- CULVER CITY, Calif.
Backyard Productions has brought directors Julia Ngeow and Max Gutierrez aboard its roster.
Noted for his authentic lifestyle and warm family-oriented fare, Gutierrez has turned out work for the likes of McDonald’s, AB InBev’s Corona Extra, Chik-Fil-A, HBO, Google, Netflix, Aetna, Wilson, Lowes, Universal Studios, Toyota, YouTube and Disney.
His work as a cinematographer (earning an ASC Heritage Award Honorable Commendation in 2005 and then a nomination for same award the next year) and director for commercial, promotional and music video production has gained recogniation from the AICP, The One Club, Addy’s and the Young Director Awards at Cannes. His music video work has been nominated for Best Music Video of the Year honors by the Latin Grammys, MTV Europe, the Premios Juventud Awards and the Orgullosamente Latino.
“Being a DP at heart and having worked in all forms of content creation--from music videos to commercials for blue-chip global brands, digital content to independent films--Max strives for photographic beauty with every composition and feels at home on set amongst his crew mates,” said Backyard CEO Kevin Allodi. “As Max is fond of saying, ‘Truly great filmmaking starts and ends with an authentic and compelling story...’, and he’s extremely adept at collaborating with the agency and client creatives to achieve their vision.”
Backyard EP Kris Mathur added, “We’ve had our eye on Max for some time. We recently had the opportunity to work together on a COVID-compliant project for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) through David & Goliath; it couldn’t have gone better and only strengthened our conviction that Max belonged at Backyard.”
Guittierez shared, “Backyard has been on my shortlist for a while as I contemplated exclusive roster representation. The USFS project gave me the opportunity to experience firsthand the support and collaborative way in which they conduct business and engage with their agency client creatives, especially so under the demanding requirements of COVID-era production. The shoot experience and above-and-beyond support sealed the deal for me.”
Ngeow’s passion for filmmaking is originally based on her own explorations of the human condition and background in neuroscience, which has shaped her philosophy behind the camera. Having recently worked on campaigns for Allegheny Health Network and L.L Bean, her skillset of staying perfectly aligned with client brands while interweaving a more meaningful vision has allowed projects to capture the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.
Her work creating documentaries, music videos and commercial content has continued to explore the intersection between art and science; her groundbreaking documentary Unspoken--which she, Emma Zurcher-Long and Geneva Peschka directed--is slated to screen at the upcoming Slamdance 2021 and has been featured at the SXSW Edu and Mill Valley film festivals, earning an award at the Astoria Film Festival.
“The prescience of Julia’s work and her vision across film reflect a creative power and passion in tune with what it takes to drive incredible narratives,” stated Mather. “I instantly knew that she would be an incredible asset for Backyard to continue bringing our client’s messages to life in a creative manner that is appealing and deeply intuitive.”
Allodi added, “Julia’s ability to create and distill human-centric stories makes for a wonderful addition to the team. Her recent pandemic-related UGC film, “And the People”, is just one showcase of many into her ability to overcome difficult work environments and capture stories no matter the barriers involved; her gift for crafting stunningly poignant work is exemplified further in her forthcoming campaign for Allegheny Health Network.’
Ngeow related, “The stories we tell not only shape the way we see ourselves, but also directly impact the way our communities function. So, it’s a tremendously exciting time to be part of that conversation and to offer my own perspective together with Backyard.”