Friday, May 25, 2018

People on the Move

  • Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018
Dave Sonderman joins The Shipyard as chief creative officer
Dave Sonderman
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- 

The Shipyard has appointed Dave Sonderman to the role of chief creative officer. He comes over to the self-described “marketing engineering agency” from GSW Advertising where he served as EVP/chief creative officer. 

Sonderman’s previous experience includes work on brands such as Apple, HP, PGA Tours, Victoria’s Secret, BMW Financial Services, GE Healthcare, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Frisch’s Big Boy, and Listerine. His work has been recognized by Clio, National ADDY, NY Festivals, Emmy and Cannes Lions. 

Sonderman has brought his knack for insight-driven creative problem to an advertising career that spans 25 years and work across disciplines from higher education and retail, to technology and lifestyle, to healthcare and social causes. In 2016, he presented at the Lions Festival of Creativity in Cannes, joining forces with an experimental VR filmmaker from London and a psychiatrist from Harvard to expound on the art and science of empathy in creativity. His award-winning creative also includes memorable campaigns for Stryker’s knee replacement system and The Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to help shape creativity’s relationship with data science and to challenge old assumptions,” said Sonderman. “The Shipyard’s backbone of creative data science modeling, insights and media is already proven — it’s what so many other agencies are trying to figure out.“ 

  • Friday, Apr. 6, 2018
Ed Han launches Edify Story Foundry
Ed Han
NEW YORK -- 

Executive creative director-turned-commercial filmmaker Ed Han has launched hybrid creative and production consultancy, Edify Story Foundry. The move represents the fruition of Han’s long-term plan to transition from agency creative to independent brand consultant. 

“Given the seismic changes to the industry, I felt I could better share brand stories by taking my agency experience and transplanting it in the fertile soil of content creation.” Han wants to offer clients a way to deliver high-quality brand storytelling without compromise to quality. “It’s not a new idea but clients are more receptive to it than ever before because they need more content than ever before. And they need it to be done efficiently.” 

Besides the obvious name-play, Han explained that he wanted to choose a corporate identity that conveyed something about his approach to marketing, which emphasizes elevating the client’s message by first focusing on their values and how these can help form a connection with consumers. 

“For me, the story isn’t necessarily about products and features but rather about the things that connect us as individuals and communities,” Han said. “By mining for those elements, we can craft more powerfully engaging brand messages. By combining strategy, creative and production into a singular, linear process, I can offer clients a one-stop-shop approach where the brand’s story is paramount at every phase.”

Han has spent over two decades in advertising starting as an art director and was most recently the executive creative director at the boutique agency Walton Isaacson where he oversaw the creative output of all three offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. During his time there, he partnered with brands like Lexus, Verizon, Samsung, Dove and AXE. Before Walton Isaacson, Han worked with Publicis for 10 years in both the Chicago and New York offices managing the Whirlpool creative group that included brands like Maytag, KitchenAid, Whirlpool and Jenn-Air. 

Among the many clients Han has been involved with on both a strategic level and as a filmmaker is iRobot, makers of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. For the past four years, Han has successfully partnered with the brand on various content needs, including global TV commercials and product videos. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve found that most brands don’t have a product problem, they have a communications problem,” Han said. “Get the story right then tell it in a compelling way is my philosophy. iRobot created the robotic vacuum category and their products are great. They just needed help humanizing the technology.”

  • Thursday, Apr. 5, 2018
Karey Maltzahn promoted to VP of feature, episodic production at Digital Domain
Karey Maltzahn
LOS ANGELES -- 

Digital Domain, an innovative provider of visual effects and immersive experiences, has promoted Karey Maltzahn to VP of feature and episodic production. In addition to a concentration on feature visual effects and visualization, the studio will add a heightened focus on TV, cable and streaming services. Digital Domain looks to Montreal as the latest studio addition to the global roster which includes locations in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Hyderabad.

Digital Domain leads Nikos Kalaitzidis, Scott Meadows and Aladino Debert have expanded creative leadership positions. The team joins existing visual effects heavy-hitters including Matthew Butler, Kelly Port, Jay Barton, Dave Hodgins, Jan Philip Cramer and Steve Preeg. Collectively, they have more than 175 film and episodic credits.

In her new role, Maltzahn will run client services for productions among multiple studio locations for Digital Domain, including Los Angeles, Vancouver, India and soon-to-open Montreal. As a leader in postproduction for 20 years, she has successfully guided teams in commercials and features.

Industry veteran Kalaitzidis was elevated to VFX supervisor. Kalaitzidis brings 22 years’ experience in visual effects and has worked on more than 30 feature films, including Spiderman: Homecoming, The Fate of the Furious and Tron: Legacy. He recently led visual effects for Digital Domain on A Wrinkle in Time.

Head of visualization Meadows will lead motion capture, virtual production, pre and post visualization for Digital Domain. Meadows has led visualization projects for the last two decades, completing many blockbuster feature films, including Black Panther and Ready Player One. He aims to streamline all processes for visualization, motion capture and virtual production. Digital Domain is home to the largest volume motion capture stage in Los Angeles.

Creative director and VFX supervisor Debert will guide the creative and visual effects for episodic series work. With a strong background in the digital arts and visual effects, Debert is a creative force in the industry with more than 20 years of experience. He has been with Digital Domain since 2010 and has picked up numerous recognitions, including AICP Show, Clio and VES awards and an Emmy nomination. Recently, Debert was VFX supervisor for multiple episodes of Black Sails and Outlander for STARZ, SpikeTV’s The Mist, and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for Netflix.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2018
Adhemas Batista joins Deutsch as EVP, head of design
Adhemas Batista (middle of the second row, wearing glasses) and his design team
LOS ANGELES -- 

Deutsch has hired Adhemas Batista as EVP, head of design, to lead the agency’s design vision for all Los Angeles clients. Batista will manage a team of more than 20 designers and will report to Pete Favat, chief creative officer of North America.

“Adhemas is no stranger to Deutsch. We have worked together before and his talent as an artist is next level,” said Favat. “He has led design on global campaigns that have moved the needle for our industry. Getting him on board is a huge win for us and we are excited to have his craft on our business.”

Batista brings more than two decades of advertising design experience, working with agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, Anomaly, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Goodby Silverstein & Partners. He has led design projects for Fortune 500 brands the likes of Toyota, Gatorade, Coca-Cola, Adidas and Doritos, among countless others. In 2016, Batista managed all design direction for UNICEF’s short film Malak and the Boat, which earned five Cannes Lions including the Grand Prix for Good.

“Joining Deutsch is an exciting new challenge for me,” says Batista. “I spent a lot of time looking for the right opportunity and found that Deutsch was the perfect fit for me. I respect their history of original work and having the opportunity to work under Pete’s creative leadership was a huge draw for me. I am ready to make great work with this team.”

Since immigrating from Brazil, Batista has lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. He is a self-taught artist and illustrator.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2018
Skip Kimball joins EFILM as sr. colorist
Skip Kimball
LOS ANGELES -- 

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group (Deluxe) announced that Skip Kimball has joined color grading and post house EFILM as sr. colorist. Kimball brings to the company more than 30 years of experience spanning features, television, music videos, and commercials. He recently finished work on seasons 1 and 2 of the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things on Netflix for executive producer Shawn Levy, and is currently on Deadpool 2 for Twentieth Century Fox and director David Leitch. Other recent feature credits for Kimball include Downsizing and Nebraska for Alexander Payne; Logan for Twentieth Century Fox and James Mangold; and the Terminator 2 re-master for James Cameron and Lightstorm.

William Sherak, president of Deluxe Post Production, described Kimball as “an immensely talented artist that top directors, DP’s and producers have come to rely on for his expertise in making their projects look amazing. He’s a perfect fit for our client-first culture.”

Kimball credits Sherak with drawing him to EFILM.  The two previously worked together on the re-issue of Titanic in 3D, which Stereo D converted for James Cameron. “William shared his vision for the Deluxe post operations which have worked on some of the top films and shows in the world, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Kimball joins EFILM from Technicolor, where he spent nearly six years as sr. colorist. His previous experience also includes over 15 years at Modern VideoFilm where he worked on dozens of projects including Gone Baby Gone, Tropic Thunder, and James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar; and Anderson Video where he began his career and first learned his craft on 35mm film.

Kimball joins a deep bench of colorists at EFILM that includes Natasha Leonnet, Mitch Paulson, Tom Reiser, Jason Hanel, Kevin O’Connor, Steve Delman, Adrian DeLude, Ben Estrada, and Matt Wallach.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2018
Drew Singleton, Ben Buswell join McCann London as sr. creatives
Drew Singleton
LONDON -- 

McCann London has hired Drew Singleton and Ben Buswell, the creative team behind the lauded The Times and The Sunday Times’ U.K. campaign “The Times Eyes.” Singleton and Buswell have joined McCann as sr. creatives.

Coming over from Grey, where they spent the last six years, Singleton and Buswell produced work for the likes of Sixt and Lucozade, gaining recognition from Creative Circle for their Times print campaigns. The pair cut their teeth on re-branding McVities with the cute animal led SWEEET campaign. In 2016 the creative duo won the D&AD YouTube Hack for their film that promoted diversity within the creative industry and more recently have been working on a global campaign for Tuborg. 

Additionally McCann London has promoted Elizabeth Bernstein to the position of head of new business.

  • Monday, Apr. 2, 2018
Optimus adds five, including editors Valencia, Glover, VFX supervisor Wood
Angelo Valencia
CHICAGO -- 

Production and post house Optimus is bringing aboard editor/partner Angelo Valencia, editor Matt Glover, VFX supervisor Ryan Wood, sr. producer Joanna Woods and assistant editor Emily Hayes. This quintet most recently worked together at the Chicago office of Beast/Company 3/Method Studios, and is slated to officially start at Optimus on April 16.

Valencia has spent the last 20 years helping create award-winning content for screens of all sizes. He has edited commercials, short films, documentaries, music videos, and feature films. His client partners include BMW, Capital One, Southwest Airlines and Walgreens.  

Glover, with 10 years experience, has cut two Emmy Award-winning films, including “Chicago: The Most American City,” a short film for NATO, and “Emergence,” a film about dance. He’s cut work for Apple, Maui Jim, Nintendo, SC Johnson and Walmart, among others. A Detroit Native, Glover has called Chicago home for the past 15 years. 

Wood creates high-end visual effects, including compositing, finishing, CGI/3D animation and on-set VFX supervision. Wood has helped deliver original, award-winning feature film and commercial content for a wide variety of clients including the Super Bowl Pacman commercial for Bud Light, the VFX for the commercial release of Nintendo’s last Star Fox game, and the finish and compositing for the award-winning “Dad and Andy” for Whirlpool. 

Sr. producer Woods brings eight years experience overseeing all aspects of the post process. She has post-produced campaigns for brands including Allstate, Coors Light, Hallmark, Kellogg’s and Walmart, as well as Pearl Jam’s documentary film, “Let’s Play Two.”

Hayes brings six years experience as an editorial assistant, both at premiere post houses and as a freelancer. Winner of Camp Kuleshov Tent City 2014, she has assisted for brands such as Always, Capital One, McDonald’s, Miller Lite and Reebok. Hayes is passionate about documentary content and has collaborated on biographical shorts for athletes including Josh Gordon, Mike Marjama, Justin Pugh and JJ Redick. She has also cut music videos and social content for artists including Neko Case.

Optimus president Tom Duff said, “Angelo is one of the world’s elite editors, but what really sets him apart is his sincerity as a human being, and his loyalty and commitment to his people. We look forward to having him and his core team of Matt, Joanna, Emily, and Ryan join our Optimus family.” 

  • Monday, Apr. 2, 2018
VML strengthens new connections practice with sr.-level promotions
Amy Worley
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- 

VML, a WPP marketing agency, has rebranded its channel activation team to connections to reflect the department’s role as experts in connecting brands to consumers in a contemporary and relevant way.

“Our charter as an agency, across all departments and specifically this department, is to effectively create connected brands,” said Jon Cook, global CEO. “‘Connections’ is a term that fits our progression perfectly.”

VML’s retail team will become a connections channel, joining the already established paid media, search, social media and PR channels.

VML’s connections practice will be led by Amy Worley, who will move from executive director to chief connections officer, a title that appropriately reflects her contributions to how this department has grown and evolved. In her new role, Worley will ensure that VML purposefully connects brands to audiences with results and delivers fully integrated communications planning as well as best-in-class expertise in every communications channel. 

Worley’s award-winning connections team is nearly 100 people and growing, with clients like Wendy’s, Electrolux/Frigidaire and Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. The group collaborates with VML strategy, creative and technology to unlock and enable powerful ideas. Together they maximize the value of every touch point across the connected consumer experience, including social media, paid media, paid and organic search, retail and shopper marketing, and PR. Worley is a vital part of VML’s executive leadership team and will report directly to Cook.

Lisa Purpura has been promoted to managing director, media. Since joining VML in March 2017, Purpura has helped grow the agency’s media business by more than 30 percent. In her new role, she will continue to lead and structure VML’s media practice into future growth and success. Purpura joined VML from Havas Media in Chicago, where she was VP, account director. In that role, she worked on major brands like Safelite and the American Medical Association. Purpura has more than 18 years of online and offline media planning experience and has held roles as group director, media director, engagement director and online strategy director. She will continue to report to Worley.

  • Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018
UTÖKA signs designer Maxwell France
Max France (Illustration by Jason Murphy, digital artist, retoucher and illustrator /UTÖKA)
ATLANTA -- 

Designer Max France has joined UTÖKA’s roster of artists. France joins the Atlanta-based studio’s growing team of collaborative talent, expanding its capabilities as a one-stop creative house specializing in meeting the needs of brands across multiple platforms.

Prior to joining UTÖKA, France honed his skills during stints as a designer at the Atlanta division of Iris Worldwide, and as a graphic designer and screen printer at Red Weir Athletic Supplier. 

France interned as a graphic designer at Columbia College while earning his B.F.A. in Graphics Design with a minor in painting. After graduating in 2013, he continued his training at The Creative Circus where he studied design and art direction. 

A fine artist, skilled at motion graphics, as well as logo, print and packaging design, Max France explores a mix of techniques and technologies, seeking out fresh, engaging ways to communicate a brand’s message with compelling visual stories.

“UTÖKA is always looking for talent that is experienced in working across a variety of genres and adept at a mix of programs. We were very impressed with Max’s range of skills as a designer, illustrator and motion graphics designer, as well as his commitment to growing as an artist,” said UTÖKA CCO Ed Dye.  “His interest in expanding into 3D, one of UTÖKA’s core capabilities, and ability to traverse mediums and creative disciplines, makes him a perfect fit with our vision.”

“I really enjoy being part of a collaborative team. UTÖKA provides me with an opportunity to work with a wide range of multi-disciplined talent - from creative directors, animators, FX artists, and photographers to editors, directors, and producers,” said France. “They’re a great group of artists with a shared creative energy that inspires me to push boundaries.”

While still a young designer, France’s talents received numerous accolades. His packaging design for Yellow Leaf Granola was a Top Ten Finalist at last year’s 48 Hour Repack Design Awards, an invitation-only, package design competition created to spotlight the artistry of tomorrow’s most talented design professional. The digital covers France designed for a trio of books by Jack Kerouac earned him the Silver Award at the Creative Circus Student Show.

“We’re all about applying our collective artistry and creative sensibilities to designing brand messages that elevate this visual landscape - while maximizing the impact of a brand’s visual identity,” said Julie Kutler, UTÖKA’s group creative director.  “Max shares this passion. He’s an emerging talent with a fresh aesthetic and the creative agility needed to strengthen the connection between the visual elements of a brand’s message and today’s consumers.”

UTÖKA is a hybrid creative agency blending strategic design and end-to-end production services. 

  • Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018
Jordan Tarazi named head of integrated production at BODEGA
Jordan Tarazi
NEW YORK -- 

Content creation/production company BODEGA, with bases of operation in NY and San Francisco, continues its recent expansion by bringing on Jordan Tarazi as head of integrated production.  Tarazi’s addition follows the 2017 launch of BODEGA Animation. Over the last seven years, Tarazi has collaborated on over 30 BODEGA projects, both as producer and 1st assistant director, including spots for Allstate, IZOD, LG, TJ Maxx, and network assignments for CBS, HBO, USA, Food and NBC Universal.

“Our business is growing and our ‘production through post’ model is blessed to have someone with Jordan’s depth of experience.  He just ‘gets production’ and his determination and attention to detail are incredible assets to our directors, agency and brand clients, as well as our robust in-house team,” said EP/partner Clint Goldman.

His prior experience includes five years as an EP for New York-based Still Films and over two decades of freelance commercial, film, print, digital, social and broadcast production experience. Tarazi will oversee all aspects of production out of BODEGA’s San Francisco office and its 15,000-square foot Chelsea, NYC studio.

“I’ve produced content for production companies, advertising agencies, brands and networks,” notes Tarazi, “and it’s been enlightening to embrace BODEGA’s streamlined process, fostering start to finish projects under one roof. It just makes it easy for our clients to get the work done.”

Tarazi’s recent assignments at BODEGA include a Lean Cuisine campaign for Grey NY, an IZOD brand campaign for PVH, broadcast assignments for HBO’s Two Dope Queens and NBC’s Today, as well as digital content for Under Armour. 

BODEGA’s in-house partners include Northern Lights (editorial), SuperExploder (sound) and Mr Wonderful (branding/design).