- NEW YORK
Creative editorial shop Uppercut has partnered with bicoastal visual effects studio ZERO. The partnership allows the shops to offer comprehensive postproduction services across editorial, animation, CG, VFX and finishing and will encompass three markets, spanning offices in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston. This alliance places the joint studios in a position to continually evolve with the changing needs of clients, focusing on creativity and innovation. The bicoastal studios will be led by Uppercut owner/editor Micah Scarpelli and executive producer Kathrin Lausch and ZERO founder Brian Drewes and sr. producer Meg Bailey.
Uppercut’s cinematic storytelling for brands fused with ZERO’s experience crafting complex visual effects for feature films, plus a superior cross-country VFX pipeline, will align the dual shops at the intersection of advertising, entertainment and technology. The alliance will also give the 120 combined staffers access to all three studio locations, linking client service teams to allow for time and resources to be focused toward creativity and providing greater accessibility to clients nationwide. The aligned shops boast a robust technical backend combined with a hands-on, boutique approach to tackling projects of any scope and size.
“For me, it was a no brainer. I’ve known Brian for a number of years and seeing how he has grown ZERO as an independent owner really synced with what we are building at Uppercut,” noted Scarpelli. “Partnering with like-minded companies that are working at the same level that we are allows us to have a greater stake in the creative vision.”
Drewes added, “Having two companies whose core competencies complement each other gives us the kind of flexibility needed in today’s continually shifting marketplace. The driving benefit from this synergy is that we are able to focus more on the creative and producing more iterations on work, providing more opportunities for clients to try different things to arrive at the best final product possible.”
Uppercut launched in Manhattan in 2015 and has rapidly grown to become an award-winning collective of editors, producers and artists working with top brands including Volvo, Fitbit, Covergirl, Nike, Google and Grey Goose.
ZERO, based in Boston and Los Angeles, fuses technical expertise and detailed artistry to craft photo-real visual effects for major feature films including the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, The Magnificent Seven and more recently X-Men: New Mutants, Pete Berg’s Mile 22 and the upcoming Equalizer 2. On the commercial front, ZERO has created a wide range of VFX for major brands including Klondike, Progressive, Snapchat, Dunkin’ Donuts, Ocean Spray and Burger King as well as the Antoine Fuqua-directed “The Gift” spot for Walmart that aired during the 90th Academy Awards.
Lausch noted, “We like to be smart and proactive with our client’s needs in mind. The timing (of this partnership) could not be better with the work we are doing.”
“Both companies’ cultures have been about applying a boutique approach to their work and we want to continue that focus,” Bailey adds. “ZERO has built a really great service culture: We have a huge creative machine at our disposal, but we make sure it never feel like you are dealing with a machine, but a real person, along with the personalized, creative approach that comes along with that.”
This new venture will continue its momentum with upcoming expansions and talent growth from both companies within the next six months, all furthering the companies’ goal to reinvent business models in the creative industry.