Saturday, June 23, 2018
  • Friday, Apr. 1, 2016
Short Takes for April 2016
Shamsa Jafri
Michele Atkins Directs “Love + Medicine”

Following last year’s well-received Gundersen Health System campaign, Minneapolis agency Preston Kelly reunited with director Michele Atkins of production house kaboom, San Francisco and L.A., to delve into what makes the provider so special: love + medicine. Inspired by actual experiences at Gundersen, three new commercials reveal small but mighty moments that are pivotal in effective, quality care.

Included in this mix is “Glasses,” a spot which takes place inside a car parked at a snow-covered lot. We see how the elderly driver on a frigid day doesn’t have to leave her vehicle as a Gundersen provider comes to her and fits her for eyeglasses and the optical prescription she needs. Subtle details enhance the slice-of-life story—in this case a backseat vantage point of what seems to be lone elderly woman on a winter’s day glancing in her rear-view mirror at how a pair of eyeglasses look on her. The unique perspective takes viewers from voyeur to participant in a lead-up to the moment that connects health with caring.

“Michele brings a vision for the spots that keeps these real stories feeling real,” said Chris Preston, EVP/creative director at Preston Kelly. “She walks the line between telling an elegant story and finding authentic emotion. She understands what our agency team and our client is looking for and delivers it without selling out on her vision.” (Atkins is an alum of SHOOT's New Directors Showcase.)

The Preston Kelly creative ensemble included Preston, associate creative director Anne Taylor, sr. copywriter Charlie Tournat and sr. broadcast supervisor Anne Swarts.

Editor on the campaign was Mick Uzendoski of Drive Thru, Minneapolis.

AFI Alumnus Wins Best Picture Oscar
The American Film Institute highlighted the AFI Conservatory alumni featured in the 88th Academy Awards, headlined by producer Steve Golin (AFI Class of 1981) of Anonymous Content who received the Best Picture Oscar for Spotlight. The film’s credits also include cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi (AFI Class of 2002) with a special thanks to Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe journalist Michael Rezendes (AFI Class of 1999), whose character is played by Mark Ruffalo.

Collectively, four AFI Conservatory alumni received a total of five Oscar nominations. Also a producer on Best Picture nominee The Revenant, Golin earlier scored on the strength of Spotlight a Producers Guild nomination and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature.

Also nominated for 2016 Academy Awards were Anomalisa director/producer Duke Johnson (AFI Class of 2006) for Best Animated Feature; AFI Conservatory thesis film Day One, which was created entirely by AFI Class of 2014 alumni, for Best Live Action Short; and for Best Cinematography, The Hateful Eight’s Robert Richardson (AFI Class of 1979), who has already won the award three times.

People On The Move...
Innocean Worldwide Americas has appointed Shamsa Jafri as sr. VP, data science. Jafri will be responsible for spearheading the analytics function and designing models that will demonstrate and improve the effectiveness of the agency’s integrated advertising efforts. She will report to COO Tim Blett. Jafri has nearly 20 years of experience applying advanced data mining algorithms, data preparation techniques, optimization consulting, and data visualization methods to real-world problems. Early in her career, she was founder and CEO of a fully integrated mobile ad-serving platform, Mobtize, under the parent company Found Mojo, Inc. She has experience on both the brand and agency sides, working for entities such as United Airlines,, and Ogilvy Worldwide. Most recently she was with Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, where she worked with clients including Porsche, Heinz, Kraft, Edward Jones, Panera Bread, Allstate, and Vitamix....Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, has expanded its board with the addition of Samu Devarajan as independent and non-executive director. In addition to his new position at PFT, Devarajan remains in his current roles as chairman of the board of directors at ADC India Communications Limited, independent director at Neilsoft Ltd., and founder and president of Transmation Consulting, his own strategy-consulting firm. Devarajan previously held the position of CEO and managing director for Cisco Systems in India, successfully managing the company’s largest R&D center outside the U.S. and helping to build the organization from scratch to the 3,500 employees in India....