• Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
Director Kevin Fitzgerald joins Backyard
Kevin Fitzgerald
VENICE, Calif. -- 

Backyard has signed director Kevin Fitzgerald for U.S. representation, already wrapping at his new roost a cinematic spot for the upcoming Fiat 500X out of The Richards Group, Dallas. Fitzgerald was previously with Boxer Films.

South African-born Fitzgerald began his career as a photographer but soon transitioned to working as a director/cameraman. He has since built a reel of commercial projects out of American agencies including Venables Bell & Partners, Draftfcb, Mullen, Leo Burnett and Grey Worldwide, and brands such as Lexus, Mercedes, Samsung, BMW, Givenchy and Amstel. Fitzgerald’s work has won numerous Loerie awards and a World Gold at the New York Advertising Festival. His BMW M3 “Test Pilot” and ABSA “Feet” commercials both achieved finalist status at the London International Awards; BMW wound up earning best cinematography honors. Fitzgerald’s print and film work has been commissioned and published on every continent except for Antarctica, and he credits growing up in South Africa for inspiring his creative spirit.

Backyard president/partner Blair Stribley said, ““It was a treat to be able to shoot Fiat with Kevin almost immediately after he joined Backyard.  Our reasons for wanting to work with him were quickly validated.  Kevin is an intuitive director who keeps working every angle of the concept to develop the storyline.”  

  • Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
Editor Morgan Bradley moves from Chicago to San Francisco office of Beast
Morgan Bradley

Commercials editor Morgan Bradley is moving to Beast in San Francisco after several years working on high-profile projects for Beast in Chicago. She joined Beast in 2008 and has worked on projects for clients including Nike,  Bayer and Motorola.

“I started at this company years ago as a runner and have so loved growing up in it,“ Bradley said. “After six years in our Chicago office, San Francisco feels like the next step in my process, both as an artist and as a person. I’m leaving Chicago loving it, and I think that’s the perfect way to go.

Prior to joining Beast, Bradley worked at Whitehouse Chicago, beginning in 2004.

Bradley won a Midwest Emmy in 2013 for a spot she edited for the 100 Club for agency Downtown Partners.

“Morgan’s moving here is mostly motivated by our clients here wanting to work with her,“ said Jon Ettinger, executive producer at Beast in San Francisco. “She is a big part of our Beast team, and we welcome her to the West Coast.“

Said Igor Kovalik, chief creative officer at Beast “It’s very exciting for Beast—and gives me tremendous personal satisfaction—when a young talent like Morgan can not only thrive in our company and rise from being a great assistant to a great editor, but then also is able to have the opportunity of growing and moving to the city where she wants to live her life.”

Editorial house Beast, a subsidiary of Deluxe, is active in commercials, music videos and online content. 

  • Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014
Click 3X adds sr. Flame artist John Geehreng
John Geehreng

Click 3X has hired John Geehreng as sr. Flame artist. He had most recently been freelancing as a bicoastal Flame artist and VFX supervisor.

Prior to that, Geehreng worked at SUSPECT, Charlex, Mackenzie Cutler and Creative Group. His portfolio includes projects like Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, music videos like Katy Perry’s “Roar,” keynote speeches for Apple and television commercials for companies like Southern Comfort, Weight Watchers, Burger King, Verizon, Ethan Allen and Apple

Having started his career in broadcast design, Geehreng has spent the last 15 years teaching himself different, cutting-edge visual effects programs and techniques, mastering tools like Maya, Vue, After Effects, PFTrack, SynthEyes, Mocha, Vue and Mari.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014
Aaron Porzel promoted to editor at Optimus
Aaron Porzel

Production and post house Optimus has promoted Aaron Porzel to full-fledged editor. His projects are numerous and include well-known brands such as Country Time, Kenmore, Kraft, Payless, Rustoleum, Sears, and Sprint.

Porzel started as an intern with Optimus while still in high school. Anxious to get his career in motion, Porzel attended an accelerated program at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL, where he earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Film/Video Production. Back at Optimus in 2007, Porzel worked his way up from operations to trainee, assistant editor and, most recently, senior assistant editor. 

“Aaron has worked with virtually all of our clients since joining us seven years ago and he has loyal and appreciative followers from the likes of mcgarrybowen, Marc USA, VSA Partners, Leo Burnett and Boomagers, to name just a few,” said Optimus president Tom Duff. “Aaron brings a high level of skill to his editing work and has endless enthusiasm while in the chair. He’s earned this promotion through his great client work.”

Porzel recently was awarded the Grand Prize for Editing at the 2014 AICE Camp Kuleshov Chicago trailer editing contest for his entry “Space Cops.”

“My father was an editor, so I began to learn the craft from a young age on the technology we had at home,” said Porzel. “My Optimus internship helped solidify my passion for editing, and I instantly fell in love with the company. The atmosphere here is intoxicating. Everyone is incredibly talented and nurturing and they all love what they do. I could not ask for a better place to pursue my career.” 

  • Monday, Sep. 29, 2014
NO6 hires Dennison as EP in NY; Sullivan takes managing director reins
Corina Dennison (l) and Deborah Sullivan

Corina Dennison, longtime executive producer at Whitehouse Post, has taken the EP helm at NO6 NY. The creative editorial and post studio--comprising Peepshow Post

Productions in London, with NO6 Offices in NY and LA--also named Deborah Sullivan as managing director.

Dennison began her post career as an assistant editor for editorial shops Shoot First and Lost Planet. In 1999 she moved over to Rock Paper Scissors LA, then held the position of executive producer at the Whitehouse NYC from 2002 to 2012. After recently taking some time off, Dennison joins long-time LA EP Crissy DeSimone, in managing the NO6 roster and creative VFX and finishing division, Seven.

Deborah Sullivan moves into the role of managing director, having spent the last year integrating Peepshow NY and NO6 NY after standing as EP with Peepshow the prior three years.

With a career that includes experience on both the agency and production side, Sullivan has held positions as exec VP/director of broadcast for agencies DDB, FCB and Publicis/Hal Riney, and was also a founding partner of Berlin, Cameron and Partners. Sullivan transitioned to post when she joined Peepshow after a three-year stint as an EP with  @radical.media.

NO6 is represented by Reprizent on the East Coast, Gay Guthrey and Associates in the Midwest, and Shortlist Management in Texas and on the West Coast. Peepshow Post Productions in London is managed by EP Jason Kremer.

  • Friday, Sep. 26, 2014
Geometry Global hires Jon Hamm as global chief creative officer
Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm will join Geometry Global as global chief creative officer, effective on November 3. To take on the newly created role, he will relocate from New York to London and report to global CEO Steve Harding.

Hamm founded his own digital agency in 2000, Greenroom Digital, where his work for clients such as Sony PlayStation, Nestle, TopShop, and Twentieth Century Fox built the shop’s reputation as a creative force in London. In 2008 Greenroom Digital was bought by IPG/Momentum Worldwide and a year later Hamm moved to New York to take on the role of global chief creative and innovation officer for Momentum Worldwide. During his tenure there, the agency radically evolved its offering particularly in digital, technology, and content and won numerous global awards, including for the acclaimed digital branded music program the American Express Unstaged series.

This year Hamm served on the Cannes Lions Branded Content and Entertainment Jury.

  • Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014
Sr. colorist Mark Wilkins joins Encore
Mark Wilkins
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Sr. colorist Mark Wilkins is now a member of the Encore team, working out of the postproduction and VFX company’s Hollywood location. With over 30 years in the industry, Wilkins has color graded many high-profile, award-winning shows including “Two and Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Simpsons” and “Silicon Valley.”

Wilkins comes to Encore, a Deluxe Entertainment Services company, from Technicolor, where he specialized in episodic television and also handled some feature films. He has previously worked with R!OT, a former Encore sister company, coloring commercials and music videos, in addition to freelance projects. Currently grading with Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, Wilkins in now back working in the same bay where he colored “Doogie Howser, M.D.” more than 20 years ago.

  • Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014
MPC London adds colorist Matthieu Toullet
Matthieu Toullet

MPC London is bringing on board colorist Matthieu Toullet who comes over from Digital District Paris with over 12 years experience grading commercials, films and music videos.

Toullet work includes the Jeppe Ronde directed Come 4: “The Lover” spot which was awarded a Gold Lion in Cinematography at the Cannes Lions 2013, the urban street campaign for adidas’ “Unite all Originals” with SoMe and Sid Lee, and glamorous fashion films for Cacharel and Jean Paul Gaultier. His work spans such prominent directors such as Terry Hall, Bart Timmer and Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Mattieu joins the global team of colorists at MPC on Sept. 29. The lineup includes colorists Adrian Seery, Antonio Ramirez, Derek Hansen, George K, James Tillett, Jean-Clément Soret, Kai Van Beers, Mark Gethin, Richard Fearon and Ricky Gausis. These colorists are available to clients in 20 locations throughout Europe and the U.S. via the MPC remote grading network.

  • Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014
Michael Epstein promoted to Carat’s chief client officer in U.S.
Michael Epstein

Global media agency Carat has promoted chief strategy officer Michael Epstein to chief client officer U.S. In his new role, Epstein will oversee all of the U.S. client teams across Carat’s offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Epstein will retain oversight of the agency’s strategy, insights and intelligence, and convergence planning teams, and will continue to report to Doug Ray, U.S. & Global President of Carat.

Since joining Carat as its first chief strategy officer in May 2013, Epstein has helped to drive Carat’s agenda, contributed to the agency’s ongoing new business success, including Danone and MasterCard, and brought a sense of community and greater connectivity to the planning, strategy and insights teams.

Prior to joining Carat, Epstein was president of strategic resource and client services at Mindshare, where he was responsible for overseeing all digital media services for North America, new business, multicultural and promotions, and key client relationships. He also served as client leader, Team Unilever North America.

  • Monday, Sep. 22, 2014
B-Reel lands Fran McGivern as EP
Fran McGivern

Veteran executive producer Fran McGivern has joined B-Reel as executive producer for commercials, after a five-year stint running ACNE Production in Los Angeles preceded by a long run at RSA Films. McGivern will work out of B-Reel’s Los Angeles office.

McGivern came aboard RSA Films, first as head of production, then as an executive producer for directors including Jake Scott, Jordan Scott, David Slade, The Malloys, and Laurence Dunmore.

“I’ve been an admirer of Fran over the years,” said Michael McQuhae, managing director, B-Reel. “She brings a perfect blend of traditional film and digital experience.”

McGivern described B-Reel as “the perfect place where good old-fashioned storytelling can be coupled seamlessly with innovative technology. I’ve been watching B-Reel position itself as one of the most successful and forward thinking production companies in the industry.”

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