• Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
Neil Champagne to lead tinygiant’s new scripted division
Neil Champagne

Production company tinygiant has launched a division for scripted film and television, led by Neil Champagne. 

Champagne is no stranger to development. After working alongside veteran executive producer Robert C. Cooper on the series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBC America, Champagne recently co-produced the series Unspeakable for CBC/Sundance Channel. Prior to these projects, Champagne spent several years working in commercial production for companies in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles. His other notable TV credits include FX’s Fargo, STARZ’s The Girlfriend Experience and Netflix’s Blackstone.

Projects currently in development include the recently optioned The Get, which follows the story of Mordecai Pines, a private detective who uncovers a child abuse conspiracy during the course of defending an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman in her divorce. The project’s writers are Harrison Nalevansky and Elijah Wolfson and based on a Newsweek article penned by Wolfson. Another option in development is The Robin Hood Guerillas: The Epic Journey of Uraguay’s Tupamaros, a book by Pablo Brum which considers the freedom fighting rebels of the region and the impact they had in their communities since their inception in the 1960s. Additionally, tinygiant will coproduce the Indonesian feature film Ali & Ratu Ratu Queens with Palari Films, featuring rising Indonesian star Iqbaal Ramadhan. Finally, in December they enter production on a feature-length documentary about K2, in which one of the world’s foremost mountain guides embarks on a summit to rid the legendary mountain of centuries of litter and debris. 

Champagne will be supported in his role by tinygiant founder/executive producer Veronica Diaferia and exec producer Ella Nuortila. Nuortila and Diaferia want to highlight stories that can be commercially viable while shedding light on important social subjects.

“Veronica and I are both women and immigrants, so it only feels natural that we would develop stories that are female-driven and deal with social issues while still appealing to a wide audience. We are excited to have someone as knowledgeable as Neil joining us to support the strong vision we have for the company,” said Nuortila.

Nuortila brings extensive experience in documentaries, features, short films, and music videos to the development team. Nuortila was previously a producer at SALTY Features, which won an Oscar for the short documentary Inocente during her tenure. While at SALTY, Nuortila also co-produced the feature documentary (Dis)Honesty - The Truth about Lies, directed by Yael Melamede.

Likewise, Diaferia brings 15 years of film and commercial production experience to their new venture. “I’ve been working across both film and commercial projects my whole career,” said Diaferia. “Having worked with notable commercial and film directors including Erroll Morris, Allen Coulter, Bennett Miller, and Bryan Buckley, I’ve long been inspired to flesh out a development division, to bring our own film and TV projects to life. This is not only the realization of a dream of mine; it’s also what a modern production company looks like.”

  • Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
Kerry Roper joins Saatchi London as head of design
Kerry Roper

Saatchi & Saatchi London has appointed Kerry Roper as head of design. 

Reporting into CCO Guillermo Vega, Roper will be part of the senior creative team at Saatchi & Saatchi London, working across the agency client roster which includes BT, EE, Direct Line and Visa.  Roper will be tasked with further elevating Saatchi’s design and visual output.

Roper began his agency career at Leagas Delaney, followed by a period as head of design at Dare before eventually moving to Anomaly.

In addition to his advertising career, Roper has been in much demand by Topshop, Nike, Snickers and numerous record labels. Since 2009 he has been the visual creative director for Sushitech Records Berlin. 

Three pieces of his art are in the V&A permanent collection and toured the U.K. as part of the Street Art exhibition alongside works by Banksy and D*Face.

The addition of Roper follows a series of major developments for Saatchi London, including the recent brand overhaul for BT and the appointment of Sarah Jenkins as managing director, who takes over the role in December.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019
Danielle Peretz named EP of Wondros' commercial/branded content division
Danielle Peretz

Wondros has named Danielle Peretz as executive producer of its commercial/branded content division. Peretz currently oversees a directorial roster that features company founder/CEO/creative director Jesse Dylan, Henry Littlechild, Riess|Hill, Sean Thonson and Jeff Yeats. 

According to Dylan, Peretz is the ideal leader to take the production division of Wondros into the future, collaborating closely with Wondros Global, a creative agency that intersects fields of social change, public health, and the arts. “Danielle has extensive industry experience and brings that perspective to her new role here at Wondros,” noted Dylan. “She is a natural collaborator and an intuitive listener. Her values align completely with everything that Wondros stands for.”

Peretz brings over 25 years of a proven track record managing and executing the creation of award-winning commercials and digital content across the advertising, music and branded entertainment industries. This includes extensive experience in new business development and generating additional revenue streams for overall company growth. Peretz has longstanding relationships with advertising agencies, media companies, and record labels. She has been responsible for discovering and nurturing the careers of some of the industry’s top directors. Beginning her career in independent feature film, Peretz then joined Propaganda and its division Satellite Films. She also served as VP, creative services at MCA Records. Additionally, Peretz has held staff positions at production companies Anonymous Content and Tool of North America, as well as having spent time at m ss ng p eces and HSI.

Peretz stated, “Collaborating with such a creative innovative leader, Jesse Dylan, on a daily basis is a tremendous opportunity. Our collective experience will shape and competitively position Wondros for the commercial and advertising industry not only for today, but also for the future.”

  • Monday, Nov. 11, 2019
VIRTUE tabs Susie Lyons as head of strategy, North America
Susie Lyons

VIRTUE, the agency born from VICE, has added Susie Lyons to its North America leadership team. She has been named head of strategy, overseeing the strategy, communications planning and intelligence teams across VIRTUE’s offices in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Toronto. Lyons will report directly to Krystle Watler, VIRTUE’s managing director, North America.

Lyons joins from DDB New York where she served as head of strategy. There, she led the strategic vision for the agency and across all clients including Kroger, Capital One, Unilever, and the Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to DDB, Lyons served as VP, marketing strategy at the Lifetime Network where she led marketing strategy for all Lifetime and Lifetime Movies linear and editorial campaigns. Throughout her 15 year career, Lyons has worked at notable agencies including Deutsch LA, 180LA, David&Goliath, Team One and Hill Holliday. 

In September, VIRTUE announced new global leadership, appointing Rob Newlan as global president, Watler as managing director, North America and bringing on Simon Mogren as executive creative director, North America. With Marianne Pizzi as head of client services, Jill Rothman as head of production, Daniela Asaro as head of integrated production, and Tara Garcia as head of recruiting, Lyons’ appointment rounds out VIRTUE’s North America leadership team. 

Over the past year, the agency picked up 28 new clients across North America and 45 across international markets, in addition to taking home one Grand Prix, one Glass Award, 7 Lions and a total of 23 shortlists at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
DNEG adds "Joker" VFX supervisor Edwin Rivera
Edwin Rivera

Visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company DNEG continues its investment in servicing its feature film clients with the appointment of VFX supervisor Edwin Rivera to its sr. creative team in Los Angeles. Rivera brings more than 25 years of effects experience, most recently serving as overall VFX supervisor on Joker, Todd Phillips’ origin story for Gotham’s most infamous villain. 

Rivera’s VFX supervisor credits also span such films as SpiderMan: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 22 Jump Street, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Grown Ups 2, This is 40, Hot Tub Time Machine and Moneyball.

Rivera’s arrival follows the recent appointment of Alex Cannon as head of previsualization at DNEG in Los Angeles.

Lee Berger, EVP and head of DNEG in Los Angeles, said, “Edwin’s experience will be invaluable as we continue to build a service that takes our clients through a seamless process from concept to final delivery. We’re working hard to create an offering here in Los Angeles that gives access to the full scale of DNEG’s award-winning capabilities, and our global teams of supervisors, VFX artists, animators and stereo conversion experts.”

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
Lizzie Nolan joins Havas' global strategy team
Lizzie Nolan

Havas International, the international client management unit of Havas Media Group, has added Lizzie Nolan to its global team as EVP, managing director for strategy and insights.

Nolan, who has 20+ years in the business delivering strategies for broadcast programming and editorial communications, content, and brand planning in Europe and Asia Pacific, will report directly to Havas Media Group’s global chief client officer Marc Schader. 

In her new role, Nolan will oversee the agency’s holistic strategic planning across Havas International clients, adding more rigor to the planning product and process across clients. 

She joins Havas Media Group from BBH Asia Pacific where she was head of integrated strategy. Prior to joining BBH, she moved from MediaCom UK to Singapore in 2009 to take on the role of APAC strategy director of Proctor & Gamble and was promoted to head of strategic planning after the successful regional planning pitch. In 2013, she set up the APAC MediaCom content marketing division, which was WPP’s fastest-growing group during her three-year tenure. Previously, Nolan spent the first decade of her career in London in strategic roles at UK agencies and some major entertainment brands.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
Adrienne Rehm, Brittany McCullars join Leviathan
Brittany McCullars (l) and Adrienne Rehm

Creative agency Leviathan has added associate director of strategic partnerships Adrienne Rehm and sr. producer Brittany McCullars. 

Most recently, Rehm led marketing for RXBAR’s Strategic Accounts business, and strategy for the firm’s national and international ecommerce channels. Prior to that, she spent over five years at Herman Miller, leading marketing for three of its fastest growing business segments in North America and consulting globally. Highly skilled in strategic planning, business development and communications, Rehm began her career handling digital marketing for The Stow Company.

McCullars meanwhile brings Leviathan more than 12 years of experiential marketing and digital production experience in live events and branded environments. Previous to joining Leviathan, McCullars was a hands-on production leader with brand experience agency Agency EA, responsible for spearheading the growth and development of its digital capabilities, and serving as sr. producer on various programs. She has led innovative projects fusing digital development with technology implementation for clients such as AOL, Hilton, Intuit, Samsung and Under Armour.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
Zoe Schack promoted to editor at Final Cut
Zoe Schack

Zoe Schack has been promoted to editor at Final Cut where she began working as an assistant editor three years ago. She is based in the company’s L.A. office. 

Schack honed her craft under the mentorship of Final Cut editors Crispin Struthers, Joe Guest, Jeff Buchanan, and Rick Russell. Schack has edited branded content and commercials for Audi, Infiniti, Doritos, and Dollar Shave Club as well as music videos for Swae Lee and Whitney Woerz. Schack has already worked with leading directors including Dougal Wilson, Ava DuVernay, Michel Gondry, Craig Gillespie, and Steve Ayson. 

“It’s been amazing watching Zoe’s growth the last few years,” said Final Cut executive producer Suzy Ramirez. “She’s so meticulous, always doing a deep dive into the footage. Clients love working with her because she makes the process fun. She’s grown here at Final Cut so much already under the guidance of our editors, and her craft keeps evolving.”

Originally from a small hamlet north of New York, Schack studied film at RISD and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her love for documentaries led her to intern with renowned filmmaker Albert Maysles and then on to produce the Bicycle Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. She edited several short documentaries and a pilot series that were featured in many film festivals. 

Final Cut maintains offices in London, New York and L.A.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
Wanda Pogue named chief strategy officer at VaynerMedia
Wanda Pogue

Wanda Pogue has joined VaynerMedia as chief strategy officer. In this role, Pogue will oversee strategy across the agency’s global offices in New York, Los Angeles, London and Singapore and report to CEO and co-founder Gary Vaynerchuk. Pogue was most recently chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New York.

Pogue brings over 20 years of strategic planning and brand-building experience to her new roost. As chief strategy officer at Saatchi New York since 2014, she was instrumental in leading business-building and award-winning work across the agency’s roster of clients, including Walmart, Procter & Gamble and USAA. Prior to that, she led the strategic vision for brands such as Olay, Tide/Ariel, Head & Shoulders and Trident as global strategy director, helping to further establish these brands around the world. Her first role at Saatchi & Saatchi was as regional strategy director across both the United States and Latin America. Pogue began her career in marketing research and U.S. Hispanic and multicultural marketing.

Pogue is the latest appointment to VaynerMedia’s global leadership team, following the announcement of Rob Lenois joining the agency as chief creative officer last week. 

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
James Norris joins Nomad as editor/partner
James Norris

Editor James Norris has joined London post company Nomad, also becoming a partner at the shop.

A self-taught, natural editor, Norris started out running for the likes of Working Title, Partizan and Tomboy Films. He then moved to the Whitehouse as an assistant where he refined his craft and rose through the ranks to become an editor.

Over the last 15 years he’s worked across commercials, music videos, features and television. He edited IKEA’s “Fly Robot Fly” campaign, Asda’s “Get Possessed,” and has recently cut a new piece of work for Nike. Working within television and film, he also cut an episode of the BAFTA-nominated drama Our World War and feature film We Are Monster.

Norris said, “I was attracted to Nomad for their vision for the future and their dedication to the craft of editing. They have a wonderful history but are also so forward thinking and want to create new, exciting things. The New York and LA offices have seen incredible success over the last few years and now there’s Tokyo and London too.”

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