• Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019
Joint hires Nirad “Bugs” Russell as EP specializing in VFX
Nirad "Bugs" Russell
PORTLAND, Ore. -- 

Joint, a creative post production company, has hired Nirad “Bugs” Russell as an executive producer.

Russell is relocating to Portland from New York City where he most recently freelanced as a senior VFX producer at The Mill.

Originally from South Africa, Russell first fell in love with VFX and postproduction during a stint at The Mill London beginning in 2002. Since that time, he’s done work at Absolute Post in London and New York; and later, worked as an executive producer in the New York office of Mass Market until 2015.

In that time, Russell has worked with a number of notable directors on lauded campaigns such as the AT&T “It Can Wait” PSA campaign, “Close to Home,” directed by Frederic Planchon and the Hennessy spot, “The Piccards,” directed by Daniel Wolfe, both of which were shortlisted for best VFX honors in multiple shows. Other noteworthy VFX campaigns produced by Russell include PlayStation’s “Skyrim” and Adidas’ “Never Finish.”

Patty Brebner, director of Joint and W+K Studios, said of Russell, “His passion for creative storytelling and pedigree collaborating with the best VFX artists and directors in the industry made him an obvious choice to lead this team and grow our capabilities.”

Russell will oversee a team of visual effects supervisors and artists (including CG and animation) and color talent.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
Spencer Dodd joins Siobhan Murphy at Merman’s branded division
Spencer Dodd (l) and Siobhan Murphy

Merman’s advertising and branded division has brought Spencer Dodd on board as managing director/EP alongside Siobhan Murphy. Dodd and Murphy will serve as joint managing directors. Dodd joins Merman after eight-and-a-half years at The Sweetshop.

Dodd cut his teeth working alongside industry heavyweights including Dave Trott, Geoffrey Seymour, Chris Palmer, Frank Budgen, Paul Rothwell and Helen Kenny, going on to produce some of the U.K.’s biggest and most loved TV commercials for brands such as HSBC, Sony, BBC, Hovis, HSBC, Nike, Guinness, Sky and VW for production companies Gorgeous Enterprises and The Sweetshop. 

Dodd said, “The opportunity to join one of the most interesting, exciting and future facing companies out there was impossible to ignore. Merman is perfectly positioned to navigate the evolving landscape. At a time when agency and client briefs are diversifying and the ways in which people are looking to advertise vary wildly I think that Merman is well placed to cater for all those needs. Especially so given their exciting new partnership with Independent Talent Group which gives them access to the most established and emerging talent from the worlds of entertainment.”

Dodd will be partnering with Murphy who has been leading Merman’s advertising and branded entertainment sector as business development director over the past two years. Murphy’s wealth of experience spanning two decades has led to her rise at Merman where she has helped establish the brand while signing award- winning directorial talent such as MJ Delaney.

Murphy and Spencer are also joined by Clara Bennett, head of production, who previously worked with production companies including Somesuch, Biscuit, Bullion, Bold and 76 Ltd.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019
Allen, Hilson promoted to deputy ECDs at AMV BBDO
Toby Allen (l) and Jim Hilson

AMV BBDO has promoted creative directors Toby Allen and Jim Hilson to deputy executive creative directors.

Allen and Hilson have led the transformation of Essity into the U.K.’s most awarded account at Cannes, breaking taboos and shaping culture with Bloodnormal, Viva La Vulva and red.fit for Bodyform, as well as Keep Control for Tena Men. They are also creative leads on the recent headline-grabbing #addresspollution campaign, disrupting the London property market to raise awareness of air pollution.

In 2014 they launched “Hatch,” a creative academy to draw in a more diverse talent pool to AMV, and in 2018 their efforts were recognized by Management Today, naming them alongside FTSE 100 CEOs as “Agents of Change” for workplace equality.

Prior to joining AMV BBDO in 2012 they worked at W+K, producing Honda’s “Spark” and Nike’s 2012 Olympics work, and at BBH, creating multi award-winning campaigns for Audi, Barnardo’s, and Levi’s.

Allen and Hilson are the 7th most awarded creative directors in the world this year, with back-to-back Cannes Titanium Lions, a D&AD Black pencil, and a career haul of over 20 Grand Prix and Best in Shows at Cannes, One Show, Clios and other global awards.

Allen and Hilson will work with CCO Alex Grieve and ECDs Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley, with a focus on leading AMV’s new creative incubator and unlocking creativity throughout the agency.

  • Monday, Oct. 7, 2019
LaCour, Rayburn, Waldrip become partners in charlieuniformtango
Pictured (l-r) are charlieuniformtango’s Joey Waldrip, James Rayburn, Jack Waldrip, Lola Lott and Deedle LaCour

The charlieuniformtango studio has named three of its most veteran artists as new partners. Joining tango’s leadership are current editors Deedle LaCour and James Rayburn, and Flame artist Joey Waldrip. This is the first time in tango’s almost 25-year history that the partnership has expanded. All three will retain their current work responsibilities. LaCour and Rayburn become sr. editors/partners while Waldrip is now sr. Flame artist/partner. Company founders Lola Lott and Jack Waldrip will remain principal/CEO and sr. editor/co-owner, respectively. Lott will retain majority ownership of charlieuniformtango which will continue as a woman and minority-owned company with its current team of seasoned executive producers, producers and artists in place. 

“Deedle, Joey, and James came to me and Jack with a solid business plan buying into the company with their futures in mind,” related Lott. “All have been with charlieuniformtango almost from the beginning: Deedle for 20 years, Joey for 19 years and James for 18. Jack and I were very impressed and touched that they were interested and willing to come to us with funding and plans for continuing and growing their futures with us.

“This transition goes beautifully with charlieuniformtango’s brand of family first,” continued Lott. “The company will be celebrating 25 years in a very challenging industry next year, and it’s time for me and Jack to be looking ahead to the next generation of leadership. In the past we’ve been approached by outsiders and we have declined because we knew and know that protecting our culture and people was the most important part to staying at the top. We knew it had to go to people who have grown from the ground up along with us. We’re very excited to have these three long-term and valued employees--and now partners--join us to shoulder and guide the future of charlieuniformtango.”

LaCour said, “The three of us have invested in the company because we believe in it. We believe in all of the employees and their talent and we believe in ourselves. We each want to continue to excel creatively and build on the reputation and success that Lola and Jack have created and fostered these last 25 years and it’s our desire and dream to go another 25 to our 50th anniversary.

  • Monday, Oct. 7, 2019
Kate Taylor named managing director/EP at Rogue
Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor, previously managing director of Skunk London, has joined Rogue as its new managing director/executive producer. She takes the helm from Rogue co-founder David van der Gaag and will be working in London alongside EP and head of production James Howland, with a brief to continue the evolution and reinvigoration of the company first founded in 1998.

Howland joined Rogue in 2001 and has produced many ground-breaking and award-winning pieces of work with director Sam Brown. His contributions to advertising have been widely recognized, having been awarded the “Achievement in Production” Craft Arrow, by the British Arrows, a record four times.

Prior to setting up and managing Skunk London, Taylor worked in production at Rattling Stick, Biscuit and RSA.  

Charlie Crompton, co-founding partner of Rogue, said, “Kate is widely regarded as one of the smartest and most creative EPs in London. She deserves that reputation because she’s proved that she’s brilliant at finding and nurturing talent, is immersed in the craft of filmmaking and is also an endlessly creative and collaborative producer.” 

Van der Gaag added, “I can’t think of a better qualified MD to come in and complement James’ production skills. Together they’re going to be a phenomenal partnership and we’re genuinely flattered that they buy into our ambitious vision for Rogue and the broader group of Blink/Rogue/Carnage companies going forward.”
Taylor said, “Running Skunk London has been a privilege. We’ve had some considerable successes and I am extremely proud of what we’ve achieved. Now, to be MD at such a prestigious production house as Rogue is just brilliant. I’m excited about the future and share their vision for growing and enduring success. I look forward to building on Rogue’s pedigree as a primary destination for excellence and established, top-level directors, as well as a nurturing home for the new generation of raw, emerging talent.”

  • Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
Uppercut promotes Tyler Horton to editor
Tyler Horton

Creative editorial shop Uppercut has promoted Tyler Horton to editor, after spending two years as an assistant editor working closely with its curated roster of editorial talent. This marks the first internal talent promotion for Uppercut. 

Horton first joined Uppercut in 2017 after a stint as an assistant editor at Whitehouse Post. Stepping up as editor, he’s cut notable projects, such as a recent Nike campaign “Letters to Heroes,” a series launched in conjunction with the U.S. Open tennis tournament that highlights young athletes meeting their role models including Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Horton also has cut campaigns for brands including Asics, Hypebeast, Volvo and MoMA.

  • Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
Nice Shoes expands Boston office, adds EP Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen

Creative studio Nice Shoes has added Kirsten Andersen as executive producer in its Boston office. Andersen will join Boston-based colorist Phil Choe, overseeing local and remote projects out of Boston, while continuing to grow a new hub of artists and services to better serve clients in the Boston market. She brings over two decades of experience in postproduction, most recently spending 15 years as EP/partner at Brickyard VFX. Andersen has produced major international campaigns for such top brands as Volkswagen, Budweiser, NBA, Google, Xfinity, JetBlue, and countless others.

Massachusetts-native Andersen studied Film & Television Production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, discovering an inclination for postproduction early in her studies. She landed her first professional gig at Red Car New York, learning the ropes hands-on as an associate producer before making her way to the West Coast to join 525 Studios as a producer. She spent six years at the post shop, before joining Brickyard VFX as EP. There she spent time growing teams in both its Los Angeles and Boston locations, while fostering long term relationships with global agency and brand clients.

  • Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
Alkemy X hires creative director Lee Tone to lead its branded content division
Lee Tone

Alkemy X has hired Lee Tone as creative director. Tone will focus on leading and implementing the creative vision for the company’s branded content division, facilitating nontraditional projects spanning web series, short films, experiential and interactive. He comes to Alkemy X with a 10-year career as a creative director and copywriter in the agency world, and with extensive experience in brand storytelling that blurs the lines between entertainment and advertising. He joins the team after a successful collaboration with Alkemy X on Samsung’s “Reframe This Space”--a four-episode home decor series that seamlessly infused Samsung’s Frame TV into original entertainment, earning over 30 million online impressions through influencer amplification.

Tone comes to Alkemy X from Barbarian, where he led campaigns for agency clients like Samsung, JBL and AB InBev. Prior to that, he lent his creative expertise to projects for Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, among numerous others. Notable career highlights include his work for the Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge+ and Note5 global launches. Throughout his career, he consistently endeavors to break new grounds in brand storytelling with bold concepts such as his work for Outback Steakhouse. He shook up traditional outdoor advertising for the restaurant chain, causing a commotion (and frantic 911 calls) with the illusion of billboards on fire to promote the brand’s Wood-fire Grill offerings.

“Lee consistently tackles ambitious and bold storytelling approaches that translate into results for brands,” notes Alkemy X president and CEO Justin Wineburgh. “After such a seamless and highly successful collaboration on Samsung’s ‘Reframe This Space’ series, it was no question that he was the best person to take our branded content division to the next level.”

  • Friday, Oct. 4, 2019
Bill Kramer named director of Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Bill Kramer

Bill Kramer has been named director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Kramer, who served as managing director of development and external relations of the Academy Museum from 2012 to 2016, will take the reins as the institution’s new leader on January 1, 2020, guiding its artistic and cultural vision while overseeing the final phase of the museum’s completion.

During his time at the Academy Museum, Kramer oversaw production of the museum’s very first exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which explored costume design in cinematic storytelling, featuring more than 100 iconic movie costumes. The inaugural exhibit welcomed more than 78,000 visitors. Most recently, Kramer served as VP of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), one of America’s most institutionally and programmatically diverse arts organizations, where he led a 45-person team tasked with raising significant private and government funding, overseeing a visual art expansion program, and platforming BAM’s growing film program to an international audience.

Before going to BAM, Kramer was VP of institutional engagement at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Kramer has led capital and comprehensive campaigns for the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and has served in senior business and fundraising positions at the Sundance Institute and the Columbia University School of the Arts.

During his earlier tenure as managing director of development and external relations of the Academy Museum, Kramer served as the chief planning, public relations, advancement, exhibitions, and government relations officer for the museum’s pre-construction phase, successfully raising $250 million to move the project into construction and managing the project’s public approvals process.

“The board unanimously welcomes Bill Kramer as the Academy Museum’s new director,” said Ron Meyer, chair of the Academy Museum Board of Trustees and vice chairman of NBCUniversal. “Bill’s experience and influence in the worlds of design, culture, and academia, coupled with his institutional knowledge of the museum, position him as an ideal leader to guide the museum to its opening and beyond.”

“We are all very enthusiastic about working with Bill again,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “He was an early leader of this project—a visionary who shepherded the initial design and construction process, and helped define the Academy Museum’s identity. In his recent work at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, he helped execute a ground-breaking expansion of BAM’s visual art program, attracting and connecting with broad and diverse worldwide audiences. We’re confident he will inspire our creative teams and lead the Academy Museum to successful completion.”

“I have a deep connection to the Academy Museum,” said Kramer. “I am so looking forward to working again with the museum’s creative teams, staff, and partners as we prepare to open the doors of our spectacular campus. As I felt when I helped to launch this project, I am confident that we are building the world’s greatest museum experience dedicated to movies.”

Kramer holds a Master of Urban Planning and Public Administration degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019
Andrea MacArthur, Amanda Perry join Union Editorial
Amanda Perry (l) and Andrea MacArthur

Editors Andrea MacArthur and Amanda Perry, whose work individually and as a team has garnered Cannes Lions, D&AD Pencils, AICP Show honors and other industry accolades, have joined bicoastal Union for exclusive representation in the U.S. Collaborating with top directors such as Dante Ariola, Bryan Buckley, Antoine Fuqua, Tom Kuntz, and Fredrik Bond, MacArthur and Perry have cut genre-hopping projects for HP (BBDO), Johnnie Walker (Anomaly), Runaway Train 25 (MHVCCP) and more show a dexterity with storytelling that is equally effective with comedy, drama, and visuals of any scope. MacArthur and Perry come over from Lost Planet, and maintain their own company, Bread and Butter.

The pair first met at Sam Sneade Editorial in London, where Perry briefly assisted MacArthur. Perry progressed quickly, and soon she and MacArthur teamed up on a sizeable HP project for BBDO. They partnered in Peepshow Post in London and New York, and have been business partners ever since. “Sometimes, we work as a team or one of us will be lead editor, depending on who’s called us,” MacArthur explained. Said Perry: “Even when we’re not working on the same job, we kind of work together.”

MacArthur, whose spots can tug on heartstrings (Budweiser’s “Puppy”), go for laughs (Lyft’s “Riding is the New Driving”), or deliver humor with a message (Barbie’s “Imagine”), observed, “It’s easy to get pigeon-holed, but I was very lucky with Dante (Ariola) in that he was just comedy at first, then evolved into special effects, and I had the opportunity to evolve along with him.” 

Similarly, Perry leaps from powerful human interest spots (“Water is Life”) to smart comedy (Netflix’s “Sara”) and everything in between. “I started off doing comedy thanks to Andrea’s introductions, and as I grew as an editor, I got to do different kinds of things,” Perry recalled. “Regardless of genre, we love any opportunity to tell a good story.” Overall, said MacArthur, “Amanda and I feel very comfortable fighting against stereotype.”

Union partner/managing director Michael Raimondi said of MacArthur and Perry, “I have been a fan of their work for a very long time. The fact that they are both coming on board is amazing for us as a company.”

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