• Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020
Mariusz Urbańczyk joins Papaya Films as COO
Mariusz Urbańczyk
WARSAW, Poland -- 

International production company Papaya Films has hired Mariusz Urbańczyk as the company’s first chief operating officer. Urbańczyk is an ad industry veteran who brings a proven track record of international business growth, most recently with Hogarth, where he first established the company’s presence in Latin America and later served as managing director for North America.

Urbańczyk began his global advertising career in his native Poland at Leo Burnett, later relocating to the UK for global account director roles at both JWT London and McCann Worldgroup, and then joining Hogarth in 2010. At Hogarth he served as general manager for Brazil and Argentina, where he was responsible for scaling up the company’s operations in Latin America, successfully building lasting client relationships in the region and attracting key talent. Following his achievements in Latin America, Urbańczyk was invited to serve as managing director for Hogarth North America, where he managed eight offices and over 400 staff across the U.S. and Canada, and achieved 20% business growth in just his first year in the role.

Papaya Films, founded in 2006 in Warsaw, has significantly scaled up its operations since 2017, expanding with offices in London, New York, and most recently Lisbon, and growing from a team of 40 worldwide staff to 200. A nimble and fully integrated studio with a global production pipeline and talent base, Papaya produces commercials, digital and social content, and branded entertainment for the leading brands. Papaya is under the aegis of founder and CEO Kacper Sawicki.

Papaya’s brand clients include Nike, Adidas, Puma, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Toyota, HBO, Red Bull, Samsung and T-Mobile. Papaya’s work has earned numerous accolades from Cannes Lions, D&AD, the Effies, and others. Papaya also fosters up-and-coming global talent through the Papaya Young Directors competition.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020
Justin Blyth joins Ambassadors as global head of creative  
Justin Blyth
AMSTERDAM -- 

Creative production studio Ambassadors has brought Justin Blyth on board as head of creative across its Amsterdam and New York studios. In the new role, Justin will lead Ambassadors’ multidisciplinary team of artists on crafting beautiful, engaging, and story-driven creative work.

Blyth originally hails from Los Angeles and has lived and worked in Amsterdam for over 10 years as a creative director and motion graphics artist. His previous experience has seen him working with agencies, brands and studios including Anomaly, Wieden + Kennedy, and Woodwork--even a stint freelancing at Ambassadors.

Blyth will work closely with head of production Daphne Litjens, founding partner Halbo van der Klaauw, and head of VFX Will Jeffers as they continue to offer a mix of remote production solutions and working from the studio under COVID guidelines. 

Ambassadors’ latest work produced under lockdown includes “ActieHelden” (“ActionHeroes”) for Albert Heijn, which mixes live-action and animation to create a mini superhero universe inside the supermarket, as well as VFX for Lynk & Co’s launch campaign “96%” with Halal. 

  • Friday, Dec. 11, 2020
Dee Dee Myers appointed director of California Film Commission's parent agency
Dee Dee Myers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- 

Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Dee Dee Myers to serve as sr. advisor to the Governor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), a cabinet-level position. GO-Biz is the parent agency for the California Film Commission.  

Prior to joining the Newsom Administration, Myers served as EVP of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs for Warner Bros. Previously, she was a managing director of the Glover Park Group where she counseled corporate and non-profit clients on strategic and crisis communications, reputation management and strategic positioning. Myers also served as White House press secretary during President Bill Clinton’s first term and was the first woman to hold the position. 

Myers is author of the New York Times best-selling book “Why Women Should Rule the World.” She also co-hosted the CNBC political talk show Equal Time and was a consultant on the Emmy Award-winning drama series The West Wing

Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission, said, “Dee Dee understands the entertainment production industry, and I look forward to working with her to maintain and grow California’s status as the world’s production capital.” 

  • Friday, Dec. 11, 2020
George Eyles to head worldwide cinema for Deluxe
George Eyles
LOS ANGELES -- 

Deluxe, a global provider of digital and cloud-based solutions to leading content production studios and distributors, has appointed George Eyles to serve as executive VP and general manager, worldwide cinema. Eyles will report directly to Deluxe chief operating officer Warren Stein and be responsible for the company’s global cinema (formerly cigital cinema) strategy and operations.

Eyles joins Deluxe from Maccs, a Vista Group Company where he served as CEO since August 2018, and led Vista’s Numero box office reporting business. Under his leadership, Maccs released a new version of its core Theatrical Distribution System; launched Mica, a new, lower-cost cloud native system for independent distributors; and expanded its box office reporting services globally. The move marks a return to Deluxe for Eyles, who prior to his Vista Group tenure, was managing director of digital cinema, EMEA.

Eyles said, “Deluxe is highly regarded throughout the industry and is well-positioned to support and bring innovation to our clients at this critical time for the theatrical business and the entertainment industry as a whole. I am honored to be joining the Deluxe team at such a pivotal moment and am looking forward to working with its world-class team and clients around the globe as we reshape the business for the future.”

Previously, Eyles served at Arqiva where he was responsible for the deployment of a pan-European electronic delivery network for cinema; for creating Arqiva’s “Live Event” services delivering hundreds of live alternative events to cinemas around the world; and for creating and implementing systems and frameworks in areas including asset deliverables and technical operations, optimization of operational efficiencies, creation, localization and distribution of content assets in the digital cinema and digital platform spaces.

Eyles will be based in Los Angeles after relocating from London in early 2021.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020
Big Sky adds editor Dave Madden
Dave Madden
NEW YORK -- 

Editor Dave Madden is back working under a Big Sky, and his outlook is sunny. To be more specific, he’s joined the roster at New York’s Big Sky Edit, the boutique postproduction studio founded by editor Chris Franklin. Madden’s addition--which is actually a reunion--was announced by Franklin and Big Sky executive producer Sarah Van Tassel.

Madden joins from a lengthy freelance career, which included frequent stints at Big Sky, starting in 2014. Now a roster editor, he’ll continue to work remotely, pending a safe return to offices in the post-pandemic future. 

A Long Island native who got his start in the dub room at Berwyn Editorial, the independent post studio that was housed within New York agency Euro RSCG (now Havas), Madden quickly graduated to assistant editor. One of the campaigns he helped the agency pitch back then was Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” a campaign he’d work on 10 years later when he was at Arcade Edit.

From Berwyn, Madden moved to the New York office of Red Car, the editorial house launched by editor Larry Bridges, where he continued assisting while moving up the editorial ranks. He then joined Company X, where he was promoted to a full editor, before going freelance in 2011.

Madden went on to work with some of the top editorial shops in the city, including Beast and Arcade, and spent a good chunk of time working closely with Franklin at Big Sky. After relocating to Western Massachusetts, he also began working for edit houses and agencies in New England, including Hill Holliday and Cronin, as well as with Accomplice Edit and NBC Sports, where he cut work for coverage of such sports as NASCAR and the NFL.

One of his NFL spots, “The Return,” graces his current reel. It’s a hopeful call to action from the star quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans, reminding everyone of the role football plays in American life and setting the stage for the game’s return to TV. Other Madden spots include visual storytelling for Google in  “Make Google Do It,” which shows how Google Assistant makes everyday tasks easier, and the heartwarming holiday Lego spot “Falcon,” in which a young dad builds a perfect replica of the Millennium Falcon for his infant son.

Madden said about his return to Big Sky, “This is an opportunity for me to return to my advertising roots,” he notes. “I’ve really enjoyed the sports-related work I’ve been doing lately, as it expanded my skills as an editor, having to work at such a fast pace and often incorporating so much archival footage. But at Big Sky, the quality of the ad work they get is top notch. I’m looking forward to being able to collaborate once again with some of the best agencies and directors in the business.”

Van Tassel said overall growth is what prompted Big Sky to bring Madden on board. “By expanding our roster, we’re hoping to provide additional capabilities for our clients moving ahead,” she noted. “And given our current remote setup, we now have the capability to bring on editors like Dave with flexible working conditions. We’re able to collaborate remotely for the foreseeable future, but with the intention to be back in the office at a safer time while maintaining this new versatility in terms of where and how we work.”

Franklin described Madden’s strengths as an editor as being able to “get” the big picture, then translate that insight into a cut that responds to the needs of the project. “Dave listens, which is key,” Franklin explained. “He takes in all the information, and understands where the project needs to go. And then he figures out what works best, and that’s a big part of the skill of being an editor. This sounds simple, but it’s not that easy. Yet he does it seamlessly, and I admire that. He knows how to make the clients happy while making the job better.”

  • Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020
Cabin Edit adds editors Lopuski, Meyer, King
Robert Lopuski
LOS ANGELES -- 

Cabin Editing Company has added three editors to its roster: Robert Lopuski, Mischa Meyer, and Jojo King. The hires will support Cabin’s recent growth as remote capabilities are allowing the company to service new clients across the U.S. and internationally. Additionally, Cabin has recently taken on new representation in the Midwest, with Baer Brown Reps, and on the East Coast, with Hunky Dory. 

“The transition to remote work with the pandemic has fortunately gone smoothly and has actually allowed us to successfully scale up while maintaining our boutique feel,” said Carr Schilling, managing partner at Cabin, who described Lopuski, Meyer and King as “visual storytellers,” each bringing “different strengths and styles to round out our roster.”

Lopuski is a multidisciplinary editor whose work has earned two AICP Awards for editing, as well as recognition from the Clios, the One Show, Ciclope, the MTV VMAs, and the Midsouth Regional Emmys. With a background in visual effects and cinematography, as well as experience directing short form content such as the “Watch the Throne” promo for Kanye West and Jay-Z and documentary short “We’re Gonna Be Lords,” Lopuski brings a deep hands-on understanding of the many aspects of production to establish a clear visual throughline in all of his work. His recent commercial work includes spots for Nissan, adidas, Gatorade, Apple, and UNICEF. He was previously with Exile Edit.

Meyer’s international reach and visual effects expertise has led him to work with brands including Nike, Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Axe, Lexus, Audi and BMW. Originally from Stuttgart, Germany, he worked in production including as a VFX supervisor there before moving to Berlin and later New York, where he shifted his focus to editing, most recently with Spot Welders. Now based in Los Angeles, Meyer’s recent work includes spots for Mercedes-Benz, Jordan, Vodafone, and the COVID-19 PSA “Guardians” for Sean Penn’s non-profit organization CORE. He has a keen ability to effectively blend high-end visual effects with grounded human stories and a comedic touch.

King is a versatile visual storyteller with an accomplished history in the fashion and beauty space, with work for Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Estee Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, Glossier and Vogue, among others. With his finger on the pulse of cultural trends, he has more recently expanded into the music video space with artists including Janelle Monae, Lykke Li, and Moses Sumney, and partnered with brands including Jordan and Don Julio. He joins Cabin Edit from Nomad.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
The Mill appoints 3 new heads of color, 2 EPs
The Mill’s (l-r) Oisin O’Driscoll, Paul Yacono and James Bamford

The Mill has made senior appointments within its color team globally as the company continues to invest in and expand that operation, branching out into more long-form and episodic opportunities in additon to its award-winning commercialmaking endeavors.

Paul Yacono Joins The Mill in Los Angeles as head of color. Previously Yacono was at a52, where he built the color department from the ground up, specializing in commercials, features films, docs-series, episodics, short films and music videos. He has a number of high-profile commercial clients in addition to many notable long-form grades under his belt, including Ava-Duvernay’s Academy Award Nominated 13th and David Fincher’s House of Cards. 

The L.A. color department will further be bolstered by the promotion of Fawn Fletcher to executive producer for color. Fletcher has over a decade of experience working with some of the world’s most influential brands on the East and West Coast. She has led projects for clients such as NFL, Capital One and Toyota. Among her colleagues and clients, Fletcher is known for her big-picture perspective and collaborative working style, allowing her to navigate complex production challenges.

Multi-award-winning colorist James Bamford has been named head of color at The Mill in London. Known for his cinematic style, Bamford combines a wealth of industry experience with exceptional technical skill. 

Bamford’s new role is supported by the promotion of Charlie Morris to London’s executive producer for color.  Morris has worked tirelessly to support the team through the challenge of COVID-19 and beyond, and has also been responsible for driving much of the success that The Mill’s color team has celebrated over the past few years. His promotion to EP will see him working closely alongside Bamford and the rest of the color team to help build and grow the success of the department in Europe. 

Oisín O’Driscoll has been appointed head of color in Chicago. O’Driscoll’s career has spanned both London and Chicago. He has collaborated with the likes of Sephora, Orbit, Michelob Ultra, and Rocket Mortgage to name a few. He recently graded the BAFTA award-winning Home, a powerful 20-minute short film to address the Syrian refugee crisis. 

The three new heads of color join existing head of color and veteran colorist in New York Fergus McCall, who will continue to lead The Mill’s East Coast team.  

Across the globe, The Mill now has 11 colorists, all of whom are made available to creative partners worldwide via the company’s remote grading setup.

 

  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
Sydney Ferleger promoted to president of The Music Playground, The Diner Music, The Station Media
Sydney Ferleger
NEW YORK -- 

The Music Playground, The Diner Music, and The Station Media have promoted Sydney Ferleger to serve as the first president for all three companies combined. Ferleger has been the acting executive producer for The Music Playground and The Station Media for the past year and a half and will be adding The Diner Music to her repertoire.

Ferleger will continue her duties as EP while also taking on the role of president. Ferleger, who remains in the NY office, is a prolific producer having recently worked with brands and networks such as Pepsi, Kraft, Spectrum and MTV.

The Music Playground focuses on original music production, artist/band sync licensing, music supervision, sound design and audio post with projects annually garnering creative attention at Sundance, SXSW, Cannes and many other festivals and award shows. The Diner Music is an original music production library with over 30,000 music tracks. Supported by a veteran creative and production team, the company serves clients including Microsoft, Google, Pepsi, Nike, Walmart, Coke, GM, Chase, Toyota, Bank of America, Ford, AT&T, P&G, Samsung, General Mills, Verizon, Mercedes and Hasbro. The music companies have teams in NY, L.A. and Nashville, with studios in NY and Nashville.

The Station Media is an integrated content production company and post facility based in NY. The Station handles projects from ideation and development, through live action production and full service
postproduction--all under one roof. With projects ranging from multi-spot television commercials to web content, industrials, branded films and more, The Station has created content for Chevy, Verizon, Liberty Mutual, ST&T, Yahoo, Spectrum, West Elm, Walmart, Ford, Reebok, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Hyundai, MTV and Nat Geo, among others.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
Colorist Seamus O’Kane joins Youngster
Seamus O'Kane
LONDON -- 

Grading maestro Seamus O’Kane has joined London-based postproduction house Youngster to lead and grow its color offering. O’Kane comes over from The Mill where he was head of the color department and came to be regarded as a leading, sought after artist, O’Kane’s arrival heralds a dynamic time as Youngster continue to strengthen its offerings and the intrinsic creative bond uniting director, editor and colorist. By enabling editing and postproduction under one roof alongside The Quarry and Whitehouse, Youngster provides a unique creative environment.

O’Kane’s most notable credits include Nike’s “Write the Future,” Honda’s “Impossible Dreams,” Guinness’ “Compton Cowboys” and Waitrose’s ‘“Home for Christmas.” He has worked with acclaimed directors such as Andreas Nilsson, Joanna Bailey, Kevin Thomas, Chris Palmer, Frederic Planchon, Simon Ratigan, Jake Scott, Sam Brown, Vince Squibb and Henry-Alex Rubin.

O’Kane’s awards in advertising include Cannes Lions, British Arrows and Kinsale Sharks. He also graded the Oscar-winning short film The Phone Call in 2015.

O'Kane starts immediately at Youngster on Baselight with remote capability via Clearview and Streambox alongside current colourist Jim Bracher, working with EP Ian Harland.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys appointed VP/GM of Panavision Chicago
Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys
CHICAGO -- 

Panavision, designer, manufacturer, and rental provider of high-precision optics and camera systems, has named Zoë Iltsopoulos Borys to lead the company’s Chicago office as VP and general manager. Borys will ensure Panavision’s customers continue to receive the highest level of service and support throughout the commercial, television, and feature sectors, and will be supported in the office’s day-to-day business by Chicago operations manager Stan Glapa.

Borys’ appointment follows the retirement of Sharon Walker, who was with Panavision for 20 years and served as general manager of Panavision Chicago since the 13,000-square-foot facility opened in 2016.

“The Panavision family is indebted to Sharon for her steadfast commitment and leadership, and we’re excited for Zoë to build on that legacy and continue to expand Panavision Chicago’s reach throughout the Midwest,” said Panavision chief operating officer Michael George. “Zoë’s well known throughout the industry, and especially in Chicago, for her tireless support of the creative community and passion for helping filmmakers realize their visions. Whether they’re shooting commercials, episodic content, or feature films, productions in Chicago and beyond can be confident that Zoë and the entire Panavision Chicago team are there for them with superior service and the very best cameras and optics in the industry.”

After serving in a marketing role with Panavision from 1998-2006, Borys rejoined Panavision in 2018 as VP and general manager of Panavision Atlanta. She brings more than 25 years of industry experience--much of which has been spent serving Chicago’s filmmaking community--to her new position. Borys is also an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

Borys said, “Chicago’s dynamic filmmaking community is home to incredible creative talent that attracts projects from all around the U.S. Panavision is proud to offer our world-class service and support for all manner of productions shooting in the greater Chicago area and throughout the Midwest region.”

Offering full camera and lens service, Panavision Chicago is within close vicinity of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Chicago Studio City, and the Essanay stages. The Panavision facility’s optics offerings are supported by a state-of-the-art lens-projection room and the expertise of optical technician Al Collins. Other feature highlights include a prep floor with five prep bays, a 900-square foot private prep room, easy dock access, and a Panastore. A full team of experienced technicians and support personnel is on hand to support and service customers.

Beyond its role as a rental provider, Panavision Chicago supports the local filmmaking community through outreach, educational programs, and partnerships with such organizations and events as the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Midwest, the Illinois Production Alliance, Filmscape Chicago, and the Chicago International Film Festival.

MySHOOT Company Profiles