Gary Koepke Joins A.I. Creative Studio Seyhan Lee As Partner
Gary Koepke (l) and Pinar Seyhan Demirdağ
Industry vet brings expertise in advertising, publishing and design to the company’s expanding portfolio of projects
  • BOSTON
  • --

Seyhan Lee, the Boston-based creative studio that specializes in employing Artificial Intelligence in the creation of motion pictures, has brought advertising and design vet Gary Koepke aboard as a partner. Koepke will be joining Seyhan Lee founder Pinar Seyhan Demirdağ as the company expands its portfolio of A.I. motion picture projects into the metaverse with work on NFTs and other new media forms.

The move caps a busy summer and fall for Seyhan Lee. It launched to acclaim earlier this year with “Connections,” its global A.I. spot for the European appliance company Beko. With close to 90 million views to date, the spot won a Wood Pencil at the 2021 D&AD Awards in London. Seyhan Lee has collaborated with brands, media companies, producers, recording artists, cultural institutions, and others across a wide range of projects.

Recently, Seyhan Lee was tapped to create A.I. motion picture sequences for “Transcendence,” a ninety-second film for “Star Atlas,” the hotly anticipated metaverse video game about space exploration. It screened during the recently concluded Art Basel show in Miami.

Other projects have seen Seyhan Lee partnering with VAST Digital on the launch of a special limited edition NFT collection with Snoop Dogg and the Harlem Globetrotters, and creating A.I. content and effects for music videos from such artists as Yungblud, Bahari and Gigi Grombacher.

Koepke’s joining Seyhan Lee unites him with Demirdağ, who is not only his business partner but life partner as well. Koepke will continue his role as partner and chief creative director at MARVIN, the media company he co-founded with Marvin Scott Jarrett, creator of NYLON and Ray Gun, and Geoff Cottrell, a former senior marketing executive at The Coca-Cola Company and Converse.

Koepke began his career as a graphic designer, working with several major publications and brands, including a stint as the founding design director of Vibe. He later segued into advertising, joining the Portland office of Wieden+Kennedy before helping establish the agency’s beachhead in New York. He’s perhaps best known in advertising circles for his work at Modernista!, the Boston agency he co-founded in 2000. Under his leadership, the agency created breakthrough campaigns for brands such as Anheuser Busch, MTV, Converse, GAP, General Motors, Showtime, Nickelodeon, the National Parks Foundation, and the Art Institute of Boston.

His work with Seyhan Lee has already had an impact; in addition to directing “Connections” for Beko, and co-directing “Transcendence” for Star Atlas, he’s helping shape the company’s approach to applying A.I. motion pictures and its capabilities to brand storytelling. Much like Demirdağ, he considers the technique a game changer.

“A.I. generative motion pictures are a brand differentiator,” Koepke observed. “It’s an entirely new way to express emotional connections with the consumer. We believe A.I. motion pictures represent a visual language that unlocks new and deeper resonances for consumers, brands, artists, and experiences.

“When applied with knowledge and sensitivity, A.I. motion pictures are an advantage,” he continued. “They’re an opportunity and a fresh visual approach that enriches any visual experience. As these new realities come into play through blockchain, A.I. motion pictures will enhance and push the boundaries of how people experience the world.”

Demirdağ said, “Gary joining Seyhan Lee is extremely exciting for our team, as it will carry us to the epicenter of the advertising production and brand worlds. He has extensive connections and has worked in many different segments of the industry in a variety of roles, including as an ECD, a film director and an executive producer. Not to mention that his work has won just about every creative and design award in the known universe! With him as a partner, we’ll blossom into the industry’s first and only creative studio that can bring brands into the metaverse, offering A.I. visual effects and original content.”

The duo make a strong team, given their complementary backgrounds. An accomplished multidisciplinary visual artist with an impressive body of work in various media, Demirdağ has explored A.I. to create generative imagery attracted the attention of Google, and she had begun to partner with the company to see how it could lend itself to visual films.

The two expect to feed off each other’s respective creative mojo in a way that will benefit not only the work, but their clients, too. “Gary’s been a tremendous influence on how I approach brands and clients,” Demirdağ explained. “He definitely thinks differently than everyone else. I’ve always combined storytelling with creative technologies, but the level Gary is working at feels like the height of innovation.

For his part, Koepke said his partner is a constant source of inspiration. “Pinar’s artistry and passion are a significant benefit to us; she’s constantly experimenting with new techniques and creating lasting relationships with other industry leaders in the A.I. visual world--all of which will make her a highly influential thought leader in the years to come.”

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