• Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
James Norris joins Nomad as editor/partner
James Norris

Editor James Norris has joined London post company Nomad, also becoming a partner at the shop.

A self-taught, natural editor, Norris started out running for the likes of Working Title, Partizan and Tomboy Films. He then moved to the Whitehouse as an assistant where he refined his craft and rose through the ranks to become an editor.

Over the last 15 years he’s worked across commercials, music videos, features and television. He edited IKEA’s “Fly Robot Fly” campaign, Asda’s “Get Possessed,” and has recently cut a new piece of work for Nike. Working within television and film, he also cut an episode of the BAFTA-nominated drama Our World War and feature film We Are Monster.

Norris said, “I was attracted to Nomad for their vision for the future and their dedication to the craft of editing. They have a wonderful history but are also so forward thinking and want to create new, exciting things. The New York and LA offices have seen incredible success over the last few years and now there’s Tokyo and London too.”

  • Friday, Nov. 1, 2019
Hornet promotes Hana Shimizu to managing director, adds EP Alex Unick
Hana Shimizu (l) and Alex Unick

Mixed media production company Hornet has promoted Hana Shimizu to managing director/executive producer and brought Alex Unick on staff as a full-time EP.

Shimizu has been an integral part of the Hornet team for over a decade. She joined in 2004, only three years after Hornet was established. After working as a producer at Hornet for five years, she took a brief hiatus as a freelance producer where she further refined her skillsets before returning to Hornet in 2015 as an EP. 

In April 2019, Unick began freelancing as an EP at Hornet. He brought with him a wealth of well-rounded industry experience, having worked at Psyop and Blacklist for 11 years, where he’d originally joined as an intern and very quickly leapfrogged through the ranks from assistant producer to producer to EP for his final two years at the sister companies. 

In Shimizu’s new position as managing director, she will continue her EP duties alongside Unick, but will also work in closer tandem with managing partners Michael Feder and Greg Bedard to take Hornet into the next phase of its evolution.

  • Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019
Jason Mayo joins Bonfire as managing director & partner
Jason Mayo

Jason Mayo has joined New York-based digital production company Bonfire as managing director and partner. The move adds Mayo and his deep experience managing digital and postproduction companies to Bonfire’s new leadership lineup, which now includes founder and Flame artist Brendan O’Neil, creative director Aron Baxter, executive producer Dave Dimeola and partner Peter Corbett.

Bonfire was launched in 2016 by O’Neil, who’s worked at many of the top design, VFX and digital production companies in the country in both staff and freelance roles. With its new partners in place--and their accompanying areas of expertise--Bonfire is poised to usher in a new era in how digital production, including VFX, design, CG, animation, color, finishing and live action, is delivered to clients at a lower cost.

Mayo comes to Bonfire after a stint at Chimney and, prior to that, several years building Postal, the digital arm of the production company Humble. Prior to that he spent 14 years at Click 3X, where he worked closely with Corbett as his partner. While there he also worked with Dimeola, who cut his teeth at Click as a young designer/compositor. Dimeola later went on to create The Brigade, where he developed the network and technology that now forms the remote, cloud-based backbone referred to as the Bonfire Platform.

Mayo said a number of factors convinced him that Bonfire was the right fit for his talents. “This really was what I’d been looking for,” he shared. “The chance to be part of a creative and innovative operation like Bonfire in an ownership role gets me excited, as it will allow me to a real difference here and genuinely effect change. And when you’re working closely with a tight group of people who are focused on a single vision, it’s much easier for it to be fully aligned. That’s harder to do in a larger company.”

O’Neil said that having Mayo join as Partner/MD is a major move for the company. “Jason’s arrival is the missing link for us at Bonfire,” he says. “While each of us has specific areas to focus on, we needed someone who could both handle the day to day of running the company while keeping an eye on our brand and our mission and introducing our model to new opportunities. And that’s exactly his strong suit.”

For the most part, Mayo’s familiarity with his new partners means he’s arriving with a head start. Indeed, his connection to Dimeola, who built the Bonfire Platform--the company’s proprietary remote talent network, nicknamed the “secret sauce”--continued as Mayo tapped Dimeola’s network for overflow and outsourced work while at Postal, and says that their relationship was founded on trust.

“Dave came from the artist side, and so I knew the work I’d be getting would be top quality and done right,” Mayo said. “I never actually questioned how it was done, but now that he’s pulled back the curtain, I was blown away by the capabilities of the Platform and how it dramatically differentiates us.

“What separates our system is that we can go to top level people around the world but have them working on the Bonfire Platform, which gives us total control over the process,” Mayo continued. “They work on our cloud servers and with our licenses and use our cloud rendering. The Platform lets us know everything they’re doing, so it’s much easier to track costs and make sure that you’re only paying for the work you actually need. More importantly, it’s a way for us to feel connected--it’s like they’re working in a suite down the hall, except they could be anywhere in the world.”

Mayo stressed that while the cloud-based Platform is a huge advantage for Bonfire, it’s just one part of its profile. “We’re not a company that’s riding on the backs of freelancers,” he said. “We have great, proven talent in our core team who work directly with clients. What I’ve been telling my longtime client contacts is that Bonfire represents a huge step forward in terms of the services and level of work I can offer them.”

  • Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019
Creative director Miller, design director Balenson join Stink Studios
Zane Miller

Stink Studios has added Zane Miller, most recently from Mother New York, as creative director, and Dani Balenson, most recently of Intercom, as design director. Both are based in the Stink’s Brooklyn office.

With roles spanning production, copywriting and creative direction, Miller brings over eight years of experience in the creative industry. In addition to Mother, Miller served at Translation and TBWA\Media Arts Lab, working with Apple, Stella Artois, Netflix and JW Marriott. 

Designer Balenson has worked with brands and media companies across San Francisco, Baltimore and New York. In addition to her time at Intercom, she has also worked as a designer for Vox Media and Established NYC, and as a freelancer. 

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019
Blacksmith adds colorist Mikey Pehanich
Mikey Pehanich

Colorist Mikey Pehanich has joined New York-based visual effects studio Blacksmith. The move marks Blacksmith’s expansion of its capabilities to now offer color grading in addition to VFX.

Pehanich has colored across high-profile brands including Amazon, Samsung, Prada, Nike, New Balance, Marriott, and Carhartt. Most recently, Pehanich worked on Smirnoff’s global “Infamous Since 1864” campaign directed by Rupert Sanders, Volkswagen’s “Look Down in Awe” spot from Garth Davis, Fisher-Price’s “Let’s Be Kids” campaign and Miller Lite’s newly launched “Followers” spot, both directed by Ringan Ledwidge.

Prior to joining Blacksmith, Pehanich was a colorist at The Mill, Chicago, where he spent six years honing his craft. Pehanich was the first local hire when The Mill opened its Chicago studio in 2013. Initially cutting his teeth as color assistant, he quickly worked his way up to becoming a full-fledged colorist, contributing to campaigns including Michelob’s 2019 Super Bowl spot featuring Zoe Kravitz and directed by Emma Westenberg, and music videos including Regina Spektor’s “Black and White.”

Pehanich’s recent longer form work includes Shabier Kirchner’s short film Dadli about an Antiguan boy and his community, and Andre Muir’s short film 4 Corners which tackles Chicago’s gun violence issue. (Muir earned a slot in SHOOT’s 2019 New Directors Showcase on the strength of 4 Corners.)

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019
Framestore names Manne Öhrström as its new global head of film software
Manne Öhrström

Manne Öhrström has been named global head of film software at Framestore. The new role will have him refining current software development practices, while also more fully integrating innovative new and emerging tech such as AI, machine learning and game engine technology into Framestore’s established film pipeline. Reporting directly to Fiona Walkinshaw, who’s global managing director, film, and executive director Matt Fox, Öhrström will work closely with global head of CG Mark Wilson and global tech director, Engine, Danny Lepage.
Öhrström has a storied career working across film, games and tech. He obtained a masters thesis in physics while working for EA. For the past few years he has worked at the intersection of art and technology, forging a successful career for the likes of Autodesk and Shotgun. He is also no stranger to Framestore, having worked for the company from 2007-08 and served as one of the key developers on 2008 animated feature The Tale of Despereaux
Now in his second tour of duty at Framestore, Öhrström will manage a range of software development groups (including rendering, R&D, core software and AI/ML) while also scanning the horizon for partnership opportunities and innovative new software development funds.
“I feel like I’m returning to VFX and production at a really pivotal time,” said Öhrström. “The industry is undergoing significant changes thanks to advances in real-time, virtual production, machine learning and a rapidly-evolving open source culture. This is really exciting for someone who’s made a career helping align art with cutting-edge tech, and it seems like the perfect time to be back at Framestore given the global reputation for work that is both creatively and technically challenging.”

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019
Rob Lenois joins VaynerMedia as chief creative officer
Rob Lenois

Rob Lenois will join VaynerMedia as chief creative officer on November 4. He will report to CEO and co-founder Gary Vaynerchuk. Lenois comes over from Grey New York where he spent nine years, most recently as deputy chief creative officer.

In his capacity as deputy CCO at Grey NY, Lenois was responsible for creating business-driving, award-winning work for clients such as Volvo, Febreze, Hasbro and Darden Restaurants. During his tenure there, the agency was awarded its first-ever Grand Prix Lion, Titanium Lion and Creative Effectiveness Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Lenois first gained the industry’s attention as associate creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, where he helped launch a campaign for the inaugural non-stop flight from New York to Tahiti for Air Tahiti Nui. He then went to BBDO New York, where he helped Cingular Wireless transition to AT&T. Upon rejoining Saatchi & Saatchi, Lenois was a key leader on the Miller High Life and Wendy’s groups. In addition to Cannes, Lenois’ work has been recognized at virtually every top international creative show, including the One Show, D&AD, Clios and AICP Show.

VaynerMedia has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London and Singapore, and clients include Anheuser-Busch InBev, GE, JPMorgan Chase, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Royal Bank of Scotland and ScottsMiracle-Gro.

“My first encounter with VaynerMedia was through Gary’s social content. I connected with his idea of putting people first,” said Lenois. “But once I got to the agency and met with Gary and the team in person, I saw that ‘people-first’ isn’t just some marketing jumbo but is very real in the culture. I was also struck by the energy and the tenacity of the agency. Everywhere I turned, people were making and doing: filming, editing, animating and podcasting. In an industry where some of the best ideas don’t make it past a PDF, I was hooked by the culture of ‘make and share.’ VaynerMedia is changing the game. They won four Cannes Lions this year, which speaks to their creative prowess and their ability to deliver business results for their clients. I look forward to building on that momentum and creating more results-driven work.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019
Nice Shoes adds colorist Yulia Bulashenko
Yulia Bulashenko

Nice Shoes has expanded its Toronto location, adding colorist Yulia Bulashenko. She brings over seven years of experience as a freelance colorist, working on projects with such global clients as Nike, Volkswagen, MTV, Toyota, Diesel, Uniqlo, Uber, Adidas and Zara. Notable projects include Sia and Diplo’s (LSD) music video for “Audio”; “Sound and Vision,” a tribute to the late singer David Bowie directed by CANADA for whom she has been a colorist of choice for the past five years; and feature films The Girl From The Song and Gold. Bulashenko is available immediately and will be based out of Nice Shoes’ Toronto studio, while also available remotely via Nice Shoes’ New York, Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis spaces.

Bulashenko began her career as a fashion photographer, organically transitioning into creating fashion films. Through handling all of the postproduction on her own film projects, she discovered a passion for the nuanced art of color. After building relationships with a number of collaborators, she began taking on projects as a freelance colorist, working with clients in Spain and the U.K. and quickly establishing herself as a sought-after talent on a wide range of projects throughout Europe, Mexico, Qatar, and India.

  • Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019
Drew Balke promoted to editor at WAX
Drew Balke

Boutique post shop WAX has promoted assistant editor Drew Balke to editor.

He originally joined WAX as it was getting off the ground. Balke’s stay at WAX has taken him behind-the-scenes with leading brands. He has worked on projects for Wrangler ICON’s “Fall Winter 2019” Collection, Under Armour’s “Project Rock” campaign featuring three-time Olympic medalist skier Lindsey Vonn, Peloton Tread’s “Uncharted” spot directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister as well as working on Hennessy’s “Major” campaign, which garnered an AICP Show honor for editing (cut by Paul Watts, with Balke as assistant editor) in 2019.

WAX founder and executive producer Toni Lipari said, “It’s been so exciting watching Drew navigate his career; he has grown tremendously over the past few years and has really pushed himself to find his creative voice. His raw talent, ambition and drive prove that he has what it takes to be a great editor.”

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019
David Trumpf named head of design at BBH NY
David Trumpf

BBH NY has named David Trumpf as its head of design. Reporting to chief creative officer Gerard Caputo, Trumpf will be charged with enhancing creative output by incorporating design discipline into projects across the agency, including work for clients Grubhub, Amex and FanDuel. 

Trumpf has nearly 20 years of experience as a designer on both digital and print projects. During his seven years at R/GA he worked with brands including Nike, Unilever, Verizon, Pepsi, The Ad Council and L’Oréal. In addition, Trumpf worked as an independent creative for various brands including The Gap, Major League Baseball and Coca-Cola. 

“Design should be part of any organization that wants to be known for creative excellence and design is imperative to the creatively driven agenda of BBH. It’s more than just making stuff look good - design is key to modern creativity. It’s how we bring our ideas to life and make them land with relevance in the world on any platform. It’s craft and caring about the details. At its best design is conceptual and strategic,” said Caputo. “David will help position BBH as one of the best in the industry in this space.”

Trumpf said, “The role of design is constantly evolving to meet rapidly-changing user expectations and many agencies struggle to adapt to this environment. When I first met the team at BBH I knew this was the right place to launch fresh ideas and adopt different ways of thinking.”

Trumpf’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Design of Atlanta (MODA) and The Museum of Arts and Design of New York (MAD) as part of the collective “We-Are-Familia.” He is also the co-founder and current creative director of design publication Chalet Magazine, which explores cities from the perspective of a bicycle.

MySHOOT Company Profiles