Thursday, August 16, 2018

People on the Move

  • Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018
Lindsay Seguin promoted to EP at FuseFX NY
Lindsay Seguin

Visual effects studio FuseFX has promoted Lindsay Seguin to executive producer in its New York City office. In this role, Seguin is responsible for overseeing all client relationships at the FuseFX New York shop, acting as a strategic collaborator for current and future productions spanning television, commercial and film categories.

Seguin was previously managing producer and first joined FuseFX in 2014. During her time with the company, she has worked with a number of important client productions including The Blacklist, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist, Mr. Robot, The Get Down and the feature film American Made.

“Lindsay has played a key role in the growth and success of our New York office, and we’re excited for her to continue to forge partnerships with some of our biggest clients in her new role,” said Joseph Bell, chief operating officer and executive VP of production at FuseFX. “She has been a strong advocate for developing FuseFX New York into a distinctive studio, positioned to draw on strong local talent and create world-class visual effects in New York.”

Seguin added, “We have a really close-knit team that enjoys working together on exciting projects. Our crew is very savvy and hardworking, and they manage to maintain a great work/life balance even as the studio delivers VFX for some of the most popular shows on television.”

Seguin is a member of the Visual Effects Society and the Post New York Alliance. Prior to making the transition to television and feature work, her experience was primarily in national broadcast and commercial projects, which included campaigns for Wendy’s, Garnier, and Optimum. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Telecommunications. Born in Toronto, Seguin is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S.

  • Monday, Apr. 23, 2018
Jens Mebes named NY creative director for Eight VFX
Jens Mebes

Eight VFX, the New York and Los Angeles-based visual effects, design and production studio, has named Jens Mebes to the position of creative director for its New York office. The announcement was made by Abbe Daniel, the New York-based executive producer for Eight VFX, and by the company’s partners, creative director Jean-Marc Demmer and managing director Baptiste Andrieux.

Mebes joins the office just a few months after Daniel was named to be its new executive producer. The pair had previously worked together at the New York office of Digital Kitchen. In addition, Mebes has held creative director posts at Psyop and MassMarket, as well as at the New York office of MPC and later at Imaginary Forces.

A graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Mebes has created highly visible brand experiences, won numerous awards and worked with clients such as Under Armour, Audi, Nintendo, Hyundai, Jim Beam, Dolby, Nike and Samsung. He’s also created promotion and identity packages for such networks as ABC, CBS Sports, CNN, HBO and TCM, and has worked directly with such brands as Exxon Mobile and Ford.

“We were looking for a talent experienced in design as well as VFX, and invited Jens to be our New York-based creative director based on his work, his insights and his experience partnering with brands,” said Daniel. “In addition, Jens will be directing projects for us at Eight, and in fact has just wrapped his first job, for Heineken out of digital agency Red Urban, a division of DDB.”

The Heineken project, which comprised three :15 spots, was handled start to finish at Eight VFX, including tabletop live action and liquids as well as design, editorial, CG, finishing and music/sound design. Mebes has led several other projects for Eight, including a campaign for UXIN, the Asian car-trading platform, produced by Superprime and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, for which Eight did design, animation, editorial, color grading and finishing.

Mebes said he was attracted to Eight VFX for several reasons. “I’ve been working as a director, creative director and designer, with a background in graphic design, animation and live action direction, for the last 16 years,” he remarked. “My focus in recent years has been on creating work that aims for what I call a magical realism achieved through an organic fusion of live action, VFX and design. Eight VFX felt like a great fit for me to continue to pursue this goal, not only because of my prior working relationship with Abbe, but also because of their boutique-like attitude and vision in bringing visual stories to life through polished, high end VFX.”

Born in Germany, Mebes was trained in London, Paris and Los Angeles as an art historian, artist and designer – all disciplines he’s combined in his role as a filmmaker and creative director. His work frequently draws on a blending of media and techniques, from live action to design-infused VFX, graphic design, illustration and typography.

In addition to his studies at Art Center, Mebes also studied at the Parsons School of Design in Paris. His work has been recognized by the Typography Annual and the Promax Gold Awards, and he’s the recipient of design awards from the Broadcast Designers Association and the Institute of Graphic Arts. In addition, he’s been the subject of feature articles in such prestigious design journals as Graphis, Communication Arts and Applied Arts Magazine.

“I enjoy the challenge of solving brand communication problems, and I like to draw my audience into brand experiences that are engaging, whether it’s a commercial, a VR experience, an experiential design-driven project or a broadcast identity system,” he said. “That Eight VFX is active in all these disciplines means I’ll have ample opportunity to help create more magical realism for our clients, across the board.”

Eight handles a wide range of assignments, including commercials for brands like Target, Pandora, Puma, Ram Trucks, New York Lottery, Call of Duty, Honda, Perrier and many others. The studio has worked on numerous features, which are handled by both its New York and L.A. offices. Among its recent and notable projects are all the VFX shots for “I, Tonya,” effects work on the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things 2” and “The Orville,” the sci-fi comedy from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. Other credits include “Beasts of No Nation,” “Mother”, “Million Dollar Arm” & “Knight & Day.”

  • Monday, Apr. 23, 2018
Ntropic hires managing director Mileyeva, exec head of production Watson
Alex Mileyeva (l) and Luke Watson

Creative studio Ntropic--which maintains bases of operation in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City--is bolstering its executive leadership team with the hiring of managing director Alex Mileyeva and executive head of production Luke Watson. Mileyeva and Watson will oversee Ntropic’s full range of services, including ideation, design, production, visual effects, AR/VR and brand experiences.

With over 15 years of experience in business operations, client services and program management, Mileyeva will focus on realizing the strategic goals of the business and implementing internal processes that will streamline company operations. Before coming to Ntropic, Mileyeva was an executive director of global operations at international design firm Method with additional tenure at global brand consultancy Interbrand, where she led the project management division. 

Providing hands-on oversight of Ntropic’s creative pipeline, Watson joins from production company Wondros, where he served as head of production. Watson ran Wondros’ direct to brand division called Global, which included a research and insights department, creative development, traditional video production, editorial, distribution, social media, and more. During his two years with the company, Watson was instrumental in transformative successes, including helping Wondros grow from 30 to over 100 people. 

Prior to Wondros, Watson led a group that specialized in making digital content, websites, and apps as executive producer of RED Interactive Agency. Before RED, Watson spent 12 years as a VP with boutique production company MRB, creating broadcast spots and promos. 

Watson’s career highlights include a feel good Super Bowl spot for Pepsi directed by The Barbarian Group’s Chris Mantzaris, and a striking Oscar spot directed by Antoine Fuqua for Walmart. His most rewarding work, however, has been delivering impactful creative messaging and execution for nonprofits and NGOs. Launching this month is a campaign for the federal government titled “All of Us,” which seeks to recruit a more inclusive population of medical research participants.

Ntropic founder and executive creative director Nate Robinson said of Mileyeva and Watson, “By adding this smart and savvy duo as an anchor for the strategic and execution side of the business, our artists can feel supported and empowered to provide clients with their best work.”

  • Friday, Apr. 20, 2018
Isobar appoints Deb Boyda as U.S. CEO
Deb Boyda

Global digital agency Isobar has named Deb Boyda as its U.S. CEO, She will focus on driving growth and pushing the innovation agenda. Boyda will oversee all U.S. operations for the agency that now counts 562 employees across offices in New York, Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Detroit and Denver.

Boyda joins Isobar from SapientRazorfish where she oversaw growth in the Chicago and Austin offices as Central Region president for the past four years. Prior, Boyda was VP and general manager at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, where she led the marketing for top brands including Skinnygirl, Courvoisier and Pinnacle. Boyda’s career has spanned several decades and includes leadership roles at Miller Brewing Company, Ogilvy and Mather, Leo Burnett and EuroRSCG. 

“In finding the right CEO for Isobar we were looking for a great leader who’s passionate about brands, creativity and experience-led transformation,” said Nick Brien, CEO, Americas, Dentsu Aegis Network. “Deb brings together all of these ingredients and will be a key driver propelling Isobar to the next level in the critical U.S. market.”

Isobar global CEO Jean Lin said, “Deb has a fantastic track record, experience and expertise, with a background across creative agencies, client side and consulting. She will help drive Isobar US forward to deliver our idea-led experience and digital transformation proposition in the marketplace.”

Boyda described Isobar as “a dynamic company with a huge emphasis on creativity and technology. Isobar’s position at the intersection of agencies and consultancies is a perfect springboard for success.”

Boyda will report to Brien and be based out of the agency’s Chicago office.

  • Friday, Apr. 20, 2018
Sweetshop promotes Carolyn Pedrossian to head of production for U.S. operations
Carolyn Pedrossian

Carolyn Pedrossian has been promoted to head of production of Sweetshop’s U.S. operations. 

Pedrossian has been with Sweetshop since 2017 as bidding producer. In her new role, she will join the U.S. management team and oversee all productions that come out of the U.S. office. 

Laura Macauley Thoel, managing director of Sweetshop’s U.S. operations, said, “Carolyn has really impressed me with her dedication, creativity and smarts. She’s been a driving force behind a lot of our key jobs, and has done it by focusing on facilitating the best possible expression of an idea no matter the timings or hurdles or budget. We couldn’t be more excited about her taking the lead production role, affecting the work, the growth, and the culture of the Sweetshop itself.”

Pedrossian has had stints at production companies, including HSI and at Superprime, working with directors the Malloys, David LaChapelle, James Gray and Joseph Kahn. She has partnered with agencies, including McCann, Wieden + Kennedy, CP+B, Leo Burnett, Grey/Townhouse, Deutsch, 72 and Sunny and mcgarrybowen, and with brands such as Chrysler, Honda, Land Rover, Target, Walmart, Ulta, Wet & Wild, Google, Verizon, Pepsi, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Venus and Mastercard. 

  • Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018
Dain Larson joins Morsekode as creative director
Dain Larson

Morsekode has brought Dain Larson on board as creative director. Larson comes over from Space 150 where he was a senior art director. He also did art and design stints at Fallon and Olson, and holds a BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

“I joined up with this shop because of the incredibly positive work environment, the clients, the people--and the quality of the work Morsekode is producing,” said Larson. “I’m in to help push this great agency to new creative heights.” 

Agency CEO Mark Morse noted, “For a young creative director, Dain has a unique maturity to his work; fresh yet brand appropriate. This perspective is exactly what we need as a digital-centric brand creative agency — to energize both our creative DNA and the business of our growth-oriented clients.”

  • Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018
Agency vet David Verhoef joins The Cabinet as partner/CEO
David Verhoef

Advertising production veteran David Verhoef has joined production and postproduction collective The Cabinet as partner/CEO, alongside partner/director/editor Doug Cox and executive producer Jim Vaughan. 

“Budgets have become increasingly tight in the past few years, and as a freelance agency producer I found that I was acting more and more as a production line producer myself to be able to make the budgets work,” said Verhoef. “Via The Cabinet, I now have all the tools at my disposal to make great content, no matter how challenging the budget.”

Cox and Verhoef met 10 years ago, when both were on staff at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. “When you spend 15 hours a day in an edit studio together and don’t kill each other, you are pretty much friends for life,” Cox noted. “David was one of those buttoned-up guys who made my job easier, and, in return, I did the best I could to deliver the caliber of work he expected. This partnership, for me, was only a matter of time.” Bringing the association full circle is Riney’s newest Blue Diamond Almonds campaign, which Cox is directing and editing.

Of his new partner, Verhoef said, “Doug is one of the most talented individuals I’ve been fortunate enough to work with in my career. A director, an editor, you name it. I consider him a national-level talent who just happens to live in San Francisco.”

Verhoef’s career spans three decades and has yielded an array of award-winning work for global brands including Nissan, Converse, Coke, McDonald’s and Microsoft.  In addition to his dozens of industry awards as a producer, he has also been honored with a Cannes Gold Lion as a copywriter and Art Directors Club Best of Show as a director.

“With David and Jim, we now have two of the best agency producers in the business,” said Cox, noting that The Cabinet prides itself at coming up with creative solutions to insure every possible penny is represented on the screen.” He added, “We make the process painless because we’ve been in the trenches. Whether you need help finishing something you cut in-house or need full tilt production support from start to finish, we’re here to help.”

  • Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018
Yusuf Chuku named chief strategy officer of North America for Y&R
Leslie Sims (l) and Yusuf Chuku

Global advertising agency Y&R has named Yusuf Chuku to serve as the chief strategy officer of North America.  He will serve as North American CCO Leslie Sim’s strategic partner.

In this role, he will oversee strategy for the agency’s North America client roster, including clients such as ANA, Bel Brands USA, Dell, Pepperidge Farm, and Xerox, as well as the Census and U.S. Navy accounts. Y&R has long invested deeply in strategic capabilities that inform the creative process, and Chuku will continue to advance programs like eXploring, which is a proprietary approach to insights through cultural immersion. 

Chuku brings extensive experience leading strategy departments, holding previous positions as EVP, head of planning at McCann New York, chief strategy officer at Cheil New York, head of strategic services at McKinney New York, and global planning director at JWT New York. He has worked both in the UK and the US markets. Chuku has a broad base of knowledge across a range of industries, having spearheaded global and regional clients such as A&E Networks, Pepsi-Co, Verizon, Samsung, Microsoft Office and Kimberly Clark. 

“Yusuf is brilliant. He has an exceptional strategic pedigree in driving client business growth,” said Sims. “His strategic firepower will continue to amplify our creative, and his leadership will be instrumental in shaping the agency to meet clients’ changing challenges and priorities.” 

“Coming to Y&R to lead strategy in North America was a compelling proposition,” said Chuku. “Y&R has always sat at the intersection of intelligence and creativity. Today that position, combined with a collaborative spirit, allows them to create work that transcends traditional marketing swim lanes.”

Chuku has also held positions at Manning Gottlieb and Naked Communications. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Manchester. 

The appointment comes on the heels of key new business wins for Y&R, most recently Office Depot Office Max. 

  • Monday, Apr. 16, 2018
Laura Forman joins KBS as executive director of brand strategy
Laura Forman

Global creative agency Kirshenbaum, Bond, Senecal & Partners (KBS) has appointed Laura Forman to serve as executive director of brand strategy. Forman joins Kirshenbaum from Ogilvy & Mather where she was group planning director. Reporting to Ted Florea, KBS’ global chief strategy officer, Forman will be based in the New York office and will have a primary focus on PODS and Amex.

Florea said, “Laura brings extensive experience delivering world-class strategic thinking from shops like Goodby and Ogilvy as well as her own consumer insights company. This background makes her perfect to be a leader in continuing to champion our commitment to helping companies discover and live their greater purpose in culture.” 

Forman shared, “KBS’ mission to combine humanity, technology and purposeful creativity was a real selling point for me in joining the agency.”  

Forman’s responsibilities include overseeing her department of 12 brand strategists on all accounts and partnering with her data & analytics and product strategy counterparts. Forman will also play a central role in redefining KBS’ own culture, serving as a mentor across departments.

Spanning her 20-year career, Forman has led assignments for clients in multiple industries from Target to American Airlines to Chevy, as well as conducted research in more than 20 countries for global clients such as Heineken, Sprite, and ABSOLUT. 

Forman’s previous positions include founder of her own strategy boutique, forthought, as well as having served as VP/account planner for Deutsch LA, planning director at Fallon and account planner at Goodby.

  • Friday, Apr. 13, 2018
Ross Clugston joins Superunion as ECD
Ross Clugston

Following the appointment of Sabah Ashraf to the role of CEO, North America, global next-generation brand consultancy Superunion has reinforced its leadership team by bringing Ross Clugston aboard as executive creative director in the U.S.

Throughout his career, which includes several years in San Francisco and New York as creative director at Interbrand, Clugston has built teams to push boundaries through innovative efforts for brands including Qualcomm, Microsoft, Amazon, Mars Wrigley, Google, Disney and Nissan. His work has been recognized by Cannes, D&AD, AIGA and the ADC. 

As ECD at WPP’s Superunion, Clugston will leverage his expertise in tech and healthcare, while also fostering collaboration across agency disciplines from creative to strategy to finance. Clugston will work closely with executive director, strategy, Vincent Roffers in New York, and global chief creative officer Greg Quinton to further strengthen the agency’s approach to client challenges, and apply a methodology that drives solutions for North America and globally.

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