• Monday, Mar. 9, 2015
Astrid Downs joins Beast as executive producer
Astrid Downs
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Creative editorial company Beast has hired executive producer Astrid Downs to oversee projects for its Santa Monica office. Downs’ experience spans production and postproduction for over a decade.

“Astrid’s roots are in production, so she has a deep understanding of what clients want and need from a post service provider. She also knows how all the various pieces of the post workflow fit together beyond editorial, which will help streamline projects for clients,” said Valerie Petrusson, president, Beast.

“Having known Valerie and the Beast crew for awhile, I’m already familiar with their friendly and creative ethos, said Downs. “Beast is still the approachable boutique powerhouse from its independent days, and now also has the power to tap into Deluxe’s considerable resources. We have the flexibility to take on projects of any size and I look forward to working with a broad spectrum of clients.”

Downs began her career serving as a line producer for a production company specializing in the Hispanic market. She then transitioned to working with Where’s the Board and WTB Interactive for nearly eight years, a role in which she represented a wide range of companies including Beast, Chelsea, Arsenal FX, Backyard, Machine Head and Digital Kitchen. Next she served as executive producer and head of sales at Bully Pictures, where she helped expand the production company’s client list. Most recently, Downs headed up the commercial division of MRB Production, handling everything from sales and bidding to composing treatments and director reels.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 4, 2015
Cedric Devitt to become CCO at Big Spaceship
Big Spaceship's (l-r) Rob Thorsen, Cedric Devitt, and Michael Lebowitz.

Digital creative agency Big Spaceship has named Cedric Devitt to assume the newly created role of chief creative officer, effective March 9. Under the aegis of founder/CEO Michael Lebowitz and managing director Rob Thorsen, the agency in 2014 increased revenue by more than 20 percent, created its first international presence (in Seoul), and brought on new clients including Samsung Mobile, Nestle Purina, Google Play and Organic Valley. Devitt’s role will grow and sharpen work across all three of the agency’s core practices, including marcom, product and social, leading creativity for the agency at large. Devitt will report directly to Lebowitz.

Prior to Big Spaceship, Devitt served as chief creative officer of MRY and was responsible for the creative output of the agency across North America, Europe and Asia. Before LBi acquired MRY in 2013, Devitt spent over three years at LBi in creative leadership roles, including CCO and executive creative director. He also spent time at TribalDDB Worldwide and Grey.

Devitt's notable creative accomplishments include global platforms for Coca-Cola London Olympics “Move to the Beat” and Coca-Cola Placelists--a location-based global social music platform with Spotify. He has also developed branded content and social campaigns for Sony Xperia, Adobe, and Listerine, among others. This past year he led the AT&T It Can Wait campaign to help prevent teens from texting and driving. Previously, he helped create the first online presidential primary with Americans Elect, and is also an award-winning film-maker with the feature length documentary Air Guitar Nation. Devitt’s work has been recognized with numerous industry accolades from The One Show, Clios, Webbys, LIA, Lovie Awards and the 2012 SXSW People’s Choice Award.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2015
Editor Richard Cooperman joins /Wildchild/
Richard Cooperman

Editor Richard Cooperman, whose high-gloss fashion/beauty work spans everything from couture to luxury automobile campaigns, has signed with /Wildchild/, the New York and L.A.-based content collective founded by Yvette Piñeyro.

A native of Toronto, Cooperman joins /Wildchild/ from jumP. Recent projects include work for Lexus, L’Oreal and Hugo Boss and Samsung.

Starting with the editing of music videos, Cooperman’s work has followed a path of visual storytelling that’s included high-end fashion and beauty work for some of the top labels and designers in the industry, including Thierry Mugler, directed by Floria Sigismondi, and Hugo Boss, directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Cooperman has also diversified into automotive advertising which has adopted the sensibilities of top fashion directors and stylists to position cars and SUVs as badges of taste and style, the ultimate in luxury accessorizing.

Indeed, Cooperman was drawn to /Wildchild/ based on its strength in the fashion arena. “I was looking for an editorial company that was strong in the genres where I like to play, and I’d become aware of them based on their fashion work,” he said.

In addition to Åkerlund and Sigismondi, Cooperman has also worked with such noted fashion and music video directors as Wilfred Brimo, Sophie Muller and Melina Matsoukas--and all on car commercials.  “For me, it’s fun and challenging to combine the demands and influences of these two worlds,” he says about his automotive work, noting that the influence of fashion advertising and imagery is being felt in many areas of ad content.

His move into fashion came via the stylistically-related genre of music videos, Cooperman explained.  After graduating from Ryerson University in Toronto he landed at a small production company there that specialized in videos. It’s where he started to edit, “and I loved it,” he recalled. “Sometimes you find something that you’re good at, and when you do, it never feels like work.”

Cooperman has just completed a campaign for Lexus via Team One that introduces its new NX crossover in the brand’s characteristically sexy way. Directed by Brimo, the spots depict the attributes of the new model in a fast-paced and breathless fashion.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2015
Zac Stuart-Pontier joins Greencard's directorial roster
Zac Stuart-Pontier

Production company Greencard has added Zac Stuart-Pontier to its roster of directors. Most recently, he served as editor, one of the writers and co-producer of HBO’s miniseries “The Jinx,” which is currently airing.  The accomplished editor of the groundbreaking documentary “Catfish,” on which he was also a co-producer, Stuart-Pontier will be available for commercial work via Greencard.

Previously, he did double duty as editor and second unit director on the 2011 Sundance award-winner “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” His editing ranges from SXSW award winner “NY Export: Opus Jazz,” to numerous short films, music videos (The Shins, Missy Elliot) and commercials notably for Citibank, Sperry and Nike.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2015
Venables Bell & Partners promotes four to associate partners
Lee Einhorn (l) and Michael Davidson

Venables Bell & Partners is promoting four to the newly defined role of associate partner: Lee Einhorn, associate partner, creative director, who along with his CD role will lead the social media and emerging creative platforms; Michael Davidson, associate partner, head of strategy, who continues to oversee the agency’s strategy department; Mary Johnstone, associate partner, head of talent and Gary Brown, associate partner, chief financial officer.

Einhorn joined VB&P in 2010 as a creative director, combining his digital experience with traditional agency work. Since then, he has been instrumental in leading some of the most innovative and talked-about campaigns VB&P has created, including Google Fiber’s “Why Speed Matters” and eBay’s “When it’s on your mind. It’s on eBay.”  Along with Google, he also currently leads the agency’s Conoco Phillips Brands and shares CD responsibilities on the Audi business.

Davidson came to VB&P in 2013 from Goodby Silverstein & Partners and has played a critical role in winning Reebok, where his strategic oversight led to the development of the “Be More Human” brand platform. For the past year, he has overseen the day-to-day management of the department’s 15 staffers and will continue to do so as Lucy Farey Jones, founder and executive strategy director, focuses on venture partnerships and future offerings.

Johnstone will now report into chairman and founder Paul Venables. Johnstone and Venables will partner to continue the agency’s mission of doing right by its people and lead the talent team, which focuses on culture, workplace happiness and talent development. Johnstone joined VB&P in 2012 after 17 years managing talent at Publicis & Hal Riney.

Brown oversees VB&P’s client and agency financials, as well as drives the agency’s progressive value-based compensation model. Since coming to VB&P in 2013, Brown has driven complete overhaul of the enterprise management systems for the agency, as well as fostered a deeper level of financial transparency focused on greater involvement and understanding of the client teams. Before VB&P, he served as VP, finance and operations, for Evolution Bureau, leading the agency’s financial operations as it evolved from a start-up to one of the fastest growing digital agencies.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2015
Elias Arts bolsters production team
Elias LA team (l-r): production coordinator Allee Futterer, executive producer Vicki Ordeshook and head of production Katie Overcash
Joey Netter and Vicki Ordeshook tabbed as EPs in NY and L.A., respectively

Bicoastal music shop Elias Arts has added Joey Netter as executive producer in its New York studio and Vicki Ordeshook as exec producer in its Los Angeles shop. Additionally, Katie Overcash has stepped up as head of production and Allee Futterer as production coordinator in Los Angeles.

With a diverse background spanning advertising, promotions and production, Netter has worked with such notable clients as Sprint, Taco Bell, Verizon Wireless, GMC and Johnson & Johnson. She comes to Elias with extensive insight into commercial music production, having spent a number of years supervising music production on the agency side, including working on the music production on songs for the Got Milk? Mother’s Day campaign with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Leann Rimes.

Ordeshook brings over 15 years of experience producing every aspect of the audio production process, having lent her talents to a number of top shops including Machine Head, Comma Music, Superfad, and The Lodge Music. She joined Elias Music Library in 2013 and will now oversee all of Elias Arts’ operations, spanning original composition, to music licensing, to sound design, to its extensive music library.

Prior to Elias, Overcash spent three years at Deutsch LA, initially working on the PlayStation account team before becoming a post producer. She spearheaded the build-out of their in-house post facility and successfully curated a roster of seasoned editors and animators. She joined Elias as a producer in 2013, rising to sr. producer and now head of production while working with brands such as Audi, Google, Nike, Taco Bell, Target and Starbucks.

  • Monday, Mar. 2, 2015
Ben Keller promoted to editor at BlueRock
Ben Keller

Ben Keller has been promoted to editor at New York-based editorial shop BlueRock. He developed his skillset while working at BlueRock as an assistant editor, honing his talents under many of the shop’s talented editors. Over the last few years, he was mentored by editor Olivier Wicki. Keller’s editing portfolio includes work for such brands as H&M, Lindt and Crest.

“BlueRock has a long and successful tradition of nurturing young talent and providing the opportunity for them to flourish as editors — Ben is the latest in that storied succession,” said Ethel Rubinstein owner/CEO of Lively Group. “Everyone takes notice when that special talent comes along. Our editors, producers, his peers and most importantly, our clients recognized that he was the real deal at their first encounter. He’s never looked back and that is very exciting.”

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Keller attended the University of Cincinnati, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Electronic Media. Upon graduation, he won an internship award in digital postproduction at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. He started out his career at Lively Group as a machine assistant at Spontaneous before moving to BlueRock to pursue editorial work. 

  • Monday, Mar. 2, 2015
Rob Petrie joins MPC NY as CG creative director
Rob Petrie

MPC NY, headed by managing director Justin Brukman, has bolstered its 3D team with the addition of Rob Petrie as CG creative director. Petrie comes to MPC by way of The Mill where he’s built his career since 2002. Honing his skills in the London 3D department, Petrie crossed the pond to The Mill NY in 2008 where he has played a fundamental role in shaping the CG department as head of 3D, and most recently, as creative director at Mill+.

Highlights for Petrie include his work on AT&T’s charming “Birthday” spot, and concepting and directing Company of Heroes’ “Western Front Armies” live action trailer, as well as co-directing DOOM’s teaser. He has worked with such notable directors as Peter Thwaites, Fredrik Bond, Noam Murro and Nicolai Fuglsig. Petrie’s work for OFFF Paris earned him a Cannes Gold Lion in Design.

  • Monday, Feb. 23, 2015
Jesse Kurnit joins MPC NY as head of production
Jesse Kurnit

MPC NY has hired Jesse Kurnit as head of production. He comes over from Transistor Studios with more than 10 years of production experience. Working closely with MPC NY managing director Justin Brukman and executive producer Camila De Biaggi, Kurnit is responsible for overseeing production of all VFX work as well as continuing to build MPC’s client base.

Kurnit has worked across a diverse portfolio of commercial projects from Pepsi campaigns featuring Mariah Carey, Yoda, and Alex Rodriguez to various spots for Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales and GE’s “Ecomagination.”  He has produced a variety of Super Bowl and Oscar spots, as well as work for the Olympics, MSG and the NFL. Working with leading agencies such as Ogilvy, BBDO, Grey, and Y&R.

  • Monday, Feb. 23, 2015
Michael Vamosy becomes CCO at Stun Creative
Michael Vamosy

Stun Creative, the L.A.-based creative agency, commercial and branded content production company, has hired veteran creative and design executive Michael Vamosy as chief creative officer, a new position at the company. In his role as CCO, Vamosy will lead creative work across Stun and its animation and design division Buster for all network, studio and consumer brand clients. He will report directly to Stun founders/principals Mark Feldstein and Brad Roth.

Vamosy brings a wealth of experience from the network side, previously as sr. VP creative services at Starz where he led campaigns on the network’s original series “Outlander,” “Black Sails,” “Power” and “DaVinci’s Demons,” as well as rebrands for Starz and Encore. Earlier he was sr. VP of design at FOX Broadcasting and VP of design at FX Networks. Vamosy was an architect of FOX’s “L for Loser” campaign for “Glee.” He also helped redesign the FOX network look and spearheaded campaigns for “Fringe,” “American Idol” and “House,” among others. While at FX, he developed the network’s in-house design team “StudioFX,” which designed the packaging for original series such as “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me.” He spent 2011-’12 as executive creative director at Buster, overseeing major on-air rebrands for OWN, FXM and TV One. Over the course of his career, Vamosy’s work has earned numerous PROMAX Gold and Silver Awards, TELLYs and New York Festivals honors.

Vamosy’s return to Stun comes on the heels of the shop’s Dove Men + Care Super Bowl spot “Real Strength,” the first-ever Super Bowl commercial shot and produced by Stun, and #GameDayGrubMatch, the branded entertainment reality web series Stun produced for PepsiCo which ran during Super Bowl week.

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