- LOS ANGELES
Media production boutique VANDAL has signed director Keith Rivers, whose diverse body of work spans such clients as Amazon, Delta Airlines, McDonald’s, Porsche, Soundcloud, and Xbox. Rivers created the instantly-viral Microsoft Surface launch video, which garnered 9 million views in its first week on YouTube and won a Gold ADDY. He has written, produced, and directed several global ad campaigns, including one for Internet Explorer 9, whereby a music synchronization deal for Alex Clare led to triple-platinum record sales and a BRIT award. As a screenwriter, Rivers turned out Flight Plans--based on a true story about the Barefoot Bandit who stole and crash-landed an airplane owned by Keith’s father, Bob Rivers--which made Coverfly’s “RedList Top 20” and was shortlisted at the Austin Film Festival. Keith Rivers is also a singer-songwriter, with four completed music albums, which can be found on iTunes.
“It’s not often that you find someone who can excel in so many different verticals in advertising,” said VANDAL co-founder and EP Heather Heller, herself a GRAMMY-winner who produced spots airing on the Super Bowl LIV and LV broadcasts, as well as a number of all-time popular music videos. “A constant in his work is the emotional resonance that runs throughout each piece, even though the concepts vary greatly. Keith has the ability to touch people and work with actors to elicit a rare and authentic performance.”
As a filmmaker, Rivers pulls viewers into the experience, reporting from inside the mind of the climber, gamer, driver, surfer, boxer, snowboarder, poker player. Prior to joining VANDAL, Rivers was at Washington Square Films. He also founded his own company, Workhouse Creative, in 2012 (acquired by Wild Gravity in 2018).
Rivers said of his move to VANDAL, “Heather is big on strategy and I’m big on vision. A vision without a strategy is just an illusion so needless to say, I’m excited to have met my match and join Heather and her team.”
Rivers’ passions include his involvement with the non-profit organization World Vision, to whom he has devoted time to area development projects out of Zambia, Bangladesh, The Amazon in Brazil, and Senegal. There, he has documented humanitarian missions around growing education, children, health, and culture.
“I was very interested in the fact that Keith had owned his own production company and was his own EP as well as a director,” Heller observed. “We have to be able to wear many hats to be successful in this business, and understanding the practical realities of production eventually drives a director’s work to be better.”
Rivers joins a VANDAL roster comprising director/company co-founder Francis Lawrence, director/screenwriter Scott Cooper, director/photographer Sharif Hamza, director Michael Haussman, director/photographer Patrick Hoelck, director/photographer Munachi Osegbu, multi-hyphenate Steve Pink, director/photographer Eugenio Recuenco, director Jesse Salto, directing duo SKNX.TV, writer/director Gene Stupnitsky, director Eli Sverdlov, director Jessy Terrero, and director Jean-Claude Thibaut. VANDAL is represented by head of global sales Carl Forsberg and sr. agent Justin Lasoff (Apostle) on the East Coast, Sarah Gitersonke (SGP Partners) in the Midwest, Julie Koellner (Remedy Reps) in Texas, and Deirdre Rymer Rivard (Blush Creative) and Lisa Gimenez (Lisa G & Company) on the West Coast. Tommy Labuda (Labuda Reps) handles VANDAL for music videos. Estelle Leeds reps Munachi Osegbu and SKNX on the commercial and content fronts.