- Friday, Feb. 12, 2016
- SANTA MONICA, Calif.
The Devil You Know--the international integrated production house founded by EPs Don Block and Simon Wallon last summer--has brought Stéphane Sednaoui and the team known as Cokau aboard its directorial roster for exclusive U.S. representation. The signings are in line with the company mantra of connecting with artists from varied disciplines and bringing their talent to bear in commercials, branded content, and other forms of filmmaking across different platforms.
The Devil You Know will introduce the Paris-based Cokau--a duo consisting of Achille Coquerel and Thomas Kauffmann--to the American ad market. Coquerel and Kauffman met in 2006 and worked together for several years as editor and motion designer in a Parisian audiovisual studio. They began directing in 2010 as Cokau and produced numerous experimental videos pushing visual boundaries.
In 2012, Cokau won the Vimeo Award for the best experimental video for Prie Dieu and subsequently formed their own studio Cokau Lab. Since then, Cokau has won numerous awards for their expansive work which includes live action, the creation of opening title sequences and art direction for audiovisual brand content, always experimenting with each step of the process. Cokau’s fusion of editing, motion design and sound design with their live action is a prime driving dynamic behind their films.
Wallon, who is based stateside but has roots in France, related, “When I came across Cokau’s work, I was instantaneously blown away. The delicate and deep understanding of organic elements combined with their extremely powerful energy and visual approach make them truly unique directors.”
Sednaoui is a French-American director and photographer whose career has explored multiple film and photographic genres. His body of work over the years spans commercials (for such brands as Maybelline, DKNY, L’Oreal), music videos, photojournalism, portrait photography and pop culture. His music video achievements include “Give it Away” (Red Hot Chili Peppers), “Sly” (Massive Attack), “Mysterious Ways” (U2), “Big Time Sensuality” (Bjork), “Fever” (Madonna) and dozens more. Sednaoui’s music video work is documented in The Work of Director Stephane Sednaoui (2005) from the Directors Label series, a collection of DVDs devoted to music video directors, along with Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Anton Corbin, Jonathan Glazer, Chris Cunningham and Mark Romanek.
As a photojournalist Sednaoui has covered such events as the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the 2001 September 11th attack of the World Trade Center. In 2014 Kehrer published Sednaoui’s emotionally moving photography book "Search & Rescue at Ground Zero." He has also been a regular contributor to Vogue Italia , Vogue China, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine Interview and Visionaire as a fashion and portrait photographer.
Sednaoui’s new and existing work have been exhibited recently at the MoMA, New York (2015), the National September 11 Memorial and Museum (2013-2015), New York, the Brooklyn Museum New York (2013, the (Barbican Center, London (2014), Le Grand Palais, Paris (2015), the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014) and in a solo exhibition at the Sam Art Projects Foundation, Paris (2013).
Block noted that Sednaoui has been immersed in his photojournalism and varied artistic endeavors in recent time, with The Devil You Know affiliation now marking the filmmaker’s renewed availability for select spots and branded content opportunities.
Block noted that Cokau and Sednaoui add to the mix of creative voices now available through The Devil You Know, a sister shop to Block’s mainstay production company GARTNER. Cokau and Sednaoui join a directorial lineup at The Devil You Know which includes Ben Younger, Alex Hanson, NAN and Brett Easton Ellis.
Younger, Hanson and Ellis have been on The Devil roster since the company’s inception. NAN joined shortly thereafter. Younger is the writer and director of cult thriller Boiler Room, Meryl Streep starrer Prime, and Bleed for This starring Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart, the latter produced by Martin Scorsese and American Beauty and Silver Linings Playbook’s Bruce Cohen. Younger began his commercial directing career at Chelsea Pictures. Hanson broke into the industry as a lead designer at Prologue Films, later diversifying into commercial directing via Psyop. Eliis is a standout writer whose literary work includes “Less Than Zero,” “American Psycho,” Glamorama,” “Lunar Park” and “Imperial Bedrooms.” He then extended his creative reach as a feature film screenwriter (The Canyons directed by Paul Schrader) and dovetailed into directing with such credits as a short brand film for Persol out of Publicis Paris. The Devil You Know marks NAN’s first U.S. production house roost; his international ad credits as a director include work for Nike, Ikea, Orange, KFC and adidas. NAN has also been active as a documentarian and in short films, with feature and TV series projects in development.
The Devil You Know is represented by Oritte Bendory on the East Coast, Jen Giles In the Midwest and John Buckley on the West Coast and is part of the Block Partners family of companies.