Saturday, November 17, 2018
  • Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2018
BODEGA Expansion Gets Off To Splendid Start In L.A.
Taylor Ferguson
EPs Taylor Ferguson, Erin Tauscher to head new office; growth in offing for directorial roster
  • LOS ANGELES
  • --

Production company/content creation studio BODEGA, with operations in New York and San Francisco, has extended its footprint to Los Angeles with a new office under the aegis of executive producers Taylor Ferguson and Erin Tauscher.

Ferguson and Tauscher have aligned their L.A.-based production house Splendid & Co. with BODEGA; the combined entity now operates under the BODEGA banner.

The roster of the expanded BODEGA includes filmmakers Sophia Banks, Lesley Chilcott, Debra Granik and Kevin Osgood from Splendid and continuing BODEGA mainstays such as director/partner Mark Littman and helmers Ben Orisich, Lindsay Daniels, Haley Geffen. Adam Reid and Mark Rosenberg. Plans call for additions to this lineup with the signing of another director imminent as SHOOT went to press.

Connecting with Ferguson and Tauscher fulfills a major goal of BODEGA’s exec producer/partner Clint Goldman who was looking to launch an L.A. office in concert with simpatico EP talent. Through the industry grapevine, Goldman conducted an extensive search for an EP to spearhead BODEGA in L.A. Goldman at first envisioned having to come down to L.A. regularly to team with an EP to develop a Southern California shop pretty much starting from scratch. Instead Goldman benefits from what he considers a windfall--an established production operation with savvy executive leadership and directors already in place, including such notables as Granik whose Ozarks drama Winter’s Bone earned four Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture, and Chilcott who served as a producer on the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and directed the doc Code Girl. Ferguson and Tauscher brought Granik and then Chilcott into their company’s fold several years ago for commercials and branded content.

Conversely Ferguson and Tauscher gain access to BODEGA’s resources--full-service offices in San Francisco and NYC, BODEGA Animation headed by EP Bill Hewes, and company sister shops Northern Lights (editorial), SuperExploder (audio) and Mr. Wonderful (design/branding)--any or all of which can be tapped into as needed for projects. BODEGA’s considerable staff, capabilities and business acumen, said Ferguson, free her and Tauscher--who was on vacation and unavailable for comment at press time--to focus on filmmaking/content creation as well as growing and nurturing a directorial roster, “to support the talent we currently have and get them better work and better known.”

Tauscher got her start at MTV News and Specials in NYC. She served as an associate producer at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Tauscher relocated to L.A. to pursue a freelance production career. She’s traveled the world producing campaigns for Nike, Coca-Cola, adidas, Merrill Lynch and Ford.

After graduating from USC, Ferguson moved to Boston where she discovered the advertising industry and a newfound love of production. She returned to L.A. and spent several years in TV working on sitcoms for Carsey-Warner and NBC before she became EP at House of Usher Films with DGA Award-winning commercial director Kinka Usher. Ferguson later teamed with Tauscher at trio films and then Splendid & Co.

Relationship-driven culture
BODEGA’s L.A. launch--made in response to client needs--was spurred on and is marked by a series of relationships. Ferguson and Tauscher have been business partners and collaborators since 2002 with the formation of trio films, which became Splendid & Co. in 2014. They share a working shorthand that Ferguson feels now applies to Goldman as well.

Helping to bring Ferguson and Tauscher together with Goldman was a mutual friend and collaborator, visual effects producer and artisan Jeff Blodgett. Goldman, Ferguson and Tauscher go back many years with Blodgett who thought the threesome would be compatible and strike up a personal and productive rapport. Blodgett--who recently became an EP at Where The Buffalo Roam--proved to be an astute matchmaker as Goldman recalled when he first met Ferguson and Tauscher several months ago. In a matter of minutes, Goldman said he “knew we would work together for a very long time” as part of a “complementary relationship where one of us could start, another could pick up a project in midstream, and be fluid and fluent in the intricacies of production which are far more complicated today than ever.” Goldman sees himself, Ferguson and Tauscher as being “on equal footing,” able to be responsive to clients, creatives, directors and other collaborators.

Goldman observed that BODEGA has been built on such positive relationships, forming a supportive “production family” which yields top-flight creative and production results. Goldman’s roots at BODEGA, for instance, run deep as he and New York-based BODEGA partner David Gioiella first crossed paths back in 1994. Gioiella was Goldman’s intern at Lucasfilm’s VFX studio Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). At that time, Goldman was shepherding TV spots and feature films at ILM, and he formed a lasting bond with Gioiella who in ‘95 teamed with Littman to open Northern Lights, the first in what became a family of companies, including BODEGA which was founded in 2009. Goldman joined in 2011 when BODEGA acquired his San Francisco-based indie commercial production company. Prior to joining the BODEGA family, Goldman was a client working with its group of companies. He had reached a career crossroads, looking to change his personal and professional life, tiring of being a “one-man band” at his own shop. Gioiella and Littman were responsive and caring, helping Goldman to begin a new career chapter. Goldman sees parallels to the opportunities now being afforded Ferguson and Tauscher in a mutually beneficial relationship with BODEGA.

Goldman hearkened back to his early career days. Prior to ILM, he was at the venerable Robert Abel & Associates, a pioneering studio in visual effects, computer animation and filmmaking.  Among the lasting lessons that the now late Bob Abel imparted to Goldman was the value of the dynamic whereby people come together to create something special as the whole proves to be greater than the sum of its parts. That was the case at the Abel studio and Goldman sees the same dynamic, which Abel characterized as a gestalt, in play at BODEGA.

Current BODEGA projects include Theraflu and USAA campaigns for Saatchi & Saatchi NY, a content series for WIRED/Conde Nast, an AI project for Microsoft, a global integrated campaign for Bumble Bee out of Y&R, animated/VR spots for Prudential, and an animated web series for The Players’ Tribune.

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