Friday, January 18, 2019

People on the Move

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
The Mill LA ramps up its emerging technology operation with Simon, Wong
Boo Wong (l) and Aurelian Simon

The Mill has hired Aurelien Simon as executive producer for emerging technology in the Los Angeles studio. Simon’s arrival comes shortly after the relocation of Boo Wong, global director of emerging technology, from New York. The expansion of the team in Los Angeles takes effect as The Mill continues to expand in the interactive, immersive and experiential space, developing award-winning branded content and original IP with a dedicated group of strategists, creatives, producers and technologists worldwide.

With a background in business strategy, entertainment, and technology in digital and immersive media, Simon brings 10 years of experience to The Mill where he will further develop the studio’s positioning in the thriving West Coast market. He previously served as head of VR at UNIT9, followed by head of immersive at Digital Catapult where he worked with the British government to establish strategies and pipelines to support the acceleration of VR and AR in the UK.

“Los Angeles has always been at the global heart of entertainment. Now, it’s establishing itself as the hub where creative and technology meet,” said Simon. “For the past several years, the local market has seen a significant influx in technology companies and immersive, digital and experiential opportunities. As a firm believer in partnerships, I want to support this growing ecosystem by encouraging and driving The Mill’s relations with technology groups and startups, up-and-coming talent, brands and entertainment studios. I’m looking forward to leveraging our business offering and expertise for our clients and new ventures alike.”

Wong, who has been with The Mill for nine years, leads the in-house team dedicated to emerging technologies. They work to define and create cutting-edge content for clients while spearheading the development of IP and tools internally. Substantial growth and results include large-scale installations and partnerships with industry-leading entities at Epic Games, Facebook and Magic Leap, in addition to recent work that has garnered wins at Cannes Lions, SXSW, SIGGRAPH, AICP, Clio Awards, The One Show and The Webby Awards.

Wong commented, “The Mill has always invisibly used technology to create premium visual content, and today we’re making never-before-seen experiences using new platforms and spaces. Collaboration between creators and technologists is an essential part of what we do, and it is for this reason that we are incredibly excited to have Aurelien join our team. His deep expertise in the medium and strong sense of partnership will drive the strategic way in which we reach the core of any ask - addressing what the story is, who needs to experience it, and how we can deliver it to them in the most compelling way.”

With a nearly three-decade legacy in high-end visual effects and postproduction for branded content, The Mill has continued to expand upon these capabilities while pursuing, researching and developing solutions to offer the industry new and engaging means of storytelling. Upon the release of virtual reality short film HELP for Google Spotlight Stories in 2015, the studio picked up two Gold Lions in Cannes in addition to a SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for on-set production tool Mill Stitch. Soon after, The Mill progressed its longstanding history of creating photo-real CGI vehicles with the launch of The Mill Blackbird, the first fully-adjustable automotive rig that transforms into any car. Virtual toolkit Mill Cyclops was then introduced, allowing filmmakers to generate and place photo-real augmented reality CGI objects into shots on set, in real-time.

Most recently The Mill debuted Mill Mascot, an animation system that combines real-time animation and game engine technology with motion sensors, giving creatives the ability to “direct” CGI character performance live on set.

The Mill’s Rani Melendez, managing director in Los Angeles, said, “With Aurelien’s insightful view of the developing landscape and Boo’s dedicated leadership, we look forward to growing our global position in branded content, emerging technology and beyond.”

  • Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018
Editor Lauren Dellara promoted to Rock Paper Scissors’ roster
Lauren Dellara

Rock Paper Scissors has promoted Lauren Dellara to its roster for commercial representation in the U.S.  Dellara is the latest in a long line of editors who began their career as an assistant under the mentorship of editor Angus Wall and Rock Paper Scissors. 

Dellara (affectionately known as LD) has quickly built an impressive client base, with her most recent commercial project being Nike’s hyper-viral “Dream Crazy”--the collaborative anthem celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, starring Colin Kaepernick for Wieden + Kennedy. Other projects include Nike Basketball’s “Chosen One” with director Hiro Murai--the creative mind behind Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and Atlanta on FX--as well as, The North Face, Calvin Klein, additional work for Nike, Netflix and a music video for Sza’s “Broken Clocks.”

Rana Martin, executive producer at Rock Paper Scissors LA, said on the promotion of LD to the company roster, “Lauren’s dedication has paid off with an amazing year for her, with some of our most celebrated clients asking for her by name to edit their highest profile commercial projects. Not only is she part of the heart and soul of our creative campus, she has the acumen of an editor beyond her years.” 

Dellara studied filmmaking at Loyola Marymount University in her native Los Angeles before following the full path from intern to assistant editor to editor at Rock Paper Scissors.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018
The Mill NY adds EPs Desi Gonzalez, Eliana Carranza Pitcher
Desi Gonzalez (l) and Eliana Carranza Pitcher

The Mill in New York has expanded its executive producer team with the appointments of Desi Gonzalez and Eliana Carranza Pitcher.

Gonzalez joins The Mill’s Emerging Technology team and will be spearheading the company’s growth and development in the creation of immersive and interactive experiences. Having built her career in the fringes of new technology that blur the boundaries of digital and analog, Gonzalez has worked across a range of disciplines including television and film, advertising, animation, product development, digital content and experiential production.  Prior to joining The Mill, Gonzalez worked with ad agency Figliulo & Partners as an exec producer, leading the development of digital content for innovative platform Quiddity, also working with brands such as Virgin Atlantic and CNN.  Gonzalez was previously global head of production at Fake Love, managing clients such as The New York Times, Nike and Twitter.

Carranza Pitcher has been promoted to the role of EP, having previously been a sr, VFX producer for both The Mill in London and New York. With a focus on high-profile VFX work, Carranza Pitcher has established integral client relationships with leading advertising agencies and production companies in both the UK and the US with creative highlights including work with notable brands such as Calvin Klein, Lincoln, Macy’s, Ralph Lauren and Adidas.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018
Matt Watson joins CULT as exec creative director
The CULT trio (l-r) of founder/chief strategy officer Bridey Lipscombe, ECD Matt Watson, and founder/chief creative officer Cat Turner.

Independent digital agency CULT has brought Matt Watson aboard as executive creative director. He earlier served as a creative director at Digitas UK and  SapientNitro.

Based out of CULT’s London office, Watson will be leading the creative team, ensuring all work is ever-evolving and insight-led; working in partnership with clients to deliver brave campaigns that build brands with every interaction.

Since chief creative officer Cat Turner and chief strategy officer Bridey Lipscombe opened its doors in 2012, CULT has seen exceptional growth, attracting brands such as Barbour, Agent Provocateur, Farfetch, Royal Salute, Sally Hansen and Marc Jacobs, leading campaigns for major female talent, such as Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker, and in 2018, winning clients such as Amazon Fashion, NBC Universal, UMBRO and Netflix.

  • Friday, Sep. 7, 2018
Splash Worldwide names Audra Brown client services director
Audra Brown
PORTLAND, Ore. -- 

Global creative technology company Splash Worldwide has hired marketing veteran Audra Brown as client services director. Based in Splash’s Portland office, Brown will drive all client engagement and project management functions for North America as well as oversee operations in the Portland location.

“Audra brings an impressive trifecta of integrated expertise, a thorough understanding of the digital and social landscapes, and broad connections to both the agency and the brand spheres,” said Erik Semmelhack, chief revenue officer, Splash Worldwide. “She strengthens Splash’s presence in North America, and will be a valuable asset in strategically growing our business and bolstering our client engagement initiatives.”

With 20 years of experience in developing and executing marketing strategy and communications programs for clients across retail, tech, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brown has worked with leading brands including Subway Restaurants, Intel, HP, Dell, CLIF Bar, CenturyLink, Daimler, and many more to drive growth and create memorable brand interactions for customers. She joins Splash Worldwide from Portland agency CMD, where she worked for the past eight years, most recently serving as group account director. Previously, Brown spent 12 years at HMH Agency, running a variety of consumer and B2B accounts.

“Splash has a very well defined set of services and offers proven expertise in key areas, which to me is very refreshing in today’s trend toward overextension,” shared Brown. “Splash’s client roster and track record--not only with creative and production services but also with its robust technology offering for asset management and distribution--really proves the value and effectiveness of what we bring to the table.”

  • Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018
Marshall Krasser becomes FuseFX's VFX supervisor in Vancouver
Marshall Krasser

Visual effects studio FuseFX has appointed Marshall Krasser as visual effects supervisor in the Vancouver office. His two decades of experience span high-profile feature films, TV shows and commercials.

Krasser’s previous experience includes roles with CoSA VFX, Psyop, Industrial Light & Magic and others. Notable feature film projects throughout his career include The Accountant, Divergent, 300: Rise of an Empire, The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 2, Battleship, Avatar, Star Trek, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, War of the Worlds, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Pearl Harbor, The Perfect Storm, Titanic, and Forrest Gump. His episodic television experience includes Lucifer, Waco, Prison Break, The Walking Dead, Zoo, The X-Files, and The Man in the High Castle.

In 2015, Krasser was nominated for a VES Award for his work on Divergent. Prior to that, Battleship earned him a nomination from The Hollywood Post Alliance in 2012. In 2009, Krasser was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his work on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, while War of the Worlds earned him two VES Awards in 2006.

Krasser is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Visual Effects Society. A U.S. citizen, Krasser also has permanent residence status in Canada. He holds a BFA in graphic design from Missouri State University.

  • 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.” 

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