- NEW YORK
Mark Sitley, a veteran ad agency and production company executive producer, has opened Naked City. Based in NYC, the new venture brings to the marketplace a deep understanding of content creation for agencies and brands, encompassing everything from traditional commercials to documentaries, social media and digital.
Sitley, whose resume includes head of production stints at agencies such as Chiat\Day New York, Euro RSCG (now Havas) and Fallon, as well as talent agency CAA, directed commercials earlier in his career; his last production company was also called Naked City. “We revived the name because it’s an ode to New York, where we live and work,” he said, “It’s all about telling stories--8 million of them, to be exact.”
Joining Sitley are four New York-based director/DPs whose work spans direct-to-brand and agency content, as well as features and short films, covering such genres as documentary, visual storytelling and tabletop. Dave Schmidt is an award-winning director of long-form documentaries as well as branded pieces for recent clients such as Door Dash and Midas (The Martin Agency), Ernst & Young (direct to brand) and Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Merge).
Also on the Naked City roster is director/DP David Griffiths, who’s well known internationally for his tabletop work, specializing in chocolate and liquids, and Erin Collett, who worked on feature and television projects with Jane Campion and John Curran in his native Australia and was named to the SHOOT New Directors Showcase in 2018. Rounding out the list is Fanny Texier, a video journalist for outlets such as The New York Post, Vice, and the Huffington Post.
The Naked City lineup represents a cross current of previous associations, collaborations, and partnerships. Schmidt and Griffiths worked with Sitley over the past four years at NB Content, the New York outpost of an Australian studio, for which Sitley was U.S. managing director. Additionally, Griffiths often was DP for Sitley during the latter’s directing career. Meanwhile, Collett has served as DP for Schmidt on various projects over the past few years, and he introduced Texier to the new company after shooting for her independently.
Schmidt explained his move to the new venture: “To me, directing is about people and personalities. I’m really looking forward to more work with Mark as I develop my cinematic storytelling, as I keep trying to push the limits as a filmmaker to capture honest performances.”
Working out of The Station’s offices in Soho, Naked City is positioned to offer clients soup-to-nuts production through post (including color, edit and finishing), as well as music, sound and audio via The Station’s sister company, The Music Playground (which already has wrapped its first Naked City project, a spot for Walmart).
“Given the state of the industry today, we’re intending Naked City to be a very creative collective that’s a resource for projects from conception through execution, while also serving as a lab for IP development,” said Sitley. “Brands and agencies are constantly in need of new sources of content, and Naked City is well-positioned to be a new pipeline.”
The company is represented on the East Coast by Minerva x Mr. Bartlett, the business development team made up of James Bartlett, Mary Knox and Shauna Seresin.