer.
 
Coates, who was unopposed in the election, stated, “I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to continue leading the Art Directors Guild--one of the most creative and influential Locals in the entertainment business. Championing the talents of our 3,000 members, addressing the unprecedented industry challenges and changes brought about by the pandemic, fostering member diversity, equity and inclusion, and striving to keep ADG members at the forefront of technological advances are but a few of the many areas of continued focus. I am excited about the direction of the ADG and look forward to what we can accomplished over the course of the next three years.”
 
In the guild's other elections for the four crafts that comprise its jurisdiction, the Art Directors crafts chose Miranda Cristofani as board trustee and named Rachel Robb Kondrath to its board. New Council members are Alex Gaines, Tracy Dishman and Billy W. Ray.

Members of the Illustrators & Matte Artists crafts reelected Marty Kline as board trustee, Casey Bernay as a board member and Tim Burgard, Benton Jew, Joe Musso and William Thompson as Council members.
 
Cate Bangs was named trustee of the Set Designers and Model Makers board while Shelley Wallace was re-upped to the board. Returning Council members are Tim Croshaw, Shelley Wallace, Jim O’Donnell and Mark Haber.
 
Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists voted for Dionisio Tafoya as their board trustee, Sarah Gonzalez as board member and Cristina Colissimo, Eric Rosenberg, Alex Maziekien and Karen Jossel as Council members.

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