Monday, January 22, 2018

People on the Move

  • Friday, Jan. 19, 2018
Creative director Andy Brown comes to Jogger L.A.
Andy Brown

Creative director Andy Brown has joined Jogger’s Western U.S. office, from London. Brown led the development of Jogger London, with artistic contribution and leadership on such noted projects as the stage visuals for U2’s “The Joshua Tree Tour 2017,” and chart-topping music videos for Bloc Party, The Kooks, Charli XCX, Texas and Laura Mvula. In the branded space, Brown’s numerous credits include the multi award-winning ADOT PSA “Homeless Lights” via Ogilvy & Mather, as well as advertising projects for Adidas, Cadbury, Valentino, Glenmorangie, Agent Provocateur, Northwestern Mutual, La-Z-Boy and more. He’s also been involved in post and effects for short films such as Foot in Mouth, Containment and Daisy as well as movie title sequences (with The Morrison Studio), including Jupiter Ascending, Collide, The Ones Below and Ronaldo.

“Andy has such a wealth of experience in managing our sister VFX company in London along with his talents as a creative director,” noted Cut+Run managing partner Michelle Eskin. “This is a perfect opportunity for him to expand his role and further enhance our clients’ experience at Jogger.”

Brown said, “This move is an incredible opportunity to work even more closely with my colleagues and friends in the U.S. and to blend the experiences I’ve had with the vantage point of another richly creative community.” 

Brown got his start in the industry at MPC where he worked for six years eventually assuming the role of digital online editor. He then went on to work in senior VFX roles at many of London’s top postproduction companies, before assuming the head of VFX  mantle at One Post. Following One Post’s merger with Rushes, Brown founded his own company Four Walls, establishing the company’s reputation for creative visual effects and finishing. 

Brown oversaw Four Walls’ merger with L.A.’s Jogger Studios in 2016. Andy has since helped form interconnections with Jogger’s teams in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin, with high-end VFX, motion graphics and color grading carried out on projects globally. His move to Los Angeles was a natural next step and an exciting opportunity to intensify his collaboration with U.S.-based clients. 

  • Friday, Jan. 19, 2018
Artjail adds Lee Towndrow, Emily Bloom
Lee Towndrow

Visual effects studio Artjail has hired Lee Towndrow as head of 2D/creative director. Towndrow, previously of The Mill NY, joins the growing Artjail team alongside Flame artist Emily Bloom who also recently came over from The Mill NY.

Over the years Towndrow has played a lead role on work for such clients as Samsung, Chevy, Cartier, IBM, Under Armor, Audi, Nissan and Morgan Stanley as well as an award winning VR project for The New York Times.

Similarly Bloom has been the Flame lead on several projects for brands including Bud Light, Lincoln, Gillette, Motorola, Samsung, Geico and AT&T. In recent months she has led projects such as Verizon for mcgarrybowen, Julep for Joan Creative, and Dominos for CP+B.

Towndrow will work alongside Steve Mottershead, Artjail’s founder and creative director, collaborating closely with directors and agencies, helping solve complex technical and creative problems while ultimately complementing each project with seamless VFX work.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
GALE taps Jason McCann as its 1st ECD
Jason McCann

Business agency GALE is expanding its creative offering by bringing on Jason McCann as its first executive creative director. In this newly-created role, McCann will drive and oversee creative output for all of GALE’s clients, including BMW, BMO, and Genting.  McCann will report to GALE’s president and CEO, Brad Simms.

Prior to joining GALE, McCann served as ECD at Red Peak, a brand building agency specializing in strategy and design, where he worked with clients like Intel and Brighthouse Financial. He has also held the role of ECD at AKQA & TAXI. McCann’s work has received recognition at industry awards shows including the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, The One Show, and D&AD.

“GALE has a clear vision of the industry’s future, especially the importance of integrating business consulting and agency capabilities,” McCann said. “I look forward to diving into GALE’s proprietary tools to create results-driven work.”

Headquartered in New York with offices in Toronto and Bangalore, GALE brings together the strongest aspects of the agency and consultancy models and supports this through data and insights platforms including ALCHEMY, ASK GALE, and UNCHAINED.

  • Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
Zulu hires Cary Smith to lead Zulubot
Cary Smith

Zulu Alpha Kilo, the Toronto-based ad agency, has just brought in Red Bull Media House executive producer, Cary Smith, as director of content for its content studio, Zulubot. Smith spent the last four years with Red Bull where he oversaw all moving image content in Canada, including sports, culture, and live events. Prior to working at Red Bull Media House, he was EP and head of development at Bell Media, overseeing production for multiple specialty channels including Much Music and Space.

Zulubot was launched in 2014 to enable Zulu to create, produce, and release content that capitalizes on the opportunities today’s digital/social world demands from modern brands. The studio has grown to include seven edit suites and a state-of-the-art audio recording studio. Over the past three years, Zulubot has produced hundreds of pieces of short and long format digital content for social platforms, broadcast films and documentaries including 2017’s online doc-series Common Ground for Harley-Davidson. The content series celebrated 100 years of the Harley-Davidson brand in Canada and gathered mainstream media interest, culminating in Discovery Canada showcasing Common Ground in a one-hour show during primetime.

“Cary brings a wealth of experience and a forward-thinking approach to what is already a strong content production team here,” said Zak Mroueh, Zulu Alpha Kilo’s founder and CCO/CEO. “He’s creative, collaborative and his experience with nimble content production as well as large scale production will make us a better partner to our clients,” Mroueh added.

Smith said of his new roost, “I’ve had my eye on Zulu and what they’ve been doing with Zulubot for several years. I’m excited to bring my expertise and combine it with such a talented and creative group.”

  • Friday, Jan. 12, 2018
Final Cut adds editor Miky Wolf, promotes Moore to editor, Ensley to head of production 
Miky Wolf

Edit house Final Cut has brought sr. editor Miky Wolf on board and promoted Betty Jo Moore from assistant to editor and producer Penny Ensley to head of production.

Wolf joins from Big Sky Editorial where he has spent much of his formative editing career, cutting a wide range of projects from commercials and music videos to shorts and feature films. A Cleveland native by way of Washington Heights, Wolf made his way to New York originally to direct and produce theater. It’s no surprise then that his ties to the stage remain strong, as he was the editor of hit HBO feature documentary Six By Sondheim, which began an ongoing and fruitful collaboration with renowned director, playwright, and librettist, James Lapine.

Wolf’s notable recent work includes an ongoing campaign for Prada with Anonymous Content director and longtime collaborator Autumn de Wilde starring Elijah Woods. Other credits includes campaigns for American Express, Google, Lexus, and Verizon as well as collaborations with agencies Barton F. Graf, Droga5, Joan, and Ogilvy.

“I’m excited to be a part of Final Cut, and I’m so impressed by the scope of work they’re involved in. Not just in the editorial, which is the heart of the company, of course, but in all the creative services they offer, with visual effects, sound and production through Significant Others and Machine Sound. Coming from a directing background, my hope was always to be able to bring together my experience as both an editor and director to step behind the camera,” Wolf said of what attracted him to Final Cut. “It’s amazing that Final Cut has positioned itself with the ability to offer those services to its staff as well as to its clients.”

Stephanie Apt, president of Final Cut, said of Wolf, “The passion he has for film, theater and the arts is infectious, and his spirit of collaboration with producers, directors and creatives is inspiring.” 

Final Cut has also promoted longtime assistant editor Moore to rostered Editor. “Betty Jo has been an incredible assistant over the last six years, and has made herself an invaluable member of both the New York and LA teams. She is a generous mentor and leader to the other assistants, and has helped us put our best foot forward on many an occasion,” said Apt of the decision. 

Seasoned producer Ensley has also been promoted to head of production for Final Cut’s New York Office, where she will complement and work closely alongside executive producer Sarah Roebuck. 

  • Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018
Mill+ adds creative directors Ilya Abulkhanov, Lisha Tan
Ilya Abulkhanov (l) and Lisha Tan

Mill+ in L.A. has brought creative directors Ilya Abulkhanov and Lisha Tan on board. A creative collective within global visual effects and content creation studio The Mill, Mill+ comprises an award-winning team of directors and designers who focus on concept-to-delivery partnerships.

Abulkhanov joins Mill+ full-time after working with the company since 2014, bringing with him 14 years of experience in the feature film, music, gaming and advertising industries. Previously, as creative director at Prologue, Abulkhanov created title sequences and cinematics for franchises such as Iron Man, X-MEN, and Destiny along with numerous show packages for MTV. Since joining Mill+, Abulkhanov has led high-profile projects including the music video for Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer,” Apple’s viral “Meet iPhone X,” and the iconic title design for JAY-Z’s music video, “The Story of O.J.” for which Tan served as creative director in 2017.

Tan began her career at Mill+ in 2014. With an emphasis on illustration and story-driven character animation, she has since led jobs for brands such as Google, Facebook, and director Bryan Buckley’s latest feature, The Pirates of Somalia. Tan’s creative direction for the two-time Grand Prix-winning “The Story of O.J.” has been recognized by LIA, Ciclope, Shots and The GRAMMYs, and recently earned the #1 slot on Rolling Stone’s 10 Best Music Videos of 2017.
Phil Crowe, executive creative director at The Mill Los Angeles, said, “We’ve had some incredible talent join Mill+ over the past year, and it’s exciting to see that momentum carry into 2018 with the addition of Ilya and Lisha to our team of creative directors. As individuals, each with their own unique style, their leadership contributes significantly to the future of Mill+.”

Managing director Rani Melendez added, “I couldn’t be more impressed with the level of talent Ilya and Lisha bring to the team. Most importantly, we’re now better positioned than ever to meet the evolving needs of the industry.”

  • Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018
The Escape Pod promotes Celia Jones to CEO
Celia Jones

Independent agency The Escape Pod has promoted Celia Jones to CEO. Jones will be charged with stewarding The Escape Pod’s next phase of growth, elevating its integrated capabilities, identifying new revenue streams, and attracting top talent to build on the agency’s culture of creativity and independence. Jones will report to Norm Bilow, co-founder and managing director of The Escape Pod Group, which also encompasses digital agency ORA Interactive, experiential agency OutCold, Gravity Well editorial, and creative staffing service

Jones joined The Escape Pod as brand director in May 2017. The agency has achieved significant year-over-year growth and several new business wins during her tenure. She has also been instrumental in deepening The Escape Pod’s digital and social offering, and driving end-to-end integration across its advertising, experiential and digital capabilities.

“Both clients and employees are hungry for an alternative,” said Jones. “What we stand for as an agency is an escape—from ineffective advertising that fails to stand out, and from the waste, layers and politics of the bigger shops. Our leadership team brings gravitas, with proven success at the world’s largest agencies. Our young talent is full of ideas and hungry to make their mark. Our digital and experiential partners are experts at what they do, but also incredibly collaborative, which makes our work that much better. Most importantly, we are all united in the belief that we can create innovative, inspiring work for clients, which is why we all got into this business in the first place.” 

Prior to The Escape Pod, Celia held leadership positions at several Chicago agencies. As group brand director at Havas Chicago, she positioned the agency as a creative force and culture catalyst. Before that, she served as global marketing director at Critical Mass, helping transform the company from a niche digital player into a leading global experience design agency focused on the customer. She also served as director of content and lead copywriter at Designkitchen. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018
Editor Chrissy Rabe comes aboard BlueRock roster
Chrissy Rabe

BlueRock, the NYC-based creative editorial company under the umbrella of Lively Group, has added editor Chrissy Rabe to its roster.

Before joining BlueRock, Rabe worked for Box Motion and Gloss VFX, spanning such clients as Nike, Prada, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Godiva, Harley Davidson, Zara, Gap, Sephora, and MAC Cosmetics. Rabe edited the lauded Lane Bryant “This Body” campaign, stating that she was proud to collaborate with Laird and Partners to create this powerful message about rising above and shining through negativity.
Rabe’s talent for fusing fashion, music and storytelling can be seen in the Balmain campaign-slash-music video for Kanye West’s “Wolves,” in which she matches stark monochromatic imagery to the atmospheric music. Of that project, Rabe said, “It’s a perfect example of my passion for using beautiful images to help shape a narrative with music. Even when I watch it now, there are still moments that give me chills.”
“Chrissy’s unique style is reflected in the way she creates, allowing the viewer to feel pure emotional reactions while watching her pieces,” remarked BlueRock executive producer/managing director Courtney Ryan Law. “She is able to seamlessly blend genres, knowing just how to achieve the perfect shot at the perfect moment. That’s the beauty of her editing, and what makes her such a valuable addition to our roster.”

Rabe said, “I hope to be able to bring my own vision and style to the amazing brands that already collaborate with BlueRock, as well as broadening further into the commercial and film genres.”

  • Monday, Jan. 8, 2018
Editor Paul La Calandra joins Uppercut
Paul La Calandra

Creative editorial shop Uppercut has added editor Paul La Calandra to its roster. He comes over from Whitehouse Post where he spent more than five years cutting spots for brands including BMW, Lululemon, Samsung, Nike, GM, Adidas and MillerCoors. Prior to Whitehouse Post, he was at Moondog Edit where he originally honed his visual aesthetic. A music buff from an early age, La Calandra continues to draw inspiration from the constant stream of tunes playing in his studio, packing emotion and energy into his visually-driven narrative work. 

La Calandra said, “I believe in what the team at Uppercut has built in just over two years and am looking forward to being a part of a close-knit boutique environment. I’m excited to be a part of a group of talented individuals that are equally inspired by storytelling and continue to grow with the changing industry.”

Uppercut owner/editor Micah Scarpelli adds, “Paul has the kind of visual storytelling aesthetic that we thrive on as a team and he fits in perfectly with the laid back and collaborative culture that has become a way of life for both our clients and staff. He’s the perfect addition to our team as we kick off 2018.”

A native New Yorker, La  Calandra has 15-plus years of experience as an editor, spanning commercials, branded content and music videos. 

  • Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018
Mike Scarcella named head of operations at The Mill L.A.
Mike Scarcella

The Mill has appointed Mike Scarcella to serve as head of operations in its Los Angeles studio. In his new role, Scarcella will be responsible for managing the organization and efficiency of The Mill’s artistic and technical resources as the business continues to respond to increasing industry demand.

Scarcella joins The Mill Los Angeles after five years at the New York studio where he successfully oversaw the utilization of resources across the 2D, CG, design, and editorial departments as operations manager. Prior to that, he served as creative resource manager and producer for The Mill’s visual effects, design and beauty projects.

Managing director Rani Melendez said, “It’s with great pleasure that we welcome Mike to Los Angeles. He’s a natural fit as head of operations, and we look forward to his working closely with all teams to facilitate efficient processes and structure, building upon already strong leadership.”