• Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2015
Brad Blondes joins MING Utility And Entertainment as partner/chief design officer
Brad Blondes

MING Utility And Entertainment Group, the creative company recently founded by advertising vets Linus Karlsson, Brian DiLorenzo and Tara DeVeaux, has named Brad Blondes to serve as partner/chief design officer. In his new role, Blondes heads Design by MING, a strategic design and creative unit. Blondes reports directly to Karlsson, MING chairman and chief creative officer.

Blondes brings deep experience as a design executive to his new post. As former sr. VP, director of design at McCann New York, he was responsible for leading all design-related content within the agency and worked with clients such as Chevrolet, American Airlines, The United States Postal Service, Jose Cuervo, Verizon, Nasdaq, General Mills, Kohl’s and McCann NY. Prior to McCann, he worked as an art director/designer at BBDO NY on Starbucks, at Mother NY on Tanqueray, Target, Stella Artois and Dell, and at Sapient Nitro on Conde Nast, Foot Locker and Disney. His experience over the past decade also includes design positions at Landor & Associates, Brand New School, MTV Networks, Momentum Worldwide, @radical.media and Winterhouse Studio.

In addition to leading design strategy for MING clients, Blondes teaches a branding class at Parsons The New School for Design as an adjunct professor. He holds an MFA in Design from Yale University where his thesis work focused on “undoing,” a process he incorporates in his work today to discover the truth and potential of a brand by breaking it down and building it back up again. He attended SVA for Graphic Design and earned a BA from Temple University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

  • Monday, Apr. 27, 2015
Jim Houck joins Lowe Campbell Ewald as executive creative director
Jim Houck
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- 

Marketing communications agency Lowe Campbell Ewald has added Jim Houck as executive creative director. In this new role based in San Antonio, Houck will lead all creative efforts on behalf of USAA and will report directly to Mark Simon, chief creative officer.

Prior to joining Lowe Campbell Ewald, Houck was a freelancer at various advertising agencies including The Martin Agency, Deutsch LA, Saatchi & Saatchi NY and Draftfcb. Before his freelancer roles, Houck served at Crispin Porter+Bogusky and as global director of branded entertainment at SapientNitro. He has worked on multi-platform campaigns for Burger King, Coke, Walmart, Sony, Volkswagen, American Express, Pizza Hut, Dell, Toyota, Taco Bell and Accenture, among others. His work has been recognized by the Cannes Lions, One Show, CLIOs and International ANDYs.

Houck is the author of several novels including “Ketchup Soup” and feature films including the drama The Writer. He graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism.

  • Monday, Apr. 27, 2015
VFX artist Pete Olson named partner at VOLT Studios
Pete Olson

Pete Olson has been made partner of the Minneapolis-based post company VOLT Studios. Olson has been with VOLT for five years and contributed visual effects and digital artistry to projects of all genres.

Olson began his career in audio before “being lured to a film set” where he fell in love with production, before ultimately making his name in postproduction as a VFX artist. He was encouraged to join VOLT Studios by longtime friend and former colleague Steve Medin who is the company’s partner/creative director.

At VOLT, which provides creative post services including motion graphics, editing and VFX, Olson has lent his signature talent to a wide range of projects from commercials to long format brand films. Among them, the Arby’s 13 Hour Brisket for Fallon, and the DOUBLEURXXX--a dangerously unpredictable child of Subaru of America out of Carmichael Lynch. Starring WRX STI Rally driver and skateboard legend Bucky Lasek, DOUBLEURXXX features a trailer titled “Ride of Her Life” and a 16-minute reality show called The Chosen Ones.

  • Monday, Apr. 27, 2015
Christos Mountzouros joins Scout as exec producer
Christos Mountzouros

Bicoastal design studio Scout has added Christos Mountzouros as executive producer.  Mountzouros brings nearly a decade of experience in production and postproduction, with a background spanning producing for motion graphics, interactive, VFX, animation and live action as well as representing talent for a number of top design, interactive, and animation companies. He previously led the design departments at Method Studios and MPC and has also lent his talents to such shops as Nice Shoes, Digital Kitchen, Logan, Mass Market, and Curious Pictures. He has produced assorted projects for such networks as HBO, CNN, IFC, and MTV and brands including Google, Levi’s, Microsoft, MAC, Samsung, and GE.

“I’ve loved getting to work in both design and visual effects for a variety of platforms, but design has always been my passion,” related Mountzouros. “I’m excited to lead this already incredibly creative team at Scout and focus on creating amazing, design-driven work.”

  • Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015
Vandebroek promoted to joint head of 3D at The Mill NY
Ruben Vandebroek

The Mill has promoted Ruben Vandebroek to joint head of 3D, accompanying Vince Baertsoen, in its New York studio.

Vandebroek previously served as 3D VFX supervisor. He brings invaluable on-set and supervisory experience which has made way for his new role where he will be pioneering the technical cutting edge and visionary projects for the 3D department.

He has collaborated across an array of high-profile brands, agencies and directors. These projects include Johnnie Walker’s “Rock Giant” with director Peter Thwaites, Nike’s “Hypervenom: Mirrors ft Neymar Jr” and Google’s “Play Your Heart Out” with director Johnny Green and NFL’s “Timeline” with Peter Berg.

“With the growing landscape of what is possible in CGI,” said Angus Kneale, executive creative director at The Mill NY, we need leaders with hands on experience to guide the team. I am excited to have Vince and Ruben working together [as joint heads of 3D] at this level.”

  • Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015
Filmworkers to represent Craig Leffel for color correction
Craig Leffel
Industry vet will continue as EP of his boutique studio Big Spoon Industries

Filmworkers has reached an agreement with veteran colorist Craig Leffel to represent him for color correction projects in the Midwest. Leffel will continue to serve as executive producer of Big Spoon Industries, the creative production studio he formed last fall, while handling color correction assignments through Filmworkers.

Leffel has been a colorist in Chicago for more than 20 years. He has worked with all of the city’s top advertising agencies for accounts including Coors Lite, American Family Insurance, Kraft, Coca-Cola, the Illinois Board of Tourism, and the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Craig is a longtime friend and a pillar of the Chicago advertising community,” said Filmworkers president Reid Brody.

Leffel’s background includes a 15-year run as senior colorist at Optimus and three years as director of production of its production arm, ONE at Optimus. He also was a partner in the company. He left Optimus last fall to launch Big Spoon Industries, a collective of directors, artists and designers focused on producing work directly for brands, digital agencies, marketing firms and others.

Leffel said that his agreement with Filmworkers allows him to continue to pursue his passion for production and storytelling, while meeting demand for his skill as a colorist. “It’s a great opportunity,” he observed. “I’ve had a long relationship with Reid, and we share a similar respect for color correction. I like the people at Filmworkers and the support they give to their artists. They are a perfect ally.”

“Color correction, for me, is a very iterative process,” he said. “It’s about interpreting the thinking of the creative team and interpreting what was captured on the set, and turning it into something people want to see on screen. In the best scenario, it goes beyond what anyone hoped or imagined.”

Leffel complements a talent staff at Filmworkers that includes senior colorists Michael Mazur and Fred Keller, and colorists Matt Harger and Jeff Altman.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015
Havas Chicago names Chuck Anderson creative director of design
Chuck Anderson

Chuck Anderson has been named creative director of design at Havas Worldwide Chicago. In this role, he will help set the design vision for the agency, infuse a sense of craft into client work, and mentor young design talent.

Anderson is a popular Chicago-based artist, designer, photographer and founder of NoPattern Studio, which he started in 2004 at the age of 18. He secured design projects for such clients as ESPN, Complex and Nylon. From there, his portfolio and client list expanded, resulting in vivid, colorful collaborations with brands such as Burton, Absolut, Nike, Google, Mountain Dew, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Target, Honda, Vans, GQ and Wall Street Journal

Anderson will continue to create art as head of NoPattern Studio in addition to his role as creative director of design at Havas Chicago. “I have been fiercely independent for 11 years doing my own thing, but feel ready to take the leap into a team role,” said Anderson. “Whether it’s creating the first Windows 7 desktops and packaging for Microsoft or a Lebron James illustration for ESPN Magazine, my approach to creativity has always been about adding excitement in new places. I feel that same sense of creative energy at Havas. It’s like the stars have aligned and I’m really excited to collaborate with the teams and mentor young designers who are just learning the ropes.”

  • Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015
Valerie Iorio joins Fluid as sr. producer
Valerie Iorio

Editorial shop Fluid has brought Valerie Iorio on board as sr. producer. Iorio got her start on the agency side, producing for top accounts including Bank of America at BBDO before transitioning to the postproduction realm. She spent the last several years at Beast NY, working with such agencies as JWT, Draft FCB, 360i, Grey, BBDO and Saatchi.

Iorio rounds out Fluid’s producing team of sr. producer Michelle Seidenfrau and associate producer Meg Hall, led by executive producer Laura Relovsky.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2015
Christine Cattano promoted to EP of Framestore’s Virtual Reality Studio
Christine Cattano

Oscar-winning visual effects and creative content studio Framestore has promoted Christine Cattano to executive producer of its Virtual Reality Studio in New York from her previous position of producer. In the new role, Cattano will continue to work directly alongside the department’s founder, executive creative director Mike Woods. She will continue to serve as a primary client liaison and will oversee a growing team in response to rapid project expansion within the department. Accompanying the promotion and department growth, Framestore has also brought on Collin Walters and Ron Fosner as recruiters within the VR studio.

Framestore’s VR studio opened its doors last April after the success of the “Ascend the Wall” activation for HBO’s Game of Thrones at SXSWi. Since then, the studio launched pioneering projects across Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR that brought together talent from many of Framestore’s practice areas. Highlights include Merrell’s “Trailscape,” the first-ever commercial “walk around” use of virtual reality that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; a tour of the spaceship in Christopher Nolan’s film Interstellar; “The Teleporter” for Marriott Hotels; and the “Volvo Reality” app to test-drive the auto brand’s XC90 vehicle.

In her previous role at Framestore, Cattano served as a production lead for all digital and integrated projects. Before joining Framestore, Cattano was sr. producer at marketing agency Campfire, where she handled production for transmedia initiatives across multiple platforms, including digital, experiential, social and PR. With extensive experience managing non-traditional projects, she played an integral role in creating campaigns for brands such as National Geographic Channel, HBO and Harley Davidson.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2015
Mixer John Bolen joins newly branded Formosa Villa
John Bolen
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Formosa Group has formally launched Formosa Villa, its commercial/branded entertainment division, and brought on board mixer John Bolen and executive producer Lauren Cascio. Bolen comes to Formosa Villa from PLAY with more than two decades of experience in postproduction sound, working with such agencies as TBWA\Chiat\Day, Media Arts Lab, 72andSunny, Venables Bell & Partners, Wieden+Kennedy, Deutsch, Vitro and David&Goliath. Formosa Group is housed at the newly renovated Formosa Santa Monica facility.

With a degree in recording and music from Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory, Bolen began his career at Virginia-based Roland House. He spent eight years there, mixing long form projects for major broadcast clients including PBS, Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and National Geographic. In 1999, John accepted an offer to move to Los Angeles to work at Eleven Sound in Santa Monica, where he found his love for commercials. Shortly after, in 2003 he opened PLAY, where he spent the next 12 years.

Formosa Group opened its Santa Monica location in September 2014 in the former space of POP Sound. The launch of Formosa Villa and the arrival of John Bolen coincide, and mark the completion of an extensive renovation to the 17,000 square foot Formosa Santa Monica facility. Robert C. Rosenthal is president/COO of Formosa Group.

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