In the News


Calabash Partners With Design Studio Group Chicago On PSA Rude2Respect Initiative To Prevent Heath Care-Related Stigma

2017-07-13 12:56:38 ccwire-staff

CHICAGO, IL — Health stigma hurts. That’s the simple yet powerful message delivered in the animated PSA for The Simon Foundation entitled “Rude2Respect,” animated by Calabash, in conjunction with the creative design studio Group Chicago. The video can be seen on YouTube, as well as at, affiliated social media channels and as part of various educational and marketing initiatives as the campaign evolves.

“We had seen Calabash’s work and sought them out,” Barbara Lynk, Group Chicago’s Creative Director, said. “We were impressed with how well their creative team immediately understood the characters and their visual potential. Creatively they brought a depth of experience on the conceptual and production side that helped bring the characters to life. They also understood the spare visual approach we were trying to achieve. It was a wonderful creative collaboration throughout the process, and they are a really fun group of creatives to work with.”

Meet Blue And Pink:
Opening with typography of their simple mission statement: “Challenging Health Stigma,” the PSA fades in to a warm yellow-hued wide shot from which the scene languidly emerges. It’s a warm, sunny day as two friends — a short, teal-colored tear-dropped blob known simply as Blue and his slender companion “Pink” — walk toward the camera. Blue nervously says, “I’m not sure about this,” to which Pink responds encouragingly, “You can’t stay home forever.”

From there the two embark on what seems like a simple stroll to get ice cream, but underlying that is a deeper message about how such common events can be fraught with anxiety for those suffering from an array of health conditions that often results in awkward stares, well-intentioned but inappropriate comments, or downright rude behavior. Blue and Pink confront all of these in the form of unseen, aggressive skateboarders; and a woman that means well but is definitely not helping, but they stick together and rise above the insults. The spot ends with the simple words “Health stigma hurts. We can change lives” followed by a link to

Based on illustrated characters created by Group Chicago’s Founder/Creative Director Kurt Meinecke, Calabash Creative Director Wayne Brejcha notes that early on in the creative process they decided to go with what he called a 2 and-a-half D look.

“There is a charm in the simplicity of Kurt’s original illustrations with the flat shapes that we had to try very hard to keep as we translated Blue and Pink to the 3D world,” Brejcha says. “We also didn’t want to overly complicate it with a lot of crazy camera moves roller-coastering through the space or rotating around the characters. We constrained it to feel a little like two-and-a- half dimensions – 2D characters, but with the lighting and textures and additional physical feel you expect with 3D animation.”

Finding The Pace:
For Sean Henry, Calabash’s Executive Producer, the primary creative obstacles centered on finding the right pacing for the story.

“We played with the timing of the edits all the way through production,” Henry explains. “The pace of it had a large role to play in the mood, which is more thoughtful than your usual rapid-fire ad. Also, finding the right emotions for the voices was also a major concern, we needed warmth and a friendly mentoring feel for Pink, and a feisty, insecure but likeable voice for Blue. Our voice talent (Rich Parenti as “Blue” and Alex Hall as “Pink”) nailed those qualities. Additionally, the dramatic events in the spot happen only in the audio with Pink and Blue responding to off-screen voices and action, so the sound design and music had a major story-telling role to play as well.”

Brejcha adds, “I hope we see more of Blue and Pink. The campaign has such a worthy purpose, and the characters have potential for many more episodes and insights. The issue of health stigma is a universal one. Abstractions are more universal than specific, and the style represents every environment, every city, and every person stigmatized by the way in which some health difficulty has affected his or her appearance.”

About Calabash Animation
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio known for its award-winning animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative character animation and development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to it advertising working, the company has also produced several acclaimed short films, including ‘’Stubble Trouble,’’ which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.


Web Resources:
Click here to see “Rude2Respect”:

Click here for more info about Calabash:


Click here for more info about Group Chicago:

For more info about the Rude2Respect initiative:


Creative Credits:
Client: The Simon Foundation
Project: “Rude2Respect”

Agency/Design: Group Chicago, Chicago, IL
Founder/Creative Director Kurt Meinecke
Creative Director: Barbara Lynk,

Animation: Calabash, Chicago, IL
Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha
Executive Producer: Sean Henry

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Tim Damon Goes Rogue For Nissan

2017-07-12 15:41:25 rpg246

Los Angeles – Director Tim Damon recently went Rogue, as in Nissan Rogue Sport, in five short films highlighting the SUV’s tech/lifestyle amenities for agency Designory.

Tech Emphasis

Each of the five short films emphasizes the SUV’s tech and lifestyle features, with a focus on safety. “It’s about safety, security and flexibility,” says Damon. “Advertising for passenger vehicles has shifted over to tech and conveniences that work. Sensors and cameras look ahead, behind and all around you. We’re experiencing a golden age of tech as applied to cars.” In the past year, Damon has directed spots and short films highlighting tech features for many brands, including Lexus, Infiniti, Subaru, Lincoln and Cadillac.

Going Rogue

Each minute plus short focuses on special Rogue Sport virtues, beginning with a film that emphasizes tech that connects. The story begins with driver and friend finding out that their favorite band (fictional group THE PRINDLES) are playing in town. Thanks to the Rogue Sport’s Bluetooth connect technology, the duo make short work of securing tickets and dinner while enroute to the venue.

The Sport Of It

The Rogue Sport has a lot of amazing amenities, something Nissan wanted to highlight and demonstrate. “Some features are simple, such as a configurable cargo area and cup holders,” says Damon. “Other technologies are more complex and require visual demonstration.” Damon was referring to the Rogue Sport’s Sports Steering, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, Active Ride control and other advanced “stay-safe” features explained in each film.

About Tim Damon

Tim Damon is represented for commercials and digital work through Square Planet Media/Damon Productions. For more information contact Kendra Wester at 310-632-4090. For more information on Stage 20 rental, contact John Urso at 310- 632-4090.


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The Famous Group Signs Director Elizabeth Orne

2017-07-10 16:59:34 rpg246

Culver City, California – Director Elizabeth Orne has signed with bi-coastal The Famous Group for spots and branded content. Her reel includes spots for French’s, iROBOT and Coors. She is probably best known for her highly lauded short film titled, “Crazy Glue,” which put her in SHOOT magazine’s Director Showcase. Orne has already wrapped her first project at The Famous Group, a spot for Hasbro out of agency TOWNHOUSE.

Tall Tales

“Elizabeth (Orne) is about telling stories, including all the subtle detail,” says Famous Group Managing Director David Kwan. “Her spots entertain in a charming and effortless way.” For her part, Orne has spent the last several years continuing to build her reel while looking for the right production company. The Famous Group and Kwan fit the bill. “Talking to David (Kwan), I found him to be very intelligent and strategic. I just wrapped my first spot here, for Hasbro. The project was pretty straightforward, it was about getting honest emotional performances from kids.”

Love Story

Orne’s life began with a love for storytelling and filmmaking. At age five, she was already directing, casting cousins for plays performed in her basement. Orne quickly ascertained that her life’s niche lie in entertaining audiences. “I love storytelling, it’s very intimate,” she says. A Masters in Film from NYU resulted after studying Art History and working contemporary galleries in London, New York and Los Angeles.

Fast Start

Her NYU thesis film titled, “Crazy Glue” received rave reviews and was named an official selection at the Telluride Film Festival. The film, based on a short story from Etgar Keret, tells the story of a couple going through a rocky time in their relationship, literally re-bonding in the end with the help of Crazy Glue. “I saw it as a metaphor for attachment in a romantic relationship,” says Orne. “But it had a Rorschach effect on audiences, some people see the ending as romantic, some see it as sociopathic. I picked that story to direct because I love magical realism, dry character based comedy and absurdity.”

Clean The Roomba

Orne’s thoughts on magical realism are illustrated in an ad she directed for iROBOT vacuum cleaners. In the spot titled, “Princess,” the camera pans up on an adorable little girl loving the attributes of both glue and glitter. She proudly shows off her newly created masterpiece for the camera, creating a spill only the iRobot could thoroughly clean up in a single pass.

About The Famous Group:

The Famous Group is a Cannes, Emmy, ONE Show and AICP award-winning production company located in downtown Culver City, Ca and Soho, New York. Founded in 2006, the company’s roster of highly-skilled directors, creatives, producers, editors and artists produce an incredible array of high-quality, engaging, live action, digital, graphics and experiential content.

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The Colonie Editor Bob Ackerman Teams With We Are Unlimited For McDonald’s Humorous Spot, ‘I Got This’

2017-06-28 10:05:27 sj-golden

Chicago, IL  – We Are Unlimited teamed up with creative editor Bob Ackerman at The Colonie for McDonald’s new spot, ‘I Got This,’ introducing its new ‘One For You. One For Free’ Daily Deal Menu. Directed by Brig White out of Tool of NA/LA, the campaign’s off-kilter humor is heightened by improvised exchanges between the actors playing the two featured characters.

The commercial opens with the two friends at the McDonald’s counter making quizzical noises as they peruse the menu board. Ackerman used this unscripted moment to open the spot in a unique way that grabs the viewers’ attention.

“After Brig delivered the footage, I only had two days to edit before presenting a rough cut to the client,” says Ackerman. “Even though we were on a tight deadline, there were so many great improvisational moments that I couldn’t help myself. I ended up cutting nine different versions – each built around a different gag in the open and the body of the spot. Providing the agency’s team with so many options made it easier for us to hit the ground running.”

This job was The Colonie’s first opportunity to work with We Are Unlimited, the new ad agency created by the holding company, Omnicom Group, to work exclusively on the McDonald’s account.

“The creative team at the new agency is fantastic,” says Ackerman. “Creative director Tim
Souers, and associate CDs Caroline Holyk and Jonathan Pliego came to us with a great concept and ready to dig in.  Sometimes, during the editing process, you have to let go of those special moments that worked so well on the set and go with what works best on film. The whole team was a quick read when it came to taking advantage of happy accidents that elevated the story. It’s a great experience when the creative group not only excels at what they do, but also are a pleasure to work with.”

The VFX department at The Colonie nailed a difficult track of the menu board through a rack focus with the employee in the foreground.  VFX supervisor Tom Dernulc created a defined border around the menu to give it a more realistic feel. Also, for continuity, he removed a girl that popped in and out of the background.

“I’m always looking for ways to contribute to a project that goes beyond what’s expected, “says Dernulc, “If I see even the smallest detail that may enhance the impact of a visual story, then I address it.  Otherwise, I’d have to curse under my breath every time I see the spot on TV.”

The scenario ends with one friend telling the other, “I got yours buddy,’ leaving his pal befuddled –  since the second meal is free. The spot closes with graphics displaying the various of Daily Deals that McDonald’s offers each day of the week

The broadcast and online campaign was cut on The Colonie’s Avid Media Composer and finished on Flame Premium.The spot was shot on ARRI Alexa Mini cameras at the McDonald’s Production Center in City of Industry, CA.

About The Colonie: The Colonie is an award-winning Chicago-based creative editorial, motion design, visual FX and finishing boutique with a seamless full-service approach to creating spots and cross-platform content that engage, entertain, inform and move audiences.  A wide range of national and global clients, such as Nintendo, Google, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Bayer, call upon its collaborative team of talent to deliver compelling creative content that elevates the viewer’s experience and connects them to brands. For more information about The Colonie and its services, visit, contact executive producer, Mary Caddy at 312-225-1234, or Sonia Reps,, 312.519.0911.

CREDITS:                                                                                                                                                 CLIENT: McDonald’s                                                                                                                                TITLE: “I Got This”                                                                                                                              LENGTH:  :30, :15                                                                                                                                       TYPE: Commercial –  Broadcast + On-Line                                                                                            LINK TO SPOT:

AGENCY: We Are Unlimited / Chicago                                                                                             Executive Producer/Chief Production Officer:  Jon Ellis                                                         Producer: Craig Wagner (Freelance)                                                                                                           CD: Tim Souers                                                                                                                                    Copywriter: Carolyn Holyk                                                                                                                             Art Director: Tim Pliego

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Tool of North America/ LA                                                               Director:  Brig White                                                                                                                                        DP: J. Gurnari                                                                                                                                        Producer: Wade Brandenberger

EDITORIAL COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago                                                                                    Creative Editor: Bob Ackerman                                                                                                            Assistant Editor: Graham Chapman                                                                                                 Finishing: Tom Dernulc                                                                                                                       Executive Producer: Mary Caddy

VISUAL FX/DESIGN COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago                                                                    VFX Artist: Tom Dernulc

COLOR CORRECTION COMPANY: Filmworkers Club /Chicago                                               Colorist: Fred Keller


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A Common Thread’s Sheldon Candis Brings “Docu-Cinematic” Style to Honda’s “Greatness”

2017-06-22 08:00:38 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES—A Common Thread director, Sheldon Candis, profiles the “greatness” of Chicago entrepreneurs, Autumn and Brian Merritt, in a new national campaign for Honda.

The uplifting piece describes how the couple channeled their personal passion into their boutique fashion line, Sir & Madame, and now are giving back by mentoring young artists and designers. The story is wrapped around scenes of the Merritts driving a Civic through their historic Hyde Park neighborhood and past familiar Chicago landmarks. “For us, greatness is about loving what you do,” says Autumn, “and taking risks to do what you love.”

Candis directs the campaign with a light touch and a discerning eye that brings out the personalities of his subjects. The Merritts are likeable and real. The car is integrated into the story in the best way possible, naturally. “Honda wanted a real-life experience,” the director notes. “They wanted to tell the story of an exceptional family who are the embodiment of the American Dream.”

While Candis assumes a documentary approach, he applies a unique and inventive visual style combined with a sense of fun that lifts the campaign above simple slice-of-life representation. He calls the results “cinematic-documentary.” “I pair real emotions with cinematic influences,” he explains. “I wanted this piece to feel cinematic and stylish, while capturing the genuine emotion of the human condition. My ultimate goal is to bring visceral emotion to advertising… What you feel in my films… What you feel in my documentaries…”

Candis rose to notoriety when his debut feature LUV premiered to glowing reviews at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival (where it was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize). A coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in an atmosphere of gun violence, LUV has been followed by a string of impressive episodic television and documentary projects, all centered on deeply personal and emotional storytelling. “I’m fortunate that my work in advertising has allowed me to continue to do what I love,” Candis says. “I’m a storyteller.”


Titles:              Greatness

Client:              American Honda Motor Co.

Agency:           Muse, Culver City, Ca. Jo Muse, Chief Creative Officer; Shelley Yamane, President; Michael James McCallum, V.P./Creative Director; Will Campbell, President/Quantasy; Vanessa MacAdam, Executive Producer.

Production:     A Common Thread. Sheldon Candis, Director. J.P. McMahon and Tristan Drew, Executive Producers; Leornardo Veras, Line Producer; Michelle Tocase, Production Manager; Michael Fitzmaurice, Director of Photography.

Editorial:         Muse Studios.

See the spot:


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PICROW’s The Hall Directs Fund-Raising Film For Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

2017-06-14 08:11:19 rpg246

Los Angeles, CA — PICROW, the Hollywood headquarters television and commercial production company, recently completed a short documentary for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. Premiering at the EFGLA’s annual Care & Cure fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the film was the latest in a series of epilepsy documentaries directed by The Hall. The Hall has been directing the short documentaries for six straight years. The film can be seen here.

Care & Cure 2017
For this year’s film, The Hall worked again with EFGLA Project Coordinator and Producer Nathan Jones, chronicling two families with young children stricken with epilepsy. Through the tireless efforts of devoted doctors, epilepsy experts and hospital staff, two different solutions helped stopped the seizures; one through diet, one through drugs. “There are countless stories we hear each year,” says The Hall. “each story is emotional and very real to these epilepsy patients. It’s some of the most rewarding work we do, telling these amazing stories in a way that inspires others to join the fight.”

The Fight
In this year’s film, a young girl named Gracie was opening her gifts on Christmas morning when she suffered her first seizure. For one-year old Annabelle, her parents noticed tremors in her arm, followed by a 10-15 second seizure. Thanks to expert help received at Children’s Hospital Of Los Angeles and the University of California at San Francisco, both children are now seizure free. Gracie had genetic testing done after standard medications failed, revealing a glucose transporter defect that caused her seizures. After starting a strict low-carb diet called the Ketogenic Diet, Gracie’s seizures were gone within days. For little Annabelle, videos taken by her parents and further testing allowed doctors to prescribe medication that stopped her seizures within hours.

The Big Challenge
Over the past decade, the EFGLA’s Care & Cure fundraiser has raised millions of dollars that have gone directly towards training pediatric Epileptology fellows in Southern California. The impact of training more specialized doctors has been tangible, decreasing wait times for families around Southern California. According to Jones, there’s a worldwide shortage of epileptologists, causing patients sometimes to wait months to see a specialist. “There needs to be more happy endings, more early diagnosis and better care for people with epilepsy,” he says. It is estimated that 10 percent of the population will suffer a seizure at some point in their lives.

Pictures in a Row (PICROW) is a combination studio, production house, and post house — a new hybrid. Equipped with distinguished directors, full time development and production staff, digital talent, and post facilities for commercials, film and television. The company is headquartered at 736 Seward St., Hollywood, CA 90038. For more information go to

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Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Taps Blonde + Co For A New Campaign

2017-06-01 10:05:05 ccwire-staff

NEW YORK, NY — Blonde + Co, the award-winning creative agency/content production studio led by company Founder and CEO Julie Stahl, was tapped by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter to create a spot that reinforces Palmer’s heritage as the number one cocoa butter brand, as well as educate the benefits of cocoa to a new generation of users.

The client came to Blonde with a brief to create a spot designed to increase Palmer’s Cocoa Butter awareness. “After collaborating with them on getting the messaging, we pitched a concept and Palmer’s immediately loved it and wanted to move forward quickly,” Victor Larue, Blonde + Co Account Director says. “What helped make it possible was to have all the right talents at Blonde + Co, from the creative team, to our production studios, as well as our editorial and post capabilities.”

Set to a pulsating techno soundtrack, “Dance” takes a unique approach depicting a group of dancers performing in front of a series of graphics that describe Palmer’s Cocoa Butter key benefits such as “heals,” “softens” and “hydrates.” At different points in the ad the dancers are shown in split-screen with key ingredients such as cocoa beans, cocoa butter and the packaging itself mirroring the dancer’s movement. The spot ends with the Palmer’s logo and the tagline “the nature of you.”

“Our skin is the most tactile part of our bodies; it covers and surrounds our entire self and holds us together,” Blonde Associate Creative Director Andrea Cueva, who also directed the ad, says. “We wanted to express that healthy, glowing skin makes you look and feel confident. The objective was to connect on a more emotional, human level between the Palmer’s and the consumer.”

As a former professional dancer, Cueva notes that after applying the product on the set, she directed the dancers to improvise, expressing their emotions through movement.

“Dance is a very emotional art form and it was important to focus on the feelings we wanted to evoke,” Cueva says. “I explained to them that I was looking for a more abstract, human approach, less technical. In the end, each dancer expressed those emotions in their own way, which gave us a lot of footage to work with. Claudio Rietti, our Director of Photography, was able to to match the movement of the dancers with fluid camera movements that brought you into their world.”

Dalia Levi, Palmer’s Director of Digital Marketing, adds, “We love the creative energy and passion that Blonde brings to the table and how they beautifully bring concepts to life. The spot hit on what we wanted to communicate — Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is a trusted brand that gives you healthy, sexy skin that makes you feel confident from inside out.”

Web Resources:
Click here to see Palmer’s “Dance”
Click here for more info about Blonde + Co
Click here for more info about Palmer’s

About Blonde + Co
Award-winning New York based Creative Content House, Blonde + Co creates content that entertains, educates, inspires and incites changes in behavior. Blonde +Co partners with brands and organizations that share a common goal: to help make our world more beautiful. For more information visit

About Palmers
Founded more than 175 years ago as one of America’s first skin care companies, E.T. Browne Drug Co., Inc. is a leader in treatment-oriented beauty products with its trusted Palmer’s® brand. The name Palmer’s® is synonymous with high-quality natural skin and hair care product lines including Cocoa Butter Formula, Shea Formula, Skin Success, Olive Oil Formula, Coconut Oil Formula and Eventone

Creative Credits:
Client: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
Project: “Dance”

Agency/Production/Post: Blonde + Co
Creative Director: Grey Zisser
Associate Creative Director: Cueva Andrea
Director: Cueva Andrea
Cinematographer: Claudio Rietti
Producer: Victor Larue
DIT/ AC/ Editor: Glenn Chocky
Make Up Artist: Carmindy
Hair: JP Ramirez
Co-Producers: Jennifer Susswein Jeter, Amanda Greenhagen
Production Coordinator: Natalie Gee
PA: Eric Bellomo

Music: “On The Inside” (licensed track)
Composer: Martin Felix Kaczmarski
Publisher: Audio Network Limited

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Director Tim Damon Takes Subaru For A Spin

2017-05-19 11:18:05 rpg246

Los Angeles – Sometimes the best way to show off a car is to drive it. Hard, through the curves and around in the dirt. That’s exactly what Director Tim Damon was tasked with for a short film titled, “Spotlight,” highlighting the all-new 2018 Subaru WRX and STI models for agency Designory.

Performance. Cars.
Director Tim Damon’s job was enviable. Take two totally redesigned Subaru WRX models out for a spin and push the limits. The shoot consisted of three days, one at the track, one on winding roads and one in dirt. “It was all about the cars,” says Damon. “All the details, headlamps, pedals, wheels, brakes, exhaust, everything that makes driving visceral and exciting. We just got after it, pursuit shots, tire smoke, dust, engine revs, shifting and steering. The objective was to show that these two models are the best performing, best handling Subarus ever. Just great to collaborate with the team from Subaru and Designory.”

Location, Location, Location.
Arizona proved the perfect proving ground to shoot the new models. “They had the track and every type of road configuration,” says Damon. “It made for a very efficient shoot with consistent light.” In “Spotlight”, the new Subarus emerge as detail are intercut with drone-captured wide shots. Wheels, brakes and driver’s heads spin with each red line of the tachometer as features are demonstrated. The STI model features a 305 horsepower turbocharged engine, 6-piston Brembo brakes, Recaro seats and driver-activated center differential. “Both feature symmetrical all-wheel drive,” adds Damon. “Car spots are increasingly about showing off the technology and performance features, from sports mode suspensions and swiveling headlamps to push-button start.”

On Two Wheels
Some of the more dynamic shots were the result of utilizing one of Damon’s favorite tools, the Russian 7 camera arm and Apex flight head from Filmotechnic USA. “The Russian arm and latest generation flight head 7 are the gold standard,” says Damon. “They allow for the best control and maneuverability. It’s the best for capturing dynamic high speed car performance from angles thought impossible a few years ago.”

About Tim Damon

Tim Damon is represented for commercials and digital work through Square Planet Media/Damon Productions. For more information contact Kendra Wester at 310-632-4090. For more information on Stage 20 rental, contact John Urso at 310- 632-4090.


Client:                                                 Subaru

Agency:                                   Designory

Steve Davis                            Group Creative Director

Scott Izuhara                         Creative Director

Louis Minette                         Sr. Product Specialist

Jeremy Gordic                        Engagement Manager

Stavo Alvarez                         Jr. Designer

Patti O’Halloran                     Director, Creative Content Production

Production Co.:                      Damon Productions

Tim Damon                            Director/Owner

Kendra Wester                      Executive Producer

John Urso                               Comptroller

Editorial                                 Digital Giant

Dallas Carroll                         Executive Producer

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Sherpas Cinema Takes Audi into Undiscovered Country with “Hokkaido Calling”

2017-05-17 14:21:23 artisanspr

Los Angeles— Hokkaido Calling, a new short film created by Sherpas Cinema (represented in the Accomplice Media) for Audi, follows big mountain ski legends Sam Smoothy, Jérémie Heitz and Dane Tudor on an epic road trip in search of deep powder, undiscovered paths and the chance to stand where no one has stood before.

Directed by Sherpas Cinema’s Leo Hoorn, the 8-minute film is filled with breathtaking skiing as the trio of freeriders spend two weeks touring the rugged mountains of Japan’s northern island in an Audi Quattro. Smoothy, Heitz and Tudor soar down steep volcanos, slalom through untouched forests and relax in wooden baths called onsen. Ultimately, their journey leads them to a towering hydroelectric dam whose dizzyingly sheer side is crisscrossed with snow covered concrete barriers. In the film’s climax, they dive down the pyramid-like structure in a wild, buckling ride.

“The guys set off in search of the deepest snow,” says Hoorn. “And they end with the realization that every footprint is unique. Your perspective changes when you travel to new places, meet new people and have new experiences.”

Hoorn, who also served as cinematographer, worked with minimal gear and crew. The production itinerary was also kept loose to maintain spontaneity and a spirit of adventure. “We worked with a local guide, but once we were on the ground, we were chasing the weather and looking for the best snow,” Hoorn recalls. “One of my favorite sites was a hot spring resort high in the mountains where local farmers go for a weekend retreat. You could ski right up to the door.”

The hydroelectric dam featured in the film’s concluding sequence was also a lucky discovery. The towering dam’s steep side had never been skied before, providing a perfect opportunity for the three athletes to test their mettle in virgin snow.

“We captured amazing images of the three guys skiing through deep powder,” Hoorn recalls. “They look like they are floating down a mountain of big fluffy pillows with clouds billowing around them. It was incredible.”

Post production for the film was completed at Sherpas Cinemas’ production facility in British Columbia. Hoorn, Dave Mossop and Tim Symes shared editing credit.

Sherpas Cinema has garnered worldwide acclaim for their adventure films Into the Mind and All.I.Can as well as adrenalin-pounding television spots for Audi, RAM, Jeep and Mitsubishi produced via Accomplice Media.


Hokkaido Calling can be viewed at

For more information about Accomplice Media, visit

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Director Tim Damon Urges Acura ILX Lovers to CALL ME

2017-05-09 12:37:00 rpg246

Los Angeles — Director Tim Damon recently used his car stage to highlight the desirability to lease the new Acura ILX in a seven-spot campaign for agency MullenLowe – Los Angeles.

Dealers Standing By

In each spot in the campaign titled, “Call Me,” a seductive voice flirts with viewers, then asks them to call a 1-844-THRILL number for special lease deals on the new Acura ILX. “The creative is clever and unique,” says Damon. “We gave each spot a nightclub-like vibe. It was great to work again with the creative team from MullenLowe.”

Come Closer

Two of the spots, titled, “Jewel Eyes and “Doors Open,” highlight the sensibilities of the entire campaign. In “Jewel Eyes,” the spot opens facing the ILX. The gunmetal colored car turns into a blaze of headlights as the voiceover plays, “Look deep into my eyes, but not too, too deep, you might go blind.” In “Doors Open,” an ILX spins slowly with door wide open while the voiceover teases the viewer to “slip into something a little more comfortable.”

Stage 20/Proprietary Lighting

For the campaign, Damon employed an ILX finished in modern steel metallic paint, perfect to reflect the colored lights. Custom LED lighting rigs from Damon’s toolbox at stage20 gave each car the proper flirtatious vibe. “It was great to utilize the new fixtures,” he says. “Red, blue and white kino flos with matching LED lights overhead, some stage fog…. all served to give the ILX a seductive, romantic backdrop.”

About Tim Damon

Tim Damon is represented for commercials and digital work through Square Planet Media/Damon Productions. For more information contact Kendra Wester at 310-632-4090. For more information on Stage 20 rental, contact John Urso at 310- 632-4090.

Production Credits:


Client:                                      Acura

Agency:                                   MullenLowe/LA

Mark Wenneker                    CCO

Margaret Keene                     ECD

Sean Stell                               Senior Art Director

Ty Hayward                           Senior Copywriter

Alli Taylor                               VP, Executive Producer

Production Co:                       Square Planet/Damon Productions

Director:                                 Tim Damon

Executive Producer:             Kendra Wester

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Blum Consulting Partners Launches in LA

2017-05-02 08:31:05 sj-golden
Los Angeles – Industry vet Alex Blum and his partner, Andrea Ruskin, have launched Blum Consulting Partners, a production consulting firm created to provide brands, agencies and their creative partners with the expertise and nuanced understanding of production needed to navigate the changing landscape of the advertising industry.
Blum, former Chief Innovation Officer at Advertising Production Resources (APR), and Ruskin, former VP and Brand Executive Producer, are motivated by their conviction that production consulting needs to evolve to meet the new challenges clients are facing.
“When we started in production consulting, the business was still holding on to a broadcast-centric model that laddered down from TV campaigns into a limited universe of media types,” says Blum. “Now, most campaigns are integrated across platforms with a broad range of deliverables, often with competing priorities, sometimes global demands, and typically challenging timelines. The value of production consulting is now about managing a complex process with a lot of moving parts to get the best value.”
The partners have worked with Fortune 500 companies and major advertising agencies across all platforms and verticals, implementing improved production process. Their approach fosters collaboration between partners and defines the culture of the new company.
Blum and Ruskin are skilled at devising new ways for creative partners to work together, maximizing the efficiency of production pipelines, guiding clients through business transformations, evolving relationships and seamlessly integrating workflow; all of which positions their new firm as a valuable resource for both brands and their agencies.
BCP provides real-time solutions for challenges that arise during the production process and functions as a resource to address the root causes of recurring production and execution issues.
One of the challenges facing both brands and agencies is the need to make a realistic assessment of the potential benefits of investing in in-house capabilities.  For brands this can be anything from creating an in-house agency to setting up an internal social team or content production unit.  For agencies, it’s about creating the infrastructure and collaborative workflow that supports in-house content production or postproduction capabilities, as well as determining which services to build internally and which are better left to specialized creative partners.
Both partners have strong and diverse backgrounds in production. Blum, a former award-winning production company owner, feature film producer and frequently called upon industry expert, and Ruskin, also a former production company owner who has spent her entire career in advertising, offer years of experience and a passion for problem-solving.
“Blum Consulting Partners is the first consultancy founded by production company owners,” says Ruskin. “We understand the creative process and have the 360° market intelligence to support brands and agencies in the rapidly evolving advertising production ecosystem.”
BCP is based in Los Angeles with resources in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and London.
For more information, please visit our website, or contact Alex Blum at or 310-472-1005.
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Director Tim Damon, Team One Fuel "Lane Valet" April Fools Spot For Lexus

2017-04-06 12:43:02 rpg246

Los Angeles — Tim Damon of Square Planet Media just directed a spot which introduces us to a tongue-firmly-in-cheek innovation from luxury automaker Lexus–the Lane Valet. We see a guy cruising in his Lexus in the fast lane–only to be slowed down by a driver ahead who is going way too slow.

No problem. Our Lexus driver just deploys his Lane Valet technology which takes over the slow poke car and safely moves it over a lane, freeing the Lexus to zip along on its merry way.

This “imaginary” optional feature was rolled out on all Lexus models on April 1, 2017, a.k.a. April Fools’ Day. This broadcast spot for Lane Valet–out of ad agency Team One–aired Saturday (4/1) during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Game 2 on CBS, on Comedy Central and during an encore presentation of Saturday Night Live on NBC.

Craig Crawford, group creative director at Team One, stated, “Team One loves problem-solving advertising messages, and Lane Valet is a contemporary solution to a known and relatable challenge. Broadcast placements show a commitment to innovation, and when you want to make a great car commercial you go to a great car director like Tim Damon.”

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Director Petros Papahadjopoulos In Sync With Swimmers, Ogilvy To Present Morton Salt For Pools

2017-03-29 10:17:51 rpg246

Petros Papahadjopoulos of The Famous Group recently directed a spot introducing Morton Salt for pools, deploying synchronized swimmers to bring a concept from Ogilvy Chicago to life.

The idea to take the Morton Salt Girl out of the rain and into the sun sounds simple enough, but to actually bring this to life in choreography, performance, film, and even just logistics, required a very detailed level of collaboration. Helping to realize this vision in tandem with the Ogilvy ensemble was the team at The Famous Group.


Client Morton Pool Salt Agency Ogilvy Chicago Joe Sciarrotta, chief creative officer; David Hernandez, executive creative director; Stirling McLaughlin, Pete Noback, creative directors; Emily Monroe, sr. content producer; Jana Reddig, planning director; Max Arevuo, planner. Production The Famous Group Petros Papahdjopolous; David Kwan, executive producer/managing director; Jennifer Glynn, line producer/producer; Steve Gainer, DP; Ariana Nakata, production designer; Erica Rice Cruz, costume designer; Mary Jeanette, choreographer. Editorial Beast Angelo Valencia, editor; Bryan Simpson, assistant editor. Color Company 3 Tyler Roth, colorist. Finish Method Studios Mark Anderson, Flame artist. Design Method Design Joanna Woods, producer. Performers The Aqualillies.

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Tim Damon Highlights NSX For Honda

2017-03-23 08:22:00 rpg246

Los Angeles – Director Tim Damon just completed putting an NSX supercar from Honda through a tour of California, highlighting the performance and styling of one of the newest and most sought-after cars in the world. Damon directed both a short film and collateral images for ad agency Les Mains in Japan.


Functional Work Of Art

“We started the campaign looking at Spain, Portugal, Italy and France, but shot all over California,” says Damon. “We had everything we needed right here. The NSX is a functional work of art. I approached shooting the campaign like I was shooting a supermodel. First, out on the town, and then, on a fashion runway.”

Spontaneous Combustion

The sixteen day shoot for Honda reunited Damon with creative director Kenji Mizoguchi. “I love working with Kenji, he encourages a high energy, spontaneous environment that results in great work,” says Damon. Locations for both photography and film included Damon’s Los Angeles based Stage20, downtown Los Angeles, Mt. Wilson, Malibu, Newport Beach, Highway 1, Woodside and InyoKern and San Simeon. The short begins with the NSX keeping a low profile with low light, low angles and bridge railings. The car then is seen rotating, intercut with images of high performance on the open road.

Supercar, Gen 2

From 1990-2005 the original NSX became one of the world’s most beloved supercars, a two seat mid engine sports car with advanced aerodynamics and details inspired by an F-16 fighter. The new NSX was is a hybrid sports car designed and engineered in the US, powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and three electric motors, giving off 600 horsepower through an inventive all wheel drive train. Its body utilizes a space frame design, which is made from aluminum, ultra-high strength steel, and other rigid and lightweight materials, some of which are the world’s first applications.


“As an artist, I’m always an advocate for great work,” says Damon. “The agency wanted both the stills and film to feel organic, not overly produced. A relatable, natural feeling.” Damon relied on his custom light boxes to capture the NSX’s countless details while tapping into some very special cameras and lenses to shoot low light urban settings. “With the right combination dialed in, we let the cityscape light the car,” says Damon. Coastal and urban shots crackle to life courtesy of Filmotechnic Russian Arm and special camera rigs, allowing for unique, one-of-a kind shots of the NSX melding with road.

About Tim Damon

Tim Damon is represented for commercials and digital work through Square Planet Media/Damon Productions. For more information contact contact Kendra Wester at 310-632-4090. For more information on Stage 20 rental, contact John Urso at 310-632-4090.



Production Co: Piuma Motion/Square Planet

Director/Photographer: Tim Damon

Digital Tech: Anthony Diaz

Agency: Les Mains, Tokyo

Creative Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Producer Japan: Koji Matsumura

Producer Zipzap: Shigeki Otani

Producer Piuma: Doug Dilg

Editor: Heather Belser

Music is  “Havoc” by Luke Atencio

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Blonde + Co Partners On Social Media Content For H&M Foundation’s Initiative Supporting UN Refugee Agency UNHCR

2017-03-03 08:16:36 rayecke


NEW YORK, NY – H&M Foundation, the non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the founders and main owners of the fashion company H&M, and noted artist/director Jess English turned to Blonde + Co to handle production and post production on a new branded content piece in support of H&M Foundation’s initiative and the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

The :60 short features H&M Foundation ambassador Alek Wek, the Sudanese model whose personal story mirrors the refugee crisis affecting millions around the world, and will be seen internationally on both H&M’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“We got involved in the project through our relationship with Jess,” Grey Zisser, Blonde + Co Creative Director, says. “Given the current state of the refugee crisis around the world and H&M Foundation’s deep commitment to affecting positive change, we knew we wanted to help in any way we could.”

For Blonde + Co that meant working with English and H&M Foundation’s creative team to bring their concept to life. Shot at Blonde + Co’s New York studio, the production team included Victor Larue and Jennifer Susswein. Additionally, Blonde + Co handled the entire post-production process, led by editor Louie Metzner and colorist Izzy Cohen.

H&M Conscious Foundation Video [Twitter] from Blonde + Co on Vimeo.

The video opens with a series of striking black and white close ups of Wek that manage to capture both her innate beauty, as well as a sense of her worldliness due to a personal biography that includes her own refugee experience, immigrating to London from Sudan as a teenager following civil war, and a quick rise to become one of the most sought after models in fashion today.

Those initial images of Wek give way to a montage of her at work on a fashion shoot. Her voiceover is intercut with shots of Wek speaking directly to the camera about her personal story and the ambitions of the H&M Foundation’s campaign to assist refugee children in getting the educational resources they desperately need.

For Zisser and the Blonde + Co production and post teams, the opportunity to work on something whose goals go far beyond merely promoting a brand or a product, proved to be inspiring.

“At Blonde + Co, we want to work on projects that support social causes we care about, and that’s why we jumped at this opportunity,” Zisser adds. “What H&M Foundation is doing for UNHCR is vital and we’re proud to play a part in helping effectively get the word out about this important initiative.”

Adds Diana Amini, Global Manager for H&M Foundation, “Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than other children. This is why providing the supplies they need to go to school is so crucial. With this donation, UNHCR can ensure an education for many children in crisis settings across the world.”

About Blonde + Co:
Award-winning New York based Creative Content House, Blonde + Co creates visual content that entertains, educates, inspires and incites changes in behavior. Blonde +Co partners with brands and organizations that share a common goal: to make our world more beautiful. For more information visit

About UNHCR:
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. UNHCR delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. UNHCR’s dedicated teams are on the ground in some 128 countries across the world, working in partnership with governments, NGOs, the private sector, community groups, host communities as well as refugees.

About H&M Foundation:
H&M Foundation is a non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the Stefan Persson family, founders and main owners of the fashion company H&M. Its mission is to create long lasting positive change and improve living conditions by investing in communities, people and innovative ideas. Through partnerships with prominent organizations around the globe, H&M Foundation drives change within four focus areas; Education, Clean water, Equality and Protecting the planet. In addition, H&M Foundation can also provide emergency relief. H&M Foundation has been working with UNHCR since 2015, when it donated US$500,000 in support of UNHCR’s response to the Europe emergency, helping to provide much needed food, shelter, medical care as well as registration services and special support for children.

Web Resources:
Click here for more info about Blonde + Co:

Click here for more info about H&M Foundation:

Click here to watch the Blonde + Co produced H&M Foundation social media content:

Creative Credits:
Agency: H&M Foundation, in-house
Global Manager: Diana Amini

Production & Post: Blonde + Co, New York
Director: Jess English
President: Julie Stahl
Creative Directors: Julie Stahl, Grey Zisser
Producers: Jennifer Susswein, Victor Larue
Editor: Louie Metzner
Colorist: Izzy Cohen

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STORY’s Blair Hayes Captures a Portrait of McDonald’s as “My Place”

2017-03-01 15:19:54 artisanspr

CHICAGO— STORY Director Blair Hayes explores a day-in-the-life of a McDonald’s restaurant in a new ad for Burrell Communications. My Place features a series of vignettes that portray McDonald’s as a gathering place for family and friends. They include a young couple who share a hot chocolate, teens scrolling through social media posts, a family having dinner sans cellphones, and a college student with his nose buried in a text book.

“Traditionally, McDonald’s has been more than a restaurant; it’s a member of the community,” says Hayes. “It’s a place where you go to get together with friends and loved ones, or where strangers become friends.”

Hayes sought to capture each vignette as naturally as possible. The performances are understated. In fact the scene with the family at dinner plays without dialogue. “We found terrific actors,” he recalls. “When mom catches her daughter using her cellphone, she gets her to put it away with a look. She looks at her, not in a ‘commercial’ way, but the way a real mom would.”

The sense of spontaneity and intimacy is enhanced by Hayes’ fluid camera style. He captures scenes from oblique angles and by shooting through crowds and windows to create the sense that you are witnessing what’s going on from a neighboring booth.  “The idea was to keep it voyeuristic and vividly real,” he says.

Hayes’ favorite scene was the one involving the college student. As he stares at his book, the restaurant manager comes over to refill his coffee cup. The manager pats the young man on the back and walks off, while offering him an encouraging, “Keep up the good work…your honor.”


“The manager is obviously a mentor figure,” says Hayes. “We invented a back story where, years earlier, the young man worked for the manager as a fry chef or on the line.”

“The commercial ends with the young man looking back as the manager walks away,” adds Hayes. “So you get that sense of accomplishment, pride and community.”

STORY is represented on the East Coast by Ilene Silberman (212) 794-9030; in the Midwest by Amy McIntyre (312) 550-2554, in the Southeast by Miller + Associates, (954) 563-6004; in the Southwest by Gossip!, (214) 288-2813 and on the West Coast by Yvette Lubinsky, (310) 827-2626.

For more information, visit


CLIENT:                 McDonald’s

TITLE:                    ‘My Place’

AGENCY:              Burrell Communications.  Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer; Shirley Portee, Executive Producer; Debra Dale, Producer; Rebecca Williams, VP/Group Creative Director; Terrence Burrell, VP/ Creative Director – Copywriter; Winston Cheung,  Associate Creative Director – Art Director.

PRODUCTION:   STORY. Blair Hayes, Director; Mark Androw and Cliff Grant, Executive Producers; John Pingay, Director of Photography; Marsie Wallach, Producer.

EDIT:                      The Colonie. Bob Ackerman, Creative Editor; Graham Chapman, Assistant Editor;  Tom Dernulc, Finishing; Lyndsay McCully, Senior Designer; Mary Caddy, Executive Producer.

COLOR:                 Filmworkers, Michael Mazur, Colorist.

AUDIO:                 CRC. Ian Scott, Mixer

MUSIC:                 Yessian Music. Michael Yessian, Composer.


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Animation Studio Calabash And Director Steve “Spaz” Williams Reteam For New StarKist Campaign

2017-03-01 15:16:26 rayecke

CHICAGO, IL – Reuniting with acclaimed live action director Steve “Spaz” Williams and food and beverage branding specialist quench, Harrisburg, PA, award-winning animation studio Calabash once again took a creative deep-dive, with the latest ad campaign from StarKist. The new spots spotlight the brand’s new line of Tuna & Salmon Creations® single-serve pouches and feature legendary brand icon Charlie the Tuna, alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure, perhaps best known as D.J. Tanner on the classic family sit-com “Full House.” Phasmatrope Studios, West Conshohocken PA, produced the spots.


“For the compositing effect to work they needed to appear to be speaking to each other and lit by the same light in the scenes,” Wayne Brejcha, Calabash Creative Director says. “Additionally, we needed to make Charlie his usual charming self, and create a photorealistic StarKist product that Candace grabs from his nimble little fins. To make all those elements come together was an exciting creative challenge for the studio.”

Each of the two new :15s feature a different side to Bure’s busy life and how StarKist’s Tuna & Salmon Creations® single-serve pouches fit into it, whether at work as in the spot “Action Candace” or at home as in “Making Lunches.” Both feature Charlie dropping in (quite literally) on a hook to chat with Bure and offer some tasty lunch options.

For Calabash Executive Producer Sean Henry one of the key animation challenges the new work presented was the CG model rigging that required a considerable amount of thought to give the animators enough control to match the poses conceived by agency creatives.

“The animation required a lot of corrective blend shapes in the final polishing stage,” Henry notes. “Our team of 2D and 3D animators did a great job merging the styles to come up with something that manages to bridge the gap between 2D and 3D while staying true to the character.”

Henry adds, “Acting with animated characters can be a challenge for some actors, but Candace was fantastic. The old shtick was always that Charlie wanted to be a star, so I guess he’s coming up in the world. Spaz is a dream director for animation because he knows both animation and filmmaking, and how to get every shot to connect with viewers.”

For Williams, who in addition to directing numerous ads played an instrumental role at acclaimed visual effect house Industrial Light & Magic, working on such early groundbreaking feature films such as “The Abyss,” “Jurassic Park” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” notes that while Charlie has evolved over the years, the key with this project, as well as the previous StarKist spot he directed, was the role of Calabash.

“These guys are one of the best animation houses in the country,” Williams says. “Their animation skill in both classical and computer graphics is fantastic. They are character and performance guys first. They’re not a huge, bloated shop – rather a small family of artists who understand attention to performance and look.”

Calabash’s technological arsenal included 3D animation software Maya, with rendering done with V-Ray, and Nuke for compositing.

About Calabash Animation:
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio known for its award-winning animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative character animation and development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to it advertising working, the company has also produced several acclaimed short films, including ‘’Stubble Trouble,’’ which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.

About quench:
A boutique agency made up of more than 70 food & beverage zealots, operating out of three offices in Harrsburg, Philadelphia and Chicago.  We have big-agency capability combined with boutique agility.

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the StarKist spot “Making Lunches”:

Click here to watch the StarKist spot “Action Candace”:

Click here for more info about Calabash:

Click here for more info about Phasmatrope Studios:

Click here for more info about Quench:

Creative Credits:
Client: StarKist
Project: “Action Candace,” “Making Lunches” (both :15s)

Agency: quench, Harrisburg, PA
Chief Creative & Content Officer: Jeff Odiorne
Group Creative Director: John Gilbert
Creative Director: Dave Spink
Agency Producer: Matt Campbell
Group Brand Manager: Ami Lawson
Brand Manager: Laura Osmolinski

Production Company: Phasmatrope Studios, West Conshohocken PA
Director: Steve “Spaz” Williams
Executive Producer: Jon Isen

Animation/VFX: Calabash, Chicago, IL
Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha
Executive Producer: Sean Henry

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STORY’s John Komnenich Directs Mayhem (Dean Winters) in  Spot for Allstate

2017-02-27 12:07:37 artisanspr

CHICAGO—STORY’s John Komnenich recently directed Allstate chairman and CEO Tom Wilson and actor Dean Winters in a 30-second TV spot produced for Leo Burnett.  In the ad, Wilson has trouble reading his lines due to a prankster holding his cue cards.  He contorts his body to make out the words on the moving card. A cut to the camera crew reveals the culprit: Allstate’s malicious troublemaker Mayhem.

The charm of the spot lies in the contrast between Wilson’s self-effacing performance and the antics of Mayhem (played by actor Dean Winters). “Incorporating Mayhem into the story adds an element of comedy,” says Komnenich, “and it helps to humanize Tom Wilson and make him seem more fun.”


Viewers would never know it, but the commercial is actually a cleverly-constructed composite. Komnenich shot Wilson in Chicago, Winters in New York City and the stadium—the Superdome—in New Orleans. The parts were assembled seamlessly in post production. “Coming from an editorial background, I am very careful about lenses, camera position and other details to ensure the optics and the angles match,” Komnenich explains. “It came out very well.”

Komnenich has worked on Allstate advertising for a long time and has directed a number of previous ads featuring Tom Wilson and Mayhem. “It’s been great working with Tom over the years,” he says. “He’s very loose and relatable on camera. With Mayhem, since he has already developed his own character, it’s just a matter of putting him in the situation and then working with him on timing and interaction. He’s a very talented actor.”

STORY is represented on the East Coast by Ilene Silberman (212) 794-9030; in the Midwest by Amy McIntyre (312) 550-2554, in the Southeast by Miller + Associates, (954) 563-6004; in the Southwest by Gossip!, (214) 288-2813 and on the West Coast by Yvette Lubinsky, (310) 827-2626.

For more information, visit


Title:                      Chairman’s Cue Card Trouble

Client:                   Allstate

Agency:                Leo Burnett.

Production:        STORY. John Komnenich, Director; Mark Androw and Cliff Grant, Executive Producers; Mary Langenfeld, Head of Production.

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The Colonie Cuts STORY Director Blair Hayes McDonald’s Spot, ‘My Place' Out of Burrell

2017-02-27 12:04:10 sj-golden

Burrell Communications tapped the talents of The Colonie editor, Bob Ackerman, and STORY director, Blair Hayes, for its new McDonald’s spot, ‘My Place.’

The commercial integrates four vignettes that showcase McDonald’s as a place in the community where people feel connected, supported and at home. The common theme that each vignette shares is that McDonald’s is more than just a place to eat – it’s a place that brings a community together.

The agency’s GCD, Rebecca Williams, kept the team on track and focused on the small details that made the spot engaging and memorable. Winston Cheung and Terrence Burrell were key in seamlessly integrating the scenarios into a cohesive story that unfolds during a single day.

“Our consumer shows their love for McDonald’s with the nickname Mickey D’s. It was important to feel that familiarity throughout the spot,” said Williams.

“Once again, working with Burrell was a great experience,” says Ackerman. “They always seem to come up with thoughtful and interesting ways to construct a story. I couldn’t hope to work with a more talented group than these three.”

Burrell Communications created a spot with a poignant message about McDonald’s role in the neighborhood,” adds Mary Caddy, The Colonie’s executive producer. “The level of trust our team has established with the agency over the years once again made being part of their collaborative creative process a great experience.”

The Colonie’s senior designer, Lyndsay McCully, followed through with the agency’s design look. Graham Chapman was the assistant editor on the project, which was cut on the Avid, and Tom Dernulc finished the spot on Flame Premium.

About The Colonie
The Colonie is an award-winning Chicago-based creative editorial, motion design, visual FX and finishing boutique with a seamless, full-service approach to creating spots and cross-platform content that engage, entertain, inform and move audiences.  Awide range of national and global clients includes, Toyota, Payless, BCBS, Facebook, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Levis, PepsiCo, and Bayer,

For more information about The Colonie and its services contact executive producer Marry Caddy at 312-225-1234, or Sonia Blum or Hillary Herbst at Hilly Reps, 312.944.1100.


CLIENT: McDonald’s

TITLE: ‘My Place’

LENGTH: :30 Broadcast Commercial

AGENCY: Burrell Communications / Chicago

CCO: Lewis Williams Executive

Producer: Shirley Portee

Producer: Debra Dale

VP/GCD: Rebecca Williams

VP/ CD – Copywriter: Terrence Burrell

ACD – Art Director: Winston Cheung


Director: Blair Hayes

DP: John Pingay

Producer: Marsie Wallach

EDITORIAL COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago

Creative Editor: Bob Ackerman

Assistant Editor: Graham Chapman

Finishing: Tom Dernulc

Senior Designer: Lyndsay McCully

Executive Producer: Mary Caddy


Colorist: Michael Mazur


Mixer: Ian Scott

MUSIC COMPANY: Yessian Music / Los Angeles

Composer: Michael Yessian

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Nine Mile Circle’ Les Umberger Directs Wrestler Ric Flair in Hilarious Campaign for USAuto Sales

2017-01-20 08:06:58 artisanspr

ATLANTA— Wrestling legend Ric Flair stars as an over the top used car salesman in a new campaign for Georgia-based USAuto Sales. Atlanta creative boutique Nine Mile Circle produced and finished the three spots in which the 67-year-old strongman, known as “Nature Boy,” plays the flimflamming proprietor of Papa Flair’s Used Cars. In one, Flair boasts “we’re body slammin’ prices into the ground,” and then proceeds to dish out the same treatment to his hapless customers. US Auto Sales is offered as an alternative for people who’d rather avoid the arm twisting and stereotypical badgering from a shady used car dealer.

The campaign was conceived by USAuto Sales Marketing Director Khalil Thompson and directed by Nine Mile Circle’s Les Umberger. The antics that gave Flair the reputation as “the dirtiest player in the game” are hilariously transported to a rundown, 1970s vintage car dealership. Flair struts, grins and offers his trademark shout, “WOOOOO!” while his young, female cohort tries to maintain her composure and million dollar smile. “Ric’s a very high energy, funny guy and a natural performer,” says Umberger. “Pairing him with the girl brought out the best in him…he took it over the top.”

In addition to producing the shoot, Nine Mile Circle provided editorial, color correction, visual effects, music, sound and finishing services. Umberger said that for Flair’s segments, the aim was to mimic the look of low budget ads for local car dealers. “We experimented with lo-fi looks going back to the VHS era,” he recalls. “The finished spots have a crazy palette of blues and blacks with orange highlights that brought out the wood paneling and odd environment of the dealership. By contrast, the scenes set at a USAuto Sales facility are clean, vibrant and modern.”

For the music, composer Kenneth Lovell also sought inspiration from the past. “We play off bad car ads from the ‘80s and ‘90s and shift to a very modern sound at the end,” he explains. “We did a second piece that is an ode to elevator music and processed it to sound like it’s filtered through a speaker in the dealership. The overall vibe is ‘get me out of here!’ ”

Nine Mile Circle’s rare ability to package creative, production and post-production services, is an attractive option for advertisers like USAuto Sales seeking to control costs while boosting efficiency and creativity. “It’s a great example of what we at Nine Mile can do,” says Umberger. “We rocked it from concept to completion.”


Client:                  USAuto Sales. Khalil Thompson, Marketing Director.

Production & Post: Nine Mile Circle, Atlanta. Les Umberger, Creative Director, Editor, Visual Effects Artists; Amanda Oldeen, Executive Producer; Dave Pickett, Colorist; Kenneth Lovell, Composer, Sound Designer and Audio Engineer.

Ode To Dusty:

Body Slammin’ Prices:

To Be the Man:


About Nine Mile Circle

Artist owned and operated, Nine Mile Circle is a premiere post production house offering a full service sensibility in a boutique environment. The company’s award-winning team collaborates on broadcast, digital and social media projects with leading ad agencies, networks, production companies and filmmakers from all over the world. Services include creative editorial, Flame finishing, visual effects, motion graphics, animation, color correction, audio mixing, sound design and full production services all available under one roof.

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