• Monday, Mar. 29, 2021
The Den adds Ryan Curtis as exec producer
Ryan Curtis

Ryan Curtis has joined The Den as executive producer. His addition to the team is an integral part of the bicoastal edit house’s plan to expand its finishing and postproduction capabilities. The Den’s roster of talent includes Christjan Jordan, Kate Owen, Eric Alexander-Hughes, Katie Cali, Andrew Ratzlaff, and Ross Birchall.
With combined experience in film production and post supervision of both offline and finishing, Curtis has worked with clients including 72andSunny, CP+B, Google, and Adobe on broadcast commercials, original content, documentary films, and music videos. Most recently, Curtis served as the director of postproduction at Hecho Studios, where he oversaw editorial and finishing departments serving both the MDC Constellation of agencies and Hecho’s own client direct relationships.  

Prior to launching into postproduction, Curtis spent five years producing commercials and music videos for artists including Janelle Monae, Travis Scott, and Ariel Pink; and directed a film based around the first posthumous exhibition of Oscar de la Renta’s life work, premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and winning Best Documentary at the London Fashion Film Festival.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021
Editor Brandon Porter joins Nomad as partner
Brandon Porter

Nomad Editing Company has brought L.A.-based editor Brandon Porter on board as a partner. Formerly a 10-year vet of Whitehouse Post, he will join fellow Nomad partners Jennifer Lederman, Glenn Martin, Jai Shukla, Jim Ulbrich, Amanda Moreau, Adam Schwartz and Jared Coller as they map out the future of the company and refine new creative approaches to serve the next era of storytelling.

Nomad partner, president and CEO Martin said of Porter, “His editing has such a unique interplay between picture and sound – creating pace, anticipation and overall intrigue as to how the story will unfold. I’ve watched his spots over and over, and each viewing leaves me with something new to discover.”

As a News & Documentary Emmy-nominated editor, Porter has amassed a body of work tht includes projects across film and advertising. He has collaborated on projects for top-tier brands such as the Adidas World Cup spot “God Level,” directed by Fernando Meirelles, and the 2021 EA Sports: Madden initiative, directed by F. Gary Gray. Unsurprisingly, Porter describes his editing style as being geared towards action and sports, with epic moments featuring an emphasis on visual effects.

Porter has also cut also many other notable projects outside of advertising, including Wireless, a series produced by Steven Soderbergh and starring Tye Sheridan, HBO short film Black Boy Joy, which follows three generations of Black men struggling to juggle the demands of raising a young son with autism, State of America, a timely and affecting piece dedicated to the victims of police brutality and systemic racism, as well as the Tribeca X feature winning U Shoot Videos?, both done in collaboration with director Morgan Cooper, who’s helming the upcoming reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Porter considers his addition to Nomad a hopeful step in the right direction towards creating opportunities in the industry for more diverse groups. “For me, it means a lot to have someone from such an underrepresented community be in an ownership position,” he said. “I’ve barely met any Black editors, let alone any post houses with Black ownership. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but it’s something that’s not very known. And to me, all of it comes down to exposure for young Black and Brown talent to know this is definitely something they can strive for as a career. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the support of family to push them into what they may think is an unorthodox job, so hopefully, by being in this position, I can be a bit of a shining light that inspires them to go after their dreams.”

Martin added, “Nomad has always been about our people. We share, and are inspired by Brandon’s commitment to building a more inclusive path to success in our industry. Over the past year we got to know him and often discussed what working together might look like, and as we got to know each other better, a future partnership felt inevitable. Brandon also shares our belief in nurturing and mentoring young talent. It’s been a huge part of Nomad’s ethos over the past twenty-five years, and we’re excited to find like-minded partners who will catapult this effort forward in a direction we’re thrilled to be led. We cannot wait to see how we can all benefit from his vision.”

  • Monday, Mar. 22, 2021
Sibling Rivalry adds Darren Foldes as managing director/L.A. EP
Darren Foldes

Sibling Rivalry, an independent creative company partnering with clients such as Nike, HPE and Lexus, has added Darren Foldes as its new managing director and West Coast executive producer. 

Before joining Sibling Rivalry, Foldes was exec producer and director of sales at Pulse Films, and, prior to that, he served as EP at Caviar. He received his first EP role at Green Dot Films, where he worked for 10 years from 2004-2014.

Foldes executive produced at Pulse the Apple “Bounce” ad that took home multiple honors including Gold for Craft/Art Direction at the 2020 One Club Awards, as well as at the ADC Awards, which included two Best of Discipline designations--one in Advertising, and another in Motion/Film/Gaming Craft. Foldes also executive produced, in conjunction with Wieden+Kennedy, Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign. 

Foldes has had the opportunity to lead many projects for high-profile brands such as Nike, Apple, Gatorade, ESPN, Google, Toyota, Call of Duty, and Target, partnering alongside agencies including Wieden, 72andSunny and Droga5. 

“Darren represents the evolution of Sibling Films,” said Mikon Van Gastel, co-founder and executive creative director at Sibling. “Darren will continue to raise the profile of the company and hone our quality of work while bringing in diverse talent, and new disciplines such as comedy and narrative storytelling. Given his experience in long format content and being L.A.-based, we will also open up opportunities for our directors to tell their stories in new and captivating ways.”

Foldes is enthused over prospects at Sibling Rivalry, noting that he is joining at a “breakout time” for the company.

Foldes launched his career in the film industry as head of production for Steve Stabler’s Commotion Pictures. While there, Foldes wrote and produced two films for MGM, Just For Kicks and Recipe For Disaster, and concocted and sold the show Scumbag to VH-1.

Foldes will also occasionally dust off his old DJ setlist for VIP clients that have included Prince, Diane Von Furstenberg, Kristen Bell, and Surface Magazine.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2021
AFX Creative hires Gallo, promotes Minitser, Amburgey, Kim
Toby Gallo
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

AFX Creative, an independent studio that specializes in VFX, design/motion, color and editorial services for the advertising and entertainment industries, has hired seasoned systems engineer and administrator Toby Gallo to serve as its new director of technology. The company--which is under the aegis of creative founder and managing director Mark Leiss--has also promoted Esther Minitser to head of production, Jessica Amburgey to sr. color producer, and Stefan Kim to production coordinator. 

With more than 25 years of technology experience in network design, implementation and support, Gallo most recently worked at Shed, where he oversaw systems and network administration, and periphery management. Previously, he’s also worked for companies such as Technicolor, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Digiscope, Nickelodeon, Gradient Effects, and World Wide Broadcasting. Gallo is well known for his work on groundbreaking pipelines and render farm solutions in the long-form episodic world.

Minitser most recently served as AFX Creative’s VFX producer for the past three years. She has been with AFX Creative since 2015. A recent graduate from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in California, she applies that knowledge to her day-to-day work.

Amburgey joined AFX Creative in October 2020 as a color producer. Previously, she served in a similar capacity at The Mill in Culver City, Calif.

Kim first joined AFX Creative in June 2018. He had been head of client services.

Remote services                                                                                                                                                                                                              ---
In light of the pandemic, AFX Creative has set up new technology by which the company is now able to provide Creative Remote Sessions to its commercial director, photographer and creative clients who need to evaluate color-accuracy and image fidelity as if they were “in the same room.” AFX Creative Remote provides a broadcast-grade, high-bandwidth signal beamed to a color-calibrated viewing environment--either at one of the company’s remote locations, or at one of its clients’ locations, anywhere in the world. This end-to-end calibration ensures that what the company’s clients see on their remote monitors is what the AFX Creative team sees on theirs.

The AFX Creative stream technology broadcasts each client session feed as a review quality, low-latency, real-time signal to a password protected website, viewable on computers and tablets. The stream can be accessed by dozens of people viewing it at the same time. The AFX Creative Mobile platform, currently under development, will allow for connecting viewers to the stream via iOS native iPhone and iPad apps. The launch of this Mobile platform will be announced in the very near future. 

Gallo said he is looking forward to optimizing AFX Creative’s existing infrastructure, and focusing on taking its CGI and finishing to the next level.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 16, 2021
Momentum bolsters creative team, promotes James Robinson, David Chamberlain
James Robinson

Experiential advertising agency Momentum Worldwide has promoted James Robinson to chief creative officer and David Chamberlain to chief experience design officer of its North American organizations, strengthening its leadership.

Robinson will establish a single point of leadership for all North American creative teams, with a shared focus and vision to deliver cutting-edge creative and best-in-class work. Chamberlain will be responsible for shaping a new era of engagement for consumers and brands through groundbreaking digital experiences.

Robinson joined Momentum New York in 2018 as executive creative director, and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and outstanding creative work for clients such as American Express, General Motors, Verizon and Walmart.

Over the past five years, Chamberlain has successfully built and elevated the agency’s Experience Design (XD) practice. He’s also played an integral role in the creative leadership of the agency, as well as building out Momentum’s Digital Experience Design practice (DXD).

Donnalyn Smith, president, North America at Momentum Worldwide, commented, “James and David bring such a refreshing approach to creative vision, leadership and excellence. They continuously create outstanding and award-winning work for our clients, and there is no doubt they will make their mark on the creative teams across North America.”

  • Monday, Mar. 15, 2021
Leslie Sims joins Deloitte Digital as U.S. chief creative officer 
Leslie Sims

Leslie Sims has become managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and U.S. chief creative officer, serving as a central creative leader for all of Deloitte Digital, a creative digital consultancy. Sims will work across the entire business to integrate its creative capabilities, teaming with Deloitte Digital’s business strategy, design, technology and data talent to help clients across industries explore the breadth of possibilities and value creative can engender. 

Sims started her career as a copywriter before working her way up to be chief creative officer, first for Y&R, and then for Ogilvy, where she led the national creative vision for both agencies. In these roles, Sims created award-winning, transformative client work and was also named “Advertising Working Mother of the Year” by She Runs It. Sims has served on international award show juries such as the prestigious Grand Effie jury in 2018 and the Cannes Lions Titanium jury in 2019. She is board member of the One Club for Creativity and is also a Clemson University Erwin Center board member.

Sims’ experience setting and resetting the creative vision for Fortune 500 organizations like IBM, U.S. Navy, General Mills, Mastercard, Staples and more will help Deloitte Digital clients across the C-suite harness the power of creativity to develop brand-defining experiences.  

Sims’ appointment follows other Deloitte Digital recent hires like former McCann COO Rich Whalen, executive creative directors Milton Correa and Jones Krahl, and 600 and Rising founder Nathan Young. Sims will be working closely with chief design officer Nelson Kunkel, and Ayan Pal who’s chief creative officer in India. 

  • Monday, Mar. 15, 2021
Stept Studios hires EP Alexis Celic
Alexis Celic

Stept Studios--a company under the aegis of founder and director Nick Martini and which maintains bases of operation in L.A. and Jackson Hole, Wyoming--has added Alexis Celic as an executive producer in its commercial production department. This recent hire underscores a continuing expansion for the company, which is scaling to meet the demand of high-profile projects with brands including Nike, Budweiser, Samsung, New Balance, and Facebook. 

Celic brings years of on-set and in-house experience to Stept’s team. In her previous role as head of production for Imposter, which she held for over three years, Celic helped to facilitate growth throughout her tenure, including a re-branding period for the company. Prior to joining Imposter, Celic started Mother, a small production company, in 2015 to help facilitate the creative dreams of her director friends and other creative collaborators.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Celic began her career as a commercial production office PA. After going freelance and climbing the ranks over the years, she began producing branded content and music videos. Celic worked with notable production companies during her freelance career, including Caviar, Bullitt, and Unit9. 

  • Friday, Mar. 12, 2021
Lauren Hertzberg promoted to partner at Cut+Run
Lauren Hertzberg

Lauren Hertzberg has been promoted to partner at Cut+Run. She joined the company in 2016 and now assumes the role of managing partner, leading the New York office with editor/partner Jon Grover.

“Anyone who knows Lauren has a deep appreciation for her dedication, passion, work ethic and spirit of collaboration,” affirmed Grover. “She truly makes time for every individual to feel supported and heard, and I am so grateful for our working relationship and what she brings to the company. She’s been a longtime partner to all of us, so this official next step is well-deserved.”

Hertzberg joined Cut+Run as executive producer from The Whitehouse, where she worked her way up from receptionist to executive producer in its Chicago and New York offices. In 2018, she was promoted from EP to managing director of Cut+Run NY, expanding her role to work in close partnership with the company’s leadership team including Los Angeles-based managing partner Michelle Eskin.

“From the moment I joined the talented team at Cut+Run, I knew I had found my people,” commented Hertzberg. “And over the past four years, my admiration for our editors as well as production and assistant teams from coast to coast has only grown. This past year certainly tested us all and I am proud of how we faced every challenge together. The more I work alongside this creative and thoughtful group, the more excited and honored I am to be a partner.”

Mentorship and supporting women in the industry have long been important to Hertzberg. As she explained, “I have had the good fortune of having a few strong and career-defining female mentors and role models over the years. I really see this new role as an opportunity to pay it forward by helping develop and support the next generation.”

  • Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2021
Digitas UK adds creative duo of Dani Brown and Alex Wood
Dani Brown (l) and Alex Wood

Digitas UK has hired two new creatives, sr. art director Dani Brown and sr. copywriter Alex Wood. Reporting to chief creative officer Emma de la Fosse, Brown and Wood will work across all accounts with a particular focus on Mondelez, Voltaren and Under Armour. 

Brown and Wood come directly from Atomic where they were for just over four years. Prior to this, Brown and Wood were both at Isobar.

At Atomic, the creative duo garnered awards including the D&AD Graphite Pencil for their work on The Royal Opera House, and an IAB Digital Marketing Showcase Award for their Pringles campaign. 

CCO de la Fosse said that Brown and Wood “have exactly the right mix of creative skills to help realize our creative ambitions. They have an astute understanding of brands and their book is full of examples of how they’ve brought that knowledge to bear across the panoply of digital platforms and channels. What’s more, they are lovely people with no ego which makes them a great addition to our team.”

  • Tuesday, Mar. 9, 2021
Peter Zachwieja promoted to editor at Cutters
Peter Zachwieja

Editorial boutique Cutters has promoted Peter Zachwieja to editor. 

Since graduating with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and joining Cutters as an intern, Zachwieja has grown alongside the company’s many editors and other staff talents. Among his growing list of commercial credits, he has contributed to high-profile campaigns for Getty Images, Mazda, the Emmy Award-nominated Savage x Fenty Show, and many others, while continuing to expand his filmography.

Zachwieja is the editor of filmmaker Vanessa Roth’s feature documentary Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses, produced by June Beallor in association with USC’s Shoah Foundation. Since debuting on Discovery Networks in 2019, this film continues earning prestigious honors in major film festivals, including Best of Show distinction at the 2020 Impact Docs Awards. 

Roth, an Oscar-winning filmmaker and a TV Academy Honors recipient, said, “Peter was the lifeline to bringing this film to the finish line. We had an incredibly tight schedule and complex historical subject matter, yet Peter was committed to seeing it through from the beginning when he came on as an assistant and rose to become our editor on the project after it was clear that he understood emotionally and creatively how to craft this work while being committed to working as a true collaborator within our difficult constraints.”

Roth added, “He was a gift to this project, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to work with him again in both long and short form projects!”

Shelby Bartelstein is one of the All-Star directors VICE invited to help create its ambitious 2020 Mazda Heroes campaign, which involved Zachwieja and other editors from Cutters. Based on her work with Zachwieja on that project, she said, “Peter is my favorite kind of collaborator, one who takes initiative and brings ideas to the table but also listens and forges a path in the edit together. Peter has an ear for music and mix that elevates all of his work. I cannot wait to see what remarkable work he puts out in the future!”

Along with Scott Gibney, Zachwieja also co-edited the critically acclaimed indie feature before/during/after written by and starring Finnerty Steeves, currently in wide release throughout North America via Gravitas Ventures.

“Through our partnership with UN Women, we met Peter at a HeForShe event,” Cutters Studios NY exec producer Elizabeth Krajewski explained. “That led to an internship, and he has been with us ever since.”

Krajewski continued, “Peter has been editing, creating, and filming since well before he came to us, always working on something, and connecting with amazing people. He doesn’t just edit, but collaborates, brings ideas, is thoughtful and puts everything into every project, no matter how big or small. There is no doubt what he wants to do in his career, and he works every day to make it happen.”

“It’s a lifelong dream for me to be able to create and collaborate for a living,” Zachwieja said. “To do so side-by-side with my friends, my mentors, and my peers at Cutters Studios is all I could ask for.”

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