• Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014
Mikey Please, Dan Ojari form directing duo Parabella
Parabella, a.k.a. Mikey Please (l) and Dan Ojari.

Mikey Please, a filmmaker known for his multi-disciplinary work, has partnered with long-time friend and animation collaborator Dan Ojari to form the directing collective Parabella.

The new directing team is represented in the U.S. and Canada by the Hornet studio, which had been handling Please as a solo helmer. Ojari--who animated the lauded Please-directed shorts Marilyn Myller and The Eagleman Stag--is also known for his own short film, Slow Derek, which hit the festival circuit in 2012 with screenings at Sundance and the Cannes Film Fest.

  • Monday, Jul. 28, 2014
Creative directors Sonderup, Grant join Translation
Nick Sonderup (l) and Andy Grant

Translation has added creative director duo Nick Sonderup and Andy Grant to its roster. The new arrivals mark the first major creative hires under the tenure of CCO John Norman and ECDs Jay Berry and Marc d’Avignon, who were brought on board in early 2014. Sonderup and Grant will focus their work primarily on the agency’s State Farm initiatives, having already contributed to the launch of the inaugural State Farm Neighborhood Sessions, a philanthropic concert spotlighting pop icon Jennifer Lopez in her hometown of the Bronx.

Sonderup comes to Translation following a three-year run at BBDO, and nearly five years at Wieden + Kennedy before that--having begun his career as a writer at MTV Networks. A copywriter by trade, he has delivered his wordsmithery for several top brands, including GE, ESPN, American Red Cross, Starbucks, Sharp and MTV. His work has been distinguished with AICP Show, Art Director’s Club, ANDY, One Show, Effie, and ADDY awards, just to name a few, and his contributions to GE’s acclaimed “Childlike Imagination” helped the spot to earn a primetime commercial Emmy nomination. Sonderup has also deployed his talents across numerous projects beyond the advertising industry, serving as the creative director of the inaugural Woodstock Comedy Festival in 2013, and creating the documentary “100 Bands in 100 Days,” which premiered at SXSW 2011.

Grant joins Translation from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, where he helped to create one of the most-viewed commercials of all time, “The Selfie Shootout,” starring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi, and boasting over 138 million YouTube views.  An advertising veteran of 14 years, Grant has spent significant time working in offices all over the world. Prior to moving to Los Angeles for his role at CP+B, he enjoyed stints as an ACD and art director at a number of top international shops, including BBH Singapore, WCRS London, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg, and Ogilvy Prague.

  • Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014
Director Michael Fitzmaurice joins BRW Filmland
Michael Fitzmaurice

BRW Filmland Los Angeles has signed director Michael Fitzmaurice for U.S. commercial representation.  The helmer’s output includes spots for the likes of Lexus, Chevy and the NBA with his AICP Show-winning “Big Color.”  He’s already hit the ground running through BRW with recent campaigns for Chevy Silverado and Mazda.

Fitzmaurice successfully transitioned to the director’s chair after time serving as a regarded automotive cinematographer.  Before lensing work for assorted automakers, he was a camera assistant for legendary commercial director Joe Pytka.  With Pytka, he developed a sophisticated knowledge of the logistics of filming, working on commercials featuring celebrities such as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Tiger Woods. 
As a DP and camera operator, he built his reel working with top directorial talent including Lance Acord, Douglas Avery, Sean Thonson and Eun-Taek Cha.

As an aerial footage DP and camera assistant in the feature world, Fitzmaurice worked on such blockbusters as Iron Man one and two, The Dark Night, Fast & Furious 4, and The Italian Job.

Fitzmaurice comes to BRW Filmland from Park Pictures.  

  • Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014
Lenny Beckerman joins Über Content as EVP of new film/TV division
Lenny Beckerman

Production company Über Content has launched a long-form content division. Coming on board to spearhead that effort is industry veteran Lenny Beckerman, formerly of Anonymous Content and Hello & Company, who assumes the position of Über Content’s executive VP of film/TV.

Über Content has made previous forays into long-form with the production of three feature length documentaries, including 2010’s I Am Comic, which premiered on Showtime.  Beckerman will work closely with partner/EP Preston Lee to help shape the visions of Über Content’s filmmakers and guide the company’s transition into film/TV.  Along with producing, Beckerman will continue to manage a select roster of writers and directors. The new division launches with a development fund that will allow Über to seek out and secure potential properties to develop.

Beckerman has managed high-profile talent and produced over 100 pieces of content in various genres over the past 16 years. Starting in 2000, Beckerman worked at Anonymous Content with Steve Golin for 11 years, where he helped many of the roster’s commercial and music video directors break into features. Anonymous Content produced over 15 features while Beckerman was with the company, including the renowned films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lake of Fire, Babel, and Winter’s Bone, all of which were nominated for various awards, including Oscars. Beckerman also established the company’s Literary Management Department, acting as a liaison to film studios, independent producers and funding sources, and helping the department to grow to presently include 20 managers.

In April of 2011, Beckerman took on the new position of head of film and television at Hello & Company. There, he continued to manage a roster of writers and directors while generating new development for both film and TV as a producer. Recently, Beckerman wrapped the food noir thriller Bone in Throat with Hello director/partner Graham Henman, based on the best-selling novel written by Anthony Bourdain, due out next year.

  • Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014
BBDO SF hires exec creative director Matt Miller
Matt Miller

Matt Miller, formerly VP, creative director at Leo Burnett,. Chicago, will be joining BBDO San Francisco as executive creative director. He will partner with Steve Rutter to oversee the Wells Fargo creative account. Executive creative director Craig Mangan will continue to lead creative for BBDO SF.

At Burnett, Miller first gained the industry’s attention as the original creator of the Allstate “Mayhem” campaign. Since then he has continued to create business-driving, award-winning fare across the agency’s client roster including work done for Secret’s “Mean Stinks” campaign and Hallmark’s “Life’s a Special Occasion.” His work has been recognized by Cannes Lions, D&AD, The One Show and the Clios, among others. Miller began his career as a copywriter at Rare Method, Salt Lake City.

“Like insurance was five to ten years ago or telecom before that, I believe banking is the next industry poised to do incredible work,” commented Miller “The opportunity to help steer Wells Fargo, one of the most iconic brands in that industry, is a gift.”

Miller is the latest senior hire to be joining BBDO San Francisco, which won Wells Fargo earlier this year. Other notable hires include Kevin Thompson and Heidi Keel, who joined the agency this month as creative director and strategy director, respectively.

  • Monday, Jul. 21, 2014
Kettle hires creative director, sr. producer
Crystal Ginn

Digital agency Kettle, headquartered in NY, has hired Amanda Hughes-Watkins as creative director and Crystal Ginn as sr. producer.

Hughes-Watkins, based in San Francisco, advances Kettle’s bicoastal offerings. She spent the last two years as a creative director at Digitas San Francisco, where she led the creative work for eBay, Paypal and Kraft/Taco Bell Sauces. While there, her digital advertising was recognized with a Clio, Webby, MIXX, OMMA, and Communication Arts award. Prior to Digitas, she worked at R/GA San Francisco on Microsoft. Throughout her career, she has worked with brands like Old Navy, Conde Nast, Lexus, Macy’s and Yahoo!

Ginn will lead cross-functional teams as they design the breakthrough experiences that clients have come to expect from the agency. Long-time accounts like American Express as well as more recent wins like Penguin will fall under her direction. Ginn comes to Kettle with experience as director of production at AREA 17, where she led work with brands like Google Chrome, Billboard, SPIN and Dering Hall. Prior to that, she worked at agencies including Razorfish, Syrup (LBi), Coty Prestige and createthe group with Axe, Marc Jacobs, Gwen Stefani Fragrances, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein X Underwear, Polo Ralph Lauren, David Yurman and Juicy Couture. She started her career at JWT and then Siegel+Gale.

  • Monday, Jul. 21, 2014
Nick Kaplan joins Barton F. Graf as creative director
Nick Kaplan

Barton F. Graf has hired Nick Kaplan as creative director.

Kaplan comes over from Wieden+Kennedy NY where he served as creative director on work for Equinox, and wrote award-winning fare for Southern Comfort and ESPN. His previous agencies include the former Amalgamated (Silver & Partners) and BBH NY where he worked on Carmax, Axe and Johnnie Walker.

  • Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014
Peermusic promotes Currier to VP, advertising markets
Craig Currier

Music publisher peermusic has promoted Craig Currier to VP, advertising markets. Based in Nashville, Currier will continue to report to Kathy Spanberger, peermusic president and COO.

Currier heads up the U.S. advertising markets division for  peermusic North America.  In this capacity, he manages all aspects of the division and is responsible for developing and implementing business strategies, quoting and licensing on all commercial projects as well as all creative activities including music searches, artist development and original music production.  Currier established the advertising markets division in 2000 and under his guidance, the division continues an impressive growth rate providing music for hundreds of national spots including T-Mobile, Microsoft Windows, Subaru, Fiat, Bank of America, Pillsbury, Citgo, Pringles, Pontiac, Visa, Nike, Delta, Macy’s, Lincoln, GM, Kohl’s, Guitar Hero and Covergirl.  GE’s global branding initiative, which was nominated for an Emmy, utilized the peer controlled Donovan classic, “Catch the Wind.” 

Prior to coming to peermusic, Currier served as head of marketing and executive producer for the Nashville-based commercial music house Still Music Group (SMG). He additionally spent seven years as an adjunct professor at Belmont University’s music business program.

  • Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014
Patrick O’Neill becomes CCO at Theranos
Elizabeth Holmes (l) and Patrick O'Neill.
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- 

Patrick O’Neill has been named chief creative officer at Theranos, a consumer healthcare technology company founded by CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Previously O’Neill enjoyed a 14-year tenure at TBWA\Chiat\Day, including eight years at its Los Angeles office as executive creative director. There he influenced every brand on the agency roster, including Gatorade, Pepsi, Apple, Kraft Zesty Italian dressing, Crate&Barrel and Southwest Airlines. O’Neill was the global creative leader on the breakthrough “Go World” campaign for the Olympics-Visa partnership for three Olympic Games. The “Go World” campaign ran in over 70 countries worldwide and, in 2012, the Games were the most activated in social media in Olympic history. A pioneer in culturally breakthrough creative work, O’Neill has received acclaim and recognition for creating the first gay-rights themed TV commercial for IKEA in 1993 and a GLAAD Award for his work on ABSOLUT. He also oversaw the Grammys campaign that led to record-breaking ratings, and helped the broadcast become the most “social” TV event in history, with over 13 million mentions in social media.

Launched in 2003, Theranos is looking to make actionable information accessible to everyone at the time it matters most, enabling early detection of and intervention in disease. Theranos has been redefining the field of consumer health, reinventing traditional laboratory services with its Wellness Centers and affordable, micro-sample testing. Theranos’ clinical laboratory offers comprehensive laboratory tests from samples as small as a few drops of blood at unprecedented low prices.

O’Neill will lead both the creative marketing and advertising teams for the Theranos brand. His responsibilities will include: branded content, experiential design, social media, digital communications and platforms, interior design, advertising, partnerships and graphic design.

In addition to his agency work, Patrick has lent his eye, and his leadership skills, to numerous organizations and boards. He recently joined Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, on the board of directors of the Rain Forest Fund, and has also served on the Google Creative Council and the Facebook Creative Council.

  • Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014
Creatives Thomasson, Platet Join BETC
Marc Platet (l) and Stéphanie Thomasson

Stéphanie Thomasson, art director, joins BETC from Leo Burnett where she developed campaigns for Charal, Fiat, Jeep and the Mimi Foundation, whose integrated campaign “If Only For a Second” recently garnered several top awards including, among others, one D&AD and nine Lions at Cannes (one Gold and eight Silvers). Prior to this, she worked as an art director at TBWA on Playstation, SNCF, McDonald’s, Nissan, and Aides, as well as Amnesty International, for which she earned a Gold Lion for the film Signatures

Marc Platet, copywriter, also comes board BETC. He worked at TBWA on BMW, MINI, Absolut Vodka, and Martell, and, more recently, at McCann for the Nespresso, INPES, Mastercard, Na! and Terre d’Asile accounts.

Platet and Thomasson will work with Manoëlle Van der Vaeren, creative director at BETC.

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