• Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020
Mike Chambers re-elected as VES Board chair
Mike Chambers

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has announced its 2020 Board of Directors officers. The officers, who comprise the VES Board Executive Committee, were elected at the January 2020 Board meeting. The officers include Mike Chambers, who was re-elected as Board chair.

“Our Society is proud and fortunate to have strong, impassioned leadership represented on our Executive Committee,” said Eric Roth, VES director. “This dedicated group of professionals gives their considerable expertise and volunteer time to our organization. And I’m excited about their collective vision and plans to advance our global membership even further.”

The 2020 Officers of the VES Board of Directors are:
--Chair: Mike Chambers
--1st Vice Chair: Lisa Cooke
--2nd Vice Chair: Emma Clifton Perry
--Treasurer: Laurie Blavin
--Secretary: Rita Cahill

Mike Chambers, Chair
Chambers is a freelance Visual Effects Producer and Independent VFX Consultant, specializing in large-scale feature film productions. He is currently in postproduction on Tenet, his fourth collaboration with esteemed writer-producer-director Christopher Nolan. Other recent credits include Greyhound, Dunkirk, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Transcendence and The Dark Knight Rises. Chambers has contributed to the visual effects efforts on numerous Academy and BAFTA awarwinning films, and he has personally won three VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, on Dunkirk, Inception, and The Day After Tomorrow. He was also nominated for his work on I Am Legend. Chambers is beginning his sixth term as chair of the VES. He has been a member for over 20 years, serving multiple terms on the Board of Directors, and he has previously served on the Executive Committee as both vice chair and secretary. He is also a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), and the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Lisa Cooke, 1st Vice Chair
Cooke has spent more than 20 years as an animation/VFX producer, creative consultant, screenwriter and actor. Firmly believing that it is vital for science to effectively communicate its truths to a broader audience, she started Green Ray Media, and for the last 10-plus years, has been using animation and VFX to help science communicate the amazing stories it has to tell. In the past, Cooke has worked for clients including Lucasfilm, Fox, Nickelodeon Films, ABC, CBS, Paramount and Universal, and in the VFX and animation industry for companies including Pixar, Glasgow-based Digital Animations Group, and Tippett Studio. As sr. producer at Reardon Studios, she helped bring the MOVA Contour reality capture to the film industry. Cooke has also taught story structure at the SF Academy of Art, JFK University and Ex’pression College, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. She served six years on the Bay Area Board of Managers before joining the VES Board of Directors, where she serves as chair of the Archive Committee and was 2nd vice chair in 2019.

Emma Clifton Perry, 2nd Vice Chair
Perry is a sr. compositor with more than 15 years experience working across feature films, longform/TV series, commercials and advertising. Perry has worked both in house with FOX and at VFX facilities worldwide including WETA Digital, Framestore, MPC, Rising Sun Pictures, DrD, Method Studios and The Mill, working both as an artist and in leadership roles. She is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand, offering remote compositing and vfx consulting services worldwide. She also provides guest lecturing services to various universities, having herself studied at the NCCA, Bournemouth University,UK. In recent years Perry has served several terms as chair, co-chair and secretary/treasurer on the VES New Zealand Board of Managers. She is currently in her fourth year on the VES Board of Directors.

Laurie Blavin, Treasurer
Blavin’s 20-year career spans the culture, creativity, and technology of both Hollywood and Silicon Valley. A proven leader with expertise in building and managing creative and technical teams, she counsels companies and professionals in strategy, brand value stewardship, and full-cycle staffing and recruiting for international companies large and small, startup and established businesses. She is passionate about humanizing the technology side of organizations, while supporting the seeming
chaos that sometimes accompanies visionary innovation. On the VFX and Entertainment front, Blavin has worked at or for Dreamworks Animation, The Orphanage, Scanline VFX, MPC, and Technicolor. Prior to focusing on VFX, she worked at AOL, Vivid Studios, Walmart.com, and Blurb. Away from work, Blavin is a collector and curator of fine photography and spends time behind the camera on personal projects. This is Blavin’s first term on the VES Board of Directors.

Rita Cahill, Secretary
Cahill is an international business and marketing/PR consultant for a number of US, Chinese, Canadian, UK and EU companies for visual effects and animation projects. Current and former clients include companies in the feature film, television, VR and game industries, as well as government and educational entities. She is also a partner in MakeBelieve Entertainment, a film development company and serves as Executive Producer on a number of international projects. Previously, Cahill was the VP marketing for Cinesite where she oversaw the marketing of four divisions of the pioneering digital studio’s services. Prior to Cinesite, Cahill was a founding Board member of the Mill Valley Film Festival/California Film Institute and remains on the Institute’s Emeritus Board of Directors. Cahill was also the founding consultant on the formation and establishment of the Singapore International Film Festival. This is Cahill’s sixth term as secretary. Previously, Cahill served as chair or co-chair of the VES Summit for eight years. 

  • Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020
Terry McCarthy named American Society of Cinematographers’ CEO
Terry McCarthy

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has named Terry McCarthy as CEO of the organization. In this newly created role, McCarthy is responsible for all business matters relating to the Society, including events, educational efforts, and publishing.

With more than 30 years of experience in journalism, McCarthy is a four-time Emmy® winner and recipient of an Edward R. Murrow Award. He also brings extensive non-profit management experience to the ASC, having previously served as president of the American Academy in Berlin, and prior to that as president and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

“Terry’s exceptional background in media and global relationship building will help to guide our ongoing outreach and visibility, and expand our publishing and web activities,” said Kees van Oostrum, ASC president. “Our mission is to drive cinematography into the future, steering the conversations around modern image making. The Society and its members are uniquely able to play an important role in maintaining the intentions of filmmakers amidst an expansive landscape of new tools and distribution platforms.”

McCarthy has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America as a reporter, covering political, military and societal issues for TIME magazine, ABC News and CBS News. He speaks six languages--English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

McCarthy said, “The entire industry is going through a period of creative disruption. Cinematographers, with one foot in the artistic side and one foot in the technology side, are perfectly placed to play a major role in determining how movies, television and even video games will look in the future. The ASC will shape this discussion through our educational efforts both with our Master Classes, technology committees and public talks at the Clubhouse, as well as in the pages of our magazine, American Cinematographer.”

On the heels of announcing ASC’s associate membership with IMAGO (the International Federation of Cinematographers), van Oostrum highlights ambitious plans for the ASC moving into 2020. “We plan to further expand our international sessions of the popular ASC Master Classes. We will also program and host our biennial International Summit in June.”

McCarthy added that there will be special events throughout the year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of American Cinematographer. “This magazine continues to have iconic status, and by the end of this year we will have every one of its 1,200 issues available in a searchable online database--a real treasure trove of 100 years of cinematography!”

The work of several ASC Committees rounds out the Society’s commitment to advancing the art of cinematography, including the Motion Imaging Technology Council, Vision Committee, and Education and Outreach group.

The ASC comprises over 400 members around the world, with over 200 associate members working in allied sectors of the industry.

  • Monday, Jan. 13, 2020
Brand New School hires Magnus Hierta as exec creative director
Magnus Hierta

Brand New School has brought Magnus Hierta on board as executive creative director at its Los Angeles studio. Hierta has had a diverse career, from ECD of Hue & Cry, the design and animation studio he founded, to a VP/creative director role at The Martin Agency. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and began using animation as a means to relay concepts in his building designs. Hierta then shifted into design and animation, as the industry was beginning to coalesce in his native Los Angeles.

During his tenure at The Martin Agency, he was pivotal in winning and managing the global Oreo account, beginning with the “Wonderfilled” campaign. The need for consistent design-focused content led Hierta to start Hue & Cry in 2014 as an animation division of The Martin Agency, working on Geico and UPS, in addition to Oreo. In 2018 he spun-off Hue & Cry as an independently owned and operated studio, seeing the need for a top-tier design company that would use an amplified understanding of agency-side thinking to make better work for clients. Its efforts garnered international awards, including Cannes Lions, AICP, Effie, One Show, and D&AD.

“I think any creative will tell you that we pour all our love for design and making into what we do,” said Hierta. “Brand New School is the perfect place for me to contribute my varied experience and passion.”

Devin Brook, managing partner of Brand New School, added, “As we continue to develop relationships with both brands and agencies, Magnus represents the unique intersection of those two streams of our business. Having collaborated with Magnus over the years, his thoughtful leadership on both the agency and production sides combined with his acute eye for design add immense value to Brand New School.”

  • Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020
Nice Shoes launches editorial division, hires Adam Liebowitz as creative director
Adam Liebowitz

Nice Shoes has hired Adam Liebowitz as creative director of editorial. This marks the NYC-based creative studio’s official launch of a dedicated creative editorial division, with a roster of talent led by executive producer Tara Holmes.

Liebowitz comes to Nice Shoes after two decades at his own editorial studio, Go Robot!, and cutting at a number of other top editorial shops. Nice Shoes’ division has grown in reaction to evolving client needs, adding a highly curated slate of creative editors to complement its lineup of artists and producers. The roster of editorial talent will work across Nice Shoes’ global network of interconnected offices in NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis and Boston.

Liebowitz’s has cut projects for such clients as Apple, IBM, UPS, AT&T, Verizon, FedEx, Nike, and NASCAR. His work has earned him recognition from Cannes Lions, AICP, Clios, AICE, and London Film Awards, among numerous other honors.

In addition to Liebowitz, the international roster features creative editors with backgrounds across multiple genres, including Marcos Castiel, Rami D’Aguiar, Colin Loughlin, John Maloney, Michael Reuter and Dan Suter. Nice Shoes has leveraged its integrated internal creative offerings on a number of recent projects, including a Gillette spot cut by D’Aguiar, AAA and Lipton spots edited by Castiel, an eBay spot from Reuter, as well as two Verizon Visible campaigns edited by Loughlin, both of which engaged the artistry of Nice Shoes’ VFX, design, and color teams.

The growth into a dedicated editorial division comes on the heels of adding two new colorists: Maria Carretero in New York, and Yulia Bulashenko in Toronto, as well as executive producer Kirsten Anderson in Boston. Both Holmes and managing director Justin Pandolfino have been instrumental in this strategic growth, adapting to industry shifts and addressing expanding client needs across advertising, entertainment, experiential and emerging technology.

  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2020
Joe Simons joins CVLT as lead editor
Joe Simons

Bicoastal production studio CVLT continues to expand its reach and capabilities in full-service production and post, hiring sr. editor Joe Simons as lead editor. He will be tasked with growing CVLT’s editorial department, further strengthening CVLT’s soup-to-nuts offerings under one roof.

Simons joins the CVLT team after three years at The Mill, where his editorial skills were utilized to craft several highly regarded projects, including the “It’s What Connects Us” campaign for HBO, the “Top Artist of the Year” campaign for Spotify and several major campaigns for Ralph Lauren, among many others. Simons launched his career at PS260 before spending four years at Cut+Run, a creative editing studio.

Simons’ addition represents CVLT’s rapid lateral growth as a concept-to-completion creative studio, launching campaigns for luxury and fashion brands including Lexus, Peloton and Louis Vuitton. 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019
Tim Jones joins McCann Health NY as exec creative director
Tim Jones

Tim Jones has been named EVP, executive creative director for McCann Health New York. He joins from Area 23, an FCB Health Network agency, where he was SVP group creative director. Prior to that, he held senior creative roles at Havas Lynx (Europe), Langland (U.K.) and Boomtown (South Africa). Part South African and part British, Jones helped two of his former roosts win Agency of the Year at Cannes Lions in the past three years.

“Tim epitomizes the best of everything that we have been looking for in our important executive creative director role at McCann Health New York. He shares our philosophy of pushing for work that makes a difference and I know that he will absolutely drive work that does exactly that and we are lucky to have him,” said June Laffey, chief creative officer of McCann Health New York. 

Jones related, “A few years ago I got the chance to work with McCann Health in London as a freelancer, and I saw a glimpse into a network that is a real creative powerhouse within the industry. Since then they’ve made some amazing hires and continually created work that I wish I had made myself. So it goes without saying that I’m very excited to be joining the McCann Health family in New York.”

“I’m thrilled to have an enviable creative leader like Tim join the network and be part of our team,” said 

Matt Eastwood, global CCO of McCann Health, described Jones as “an enviable creative leader” who is “known for his conceptual ability” and “amazing eye for craft.”

Jones has served as chair and judge on some of the world’s biggest health advertising juries, including Health & Wellness president for the London International Awards, and executive jury member at the New York Festival’s Global Awards.

In his home town in South Africa, Jones has been the recipient of the Nelson Mandela Business Chamber’s “Top 40 under 40” recognition.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Creative agency gnet hires Rob Hughes to lead entertainment partnerships
Rob Hughes
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Creative agency gnet has hired Rob Hughes to lead entertainment partnerships. With nearly two decades of experience overseeing marketing for studios, brands and networks, Hughes comes to gnet after five years as VP with Endemol Shine North America. There Hughes was responsible for marketing, developing innovative campaigns for series including MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, Page Six TV, and The Biggest Loser

Hughes’ hire comes as gnet continues to expand its footprint in the entertainment sector. Best known for its bar-setting creative within the videogame space, gnet was named PromaxGames’ Agency of The Year for the last two years in a row in recognition of its work on blue-chip brands like Call of Duty, Fallout, Gears of War, and World of Warcraft. Recently, gnet has been applying its fan-focused expertise to the TV/OTT/film worlds, creating notable campaigns for such projects as Netflix’s series Altered Carbon, The Punisher, and Daredevil; Netflix’s movies El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and Roma; and E!’s People’s Choice Awards.

“Entertainment brands are seeking deeper and more sustained engagements with increasingly discerning fans in increasingly crowded markets. Rob is helping gnet hone a uniquely innovative approach to reaching some of the most elusive yet most valuable audiences out there,” noted gnet CEO David Getson.

Hughes added, “gnet has a strategy-driven approach to their campaigns and creative concepts, which aligns perfectly with my experience crafting 360-degree marketing strategies for entertainment brands that have a fan-first approach. I’m looking forward to bringing that expertise to the agency and working with some of the best entertainment brands in the industry to create impactful campaigns and results-driven partnerships.”

Hughes began his career at Disney ABC Cable Networks Group, learning the business in advertising sales before transitioning his expertise to marketing. Over eight years, he fused his strategic and creative skills to craft successful marketing campaigns, including the development and launch of Disney Junior. Armed with experiences on a diverse range of multi-channel marketing campaigns, he shifted to leading marketing, communications and digital/social media for Saban Brands and its portfolio including the Power Rangers and Digimon properties, and lifestyle brand Paul Frank. He led the successful re-launch of the Power Rangers franchise, resulting in top ratings across key demographics. He made the leap to Endemol Shine North America in 2013, leading all marketing and branding for the company, its scripted and unscripted programming, digital studios and Endemol Shine Latino.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Framestore hires Anna Borysewicz as sr. producer for integrated advertising
Anna Borysewicz

Framestore has brought Anna Borysewicz aboard as sr. producer for integrated advertising in its New York offfice.

Borysewicz joins from The Mill where she began her career in 2011 and rose through the ranks to sr. producer. With experience on a diverse collection of projects, Borysewicz has led jobs including Budweiser’s recent “Be A King” spot featuring FIFA star Sergio Ramos, the Chanel film The One That I Want helmed by Baz Luhrmann, and the Cadillac spot “Pioneers” which premiered on the 2017 Academy Awards.

Charles Howell, managing director at Framestore, New York, said, “Anna’s meticulous attention to detail and understanding of the craft make her a compelling addition to our team. I’m looking forward to Anna partnering with our clients and crew to deliver images of the highest caliber.”

  • Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Oleg Korenfeld named president of Troika Media Group
Oleg Korenfeld

Troika Media Group (TMG)--a global marketing services company headquartered in Los Angeles, with locations in London, New York, and New Jersey--has named Oleg Korenfeld as its president.

Most recently, Korenfeld was the global chief platforms officer at Wavemaker, a GroupM agency. He previously headed up advertising technology, platforms, programmatic investment and data strategy at Spark Foundry, a Publicis Media agency.

Korenfeld joins TMG to spearhead its transformation by introducing data and technology into the company’s core offerings, as well as build out the required talent and organizational structure to provide expert support to clients. He will also be intimately involved with mergers and acquisitions opportunities that will expand TMG’s overall products and services.  

Bob Machinist, TMG’s chairman and CEO, said, “We see Oleg Korenfeld as a transformative hire for the company. His broad experience and skills will help TMG achieve its commitment to the full integration of data and technology as a cornerstone of our client commitment.”

Korenfeld stated, “Data and technology transformed the way media is planned and bought across all channels. I believe the same transformation must happen on the creative side. Data and technology has to be an integral part of personalized, scalable and measurable communication strategy. We must let data and technology help tell the story.”

Korenfeld has more than two-decades of experience working across ad tech, creative/messaging personalization, buy and sell sides of the industry in desktop, mobile, e-commerce, Advanced TV, email and out of home environments.

During his career, he has also held strategic and operational positions at advertising technology innovation companies such as DoubleClick, Right Media and Jumptap as well as at new media publishers like Community Connect and Thrillist and traditional publishers like Hachette Filipacchi Media/Hearst.

  • 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.”

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