- LOS ANGELES
Tool of North America has signed director Daito Manabe to its Innovation roster while filmmaker Alex Richanbach joins the company’s Live-Action division.
Tokyo-based Manabe is a media artist, interactive director, programmer, DJ and executive at Rhizomatiks. Manabe is also well known for his experimental brand collaborations. He helped to create the famous Free Run+ campaign for Nike, in which the running shoes were utilized as musical instruments.
Manabe’s work in design, art, and entertainment takes a new approach to everyday materials and phenomenon. The human body, data, programming, computers, and other phenomena inspire his unique work, which blurs the line between real and virtual. Manabe’s Honda “Sound of Honda/Aryton Senna 1989” campaign used driving data from the world’s fastest lap, set by Aryton Senna in 1989 qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix. Manabe and his collaborators used the data to reenact the lap on a track using engine sounds and thousands of LEDs synchronized to Senna’s location, synchronized down to the millisecond. It was a viral sensation that tapped into the emotions and memories of fans and consumers all over the world and won the Titanium Grand Prix in Cannes 2014.
“We’ve been huge fans of Daito’s work since we worked with him in 2013 on a project for Apple, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac. He’s transcended tech and is one of the few creative technologists who is globally recognized,” said Dustin Callif, managing partner at Tool. “What we love about Daito is that he’s not restricted by hardware or software limitations. His team custom creates new platforms based on what has been dreamed up. Beyond opportunities in North America, with the 2020 Olympics happening in Japan, we are excited about how we can support brand activations together.”
Manabe appeared in an Apple campaign for his role as one of the premiere artists in the world using Mac technology to further creativity. He has received numerous awards for his work in advertising, design and art, including a Cannes Titanium Grand Prix, D&AD Black Pencil and the Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival. A prolific collaborator, he has worked closely with a diverse roster of artists, including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Björk, OK GO, Nosaj Thing, Squarepusher, Andrea Battistoni, Mansai Nomura, Perfume and sakanaction. Manabe has also partnered with the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics in Manchester, and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.
Meanwhile Richanbach will bring his experience in feature films and comedy to the Tool team, working on commercials, branded content and long-form production. His most recent work includes directing the Netflix hit film, Ibiza, starring Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer and Phoebe Robinson. Richanbach is also well known for directing the highly successful “Undercover Lyft” campaign, which received over one billion media impressions. He began his comedy career on Will Ferrell’s comedy hit, Step Brothers, where he assisted director Adam McKay. He also has over 100 Funny or Die spots to his credit, which include features such as We Are Young, and Throwing Shade for TV Land. Richanbach also directed Julia Roberts in her European Calzedonia campaign, and has directed spots with, Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Demi Lovato, Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and DJ Khaled. Richanbach is currently developing his third feature, which he is writing and directing, with Gary Sanchez Productions.
Prior to joining Tool, Richanbach was handled in the ad arena by production house Alldayeveryday.
Nancy Hacohen, managing director of live action at Tool, said of Richanbach, “His exceptional talent and experience within comedy as a successful feature director will be an all-important element for Tool and our clients.”