• Monday, Jul. 22, 2019
Benjamin Bittman named EVP, managing director of the community
Benjamin Bittman

Cross-cultural agency the community has hired Benjamin Bittman as EVP, managing director. In this newly created role, Bittman will lead the agency’s efforts for its long-standing client Verizon. He will spearhead all aspects of the Verizon account at a time where the brand ushers in the new era of 5G and looks to the community as a key creative partner. Based out of the agency’s New York office, Bittman will report to president Luis Montero.

Bittman joins the community from Sundae Collective, the first influencer network born and incubated out of a creative agency, 72andSunny. In his role as managing director and co-founder, he developed the company’s positioning and corporate identity, as well as oversaw all aspects of the business. Prior, Bittman served as chief marketing officer of social video player Videoo and led mobile campaign management solution Promoht as its co-founder. He has also held senior roles at Anomaly, Saatchi & Saatchi, and TWBA\Worldwide.

  • Friday, Jul. 19, 2019
Adam Zimmer joins Valiant Pictures as West Coast EP
Adam Zimmer

Commercial and film production company Valiant Pictures has added Adam Zimmer as West Coast executive producer, further extending the bicoastal company’s presence in Los Angeles in response to growing client needs. With a career in film and video production spanning two decades, Zimmer will lead commercial production and business development endeavors for Valiant Pictures, expanding its West Coast footprint on the heels of campaigns for brands including Mountain Dew, Pepsi, ESPN, Glossier, and Dia&Co. Valiant is headed by EPs/co-founders Matthew D’Amato and Vincent Lin.

An early self-starter, Zimmer graduated Drexel University having already worked on the sets of two major motion pictures and over a dozen commercial projects. Out of school, he started as a production coordinator with SBK Pictures, swiftly moving up the industry ladder to production manager and then producer, orchestrating projects for brand clients including Pepsi, Macy’s, Walmart, Samsung and Nerf, and television work for studios Warner Brothers, NFL Films, ESPN, History Channel, Discovery Channel and MTV. Zimmer relocated to Los Angeles in 2014 to join Pursuit Productions, along with its divisions under the same umbrella including Imperative Entertainment, which has financed and produced features including Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule

Zimmer is currently finishing the upcoming documentary To What Remains, chronicling the work of the Project Recover Organization, a group devoting efforts to find and repatriate Americans Missing in Action since World War II.


  • Wednesday, Jul. 17, 2019
MONO hires Acosta as director of integrated production, promotes Lynch to director of strategy
José Acosta (l) and Steve Lynch

MONO, a MDC-owned creative agency based in Minneapolis has hired José Acosta to fill a new position, director of integrated production, while promoting Steve Lynch to director of strategy.

After a nationwide recruitment campaign, Acosta joins MONO from Publicis Sapient in Miami where he led integrated production efforts for North America, guiding brands like Jeep, Fiat, T-Mobile, Unilever and Patron for the last six years. Acosta will be responsible for leading both content and digital production disciplines and growing the busy department. Also, under his leadership, will be the continued expansion and innovation of MONO’s in-house studio, The Shed. Almost every client is now actively using The Shed’s content creation and production expertise, doubling the studio’s size in the last year.

“I believe that there is an opportunity to not only build upon MONO’s impeccable track record of producing award-winning work, but also help to construct the production department of the future,” said Acosta.

Lynch has been at MONO for three years, building the connections strategy department from the ground up through his work on clients such as Google Pay, Google One and MillerCoors’ Peroni. In his new role, Lynch will bring MONO’s two distinct brand and connections strategy disciplines into one cohesive department. 
“As we developed MONO’s connections strategy team, we recognized that group was bringing valuable customer insights from different perspectives and at a different stage of the strategic process than brand strategy,” said Lynch. “By deliberately weaving these highly-skilled, complementary teams together, we’ll have the most complete and cohesive view of our client’s consumers from beginning to end.” Through this holistic approach, clients will achieve more willful engagement from their consumer, something that’s of growing importance as people continue to take more and more control of their content and media experiences. 
Bringing Acosta in and promoting Lynch are all part of a greater effort to strengthen key departments at MONO. Late last year, MONO hired its first first-ever executive creative director, Vanessa Fortier, and shifted two of its three founders--Michael Hart and Chris Lange--into a split role of chief creative officer. Ultimately, these shifts will set up MONO to better serve its growing list of clients, which includes MillerCoors, Walmart, Google and Sherwin Williams.  

  • Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2019
Gabriel Vázquez joins AC mcgarrybowen as creative VP 
Sebastian Arrechedera (l) and Gabriel Vazquez

AC mcgarrybowen--a Mexico City agency headed by Sebastian Arrechedera, Juan Claverol and Miquel Daura--has named Gabriel Vázquez as its new creative VP. 

Vázquez began his career as a creative executive at Young & Rubicam where he developed a memorable Argentine diaper commercial for the Mimito brand (Kimberly Clark), as well as winning Energizer’s first Clio Award in Argentina with his “Prófugo” spot. He moved on to VegaOlmosPonce as creative director and produced advertising campaigns throughout Latin America for brands such as La Nación, Skip, Axe, and Rexona. He won the agency’s first Cannes Gold Lion with the Metamorfosis commercial for Axe. Next at DDB, he picked up a Grand Prix for Energizer from the Argentine Creative Circle. He moved to Ogilvy & Mather where he led the creative department and developed “Toma lo bueno de Coca Cola,” which started out as a campaign for the Mexico market, but due to its immediate success went global. He created Sprite’s iconic “Las cosas como son” campaign, which established a concept still used by the brand today. After working for a time at SCPF, WPP’s Spanish agency, Vázquez went on to become JWT’s general creative director for projects in Latin America and Brazil. Three years ago, he made the move to JWT Mexico as creative VP.

  • Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2019
Editor Biff Butler Gets To Work
Biff Butler

Work Editorial has added editor Biff Butler to its roster. Currently based in Los Angeles, Butler will be represented globally and serve as creative partner at the company.

Growing up in the U.K., Butler spent his youth immersed in music. He moved to Los Angeles as a musician in 1999, releasing albums and touring the country. He became intrigued by the craft of editing, inspired by the brilliantly put together title sequence for the movie Se7en cut by Angus Wall at Rock Paper Scissors (RPS). Following the break up of his band in 2005 Butler got a job at RPS and as he puts it, that company served as his film school. There he found his editorial voice and satiated another interest, advertising.

Within a couple years he was working on spots for Nike, Microsoft, Lexus, Adidas, and in 2008 he made a breakthrough with the Emmy Award-winning Obama/will.i.am video “Yes We Can.” By 2012 his clientele spanned across both coasts and after moving to New York he went on to collaborate on notable U.S. work with such agencies as W+K NY, Anomaly and BBDO. Most notably perhaps was his involvement in the Derek Cianfrance-directed Dicks Sporting Goods campaign that truly defined a style in sports commercials.

On the awards front, Butler has been recognized at the AICE, Clios and Cannes Lions competitions while receiving an Emmy for the six-part documentary Long Live Benjamin that he edited and co-directed with creative director Jimm Lasser. 

  • Monday, Jul. 15, 2019
VFX supervisor James Rogers joins Framestore's L.A. studio
James Rogers

Framestore has added VFX supervisor James Rogers to its L.A. office where he will work with the integrated advertising department as well as collaborate with the global team on long-form content.

Rogers built his career in his native Australia as a Flame artist. After freelancing around the world, he joined Square USA in Hawaii, working on notable projects that include Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, an ambitious feature that brought the animated photoreal humans to screen, as well as the critically acclaimed Animatrix omnibus. 
In 2004 he returned to Australia where he co-owned Postmodern Sydney, focusing on feature films and commercials. Postmodern was subsequently acquired by Deluxe, and Rogers helped to transition the company into Method Studios (part of Deluxe, Sydney), before relocating to Method’s Los Angeles office. While at Method, Rogers worked on television and feature productions including Argo and The Wolverine, and spearheaded high profile commercials including Target’s tentpole holiday campaigns from 2015 to 2018. Rogers also worked with brands such as Dell, Disney, KFC, Lexus, and Emirates. Throughout his career he earned a number of nominations and award wins, including an Emmy nomination, two nominations for the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Awards, and a win and nomination for the Australian Film Institute awards.
“Back when I was just a fresh faced VFX artist, I had a prized VHS showreel collection of work that inspired me. One of those was for Framestore,” said Rogers. "I have long regarded it as being one of the best, both in terms of quality of work and company culture.”

  • Friday, Jul. 12, 2019
a52 Color adds colorist Gregory Reese
Gregory Reese
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Colorist Gregory Reese has joined grading and finishing studio a52 Color, led by EP Thatcher Peterson. Reese comes aboard a colorists’ roster which includes Paul Yacono and Daniel de Vue.

Reese established a name for himself over the course of eight years as a colorist at The Mill. He has colored a spectrum of commercials for athletic brands including Nike and Reebok, as well as campaigns for Audi, Apple, CoverGirl, GMC, Progressive, and Samsung. Having the opportunity to work with notable directors including AG Rojas, Matt Lambert, and Harold Einstein has contributed to Reese’s ability to grade for any style.

Reese has contributed to several projects for Apple including the acclaimed “History of Sound” spot, which sonically chronicles the decades from the late 1800s to 2015. Reflecting historical authenticity with his treatment of each vignette, the ad earned Reese a nomination from the Hollywood Professional Association for Outstanding Color Grading in a Commercial. 

Merging his love for music with the passion for his craft, Reese has collaborated with artists like Jack Ü, Major Lazer, Arctic Monkeys, Run The Jewels, Jack White, and Pharrell Williams. Reese has been a contributor to Vince Staples’ canon, having graded a series of his videos as he rose from up-and-comer to bona fide star--including the gravity-defying clip “Lift Me Up” which earned Reese a UKMVA nomination for Best Color Grade. Reese’s warm, cinematic grade for Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” garnered an AICE Award for Color Grading in the Music Video category.

Reese now reunites with Peterson; the two had previously been together at The Mill in L.A. “Having had the fortunate experience of working with Gregory at The Mill, I knew he was the real deal when it came to a seasoned colorist,” said Peterson. “It’s a great advantage to be working with him again as he heightens a52 Color’s growing talent pool of top-notch colorists.”

  • Friday, Jul. 12, 2019
Katya Pavlova named head of postproduction at CVLT
Katya Pavlova

Video production studio CVLT, with bases of operation in NY and L.A., has brought Katya Pavlova on board as head of postproduction. Pavlova joins the team after six years at The Mill where she produced highly acclaimed projects including David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” music video remake--directed by renowned photographer Mick Rock--as well as Steven Klein’s augmented reality experience for W Magazine’s cover, featuring an interactive 3D digital portrait of Katy Perry. 

Pavlova will focus on growing CVLT’s post operation and developing new partnerships. She comes to the studio after its recent growth and work with such brands as Lexus, Peloton and Louis Vuitton.

Her work at The Mill had her producing for high-profile directors and brands--the latter including Netflix, Facebook, Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo and Vogue.

  • Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019
Jessica Garcia-Scharer joins Compadre as head of production 
Jessica Garcia-Scharer

Creative marketing agency Compadre has brought Jessica Garcia-Scharer on board as head of production. She brings over 15 years of experience in the creative industry having worked in senior production and marketing roles on both the agency and network sides.

Prior to joining Compadre, she served as director of on-air promotions at Fox Sports Marketing, where she worked on the Men’s World Cup “Root for Your Roots” partnership campaign with the network and 23andMe. Before that, she was head of production at creative branding agency Loyalkaspar. As sr. producer at Digital Kitchen, a role she held for seven years, Garcia-Scharer spearheaded the planning and execution of the AT&T U-verse national advertising campaign, including on-air, retail, and mobile apps.

  • Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019
Kevin Shuster joins MC² Experiential Studio as sr. creative producer
Richard Sears (l) and Kevin Shuster
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- 

MC², an MCH Company and award-winning brand experience solutions agency, has added sr. creative producer Kevin Shuster to its Experiential Studio team. Launched in 2018, the studio’s premiere project was the successful immersive promotion of Netflix’s “Bird Box,” featuring Academy Award-winner Sandra Bullock. This was followed by an additional Netflix assignment in early 2019, and the completion of additional experiential projects for Lucasfilm and Ticketmaster this spring.

MC² Experiential Studio is led by executive creative director Richard Sears whose credits include immersive experiences such as “Transformers: Autobots Alliance” for Hasbro/VHE and “Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.” for Marvel. Sears said the ongoing collaboration for MC² with Netflix has been incredibly rewarding. “The Netflix team really understands what we are trying to accomplish creatively and have provided us with a great deal of trust from the start of our relationship.” 

Shuster’s strong knowledge of immersive storytelling is at the core of his many years in production of “live” theater, film, interactive, emerging tech and experiential. His body of work spans clients such as Warner Bros., and 2K Games, as well as global brands like Lexus and Samsung. Shuster had been freelancing for the past year, working on various projects at leading shops, including Imaginary Forces. Prior to that, he was at Saatchi & Saatchi’s Team One for nearly five years as an EP of emerging tech overseeing all interactive, display and VR/AR for all the agency’s clients except Lexus. He did, however, work on some of the larger web/digital campaigns and VR for Lexus and the Lexus Dealer Association.

Shuster said that his new roost “truly brings together every single experience I have had throughout my career into one multi-faceted position. Working with a talent like ECD Richard Sears is a unique opportunity, because we share the same vision for what the studio can do.” 

Sears noted that Shuster’s career “has seen the gamut of every sort of position and experience this industry has to offer from being in-house at an agency, to production and postproduction, to VR and AR. He brings a wealth of knowledge in all areas and a passion for telling great stories.” 

MC² COO David Kuznick added, “Kevin’s deep background producing cutting-edge experiences for some of the world’s leading brands is a powerful asset for the Studio during this very exciting time.”

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