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- Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020
AKKURAT Studios signs director Amber Grace Johnson for representation in Germany
AKKURAT Studios, the Berlin-based shop headed by Rocco Kopecny, Andreas Roth and Dagmar Garber, has added director Amber Grace Johnson to its roster for exclusive representation in Germany. Johnson thus extends her reach internationally, building upon success in the U.S. and U.K. where she is handled by Object & Animal which has bases of operation in Los Angeles and London.
Known for her eye-catching work spanning commercial, editorial and branded projects for clients like Prada, Dior Home, Jorja Smith, J. Cole, Nike and Rihanna’s Fenty, Johnson--aka AGJ--has earned assorted accolades, becoming a four-time Young Director Awards nominee this year as well as being shortlisted for the AICP Show’s Best New Director honor. The latter was on the strength of her “Mozart” spot out of Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, for the launch of director Alma Har’el’s Free The Work. Produced by Object & Animal, the piece--which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Lions Fest--urged people to take more notice of the often overlooked female creative voices in the world, noting that Mozart had a sister who never received the encouragement and acclaim she deserved despite being arguably more talented than her famous brother.
Johnson gains her first career representation in Germany on the heels of directing Hyundai’s “I’m In Charge” for agency Jung von Matt/NECKAR, Stuttgart, a co-production of AKKURAT and Object & Animal.
“I’m In Charge” introduces Hyundai’s new IONIQ brand and fleet of fully electric vehicles, which will hit the marketplace in 2021. The film showcases vehicular attributes while capturing a symbolic and poetic tone toward a more sustainable future.
The six-day production was shot in Kiev, with remote drone footage captured in Kenya, navigating and adhering to all COVID-19 government and filming protocol restrictions.
AKKURAT and Object & Animal--which is under the aegis of Dominic Thomas, Morgan Clement, James Cunningham and Justin Benoliel--had teamed on projects prior to the Hyundai assignment. The production companies find themselves like-minded collaborators and have a rapport in place which figures to translate to their jointly taking on other productions when warranted down the road.
“We see AKKURAT as a distinctly forward-thinking production company with a passion and respect for the craft of filmmaking,” said Clement, EP and co-founder of Object & Animal. “With a director like Amber who has achieved so much in such a short space of time, having her work with EPs and producers who share the same values and passions as Object & Animal, AKKURAT Studios felt like the perfect fit and we’re thrilled for how they develop her in the German market.”
Johnson said she’s enthused over her prospects via AKKURAT in the German market. “Having the trust and support from AKKURAT on this Hyundai production along with the feeling of family made me–– without question––want to sign with them even more.”
Johnson added, “I couldn’t imagine a better experience for my first car commercial. Against all odds AKKURAT and Object & Animal managed to pull off my favorite film to date, fully visualizing our ideas for the project, all the while having a hell of a time. I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished given such wild circumstances.”
AKKURAT Studios partner and creative director Roth shared, “We’re really excited to have Amber join our roster for the German territory. We’ve always felt a deep creative connection with Object & Animal’s brand as well as our brand values and visions. In addition to being friends and colleagues we admire, they are collaborators we would like to grow along with for the future.”
AKKURAT partner and managing director Kopecny related, “It was such a pleasure to partner with Object & Animal on this global campaign for Hyundai and have a director as talented, fresh, and bold as Amber shoot this project. Both our companies share a fond, mutual respect for one another and believe in the power of supporting each other and the talent. We look very forward to developing this relationship, collaborating on more work together, giving birth to impossible projects, and nurturing emerging talent into global directors.”
Johnson isn’t the only filmmaker to call both Object & Animal and AKKURAT home. Young Berlin filmmaker Francisco Sendino--who’s been repped in Germany by AKKURAT since its inception--recently joined Object & Animal for representation in the U.S. and U.K. Sendino just wrapped a Smirnoff job for 72andSunny, New York, and is currently working on a production for which AKKURAT and Object & Animal are again teamed.