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Executive Producer Ron Cicero Unleashes INVADER, a New Production Company
- Wednesday, May. 29, 2019
The L.A.-based studio debuts with comedy expert Andy Fisher of “Jimmy Kimmel” fame, UK visual stylist David Edwards and doc director Christina Burchard on roster.
Executive Producer Ron Cicero has launched a new production company designed to take on the changing nature of what defines entertainment and brand communications in the streaming age.
Christened INVADER and based in Los Angeles, it debuts with a slate of filmmakers that includes comedy director Andy Fisher, award-winning British visualist David Edwards, documentary director Christina Burchard and the directing team LGI Collective, of which Cicero is a member.
The new company’s directors are successful across multiple disciplines and genres beyond commercials: Burchard was an editor on the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour;” Fisher was nominated for an Emmy for directing the “Jimmy Kimmel Sucks” episode of the ABC late-night show; and LGI Collective directors Cicero and Kimo Easterwood have just completed the feature-length documentary, “Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story,” now primed for the festival circuit.
“I was extremely fortunate to launch my producing career at Radical Media years ago,” Cicero says. “And as much as I enjoy producing, I’ve always yearned for the opportunity to jump back to a more creative path. INVADER is an opportunity to do both.”
Cicero segued into Executive Producing after a successful career as a line producer and head of production. In addition to Radical Media, he’s worked at such shops as Crossroads Films, Picrow and Prologue, among others, producing ads, campaigns and promos for such brands as The Academy Awards, AT&T, ESPN, Jeep, Lexus, Microsoft, NBC, Nike, Range Rover, Sony PlayStation and Sephora. Along the way he’s partnered with such agencies as BBDO, CP+B, GSD&M, Publicis/NY, Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA\Chiat\Day, delivering everything from traditional TV commercials to branded content to experiential.
“Business-wise, the timing seems right,” Cicero explains about the INVADER launch. “The Netflix’s and Amazon Prime’s of the world will inevitably turn to ad sales to continue their exponential revenue growth. We’re positioning ourselves for the rebound in production that’s going to result.”
Edwards and Cicero first met 10 years ago when Edwards, at the start of his career, was an in-house director at Virgin Media in London. While there he won a slew of awards and was featured in Shots as a New Director to Watch. Since then he has worked repeatedly for agencies such as Anomaly, BBH, and Publicis, both in the US and abroad.
Most recently, Edwards directed a spot for Pepsi in the UK, where he is represented by Another Film Company. Formerly with Rattling Stick, his body of work is often defined by its beautiful compositions, cinematic lighting, graceful camera movement, and lensing that heightens onscreen performances. To view his work, go to https://getinvader.com/david-edwards.
“Having the opportunity to build something from the ground up is really exciting,” Edward notes. “I want the company we create to be one where everyone who works with us feels part of the ‘INVADER’ family. There's no room for ego or bravado: We just want to do great creative and support each other doing it.”
Burchard is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. In 2017 she directed two episodes of the boxing documentary series “Why We Fight,” then moved on to direct multiple episodes of the IDA-nominated series “The Confession Tapes” for Netflix. When “Why We Fight” was picked up by ESPN, she was called back to direct additional episodes. To view her work, go to https://getinvader.com/christina-burchard.
With work for brands such as Nike and Bridgestone to her credit, Burchard has extensive long-form credits. She recently directed “Spyball” for the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary series; the film takes a look at the life and career of Moe Berg, the baseball catcher who was also an atomic spy. Additionally, she’s developed projects supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Vice, DOC NYC and the Toronto Film Festival, among others. Her first project for INVADER is a music video for drummer and composer Qasim Naqvi, a member of Dawn of Midi, which broke at the beginning of this month.
“Christina’s background as a successful editor and writer has made her transition to directing seamless,” says Cicero. “It’s exciting to see how effortlessly she crosses over between short and long-form content, which is something you don’t see that very often. She’s a genuine creative force.”
Fisher, previously represented by Caviar, currently is the Emmy-nominated director of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” In addition to the infamous “Jimmy Kimmel Sucks” segment, starring Matt Damon, Fisher’s comedy shorts include “The Handsome Men’s Club” and “Josh Groban Sings Kanye West’s Tweets.” His brand work includes notable spots for YouTube, Boost Mobile and The Emmys, among others. To view his work, go to https://getinvader.com/andy-fisher.
“To me it’s all about telling stories that resonate - and hopefully making people laugh!” Fisher remarks. “Every new project is an opportunity to stretch myself. It’s satisfying to be able to share so much of what I’ve learned over the years on Kimmel with others.”
LGI Collective is a directing moniker for Cicero, who began his advertising career as a director at Crossroads Films before venturing into producing, and his partner Kimo Easterwood. Prior to launching his directing career in 2015, Easterwood was a performance and lifestyle photographer who’s toured with Chris Rock, Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilar, Jenna Jameson, Usher and ZZ Top. As LGI Collective, he and Cicero have created content for clients such as Adidas, Miller, and Levi’s. To view their work, go to https://getinvader.com/lgi-collective.
“Many of the filmmakers I admire most switch between producing and directing, especially in the documentary space,” Cicero explains. “Both roles inform the other: It’s all about creative-problem solving. I also gain a first-hand understanding of the challenges directors face when trying to do their best work. INVADER has been built to provide a supportive environment for directorial talent to grow and evolve.”
INVADER is represented by Mr. Bartlett x Minerva in the East Coast and by Juliusson + Ratcliffe in the Midwest.
INVADER is a boutique media production company specializing in brand-supported content and filmed entertainment. Launched in 2019, work from the company principles has been recognized by The Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Cannes Festival of Creativity, The One Show, The AICP Show, the Kinsale Shark Awards, D&AD and others.