• Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020
Syreeta N. Greene named AFI’s director of diversity, equity & inclusion
Syreeta N. Greene

The American Film Institute (AFI) has appointed Syreeta N. Greene, Ed.D. as its new director of diversity, equity & inclusion. Greene holds a Doctor of Education with an emphasis in education psychology and Master of Social Work with an emphasis in community organizing, planning and administration, both from the University of Southern California. Her previous roles include director of the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center at Midwestern State University and assistant director at USC’s Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. Greene will oversee diversity and inclusion for all of AFI’s programs.

“AFI’s community grows with the stellar addition of Syreeta Greene,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO. “As a person and as a professional, she embodies the culture we have been working toward and will catalyze change for an even stronger AFI.” 

“I am excited for this unique opportunity and look forward to collaborating with the entire AFI community to develop a place and space for all who belong to the AFI family,” said Greene.

Greene is a higher education professional with 20 years of experience. She is committed to removing barriers to educational and career opportunities, as well as improving the overall engagement, success and experiences of under-represented and historically marginalized student populations. As a diversity, equity and inclusion educator, she has designed research-based curriculums on a range of diversity, equity and inclusion topics; produced guides, accompanying audio visual aids, and participant materials; and developed organization-wide assessment tools to engage stakeholders concerning organizational climate, experience and observations. Most recently, Greene was Dean, Division of Student Affairs at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). Founded in 1966, CDU is a minority-serving institution and a Historically Black Graduate Institute located in South Los Angeles with a student population of 900. Prior to CDU, Greene served as the director of MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center (formerly Office of Equity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs) at Midwestern State University, assistant director for the Transfer and Veteran Student Program at University of Southern California (USC) and assistant director at USC’s Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. Greene has been a member of National Association of Diversity Officers of Higher Education (NADOHE) since 2016.

  • Monday, Nov. 16, 2020
The Mill NY promotes Jeff Lopez and Kevin Ives to heads of 3D
Jeff Lopez

The Mill has made a creative change within its New York sr. management team, promoting Jeff Lopez and Kevin Ives to serve as its two new heads of 3D.

Lopez and Ives will join forces in leading the New York studio’s award-winning CGI offering, from hand-drawn animation to photo-real creatures and characters. 

Lopez has been with the creative studio for a number of years as an animation supervisor, where he has played a key role in managing and mentoring the animation team, as well as bringing The Mill’s highest quality animated characters and creatures to life. Lopez has won accolades for his work with brands such as Norfolk Southern, Electronic Arts and PlayStation. 

Ives is a multi-award-winning visual effects supervisor and 3D artist who is credited for his groundbreaking photo-real creatures for PETA, Hallmark and Coca Cola. As an expert in his field, Ives is often paired with high profile directors and big-name brands, who trust him to deliver impeccable character work. 

The two creative leads will continue to drive The Mill’s focus and growth in developing world-class visual effects and CGI imagery for brands, agencies and directors. 

The Mill’s New York managing director Barry Parkhill commented, “VFX sits at the heart of The Mill, and in appointing Kevin and Jeff to lead our CG team, I am excited by their expansive and ambitious ideas around the rapidly evolving CG landscape.  As the profile of creative projects we produce continues to diversify, there has never been a better time to challenge ourselves to set new creative benchmarks, to embrace cutting-edge toolsets, and to explore how we can continue to drive creative and technical innovation in all areas of what we do. As highly regarded artists who champion the talent around them, Jeff and Kevin have earned the respect of their teams and the industry at large and are the perfect duo to take our CG offering to the next level.” 

  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020
Paul Salvini named global chief technology officer at DNEG
Paul Salvini

Visual effects and animation house DNEG--with studios in London, Vancouver, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Chennai, Montréal and Chandigarh--has appointed Paul Salvini as global chief technology officer.

DNEG has expanded substantially in recent years, adding several new business lines, new facilities in North America and India, and growing to over 7,000 employees across its global offices.

In his new role, Salvini will be responsible for developing a new and innovative technology vision for the company, managing its global technology and R&D teams and overseeing technology initiatives across all of its key offerings: visual effects for film and episodic content, feature animation, stereo conversion, virtual production and its ReDefine division, which serves expanding international markets and independent filmmakers.

Outgoing CTO Graham Jack, who has been with the company since 2002, is assisting with the smooth transition of responsibilities.

Based in Canada, Salvini has more than 25 years of experience in C-Suite roles, including 15 years as CTO at SideFX, where he oversaw and guided the development of industry-standard visual effects and animation software tool Houdini from beta onwards. He also spent several years as CTO of audiovisual technology leader Christie Digital, where he was a key member of the global executive team, providing strategic and technical direction to the company’s 1,500 employees across 18 countries as well as conducting fundamental research into display systems in order to secure early IP for the company.

Most recently, Salvini was CEO of The Accelerator Centre, a not-for-profit business accelerator that provides guidance, mentorship and support for technology start-ups, ranked in the Top 5 for companies of its type worldwide and number one in Canada. The company has helped launch and support over 120 technology-based businesses in the last few years, working in a wide range of areas from data science, AI, computer vision and robotics to autonomous vehicles.

Salvini said: “Technology and science is playing an ever-more important role in the art and creativity of storytelling. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a hand in many firsts during my career in the entertainment industry--from enabling collaboration for a newly emerging global talent-base of artists and technicians, to the development of software and processes that have fundamentally changed what is possible to achieve digitally. I feel that we are on the cusp of the next big change in our industry, and it is an honor for me to have the opportunity to explore the possibilities with a global leader of the caliber of DNEG.”  

In addition to his extensive professional experience, Salvini also has a strong academic research background. He served as associate VP of research commercialization at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. 

DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra said: “Paul has a huge breadth of technical, academic and managerial experience and an entrepreneurial edge which makes him the perfect addition to our senior team as we begin the next phase of DNEG’s journey.”

Malhotra added, “If 2020 has done anything, it has proven the need for more innovation, more flexibility and new ways of thinking in order to continue offering the highest levels of quality and support to our filmmaking clients. With Paul’s strategic vision and direction, and our aspiration to be the very best in everything that we do, we are building a spirit of innovation that will rewrite ‘what’s next’ for our industry.”

  • Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020
Editor Antonio Gómez-Pan joins Final Cut
Antonio Gómez-Pan

Creative editorial house Final Cut has added award-winning editor Antonio Gómez-Pan to its roster for global representation. He will be based out of Final Cut's Los Angeles office. 
Antonio Gómez-Pan was born in Madrid and graduated with a BA degree in film editing from the film school ESCAC in Spain. Gómez-Pan has edited advertising projects that have gone on to win gold at Cannes Lions and at the Berlin Film Festival in various categories.  He has edited assorted music videos and worked for brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, Amazon, Adidas, Chanel, North Face, Toyota, IKEA, Samsung, and Volkswagen, and has collaborated with agencies including Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sid Lee, McCann, and JWT. Gómez-Pan has teamed with directors such as Elliot Rausch, Albert Uría, Rodrigo Valdes and Cliqua. He recently finished a documentary series for Quibi, &Music, directed by the Los Angeles-based artist, filmmaker, and historian, Calmatic, out of production company PRETTYBIRD.
Gómez-Pan has edited short films that have been selected for Sundance, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, and have won at the L.A. Film Festival (Mi Amigo Invisible) and the Sitges Film Festival (Elefante), among many others. He is the editor of several award-winning feature films including Othello, which won for Best Independent European Movie of the Year at the Paris Film Festival, and Puzzled Love, an official selection at the San Sebastián Film Festival. He has worked with directors including Jaume Collet-Serra on Hooked Up and Michel Gondry on De Quoi Je Me Mêlle. Gomez-Pan was appointed to the Academy of the Spanish Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 2017.
Gómez-Pan joins other recent Final Cut additions including editor Sam Bould and U.S. managing director Justin Brukman. Final Cut has offices in London, New York, and Los Angeles.

  • Monday, Nov. 9, 2020
WAX adds editor Peter Johnson to roster
Peter Johnson

Boutique post shop WAX, with offices in New York and Boston, has added editor Peter Johnson to its roster.

Johnson’s most notable pieces include Smirnoff’s “Smirnoff Saber” and Johnnie Walker’s “Black Magick,” both of which garnered honors at the AICP Show. Beyond commercials and branded content, additional standouts range from Kanye West’s “Stronger” as well as Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris” music videos--both nominated for Best Editing at the MTV Video Music Awards--to Maxwell’s Five Days of Black documentary (directed/edited by Johnson and aired on BET).

Johnson’s best and favorite collaborations are when he and a director — like Roman Coppola and Barnaby Roper — share the same cinematic flow, fueling and sparking each other’s ideas in a time dissolving fashion.

Johnson’s editorial style is largely influenced by his multicultural upbringing. “I grew up throughout NYC, Paris, and London in the ‘80s. My father was a writer and my mother was a fashion designer. Much of my visual aesthetic and filmmaking approach comes from the different arts and lifestyles that I was exposed to as a child,” Johnson explained. “No matter what project I’m working on, I try to let the imagery tell me what it needs to be. I’m quite cerebral about my work. Every shot and edit has a purpose. I search to find and tell the best narrative possible with a focus on the emotions that I want the audience to feel.”

“I’ve known [WAX founder and EP] Toni [Lipari] for over a decade and we’ve always felt a creative connection,” related Johnson. “Her passion and vision for WAX has always stood out from the rest and I’m happy to be a part of the team now.”

According to Lipari, “I have known Peter since my agency producing days where I worked with him a few times in that capacity, and we stayed in close contact. We have spoken periodically over the last few years about him joining the WAX team and are finally able to make the timing work. Peter is an incredibly talented editor.”

  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020
FuseFX names Michael Romey its director of pipeline & software development
Michael Romey

FuseFX, an award-winning visual effects studio specializing in providing visual effects services for television, film, commercials, VP and VR productions, has named Michael Romey as its new director of pipeline and software development.

Romey is a senior technologist with more than 20 years of experience. He has delivered innovative solutions for theme parks, broadcasting, production, gaming, mobile, and big data analytics in mission-critical environments.

Romey joins FuseFX after spending the last year as the sr. director of creative media pipeline at Madison Square Garden. There, Romey worked with production, show, immersive, and facility project teams to build a unified production tracking platform to solve challenging business intelligence needs.

Previously, Romey worked for Walt Disney Imagineering where he built a production pipeline to deliver rides and attractions, including the latest Star Wars ride at Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Other experience includes nine years at Zoic Studios in roles, including head of pipeline and software engineering and chief technology officer. At Zoic, Romey created a virtual production tool and oversaw all aspects of its pipeline and software development. He has also worked on the Natural History Museum Planetarium Space Show, and built and maintained graphics packages for the NFL, PGA, ESPN SportsCenter, and NCAA March Madness while working at Reality Check Studios.

“As the FuseFX brand continues to expand globally, we are eager to take our Nucleus Platform--our next-generation pipeline and production management system--to the next level, making it easy to stay connected as a company, and grow our global strategy. Mike’s depth of experience both in software development, and as an artist, makes him uniquely qualified to expand on the foundation of what we have built to date, and help us continue to develop software that makes an impact for our users and increases their efficiency,” said FuseFX co-founder and CTO Jason Fotter.

“FuseFX has a strong history and focus on efficient pipeline and workflow with its Nucleus Platform, and I’m excited to bring my experience to help improve it even further. My goal is to service everyone in the studio, enhancing a unified production management system. With FuseFX’s expanding global footprint, I look forward to taking the best ideas from every location and translating it into the most cohesive pipeline for the entire company. I’m eager to make improvements to strengthen the long-term performance of Nucleus and integrate other third-party tools like Shotgun while measuring, learning, and iterating for maximum impact,” said Romey, a longtime member of the Visual Effects Society who served as an awards committee co-chair for many years.

  • Monday, Nov. 2, 2020
McDonald's hires diversity chief amid corporate turmoil
In this undated photo provided by McDonald's, Reginald Miller poses for a portrait. McDonald’s has hired Miller as the company’s new global chief diversity equity and inclusion officer as it struggles with charges of harassment and racism at all levels of the company. (Jeff Perry/Rocky Mountain Photography/McDonald's via AP)

McDonald's is hiring a new chief diversity officer as it struggles with charges of harassment and racism at all levels of the company.

Reginald Miller will become the company's global chief diversity equity and inclusion officer on Nov. 9. Miller was previously the chief diversity officer at VF Corp., the owner of brands such as The North Face, Timberland and Vans.

"Reggie and I share the same goal: that in order to move forward, we must move away from the notion that the responsibility of diversity lies with one person, one department or one group," McDonald's human resources chief Heidi Capozzi said in a letter to employees that was viewed by The Associated Press.

Miller replaces Wendy Lewis, who retired in September.

Chicago-based McDonald's fired its former CEO Steve Easterbrook last November after he admitted sending explicit text messages to an employee. The company's former human resources chief, David Fairhurst, was also fired. Capozzi was hired in March.

In August, McDonald's said it had hired an outside law firm to probe its human resources department after employees said complaints about its club-like atmosphere under Fairhurst were ignored.

At least 50 workers have filed separate sexual harassment charges against McDonald's with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or in state courts over the past four years.

McDonald's is also facing charges of racism across its system. In January, two Black McDonald's executives sued the company, claiming McDonald's shifted advertising away from Black customers, graded Black-owned stores more harshly than white ones and implemented business plans that had a discriminatory impact on Black franchisees.

In recent weeks, current and former franchisees filed two federal lawsuits against McDonald's, saying the company steered them to less-profitable, inner-city stores with high security and insurance costs and didn't give them the same opportunities as white franchisees.

Miller, who is Black, served in the U.S. Army from 1997 to 2005. He has also led diversity efforts at Walmart. His first job, in high school, was at McDonald's.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
Kate Cronin named CEO of Ogilvy Health
Kate Cronin

Kate Cronin has been appointed CEO of Ogilvy Health. Effective immediately, Cronin will be responsible for driving all aspects of Ogilvy Health’s business globally. In this new role, she will also serve as a member of Ogilvy’s global leadership team.

Andy Main, global CEO of Ogilvy, said: “Kate is a widely respected industry leader who sees the unique opportunity we have to use Ogilvy’s creativity and global reach to grow and transform not only brands, but entire businesses in the health sector and beyond. I’m confident that her extensive health experience, focus on client partnership, and mentorship of talent will elevate our work, challenge conventional thinking, and deliver the giant ideas our clients need to create giant value for their business, consumers, and society.”

In her new capacity, Cronin will oversee the core capabilities within Ogilvy Health including Brand Strategy, Advertising, PR & Influence, Medical Education, HCP Promotion, Market Access, and Patient/Consumer Engagement.

A 16-year Ogilvy veteran, Cronin has held a number of roles within Ogilvy including leading the global healthcare practice for Ogilvy Public Relations, managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations’ New York office, and most recently co-president of Ogilvy Health in the U.S. An advocate of diversity and inclusion, Cronin is the co-founder of Ogilvy’s Women’s Leadership Professional Network and has contributed to numerous WPP women leadership initiatives. 

“There is no better time to work in health and I’m excited about the many ways Ogilvy Health can partner with clients to help them solve for a range of unmet needs we are seeing in the marketplace,” Cronin said. “The heart of Ogilvy is creativity and there is no better place to get creative than in health where we can develop big ideas that promote life-saving therapies and motivate consumers to change behaviors to create a healthier society.”

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
Rebecca Niles joins ArtClass as exec producer
Rebecca Niles

Bicoastal production company ArtClass has hired Rebecca Niles as executive producer. She brings deep global production experience spanning advertising, branded content, and feature films. At ArtClass, Niles will oversee productions, manage creative teams, and nurture client relationships, working closely with co-founder/executive producer Geno Imbriale, executive producer Kate Aspell and head of sales Jack Strachan.

Prior to joining ArtClass, Niles produced a number of projects with the company, including commercials and digital content for Pantene, ESPN, State Farm, Kellogg’s, and ServiceNow. For the latter, she produced a remote campaign in March--just at the start of lockdown--followed by a second campaign in July, which was among the earliest union productions to return to set in Los Angeles following the rollback of California’s stay-at-home orders.

Niles has worked with a wide range of brands throughout her career as a producer--from tech innovators like Spotify and Instagram, to digital publishing pioneers like Complex Networks, to legacy brands like Versace, Verizon and Nike. Along the way, she has collaborated with big-name artists like Billie Eilish, Eminem, and Dr. Dre.

Niles also brings a long-form content pedigree into the fold, having produced TV, web, and docu-series, such as Sneaker Shopping, Hot Ones, and Magnum Opus.

Prior to joining ArtClass, Niles was EP at Derby; line producer at Complex Networks; and head of production at The Big Picture Company.

  • Monday, Oct. 26, 2020
Editor Quin Williams joins Arcade for U.S. representation
Quin Williams
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

U.K. editor Quin Williams has signed with bicoastal editing house Arcade Edit for U.S. representation. This is Williams’ first signing in the States. Across the pond, he is known for being the founding partner of TenThree where he has worked with directors such as Ben Wheatley, Neil Gorringe, James Griffiths, Tom Barbor-Might and Stuart Douglas. Williams has been recognized and awarded for his work with notable brands including Acura, Samsung, Land Rover, McDonalds, Shell and BMW. 

Williams’ signing coincides with the release of the latest Acura TLX campaign which he cut for his longtime collaborator, director Mark Jenkinson of Imperial Woodpecker. Arcade EP/partner Sila Soyer said of the project, “When we worked with Quin on Acura earlier this year, we were struck by his talent and how well he fit in with our culture. It just made sense that we try and figure out a way to work together more often. At first the pandemic put a pause on things, but brought with it the realization that location no longer matters with so much work being done remotely. It was a no-brainer.” 

Williams was born in South Africa and moved to England when he was 12. He wanted to be an artist and studied painting and sculpture at Wimbledon College of Arts. He became fascinated with editing after stumbling upon a 3/4-inch U-matic VTR editor while visiting a friend at work. For the last 27 years he has been involved with filmmaking in one form or another: as a script editor, a writer, a director for music videos, documentaries and shorts. Despite these experiences, editing has always been his main driving passion.

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