- NEW YORK
TheBridge.Co, which specializes in connecting artists and brands, has added Paul Kelly, Michael Elliot, Jon Kane and Barry Alexander Brown to its talent base. Primarily known for their work as editors, they’re all multi-faceted creatives who’ve contributed to award-winning and notable campaigns and films throughout their careers.
The quartet joins founding partners Michael Jurkovac and Igor Kovalik, along with directors/producers Gary Koepke and Bill Boyd, to form a highly experienced creative and production team that can take projects from concept through completion across various media.
“When you combine these talents with our core team of Mike, Gary, Bill and myself, you get a group of very senior people from diverse backgrounds who can all do several things and do them well,” said Kovalik. “This is a model I’ve been interested in for some time, as it breaks down the silos between creative, production and post, and turns everyone into a problem-solver who’s focused on delivering for the client.
“What we do that’s unique is assemble teams who are on set, at the point where creative decisions are being made, addressing issues from a holistic standpoint and providing better solutions and options in the moment,” Kovalik continued. “It provides more bang for the buck.”
TheBridge.Co’s most recent agency collaboration was with Ogilvy Chicago on a short film for the Chicago Sun Times’ new anti-gun violence campaign, titled #31Bullets. The team that worked on the film included Jurkovac, who directed; Kovalik and Koepke, who were executive producers; Boyd, who produced and shared DP credit with Elias Talbot and Ogilvy CD Peter Medlock; and Kelly, who did the edit and added sound design to the three-time Grammy Award winning composer Printz Board’s score. The film broke on the newspaper’s YouTube channel on Sunday, April 29, and was the subject of a front-page editorial that ran on April 30.
“Working with producers Bill Boyd, Sara Ramaker and Pantera Sarah--and with the support of music producer Venus Brown--we recreated the team that helped will.i.am and I create the ‘YES WE CAN’ campaign for Obama,” explained Jurkovac. “Only now we’re working with Ogilvy and the Sun Times to say, ‘Yes we can keep guns out of our classrooms.’ This project is designed to provide social ammunition to help the hardest working newspaper in America take a vitally important stand.”
The additions to TheBridge.Co’s creative collective bring impressive and extensive backgrounds to their new roles. Kelly is an award-winning film editor and composer with extensive experience working in advertising, feature films and television. A co-founder of Beast, he’s cut numerous high-profile projects for TheBridge.Co, as well as for other companies. His showreel includes spots for such brands as Mercedes, Toyota, Mini, Aflac, Comcast and others, and his music scoring credits include “Any Given Sunday” and “Savages,” as well as “Comandante,” a documentary directed by Oliver Stone. He also composed the score for the Oscar-nominated short, “Everything in This Country Must.”
Elliot was one of the co-founders of Mad River Post, whose career in postproduction has also taken him to Beast and Bandit Edit. In addition to shaping assorted ad campaigns, he’s known for his work as a director and editor focusing on social media content development and strategy. His short documentary about school testing policies, “The Other PARCC,” centered on parents advocating against high-stakes testing and features real parents, students and academics recounting their experiences. In addition to his ongoing work with agencies and brands, he recently completed an eight-part series of short films that focused on public education, with three of the releases garnering millions of combined views. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post and The New York Times.
Kane is an editor and director who’s done notable work in advertising, broadcast promotion and feature films. He’s a close collaborator with the filmmaker Godfrey Reggio, having edited “Naqoyqatsi,” the third film in Reggio’s Qatsi Trilogy, which featured a score by Philip Glass. He more recently partnered with Reggio and Glass on “Visitors,” which Kane edited and co-produced and which was executive produced by Steven Soderberg. In addition to his work with TheBridge.Co and other companies, Kane currently serves as creative director for Cinema at the National Museum of Qatar, where he’s overseeing the making of 11 short films.
Brown has worked extensively as a director, editor and writer in documentaries and features. He was nominated for an Oscar for his first feature length documentary, “The War at Home,” and has edited many of Spike Lee’s films, including “Do the Right Thing,” “Malcolm X,” “He Got Game,” “Summer of Sam,” “25th Hour” and “Inside Man.” He’s also worked with the acclaimed director Mira Nair on such films as the Oscar-nominated “Salaam Bombay,” “Monsoon Wedding” and most recently Disney’s “The Queen of Katwe.” As a director, he’s shot music videos and commercials as well as the critically acclaimed features “Lonely In America” and “Winning Girls.” His third feature, “Last Looks,” shot on location in Turkey, was made to be the center piece of a transmedia novel, which he also wrote.
This coming together of TheBridge.Co collective sets the stage for the company to build on several successful recent projects for major brands and agencies. For example, they partnered with The Mill and its ‘Blackbird’ variable auto rig to create a dynamic launch film for the Genesis brand and its global agency, INNOCEAN. Produced for the New York International Auto Show earlier this spring, the film debuted the Genesis’ Essentia concept car.
Directed by Jurkovac, produced by Kovalik, Koepke and Boyd, and edited by Kelly, the film expanded on earlier spots TheBridge.Co produced for the Genesis G70, G80 and G90, and tapped the vocal talents of singer Andra Day.
And earlier this year they partnered with Fiat Chrysler and DDB on the RAM short “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” featuring The Tennessee Kids, Justin Timberlake’s band from his “Man of the Woods” Tour. TheBridge.Co tapped award-winning producer Venus Brown on the music for the spot, which has been the most successful in FCA’s history, racking up over 20 million views in its first week online.
As part of its expansion, TheBridge.Co has also named Angela Madden as its new general manager and CFO and signed a new slate of representatives. In the US, Sarah Jenks now represents TheBridge.Co in the East, Maureen Butler in the Midwest and Devine Reps in the West.