Wednesday, February 21, 2018

People on the Move

  • Monday, Feb. 19, 2018
Ditch promotes Rogers to EP, hires Ekstrand as associate producer
Leah Rogers (l) and Jennie Ekstrand
MINNEAPOLIS -- 

Ditch, an advertising postproduction and creative digital company headed by owner Brody Howard, has promoted sr. producer Leah Rogers to executive producer, and hired Jennie Ekstrand as associate producer.

Rogers’ dozen years in the advertising post industry include 10 years at Ditch from its inception, taking on roles of assistant editor, producer, sr. producer, and now EP. 

Rogers is invested in growing Ditch’s client offerings. In addition to offering creative edit, interactive services, and motion graphics, Ditch partners with MPC for world class real-time remote color grading and VFX, as well as Grey Ghost Music for custom music, music licensing, and audio post, creating a full service destination for client projects. “Our storytelling roots run deep, but we’re much more than creative edit. We’ve built a collective of innovative makers, each with a unique perspective, and they aren’t afraid to experiment to develop the best work possible for our clients,” said Rogers.

Rogers has collaborated with many agencies, helming the postproduction for national brands such as Cenex, American Family Insurance, Target, Indian Motorcycle, Subaru, Great Clips, Toro, Arby’s, Yoplait, Purina, InterContinental Hotels, and Boston Scientific.

Ekstrand joins Ditch from Motion504 where she was a producer, and previously from Block & Tackle, a New York creative studio, where she was a production manager working on projects for clients National Geographic, SYFY, FX, and ESPN. 

“With her background in motion graphics and animation, Jennie is a perfect fit to help grow that part of our business, and further expand our creative services,” said Howard. Ekstrand has jumped right into work at Ditch, serving as associate post producer on spots for Cenex, Pentair, Polaris Slingshot, Minnesota Lottery, Cub Cadet, and 3M.

  • Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
American Society of Cinematographers appoints Eric Rodli as executive director
Eric Rodli
LOS ANGELES -- 

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has named Eric Rodli as executive director. In his new role, Rodli will be responsible for driving initiatives that uphold the mission of the organization--to advance the art and science of cinematography--and creating a supportive community for its members.

Rodli, an ASC associate member since 2001, has served six years as co-chair of the ASC Motion Imaging Technology Council’s Cinema Display Committee, dedicated to exploring new technologies and providing guidance on enhancing the moviegoing experience in service to the filmmaker’s creative intent. He co-authored the committee’s 2016 white paper, “Cinema Display Evaluation Plan and Test Protocol,” which explores the key image quality parameters of dynamic range, color space and overall luminance, as well as suggesting testing parameters. Rodli also has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Task Force on Content Preservation, and has participated in numerous industry panels ranging on topics from digital media distribution to projection.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Eric’s caliber propelling the vision of our organization to new levels,” said Kees van Oostrum, ASC president. “As the ASC nears its 100th anniversary, it’s important that we build on the legacy of our founders and continue to support the membership creatively, as well as encourage and educate the next generation of cinematographers. Eric has both the industry and creative relationships to augment our efforts.”

Rodli’s career includes extensive experience as an executive in the entertainment technology industry with management roles in start-ups and large corporations. He served as president at Iwerks Entertainment, Bexel and Kodak’s motion picture film division, and most recently as CFO of BeBop Technologies. Rodli has worked on numerous creative and technical initiatives across multiple industry sectors, dating back to pioneering the use of the first generation of HD cameras, as well as 3D projection, digital streaming technology, and laser projection systems. His strategic and hands-on experience in the imaging chain has fueled his belief that technology should serve the artist.

“I’m honored to be on board at the ASC to cultivate the progress of artists whom I admire for their outstanding contributions to so many indelible images,” says Rodli. “Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with many cinematographers in various capacities and am constantly awestruck by their impactful aptitude, techniques and creativity. I look forward to working with the board and advocating for the members.”

Focused on education, the ASC hosts many programs, including the ASC Master Classes, Student Heritage Awards, Coffee and Conversation Q&As with cinematographers, and panel discussions by the Education and Outreach Committee. The award-winning efforts of the ASC Motion Imaging Technology Council (MITC) since 2003 have shaped the standards and practices of cinematography for digital workflows, with the group and its committees working closely with the Academy’s Sci-Tech Council and SMPTE. The ASC Vision Committee also holds events to foster diversity and equality on camera crews.

  • Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
David Walton Smith named head of film at digital agency Grow
David Walton Smith
NORFOLK, Va. -- 

Digital agency Grow has expanded its film and production capabilities with the addition of David Walton Smith as head of film, a new role at the Norfolk-based company. Smith will be charged with overseeing all content development and video production for the agency’s clients, which include Google, Spotify, adidas and Adult Swim.

“As we looked to expand our film and content offering, we sought someone with experience creating dynamic, forward-thinking work as well as global expertise,” said Grow’s CEO and executive creative director, Drew Ungvarsky. “David has an impressive background creating content for a diverse range of channels and audiences, and we are confident his experience will help us continue to create superior work for our clients.”

A multidisciplinary filmmaker and creative, Smith has produced commercials, as well as branded and documentary content, for brands like Google, Volvo, Mass Mutual, Hyundai and Aleve. Prior to joining Grow, he was a director and producer at CNN’s branded content division, Courageous Studio, where he created broadcast and web content for CNN’s global audiences. 

Notable recent projects at Grow include Window Wonderland for Google Shopping, Madden GIFERATOR for EA Sports, as part of Google’s Art, Copy & Code initiative, as well as The Pursuit, an interactive, crime thriller game created with Oxygen Media.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018
Meredith Karr joins barrettSF as associate creative director
Meredith Karr
SAN FRANCISCO -- 

Creative agency barrettSF has hired Meredith Karr as associate creative director, to work on its 2K WWE, Cost Plus World Market, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, and Zappos accounts, as well as new business.

Karr held the same position at MAL\FOR GOOD in Los Angeles, having joined that agency in February 2016 as a copywriter before being promoted to ACD. An offshoot of Media Arts Lab, MAL\FOR GOOD focuses solely on purpose-based advertising, and Karr worked on several for-profit and not-for-profit clients, including NPR, the One Love Foundation, Earth Justice and XQ Institute.

Before that, she worked at Venables Bell & Partners as a copywriter from 2012-’16. Karr began her advertising career in September 2009 at Walt Disney Co.’s internal agency, Yellow Shoes Creative Group.

  • Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017
Keith Butters named global CTO at KBS
Keith Butters
NEW YORK -- 

KBS has appointed Keith Butters as its global chief technology officer. Butters, who is best known for having co-founded The Barbarian Group, will be responsible for the integration of KBS’ deep technical capabilities within the agency’s creative product, which spans the gamut from fully integrated campaigns to technology innovation to major platform builds.
 
KBS maintains an in-house team of developers, product experts and engineers, who build platforms and digital experiences for clients including BMW, Windstream, Stanley Black & Decker, and Hershey.
 
“The tech and innovation part of KBS globally is substantial and growing fast. We’re delighted to have a leader of Keith’s talent, substance and humanity to help drive the whole agency forward,” said KBS global CEO Guy Hayward. “We now have a leadership team with enormous creative credentials and a proven ability to build agencies.”
 
Global chief creative officer Patrick Scissons echoed Hayward’s sentiments saying, “As innovation and tech continue to become more and more important across our global network--from our office in London which was awarded an Innovation Lion at Cannes to New York where we have had many creative opportunities for clients like eSight and Answer ALS--the goal is to bring together storytelling and technology in a way that feels fresh and emotive. Keith’s addition to the KBS Global Creative Council will help us to accomplish that.”
 
During his time at The Barbarian Group, Butters worked with clients including Volkswagen, PepsiCo, Burger King, Kashi and Nike. He specializes in applying design thinking to technology, digital media and marketing. He has also played an instrumental role in the creation and growth of the creative coding library Cinder, which was awarded the first ever Cannes Lions Innovation Grand Prix.
 
On joining KBS, Butters said, “I chose KBS because of their amazing leadership team, the existing creative and technical capabilities of the business, their appetite for both traditional and non-traditional work, and their enormous potential energy to do great work across multiple mediums.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017
Jen Cadic promoted to head of production at Flight School
Jen Cadic
DALLAS -- 

New media creative studio Flight School has promoted Jen Cadic to head of production. Cadic has a decade of experience in postproduction, producing a wide range of commercial, web content, film, TV and music video projects for industry companies including Charlex, Nice Shoes, Psyop and Reel FX. She joined the Dallas-based Flight School as a producer upon its launch in January 2017 and steps up as the studio’s first head of production to address the rapid growth of original IP and client projects, including the recent launch of its debut original VR experience, Manifest 99, which recently earned accolades at the Future of Storytelling and Raindance Film Festival. 

Recent projects out of Flight School include an augmented reality (AR) experience for the launch of Michael Jackson’s new “Scream” album and a dynamic air tennis experience for American Express at the 2017 U.S. Open. The Air Tennis experience used a combination of custom-built and responsive technologies, including air haptics and an ultra-sensitive motion capture system, to create an interactive live gaming experience.

Notes Flight School Executive Producer Taylor Williams, “Jen has been instrumental in laying the foundations for Flight School since day one.  Her history of exploring new mediums and tackling never-been-done-before projects for a broad range of clients including film studios, agencies and tech partners, not to mention our own IP, has given her a uniquely multifaceted perspective on what it takes to get jobs done in this constantly evolving landscape.”

New Jersey-native Cadic studied film and television before making her way to NYC, landing her first professional gig at Charlex, where she quickly learned the commercial production space with a hands-on approach. She moved on to Nice Shoes, where she produced a wide range of top-tier projects with major celebrity talent including projects with Lady Gaga and Beyonce as well as Kanye West’s short film “Cruel Summer” that launched during the Cannes Film Festival. After two years, she joined Psyop as a producer, leading design and CG-driven work for longtime client British Gas as well as a rebrand campaign for Mucinex featuring the newly designed Mr. Mucus character. To expand her expertise beyond commercials and get into the studio, entertainment and new media space, she made the move to Dallas to join Reel FX. There, she worked on a wide range of projects, including major VR experiences for studios such as Lionsgate and Paramount. Upon Flight School’s inception, Cadic then made the transition to working with the talent that joined Reel FX to form Flight School.

  • Monday, Oct. 9, 2017
Translation hires John Fulbrook as group creative director, design
John Fulbrook
NEW YORK -- 

John Fulbrook has joined Translation LLC as group creative director, design.  

Fulbrook, who was most recently group creative director, SVP at The Martin Agency, will be charged with leading and growing Translation’s design team and helping bring his innovative design thinking to the agency’s current and future partners. Fulbrook will be reporting to chief creative officer John Norman. 

"Branding is all about design--John approaches a design problem from a storytelling, cultural and technology pov,” said Norman.  “His design thinking translates the visceral experience into a consumer experience. John will be a tremendous asset for bringing Translation’s ethos to this discipline.”

“Translation sits at the juxtaposition of culture and storytelling,” said Fulbrook. “The idea of marrying culture, storytelling and then design seemed like an incredibly powerful place to be playing.” 

Fulbrook got his start in design as sr. art director for book publisher Simon & Schuster and was creative director for Collins from 2008-2010. In addition, Fulbrook served as professor at the School of Visual Arts from 2004-2016. 
 

  • Friday, Oct. 6, 2017
Johnathan Brownlee named exec director of Dallas International Film Festival
Johnathan Brownlee
DALLAS -- 

Johnathan Brownlee has been appointed CEO and president of the Dallas Film Society and executive director of the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF).
 
A transplant from Canada, Brownlee is an award-winning Canadian/American entertainment veteran with a diverse international body of work, spanning more than 20 years.  Three of Brownlee’s feature films, “Occupy, Texas,” “Three Days in August” and “Decoding Annie Parker,” have screened at DIFF. Brownlee created DIFF’s first screenwriting competition whose winner, “Three Days in August,” was produced in Texas, premiered at DIFF and was released nationwide at Studio Movie Grill.
 
“I’m extremely honored to lead DFS and looking forward to growing our education and community initiatives and leading DIFF’s transformation into a festival that reflects the incredible diversity of Dallas Fort Worth and the ever-changing landscape of entertainment,” said Brownlee, “There is nothing like watching a film in the theater, but we are also fortunate to be living in a time when television, streaming content and virtual reality are leaders in creative storytelling and our mandate at DFS is to present all of these experiences to our audience.”
 
Brownlee’s career highlights the symbiotic relationship among entertainment, art and commerce as he has created television series sponsored by Home Depot, HSBC, Ford, British Airways and Club Corp, to name a few. He has also produced content for The Salvation Army, Amnesty International, World Wildlife Fund, Toronto Humane Society, and KIPP Schools to support their fundraising campaigns. Brownlee has taught both creative and “the business of the business” workshops at Harvard, MIT, Vancouver Film School, LA Film School, Brandeis University, and Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts, and served as the LA representative for the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

  • Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017
Craft promotes Shay Fu to managing director across its North American studios
Shay Fu
NEW YORK -- 

Craft, a global marketing production and adaptation agency and a division of McCann Worldgroup, has promoted Shay Fu to managing director of Craft North America. Shay will continue to report to Craig Smith, Craft’s chief information and operations officer.
 
Fu joined Craft in 2013 as EVP/head of integrated operations, Craft New York, successfully growing the NY studio operations across all disciplines and building its digital production capabilities. Most recently, Fu extended her role to oversee production operations in the U.S. and Canada as head of studio operations across Craft’s North America network. 
 
In her new role as managing director, Craft North America, Fu will retain responsibility for studio operations. Fu will also work under the strategic direction of Craft’s chief client officer, Simon Sikorski, and McCann Worldgroup’s North American leadership to nurture and grow all aspects of clients’ integrated production needs. She will build upon relationships with Craft’s regional and global clients such as Microsoft, L’Oréal and Coca-Cola.
 
“Under Shay’s leadership and direction, studio performance in North America has improved dramatically,” said Smith. “Her extensive experience in delivering production solutions together with her ability to build strong relationships with our key clients makes her perfectly suited to this key role within Craft.”

  • Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017
Director Adam Bonke, sr. editor Paul Bastin join Alkemy X
Adam Bonke
PHILADELPHIA & NEW YORK -- 

Creative content company Alkemy X has expanded its talent roster with the addition of director Adam Bonke and sr. editor Paul Bastin. A previous winner of the Young Director Award at Cannes, Copenhagen-based Bonke has worked with such brands as Comcast, Coca-Cola, Nike, Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders. Bastin brings 20+ years of experience in the postproduction industry, having worked as an in-house editor and motion graphics animator at such shops as R/GA, Ogilvy and Mather, and RadicalMedia.

Bonke’s career began in London’s Soho, where he delved into editing and compositing at postproduction company Locomotion, and later at Capital FX (now Deluxe), before finding his calling as a director. Citing youthful exuberance, he returned to his hometown of Copenhagen and unabashedly informed two producer friends at production company Nobody Cph that he wanted to direct. They eventually gave him the chance with “Interruption,” an evocative commercial for Doctors Without Borders, which ultimately garnered Bonke the 2010 Young Director Award at Cannes and launched his career. 

Since then, Bonke has directed more than 80 commercials in 18 countries, including work for Gore-tex, Sony Ericsson, Havas, and Carrefour. In addition, he has directed music videos for various artists; the popular documentary series, “Find Amdi,” for Danish national TV; as well as creating, co-writing and directing a full season of the critically acclaimed Danish TV series “Fetter.”  Music also plays a starring role in his process; he often collaborates with his brother to compose soundtracks for his brand-based work.

Bastin was most recently lead sr. editor at digital agency R/GA, where he developed workflows throughout the facility, maintaining quality control implementations across all edit stations, and collaborated with the creative, production and IT teams on projects, infrastructure, and global connectivity solutions. Prior to that, he was sr. editor and motion graphics animator and designer at RadicalMedia, lending his talents to projects for such clients as Grey Goose, NFL Network, Tommy Hilfiger, Versus, and NASA.

Bastin got his start in the postproduction industry more than 20 years ago as an assistant editor at New York-based postproduction facility Post Perfect. After several months spent traveling across the US, he returned to NYC where he worked as an editor at ad agency Ogilvy and Mather.