• Friday, Oct. 10, 2014
MPC Creative London appoints Sophie Gunn as exec producer
Sophie Gunn

Sophie Gunn has been named executive producer of MPC Creative London, the content production division of MPC. In her new role Gunn will be working closely with Ben Cyzer, head of creative strategy for MPC Creative, an operation which maintains a core team of directors, producers, creatives, technologists, developers and strategists.  

Gunn brings with her extensive experience across agency, VFX and motion design production and until recently has been overseeing the growth and development of the MPC Motion Design studio, which specializes in dynamic motion graphics, design, illustration and animation.

Already in her new role at MPC Creative, Gunn has been instrumental in the production of 19 online films for adidas including the Predator Instinct, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the eponymous boot and starring German football champion Mesut Özil. 

The news of Gunn’s appointment comes alongside the recent naming of Zak Thornborough to EP of MPC Creative in the U.S.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
RPA hires Jason Tarantino as VP, strategic planning director
Jason Tarantino
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Independent ad agency RPA has hired Jason Tarantino, most recently group planning director at Media Arts Lab, for the role of VP, strategic planning director. Reporting to David Berne, RPA’s sr. VP, director of strategic planning, Tarantino will direct planning for Intuit Small Business as well as play a key role supporting business development.

Tarantino brings more than 14 years of experience to RPA in both digital and traditional advertising, brand and CRM strategy, e-Commerce innovation, social media planning and product development across a diverse range of industry verticals.

At Media Arts Lab, Tarantino co-managed a team of more than 30 planners and researchers, and directed strategy on a number of key initiatives across the Apple business. Previously, he worked at The Martin Agency on the Walmart account. Tarantino also had stints at Wieden+Kennedy, R/GA and Razorfish. While at R/GA, he received a Jay Chiat award for research innovation for Nike ID and a Cannes Silver Lion and Webby for work with Verizon Broadband.

“RPA gets that the line between digital and traditional media has been erased and that there is no longer a need for a distinction between digital and brand planning. This idea parallels my perspective and provides an incredible opportunity for me and my planning colleagues to change how we approach work. In this advertising world without artificial borders, defining a single-minded proposition across channels is no longer relevant,” said Tarantino.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
Cutters signs editor Andrea Mendoza
Andrea Mendoza

Editor Andrea Mendoza has joined the roster of Cutters New York. Mendoza comes over to the global editorial company from Austin, Texas, where she has been active in both the Hispanic and English-language markets for the past eight years, with stops at Beast and charlieuniformtango.

Mendoza started her career in NYC with stints at Epoch Films, Ohio Edit and Mad Mad Judy, but the allure of her home state’s creative capital drew her back to Austin. Mendoza’s editing experience includes high-profile campaigns for clients including AARP, Century Link, Dominos, Goya, Home Depot, Snickers and The Texas Lottery.

At Cutters New York, Mendoza joins staff editors Steve Bell, Scott Gibney and Nadav Kurtz, each of whom is available for projects anywhere. Cutters maintains studios in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, NYC and Tokyo. Elizabeth Krajewski is Cutters NY’s exec producer.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014
Publicis Seattle names Lori Davis EVP, exec business director
Lori Davis

Publicis Seattle has hired Lori Davis as EVP, executive business director. Davis will become both the account and business lead on the agency’s T-Mobile account. She will be responsible for sustaining, growing and optimizing the T-Mobile business – from account management and hiring to operational oversight of creative development and production. Davis will report to agency CEO Scott Foreman.

Prior to joining Publicis Seattle, Davis was managing director at Minneapolis-based ad agency Barrie D’Rozario DiLorenzo, where she led integrated planning for clients such as Dell, Rosetta Stone, and United Health Group.

Earlier in her career, Davis was VP of marketing at Activision (Minneapolis), where she provided global strategic leadership over all brand marketing activities for the licensed business unit of Activision.  The unit publishes some of the most iconic brands in the interactive entertainment industry, including Marvel, Transformers, James Bond, Tony Hawk, The Walking Dead and Family Guy.  While there, Davis’ team brought home awards for campaigns on major video game launches such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Transformers Fall of Cyberton, Goldeneye Reloaded and Prototype 2.

Davis also spent three years at Martin Williams, Minneapolis, as SVP, director of engagement, overseeing the account planning, media, CRM, social strategy and analytics disciplines. During this time, she worked on campaigns for Payless Shoe Source, Raymond James Financial Services, Marvin Integrity Windows and Finnegans Irish Amber Beer.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014
Erwin Penland adds Rodriguez, Delaney, McHatton
Steve Rodriguez

Marketing communications agency Erwin Penland has added three new hires to its creative team in the New York office. Steve Rodriguez comes aboard as sr. VP/creative services director, having previously served as director of creative services and talent at Saatchi & Saatchi New York. In his newly created role at Erwin Penland, he will report to chief creative officer Con Williamson and support him in the overall operation of the creative department, including staffing allocation, work assignments, hiring and other operational areas

Rodriguez’s creative experience includes positions at BBH NY and Anomaly, where he was responsible for resurrecting the dormant New York Cosmos brand. He has also worked with top brands including P&G, General Mills, Vaseline and Johnny Walker.

Also coming aboard Erwin Penland is the creative team of Kristofer Delaney and Danny McHatton, both joining as VP/creative directors. Delany and McHatton will work primarily on the Denny’s and Verizon accounts while also serving as part of the core new business team and reporting to John Cornette, sr. VP/executive creative director.

Delaney, most recently a creative director at Digitas New York, has worked on numerous brands including American Express, HP and Kodak. He has also had stints at BBDO and Publicis. McHatton previously worked at Publicis Kaplan Thaler and mcgarrybowen on clients including P&G, Bobble and Crayola.

Erwin Penland maintains offices in Greenville, South Carolina, and NY.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014
Wondros hires Timory King as exec producer
Timory King

Timory King has joined Wondros, the L.A.-based strategic consultancy and media/production company, in the role of executive producer. Announcement was made by Anne-Marie Mackay, Wondros’ chief creative officer.

King’s credentials include overseeing production on award-winning commercials and ad campaigns for clients such as Apple, Nike, Adidas, Microsoft, Revlon, Target, JP Morgan Chase and IBM. King started her career in print advertising and segued into commercial production during many location trips around the world.  She has produced for noted directors including Phil Morrison, Stacy Wall, Jeff Preiss and Matthew Badger. King was mentored by Jerry Solomon and Doug Halbert while working closely with Epoch Films & Imperial Woodpecker. Prior to coming aboard Wondros, King was freelancing at Epoch.

“I joined Wondros because of the environment Jesse Dylan and Anne-Marie have established—one based on creativity and the spirit of working together as a collective,” said King.  In my short time here, I have taken on a great new challenge in expanding my areas of expertise and I look forward to finding and fostering both new and existing creative talent.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
Andreas Berner joins Mill+ as creative director
Andreas Berner

Andreas Berner has become creative director at the NY studio of Mill+. Berner joined Mill+ initially as a freelancer in 2013,working on projects that included Nissan’s “Winter Warrior,” OFFF’s “Akazka” and most recently as director of David Yurman’s “Enduring Style: Venetian Quatrefoil” and “Enduring Style: Ten Years.”

Prior to joining Mill+, Berner worked as a creative director at Psyop/MassMarket on such high-profile brands as Audi, Hyundai, Jim Beam and Samsung. He has worked with noted directors over the years, including Mark Pellington for UnitedHealthcare, Gaelle Denis for Dupont and visual artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat for the feature film “Women Without Men/Mahdokht.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
Director Kevin Fitzgerald joins Backyard
Kevin Fitzgerald
VENICE, Calif. -- 

Backyard has signed director Kevin Fitzgerald for U.S. representation, already wrapping at his new roost a cinematic spot for the upcoming Fiat 500X out of The Richards Group, Dallas. Fitzgerald was previously with Boxer Films.

South African-born Fitzgerald began his career as a photographer but soon transitioned to working as a director/cameraman. He has since built a reel of commercial projects out of American agencies including Venables Bell & Partners, Draftfcb, Mullen, Leo Burnett and Grey Worldwide, and brands such as Lexus, Mercedes, Samsung, BMW, Givenchy and Amstel. Fitzgerald’s work has won numerous Loerie awards and a World Gold at the New York Advertising Festival. His BMW M3 “Test Pilot” and ABSA “Feet” commercials both achieved finalist status at the London International Awards; BMW wound up earning best cinematography honors. Fitzgerald’s print and film work has been commissioned and published on every continent except for Antarctica, and he credits growing up in South Africa for inspiring his creative spirit.

Backyard president/partner Blair Stribley said, ““It was a treat to be able to shoot Fiat with Kevin almost immediately after he joined Backyard.  Our reasons for wanting to work with him were quickly validated.  Kevin is an intuitive director who keeps working every angle of the concept to develop the storyline.”  

  • Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
Editor Morgan Bradley moves from Chicago to San Francisco office of Beast
Morgan Bradley

Commercials editor Morgan Bradley is moving to Beast in San Francisco after several years working on high-profile projects for Beast in Chicago. She joined Beast in 2008 and has worked on projects for clients including Nike,  Bayer and Motorola.

“I started at this company years ago as a runner and have so loved growing up in it,“ Bradley said. “After six years in our Chicago office, San Francisco feels like the next step in my process, both as an artist and as a person. I’m leaving Chicago loving it, and I think that’s the perfect way to go.

Prior to joining Beast, Bradley worked at Whitehouse Chicago, beginning in 2004.

Bradley won a Midwest Emmy in 2013 for a spot she edited for the 100 Club for agency Downtown Partners.

“Morgan’s moving here is mostly motivated by our clients here wanting to work with her,“ said Jon Ettinger, executive producer at Beast in San Francisco. “She is a big part of our Beast team, and we welcome her to the West Coast.“

Said Igor Kovalik, chief creative officer at Beast “It’s very exciting for Beast—and gives me tremendous personal satisfaction—when a young talent like Morgan can not only thrive in our company and rise from being a great assistant to a great editor, but then also is able to have the opportunity of growing and moving to the city where she wants to live her life.”

Editorial house Beast, a subsidiary of Deluxe, is active in commercials, music videos and online content. 

  • Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014
Click 3X adds sr. Flame artist John Geehreng
John Geehreng

Click 3X has hired John Geehreng as sr. Flame artist. He had most recently been freelancing as a bicoastal Flame artist and VFX supervisor.

Prior to that, Geehreng worked at SUSPECT, Charlex, Mackenzie Cutler and Creative Group. His portfolio includes projects like Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, music videos like Katy Perry’s “Roar,” keynote speeches for Apple and television commercials for companies like Southern Comfort, Weight Watchers, Burger King, Verizon, Ethan Allen and Apple

Having started his career in broadcast design, Geehreng has spent the last 15 years teaching himself different, cutting-edge visual effects programs and techniques, mastering tools like Maya, Vue, After Effects, PFTrack, SynthEyes, Mocha, Vue and Mari.

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