• Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019
Editor Joe Siegel joins LVLY
NEW YORK -- 

Editor Joe Siegel--whose interests in visual storytelling have taken him from DC Comics to his current incarnation as a sought-after creative editor--has joined LVLY, the recently rebranded content creation and creative studio in New York. He comes over from Crew Cuts, the New York editorial shop where he launched his career in post. 

As an editor, Siegel has a feel for the ebb and flow of human stories, as seen in a B&W spot for Coach which follows a skateboarder as he travels on his board from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back. Siegel’s deft sense of rhythm and timing is also seen in his short film for the Range Rover Evoque and its “City Evocation” series, which profiles artists as they work in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Siegel says the move to LVLY makes sense in terms of where the industry is headed, as well as where he’s going as an artist. “LVLY is the next logical evolution in postproduction, bringing so many of the dynamic elements that go into creating great work under one roof,” he explained. “Collaboration is a hugely important aspect of post-production, and that’s at the forefront of their new structure and identity.”

LVLY EVP and managing director Wendy Brovetto, who leads LVLY’s editorial and live-action teams, said Siegel’s skill sets and versatility are a perfect match for the company’s purview. “We’re looking for artists and producers who want to experiment in varied genres and disciplines, and we clicked with Joe on that level immediately,” she noted. “His work reflects a wide range of styles, and while he’s well-versed in the thirty-second spot, he was looking for a home that would afford him not only the chance to work in different forms, but also one that could provide all of the collaborative services a project or client needs, such as VFX, design and finishing.”

Siegel said, “Joining LVLY presents an opportunity for me to stretch and work on projects outside of the traditional definition of a ‘commercial.’ They’re involved in so many things, from fashion and beauty to experiential and VR – I see all of this as opportunities for me to enhance my skills and broaden my craft.”

At LVLY, Siegel joins a talent roster that includes Olivier Wicki, Chrissy Rabe, J.P. Damboragian, Bruce Ashkinos, Geordie Anderson, Noelle Webb, Aaron Dunkel and Bryan Andes.

  • Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019
Grace Francis joins Droga5 London as chief experience officer
Grace Francis
LONDON -- 

Droga5 London is expanding its offering into brand consultancy with the hiring of Grace Francis as its first chief experience officer.

Francis joins from Grey London, where she was head of experience design and planning and a founding partner of Grey Consultancy. In her new role she will be responsible for ensuring that clients express themselves creatively throughout the consumer experience as well as lead on the Barclaycard account, reporting to chief strategy officer Dylan Williams. She is also a former head of UK and content at Isobar.

Williams said, “After three years at Droga5, Bill, DK and I felt we were now ready to broaden our offering and help brands express themselves creatively across the consumer experience. We interviewed extensively and Grace won hands down. We’re very happy to make her our first C-suite hire.”

Francis added, “As Droga5 enters a next phase of growth, I’m joining to develop an experience design offering that will see us drive innovative and meaningful human-centric design solutions for all our clients and create meaningful experiences between brands and people.”

  • Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019
Beaumont, Nesheim named co-creative directors at Mob Scene
Josh Beaumont
LOS ANGELES -- 

Mob Scene, an entertainment marketing agency for major motion picture studios, television networks, and streaming channels, has named editors Josh Beaumont and Chris Nesheim as co-creative directors, theatrical. They will both report to Craig A. Platt, Mob Scene’s EVP, theatrical. 

Mob Scene’s theatrical division works with the top movie studios and streaming networks to create and produce trailers, TV, and digital spots. The division works with studio executives to influence the creative strategy behind high profile campaigns promoting both major theatrical releases, as well as films and documentaries presented by the top streaming platforms.

In their new positions, Beaumont and Nesheim will continue their editorial work, while also collaborating with Platt to innovate and push the creative work of the theatrical division.  This will include business and creative development. In addition to their work collaborating on campaigns, they will mentor young talent currently on the rise within Mob Scene itself, and help Platt to grow the theatrical division over the coming years.

Before joining Mob Scene, Beaumont had been a producer and sr, editor at Buddha Jones, contributing to recent marketing campaigns for “Life of the Party,” “Night School,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He also served as an editor at Trailer Park, where he cut teasers and trailers for “Jungle Book,” “Life of the Party,” “Anchorman 2,” and both “Horrible Bosses” films.

Prior to his promotion, Nesheim had been a sr. editor at Mob Scene since 2012, most recently working on the promotional campaign for “Aquaman,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and the Clio Award-winning teaser for “The Accountant.”

  • Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019
Margaret Russo, Ray Elfers promoted to group creative directors at Grey Midwest
Ray Elfers (l) and Margaret Russo
CINCINNATI -- 

Margaret Russo and Ray Elfers has been promoted to group creative directors at Grey Midwest in Cincinnati. They will report to Adam Kahn who was named chief creative Officer of Grey Midwest in February.

Russo has spent more than a decade at Grey Midwest and will oversee multiple Procter & Gamble brands as GCD.  Her award-winning work for Febreze has been recognized by the Cannes Lions, Effie, Webby and Addy Awards.  Her social media campaigns have delivered sales, exposure and relevancy across multiple platforms, garnering her a coveted Facebook Thought Leadership Award for Creative Excellence.

Russo is a longtime proponent of workplace equality and female leadership, partnering with such groups as Women in Digital and the 3% Conference.

Elfers has been with Grey Midwest since 2010.  As an award-winning art director, he has created campaigns across both traditional and non-traditional channels.  His work on P&G has included brand marketing efforts for Febreze, the Olympics, Downy Unstopables and Gillette.  Most recently, he has lent his creativity to the establishment of Grey Midwest’s commerce discipline.  The offering combines the science of data with the art of advertising to differentiate clients’ brands from their competitors.

A big supporter of Cincinnati’s local creative community, Elfers has worked with the American Advertising Federation (AAF), Addy Awards, the Brandemonium conference and with creative start-ups via the Brandery. 

  • Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019
Chadwick Halbritter joins Flavor Detroit as creative director/designer
Chadwick Halbritter
DETROIT -- 

Flavor, Cutters Studios’ design and visual arts group, has added creative director/designer Chadwick Halbritter to its full-time staff in Detroit. 

“Detroit is experiencing a creative renaissance, and over the past few years, the commercials, VFX and design projects we’ve created here through Flavor have been extraordinary,” said Kurt Kulas, Cutters Studios Detroit’s managing director. “To further support our commitment as a value-added up-stream creative partner, we sought out an innovative leader who ideates strategically, conceptually...and is passionate about creating work that complements the brand’s strategy and values at the highest level.”

Halbritter brings over 10 years of experience to his new position. He is based in Detroit alongside Flavor Detroit’s EP Dave Peyton. Working over the past five years as a sought-after freelance art director and motion designer, Halbritter has helped lead immersive, cinematic 2D/3D projects from design through production, ranging from main titles for films, TV series and experiential applications, to commercials, TV idents and concert visuals. His design contributions to successful main title pitches include “Charlie’s Angels” for Trailer Park, “The Twilight Zone” for Laundry, “Tolkien” for MOCEAN, “The Alienist” for Elastic (a 2018 Outstanding Main Title Emmy Award nominee), and Sunday Night Football on NBC for Zoic Studios. With a top-tier list of past clients and collaborators (also including Imaginary Forces, Framestore and The Mill), Halbritter focuses on using cinematography, storytelling and conceptual design in surprising new ways to build meaningful, unforgettable experiences.

“What attracted me to Flavor and the Cutters family was the opportunity to push myself in a new creative direction as part of a highly talented group of passionate people,” Halbritter said. “I’m excited to join the well-established creative hub that is Cutters Studios Detroit and further establish Flavor at the forefront of the global creative industry, together with the group’s other top-tier talents around the world.”

  • Monday, Mar. 4, 2019
Oscar winner Eric Brevig joins Method Studios
Eric Brevig
LOS ANGELES -- 

VFX industry veteran Eric Brevig has joined global digital production company Method Studios as sr. VFX supervisor and creative director. A two-time VFX Oscar nominee and Academy Award-winner for groundbreaking VFX achievements on Total Recall, Brevig is a filmmaker who has worked with leading directors including James Cameron, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Barry Sonnenfeld. Reporting to Erika Burton, Method Studios’ EVP, global features VFX, Brevig will work closely with fellow Method sr. VFX supervisor and creative director Kevin Baillie to spearhead Method’s virtual production and real-time VFX workflows.

“Eric is an accomplished artist who’s equally comfortable both on set and in the studio, and is fluent in both filmmaking and digital VFX production,” said Burton. “His creative vision in VFX and experience as a film director, not to mention his longstanding relationships with the industry’s top talent, will be invaluable to the Method team as we continue to push the limits of real-time technologies across visual effects and mixed reality content.”

Brevig’s career spans three decades and over 30 feature films as VFX supervisor/second unit director, including blockbuster hits Men in Black, Pearl Harbor, Hook, and The Maze Runner. A 15-year veteran of ILM, he has consistently worked on the cutting edge of advanced filmmaking techniques, from 3D to virtual production to 8K content. His technical fluency also earned him the role of director on the 2008 feature Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, the first narrative live action feature shot entirely in digital 3D. In addition to his feature film pedigree, Brevig also has experience crafting immersive effects for theme park experiences such as Universal Studios’ “Race Through New York” and Disney’s “Honey I Shrunk the Audience,” and as a VFX supervisor for television series including Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Brevig’s work ethic, impeccable eye, and strong communication skills make him a creative problem solver from prep through to delivery; he is also known for mentoring up-and-coming artists.

“I’ve worked with Method as both a client and an employee and have watched them grow into an amazing VFX company that’s hitting critical mass, with strategic expansions in key markets worldwide to deliver top-quality work with great efficiency,” shared Brevig. “I speak the same language as the filmmakers, and look forward to bridging the gap between the high-tech achievements that happen behind the scenes and the physical realities of production, as Method continues to raise the bar for digital artistry and innovation across VFX, digital humans, real-time production, and mixed reality.”

  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
Marc-André Larose named studio manager of Framestore's immersive department in Montreal
Marc-André Larose
MONTREAL -- 

Framestore has appointed Marc-André Larose to serve as studio manager of its immersive department in Montreal. His management skills and extensive knowledge of the gaming industry have been honed over several years at studios including Hibernum, Eidos Montreal and EA Mobile. Having joined Framestore in 2017 as sr. producer, Larose has made a major impact both locally and across Framestore’s global offices. He is currently producing an array of international projects for location-based themed entertainment.

“It’s a privilege to be taking on this new role and I‘m looking forward to maintaining the team’s drive for top quality products and collaborating with the studio’s award-winning film division,” said Larose.

“In addition to his great experience in the world of games companies, Marc-André brings a new energy and commitment to the team in Montreal at a time of consolidation of its rapid growth,” said Chloë Grysole, managing director of the Montreal studio. 

“He’ll play a key role in pushing Framestore’s artistry and innovation in developing brand and IP experiences,” added Helen Stanley, global managing director of integrated advertising.

Projects that the Montreal team have worked on include the virtual reality experience Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for Warner Bros, which was awarded a Cannes Lion in 2018. The team has been working across several large projects that launch later in the year.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
Scott Niemczura joins Standard Black as creative director
Scott Niemczura
NEW YORK -- 

Design-driven creative agency Standard Black has brought Scott Niemczura as creative director. Niemczura will be overseeing art direction and copy on projects across the agency portfolio. He joins a veteran creative team at Standard Black and will work alongside partners/executive creative directors Eric Lobb and Jared Tomlinson.

Niemczura said, “I came up in big agencies, so I’ve seen far too many good ideas die under layers of approvals and process. It’s really exciting to lose those layers and join a team where everybody just rolls up their sleeves and makes things happen. There’s this great energy at Standard Black, a real confidence in the creative department that comes through in the work.”

Niemczura is a 17+ year veteran of the advertising industry with experience in brand building, and has led creative transformations for a variety of brands including General Mills, JCPenney, Verizon and Under Armour. Most recently, he’s been doing freelance creative direction and has held positions as group creative director at Grey and creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York. After graduation from the Columbus College of Art and Design with a BFA in Visual Communications, Advertising and Graphic Design, he was hired as an art director at Cramer-Krasselt.

“Scott and I have been talking about working together since we were in art school, and through the work he has done for Standard Black as a freelancer, we’re confident that his creative experience will benefit all of our clients,” said Tomlinson. “Scott comes from a TV-heavy creative background, and we look forward to executing his vision of more filmed content for our clients.”

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
VMLY&R promotes Allison Pierce to exec creative director
Allison Pierce
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- 

VMLY&R has promoted Allison Pierce to executive creative director. Since joining the agency in 2010, she has been a major force at VMLY&R, producing some of the company’s most innovative and awarded work. Pierce has overseen creative for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development for the past five years and lent her creative talents to other current and former VMLY&R client brands, including Gatorade, Wendy’s, Kashi, Electrolux/Frigidaire and Cobra Puma Golf.

Most recently, she helped lead an all-female team in creating Bumble’s first-ever Super Bowl spot featuring tennis star Serena Williams.

She’s also been integral in several VMLY&R new business wins, including the recent agency of record win for Boehringer Ingelheim Equine.

Pierce will report to John Godsey, North American chief creative officer. She will continue to be based in VMLY&R’s Kansas City office.

As group creative director on Tennessee, Pierce spearheaded “The Colorblind Viewer — an experiential campaign that launched a scenic viewer equipped with high-tech lenses to make it possible for colorblind people to see fall colors for the first time. The campaign went on to win multiple Cannes Lions and a gold cube at the Art Directors Club, among others.

Multi-awarded with Cannes Lions, the One Show, Effies, ADDYs, Clios, Effies and The Webby Awards, Pierce’s expertise in advertising creative has been recognized by numerous international and local advertising award panels. Her career spans a dozen years.

The impact of Pierce’s work is equally impressive. Since she was appointed lead on the account, Tennessee has seen record-breaking tourism numbers each year, and its ROI results are reinventing travel marketing standards.

“Alli has been an integral part of our creative journey at VMLY&R.” said Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer. “Her leadership will continue to help us write our future. And while we can’t always predict what’s next in this business, we can always count on Alli to help invent it.”

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019
SOCIALDEVIANT adds ACDs Lauren Hystead, Lauren Swago
Lauren Hystead (l) and Lauren Swago
CHICAGO -- 

Lauren Hystead and Lauren Swago have joined Chicago-based agency SOCIALDEVIANT as associate creative directors who will work across multiple pieces of new business.
 
Hystead and Swago first worked together at FCB Chicago from 2012-15, where their creative director thought it would be fun for two Laurens to work together--with Hystead as copywriter and Swago as art director. Their work together proved so successful that they joined Chicago’s Trisect Agency as a creative team in Dec. 2015, where they remained through 2018.  
 
What started as a project for Valsar Paint developed into a partnership for the Laurens that’s going on six years and their third agency together. Other clients the pair has worked on include Kmart, Slim Jim, and the Chicago Bears.
 
“From our first conversation with agency president Linda Johnson and COO Dave Shuck, we could feel the energy of SOCIALDEVIANT,” said Hystead. “There’s an immediate sense that big things are brewing and we really just want to be a part of that.”
 
Added Swago, “With all the work coming in, we’re excited for the opportunity to help SOCIALDEVIANT expand their capabilities and grow relationships with new and existing clients.”
 
According to agency CEO and founder Marc Landsberg, SOCIALDEVIANT’s revenues shot up by almost 70% in 2018 (fueled by the win of seven new clients in recent months, including CareerBuilder, E.& J. Gallo and The Disney Channel). This growth led the agency to actively recruit to fill these and several more roles.
 
Hystead graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.A. in journalism and strategic communication in 2011, joining FCB Chicago shortly after graduation. 
 
Swago attended the University of Georgia, graduating with a B.B.A. in finance in 2007. She taught English for a year before switching gears and attending The Creative Circus from 2010-12. She landed at FCB Chicago in Aug. 2012, where the seeds of the Hystead-Swago creative partnership then took root.

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