Friday, September 21, 2018

People on the Move

  • Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018
Method promotes Andrew Bell to managing director, Integrated Advertising and Immersive Experiences, LA
Andrew Bell

Global visual effects company Method Studios has promoted Andrew Bell to the new role of managing director, Integrated Advertising and Immersive Experiences, Los Angeles. He’ll oversee operations, production, talent, sales and marketing. In this role Bell brings together all of the L.A. studio’s VFX, finishing, and design capabilities to create integrated solutions for brands, ad agencies and production companies; and also leads its AR/VR group, Method EXP, creating immersive experiences for clients worldwide.

Bell said, “Our clients are creating more content than ever, and it’s important that they have all of our capabilities activated seamlessly across all of it. We’re excited to bring together our creative and technology talent from different teams in new ways; it creates fresh ideas and approaches and elevates everything we do.” 

Bell joined Method earlier this year as sr. EP and VP, Advertising Operations. Previously he spent two decades at MPC, first as a producer in London and then spearheading its initial foray into Los Angeles and follow-on expansion and relocation as head of production and managing director. There he oversaw all operations, from bidding to building and managing the talent and client rosters, in addition to working with A-level directors producing large-scale VFX projects for Coca Cola, Nike, DIRECTV and other top brands. Bell was also managing director for Brickyard VFX in Boston, and has consulted on VFX operations for Apple.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018
Corbett Trubey, Lauren Davies join Reach Agency
Lauren Davies (l) and Corbett Trubey

Reach Agency, a first-mover social video and content maker, has hired Corbett Trubey as sr. creative lead and Lauren Davies as brand manager. They will be responsible for all creative and branding initiatives, respectively, across the agency’s client list, including Nestle, Clorox and Hallmark.

Trubey’s career began at Bay Area shops EVB and Heat before joining Publicis in Seattle to work on T-Mobile. While there, he crafted some of their first social campaigns that utilized streaming concerts and UGC to attract Millennial audiences. He then joined R/GA’s newly opened LA office, where he worked on Beats. The team won a Cannes Lion for the massive integrated campaign. Moving on to Edelman, he helped build their LA creative team while leading episodic video projects for Disney and Mortal Kombat, the latter winning an Addy. He also led social and digital projects for Warner Brothers, Starz, and Activision that included Instagram takeovers, and dynamic Tumblr pages.

Davies comes to Reach from Fullscreen, where as creative producer she led day-to-day creative and functional operations for brands such as Mary Kay, Timberland, Guess?, Inc. and Smashbox Cosmetics. Before Fullscreen she worked in the fashion industry as digital marketing manager at Wildfox, a Los Angeles-based women’s label, where she helped reach new markets by creating and managing social and digital campaigns with retailers and partnering brands such as DASH, Frank Body, Barbie, Revolve Clothing, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales. Prior to that she was the social media project coordinator at Guess?, where she organized and implemented social media efforts for major initiatives, including partnerships with Style Haul, Elin Kling for Marciano, and Tiesto.

“This is a win win for us,” said Gabe Gordon, founding partner of Reach. “Corbett and Lauren are experienced marketers who have worked on some of the biggest brands in the business with some of the most influential agencies and content producers in the industry. They’ll help Reach as we expand our service offering to clients.”

  • Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018
Marian Oliver promoted to editor at Cutters
Marian Oliver

Cutters Studios has promoted Marian Oliver to editor. The announcement was made by managing director/partner Craig Duncan and managing editor Grant Gustafson.

Oliver began her career in client services at Red Car Chicago in 2009. After earning her degree from Columbia College Chicago, she joined Cutters in 2012 as an assistant editor, where she has honed her craft alongside leading talents working in and beyond the advertising industry. Her most recent projects include campaigns for Meijer, Hallmark, Southwest Airlines, Kiwi, Abbott, belVita, Chamberlain, RetailMeNot and Triscuit.

Per Jacobson, founding partner and creative director for The Distillery Project, recalled, “We fell for Marian long ago when she was assisting Chris Claeys (and snickering along with our antics in the back of his edit suite). From day one, she was quick, smart, and had great instincts--which is why we started giving her editing assignments long before she scored the sweet official title of ‘editor.’”

The Distillery Project’s founder and chief creative officer John Condon added, “They say what we do isn’t rocket science, but then one day you find yourself doing a spot that is in fact rocket science. Marian put together a story that not only explained what it took for the European Space Agency to land a probe on a comet going 34,000 mph, but that also touched people emotionally.”

Oliver, who’s in the Free the Bid database of female talent in the creative industry, said, “The support and leadership at Cutters is unparalleled in my experience, and I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top editors here. The nurturing, family-like atmosphere here has allowed me to grow into who I am today, which I am exceedingly grateful for.”

  • Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018
R/GA Austin names Jason Ambrose executive creative director
Jason Ambrose
AUSTIN, Texas -- 

Jason Ambrose has been named executive creative director of R/GA’s Austin office. As the head creative, Ambrose will partner with R/GA Austin’s SVP, managing director Candice Hahn and executive technology director Katrina Bekessy to inspire and integrate multi-disciplinary teams of technologists, narrative storytellers and designers to develop solutions that help brands live up to their highest calling and develop transformative ideas that disrupt culture. In addition, Ambrose will contribute to the office’s active business development pipeline, as well as work with the management team to pinpoint smart talent to join the growing Austin team.

Ambrose joins R/GA from Austin-based Preacher where he served as creative director on The Container Store, Vimeo, Hopdoddy and Cuvée accounts. Other agency experience has consisted of TBWA\Chiat\Day, 72andSunny, and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in both Boulder and Los Angeles. He has worked with brands like MINI, Samsung, Bing, Adidas, Starbucks and Truth. His work has also been recognized at every major global award show including Cannes, The One Show, D&AD, and Clios.

“Jason’s deep stories and systems knowledge and background will help integrate the work at R/GA Austin. We’re looking forward to building on our momentum generating stronger connections and opportunities with our clients. As our disciplines and offerings continue to evolve for our clients’ future needs, Jason will provide a unique and integral perspective for solving problems and inspiring staff,” said Hahn. 

Ambrose said, “R/GA is a Master Class in creating groundbreaking work. It’s an honor to be chosen to lead the creative team and partner with Candice. The talent in this office and the power of the network at our backs will only fuel the R/GA approach of putting product, design craft and technology into each creative expression. I’m excited to help our brands and our team live up to their highest potential. And I’m ready to learn a hell of a lot every day in the process.” 

  • Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018
AKQA hires Chris Wallace as client partner
Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace has joined AKQA as client partner of media in the San Francisco studio. Wallace has 15 years’ experience in a variety of digital strategy and global client leadership roles focused on data-driven decision making, innovation and business transformation. His track record spans diverse sectors--consumer packaged goods, retail, luxury, finance, insurance, healthcare, education, telecom and B2B.

Prior to joining AKQA, Wallace held leadership positions for WPP in Chicago, London and San Francisco. He has spent the last six years working within the group where he earned his “WPP MBA” while working at Mindshare as head of digital for EMEA, global digital lead on Unilever and CHANEL.
On joining AKQA, Wallace said, “As the opportunities to bring media, data and creative closer together for our clients continues to grow, I look forward to working with an inspiring team to continue to shape this ever-evolving world through the lens of digital.”

Scott Symonds, AKQA managing director of media, said, “As we speed forward into a digital, mobile, and programmatic majority media world, we want to provide our client’s the best in strategy, leadership and communication. Chris’ history of delivering deep audience insights for his clients, leading account teams, offices, and global client relationships for top brands, gives him precisely the skillset that we are looking to future-proof our client team leadership.”

  • Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
The Mill promotes Erica Hilbert to head of production, adds EP Blake Nickle
Blake Nickle (l) and Erica Hilbert

The Mill has appointed a new head of production and an executive producer to further bolster the growing production team at its Chicago studio.

Newly named as head of production, Erica Hilbert has already taken a leading presence on the production team since joining The Mill in 2015. Having proven herself a valuable asset to the company, Hilbert steps in to this new role while continuing to lead, mentor and grow the talent at The Mill Chicago.

Meanwhile, Blake Nickle has joined The Mill Chicago as exec producer. Nickle arrives from Digital Kitchen where he worked as EP. He started his career at places like ESC and ILM working on feature films and later found himself drawn to the VFX production world, working on such features as Life of Pi, Moneyball and Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith. At Digital Kitchen Chicago, Nickle had the opportunity to work with such brands as Buick, Bose, Amazon and McDonald’s.

Nickle joins the executive producer team and together they will lead the new business initiatives for the studio and explore new ways of servicing the Midwest market.

  • Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Epic Level Entertainment adds partner Dana Guerin, bows "Charlie Says" at Venice Fest
A scene from "Charlie Says" (photo from Venice Film Festival)
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Epic Level Entertainment announces Dana Guerin has joined the company as a producer, and that their first film together, Charlie Says, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 2. Charlie Says, which recounts the story of the three female members of the Manson Family who were imprisoned for the notorious murders, is directed by Mary Harron and written by Guinevere Turner, the team behind American Psycho

Guerin, whose entertainment career includes titles such as The Vault, Outlaws and Angels, and The Taking of Deborah Logan, has been developing the Charlie Says project for the past six years, alongside Harron and Turner. She brought the film to Epic Level when she joined the company earlier this year.

Epic Level Enterttainment producer John Frank Rosenblum said, “I had the pleasure of working with Dana at On Track Entertainment in the ‘90s, where she was ahead of her time in the repurposing of new media properties for basic cable broadcasting. With her latest film, Charlie Says, she is telling the female perspective of a story that had previously been dominated by the male perspective, ensuring that it was also written, directed and primarily produced by women. Here again, Dana shows that she is ahead of the curve with what the public wants, and indeed now demands, from popular entertainment.”

Charlie Says is a story about the three young women who were sentenced to death in the infamous Manson murder case, but when the death penalty was lifted, their sentence became life imprisonment. One young graduate student was sent in to work with them, and to help them understand the consequences of their actions. Through this prison counselor, Karlene Faith, we witness their transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes.

Epic Level Entertainment, a full-service production company located in Hollywood, has historically focused on horror and genre entertainment. While these themes will remain a mainstay of the company’s slate, Guerin’s addition will expand their productions to include relevant contemporary themes aligned, for instance, with the #MeToo movement, among others.

“Epic Level Entertainment is excited to be part of the solution with three partner/producers who are female, including myself, Dana and Paige Barnett. Female driven films are more in demand than ever, and Epic Level Entertainment is bringing them to the forefront,” said producer Cindi Rice.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018
Brett Boydstun named EVP of production at Karga Seven
Brett Boydstun

Karga Seven Pictures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has promoted Brett Boydstun into the new role of executive VP, production.  The promotion was announced by Karga Seven’s founding partners, Emre Sahin, Kelly McPherson and Sarah Wetherbee.

In his new position, Boydstun will oversee the daily operations of the company, in addition to all aspects of production on Karga Seven’s diverse slate of over a dozen factual, scripted and branded television series, feature films and commercials, including “Hard To Kill” with Tim Kennedy (Discovery), “Shot In the Dark” (Netflix), and “Mysteries & Myths with Megan Fox” (Travel Channel).

Boydstun joined Karga Seven Pictures in 2016 as SVP of production, working on hit series like “JFK: Declassified,” “Hunting Hitler” (History), and “The Hunt for the Zodiak Killer.” Prior to Karga Seven, he spent 13 years at Pilgrim Studios, working in many capacities, including SVP of production finance and operations. His previous experience was in the film world, working on over 40 productions, including “The Prophecy,” “Jack Frost,” “No Way Back,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Fast Sofa,” “Jurassic Park 3,” “Dinosaur,” “X Men” and “6 Days/7 Nights.”

“Brett has played an integral role in the company’s growth since joining our team in 2016,” said co-founder Wetherbee.  “His ability to deftly navigate the various hurdles and obstacles inherent in any large production and deliver projects on time and on-budget, with first-rate staff, make him uniquely qualified to help lead us as we continue to grow our production slate.”

Headquartered in Los Angeles and Istanbul, Karga Seven Pictures is an award-winning production company specializing in factual, scripted and branded productions, across film, television and digital platforms. Since its launch by partners, Wetherbee, McPherson and Sahin in 2008, Karga Seven has produced more than 500 hours of programming, including the Daytime Emmy-nominated documentary special “Got Your 6” (MTV) and hit series “Booze Traveler” (Travel Channel), “Hunting Hitler,” “Cry Wolfe” (Investigation Discovery), “Hard To Kill” with Tim Kennedy, “Shot In the Dark,” and “Mysteries & Myths with Megan Fox.”

  • Monday, Aug. 27, 2018
MPC Advertising bolsters sr. creative team in NY
Ashley Bernes (l) and Dirk Riesenfeld

MPC’s New York studio has boosted its creative firepower on a senior level with a major promotion and the relocation of a top talent.

Ashley Bernes, previously a VFX/CG supervisor at MPC, has been promoted to creative director. Bernes, a 12-year veteran of MPC, arrived in New York to help open the company’s office there in 2011. And Dirk Riesenfeld, a senior effects artist, has relocated from MPC’s Amsterdam office to join the New York studio as 2D VFX supervisor. He has extensive experience working on high-profile ad campaigns in both Europe and the U.K.

Camila De Biaggi, managing director, MPC New York, commented, “We’re delighted to recognize Ashley’s work with this well-deserved promotion and to welcome Dirk to the New York studio. Ashley’s creative leadership on some of our best work, coupled with his rapport with both creative teams and clients, makes this a natural next step in his career. Dirk brings deep creative inspiration and vast expertise working on major ad campaigns in Europe and the UK. Having them here is what makes MPC New York a hub for great work and amazing talent.”

Bernes joined MPC in London in 2006 as a FX technical director and soon became a CG supervisor. He has been creative director on some of the studio’s most high-profile projects, including the Samsung “Billion Colors” spot as well the recent Tiffany’s “Believe in Dreams” campaign launch. Other projects in his portfolio include work for Mercedes, Kohl’s, IBM, Macy’s and Sony’s “Paint”, which won a Gold Lion at Cannes. He has also directed campaigns at MPC including Air Wick’s “Pure Colors” and a film for U.S. Navy’s “Sleep Tight” campaign.

Bernes said, “I worked alongside some of the best and most inspiring artists in the business when I came to MPC, and the company’s culture, dedication and creative standards were ingrained into my everyday work ethic. Today we have a global mindset, and our commitment to tackle the most challenging and creative assignments has been critical to the growth of our brand and our talent. In my role as creative director, I’m looking forward to guiding our team as they continue to produce the very best results for our clients.”

Riesenfeld joined MPC London in 2015 and later moved to its Amsterdam studio. He’s worked on projects for brands such as Nescafé, Pepsi and Mercedes-Benz, and has over 15 years’ experience in visual effects. Among his career highlights are the Heineken “Trailblazing” spot from 2017, and Milka’s “All for One.” Prior to joining MPC he was an effects artist at the boutique European postproduction company The Marmalade Post.

Riesenfeld said, “I’m excited to be joining the New York studio, collaborating with the teams here and embracing the challenge of working in a different market. The studio has created some incredible work, and I want to continue producing the high-caliber products it’s known for, while helping to propel it even further.”

  • Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018
Patrick Ferguson joins MPC's LA studio as VFX supervisor
Patrick Ferguson

MPC’s LA studio has brought Patrick Ferguson on board as VFX supervisor. His body of work spans commercials and feature films.

Ferguson has collaborated with notable directors including Stacy Wall, Mark Romanek, Melina Matsoukas, Brian Billow and Carl Rinsch. Ferguson’s work includes campaigns for such brands as Nike, Apple, Audi, HP and ESPN. Previous positions include VFX supervisor at The Mission and head of 2D at Method. He has also worked on high-profile films including Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, and he was on the Academy Award®-winning team for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


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