Sunday, April 23, 2017

People on the Move

  • Friday, Apr. 21, 2017
Producers Guild names Michelle Byrd to serve as managing director, PGA East
Michelle Byrd
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) National Board of Directors announced the hiring of Michelle Byrd as managing director, PGA East, expanding the current staff with a newly created position. She was appointed after an extensive search led by PGA East chairs William Horberg and Kay Rothman, and with the support of PGA presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary, PGA national executive director/COO Vance Van Petten, and PGA associate national executive director/COO Susan Sprung. Starting May 8, Byrd will report to LA-based Van Petten and Sprung, and oversee East Coast operations from the PGA’s New York office.

Prior to the PGA, Byrd spent over 20 years successfully building prominent, non-profit media organizations involved with film, digital, and games. Based in New York, she served 12 years (1997-2009) as executive director of IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) establishing a legacy of programming and strategic partnerships that remain in place today, including a collaboration with the United Nations and re-positioning IFP’s Gotham Awards into awards season.
 
From 2010-2013, Byrd was co-president of Games for Change (with Asi Burak) and oversaw the Games for Change Festival and served as an executive producer on “Half the Sky” Movement games (Zynga, Ford Foundation, USAID) based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book. Most recently, she ran her own consulting practice providing strategic planning, program and partnership development, and management advisory services for Ghetto Film School, Green Beetz, Museum of the Moving Image, New York State Commission on National and Community Service, and the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, among others.
 
Byrd is a recipient of the “Made in New York Award” from NYC’s Mayor and the “Good Egg Award” from Chicken & Egg Pictures, and sits on the Board of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation and the Advisory Boards of Chicken & Egg Pictures and STREB Lab for Action Mechanics.

  • Friday, Apr. 21, 2017
Guerassimov, Teichner join Serviceplan as partners/joint CCOs
Dimitri Guerassimov (l) and Fabien Teichner
PARIS -- 

Serviceplan Group has appointed Dimitri Guerassimov and Fabien Teichner as partners and joint chief creative officers of Serviceplan France. After many years at Marcel Agency where they contributed to making it the most awarded French ad shop at the Cannes Lions in both 2015 and 2016, Guerassimov and Teichner now embark on a new entrepreneurial and creative adventure at Serviceplan France, alongside its president Alain Roussel.

The creatives have worked with some of the biggest national and international brands including; Intermarché, Orange, RayBan, Diesel, Instagram, DS Automobiles, Volkswagen, Fiat, Brandt, GQ and National Geographic. Between them Guerassimov and Teichner have amassed more than 500 international creative awards, including the only two D&AD Black Pencils in the history of French advertising. They are now poised to take the French arm of Serviceplan to creative heights on par with the multi-award winning Serviceplan Germany.

The Serviceplan Group is the largest independent agency group in Europe. Founded in 1970 in Munich as a traditional advertising agency, Serviceplan today has more than 3,400 employees and offices in 36 locations worldwide.

  • Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017
Jeremy Epstein joins BARÚ as associate digital director 
Jeremy Epstein
LOS ANGELES -- 

BARÚ, a cross-cultural marketing and media agency specializing in audience-inclusive brand building, has hired Jeremy Epstein as its new associate digital director. Epstein brings his senior skills in general market digital campaigns and media plans for major brands in entertainment, sports and retail, including AMC Networks, Hulu, the NBA, Apple Music, Expedia Inc., Bluefly and Uber.

Epstein was previously with Fetch, a division of Dentsu, in New York, serving as mobile strategy and innovation manager, where he developed media plans and cross-channel attribution solutions for mobile campaigns. He also spent several years with Media Storm as digital media supervisor, working with entertainment and sports clients as the team leader for multiple brand launches across social networking platforms. Epstein will helm the digital team at BARÚ, which includes media planner/buyer Rosalva Orozco and sr. social strategist Heather McDonald.  

“The demand for our digital capabilities has become central to our clients’ media needs.  Jeremy is the perfect addition to our team because of his expertise in digital and his deep knowledge of cross-channel marketing solutions, including Out Of Home,” stated BARÚ CEO Elizabeth Barrutia. “At BARÚ our entire team is cross-trained to deliver integrated marketing campaigns. We know that Jeremy will add tremendous value as we continue to scale our business.”

“Independent agencies like BARÚ are delivering some of the most exciting and innovative thinking in the industry,” added Epstein. “Having come from a large global media company, I’m excited to join a group that has such agility, and emphasizes personalized attention and service to their clients.”

Epstein will immediately begin overseeing digital strategy for some of BARÚ’s top accounts, including Treasury Wine Estates, Del Real Foods, Warner Brothers and Focus Features.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017
Odysseus Arms adds art directors Betancourt, Gustin, writer Pluche
Pictured (l-r) are Luisa Betancourt, Jarrod Gustin and Clémence Pluche (photo by Madeline Lambie)
SAN FRANCISCO -- 

Odysseus Arms has added three artisans to its creative team: art directors Luisa Betancourt and Jarrod Gustin, and copywriter Clémence Pluche.

Betancourt joins Odysseus Arms from Eleven, where she was art director/designer for the past year, and junior designer before that, working with clients including Apple, Oakley, Dignity Health and the 3% Conference. Originally from Venezuela, Betancourt speaks English, Spanish and French. She studied at Miami Dade before earning a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Academy of Art University. 

Gustin relocates to San Francisco from Minneapolis, where he was most recently art director for independent agency Solve for nearly two years. During his tenure, Gustin worked with brands including GMC, American Standard and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. He cut his teeth in the ad world at Victors & Spoils after spending time in London working in fashion PR. 

Pluche arrives from Eleven, where she was copywriter for the past year and a half, working with clients including Google, Oakley, Columbus Meats, Dignity Health and Julep. Previously, she was art director for Off The Cuff Magazine, Boston University’s fashion and art publication. Pluche is a French national from the Bordeaux region, who earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Boston University.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017
TBWA\Dublin appoints Andrew Murray as director of social media & content
Andrew Murray
DUBLIN, Ireland -- 

TBWA\Dublin has hired Andrew Murray as director of social media & content. 

Murray enters his new position after an extensive career across the creative industries that has equipped him with a mastery of digital, social, and content advertising. Earlier Murray worked his way up the ranks at Cybercom (now Huskies) to become head of social content, where he worked with a host of brands, including Guinness, Vodafone, AIB and Carlsberg Football, across many European markets. His subsequent position as director of social media & content at McCannBlue saw him successfully build a department from scratch and bolster the agency’s client base. In just over two years, Murray helped McCannBlue/AV Browne win a host of UK and Irish social and content work, including Ulster Bank, Beck’s (Be Kreativ), TABASCO, Blue Dragon, and Patak’s.

Initially training as a spatial planner, Murray completed a broad range of destination branding projects at a top architectural firm before making the move into advertising. The major success of two of his notable projects--The PIVOT Dublin World Design Capital Bid and ‘The ‘80s Kid”--caught the attention of agencies and was instrumental in sparking this career transition. 

On his appointment, Murray said, “When it comes to social media and content creation, there’s a big battle going on out there. It’s the most competitive space in advertising and marketing right now, which is all really exciting. I strongly feel that social media and content should be creative-led, with input from digital and technology departments, and heavily rooted in strategy, data and insight. That’s what produces the best work and that’s what we have here at TBWA\Dublin. I immediately bought into TBWA\Dublin’s aspiration of being a world-class creative agency that just happens to be based in Dublin, and I wanted to be part of it. The opportunity to build a department on a larger scale with its current client list and some incredibly exciting new clients, that are yet to be announced, was too good to turn down.”

  • Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017
Union signs editor Christopher Huth
Christopher Huth
NEW YORK -- 

Editor Christopher Huth has joined the staff of Union Editorial. Known for affecting stories that span the spectrum of human emotion, Huth edited 2016 Cannes Direct Gold Lion-winner Pantene “DadDo” via Grey (directed by Pam Thomas), and “Dear Sophie” (directed by Henry & Rel), one of three Google Chrome spots from BBH and Google Creative Labs that collectively earned AICP Best in Show distinction for Advertising Excellence/Campaign in 2012. Huth recently completed anthem spots for Tempurpedic (via Hill Holliday, directed by Josh Taft) and USPS (via McCann, directed by Henry-Alex Rubin), as well as a short film for Chicco (via Mullen, directed by John X. Carey). Huth comes over from WAX, having begun his career at Lost Planet.

Graduating in 2006 with a BA from the University of Michigan’s Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, Huth began his studies as a chemistry major. “I hated sitting in dark rooms, so I abandoned the lab for the edit bay,” he joked. In fact, Huth’s path would lead him through other creative pursuits before taking his seat in the bay: he spent a year as a house fellow at Villa Guicciardini in Florence, Italy, and another year as resident curator at UnionDocs in Brooklyn, NY. Huth honed his craft at Lost Planet under Hank Corwin. Among Huth’s first opportunities was the aforementioned “Dear Sophie.” Another Google piece, “Demo Slam,” directed by Tim Abshire via Johannes Leonardo, won a Gold Lion for Film at Cannes, as well as Gold and Silver Clios, in 2011. Huth counts AT&T’s “It’s not Complicated” (BBDO, Jorma Taccone, dir.) and HoneyMaid’s “Anthem” (Droga5, Martin+Lindsay, dirs.) among his favorite historical projects, and works frequently with directors Lisa Rubisch and David Frankham. In 2014, Huth edited VISA’s Olympics entry, “Faces”, via BBDO and directed by Sweetgrass.

“Every job is a puzzle,” said Huth. “To solve each one requires just the right mixture of technique, team and usually blind luck. The first two, anyway, Union has in spades.” He added, “Union has built a fantastic team ready to take on the creative and technical challenges that the industry loves to throw our way as it reinvents itself every six months. There are no more offline edits anymore--design and visual effects can play as big a role in spots as music does--and Union’s graphics team is unrivaled.”  

Union is presided over by partner/managing director Michael Raimondi and partner/executive producer Caryn Maclean. The Union roster is comprised of partner/editors Jim Haygood, Einar, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, and editors Huth, Nico Alba, Jinx Godfrey, Nicholas Wayman-Harris, Rachael Waxler, Daniel Luna, Jason Lucas, Paul Plew, Ben Longland, Laura Milstein, Eric Argiro, Karen Kourtessis, Zach Kashkett and Andrew Doga, as well as select projects with Tim Thornton Allen and Phil Hignett.

Union Editorial has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content, in partnership with Killer Content companies through its Union Entertainment Group banner. Other Union companies include Platform, a creative and advertising solution for the gaming industry; and Resolution, a visual effects boutique specializing in commercials, features and gaming.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017
Color scientist Jerome Dewhurst joins Roundabout Entertainment
Jerome Dewhurst
BURBANK, Calif. -- 

Jerome Dewhurst has joined Roundabout Entertainment’s technical staff as chief color scientist. Dewhurst will oversee and manage the color pipeline for the facility’s growing digital intermediate and color correction operations, and set best practices for color company-wide. He will also lead research efforts to develop new software, technologies and services related to color management.

“Jerome is a highly respected color scientist with deep expertise in the digital intermediate process and experience on top level motion picture and television projects,” said Roundabout Entertainment CEO Craig Clark. “He is also an innovative researcher and developer who will be a great asset to our plans to create new services and tools for the benefit of our clients.”

Dewhurst brings nearly 20 years of experience as a color scientist and imaging engineer to Roundabout. For the past six years, he has served as a freelance color consultant, assisting studios, producers and postproduction facilities worldwide. He also developed software, including a mobile color grading application, used by more than 100,000 professionals and consumers.

Regarding his move to Roundabout, Dewhurst said that he was attracted by its entrepreneurial nature and impressed by its commitment to leadership in postproduction. “It’s a company that is looking to innovate, to develop new technologies and practices,” he said. “My role is to help the company create beautiful images and we intend to do that by being adventurous and doing things that haven’t been done before.”

Dewhurst’s background also includes six years as an imaging engineer at Framestore, London, where he managed color pipelines for scores of feature film and television productions. They include Salt, The Dark Knight, Casino Royale and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. A graduate of the University of Westminster, he began his career with Kodak’s Cineon unit in London.

  • Monday, Apr. 17, 2017
Jeffrey Baksinski upped to creative director at Zoic Studios
Jeffrey Baksinski
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- 

Zoic Studios has promoted Emmy-nominated VFX supervisor Jeffrey Baksinski to creative director. Baksinski has over 30 years of experience in postproduction working in film and video editing, set supervision, and visual effects. With continued series growth across all three Zoic offices, the promotion will allow Baksinski greater creative oversight alongside partners Chris Jones and Andrew Orloff. His wealth of experience includes working on such films as Fifth Element, Titanic, X-Men 2 and virtual production design on Avatar. Joining Zoic in 2011, Baksinski has VFX supervisor has such recent credits as The Get Down, Hand of God, Timeless, Blindspot, The Exorcist, Blacklist, Castle and Six, as well as a DFX role on The Grey, Killing Kennedy, Gangster Squad and Lawless. He earned a 2016 Emmy nomination for his work on the pilot of Amazon’s original series The Man in the High Castle.

“Jeff is one of those rare few that can be counted on in every way a company like ours might require, be it creative leadership, project strategy or business acumen,” noted Zoic executive creative director/co-founder Chris Jones.  

Added Baksinski, “The modern audience has developed a pretty good eye, demanding higher quality, unique visual effects from their television shows. I’m extremely lucky to be working with Chris and Andrew through this transition in our industry as they’ve built a long-standing reputation for high volume, high quality work. With our top notch supervisors and crew, we’re going to continue to push the boundaries of television effects.”

Los Angeles-based Baksinski got his start in visual effects at Digital Domain, later moving on to help to build Cinesite Hollywood. Following that, he went on to launch his own visual effects company Furious FX. He later contributed to the first full Virtual Production technology for Avatar, then returned to Digital Domain as the “director of Digital Studio,” running the features department and artists. Most recently, Baksinski was a technical designer and implemented the Stereo Conversion pipeline at Prime Focus before joining Zoic.

  • Monday, Apr. 17, 2017
Ashley McKim promoted to global EP of commercials at Company 3
Ashley McKim
LOS ANGELES -- 

Postproduction and color grading studio Company 3, part of the Deluxe family of companies, has elevated long-time commercial production executive Ashley McKim to the newly created role of global executive producer. McKim manages Company 3’s production teams and oversees sales operations, leveraging and building the company’s global network of talent and virtual outposts.   

“Our clients are increasingly looking to work with our teams and tap into our services across multiple geographies,” said Deluxe president and GM of features and advertising post, John Paulson. “Our goal is to ensure they have access to the world class artists and technology at Company 3, wherever they are. Ashley has broad production experience across editorial and post and she’s well versed in all areas of our clients’ work. As the single point of contact for bidding and sales, she’ll help further unify our advertising post business at Company 3.”

McKim said, “By centralizing systems, processes and collective mindshare, we can approach projects more strategically and let our artistry shine. Even minor operational adjustments can make us more efficient and translate to huge gains for our clients as their needs change and evolve,” McKim said.

Stefan Sonnenfeld, Deluxe chief creative officer and Company 3 founder, said, “At Company 3 we’ve always been focused on bringing the best talent to our clients’ projects. Ashley’s new role will help us continue to evolve in terms of creative flexibility.”

During her tenure, McKim has worked closely with Company 3 colorists, while also building and nurturing strong business relationships. A savvy matchmaker, she specializes in pairing artists with jobs that perfectly align with their skillsets, a talent she now extends across Company 3’s global roster. Prior to Company 3, McKim worked with top editors, built agency relationships, and led marketing and sales for international editorial house Cutters Studios and partner companies. She held a similar role at the commercial post and editorial house Hybrid Edit. McKim was also a founding partner and executive producer at Beef Films and Chop House Post, leading sales initiatives and handling day-to-day management of the production company.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 11, 2017
Rick Anthony named GM of Light Iron’s NY facility
Rick Anthony
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Light Iron, a leading postproduction solutions provider and member of the Panavision family of companies, has appointed Rick Anthony to the newly created role of general manager in its New York facility. The addition comes after Light Iron added a second floor in 2016 to triple its inventory of editorial suites.
 
“Our New York facility has grown significantly each year since opening in 2013,” said Josh Haynie, the company’s VP of U.S. operations. “Rick brings a wealth of experience in facility management, customer service and client relationships, which will enable us to continue to offer best-in-class service in the years ahead.”

Anthony previously held general manager roles at Pac Lab and New York Lab/Postworks/Moving Images, overseeing teams from lab through digital workflows. He began his career at New York’s seminal film lab, DuArt, where he was a technical supervisor for many years.
 
Anthony notes several appealing factors for joining Light Iron: “From being at the forefront of color science and workflow, to having an exceptional team of talent and technicians, to providing bicoastal client support, this is a unique opportunity. Working together with Panavision, I look forward to serving the dailies, editorial, and finishing needs of any production, be it feature, episodic or commercial.”

Light Iron’s New York facility offers 20 premium editorial suites from its SoHo location, as well as in-house and mobile dailies services, HDR-ready episodic timing bays, and a 4K DI theater. The facility recently serviced Panavision’s first U.S.-based feature shot on the new Millennium DXL camera.