• Monday, Dec. 1, 2014
Splice adds VFX supervisor Andrew Sagar
Andrew Sagar

Creative studio Splice has hired VFX supervisor Andrew Sagar. His most recent position was as a sr. compositor at Scoundrel VFX in New York. Prior to that, he was VFX supervisor at World Wide FX in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he managed a team of 40 artists and support staff, working on such feature films as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D,” “The Expendables,” “Home Front,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” and “Conan The Barbarian.” Previously Sagar served as sr. editor/VFX artist at Precinct 13 Entertainment in Crestline, Ohio, where he collaborated on commercials, music videos, and feature films.

Last month, Splice celebrated the launch of the newest season of the original documentary series “America Unearthed.” Created and produced by Committee Films and featuring VFX by Splice, “America Unearthed” has become the #1 series of all time for The History Channel’s H2. Sagar is collaborating on the new series and other projects for Splice. Sagar’s talent expands the visual effects capacity of SPLICE, as the company continues to grow its feature and episodic television visual effects team.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014
Erwin Penland hires Jessica Navas as chief planning officer
Jessica Nava

Jessica Navas will join agency Erwin Penland in the newly created role of chief planning officer, effective December 1. An award-winning planner, Navas will lead strategic planning and work to enhance brand stories across all clients, including Denny’s Diner, Verizon and L.L. Bean. Navas will report to president Joe Erwin and will sit in the agency’s New York City office.

Navas joins Erwin Penland from JWT where she was group planning director and worked with clients including PUMA and Lean Cuisine, as well as handling both internal and external communications. Most notably during her tenure at JWT, Navas helped bring JetBlue’s mission to life with core brand and product strategy work. Navas began her career at Merkley Newman Harty and continued on at Cliff Freeman and Partners before joining JWT in 2007. She has worked with many other leading brands during her career, including Rolex, Snapple, DSW, T. Rowe Price and Champion.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
Design EP Robertson joins Mill+
Ryan "Reno" Robertson

After six years at Prologue with experience in film, VFX, broadcast and print, Ryan “Reno” Robertson has joined Mill+ in Los Angeles as executive producer, design.

Robertson’s body of work includes title sequences for ‘Elementary’, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn’ and FIFA World Cup 2010 & 2014. He has received award recognition from the Emmys, PromaxBDA, New York TV & Film Festival, BDA and Type Director’s Club.

Stephen Venning, Mill+ executive director, noted that Robertson “has been part of some outstanding work over the past several years and now we believe he can bring the same astute creative vision and fantastic project management skills to the Mill+ design team.”

  • Monday, Nov. 24, 2014
Melinda Kelly joins Black Dog Films as exec producer
Melinda Kelly

Executive producer Melinda Kelly has joined Black Dog Films, bringing extensive experience on the record, creative and production sides of the business.

As the owner and EP of MAK Productions for the past seven years, Kelly has produced numerous commercials, long form content, and music videos for the likes of Robin Thicke, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys and Maroon 5. During her tenure as VP at Geffen Records she collaborated with artists like Mary J. Blige and Nelly Furtado and worked with global brands like Pepsi on award-winning content.

Kelly served as VP for j records, Arista, and Island Records, overseeing internationally recognized work and leading creative and production teams. She was behind the rebrand of Robin Thicke and commissioned his career-changing (perhaps career-making) video for Blurred Lines, produced at Black Dog. 

  • Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
Aaron Kiser promoted to editor at Cutters
Aaron Kiser

Cutters has promoted Aaron Kiser to editor. His career roots are at the company. After studying Telecommunications at Indiana University, Kiser moved to Chicago in 2007, where he soon landed an internship with Cutters. Over the next two and a half years, he rose to become a tape room operator, and was named an assistant editor in 2010.  Mentored for more than three years by Cutters editor/partner Grant Gustafson, whose credits include three of USA Today’s top ten Super Bowl commercials of all time, Kiser has also been fortunate to work closely and learn from many of the editors at Cutters.

According to Cutters’ executive producer/partner Craig Duncan, Kiser has developed a consistent client base and is now regularly requested to edit projects by some of the industry’s top agencies, brands and directors.  Over the past year, he has been the lead editor on projects for Bayer, Capital One, Cricket, La Quinta and State Farm, and most recently for the first new work for McDonald’s via Cossette Chicago, which was directed by Tool of North America’s Erich Joiner.

Duncan said. “Aaron has excelled at every level of this company, from intern to assistant.  The fact that he hasn’t assisted in over a year because he has been constantly booked on his own projects made this move a really easy decision for us.”

Kiser has also been playing the drums for 18 years, and he’s one of the founders of the nationally known band Fort Frances, which has toured widely and performed at the likes of CMJ, SXSW and Summerfest.  The band’s newest album is due out in 2015.

“I am incredibly grateful and humbled for the opportunity to continue my career with such an incredible company, and, more importantly, with such incredible people,” Kiser added. At Cutters Chicago, Kiser joins staff editors Tom Brassil, Chris Claeys, Christopher Gotschall, Grant Gustafson, Kathryn Hempel, Michael Lippert, Tim LoDolce, Carl Schumacher, Steve Stein and Matt Walsh.  

  • Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014
Cause & [Effect] adds creative director Gelsomino, art director Jernigan
Anthony Gelsomino

Creative studio Cause & [Effect] has added Emmy Award-winning creative director Anthony Gelsomino. The former VP/creative director of Nickelodeon Movies and On-Air Promotions joins Cause & [Effect] after a 20 -ear tenure with MTV Networks including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite and TVLand. He has been the creative force behind various network rebrands, series launches and live award shows. He also collaborated closely with major motion picture studios, working with numerous celebrities including Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Will Ferrell, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce.

After working across a multitude of departments, he has created major promotional campaigns for such blockbuster films as Shrek 3 & 4, Dreamworks’ “Madagascar” franchise, “The Last Airbender,” “Rango,” “Sherlock Holmes” and Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull” and “TinTin.” Gelsomino also launched the promotion for “iCarly” with Miranda Cosgrove, “Victorious” with Victoria Justice and “Sam & Cat” with Ariana Grande. He also creatively executed entire campaigns for the Kid’s Choice Awards with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson and Will Smith- for which his work earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Campaign Announcement.

The hiring of Gelsomino will allow Cause & [Effect] to expand its in-house offerings to provide campaign expertise to all of its brand clients. His joining comes on the heels of the creative studio signing Emmy-winning art director Nick Jernigan who has crafted visuals for such clients as National Geographic, PBS, Discovery and Visa. After earning a degree in Visual Media with a concentration in Film from American University, he landed his first gig at National Geographic, where his work earned him four Emmy nominations and a 2005 win in “Outstanding Achievement in a Craft: Graphic and Artistic Design” for “Predators of War.” Prior to joining Cause & [Effect], he served as a VFX supervisor at Pixeldust Studios, earning his fifth Emmy nomination for the his imagery for the Discovery series “Apocalypse How?”

  • Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014
Youree Henley joins Epoch Films as exec producer
Youree Henley

Epoch Films has hired Youree Henley as executive producer. He is based in the bicoastal shop’s L.A. office.

A long-time producer of commercials and feature films, Henley brings to his new roost years of production experience and strong relationships with directors and agencies alike. For years, Henley worked at The Directors Bureau, and it was there that he met directors Roman Coppola and Mike Mills. It was in 2010, with the release of Sofia Coppola’s film, Somewhere, that Henley received his first producer credit. He then went on to produce Roman Coppola’s film, A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III, and Sofia Coppola’s latest film The Bling Ring. Henley has just finished producing Tim Godsall’s feature film debut entitled Len & Company.

  • Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
Jerry Rig hires EP Katie Matson-Walker
Katie Matson-Walker

Jerry Rig, an independent production shop, has hired Katie Matson-Walker as executive producer. Matson-Walker was previously production director at Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish and is a specialist in transmedia brand storytelling and content production. Prior to that, she helped build he NY office of San Francisco-based Mekanism, a digital and social media agency. She began her career as a producer at Believe Media working with A-List directors.

In her new role, she’ll be responsible for branded-content video production across all Jerry Rig clients, which include Mike’s Hard Lemonade, ConAgra, Kawasaki and Kimberly-Clark. Walker reports to Gary Curtin, VP of marketing operations.

Matson-Walker has produced award-winning commercials, web films, documentaries, music videos and social-media campaigns for top global brands including AT&T, ESPN, GE, Mac Cosmetics, Samsung, and Stella Artois. Her work has been recognized by the Webbys, the One Show and FWA.

  • Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
ACNE signs comedy director Tim Hamilton
Tim Hamilton
VENICE, Calif. -- 

Integrated production company ACNE has signed internationally awarded comedy director Tim Hamilton for commercials and branded fare in the U.S. and U.K. Hamilton is best known for his dry, irreverent sense of humor as exemplified in some of the popular films he has helmed and co-wrote, including Truth in Advertising, a Cannes International Film Festival selection, and its sequel The Reel Truth, which was commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi London for the Cannes Lions.

Hamilton has worked all around the world on a variety of disciplines including TV, film, commercials, and music videos. He has extensive commercial directing experience and has shot hundreds of commercials for brands including Bud Light, Lexus, and Verizon. Hamilton was previously repped by GO Film in the U.S.

Hamilton began his directing career working on music videos for local bands in his home country of Canada. His work has earned him assorted awards including an Epica, Cresta, and several ADDYs.

  • Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
AKQA promotes Inamoto to CCO worldwide, Evans to int’l. exec creative director
Rei Inamoto

AKQA has promoted Rei Inamoto to chief creative officer worldwide. He will provide global leadership across the agency’s 14 offices. Prior to his new role, Inamoto directed AKQA’s work in the U.S. and Asia.

“With the most remarkable brands as our clients, combined with our extraordinary people, the opportunity to do legendary work is limitless,” said Inamoto. “It’s an incredible honor to be bestowed the torch of creative leadership for our firm globally.”

Additionally Duan Evans has been upped to international executive creative director. In his new position, Evans will take on responsibility for all creative work across Asia and South America, while maintaining his current role in Europe. 

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