- LOS ANGELES
Creative and production house Stept Studios has brought Davey Spens on board as EP of branded entertainment. His work in the branded entertainment sector combines experience from the worlds of traditional advertising, television, and digital entertainment to create modern storytelling ideas for brands and digital platforms.
Spens most recently worked as executive creative director at Pulse Films, and previously on the agency side at BBDO and Brooklyn Brothers. As a producer and writer, the British Spens has created and championed original content including visual albums for Empire, Fox/Pepsi; unscripted series like Twiz & Tuck for Blackpills/Viceland, and Resist for JusticeLA/BLM/YouTube Originals; scripted films such as Falcon’s Day Off with Reed Morano for Dubai Tourism; and miniseries including Unlikely Business Lessons for Mailchimp, The Cut for Elton John/YouTube, Pillow Talk for Blackpills, and Rubber Tracks for Converse.
Stept’s showrunner approach to branded entertainment fuses the best methodology of both worlds, coupling a television-style development process with a traditional digital production model. Every project begins with a story development process--building formats, narratives, and characters before the directors shape a visual world around each one. Often, it is the directors themselves who have originated the story. The results are original series and cinematic stories that earn and reward their audience’s attention. Recent examples include the Clio-winning Sundays at the Triple Nickel presented by Crown Royal, and TranSending, a film in partnership with hiking and outdoors brand Merrell.
“I’m a firm believer that brands can create entertainment and own their own audience, rather than leasing a slice of someone else’s,” said Spens. “That means toppling the idea of branded entertainment as content or activations and thinking like an entertainment brand. This opportunity to take what Stept is already doing exceedingly well and build upon it is extremely exciting for me.”
Nick Martini, Stept Studios founder/CEO/director, shared, “At Stept we’ve always done things differently, and feel strongly that brands should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to entertaining and engaging their customers. Davey joining our team is further proof of that.”
Stept Studios maintains bases of operation in Los Angeles and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Brand Merrell Production Company Stept Studios Marin Hart, director; Lindsey Hagen, exec producer; Chris Naum, DP/editor
Client Diageo/Crown Royal Production Stept Studios, Los Angeles, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming Jess Colquhoun, director, writer; Adam Rachlitz, creative director; Cordielle Street, producer; Zak Mulligan, DP; Nick Martini, Randall Bourquin, JJ Rubin, executive producers; Christian Carvallo, art director; Jasmine Chang, 1st AC; Emma Hing, camera loader. Editorial Mattias Evangelista, editor. Music James William Blades, composer. Audio Charles Cann, audio mixer. Cast Marjorie Eliot, Rudel Drears, Tesfaye Tessema, Vaughn Jelks. Band members: Nicholas Mauro, Ben Meigners, Sedric Shukroon, Koichi Yoshihara.