Friday, April 20, 2018
  • Friday, Dec. 22, 2017
Short Takes: Nilsson, W+K Create Xmas In Chaos For Duracell
Melissa Barany

Without Duracell batteries, Christmas becomes chaos—as imagined by Santa Claus who should know better than anyone.

That’s the premise of this :60 directed by Andreas Nilsson of Biscuit Filmworks for Wieden+Kennedy, New York. Sans Duracell batteries, kids are crying, parents are angry, and Santa’s job is on the line—and for that matter his elves would have to seek employment elsewhere.

Once replaced by a new version of himself, the original Santa would be living in a trailer park with but one friend—a trusted reindeer who’d wind up flying off anyway. The lesson: Even Santa better not mess with Duracell batteries.

AFI Receives Donation For Women Filmmakers
The American Film Institute (AFI) announced a donation of $500,000 from the estate of director, producer, actor and philanthropist Nancy Malone to advocate for the advancement and employment of women from the AFI Conservatory and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). The gift from Malone, a DWW alumna, will fund the newly created Nancy Malone Initiatives for Women Filmmakers.

The Initiative enables the creation of a new position at the AFI Conservatory—the director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives—an executive-level role that will grow greater opportunities within the creative community for female filmmakers from AFI.  The Initiative also creates the Nancy Malone Symposium, which will be held annually at AFI Fest presented by Audi beginning in 2018, gathering a coalition of the creative community’s leaders to further advance women in the filmmaking profession.

Director/writer Tessa Blake (AFI DWW, Class of 2015) has been named the inaugural director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives.  For the past two years, Blake led the DWW, where she created alliances with innovative industry programs designed to strengthen the pipeline of Conservatory graduates and DWW participants to employment.  

People On The Move....
VML Chicago has hired Melissa Barany as executive producer. Barany joins VML from Energy BBDO, where she spent the last six years as an executive producer overseeing integrated global production for multiple SC Johnson brands. Prior to Energy BBDO, she worked as a freelancer and for multiple agencies including DDB, J. Walter Thompson and Cramer-Krasselt. Barany will manage production in the Chicago office and be part of VML’s overall integrated production leadership team. She will report to Tyler Smith, head of production, North America....Additionally, Hilary Burns has come aboard as group director, client engagement. Burns joins VML from Sapient-Razorfish where she was responsible for client engagements on Procter & Gamble, Allstate and Abercrombie & Fitch. Burns has more than 20 years of experience at agencies including Energy BBDO, JWT and Cramer-Krasselt. Burns will oversee various engagements out of the Chicago office and reports to Chuck Searle, chief client officer....Meanwhile VML’s Atlanta office has hired Roy Torres as group creative director. He will help oversee creative work across VML’s Memphis, Atlanta and Bogotá offices. He began his career at Y&R NY, working on brands such as Land Rover, MTV and LG. He also spent time at Droga5, Anomaly and Grey NY.