• Thursday, Jun. 11, 2020
Anne Skopas joins Hornet as exec producer
Anne Skopas

Anne Skopas is joining NYC-based multidisciplinary production studio Hornet as executive producer. She will work alongside Hornet managing director Hana Shimizu to focus on evolving and expanding Hornet’s design and animation capabilities.

NYC-based multidisciplinary production studio Hornet announced today that industry vet Anne Skopas will join as Executive Producer.

Skopas recently came over from Buck, where she oversaw the evolution of their animation and design. Prior to Buck, Skopas had 17 years of experience as a visual effects, live action, and postproduction producer. She has worked with an all-star range of brands—including Facebook, Apple, Coca-Cola, Sherwin Williams, IBM, and Google—in an equally broad range of industries, from advertising to broadcast media, manufacturing to consumer goods. She is known for nurturing artists, collaborating with creative teams and executing for clients.

Skopas said of her new roost, “Hornet produces such beautiful, inspiring work. I’ve always loved the director model and sense of unique voices and authorship that comes with it.” She also maintained a friendship with Hornet managing partner Michael Feder over the years. 

  • Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2020
Taylor, Bentley, Boutcher join Cinesite's global leadership team
Cinesite's (l-r) Siobhan Bentley, Melissa Taylor and Tamara Boutcher

Independent visual effects and animation studio Cinesite has made three key hires spanning its London headquarters as well as its Montreal facility: Melissa Taylor, general manager (London), Siobhan Bentley, head of production VFX (London) and Tamara Boutcher, global head of production for feature animation (Montreal).

Taylor will oversee Cinesite London’s visual effects studio while working closely with Montreal colleagues and group VFX brands Image Engine and TRIXTER. Taylor brings over 30 years’ industry knowledge and relationship-building experience. She joins Cinesite from visual effects studio Framestore, where she served as global head of business development, where she was involved with projects such as Spider-Man: Far From Home, Wonder Woman 1984, Lady & The Tramp, Tom and Jerry and Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw. Prior to Framestore, Taylor was EP at DNEG.

Bentley is tasked with leading, developing and motivating the production teams to drive efficiency and continuous improvement throughout a show’s lifecycle. Bentley joins Cinesite from MPC where she oversaw the production teams on many acclaimed films such as The Lion King, Roma, The Jungle Book, The Martian and Guardians of the Galaxy. Bentley will work closely with crewing and producers to ensure projects are progressing through departments effectively and deadlines are being met.

Boutcher will be responsible for the production and day to day operations of Cinesite’s growing feature animation service slate, developed and produced out of the Montreal and Vancouver studios. With 20+ years of experience Boutcher made her first dive into animation at The Walt Disney Company. As the studio transitioned from 2D features to 3D features, Boutcher worked as the director of production, helping to guide the teams and develop the necessary practices and technologies for pioneering Disney’s unique blend of traditional and CGI practices. Boutcher’s work is featured in The Addams Family 1 & 2, The Star, Dinosaur, The Angry Birds Movie and We Are Not Princesses.

Cinesite CEO Antony Hunt said, “Melissa, Siobhan and Tamara are proven talented executives with deep knowledge of the visual effects and feature animation industries.  In joining our global leadership team they’ll bring a broader range of ideas and approaches to further strengthen Cinesite’s position in the market.”

Cinesite has previously expressed its commitment to achieving diversity across all companies in the group. Hunt asserted, “Working towards equal representation in an industry which is statistically male-dominated is very important to us all and we’re working hard to improve the balance. Cinesite is driven by talented people, whatever their gender, race or orientation.  We have a collective philosophy on diversity and inclusion which is embodied in our wider approach of encouraging everyone on the team.”

Dedicated to creating the highest quality visual effects, Cinesite’s London head office opened for business in 1994 originally as a service bureau for the Cineon digital film system.  In recent years Cinesite has sustained a period of steady growth, being placed in the annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks the UK’s highest performing private companies by international growth. The studio has recently delivered high-end visual effects for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, the 25th Bond film No Time To Die for MGM, the fantasy series The Witcher for Netflix and its first theme park attraction, The Bourne Stuntacular for Universal Orlando. The London crew is currently working hard on Fate: The Winx Saga for Netflix and The Wheel of Time for Amazon.

Cinesite’s feature animation studios have rapidly grown since 2014, with large established and experienced crews working in the Montreal and Vancouver facilities offering in-house pre-production capabilities including editorial, story, and design allowing projects to be developed from concept all the way to final rendered frames.

Both Canadian studios are currently hiring for a number of high-quality features including the untitled Addams Family Sequel for MGM, Blazing Samurai for Aniventure and GFM Films, an animated comedy based on Mel Brooks’ classic film Blazing Saddles. The crews are currently putting the finishing touches to Riverdance, an animated musical comedy inspired by the stage show featuring Bill Whelan’s multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning music, and MILA a female directed CG animated short about a little girl whose life takes an unexpected turn during WWII.

  • Monday, Jun. 8, 2020
Location Managers Guild International sets board of directors
Jennifer "JJ" Levine
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

The Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) announced its board of directors for the 2020-2021 term. 

Newly elected members of the board are Dan Connolly (UK), Jen Farris (GA) and Eric Klein (NY).  They will serve the Guild alongside returning Board members elected to new terms; Jennifer “JJ” Levine (CA), John Rakich (ONT, CANADA), Ryan Schaetzle (GA) and former LMGI president and founding member, Lori Balton (CA).

Board members continuing with ongoing terms include founding member Mike Fantasia (CA), Ken Haber (CA), Jimmy Ayoub (NY), Mac Gordon (GA), Wes Hagan (CA), Edward Mazurek (CA), Alison A. Taylor (CA) and Georgette Turner (UK).

“The vote count between those elected and runners’ up was miniscule. Those running and those voting represented multiple states and multiple countries—a reflection of our growing international membership” said election committee chair Mazurek. “We’re also grateful to our departing board members, Les Fincher, Matt Chamberlin, Matt Palmer and Walter Roshetski for their generous service to the LMGI.”

LMGI president Fantasia added, “The new LMGI board is starting at a unique time. While the Guild is not involved in labor relations or negotiations, through our series of ‘Coffee Tuesday’ Zoom calls and webinars, and on our website, we have been sharing international filming updates, health and safety protocols and best practices since the COVID shut downs began. It’s is critical to all of us to continue to disseminate information and learn from our colleagues. The international representation on our board helps to keep us all informed as we prepare to return to work.”

The 2020 LMGI board of directors met on May 31, 2020 and voted to continue with the current officers on the executive committee: president, Fantasia; 1st VP, Levine; 2nd VP, Balton; treasurer, Haber; and secretary, Rakich.

  • Tuesday, Jun. 2, 2020
Bill Kolb named McCann Worldgroup's COO
Bill Kolb

Bill Kolb has been appointed to the role of chief operating officer for McCann Worldgroup. Kolb, previously global president, Diversified Agencies, and chairman and CEO of Commonwealth//McCann, will now oversee business operations across McCann Worldgroup, including all agencies and markets.  

“Bill, one of my closest partners, is one of our most experienced multiplatform and global marketing executives and has been integral to our success,” said Harris Diamond, chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup.  “He has held Worldgroup leadership positions across our agencies and most recently, under his leadership, has helped in the continuing development and expansion of MRM and McCann Health, and he continues to be a driving force behind our dedicated GM agency, Commonwealth//McCann.”

In his most recent role as global president, Diversified Agencies, Kolb fostered overall growth and integration across all McCann Worldgroup diversified agencies--driving  key practice areas and disciplines, including technology and innovation, health, and data analytics.

“Bill’s long and successful history within McCann spans over two decades, and uniquely qualifies him to develop the Worldgroup model for the future, so that the company can continue to deliver on its vision of being the world’s top creatively-driven marketing services organization,” said Michael I. Roth, Interpublic’s chairman and CEO. “This will include a comprehensive review of the group’s structure and operations, as well as maintaining the critical focus on meeting the evolving needs of clients at the highest levels. For this strategic initiative, Bill will work closely with Philippe Krakowsky, Interpublic’s COO, who is driving the overall strategic portfolio review at the holding company level.”

Kolb stated, “Having worked with all of our global agencies, I am lucky to know first-hand what an incredibly talented and creative group of people we have to help drive our clients’ success, their brand and their business growth. We are committed to continuously innovating and strengthening our offering, so that we can bring the best strategic, creative and business minds to our clients across all of our networks.”

With extensive global experience across multiple industries and communications disciplines, Kolb has spent his career building brands and businesses from the ground up. He has worked with both large and entrepreneurial companies, and with multinational clients including General Motors, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Merck and Anheuser-Busch. His career prior to McCann includes time spent in the publishing, finance, real estate and oil industries. Since joining McCann Worldgroup in 2000, Kolb has worked across Momentum, MRM and McCann and has held various top-level roles ranging from CFO to CEO. In addition, he has been instrumental in the inception and growth of Commonwealth//McCann, the agency handling the global Chevrolet account, and the development and expansion of MRM, one of the world’s leading customer relationship agencies.

  • Wednesday, May. 20, 2020
Jose Sancho joins DAVID Miami as associate creative director
Jose Sancho

DAVID Miami has hired Jose Sancho as associate creative director. Sancho will soon join DAVID’s Miami office from Madrid where he’ll be teaming with Curtis Caja, an award-winning ACD, who was responsible for the Cannes Grand Prix winner “Burning Stores” for Burger King.

One of the most awarded creatives in Spain, Sancho has worked on national and global accounts for brands like Burger King, Renault, Unilever (Cornetto, Magnum, Funny Feet) and Rexona, among others. Prior to DAVID Miami, Sancho had a six-year run at LOLA MullenLowe in Madrid where he was known for award-sweeping work including the “Scary Clown” campaign for Burger King and “The Hidden Flag.” He’s been awarded at many major industry festivals including Cannes, D&AD, Clios, The One Show, Andys, and the Effies.

DAVID’s global chief creative officer Pancho Cassis said, “Scary Clown’s copywriter meets Burning Stores’ art director. What else can I say? Jose is a tremendous asset and we’re excited to have him joining forces with Curtis. They will definitively help push our clients to new creative heights.” 

“Between building my own skateboards and solving bizarre Rubik’s cubes, I’m always looking for a challenge, so it was inevitable that I would want to join the DAVID team,” said Sancho. “They’re known for the most cutting-edge creativity in the industry and I’m looking forward to help our clients create impactful work in this incredibly competitive market.”

Before his tenure at LOLA MullenLowe, Sancho was at Publicis Madrid and Y&R London.

The appointment of Sancho comes on the heels of DAVID Miami hiring Ricardo Honegger as managing director and Paula Vampré as the shop’s first-ever global chief strategy officer.

  • Wednesday, May. 20, 2020
Framestore adds Tanner, Sanchez, Henning to its NY studio
Steve Sanchez

Oscar-winning creative studio Framestore has grown its team in New York by bringing on two new VFX supervisors, Nick Tanner and Steve Sanchez, as well as supervising producer, Heino Henning. They will be reporting into New York managing director Charles Howell. 

With over 20 years of creative problem-solving experience, Tanner is regarded as one of the most sought-after compositors in the industry. At Framestore he will be focused on episodic television projects, supervising a team of artists and using his exacting eye to elevate the work to his high standards. Before joining Framestore, he freelanced as a Nuke artist at companies including Blacksmith, The Mill, MPC, and Framestore, and spent time at Psyop as a sr. compositor. He has collaborated with top directors on commercials and music videos including Daniel Kleinman, Jonathan Glazer, and DOM&NIC, and worked on a variety of title sequences for films including Resident Evil, Five Children and IT.

Sanchez also joins Framestore as VFX supervisor for television. He’s a seasoned supervisor with over two decades of experience. Most recently at Alkemy X as sr. VFX supervisor, Sanchez worked on Season 4 and 5 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, as well as Season 3 of the Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes. In 2015, while at shadevfx in New York, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his work on Netflix’s Daredevil. He also spent time at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in San Francisco working on Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, before MPC and Double Negative in London, along with a stint at Framestore in New York.

Henning comes from The Mill in New York where he was a sr. VFX producer on high-profile projects with acclaimed directors including Michel Gondry, Darren Aronofsky and Noam Murro. With over 15 years of industry experience, Henning has worked on product launch campaigns for Google and Samsung, as well as rebranding campaigns for Ziplock and Kellogg’s. Prior to The Mill, Henning was also one of the founding partners, creative director and executive producer at VFX boutique Searle Street Post in South Africa.

Framestore’s NY studio also promoted Ian Bradley to creative director. He will be leading design-based projects across a variety platforms, most recently overseeing the title sequence for HBO’s Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, and also directing “A New Realm in Gaming” for Alienware.

  • Tuesday, May. 19, 2020
Alejandro Di Trolio named Cheil ECD in Spain
Alejandro Di Trolio

Cheil Worldwide has appointed Alejandro Di Trolio as its new executive creative director for Spain. Reporting to worldwide Spain CEO Kelly Kim, Di Trolio will lead the creative department with responsibility for key accounts including Samsung, Hankook and Carrefour. 

Di Trolio’s aim is to further boost the agency’s digital reputation by expanding creativity around data and technology. He said, “Cheil is one of the most exciting agencies in Spain, the mix between creativity and technology is something that attracted me from the beginning. Now, my mission is to generate the next step in digital creativity, data and innovation at the agency through a team with fresh skills to face upcoming challenges.”

Di Trolio comes from Good Rebels and has led original campaigns including Toyota--”Start the Impossible,” IKEA social media work and Coca-Cola’s innovation IoT products. He’s also been involved in claiming a suite of awards including El Sol Silver for Pepe Jeans 2019 and ADCE 2019 with IKEA “Stories to Sleep.”

“As a new wave of creativity emerges that thrives on data and digital, Alejandro’s unique digital and technical knowledge will help push our previous creative successes, to develop to the next level of creative product in Spain,” said Malcolm Poynton, global chief creative officer, Cheil WW.

  • Monday, May. 18, 2020
Video app TikTok names top Disney streaming exec as new CEO
In this July 13, 2015 file photo, Disney chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer visits the company's "accelerator" space in Glendale, Calif. Mayer will also be chief operating officer of TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, and report to its founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, the company announced Monday, May 18, 2020. TikTok's app features short videos, many with music and dancing, that has become a favorite of younger people and is known for its goofy, light-hearted feel. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)

TikTok, the popular short-video app that has also drawn national-security and privacy concerns, has a new high-profile CEO from Disney, Kevin Mayer.

Mayer will also be chief operating officer of TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, and report to its founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, the company announced Monday.

He led Disney's streaming business, which launched Disney Plus in November and has already emerged as a threat in the increasingly competitive streaming-video arena, with 54.5 million subscribers. Mayer was also known for his role in building Disney through mergers, including the industry-changing 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox's TV and film business that created an entertainment behemoth.

TikTok's app features short videos, many with music and dancing, that has become a favorite of younger people and is known for its goofy, light-hearted feel. 

However, it has been the focus of U.S.  national-security concerns because of its Chinese ownership. A U.S. national-security agency is reviewing ByteDance's purchase of TikTok's precursor, Musical.ly, while the U.S. military branches have banned the app from government-issued phones. Government officials have in recent years cracked down on Chinese companies, including telecom giant Huawei. There is concern that Chinese companies may share data with the Chinese government. TikTok and Huawei deny this.

The federal government has also fined TikTok for breaking children's privacy laws, and privacy watchdogs recently filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission saying the company was still violating the law.

"Like everyone else, I've been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok – a creative, positive online global community – and I'm excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance's journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world," Mayer said in a statement. 

He leaves Disney a few months after the entertainment giant named a longtime executive , Bob Chapek, to replace the well-regarded CEO Bob Iger. Mayer had been regarded as a possible Iger successor. 

Disney said Monday that Rebecca Campbell, another Disney veteran, will succeed Mayer as the chairman of the streaming and international business, and also announced Josh D'Amaro, the president of Walt Disney World Resort, as the successor to Chapek's old job as head of parks, experiences and products.

  • Wednesday, May. 13, 2020
Match Marketing Group Hires North American ECD and Head of Creative in Canada
Eric Moncaleano
BOULDER, Colo. -- 

Consumer engagement agency Match Marketing Group has made two key creative hires: Eric Moncaleano becomes executive creative director, North America; and Gary Westgate, assumes the role of VP, head of creative, Canada. 

Moncaleano has more than 20 years of integrated agency experience. In his new capacity, he will be responsible for overseeing creative for Match’s roster of clients across the U.S. and Canada, which include Ford, L’Oréal, PepsiCo, Progressive, Nestle, LG, Adidas, MARS, Diageo and Nespresso. Reporting to Match Marketing Group CEO Brian Cohen, Moncaleano will be based in the agency’s Boulder office. 

Prior to joining Match, Moncaleano spent the greater part of his career at Publicis North America in Dallas, where most recently he served as SVP, ECD. During his time at Publicis, he worked on an array of brands including Bridgestone Tire, Bridgestone Golf, Delta Dental, Nestlé Waters, BMW, TruGreen, Hot Pockets, Terminix, Chevrolet, Jim Beam, GlaxoSmithKline, PowerBar and CapitalOne. Before that, he held roles at FCB Global and Leo Burnett. 

As VP, head of creative in Canada, Westgate will be responsible for overseeing the creative department for Match’s Toronto-based operations and will report to Moncaleano.

Most recently, Westgate led his own creative consultancy over the past year which included creative development for an English-speaking pharmaceutical company in South America. Prior to this, he was creative director at Anomaly in Toronto for three years, where he led creative direction on Bud Light and BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) and worked on other notable brands such as Nike, Hershey’s and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). During this time, Westgate managed and guided all social, digital and mainstream marketing efforts for clients, while cultivating creative teams and nurturing their career development.

Before that, Westgate spent three years at JWT Toronto as VP, creative director after developing and creating the winning pitch campaign for Air Canada. Prior to joining JWT, he was ECD at Innocean Worldwide and Taxi.

  • Monday, May. 11, 2020
Sandy Song named chief client officer at Phenomenon
Sandy Song

Hybrid consultant/creative agency Phenomenon has hired Sandy Song as chief client officer, a newly created position at the L.A. shop. Song had previously been at 180LA, an Omnicom agency, where she most recently served as managing director and prior to that, group brand director. 

In addition to working at Deutsch, Team One and RPA, Song has amassed experience leading teams and award-winning brand campaigns across a wide range of categories, including education, telecommunications, QSR, CPG, fashion, and automotive on global brands that include Honda, Visa, Del Monte Foods, Pepsico, Taco Bell, Mitsubishi, Lexus International and University of Phoenix.

Song will focus on providing a true partnership to Phenomenon’s entire client roster, and ensuring that there are top-notch, curated teams to service the business.  She is dedicated to talent growth, development and representation, understanding that varied experiences in both professional and personal backgrounds are critical to shape thinking and informing the work.

Krish Menon, Phenomenon’s founder and CEO, said of the hire, “In an industry where clients are the lifeblood, and at this stage in our evolution, we felt it necessary to have executive leadership that advocated for, worked on behalf of, and focused exclusively on client satisfaction and retention.” 

Song started at Phenomenon in January as a consultant, whereupon she discovered that Phenomenon’s fresh approach to solving for client business needs and the goals and values of the agency aligned well with her own vision and practice, which made for a natural fit and way forward to her new staff role.

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