Saturday, July 20, 2019

People on the Move

  • Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019
Susan Sprung promoted to national executive director/COO of the Producers Guild
Susan Sprung

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has promoted Susan Sprung to the role of national executive director and chief operating officer. She will join Vance Van Petten in co-leading the expansion, reach, vision and operations of the organization and key programs. Major initiatives include the Producers Mark, diversity and green production initiatives, the annual PGA Awards and the biannual Produced By Conference as well as the Foundation’s Independent Production Safety Initiative which received a grant from CBS last fall to combat sexual harassment on independent film, television, and digital productions.  Sprung has served as associate national executive director since 2012 and COO since 2016.

Sprung described the promotion as “a tremendous honor,” noting, “This is a period of growth for the PGA as our industry confronts dramatic changes and welcomes exciting opportunities. I look forward to supporting our members and our organization in my new role.”

Previously, Sprung served as special counsel at the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was corporate counsel at Trizec Hahn in Los Angeles and an associate at Barrett Smith Shapiro Simon and Armstrong in New York.  Sprung is a commissioner on the Anita Hill Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. Additionally, she sits on the California Film & television Production Alliance and is a member of the Western Council of the Actors Fund. Sprung chaired the Board of Directors of the I Have a Dream Foundation-LA for five years. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and from Boston University School of Law.

In a joint statement, PGA presidents Lucy Fisher and Gail Berman shared, “Susan is a brilliant, strategic and dynamic leader in the entertainment industry, and we are very fortunate to have her at the PGA. We are incredibly lucky to have two executive directors who have a clear vision for moving the organization forward during a time of incredible growth at the PGA.”

“Susan has been an incredible force at the PGA, contributing tirelessly to the positive growth and expansion of our Guild,” said PGA executive director Van Petten. “She has been the driving force behind the Guild’s groundbreaking Independent Production Safety Initiative that will bring anti-sexual harassment practices to productions across the country.”

The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The Producers Guild has more than 8,500 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members with employment opportunities, seeking to expand health benefits, promoting fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts such as encouraging sustainable production practices. 

  • Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
3008 Editorial adds editor Doug Bryan
Doug Bryan

3008 Editorial has signed editor Doug Bryan. The former owner and editor of Post-Op has joined 3008, bringing 25 years of editing experience to the Dallas-based shop.  Bryan’s work spans commercials, documentaries, feature films, music videos, and shorts of all variety. Among his ad credits are campaigns for TXU, HEB, Medical City, Corona, Wawa, Motel 6, Goodyear and Pepsi.

After 17 years, Post-Op closed its doors and Bryan continued to edit on a freelance basis.

“Post-Op was somewhat of a local institution, which is similar to how I always perceived 3008.  When I got to know the 3008 team, I realized how very talented and unique this group of people are. With my experience, I look forward to bringing a positive, insightful dynamic, to compliment this great team of talent,” said Bryan.

Extending beyond his editorial experience, Bryan is a seasoned musician who has released solo records, while also scoring commercials. Whenever possible, he loves the opportunity to blend his passion for music with the storytelling he does in the edit suite. 

“Having known Doug for several years I’ve always admired his talent, passion and knowledge of our industry.  At 3008, he can focus solely on the editing aspect of his projects and there’s no telling how far he will push this new chapter in his career,” said 3008 owner/editor Brent Herrington.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
Voyager opens West Coast office, brings in Feldbau as NY-based head of production
Alissa Feldbau

Production company Voyager is cleared for landing on the West Coast, establishing an office in Playa Vista, Calif., to be helmed by managing partner David Brickel while EP Andrew Hutcheson will continue to lead the Brooklyn flagship office. Hutcheson will be joined in New York by new head of production, Alissa Feldbau.

Feldbau joins Voyager from the agency side of the business, having served at Arnold over the past seven years as a broadcast producer. 

Partner Brickel passes the head of production torch  to Feldbau in exchange for the good vibes, California sun, and heavy traffic in the City of Angels. He will be heading up new business development on the West Coast.

Voyager burst onto the production company scene in 2015 with founding director Charles Frank’s intimate documentaries and quickly established itself as an incubator for new talent, garnering its directors awards at D&AD, Cannes, One Screen and Clios, in addition to 11 Vimeo Staff Picks. Voyager’s roster consists of partner Frank, director/editor Caitlyn Green (HBO’s The Jinx), cinematic storyteller Marcus Tortorici and experimental documentarian Andrew Litten. Voyager has recently worked for brands such as 1800 Tequila, Facebook and Champion, and collaborated with agencies Deutsch, R/GA and BBDO, among many others.

  • Friday, Apr. 19, 2019
22squared adds VPs/creative directors Evans, Mendelson
Mara Evans (l) and Bowen Mendelson

Indie agency 22squared has hired Mara Evans and Bowen Mendelson as VPs and creative directors, leading creative on the SunTrust and Southeast Toyota accounts, respectively. Evans comes directly from Spanx where she was sr. consultant and creative director, and Mendelson from Leo Burnett in Chicago where he was VP/creative director. Both roles are new positions at 22squared which have them reporting directly to chief creative officer Matt O’Rourke, who joined the agency in September from Grey New York.

Evans learned the craft of broadcast and video from Spike Lee at SpikeDDB while creating the “NBA on TNT” promos with Sacha Baron Cohen. She then worked at Anomaly NY for clients Converse and Coke. She was critical in winning the IKEA account while at Ogilvy & Mather New York, and part of the team who pitched and won Bank of America for WPP agency Young & Rubicam New York in 2011. She moved to Los Angeles to work for Crispin, Porter + Bogusky for client Old Navy. As global brand creative director for TOMS in 2015, she created a new brand platform which refocused on its core social movement. Evans and her husband filmed the documentary Wake Up which premiered at SXSW in 2009 and was introduced by Sting at Tribeca in 2010.

O’Rourke stated, “Mara is a person who is deeply fulfilled by introducing new ideas and understandings to the world. It’s when she is at her happiest. I’m confident she’ll have a profound effect not just on our creative product, but also on our view of the world.”

Highlights of Mendelson’s career include leading the Coke account at FitzCo in Atlanta where he helped debuted the “1,000 names celebration” campaign, which included writing over 1000 songs dedicated to actual names that appeared on bottles of Coke. He also created the Delta Middle Seat Lounge initiative. At Ogilvy he was a creative director on Kimberly-Clark, creating a Pandora station initiative encouraging people to make babies. Mendelson worked on the client-side as copywriter at Uber and has won creative awards including Cannes Lions, One Show, D&AD pencils and Best-In-Show at Radio Mercury.

O’Rourke related, “Bowen sees the world through a thick lens of empathy. He thinks about how people’s experiences affect their understanding of the world, and he uses that understanding to connect with them on a deeper, more meaningful level. Bowen is a storyteller. And his life experience has given him an emotional understanding of the world that makes him a perfect fit for 22squared.”

  • Thursday, Apr. 18, 2019
Goldcrest Post adds veteran colorists Ken Sirulnick, Evan Anthony
Ken Sirulnick

Goldcrest Post is expanding its footprint in independent film and documentary finishing through key additions to its creative roster. The company has forged a partnership with Glue Edit, the finishing boutique led by colorist and Emmy Award-winning editor Ken Sirulnick. 

Sirulnick, along with his long-time postproduction coordinator Jordan Thompson-DeSon, will take up residence at Goldcrest. Additionally, Goldcrest has signed freelance colorist/editor Evan Anthony--whose credits include Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee Moonlight Sonata--to a staff position.

“We are committed to providing filmmakers with the talent and resources they need to finish their projects at the highest level, creatively and technically,” said Goldcrest executive director Nick Quested. “Ken and Evan enjoy wide respect as artists of the first rank.”

Sirulnick said that Glue’s alliance with Goldcrest provides it with direct access to an array of technical resources including the facility’s new 4K grading theater. In addition, Goldcrest’s on-site sound and picture editing suites, and sound mixing stages will permit Glue’s clients to conduct all their post work under one roof. “This allows us to expand services to our clients,” Sirulnick explained. “We gain a solid infrastructure, including engineering and scheduling support, and the confidence of working with a company that has a proven track record and an excellent reputation. Having access to HDR finishing with Netflix certification was also very important. That will help us to continue moving ahead.”

Sirulnick’s recent credits as colorist include the Academy Award-nominated documentary RBG. He also served as colorist for the HBO documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which earned a Golden Eye Award nomination at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. Other notable credits include the HBO documentary Spielberg, PBS/American Masters’ Sammy Davis Jr: I’ve Gotta Be Me and USA Network’s Inside the FBI: New York. Sirulnick began his career as an online editor in the New York City/Tri-state area, and has a long history with ESPN and other sports producers. He’s won Emmy Awards for his work on coverage of the Olympics, ESPN’s X Games and World Figure Skating Championships.

Anthony brings a similarly strong pedigree with more than 75 credits as a DI colorist and post finishing editor spanning independent features, documentaries and episodic television. His recent work includes the HBO documentary series 15: A Story a Quinceañera Story and First Team: Juventus for Netflix. His clients also include PBS, Showtime, American Masters, Metropolitan Opera, Liz Garbus, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Michael Kantor. Many of his projects have gone on to premiere at top festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, SXSW and Berlin.

In discussing his move to Goldcrest, Anthony described it as a chance to tackle challenging assignments and broaden his network. “It’s allows me, not only to continue working with my existing clients, but to reach out to others who have wanted to work with me but need high-end resources like Goldcrest’s grading theaters.”

Thompson-DeSon joined Glue in 2009. He brings expertise in deliverables, file conversions, archiving and other technical processing. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Southern California.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2019
Greenbaum elected to 3rd term as GALA chairman
Jeffrey A. Greenbaum

At the annual meeting of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (“GALA”), Jeffrey A. Greenbaum, managing partner of Frankfurt Kurnit, was elected to his third term as chairman of GALA. Originally elected as chairman in 2014, his new term will run through the end of 2022.

“I am thrilled to continue as chairman of GALA,” said Greenbaum. “I look forward to continuing to work with GALA’s outstanding members on our many seminars, publications, and other initiatives.”

Under Greenbaum’s leadership, GALA’s membership has grown by more than 20 percent, expanding its coverage around the world--including in Africa and the Middle East. During that time, GALA also launched an annual global advertising law seminar in New York City and published two groundbreaking books, “Advertising Law: A Global Legal Perspective” and “Sweepstakes & Contests: A Global Legal Perspective.”

  • Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019
MOCEAN hires growth SVP Toofer, EP Coates
Erica Coates (l) and Mike Toofer

MOCEAN, an independent entertainment advertising agency and the 2018 Clio Entertainment Awards Agency of the Year, has made two senior hires: Mike Toofer joins the company as SVP, growth, and Erica Coates comes aboard as executive producer.

As the head of growth, Toofer will spearhead MOCEAN’S overall topline expansion, setting the vision and strategy for all new business initiatives as the agency continues to export the power of entertainment marketing to brands outside the entertainment sector. This is the first position of its kind at MOCEAN and Toofer will report to Michael McIntyre, MOCEAN president. Prior to joining MOCEAN, Toofer served as the director of new business at The Many (Formerly known as Mistress), where he was instrumental in growing the agency. His new business efforts resulted in several account wins, including Stitch Fix, Jägermeister, American Apparel, QDOBA Mexican Eats, Sambazon Acai, ibotta, iFLY, Spindrift, FX, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. 

EP Coates brings to the MOCEAN team more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment and brand space. She will be responsible for integrating MOCEAN’s already well-established capabilities and will continue to evolve the company’s social and digital offering for new and existing clients in the entertainment and brand spaces. Coates will contribute to client partnerships such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Turner, and A&E, among others, and will also report to McIntyre. Until recently, Coates held the title of executive producer at Digital Kitchen, where she led the team that executed the two-time Emmy-award-winning Westworld digital marketing campaign. Throughout the course of her career, Coates has also held positions at Sony Pictures, Comcast Networks, AOL Video Networks, and the NBC affiliate in San Francisco.

  • Monday, Apr. 15, 2019
Art director/designer Adam Maruszan joins Alkemy X
Adam Maruszan

Adam Maruszan has joined the creative team at Alkemy X as art director and sr. motion graphics designer. A 10-year industry veteran, Maruszan will design and create graphics for a variety of content including TV spots, branded content, digital media, original programming.

Maruszan has created motion graphics for a range of corporate, educational and sports accounts, including branding for the University of Virginia and its Health System. He also designed graphics for Flowing Water, a documentary on the history of Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens. He is a graduate of the Art Institute, Philadelphia.

Maruszan describes joining Alkemy X as an opportunity to be part of an elite creative team and contribute to high-caliber work for national brands and agencies.

“Adam is an extremely talented artist who’s been on our radar for several years,” said Alkemy X VP of operations Mark Reidenauer. “His creative touch and attention to detail are evident in his work.” 

  • Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019
Thinkingbox adds managing directors Rania Hattar, Sarah Scott
Thinkingbox managing directors (l-r) Rania Hattar, Christine Clark and Sarah Scott

Interactive production studio Thinkingbox has recently added Rania Hattar and Sarah Scott as managing directors of its Los Angeles and Vancouver offices, respectively. They join Christine Clark who was promoted to managing director of the Toronto operation a year ago.

Thinkingbox now has the distinction of having all of its offices run by female executives.

Hattar joined Thinkingbox from UNIT9, where she was an executive producer for three years and prior to that, an EP at ACNE’s Los Angeles Office. With over 17 years in the global multimedia industry, Hattar will oversee Thinkingbox’s further expansion in the U.S. and its growing roster of clients in California. Most recently, Hattar and Thinkingbox team launched the Barbie Women’s Day activation in New York.

Scott is the latest managing director to be hired by Thinkingbox. Scott was the VP, business director at Blast Radius for over four years prior to joining the Thinkingbox Vancouver team. She is taking over the strategic operations of the Vancouver office from CEO and company founder Amir Sahba. 

The managing director positions were newly created at Thinkingbox, freeing Sahba as CEO to focus more on the growth of the organization and overall strategic planning of the studio’s long-term goals. He will continue to push Thinkingbox to new markets and creative endeavors, supporting the three managing directors.

Meanwhile Clark has overseen major growth in the Toronto office, which most recently launched a large-scale Genesis Motor’s projection mapping activation in Toronto Pearson International Airport.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2019
Mike Baron promoted to ECD at Partners + Napier
Mike Baron

Partners + Napier has promoted SVP Mike Baron from group creative director to executive creative director. Since joining the agency in 2005, Baron has been instrumental in building the Partners + Napier health and wellness vertical, while redefining and reshaping the agency’s in-house content studio.

In his newly expanded position, Baron will continue to oversee creative work for the agency’s growing health and wellness vertical, while playing a key role on the agency growth team and the operations team. He will also look to strengthen and expand the content studio to meet the ever-evolving needs of agency clients.  

“Since the very early days of the agency, Mike’s personal creative contributions have helped shape our product, and his leadership style will continue to help us write our future,” said Sharon Napier, CEO and founder of Partners + Napier. “Mike’s love for this business is contagious. He inspires everyone around him to push their limits and do their best work.”

Baron’s work as a writer, creative leader and commercial director over his 14 years at the agency has helped build a creative culture of excellence. Baron’s work for Less Plastics UK claimed two Silver and two Gold ADDY Awards at this year’s regional event, where he also took home the Best of Broadcast Award. In 2018, his work for the African Conservation Foundation was recognized in Lurzer’s Archive, and his work for Highmark Health won bronze and gold Effies in the North American Effie Awards — catapulting Partners + Napier to Effie Worldwide’s Top Most Effective Individual Agencies in North America. 
“We’ve proven that great work can be done for any brand — in any industry,” said Baron. “I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a group of amazingly talented and passionate people, and I’m excited to see what we can do next.”

Prior to joining Partners + Napier, Baron spent time at Hill Holliday, Young & Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi, Crowley Webb & Associates and Eric Mower and Associates. He has worked on some of the best-known consumer brands as well as household names in healthcare and financial services, including PepsiCo, Delta Vacations, Capital One, Highmark Health, M&T Bank, TJX Corporation (Marshall’s), and Citibank Corporation. 

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