• Monday, Jun. 14, 2021
Editors Peter Wiedensmith, Tommy Harden launch ACADEMY
Tommy Harden (l) and Peter Wiedensmith
  • PORTLAND, Ore.
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Editors Peter Wiedensmith and Tommy Harden--two former mainstays of JOINT Editorial, Wieden+Kennedy’s fully owned yet independently operated postproduction company--have teamed to launch Portland-based post shop ACADEMY. The new venture is focused on working with creative agencies and directors while nurturing up-and-coming editors through education and experience.

Wiedensmith and Harden were JOINT veterans--Wiedensmith serving as founder dating back some 25 years, while Harden was an editor there for 14 years. At JOINT, they worked on spots that earned three Emmys--for the 2011 Chrysler “Born of Fire” spot, P&G’s “Best Job” campaign celebrating Olympic athletes and their mothers, and the more recent awards-sweeping Nike “Dream Crazy” ad. Wiedensmith and Harden additionally turned out projects that were nominated for three Emmys combined, including the famed Nike spot “Hello World” starring Tiger Woods, and Chrysler’s “Half Time in America” with Clint Eastwood.

As the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to draw to an end, Wiedensmith, editor of the acclaimed split-screen Nike ad “You Can’t Stop Us,” and Harden reflected on their careers, addressing the promise of building a sanctuary for talent and the creative process. “We feel that the best work has always come out of a spirit of openness. Not only do we want to continue to do the kind of work that keeps us learning, engaged and inspired, but we want to create a space for talented people to come do the same,” said Harden. 

Wiedensmith saw an early start to his filmmaking passions, following a fortuitous third-grade class encounter with a Super 8 movie camera for the first time. He followed his zeal for the craft to film school, graduating from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s in Telecommunications and Film. After working on film crews for four years, Wiedensmith launched his career from Wieden+Kennedy proper as a film editor before founding JOINT under the W+K banner.

“What made me fall in love with film was experiencing big emotional moments, when everything comes together,” related Wiedensmith. “I seek those moments out on every project. Finding an emotional truth is what makes work matter to me, and makes it matter to the audience. Tommy has always protected those moments too--there is a deep humanity in his work. That humanity is the basis for this new adventure.”

Drawn to artistic pursuits of every stripe from a young age, Harden gravitated toward music, painting and film interspersed with grade-school studies as a means of coming into his own. After a brief stint with art school, he moved to Santa Fe for first-hand experience working alongside sculptors and contemporary artists, helping museums install shows. The desert arts mecca spoke to him and he ultimately attended the College of Santa Fe film school to solidify his pursuits. While film proved the merger of all his favorite creative pastimes, he found himself most at home in the editing bay; upon moving to Los Angeles, he worked across multiple editing departments and shops before joining JOINT in 2007. 

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