- Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016
- NEW YORK
Famous Frames and The Napoleon Group have announced a new strategic partnership that represents a merger of their respective offerings in both storyboard art and animatics and test spot production. The announcement was made jointly by Spiro Kafarakis, COO of The Napoleon Group, and Mark C. Miller, president, of Famous Frames. The new bicoastal association will operate under the name FamousFrames@Napoleon.
The move brings together two companies with a combined 60 years of experience working with agencies and creative teams early on in the conceptual stages of ads and campaigns. The Napoleon Group was founded in New York in 1985 as a specialist in creating test spots and animatics. It has since grown into a bicoastal creative production company with almost 50 full-time employees working in end-to-end production, from pre-viz and prototyping to live action production, experiential, editorial and finishing, audio production and post, motion capture, 3D animation, VFX, design and motion graphics.
Famous Frames was founded in Los Angeles in 1988 and has become a leading talent agency representing artists who specialize in storyboards, shooting boards and comp art. It also provides full-service cinematic and animatic production. With headquarters in Culver City, Calif., and a regional office in New York, it represents an exclusive roster of over one hundred of the world’s top illustrators who work in the areas of advertising (both print and video), feature films, television programming, video games and theme park attractions.
FamousFrames@Napoleon will focus on storyboard art for ad agencies and brands, with Famous Frames’ clients now having one-stop access to the production and post capabilities of Napoleon while Napoleon’s test spot clients will have exclusive access to the storyboard artists at Famous Frames. Napoleon’s West Coast offices, where its live action production arm is based, will move into the Culver City studios of Famous Frames, while the Famous Frames talent agents based in New York will now work out of the Napoleon studios.
Marty Napoleon, founder and CCO of The Napoleon Group, said of Famous Frames, “we’ve competed with them for storyboard assignments over the years, as they’ve competed with us for test spots and pre-viz. Merging our capabilities in these areas makes a great deal of sense and will allow us to focus on our core capabilities.”
“Clients are increasingly looking for single-source, streamlined solutions,” said Tara Aarons, Famous Frames’ VP/executive producer, who will oversee the combined entity alongside Napoleon Group EP Perry Morton. “Many are making concerted efforts to deal with fewer partners. When you look at the breadth of services, creative resources and experience we collectively possess, it opens us up to assignments we wouldn’t have been able to tackle in the past.”
The catalyst for the merger was Kafarakis, who’d been a Famous Frames client while on the agency side, prior to his joining The Napoleon Group as a partner earlier this year. He saw the potential for the combination of the two shops, not just in terms of their services but their cultures as well. “We share truly similar values and approaches to our work,” he affirmed.