- Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017
- JERSEY CITY, NJ
Director Michael Somoroff and veteran executive producer Jack Cohn have launched content production company Somoroff+ Studios. Housed at an international art destination, Mana Contemporary in Jersey City--the sprawling arts complex just 15 minutes from SoHo--the new studio is designed to meet the needs of global marketers and their ad agencies.
Somoroff is an accomplished tabletop director whose career includes extensive credentials, both in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to launching Somoroff+ Studios, he established and led the tabletop studio at MacGuffin Films, where as sr. partner he played a key role in the company’s growth and success. Partnering with him on this new venture is Cohn, who built the careers of many of the industry’s leading directorial talents.
Somoroff noted, “Clients’ needs have evolved, and the amount of content they require has exploded. I’ve have never seen a greater need for excellent production work like today. With budgets being spread across so many additional platforms, it’s an environment that screams for innovation and problem solving, something we find very seductive. We want to be at the cutting edge, and we’re willing to invest in projects to prove it.”
Cohn added, “Our model is built around finding solutions for our clients, both financially and creatively. We provide flexible creativity in every area with the utmost in terms of high quality production value for varying budgets. We do this in large part by relying on teamwork, tapping a group that’s highly experienced yet can work in a flexible, collaborative manner, and backing them up with a fully equipped, world-class production facility--soup to nuts.”
The company opens with an expansive and growing roster of directors whose experience spans the areas of food, beverage, casual dining and QSR brands, as well as lifestyle, fashion, beauty and apparel. Leading the roster, in addition to Somoroff himself, are two acclaimed masters of the tabletop arts, Vittorio Sacco and Etienne Proulx. Longtime friends, the three are now united under a single production banner, offering clients expertise in the creation of moving and still images for food and beverage brands.
Sacco, who most recently was repped by Station Films, has been associated with Cohn for many years, having been represented by him when Cohn was running Cohn + Company and again later under Cohn’s C-Entertainment shingle. His work includes spots for such brands as Fage, Dos Equis and Baskin Robbins. Proulx hails from Montreal, and specializes, as does Sacco, in photographing all kinds of liquids. Proulx didn’t have U.S. representation prior to joining Somoroff+. His list of clients includes Molson, Coors, Budweiser, Labatt, Carling, Folgers, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey’s and Smirnoff.
Somoroff+ also includes on its roster directors Darren Bult, Astrid Sterner and Tom Bracone. Bult is a former agency creative director and longtime client of Somoroff, with a tabletop reel that includes work for Dunkin Donuts, Friendly’s and Papa Ginos. He’s represented in the Northeast by Element Productions in Boston, and throughout the rest of the country by Somoroff+. Sterner, who joins from Grand Large, is a contemporary fashion and lifestyle director whose work includes spots for Chanel, Nike and TRESemme, as well as fashion films for Vogue and Vogue Italia. And Bracone is an independent tabletop director/cameraman who’s worked closely with Somoroff for over 30 years.
Somoroff+ Studios will offer multi-media production and still photography packaged with motion. Leading the studio’s integrated print operation will be the photographer James Salzano, who has also worked together with Somoroff for many years on the directors’ many print assignments.
Occupying two floors of the Mana arts complex, S+ comprises 18,000 square feet of studio, creative and office space. It boasts a full working commercial kitchen and a scenic construction unit able to fabricate anything required for product, food, package goods or beverage-related content. Housed on its main floor is The Lab Plus, a division which offers agencies, production companies and members of the S+ network access to robotic camera units and proprietary software tools for digital capture, motion-control, design and effects work.
A key part of the Somoroff+ team is editor Charlie Cusumano, formerly of Red Car, who’ll lead its post division. The company has also partnered with Provider Media, an outsourced postproduction service, to offer everything from color grading to finishing, rounding out its concept-to-completion capabilities.
Joining as director of new business is Cameron Gray, who comes over from The Mill, where he was color producer. Leading its West Coast presence will be Robert Wherry of FANCY Content, whose company will represent the S+ slate of directors in that part of the country. In the Midwest, the studio is repped by Miller + Miller, with Joanne Ferraro providing representation in the East. And S+ has established representation in Europe with BLM Film in Germany, and in Japan, where it’s repped by PMC.