Wednesday, September 19, 2018

People on the Move

  • Monday, Jun. 4, 2018
Brittany George promoted to director of TV & digital content at Alkemy X
Brittany George
NEW YORK -- 

Creative content company Alkemy X has promoted Brittany George to director, TV and digital content. For nearly two years, George has worked alongside Andy Singer, EVP of TV and digital programming at Alkemy X, growing the company’s Original Content Division, while developing and producing shows in partnership with Discovery, Travel Channel, Fuse, and MTV. 

Most recently, in her previous position as manager of TV and digital content at the New York office of Alkemy X, George was instrumental in the development of “The 212,” an upcoming docu-series from Fuse Media. Alkemy X is currently producing the TV show, which follows six breakout millennials on the pulse of the New York City music, fashion and art scenes and catching the eyes of some of music’s biggest stars. “The 212” is slated to premiere this October on Fuse. 

Past and notable Alkemy X unscripted TV projects include Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” and “Food Feuds,” and Velocity’s “Unique Rides,” which wrapped its third season with Alkemy X earlier this year. 

“In the short time that she has been with Alkemy X, Brittany has done a stellar job increasing our development pipeline and marketplace presence, while consistently identifying potential on-air talent and ideas we can take to market,” said Singer. “This is a well-deserved promotion, and a win-win for Alkemy X and our valued network partners, who can all attest to the passion and drive Brittany brings to making great shows come to life.” 

Singer predicts that truly multi-platform content will play a bigger role in the future of entertainment. Currently repped by APA Agency, Alkemy X is positioned accordingly as an end-to-end strategic development and production partner behind its award-winning team of designers, strategists, writers, and filmmakers. 

“As today’s brands and entertainment networks look to conceive and produce content for the growing segment of digitally native audiences, we are excited about the creative talent and resources we have in place to bring that content to life,” says Singer. “Our recent work with multi-platform innovators like Fuse (for “The 212”) is a testament to this.” 

George, who has pitched content for global brands at Alkemy X, as well as developed content leveraging the company’s VFX department, will play a pivotal role in expanding the company’s footprint in both content areas. In support of this objective, George is tasked with spearheading strategic co-production partnerships with leading content creators in the industry.

In addition to recent commercials, promos, and branded content for Samsung, GEICO, IBM, Sea Shepherd, Target, eBay, and Julie Taymor’s Broadway revival of “M. Butterfly,” Alkemy X’s broadcast and network short-form team has been making waves on the awards circuit lately, with two Bronze Telly Award wins for its work for Xfinity/Comcast, as well as wins at the Philadelphia Ad Club Awards and the ADCP Louix Awards. Alkemy X is also a current finalist for three Cablefax nominations, as well as a 2018 PromaxBDA North America Awards Finalist for its recent SYFY rebrand campaign.

Meanwhile, Alkemy X’s VFX department is currently working on the upcoming season of “Fear The Walking Dead” (AMC). Other recent credits in the scripted film and television sector include: “High Maintenance” (HBO); “Blindspot” (NBC); Frequency” (CW); “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon); “Power” and “Sweetbitter” (STARZ); and last summer’s No. 1 box office hit “Split” (Universal Pictures) marked Alkemy X’s fourth feature-film collaboration with Academy Award-nominated writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. 

 

  • Wednesday, May. 30, 2018
Sam Renbarger named group strategy director at DDB S.F.
Sam Renbarger
SAN FRANCISCO -- 

Sam Renbarger, formerly of Pereira & O’Dell in San Francisco, has joined DDB San Francisco, part of Omnicom Group Inc., as group strategy director working on Symantec and Energy Upgrade California, both of which recently expanded their respective relationships with the agency.

Eric Zuncic, chief strategy officer, DDB North America, said, “Sam was a young star at DDB when he first started out and has gone on to do jealousy-inducing work since then, so we’re thrilled to have him back. His ability to manage the interconnected ecosystems of brands without losing sight of the big picture is impressive and we’re thrilled to have him overseeing these fast-growing partners.”

At Pereira & O’Dell, Renbarger led strategy for eBay, Netflix and Concordia University. Most recently, he was part of the agency team that pitched and won the MINI Cooper account. Before that, he led strategy on Heat San Francisco’s marquee Electronic Arts account and helped develop award-winning work for Madden. Before moving to the Bay area, Renbarger worked at Mullen across two offices, where he led Google, JetBlue and Acura. Renbarger started his career at DDB Los Angeles in 2007 and spent three years working on Activision, Wells Fargo, and Southern California Edison. 

“I have built my career on joining agencies right before major upswings. I’m arriving at DDB at a time where there is significant momentum across the network, and I’m eager to bring this same strategic firepower to San Francisco,” Renbarger said about his new role. “Returning to the place I started my career is icing on the cake. I can’t wait to apply techniques I’ve learned at other shops to supercharge our San Francisco creative product and continue to build on the current momentum.”

Renbarger is the latest in a string of hires DDB San Francisco has made recently. In January the agency announced the arrival of Ben Wolan as executive creative director and in March the appointment of Whitney Ball to SVP, head of talent.

  • Tuesday, May. 29, 2018
Nathan Woodman named U.S. chief data officer at Havas Media
Nathan Woodman
BOSTON -- 

Havas Media has named Nathan Woodman its U.S. chief data offficer. In this role, he will develop strategy across Havas Media and oversee teams that deliver clients a competitive advantage supported by data, analytics, and optimization.  Based in Boston, Woodman will report to Colin Kinsella, CEO, North America of Havas Media.  Michael Kaushansky, who previously held the position of U.S. chief data officer of both Havas Media and Havas Creative, now will serve as U.S. chief data officer of Havas Creative and president of Helia, a Havas network digital agency.

Woodman will deliver measurement-first, data-driven media strategies to Havas Media’s entire U.S. client roster. Leading a team of over 80 experts, he will add speed to the transformation Havas Media already brings to its clients. Employing Havas Media’s proprietary technology, Woodman will cultivate an agnostic, agile, and GDPR-compliant approach to data across the agency.   

“Nate’s an innovator on the highest level who will bring increased firepower as we continue to grow,” said Kinsella. “He knows that the real value of data lies in its ability to create meaningful connections for brands and their audiences. We know Nate will effectively drive our clients’ sales and maximize the value of their marcom efforts.”

Woodman returns to Havas Media from IPONWEB, where he served as SVP strategic development and GM of Demand.  Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer of Adnetik/Digilant, an affiliate of Havas, and SVP corporate development at Havas Digital in Boston.  As a member of Havas Digital’s global strategy team back in 2007, Woodman played an instrumental role in positioning Havas Digital as the first global holding company with a Trading Desk capability.

“I returned to Havas Media because of its ability to consistently create meaningful strategies and execute them flawlessly across channels for clients,” said Woodman. “The Havas Media team is world-class; it has the consumer at the heart of every strategy and possesses the right tools to reach them.”

  • Monday, May. 28, 2018
Sam Daley joins Deluxe NY for features, episodic color grading
Sam Daley
NEW YORK -- 

Senior colorist Sam Daley has joined Deluxe post operations in New York, where he will lead final color finishing for feature films and television. Daley has been a fixture of the local post community for over 20 years.

Prior to joining Deluxe, Daley spent time at Technicolor, Postworks, and Tapehouse. He began his career in color at Du Art, where he also worked with Domenic Rom, who is Deluxe president and Gm of TV Post Production. Daley’s notable recent feature credits include the critically acclaimed “The Florida Project,” “Beirut,” and the upcoming “Sorry to Bother You.” He also finished the first season of “Girls,” and season one of “The Deuce,” as well as the HBO miniseries “Show Me a Hero,” which earned him a 2015 HPA Award nomination for Best TV Series Color Correction. Daley brings a deep knowledge of color finishing techniques to Deluxe, including the nuances of working in Dolby Vision and HDR10.

“The connectivity and strength of Deluxe’s worldwide network provides the best of both worlds. I can tap into Deluxe resources for things like color science and infrastructure, while still providing clients with a boutique experience, both locally and beyond. I look forward to continue growing as a colorist, and nurturing the next generation of color talent,” said Daley.

William Sherak, president, Deluxe Post Production, said of Daley, “He is immensely talented and will be a great addition to the team as we continue to expand our color services around the globe.”

Rom added, “Sam is a world-class colorist. I am very excited to be working with him again. I’ve watched and shared his career growth since he first came into the New York market. He’s an ideal anchor for our growing final color roster with tremendous industry knowledge. More than ever, directors and DPs are working across formats and Sam’s multifaceted experience in features and television is invaluable.”

In addition to final HDR and SDR color, Deluxe’s NY facility provides dailies color (including UHD dailies), online editorial and various deliverables. Visual effects services are available through co-located sister company Method Studios.

  • Tuesday, May. 22, 2018
DigitalFilm Tree adds sr. colorist Dan Judy
Dan Judy
LOS ANGELES -- 

DigitalFilm Tree, a postproduction and software development company, has brought Dan Judy on board as a sr. colorist. He has already begun working on the hit show “Roseanne” as well as the CW’s “The 100” and Fox’s “Last Man on Earth.”  

Prior to DigitalFilm Tree, he had a tenure of almost 20 years at Modern VideoFilm working on such popular shows as “Walker Texas Ranger,” “Smallville” and “The Walking Dead.”  He began his career at Century 3 in Orlando, Fla., and worked on “Swamp Thing,” “Super Force” and “The Adventures of Superboy.” 

“I came to DFT because their vision for the future is in line with mine,” said Judy about DigitalFilm Tree. “I like being here because Ramy (Katrib, CEO/founder of DFT) isn’t afraid to explore different ways of advancing our product through the shared vision of DFT’s technologists, software developers and artists. Now I get a chance to work on amazing shows and be part of groundbreaking innovation in our industry.”

His tool of choice is the daVinci Resolve for all his shows. “I’m very familiar with that box because I’ve been working directly with the designers for close to three decades,” he noted.

  • Tuesday, May. 22, 2018
Andrew Bell joins Method Studios in L.A. as sr. EP/VP, advertising operations
Andrew Bell
LOS ANGELES -- 

Long-time VFX exec Andrew Bell has joined the leadership team of Method Studios’ advertising business in Los Angeles as sr. EP/VP, advertising operations. In this role reporting to Method advertising MD and EVP Stuart Robinson, he will work alongside Method L.A.’s commercials VFX sr. EP/VP Stephanie Gilgar and Digital Studio head Jeff Werner to drive day-to-day operations in the L.A. studio, curate talent, and bring Method’s capabilities to brand, agency and production company clients on the West Coast.

Robinson said, “Andrew brings so much to the business – global operational experience, long industry relationships, years of VFX production oversight, and the ability to grow a talent roster.”

Bell spent nearly two decades with 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 later served as managing director for Brickyard VFX in Boston, and has consulted on VFX operations for Apple.

Bell said, “The creative output coming from Method is second to none--among the world’s best. It’s always been of the highest standard. I’m looking forward to learning from the amazing creatives and production staff and bringing this great work to clients.”  

Method Studios, a Deluxe company, is an award-winning global visual effects company built around an exceptional team of artists and innovators servicing high-end feature, episodic television, advertising and motion graphics clients. Its network of facilities in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Atlanta, and Pune, India, provide a full range of services including conceptual design, pre-vis, look development, on-set supervision, 3D animation/CGI, motion graphics, matte painting, compositing, and finishing. 

  • Monday, May. 21, 2018
Executive producer Jen Sienkwicz joins Beast Atlanta
Jen Sienkwicz
ATLANTA -- 

Creative editorial house Beast has hired veteran executive producer Jen Sienkwicz to help lead its Atlanta shop. With more than two decades of experience producing high profile short-form content, she will support clients and talent for Beast Atlanta, part of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.

“Jen has a wealth of high level experience and great relationships with brands, agencies and talent alike. She’s an expert at balancing the nuances of creative editorial postproduction, and her support enables us to enhance our studio’s exceptional work,” said Billy Gabor, who manages the broader Atlanta studio. 

Added Sienkwicz, “Coming to Beast in Atlanta is a great full circle career moment for me. I got my start in Atlanta and I am beyond thrilled to be back. I have worked with Deluxe creative brands across the country and am enthusiastic to be joining this amazing roster of talented people. I am excited to bring my career experience to Beast and be a resource for clients looking to tap the extraordinary vanguard coming out of this powerful market.” 

Sienkwicz comes to Beast Atlanta from 72andSunny’s New York office, where she helped launch in-house creative editorial capabilities. She has also served as head of production at Final Cut New York, and held senior production roles at Berwyn and Crew Cuts, in addition to managing projects independently. She’ll work closely with Soraia Callison, the Beast facility’s head of production.

Callison noted, “Jen’s strategic approach to projects encourages top level performance across the board. She is a wonderful addition to the team and I’m thrilled to partner with her to bring the great talents of our editors to clients.”

Beast Atlanta’s current roster includes editors Eddie Kessler, Matt Barron and Jason Painter, who specialize in commercial creative editorial. The facility is also frequently host to visiting editors from other Beast locations to support the region’s thriving filmmaking community as agencies and production companies increasingly tap Georgia for shooting features, television and commercials. Additional services available on-site through co-located studios include color, finishing, visual effects and sound mixing.  

  • Monday, May. 21, 2018
Framestore names new joint heads of CG
Grant Walker
LONDON -- 

Framestore has named Grant Walker and Ahmed Gharraph to serve as joint heads of CG in London. The two will sit alongside Ross Burgess, head of animation, in the leadership of the creative studio’s advertising, television and immersive entertainment work. 

The appointment marks the return of Gharraph to Framestore after a two-year stint at ILM, where he was lead FX artist on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, receiving a VES nomination in Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature. His credits advertising-side as CG supervisor include “Mog’s Christmas Calamity,” Sainsbury’s highly successful and award-winning 2015 festive campaign; and Shell V-Power’s “Shapeshifter,” directed by Carl Erik Rinsch. 

Grant has been promoted to his new capacity. He joined Framestore in 2009, and in his time at the company has worked across film, advertising and television, building a noteworthy portfolio as a CG artist with campaigns including the VES-nominated Freesat’s “Sheldon”; he was also instrumental in Framestore’s digital recreation of Audrey Hepburn in Galaxy’s 2013 campaign “Chauffeur” for AMV BBDO. Most recently, he was BAFTA-nominated for his creature work in the Black Mirror episode, “Playtest.” 

Drawing on their shared extensive experience the duo will lead a fast-growing team, upholding the highest quality standards in visual effects across multiple media platforms. Working closely with Burgess, they will push to create more award-winning work for Framestore, in a period of increasing project diversity and range.

Helen Stanley, managing director, integrated advertising worldwide, said, “It’s a pleasure to welcome Ahmed back to Framestore and to have such a strong joint leadership in place for our rapidly growing VFX team working across Advertising, Television and Immersive Entertainment. The breadth and depth of projects we are currently working across is not only exciting, but continually pushes us to raise our creative game in brilliant ways. With Grant, Ahmed and Ross at the fore, I’m confident that the quality of our output will go from strength to strength.”

  • Thursday, May. 17, 2018
Shanah Blevins joins Chelsea Pictures as sr. producer
Shanah Blevins
LOS ANGELES -- 

Chelsea Pictures has hired longtime collaborator Shanah Blevins to serve in the newly created role of sr. producer. She will be based in the company’s Venice, Calif. office.

Blevins has made her mark in the advertising world as a go-to line producer, producing campaigns for clients including Nike, Toyota, Verizon, Little Caesars and countless others. She is a longtime trusted Chelsea colleague, producing projects for directors including David Gordon Green and Lauren Greenfield.

After college, Blevins got her feet wet in the world of music videos before transitioning to the commercial landscape, which has allowed her to lend her skillset to feature and TV productions as well.

Chelsea VP/executive producer Pat McGoldrick said, “Whenever Shanah is producing one of our jobs, everyone rests easy knowing that the she is on the job, and that everyone will come away happy. I do not exaggerate. Shanah is a rare gem.”

Blevins said that joining the Chelsea family after having worked with them since 2000 “feels like being home. I’ve worked on six of the seven continents with Chelsea. I’ve had incredible adventures with their amazing directors, agencies and clients. From the streets of Mumbai to the lights of Paris, we’ve captured amazing footage and created thrilling, uniquely Chelsea content. I really believe in the integrity of Chelsea and the talent of the directors. Plus, it’s amazing to be part of a company led by such a strong woman with a vision for her company; Lisa [company president Mehling] will lead us into the future of advertising!”

  • Wednesday, May. 16, 2018
Image Engine hires VFX supervisors Christian Irles, Joern Grosshans 
Christian Irles
VANCOUVER, Canada -- 

Academy Award-nominated visual effects studio Image Engine has appointed two visual effects supervisors to its Vancouver-based headquarters: Christian Irles and Joern Grosshans.

Irles is a visual effects supervisor with over 15 years’ experience. He joins Image Engine from partner company Cinesite, where he completed work on the blockbuster adaptation of the Assassin’s Creed video game and the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns. Previously, Irles worked for MPC in its London, Vancouver and Montreal studios, delivering work on projects such as The Golden Compass, Poseidon and Into the Woods. 

Grosshans is an Emmy and VES Award-winning visual effects supervisor with 14 years experience in the industry. He has supervised titles such as Independence Day: Resurgence on behalf of Mackevision, and Star Trek: Into Darkness, Oblivion, and Academy Award Winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects Hugo, on behalf of Pixomondo. He has also acted as visual effects supervisor on six seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones. 

Irles and Grosshans further fortify Image Engine which is capable of delivering multiple projects across the globe, augmented by partner company Cinesite in Montreal and London.

Image Engine is currently working on a slate of new projects, including Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; and Legendary Pictures’ Skyscraper. Recent projects include Game of Thrones, Lost in Space and Thor: Ragnarok. 

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