• Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014
NuContext for comedy writer-director Vinny Lopez
Vinny Lopez
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Comedy writer-director Vinny Lopez has joined the directorial roster of NuContext Creative for national representation in TV promos, commercials/advertising and branded content.

Having collaborated with such high-profile celebrities as Jenny McCarthy, Terence Howard and Jane Lynch, Lopez has fine-tuned the craft of working with celebrity talent. A long-standing collaboration with VH1 has resulted in Lopez writing and directing a series of television promos for “The Jenny McCarthy Show,” “The Soul Train Awards,” “Do Something Awards,” as well as “Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular.” Lopez also writes, directs and stars in the popular web series “Two Jasperjohns.”

NuContext is headed by company founder/executive creative director Angela Guice. Earlier this year, NuContext took on the Rockhard directorial roster, including directors Robert Hales and Marc Klasfeld, for representation in TV promotion and branded content.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
Mat Bisher promoted to exec creative director at McCann
Mat Bisher
NEW YORK -- 

Mat Bisher has been promoted from group creative director to executive creative director at McCann. In his new capacity, he will have responsibility on McCann’s global Microsoft account as well as New York’s Jose Cuervo business.

Bisher first joined McCann in 2005 as sr. art director, and was instrumental in developing the winning Microsoft pitch. In 2013, his “Have a Story” campaign helped win the Jose Cuervo account. Prior to joining McCann, Bisher was an art director at BBDO New York. His efforts at McCann have supported clients such as Verizon Wireless, MasterCard, Chevy, Nature Valley and Dentyne.

His work has been recognized by Cannes, the One Show, D&AD, the Webby awards, the AICP Show, Clio Awards, the International Andy Awards and the Favorite Website Awards (FWA). Bisher was key to the Nature Valley “Trail View” platform, ranked as one of the most-awarded digital campaigns in the world in 2013, according to The Gunn Report.
 

  • Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
Mark Peters joins TBWA\Chiat\Day LA as creative director
Mark Peters
LOS ANGELES -- 

Mark Peters has been appointed creative director in the Los Angeles office of TBWA\Chiat\Day. He will be working across several agency accounts including Southwest Airlines, Nixon, Gatorade and NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles).

Peters joins TBWA from Deutsch LA, where he served for four years as sr. VP, creative director on the Volkswagen account. Prior to Deutsch, he was creative director at mcgarrybowen working on the Verizon account. He joined mcgarrybowen from GSD&M, where he was creative director on several brands including BMW, Kohler, AT&T, Legacy and L.L. Bean.

Earlier in his career, Peters enjoyed stints at both Ogilvy & Mather Los Angeles and The Martin Agency, working on Motorola, UPS, Olympus and Coke. A graduate of the University of Virginia,

  • Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
Video production, casting division, new business hires at Sound Lounge
Michael Glennon
NEW YORK -- 

Sound Lounge, an audio post house in Manhattan, is continuing to expand its capabilities and areas of expertise with hires at its video production arm, casting division and new business department.

Michael Glennon will join Mister:-|Face, Sound Lounge’s creative video production arm as executive producer. An experienced integrated producer, Glennon has spent the last nine years producing content for such agencies as co:collective, Grey and JWT. Past clients include Nestle, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s Diageo, Rolex, HSBC, Microsoft, Kimberly Clarke, Energizer, Cadbury Adams, Jet Blue and Bloomberg.

Anthony Pichette joins Sound Lounge as on-camera casting director of its Sidecar Casting division. With over 14 years of experience, Pichette was previously a casting director for NYC’s Kipperman Casting, where he worked on large voiceovers, industrials and commercial campaigns ranging from Coke to Capri Sun, Kraft Singles, Nintendo Wii, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Six Flags and more. While at Kipperman Casting, he also assisted the in-house casting departments at networks such as Nickelodeon (Blues Clues), Sci-Fi, Food Network, Spike and MTV.

Sound Lounge has also added Shirley Ramos to its business development team. Ramos will oversee sales and business development for both Mister:-|Face and Sound Lounge. Previously, Ramos was director of business development at Click 3X and Pulse Music.

Additionally Michael Gullo has come aboard Sound Lounge as a producer. With a background in music and marketing, Gullo will help oversee production, scheduling and client relations at Sound Lounge.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
Encore ups Jay Bodnar, Tom Kendall and Morgan Strauss to sr. VPs
Jay Bodnar
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Postproduction and visual effects company Encore has announced the promotions of Jay Bodnar to sr. VP, engineering; Tom Kendall to sr. VP, VFX; and Morgan Strauss to sr. VP, operations. In new positions designed to spearhead Encore’s next phase of growth, the executive trio remains in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, reporting to Encore executive VP Bill Romeo.

Bodnar and Strauss have been with Encore since 2000 and 2001 respectively, by way of former sister company R!OT, while Kendall joined the company in 2002. Each has been actively involved in advancing their particular division within Encore Hollywood and will now extend their venerable expertise to the company’s growing worldwide network.

A leader in the company’s transition to file-based workflows, including 4K, Bodnar has overseen Encore’s talented team of engineers and ensured that clients benefit from the company’s innovative use of advanced technologies. In his expanded role, Bodnar will be working with his team to architect and deploy progressive technical solutions and optimize pipelines across the Encore locations for a cohesive, global postproduction experience.

Under Kendall’s direction, Encore’s VFX department has made a rapid ascent in episodic television. During the 2013 awards season, Encore took home both Emmy and Visual Effects Society Awards for outstanding VFX work, and looks to continue the trend through its current slate of projects, with Encore artists recently nominated for a 2014 Emmy Award. Kendall now helms worldwide VFX efforts for Encore.

As director of operations, Strauss has been the logistics expert for Encore Hollywood’s postproduction arm. From business development and strategy to workflow design and IT, Strauss and his team have provided Encore’s roster of clients with a seamless experience by ensuring technology and creativity interact flawlessly. In addition to Encore Hollywood, Strauss now oversees day-to-day operations for Encore Vancouver and will be responsible for new Encore locations as well.

Encore is a Deluxe Entertainment Services company with locations in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Toronto and London. The company also offers near-set services anywhere in the world via mobilabs, a proprietary compact system for on-site color management and dailies.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014
Microsoft hires Qualcomm exec to make more deals
Microsoft sign at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. (AP file photo)
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has lured away an executive from smartphone chip maker Qualcomm to hammer out more deals that will expand the software maker's presence in the mobile device market.

Margaret "Peggy" Johnson will serve as Microsoft Corp.'s executive vice president of business development after spending the past 24 years at Qualcomm Corp. She will report directly to Nadella in her new job.

Since succeeding Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO six months ago, Nadella has been focused on ways to make Microsoft's software and other services more appealing to use on smartphones and tablets as people increasingly rely on those devices instead of desktop and laptop computers.

Microsoft Windows operating system has long been the most influential force on personal computers, but the Redmond, Washington, company has been eclipsed by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in the mobile market. Apple has become the world's most valuable company, largely because of its trend-setting iPhone and iPad, while Google parlayed its dominance of Internet search to create Android, the mostly widely used mobile operating system.

"Peggy shares our worldview and knows what it takes to drive new growth in mobility and the cloud," Nadella said.

Johnson, 52, most recently was an executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and was also president of the San Diego company's global market development. With her hiring, Johnson becomes the third woman on Microsoft's 15-person team of senior executives at a time when technology companies are under intensifying pressure to diversify their leadership and lessen their reliance on men.

Besides her past stint at Qualcomm, Johnson also sits on the board of concert promoter and ticket seller Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Johnson starts her new job at Microsoft on Sept. 1.

  • Monday, Aug. 4, 2014
Hawthorne Direct ups Klayman to associate creative director
Neil Klayman
LOS ANGELES -- 

Hawthorne Direct, a full service brand response ad agency, has promoted Neil Klayman from sr. copywriter to associate creative director. Klayman will continue to report to John Pucci, chief creative officer.

In his new position, Klayman will be more involved with new business pitches, as well as manage the creative process on a diverse range of client campaigns, from ideation through production.

Klayman joined Hawthorne Direct as a sr. writer in 2012.  In that role, he was responsible for DRTV, BRTV and digital advertising copy creation for all agency clients. Klayman came to Hawthorne Direct with over 15 years of experience as a copywriter at various advertising agencies and entertainment companies, including The Woo Agency, Rapp Worldwide, E! Networks and Mattel, Inc. He honed his copywriting and creative skills while working on campaigns for such clients as Lenovo, Samsung, Bank of America, Schwab, AAA, E! Entertainment TV, Style Network, Disney, and Pixar.

Klayman has been honored numerous times by the International Film & TV Festival of New York for his outstanding writing. He was honored by Eunice Kennedy Shriver for writing and producing several documentaries profiling New Hampshire Special Olympics athletes. He is also the author of the popular, published children’s book, “Boris Ate A Thesaurus”, which was chosen as a “Book of The Year” by both the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association. 

  • Monday, Aug. 4, 2014
Director Erik Buth joins Not To Scale
Erik Buth
NEW YORK -- 

Not To Scale, the New York-based production and animation company with offices in Amsterdam and London, has added veteran commercial director Erik Buth to its roster. Buth and Not to Scale exec producer Santino Sladavic, who previously worked together at Blind, are teaming up again at Not to Scale’s NYC office.

“Santino was the executive producer that made my first professional directing job happen,” related Buth. “We were working together at Blind when I moved from editing to directing, and the rest is history.”

Buth’s most recent work spans Sweet ‘N Low; a spellbinding short film for the long running video game franchise MX vs. ATV; sports apparel company Russell Athletic; and mattress maker Sealy.

Buth brings over 20 years of experience in the advertising, television, and film industries, in which he has worked as a director, creative director, art director, designer, animator, and editor. Buth also has extensive directorial experience for live action, 3D animation, and 2D motion graphics, and has helped create a wide variety of commercials, promos, network ID’s, spots, title sequences, and feature film trailers.

Buth moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and took a job at Creative Partnership as an assistant editor and postproduction supervisor before striking out on his own as a freelance editor. It was while editing the teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan that Buth met Garson Yu, founder of Yu+Co, which sparked what would be an extended creative partnership. Over the balance of the ‘90s, Buth worked on title sequences for films including Enemy of the State, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Lost Souls, as well as spots for Intel, Showtime, and a theatrical trailer for Dolby Digital.

In early 2001, Buth gave up the freelance life to work for Blind, first as an editor and art director, and eventually as creative director and director. During his 13-year tenure at Blind, Buth directed spots for Chili’s Baby Back Ribs, Pringles, Verizon, Sealy, Oppenheimer Funds, Microsoft, American Airlines, Sweet ‘N Low and Russell Athletic, among others.

  • Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2014
VFX artist Patricio Fernandez joins Splice
Patricio Fernandez
MINNEAPOLIS -- 

Creative studio Splice has brought visual effects artist Patricio Fernandez aboard its roster. With credits that include such feature films as Wrath of the Titans, Terminator: Salvation, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The First Avenger, Fernandez expands the visual effects capacity of Splice, as the company continues to grow its feature and episodic television visual effects team.

Early on in his career Fernandez served as a creative and producer for commercial campaigns, an assistant editor for a feature film, and an editor for a postproduction company, all in Argentina. With his mind set on future goals, he moved to the U.S. in late 2000 where he earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Animation at the Miami International University of Art and Design. Since then, Fernandez founded Illusion Factory, Inc. in Florida, a postproduction company that provided services to Discovery Channel. He then freelanced for a variety of studios but for the three years prior to joining Splice, he worked regularly with Method Studios in Santa Monica, Calif.

Fernandez has worked in a variety of roles as a VFX artist for the aforementioned feature films  as well as Cloud Atlas, This Means War and Argo, in addition to a  number of commercials and Super Bowl ads for Kia, Microsoft, Direct TV and Canon.

Splice producer Drew Sondeland said of Fernandez, “He has the know-how and experience to be plugged in early, providing our clients with valuable pre-pro insight. His vast capabilities have already opened up a lot of new exciting opportunities for Splice.”

  • Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014
Editor Tom Vogt joins Spot Welders
Tom Vogt
NEW YORK -- 

Editor Tom Vogt has joined the roster at the New York office of Spot Welders, the creative editorial company.  

Vogt’s career includes an extensive background in editing long and short form comedy for broadcast and cinema. He played a key role in the irreverent storytelling of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, shaping as lead editor the groundbreaking animated TV series South Park. Vogt’s credits also include Team America: World Police and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

Vogt also spent two years working closely with the Academy Award-nominated director Morgan Spurlock, for whom he edited POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, Spurlock’s take on sponsorship and branding.  Formerly on staff at Bluerock and MacKenzie Cutler, Vogt has since freelanced for a range of agencies and post houses.

The editor’s commercial work includes spots for FedEx, Axe, Oberto Beef Jerky, eBay, ESPNU and AT&T (starring Will Arnett). Vogt’s deft timing on Bud Light’s famous “Dude” spot helped launch the campaign that became an early Internet sensation.

Vogt wanted to bring his skills to a company with a strong brand and experience and knowledgeable leadership. After meeting with the key players at Spot Welders in NYC, including partner/editor Dick Gordon and EP Joanne Ferraro, he was convinced it was the best place for him.  Vogt added that the ability to move back and forth between advertising and entertainment is another factor that attracted him to Spot Welders. 

A former acoustical engineer, Vogt designed concert halls, recording studios and performance spaces for Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios Tokyo and EuroDisney in Paris. While in France he began to study art and photography. His work eventually caught the eye of Carter Tomassi, the head of cinematography at Colossal Pictures, the vanguard San Francisco studio behind numerous award-winning commercials, interactive media projects and TV series such as MTV’s Liquid Television.

Vogt went on to join Colossal as a camera assistant and worked his way up through the production and effects ranks.  That’s where he discovered his passion for editing, which he saw as a link between his creative interests and his technical inclinations. After Colossal he sent his work to the creators of South Park, who welcomed him to the fold. Within months he was serving as the show’s lead editor, a post he held for eight years.

Vogt credits his experience in animation with teaching him many of the fundamentals of storytelling. While he enjoyed his time on South Park--and feels what he did there has resonated in popular culture--he’s happy to ply his craft on a wider creative stage.

“For me, the joy of editing and being able to tell different kinds of stories shouldn’t be limited to a specific genre,” Vogt explained. “What I learned in animation and comedy taught me a lot about rhythm and nuance, and those lessons can apply to anything. I’m looking forward to putting all that to use here at Spot Welders.”

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