• Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
DNEG adds "Joker" VFX supervisor Edwin Rivera
Edwin Rivera

Visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company DNEG continues its investment in servicing its feature film clients with the appointment of VFX supervisor Edwin Rivera to its sr. creative team in Los Angeles. Rivera brings more than 25 years of effects experience, most recently serving as overall VFX supervisor on Joker, Todd Phillips’ origin story for Gotham’s most infamous villain. 

Rivera’s VFX supervisor credits also span such films as SpiderMan: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 22 Jump Street, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Grown Ups 2, This is 40, Hot Tub Time Machine and Moneyball.

Rivera’s arrival follows the recent appointment of Alex Cannon as head of previsualization at DNEG in Los Angeles.

Lee Berger, EVP and head of DNEG in Los Angeles, said, “Edwin’s experience will be invaluable as we continue to build a service that takes our clients through a seamless process from concept to final delivery. We’re working hard to create an offering here in Los Angeles that gives access to the full scale of DNEG’s award-winning capabilities, and our global teams of supervisors, VFX artists, animators and stereo conversion experts.”

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
Lizzie Nolan joins Havas' global strategy team
Lizzie Nolan

Havas International, the international client management unit of Havas Media Group, has added Lizzie Nolan to its global team as EVP, managing director for strategy and insights.

Nolan, who has 20+ years in the business delivering strategies for broadcast programming and editorial communications, content, and brand planning in Europe and Asia Pacific, will report directly to Havas Media Group’s global chief client officer Marc Schader. 

In her new role, Nolan will oversee the agency’s holistic strategic planning across Havas International clients, adding more rigor to the planning product and process across clients. 

She joins Havas Media Group from BBH Asia Pacific where she was head of integrated strategy. Prior to joining BBH, she moved from MediaCom UK to Singapore in 2009 to take on the role of APAC strategy director of Proctor & Gamble and was promoted to head of strategic planning after the successful regional planning pitch. In 2013, she set up the APAC MediaCom content marketing division, which was WPP’s fastest-growing group during her three-year tenure. Previously, Nolan spent the first decade of her career in London in strategic roles at UK agencies and some major entertainment brands.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
Adrienne Rehm, Brittany McCullars join Leviathan
Brittany McCullars (l) and Adrienne Rehm

Creative agency Leviathan has added associate director of strategic partnerships Adrienne Rehm and sr. producer Brittany McCullars. 

Most recently, Rehm led marketing for RXBAR’s Strategic Accounts business, and strategy for the firm’s national and international ecommerce channels. Prior to that, she spent over five years at Herman Miller, leading marketing for three of its fastest growing business segments in North America and consulting globally. Highly skilled in strategic planning, business development and communications, Rehm began her career handling digital marketing for The Stow Company.

McCullars meanwhile brings Leviathan more than 12 years of experiential marketing and digital production experience in live events and branded environments. Previous to joining Leviathan, McCullars was a hands-on production leader with brand experience agency Agency EA, responsible for spearheading the growth and development of its digital capabilities, and serving as sr. producer on various programs. She has led innovative projects fusing digital development with technology implementation for clients such as AOL, Hilton, Intuit, Samsung and Under Armour.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
Zoe Schack promoted to editor at Final Cut
Zoe Schack

Zoe Schack has been promoted to editor at Final Cut where she began working as an assistant editor three years ago. She is based in the company’s L.A. office. 

Schack honed her craft under the mentorship of Final Cut editors Crispin Struthers, Joe Guest, Jeff Buchanan, and Rick Russell. Schack has edited branded content and commercials for Audi, Infiniti, Doritos, and Dollar Shave Club as well as music videos for Swae Lee and Whitney Woerz. Schack has already worked with leading directors including Dougal Wilson, Ava DuVernay, Michel Gondry, Craig Gillespie, and Steve Ayson. 

“It’s been amazing watching Zoe’s growth the last few years,” said Final Cut executive producer Suzy Ramirez. “She’s so meticulous, always doing a deep dive into the footage. Clients love working with her because she makes the process fun. She’s grown here at Final Cut so much already under the guidance of our editors, and her craft keeps evolving.”

Originally from a small hamlet north of New York, Schack studied film at RISD and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her love for documentaries led her to intern with renowned filmmaker Albert Maysles and then on to produce the Bicycle Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. She edited several short documentaries and a pilot series that were featured in many film festivals. 

Final Cut maintains offices in London, New York and L.A.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
Wanda Pogue named chief strategy officer at VaynerMedia
Wanda Pogue

Wanda Pogue has joined VaynerMedia as chief strategy officer. In this role, Pogue will oversee strategy across the agency’s global offices in New York, Los Angeles, London and Singapore and report to CEO and co-founder Gary Vaynerchuk. Pogue was most recently chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New York.

Pogue brings over 20 years of strategic planning and brand-building experience to her new roost. As chief strategy officer at Saatchi New York since 2014, she was instrumental in leading business-building and award-winning work across the agency’s roster of clients, including Walmart, Procter & Gamble and USAA. Prior to that, she led the strategic vision for brands such as Olay, Tide/Ariel, Head & Shoulders and Trident as global strategy director, helping to further establish these brands around the world. Her first role at Saatchi & Saatchi was as regional strategy director across both the United States and Latin America. Pogue began her career in marketing research and U.S. Hispanic and multicultural marketing.

Pogue is the latest appointment to VaynerMedia’s global leadership team, following the announcement of Rob Lenois joining the agency as chief creative officer last week. 

  • 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.)

MySHOOT Company Profiles