• Monday, Dec. 16, 2019
Vincent Taylor joins MPC's New York studio as sr. colorist
Vincent Taylor

Senior colorist Vincent Taylor has brought his extensive experience in the grading suite, his background and training as a cinematographer and his far-flung cultural perspectives to the New York office of the Moving Picture Company. The move reunites Taylor with MPC, as he spent three years leading the color department in its studio in Shanghai prior to moving to New York where he most recently served as head of color at Chimney.

Taylor’s introduction to the grading suite was part happenstance. After working behind the camera for a decade as a cinematographer in Australia, he pitched in to shoot a short film that was a personal project for some friends. When it came time to grade it, the post facility they were working out of asked him if he would consider crossing over from production to that of telecine and the art of color grading.

“I said yes and have never looked back. I love it,” he recalled. “It was the continued crafting of the image that drew me in, which is of course exactly what you do once you’re in the color suite. I found that DPs and directors really appreciated my background; I’d been on set and had extensive lighting experience. So I fell into color quite naturally.

“First and foremost, I’m a storyteller,” he added about his approach to color. “I studied to be a director, but it was lighting and cinematography that attracted me. And in that respect, people often don’t fully appreciate how color can be part of the storytelling, regardless of whether you’re working in comedy or drama or documentary. I’m always asking questions about the story, about what we’re trying to say. Needless to say, directors and DPs love the approach to color from this perspective.”

Currently Taylor’s color grading is on display in visually stimulating commercials spanning genres, techniques, categories, and disciplines, from comedy to fashion to automotive to food and beverage. In Shanghai, for example, Taylor worked on Airbnb’s introductory TV commercial launch in China and led color for major campaigns including Bentley, BMW, Coca Cola, Sky TV, Mercedes, L’Oréal and Johnnie Walker. He’s also worked extensively in the music video space, recently grading clips for artists such as Lil Nas X. 

Taylor said he feels as though he never left MPC. “I’ve continued to follow the work that’s being done there, and many of my friends are still with MPC around the globe,” he pointed out. “I think the quality of the work they’re doing is always attractive to an artist, especially if you’re looking to continually grow, and that’s certainly something I’ve always aimed to do.”

At MPC he plans to continue to work on high-end ad assignments as well as feature films, TV series and movies, documentaries and music videos. Angela Lupo, managing director of MPC’s NY studio, described Taylor as “a senior colorist with a true creative voice and a passion for his craft.”

  • Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019
Steve O’Connell promoted to co-CCO at RTO+P; Todd Taylor upped to ECD
Steve O'Connell

Creative agency Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P) has promoted longtime executive creative director and partner Steve O’Connell to co-chief creative officer. He will share the role with the agency’s founder Steve Red, who has served as CCO and president for more than two decades. This appointment comes alongside another senior promotion; RTO+P veteran Todd Taylor will fill O’Connell’s role as the new ECD, a move up from his SVP, group creative director post. Together, the trio will lead the agency’s growing creative team, continuing to spearhead innovative, progressive campaigns for clients including Dietz & Watson, Keurig, Dr. Pepper, Reyka Vodka and Craftsman. 

VP, creative director Ari Garber and creative director Chris Plehal have also been promoted to group creative directors on the heels of Taylor’s elevation. These senior promotions come at a time of noteworthy growth for the agency. RTO+P has brought on several new clients and projects this past year, including Sierra, A TJX Company, Nic + Zoe, Tullamore Dew, and Chipotle. As a result, the agency has needed to build out teams across disciplines through several new hires. 

Over the last few weeks, RTO+P has recruited talent from top shops to help round out its production, creative, and account management teams, including: 

--Guy Helson as executive integrated producer. He joins RTO+P from R/GA, where he produced video content for brands including Nike, Mercedes, and Pepsi.
--Colin Smith as a sr. copywriter from London based agency, DARE.
--Christine Benner as experience producer from creative agency 160over90.
--And Christina Castaldo, as the agency’s newest group account director. In her previous role at Anomaly, she led accounts including Budweiser, NBC Sports, and Universal Kids.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019
BSSP adds creative team of writer Jeff Hornung, art director Ed Patterson
Jeff Hornung (l) and Ed Patterson
SAUSALITO, Calif. -- 

Writer Jeff Hornung and art director Ed Patterson have joined agency BSSP as a creative team working on accounts including FootJoy, Parallel and Traditional Medicinals.

First teaming up at TBWA\Media Arts Lab in 2014 for Apple on campaigns like the heartfelt “Frankie’s Holiday” in 2016, encouraging people to “Open your heart to everyone” during the holiday season, the creative duo then moved to Deutsch LA where they worked on Volkswagen, launching the new VW Jetta via the “Betta Getta Jetta” campaign in 2018.

Earlier Hornung worked at Google Creative Labs and 72andSunny on their Activision account. Patterson was previously at Wieden+Kennedy in London working on the Aria and Orange Mobile accounts, and prior to that was a director for Blinkink and Aardman Animations working under the name “Sumo Science.”

  • Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019
Bonfire adds creative director Nazarov, producer Farrell, 3D artist Moon
Gene Nazarov

Bonfire has added creative director Gene Nazarov, producer Tierney Farrell and 3D artist Hee Hye Moon. Nazarov’s resume includes time spent at Brand New School, UVPHACTORY, The Mill and Postal. Farrell comes over from Chimney while Moon had been in the freelance ranks.

Nazarov’s work, which exhibits a design-driven approach to such disciplines as motion graphics, animation, VFX and live action, ranges from commercials to broadcast promos to opening title sequences and experiential projects. His clients include Pepsi, Nike, Bulova, Coke and Spectrum.

Nazarov now reunites with Jason Mayo, who recently joined Bonfire as partner and managing director. The two worked together than Mayo was running design and VFX shop Postal. “Gene came up working at studios run by creative people who had impressive design backgrounds but were also on the box, which made their work highly visual and always very graphic,” Mayo said. “I’d tried to hire him earlier in my career, but the stars didn’t align for us until now.”

Nazarov grew up in an artistic environment and attended New York’s famed LaGuardia High School. He went on to the School of Visual Arts, where he focused his studies on graphic design and computer arts. His first job out of school was at Attik, the venerable, London-based design and creative agency that was highly regarded for its work on a roster of major brands, where he quickly found a niche bridging the worlds of more traditional design with 3D animation and motion graphics.

Mayo joined Bonfire this past October, bringing his broad experience in digital and postproduction to the studio’s management team, which includes founder and Flame artist Brendan O’Neil; partner and creative director Aron Baxter; partner and EP Dave Dimeola; and partner Peter Corbett.

Mayo said he and Nazarov share a shorthand style of communicating based on years of close collaboration. “And Gene has this uncanny ability to listen to clients and then conceptualize just what they’re asking for, and because of his 3D skills in the suite, he can show them exactly what he’s thinking of,” he continues. “He’s this right-brain, left-brain hybrid who’s detail-oriented yet highly creative, and works very easily with directors. When you put him together with Brendan and Aaron, it’s like having this three-headed monster we can let loose on projects.”

For his part, Nazarov said he’s eager to partner with the Bonfire team, and expects to find the same kind of single-minded simpatico that characterized his best working relationships in the past. 

Meanwhile Farrell’s hire presents Bonfire with a producer who hails from the creative ranks; prior to getting into postproduction, she was an award-winning, New York-based photographer who worked for a range of clients.

Farrell’s transition from shooting stills to postproduction is a tale of intersecting lines:  Booked to accompany a film crew shooting the documentary When Lions Become Lambs in Kenya, she was caught up in the excitement and energy of film production. After working alongside the film from its beginnings, she saw obvious parallels to what she did running her photography business and post producing a film project.

Rounding out the new hires is Moon, who joins Bonfire from the freelance ranks, where she worked with Mayo during his time at Postal.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019
Kerry Sanders joins McCann Worldgroup's Craft as EVP-global head of business development
Kerry Sanders

Craft, one of the marketing industry’s largest global creative content production and adaptation agencies and a division of McCann Worldgroup, has brought Kerry Sanders on board as executive VP-global head of business development. Most recently he served as sr. VP-sales & marketing at Xerox Corp. in Rochester, NY.

Sanders has broad international corporate and technology experience that, in addition to Xerox, includes his having served as VP-marketing at the Moscow-based international construction company Stroytransgaz and as director of Americas business development at Hewlett Packard in Houston. Sanders’ experience in supporting companies with business transformation is an integral addition to the Craft global network, as the creative production and content marketing landscape continues to evolve, and brands look for agile partners to bring their creative ideas to life efficiently and at scale.   

“Kerry’s background in the B2B space as a trusted partner and solutions provider for major global and technology-related brands fits in well with the way Craft has been growing both with new and existing clients,” said Ed Powers, Craft’s global CEO. “He understands the value of what our organization can bring to corporate clients and how to connect those benefits to the production of increasingly complex marketing assets across the media spectrum at scale.”

Craft, which operates through a network of more than 1,300 full-time creative makers in 120 countries, has continued to expand its global offering by serving as an agile partner in developing custom production models that bring increasingly complex and integrated brand campaigns and content to life. A leading provider of scalable production services across a full range of print, digital, and video, world-class brands such as L’Oréal, Mastercard, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Nespresso work with Craft to deliver quality executions via streamlined and technology-driven processes.

Sanders said, “Craft offers world-class brands peace of mind via award-winning content production and their proprietary technology stack which streamlines the experience all the way from brief through to production and ultimately to deployment. It’s this dual promise of creative quality and efficient production that marketers need in a modern partner.”

  • Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019
DNEG promotes VFX veteran Lee Berger to head L.A. studio
Lee Berger

Visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company DNEG is bolstering its global client services team with the promotion of Lee Berger to executive VP. He will head up DNEG in Los Angeles.

Having spent the last few years as DNEG’s SVP of production in L.A., Berger has been working closely with film studio and production clients in Hollywood, as well as with DNEG’s global creative supervisory team. The L.A. studio provides filmmakers, directors and studio clients in Hollywood with a gateway to DNEG’s award-winning capabilities across the globe.

In his new role, Berger will lead the L.A. team while continuing to oversee projects and helping to steer the company’s global delivery capabilities. As part of the senior management team, he will also explore opportunities in intellectual property, film and TV investment, in addition to other media business development initiatives. 

Berger has a wealth of visual effects experience, having previously held senior leadership positions at Rhythm & Hues (R&H) and Blue Sky/VIFX. While at R&H, he worked on the Oscar and BAFTA-winning films The Golden Compass and Life of Pi, as well as the Academy Award-nominated The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, among many other productions.

DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra described the promotion as a “coming of age” for the company’s L.A. studio. “Lee’s promotion amplifies our commitment to our clients across North America. As the requirements of our clients’ projects become ever more complex, we need a team in L.A. that has the experience to advise, add value and draft in the best resources from around our global network to deliver a superior level of service and delivery.”

  • Friday, Nov. 29, 2019
Periscope Post & Audio adds sr. colorist Kevin Michael Kirwan
Kevin Michael Kirwan
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Veteran colorist Kevin Michael Kirwan (American Crime Story, American Horror Story) has joined Periscope Post & Audio. Kirwan brings more than 20 years of experience as a sr. colorist and credits on more than 40 television series. At Periscope, he will perform final color out of an all-new color grading suite in Periscope’s facility in Hollywood, which launched earlier this year.

“Kevin is among the most accomplished colorists in television; a true master of his craft,” said Periscope Post & Audio general manager Ben Benedetti. “He has worked with the top showrunners, directors and DPs in Hollywood and helped set the look for some of the most iconic shows of recent years.”

Kirwan arrives from Encore, Hollywood, where he worked on scores of popular one-hour dramas. He has provided final color for numerous series for producer Ryan Murphy, which, along with American Horror Story and American Crime Story, include Scream Queens, Glee and Nip/Tuck. Kirwan worked with producer David E. Kelley on Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, Snoops and Picket Fences. Other notable work includes Drop Dead Diva (producer Josh Berman), The Closer (producer Michael M. Robin), 24: Live Another Day (producers Howard Gordan, Brian Grazer, Kiefer Sutherland, et al) and Raising Hope (producer Gregory Thomas Garcia). Kirwan also has extensive experience in television animation, including nearly 250 episodes of the Nickelodeon series SpongeBob SquarePants.

Kirwan said he was attracted to Periscope by the opportunity to help build a facility from the ground up. “The environment is just what I was looking for,” he said. “When I met with Ben and (executive sales manager) Rich Ellis, I knew this was home.”

Periscope Post & Audio, a full-service postproduction company, maintains facilities in Chicago’s Cinespace, and Hollywood. 

  • Friday, Nov. 29, 2019
Karena Ajamian promoted to EP of finishing at MPC LA
MPC LA’s finishing team members (l-r) lead Flame artist Cynthia Lee, sr. Flame artist Rob Ufer, EP Karena Ajamian (center), sr. Flame artist Noah Caddis, lead Flame artist Benji Davidson, and creative director Claus Hansen (front right).

Moving Picture Company (MPC) has promoted Karena Ajamian to executive producer of finishing at its L.A. studio.

Ajamian joined MPC as a sr. producer in January 2018 after nearly a decade in the industry and has since overseen many major projects including the renowned Beats by Dre campaign directed by Hiro Murai, “Storytellers” for Apple TV+ directed by Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, and a Chevrolet campaign directed by Rupert Sanders.

MPC’s finishing work in L.A. is spearheaded by creative director Claus Hansen, alongside a team of highly skilled Flame Artists including Noah Caddis, Cynthia Lee, Rob Ufer and Benji Davidson. Together, the team has brought its artistry to notable work including Vanity Fair’s 25th Hollywood Issue campaign directed by Park Pictures’ Lubezki, Infiniti’s campaign “Konrad’s World” directed by MJZ’s Craig Gillespie, and the launch campaign for Google Nest.

Hansen commented, “Our team approaches every project with a high level of creativity and scrutiny, and Karena has been a fundamental part of this, thanks to her close attention to detail, her incredible connection with our clients and her passion for the work.”

  • Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019
Freefolk promotes Payne, adds Rickets, Cockesdge
Cheryl Payne

Soho based, award winning commercials and longform visual effects studio Freefolk has promoted Cheryl Payne from sr. producer to head of commercials production, and hired Laura Rickets as sr. producer and 2D artist Bradley Cockesdge who is now part of the commercials VFX team. 

Payne has been with Freefolk from almost its inception. She has worked on some of the company’s biggest commercials to date, including Warburtons for Engine, Peloton for Dark Horses and Cadburys for VCCP.

Rickets has over 18 years of production experience and has worked at leading VFX studios including Framestore, The Mill and Smoke & Mirrors as well as on the agency side for McCann.  

Since joining the team, Rickets has VFX produced the I’m A Celebrity idents, a set of seven technically challenging, CG heavy spots for the new series of the show as well as ads for the Rugby World Cup and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?.

Cockesdge comes over from Framestore where he was working on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald.  He came to Freefolk originally straight from Hertfordshire University where he studied Visual Effects for Film and Television.  His film Downfall was the UH animation Expose 2019 Grand Prix Winner (Best Film) and “Visual Effects Film of the Year” by the Rookies.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019
Rosapark promotes Julien Saurin, Nicolas Gadesaude to creative directors
Julien Saurin (l) and Nicolas Gadesaude

Rosapark has promoted artistic director Julien Saurin and copywriter Nicolas Gadesaude to creative directors. Saurin and Gadesaude have been working as a creative team for 10 years. They met as interns and joined the Havas group in 2009. The duo joined Rosapark in 2013 and worked on campaigns for Ouigo, InOui (Maiwenn), Thalys, Skoda, and Decathlon.

Together, Saurin and Gadesaude have won over 60 French and international creative prizes, including four Cannes lions (most recently in 2019 for Ouigo). As creative directors, they will work on multiple accounts, as well as new business for the Paris agency.

Their promotion follows several new client wins for Rosapark, which now has over 120 employees.

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