• Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
Deutsch promotes Husani Oakley to chief technology officer
Husani Oakley

Husani Oakley has been elevated to chief technology officer at Deutsch New York. Reporting directly to Deutsch NY CEO Val DiFebo, Oakley will work closely beside strategy, media and creative, continuing to spearhead technology efforts across clients including AB InBev, Reebok, and Johnson & Johnson. As CTO, he will continue his leadership role in Great Machine, Deutsch’s A.I. innovation studio. 

“Creative minds, like Husani, are naturally curious and rarely satisfied with the status quo, which is what makes him the perfect candidate to lead Deutsch’s technology offering,” noted DiFebo.  “In addition to advancing our vision, Husani will continue to redefine Deutsch’s digital expertise and align our offerings with the world’s ever-changing business needs.  Tasked with continuing the agency’s momentum around digital innovation, he’ll work with our enterprising team to create proprietary marketing technology that drives creative business solutions.”  

Oakley joined Deutsch in 2018 as SVP, director of technology and advanced to EVP, director of technology and innovation in 2019.  “I’ve spent two years now working with a team that has exploration built into its DNA. The proof’s in the pudding; the work speaks for itself,” said Oakley. “But the technology-enabled culture we live in changes too quickly for us to be satisfied and accept the status quo with what we accomplished yesterday. We walk into the office every day hell-bent on finding opportunities to stay ahead of the curve and use technology to help solve our clients’ critical business challenges.”

Oakley’s start-up experience includes founding online investing platform GoldBean, design and technology firm Oakley + Partners, and the cultural event newsletter​ Flavorpill​, to name a few.  He’s also held key technology positions at agencies including Wieden + Kennedy, Euro RSCG, and Omnicom’s Evolution Bureau. 

  • Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
Hecho Studios hires Live Nation alum Adam Milano as head of development
Adam Milano

Hecho Studios has named Adam Milano as its head of development, a new title at the company. He makes the move from Live Nation where he served as SVP of production, most recently producing the GLAAD-awarded and Emmy-nominated Believer documentary with Imagine Dragons’ frontman Dan Reynolds. Milano worked across Live Nation’s slate of music-driven projects, including The Afterparty, a hip-hop comedy directed by Ian Edelman which premiered on Netflix in 2018, and GAGA: FIVE FOOT TWO

At Hecho, Milano will report directly to Hecho Studios president Briony McCarthy.

“Adam is both radically in tune with culture and a consummate experienced creator and producer,” said McCarthy. “As our first head of development, he’ll focus on developing our upcoming slate of reality, pop culture, and music content and support our newly formed branded content division. The brands we work with are hungry for quality content so we’re growing fast and Adam will be growing with us.”

Milano arrives at Hecho Studios on the heels of the company’s biggest year on record. McCarthy credits Hecho’s success in part to the move the company made last year to bring media thinking upstream in the content creation and production process. “Our media programmers tune our creators into exactly how audiences are consuming content across certain platforms, so we only ever make what we know will work,” she said.

Another huge part of Hecho’s rapid growth is the alternative and diverse talent the company advocates for. “Adam is a great example of the kind of talent brands get access to at Hecho Studios,” McCarthy said. “He develops ideas based on the content people want to engage with, not ads we want them to see, plus he is highly attuned to content the networks are buying so more of what we make gets out into the world.”

Milano will lead the charge in diversifying Hecho’s originals entertainment and branded content productions into more scripted, reality and music-based programming in the context of current culture. 

“When it comes to making content, timeliness is everything,” said Milano. “Hecho creates outstanding content, in every category, at the speed of culture. This is an incredible group of creative people.” 

Last year, Hecho Studios appointed Evan Rosenfeld to head of documentary and TV and currently has a slate of 12 sports, lifestyle and travel documentaries in development; it includes a content series for MailChimp Presents and a podcast series for Los Angeles Times and Apple. 

Milano’s previous posts include SVP film at Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment, where he helped Cowell launch the U.S. division of his global media empire and SYCO’s scripted film/television division.  While there Milano produced the One Direction movie, This is Us.  Milano began his career at Sony Pictures Entertainment, working from 2002-2012 as VP of production. He managed a large slate of films across all genres ranging from small budget releases (The House Bunny, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) to larger budgets (Just Go With It, Vantage Point and Monster House).

  • Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
Rupert Cresswell joins Alkemy X as creative director
Rupert Cresswell

Alkemy X has hired Rupert Cresswell as creative director. He will work closely with executive producer Eve Ehrich to continue to build the company’s design and animation team, working across branded and entertainment projects.

Cresswell comes to Alkemy X from MPC, where he spent nearly eight years as a director and creative director working on projects for clients such as Adidas, Samsung, Jaguar, Ford, Google, Sky One and Fox Searchlight. His stylized work is characterized by a meticulous eye for design and a subtle fusion of live action and visual effects to augment the everyday with fantastic elements. Cresswell’s first narrative short, Charlie Cloudhead, starring Paul Higgins and Daisy Haggard, enjoyed a successful international festival run. His work has garnered numerous awards and accolades and he has been tapped as a thought leader, speaking at industry conferences including IBC, PromaxBDA and SIGGRAPH.

London-born Cresswell studied graphic design and illustration at the prestigious University of the Arts London, organically navigating into the advertising arena after landing his first professional gig as a runner at a SoHo post shop. He quickly immersed himself in the industry, rapidly amassing hands-on experience in the broadcast promo space working for clients such as Bloomberg, NatGeo and Sky before stepping into the role of director. He joined MPC London in 2012, helming VFX-driven spots for clients while refining his aesthetic at the intersection of design, visual effects and live action. He stepped up to a creative director role when he moved to MPC’s New York location in 2017. 

Alkemy X maintains offices in NY, Philadelphia, L.A. and Amsterdam.

  • Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
Framestore's Chicago office adds four to its creative team
Framestore Chicago's (l-r) Jon Rogala, Alma Kim, Isaac Spiegel and Ruairi Twohig

Framestore’s Chicago office continues to grow in its third year with the addition of four artists to the team. Coming aboard are sr. Nuke/Flame artist Ruairi Twohig, Nuke compositor Jon Rogala, jr. compositor Isaac Spiegel, and jr. designer Alma Kim. 

Twohig joins from MPC in New York, where he spent over five years as 2D lead and sr. compositor, working with clients such as Facebook, adidas, Samsung, and Verizon. Notable campaigns include Cadillac’s “Rise Above” for the 2019 Oscars, and Michelob Ultra’s “Robots” spot which aired during Super Bowl LIII. Originally from Dublin, Twohig studied animation at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design, where he found his passion for VFX. With over a decade of experience, Twohig has worked across the globe in London, Paris, and Bangalore before moving to the U.S.

Rogala, a Chicago native, also comes over from MPC after working under the company’s Advertising division in Los Angeles on brands like BMW, Michelob, and Microsoft, followed by MPC’s Features division in Montreal on numerous projects, including the recently released film Maleficent II: Mistress of Evil as well as the Oscar nominated war epic 1917, directed by Sam Mendes. Prior to that, Rogala grew his career in Los Angeles as a freelancer before joining Picture Shop Studios as a staff compositor on episodic projects like The Walking Dead and Gotham. 

Rounding out the team are Kim, who brings award-winning illustration and motion design experience, and compositing artist Spiegel, both of whom took part in Framestore’s Launchpad Internship program where young artists gain hands-on experience by working closely with mentors on agency projects from start to finish.

“The skill and industry experience of Ruari and Jon, combined with the energy and enthusiasm of young, Framestore cultivated talent like Isaac and Alma, have taken our 2D and Design departments to the next level,” said Krystina Wilson, managing director of Framestore in Chicago. “Of all the things I’m most proud of since the launch of the Chicago studio, Framestore’s culture and the talent we attract stand out as number one.”

  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020
Leticia Gurjão named EP and head of film division at Los York
Leticia Gurjão

Los York Films, a creative production company focused on cross-disciplined talent, has added Leticia Gurjão as its new executive producer and head of the film division. 

Before joining Los York Films, Gurjão was EP for the bicoastal production company Station Film. Prior to that, she was director of business development at The Cavalry and Green Dot Films. While at Cavalry she helped to launch the VR/AR company Spectacle.

For Seth Epstein, founder/CEO of Los York, the addition of Gurjão comes at a time of growth for both Los York Films and Los York overall. Having someone like Gurjão that understands the ways brands and agencies are flattening typically segregated disciplines into a singular process is critical to the company’s continued growth.

“The world of advertising has changed and Los York is continuing to push collaboration with agencies and brands to create exceptional and standout work,” said Epstein. “Our directors often see jobs through from beginning to end. We are fusing together creative, production and post in a seamless way.

Los York Films is part of the larger Los York family of companies, including Los York Creative, the creative arm that most recently partnered with Motorola on the successful relaunch of the Razr phone as a luxury good.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Nice Shoes signs editor JK Carrington
JK Carrington

Creative studio Nice Shoes has signed editor JK Carrington for representation as part of its recently launched editorial division. With a diverse portfolio of editing and sound design work for brands and agencies--and credits across the broadcast media, documentary and advertising industries--she informs her passion for creative storytelling with her extensive arts and design education. Her editing style openly syncs with audio, fusing the edit with a unique blend of sound, music and pacing. She counts among her top-tier clients Katy Perry for “Killer Queen,” Walgreens, Always, Lil Yachty x Nautica, Nike, NFL, White House Black Market, and many more.

Carrington joins a Nice Shoes roster that includes creative director of Editorial Adam Liebowitz, who signed with the studio in January.

“When Nice Shoes first approached me for representation, I was immediately impressed by their business model. It’s the first I’ve seen of its kind that aims to help self-made freelance creative editors such as myself by providing tools and support to not just survive, but thrive--without limiting where or how I can work. I appreciate the studio’s ability to pinpoint both where the industry is going and where it is right now, to create the best work for their clients,” said Carrington.

Growing up, Carrington was surrounded by art, learning to compose music on multiple instruments, and practicing her craft in sculpture, drawing, painting, and rudimentary video art. While obtaining her BA in Architecture, a professor observed that she had a natural inclination to “design in moments.” After graduation, Carrington worked as an assistant set designer on Broadway musicals, but realized a bigger passion for editing as her creative voice. She started from the ground up, at the time knowing no one in postproduction, and rapidly built a career over the years. Garnering experience at a wide range of post shops, she edited for leading production companies, agencies and brands in advertising, before joining Nice Shoes for representation.

In-between jobs, Carrington tries to give back to her local community by supporting other minority, female or non-binary, and/or LGBTQ-friendly businesses with her editorial and directorial talents. “As a queer Asian woman, I’m only now, slowly, seeing the beginnings of representation and identity-acceptance around me. So if I can help others with their endeavors with what I know how to do best, then this is my way of being able to send the ladder down.”

  • Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Rob Churchill joins Cutters Studios' Flavor as VFX director; new venture in offing
Rob Churchill

Rob Churchill has joined creative production studio Flavor’s Chicago staff as VFX director. The development also involves Churchill becoming a partner (along with Flavor parent Cutters Studios and other entertainment industry entities) in the launch of a production venture to be announced in the days to come.

A Chicago native, Churchill has established himself as a top-tier VFX director over the past two decades, most recently with Carbon VFX since its 2018 acquisition of Filmworkers. In partnership with leading directors and creatives, he is a key collaborator behind assorted high-profile campaigns for Capital One, Allstate, Apple, Budweiser, McDonald’s, Samsung, State Farm, and many other Fortune 100 brands. Churchill is also increasingly involved in projects as a director.

Churchill additionally designed visual effects for IFC Films’ An Acceptable Loss from Chicago’s writer/director Joe Chappelle. The dramatic feature starring Tika Sumpter and Jamie Lee Curtis currently appears on Amazon Prime and Showtime. Churchill’s focus on both short- and long-form projects aligns perfectly with recent developments at Cutters Studios; along with artists from Flavor and sound company Another Country, several Cutters editors have earned impressive narrative and documentary feature credits over the past three years.

Cutters Studios’ family of companies includes Cutters, Dictionary Films, Another Country and Flavor.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
Effects supervisor Bill Georgiou joins Technicolor VFX
Bill Georgiou

Technicolor VFX expands its roster of VFX supervisors with the addition of Bill Georgiou, whose recent supervisor credits include Netflix’s Lost in Space, Amazon Studios' Carnival Row, and AMC’s The Walking Dead. A classically trained fine artist, Georgiou has a passion for the digital artform which is displayed in his work for both powerhouse VFX studios and on the client side for over 20 years.

“I love the puzzle of VFX.  To me it’s art, but painting with light and pixels,” said Georgiou.

As someone who has been a part of the Oscar-winning VFX teams behind The Golden Compass and Life of Pi, Georgiou is excited for the opportunity to help grow and foster new disciplines within Technicolor VFX. He related, “Visual effects is such a collaborative artform, and yet it is the integration of so many different departments and skills, whether working on an invisible effect that is seemingly unnoticeable, to a critical CG creature or environment, this continues to be an exciting craft for filmmaking.”

Georgiou joins a roster of over a dozen supervisors at Technicolor VFX, including Paul Ghezzo, Kevin Chandoo and Gary Brown.  The expanding team continues to scale as the volume of increasingly complex episodic content surges, creating more demand for visual effects and an opportunity for Technicolor VFX to further support storytellers.

Rachel Matchett, head of Technicolor VFX, said of Georgiou,  “He brings a passion and eye for stunning CG work that is a pillar to our continued growth.”

  • Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
Stink Films promotes Andrew Levene to U.K. managing director
Andrew Levene

The independent global production network Stink Films has promoted Andrew Levene from head of production to U.K. films managing director.

A longstanding member of the Stink family, Levene has run production in London for the last six years overseeing major productions for brands such as Lexus, Nike, Adidas, Barclays, Aldi, Argos, Volkswagen, Save the Children, Oxfam and Libresse, working with directing talent such as Tom Green, Traktor, Keith McCarthy, Ne-O, Anthony Mandler, and Jones + Tino, and winning awards at Cannes Lions, D&AD and Creative Arrows, among others.

Levene’s role is to optimize Stink Films London operations, driving revenue and profit growth, while supporting and ensuring the creative and production quality of the company’s work. With a focus on leading key initiatives to support Blake Powell, managing partner, and Sophie Kluman, global head of operations, Levene will offer support and direction to the London office, ensuring its purpose and objectives are achieved.

Levene said “I first came to Stink as a freelance producer; it was always one of the companies I was most keen to work with. After two years as an in-house producer and almost six years as head of production, the idea of being even more involved in the growth and development of a company I’ve grown to love was a no brainer. Being made MD of Films in London is a huge honor and an opportunity to help steer the future of Stink, as well as giving me the chance to help develop the amazing roster of talent--both directors and in-house staff--that we’re so lucky to have.”

Starting as a runner at 2AM Films, Levene spent the next five years with the company working up the ladder, leaving the company as a production manager. Working freelance for companies like Spank, Bare, Rogue, Independent, QI, and 2AM over the next three years, The Sweet Shop came calling in 2009, offering Levene a role as a producer. There he worked with agencies such as McCann Erickson, Ogilvy and VCCP. In 2011, as a freelance producer he came to Stink Films, and over the last eight years with the company has moved up through the ranks.

2019 was one of the most successful years that Stink’s London office experienced. Starting with the launch of Guinness’ epic “The Purse” directed by Green, last year saw Stink London working back-to-back productions, culminating in six prominent Xmas season campaigns for UK retailers Asda, Aldi, Tesco, KFC, Sky and Argos. Additionally the talent roster grew with the signing of Kiku Ohe and FoodFilm last year and the further growth of Stink Rising, Stink Films global roster of up-and-coming talent.

Levene will report directly to Kluman and Powell.

  • Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
krow appoints Annie Fox as deputy executive creative director
Annie Fox

Annie Fox has joined London ad agency krow as deputy executive creative director.
Fox was previously creative director at Digitas UK. At krow, she reports to executive creative director Nick Hastings, and will work across all the agency’s clients.
Among the notable campaigns she has worked on is “Square Yo’self,” a recent TV campaign for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Squares; and “This is the Jacket,” a social campaign for Superdry featuring Grime artist Paigey Cakey. Fox has also created award-winning work for MINI and Britvic.

Before joining Digitas UK, Fox was associate creative director at Iris Worldwide.

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