In the News


Who’s doing what and where in the entertainment industry.

Ben Lehmann Named Executive Producer of Sesame Street

2017-12-14 11:44:43 ccwire-staff

Award-winning Sesame producer to lead the show through its 50th anniversary and beyond

New York, NY
 – Sesame Workshop today named Benjamin Lehmann the new Executive Producer of Sesame Street, taking the helm from Creative Director and interim Executive Producer Brown Johnson.

Ben has served as the show’s Supervising Producer since 2015. He first joined Sesame Street production as a PA in 2001, rising through the ranks to Producer in 2007; he has also served as a director for the past three years. Ben has won multiple awards for his work on Sesame Street, including nine Emmys and four Producer’s Guild Awards. Recently, Ben and the Sesame Street production team won a Primetime Emmy for 2016’s holiday special, Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas.  He also directed The Magical Wand Chase, a season-launching special that aired on HBO on Saturday, November 11th, 2017.

“I am thrilled to have Ben lead our production team as we approach our landmark 50th anniversary,” said Brown Johnson, Creative Director, Sesame Workshop. “His leadership and vision have helped us embrace new production styles, formats, and characters, and increase our creative output while staying true to our core brand. He has also worked hard to increase diversity on both sides of the camera, particularly in developing writers, directors, and on-screen talent. Ben is an invaluable partner as we continue to evolve the show for today’s – and tomorrow’s – kids.”

“It’s an honor to be named Executive Producer,” said Lehmann. “On Sesame Street, we work hard to get kids ready for school – and ready for life – while engaging them with some of the greatest characters ever created for television. As I step into this role, I look forward to the challenge of continuing to make an incredible show and creating new media experiences to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

Ben currently co-chairs the Community Action Committee for the Producer’s Guild East, where he helps connect film and television productions with volunteer opportunities. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Ben was an independent producer, cinematographer, and director with his own production company; his work included both television and feature films. He received a BA from Colorado University, Boulder. Ben grew up in Paris and Los Angeles; he now lives in Queens, New York with his wife and two children.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit

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Michael Hicken Named Chief Financial Officer of National TeleConsultants

2017-12-14 11:26:57 ignite

GLENDALE, CA — National TeleConsultants (NTC), a leading media technology consulting, design and software and systems integration company, announced today that Michael Hicken has been named the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re thrilled to have Mike join our growing team,” said NTC Managing Partner Eliot Graham. “He brings with him extensive experience in the technology, entertainment, and consumer industries. Mike’s unique perspective adds considerable value to NTC that extends to our customers.”

Prior to joining NTC, Hicken served as CFO of Smartlabs, the parent company of Insteon, designer and manufacturer of connected-home products, and Smarthome, an e-commerce store for home automation products. Hicken also previously served as CFO of Cornerstone Systems, an IBM Premier business partner/value added reseller. He has experience in controller and finance positions at Universal Music Group, Capitol Records, Valentec Wells and APCOA Parking. Hicken holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.

“I was drawn to this position because of NTC’s reputation for outside-the-box thinking rooted in thorough analysis,” said Hicken. “It’s an honor to support the company’s ongoing growth so that we can continue to deliver the most innovative thinking and sterling service to our customers.”

About National TeleConsultants
Founded in 1981, National TeleConsultants provides strategic technology consulting, engineering design, software development, and systems integration services to the global media and entertainment industry. NTC’s clients include multichannel video programming distributors, broadcast and cable networks, film and television production studios, and digital media companies. The company is headquartered in Glendale, California. For more information about NTC, contact Laurie Morse at +1 818 265-4415, or email, or visit them online at

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Accomplice Media Signs Director and Cinematographer Damien Toogood

2017-12-04 09:42:02 artisanspr

Los Angeles— Director DP Damien Toogood has signed to Accomplice Media, and stepped straight into working with DDB San Francisco.

Creative Director Sam Brown is a new fan. “Damien’s visual style and quirkiness, when it came to casting, were exactly what we were looking for,” Brown says. “Utilizing his skills in cinematography, in addition to his directing talent, made our collaboration a smooth and exciting process. He’s also a very funny guy!”

Toogood has directed spots for Dodge, Samsung, Ford, Nescafe and Hyundai among others. His work has been recognized in awards from Cannes to One Show, D&AD and others as well as garnering millions of views online.

“Damien is a storyteller.  He’s a funny guy and his work lands very naturally in the comedy and performance world,” observes Accomplice Media executive producer Jeff Snyder.  “He also has a lot of range and interests. You see it in projects like UNOS that have touches of humor but tend toward the heart-warming. He is brimming with ideas and energy.”

As well as being a director and cinematographer, Toogood has worked with both agencies and clients on ideation and scripts. Among his recent efforts is a spot for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Produced in conjunction with Publicis, New York, the spot has generated more than 45 million unpaid views. His Guilt Trips spot for the Australian rail company V/Line was part of a broader campaign out of McCann’s, Melbourne, that won a Cannes Festival of Creativity Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness.

“Script and cast, that’s all that matters,” says Toogood. “Comedy is binary and elusive. It’s either funny or it’s not, which is why I have a strong vision and love working closely with the team as the spot evolves in pre-production.”

Toogood says that he was impressed with Snyder’s commitment to his directors and assessment of the current advertising market. “He loves the craft, and he’s a producer I can bounce ideas off. I love that. What drives him is making good work, and with his experience, he makes it happen.” he says.

For more information about Accomplice Media, visit

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MPC LA Adds Flame Artists Claus Hansen, Noah Caddis and EP Robert Owens to Creative Team

2017-11-27 10:12:47 ccwire-staff

Culver City, CA – Award-winning Flame Artist and Creative Director Claus Hansen, Sr. Flame Artist Noah Caddis and Executive Producer Robert Owens have joined MPC to spearhead a new offering for the company that is redefining what finishing means for top global brands and ad agencies.

This highly regarded group with over a decade of experience working together will be based in MPC’s Culver City studio. Their hire was announced by Justin Brukman, Managing Director of MPC US.

Upon joining MPC, Owens, Hansen and Caddis say they were motivated by a desire to be in a more collaborative setting, working closely with MPC’s world class global roster of colorists and VFX artists. “We were attracted to MPC for the quality of work they are renowned for. At the same time it feels very accessible, like we’re working in a collective group, all driven by the same thing, to make great work” says Hansen. “We are at a point in our careers where we can take our knowledge and skills to make the best experience possible for the company and clients.”

Adds Owens, “Claus and Noah joining MPC will bring some of the world’s best Flame Artists to a studio where the creative is paramount, and attention to detail and the ability to deliver work at the highest level is a must. This is a powerful combination, particularly when seen in conjunction with MPC’s reputation in color grading and visual effects.”

“There is an assurance that all projects will be treated with an artistic eye and scrutiny that is not typically found in the fast-paced nature of finishing and beauty,” adds Caddis.

“Claus, Robert and Noah are major talents in our industry, and bringing them to the MPC family presents our clients and staff with tremendous opportunities to elevate game across so many disciplines,” says Brukman. “We’re delighted to have them and are excited about the work we’re going to be doing together.”

Hansen believes this process to be a true collaboration which is evident from his partnerships with leading agencies such as CP+B, Wieden + Kennedy and Deutsch – creating effects, beauty and finishing work on content for brands including BMW, Lexus, Maserati, Microsoft, Target and Revlon.

Caddis has worked on spots for brands such as Infiniti, Kia, Adobe, Diet Dr Pepper and others. He too has a strong history of partnering with high profile agencies like Deutsch, CP+B, Media Arts Lab, Agency 215 and David & Goliath.

The group is truly inspired by joining MPC, Hansen notes “Robert, Noah and I have noticed the strong sense of camaraderie since we arrived, and it’s contagious. It gives the feeling of being in a tight knit, creatively-focused group that you want to be a part of. And that’s very appealing.”

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Amrita Sen Music Adds Tony Joy

2017-11-07 20:37:46 rpg246

Los Angeles, Amrita Sen Music has added feature film sound engineer Tony Joy to her team. The announcement was made by composer/artist Amrita Sen. Sen is probably best known for her performance at the 2009 Academy Awards with music legend AR Rahman, singing “Jai Ho” from the Oscar-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire. Her music reel includes collaborations with artists Justin Timberlake, Weezer and Timbaland.

According to Sen, she first met Tony Joy through composer/singer/songwriter A.R. Rahman, composer of the soundtrack for the aforementioned ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Joy is no stranger to mixing commercials for both TV and radio, having overseen hundreds of spot projects during his tenure as a radio producer in Dubai. Joy has been based in Los Angeles since 2010. Joy’s mastering and sound engineering credits include work on the feature films ‘Million Dollar Arm,’ ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey,’ ‘Om Shanti Om,’ and ‘Jab tak Hai Jaan among others.

“Tony is one of the best mixing and mastering engineers in the music industry,” says Sen. “He is also an expert in mixing for Virtual Reality (VR), which is a genre we’re going to get further involved with.

Joy was born in India and educated in the UK. He holds a Masters in Post Production – Sound Design from Bournemouth University and also holds a degree in Audio Engineering from the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in Chennai, India. “I love navigating through the both the creative and logistical chaos in music,” says Joy. “As an engineer, I love cutting through the ambiguity to deliver stellar work.”

About Amrita Sen Music:

 The goal at Amrita Sen Music is to build a catalogue that celebrates the music of the world. Sen is a songwriter/composer backed by being a full service instrument ready musician and professional singer. For more information, please visit


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Riverview Systems Group Promotes Johnathan V. Regnier to Director, Design & Marketing

2017-11-07 08:16:23 ccwire-staff
MILPITAS, CA – Riverview Systems Group, the award-winning, full-service provider of engaging and innovative live events, is pleased to announce the promotion of Johnathan V. Regnier to the newly-created leadership team position of Director, Design & Marketing.
Regnier joined Riverview 3.5 years ago as Senior Creative Manager when the company expanded its core operations with the launch of its Creative Services division. In that role he helped create momentum for the division producing creative concepts and working with Riverview’s team of technical experts to deliver clients a more efficient approach to integrating their existing marketing strategy into a live event production. He also served as lead for Riverview’s content strategy for many events, including keynote presentations, motion graphic development, theme graphics, sound design, video production, music acquisition, data visualization and non-traditional media.
According to Riverview CEO Evan Williams, 2017 has so far marked a particularly creative year for the company with a mix of trade show, system integration and creative service projects for companies, including Panda Restaurant Group, Columbia Sportswear, Zimmer Biomet, Varian and Alteryx, and Johnathan’s demonstrated passion for building extraordinary experiences has not only helped those projects achieve success, but also accelerated the growth of the Creative Services Division.
“We have built a high performing team and strive to retain and recognize individuals for their leadership and contributions,” said Williams. “With Johnathan and the rest of the talented Riverview staff in place, we’re strategically positioned to move forward in the ultra-competitive live event design industry and consistently develop new strategies that exceed our clients’ expectations.”
In his new hybrid role, Regnier will be responsible for overseeing the Riverview Design Services team, as well as its in-house marketing and public relations efforts. Specifically, Regnier will focus on developing strong relationships with new and existing customers, curating creative and technical concepts and acting as liaison between clients, internal teams and external vendors to ensure the timely and successful execution of projects.
Regnier began his career at Apple where he spent eight years in various retail project and event management capacities. In 2016, he was honored at the 2016 NAB Show as a StudioDaily 50 award recipient. The award, sponsored by industry news site StudioDaily, celebrates a cross section of influential creatives and technologists whose leadership exemplifies innovative and creative thinking.
About Riverview Systems Group:
Since 1987, Silicon Valley-based Riverview Systems Group, Inc., has been providing the world’s leading brands with the technical and production design expertise to successfully produce engaging and innovative live events The award-winning, full-service provider of audio-visual resources specializes in the rental, sale, design, installation and implementation of lighting, sound and video systems for corporate, retail, museum and educational markets. Riverview offers a comprehensive array of technical and creative services, as well as an extensive inventory of state-of-the-art, well-maintained equipment including cutting-edge wide-screen projection, media server delivery, and LED display technology. Riverview works hand-in-hand with clients to share their expertise and accommodate any sized production to deliver extraordinary brand experiences.
All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
Web Resources:
Twitter: @RiverviewAV1
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The Famous Group Signs Comedy Director Oren Kaplan

2017-11-02 17:54:54 rpg246

Los Angeles, California — Bicoastal The Famous Group has signed comedy director Oren Kaplan for branded content and spot work. The announcement was made by Managing Director David Kwan. Kaplan has completed recent campaigns for Wendy’s, Converse, Swiffer and Nvidia, as well has work for Jeep, Fiat, Ford, Microsoft, Mattel, Panasonic and award-winning branding for Quiznos. Kaplan also directed the feature film ‘THE HAMMER,’ based on the life of deaf UFC fighter Matt Hamill, one of the most in-demand sports movies on Netflix.

Director Focused Shop

Kaplan just wrapped his first project under The Famous Group banner, a spot for Wendys out of agency VML Kansas City. “The experience working with The Famous Group team was fantastic,” says Kaplan. “Very director focused, from writing the treatment to hiring the crew, to collaborating with the creatives. The team works alongside the directors every step, making sure we’re getting the freedom to make creative choices while keeping the client happy. It’s more collaborative here than any place I’ve seen.” For his part, Kwan was looking for a director with a specific sensibility. “Oren (Kaplan) understands the subtlest components of comedic timing and works with talent to hit just the right performance,” he says. “Oren pairs his comedy with strong visuals and detailed art direction that’s ideal for many brands.”

Creative Comedy

Kaplan considers himself a filmmaker with a penchant for comedy. “My brand of humor usually involves playing things straight,” says Kaplan. “I much prefer funny situations to loud in-your-face performances. Small, real, grounded, and relatable is what I’m going for. And when I can juxtapose a small performance with a really big visual gag, that’s when I’m at my most satisfied.” Kaplan comes from the creative side of the business. For the last four years he pitched creative solutions directing branded content at Los Angeles based WINDOWSEATpictures. It was here that Kaplan did his humorous work for Quiznos. Prior to that, Kaplan spent three years directing branded TV content at The Walt Disney Company.

Independent Filmmaker

As a filmmaker, Kaplan applies what he’s learned directing features and tv shows to the commercial world. “When I’m shooting spots I’m always trying to take inspiration from movies and TV shows to engage audiences — I love genre parodies and fine-tuning the lighting, pacing, and sounds to accentuate the tone,” says Kaplan. “In terms of crew, there isn’t a difference between traditional filmmaking and commercial work for me. A great DP, production designer, etc, can work across all disciplines. They just need to be ready to be more collaborative on a commercial set.”

About The Famous Group:

The Famous Group is a Cannes, Emmy 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 creatives, directors, producers, editors and artists produce an incredible array of high-quality, engaging, live action, digital, graphics and experiential content.


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Renegade Animation Expands Original Programming; Taps Brittney Jorgensen to Head Development

2017-11-01 08:13:31 artisanspr

GLENDALE, Calif.— Continuing to grow its original programming unit, Renegade Animation has promoted Brittney Jorgensen to the newly-created post of Head of Marketing and Development. Jorgensen will work with creators, writers and animators in developing concepts for animated television series and features, and serve as the studio’s chief liaison with studios, broadcasters and streaming services. The independent animation studio currently has 12 animated series in development, targeting demographics from pre-school through teenagers.

Demand for quality, animated content is strong, according to Renegade Animation Creative Director Darrell Van Citters. “We are very excited about the projects currently in our pipeline,” he said. “With the growth in television and streaming production, now is the right time to focus attention on original programming.”

“Brittany is the perfect choice to spearhead our development effort,” adds Executive Producer Ashley Postlewaite. “She has a strong background in animation and adds insight and passion to our team.”

Jorgensen, who joined Renegade in 2012 on the production side, also recently served as production manager on Being by Yourself, an animated short for the Imaginary Friend Society designed to help children with cancer cope with hospitalization. Previously, she was a production manager at Bento Box Entertainment. She also served in a production role at Disney Animation on TRON: Uprising.

Renegade Animation has longtime relationships with the top animation writers and artists in Hollywood, and is unique in having the resources to take shows from concept through delivery in-house.  “We love to be involved from the very beginning,” she says. “Talent may come to us with a script, a storyboard, a show bible, or just the germ of an idea. We work with creators to develop ideas so that they conform to our style and fit market demand.”

Renegade Animation has produced several animated television series including Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, The Mr. Men Show, Captain Sturdy and Tom & Jerry, all for Cartoon Network, and has two Emmy Award nominations for the PBS/WNET show, Oh, Noah!  The studio’s original web series Elmo Aardvark: Outer Space Detective won an Annie Award for Best Animated Series in an Electronic Medium.  Its theatrical work includes the animated holiday feature Christmas is Here Again, which was recently adapted into a musical for the stage.

Renegade Animation is located at 111 E. Broadway, Ste. 208, Glendale, California 91205. Call 818.551.2351 or visit

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Yard Dog Signs Director Brent Jones

2017-11-01 08:00:18 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES—Director Brent Jones has joined Los Angeles-based Yard Dog, led by executive producers Joe Piccirillo and Beth Pearson, for work in commercials, branded content and web media. Bringing a diverse reel and more than ten years of directing experience to his new home. Jones is perhaps best known for high-energy automotive spots, but his work also extends to performance-driven storytelling and humor, with credits including WeatherTech, DiGiorno Pizza, FedEx, Monster, and Subway.

Jones has already completed his first project with Yard Dog, a spot for a major car brand that featured a half-dozen former Heisman Trophy winners and an elaborate production mimicking a reality TV competition. “Brent’s range of work and ability to direct actors, celebrities, real people, and manage complex productions makes him a great addition to Yard Dog,” said Beth Pearson. “Both Joe and I have worked with Brent before and know what he can do. We’re excited to be part of the next phase in his career.”

In terms of action and production value, Jones’ work rivals Hollywood action films although often with a comic twist. His spot Tech Team for WeatherTech, which premiered during last year’s Super Bowl broadcast, imagines a crack commando team who intercept a car on a mountain road to prevent a coffee cup from spilling on the upholstery.

A native of Kansas City, where he started as a lighting technician, Jones moved to Los Angeles and came up through the ranks. He worked behind the scenes under such directors as Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Cameron Crowe and Sam Raimi.

Joining Yard Dog is like a reunion for Jones; he previously worked with Piccirillo at Original Film. “Joe is a very personable producer,” he says. “He knows the ins and outs of the business and is a great problem solver. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of advertising that comes in very handy.”

Yard Dog is located at 6509 De Longpre Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Call 310.209.8992.

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Manios Digital & Film Hires Industry Vet Tom O’Neill to Lead Sales in Eastern U.S.

2017-10-25 10:35:09 artisanspr

North Hollywood, Calif.—Manios Digital & Film, a leading supplier of high-quality tools used in broadcast production and digital cinematography, has appointed Tom O’Neill to direct Eastern Regional Sales. O’Neill will manage sales and dealer relationships in an area including New England, Mid Atlantic, South East and Midwest states. He will also represent the company at trade shows and other industry events in the region. Manios Digital & Film is the exclusive North American distributor for Cartoni, Vocas, Kinotehnik, Hawk-Woods, the Veydra 1.2x Expander and other premium products and brands.

Tom O’Neill

“Tom has a long history of providing excellent sales support to the professional community and we look forward to having him on our team,” said Manios Digital & Film President Steve Manios Jr. “His passion for cinematography and broadcast production, and his focus on the customer will make him an asset to our brands.”

O’Neill previously held a senior sales post with Cuescript, a maker of teleprompting systems widely used in broadcast production. His background also includes four years at Vitec Videocom, a supplier of camera, lighting and sound accessories. He attended Ramapo College of New Jersey.

In his new role, O’Neill will focus on growing sales for Cartoni’s expanding offering of camera support products, including new additions to its MASTER, MAXIMA and LAMBDA lines of fluid heads, its innovative SDS (Smart Deployment Series) system tripod, and its Lambda and Total Dutch specialty heads. Additionally, he will seek to grow sales and market recognition for Vocas, Kinotehnik and Hawk-Woods, each of whom introduced new products at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam.

“We represent a lot of innovative products that could benefit from greater exposure to the market in the East,” O’Neill observed. “I look forward to introducing our customers to technology that they haven’t seen before.”

O’Neill sees great potential for growing sales and expanding Manios Digital & Films’ market presence in the Eastern Region. “We’ve got great brands, great core products and an excellent support team,” he said. “I have a background in production and so I am also excited to be working with the production community. It’s something that I’ve missed.”

About Manios Digital & Film

A division of Ste-Man, Inc. and led by President Steven Manios, Jr., Manios Digital & Film has been bringing the world’s highest quality products to professional filmmakers, videographers and ENG crews in the United States since 1992. The company has longstanding relationships with leading manufacturers around the globe and an extensive dealer network spanning the United States. It is an authorized distributor for Cartoni, Vocas, Kinotehnik, Hawk-Woods and the Veydra 1.2x Expander. By working closely with its customers, and by listening to and understanding their needs, Manios Digital & Film has become a trusted partner to film and video professionals worldwide.

Manios Digital & Film 10663 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601; 818.760.8290.

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Cinq Music Opens Urban Music Division with Master P

2017-10-25 08:55:36 rpg246

Los Angeles — Cinq Music, a technology-driven record label, distribution and rights-management company, has named Percy “Master P” Miller as President of Urban Music in the United States. The announcement was made by Cinq Music co-founder and President Barry Daffurn.

“Master P is an iconic artist/entrepreneur that will help Cinq and all its artists maximize the value of their intellectual property,” says Daffurn. Adds Jason Peterson, CEO of GoDigital Media Group, Cinq’s parent company, “Through Cinq, Master P will be an evangelist and connector, helping us sign more artists. He brings a wealth of experience and a deep artist network.”  Master P is no stranger to either Peterson or Daffurn. GoDigital Media Group was founded eleven years ago when Master P awarded Peterson a multi-year exclusive digital distribution deal for his music catalog. “He recognized a kindred entrepreneur and liked my vision that digital distribution of music was the future,” says Peterson.

Master P is a businessman, entrepreneur, music mogul, an iconic American entertainer, producer and philanthropist. The founder of No Limit Records, Master P gained fame in the mid 1990s with hits like “Ice Cream Man” and “Make Em Say Uhh” along with roles in several independent films which made the artist a household name. As important as Master P’s music success is, he has also had a successful career as an entrepreneur and investor, coming from poverty to Forbes. Master P created a multi-million dollar business empire spanning an array of industries and selling over seventy-five million albums to date. “Master P was one of the first rappers to see the real potential of music as a business,” says Daffurn. “Many artists only concentrate on their creativity, but Master P saw his work through the eyes of an entrepreneur.” The artist is held in high esteem by many artists for his entrepreneurial work ethic. In addition to his music, Master P dedicates his time in communities around the country through the P. Miller Youth Centers, Let the Kids Grow, Team Hope NOLA and P. Miller Food Foundation For The Homeless.

About Cinq:
Cinq Music is a technology driven record label, distribution, and rights management company. Cinq’s repertoire has won four Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, numerous number one chart positions on the Latin Urban and Tropical Billboard charts, and was nominated for Latin Rhythm Label of The Year at the 2016 Latin Billboards.


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Colorist Michael Smollin Joins Fancy Film

2017-10-17 10:59:01 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES—Veteran colorist Michael Smollin has joined Fancy Film, the independent post-production facility based in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood. Smollin, whose credits span features, episodics, reality series and documentaries, will serve as the facility’s senior colorist for theatrical and television projects.

“Mike is someone who can lead our color division in both technical and artistic capacities,” said Fancy Film CEO Bill Macomber. “He brings a significant ability to grow our business through his many diehard fans. He has especially deep experience as a colorist for mid-budget features and television series, projects that are a perfect match for Fancy and the facilities we have here.  As these projects gear up for HDR, Mike’s leadership will be key.”

Michael Smollin

Smollin has worked at Fancy on an occasional freelance basis for over five years. His credits include Undefeated, the 2012 Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature, as well as The Case Against 8 for HBO and Underwater Universe for Discovery. “They do great work at this facility, including a lot of films that have gone to Sundance, Toronto and Cannes,” said Smollin. “The facility is very familiar to me, the people are great and there is excellent interaction between clients and staff. The location has a hip, eclectic feel. It’s a great place.”

Smollin’s career in post production spans more than 20 years, the past four at Roundabout Entertainment, Burbank. His background also includes posts with Walden Media, Mega Playground, Technicolor and Encore Video. He got his start with Complete Post. His many credits include the television series American Dreams, CSI: Miami, Once and Again and Grounded for Life¸ the documentary Sound City, the features Chasing Mavericks, Parental Guidance and Won’t Back Down, and the Disney live action feature The Jungle Book.

Bill Macomber

Launched by Macomber in 2003, Fancy Film offers a seamless workflow from dailies processing through picture lock and has developed a strong reputation for providing high quality post services in a boutique, creative environment. The facility features a DCI-certified, Da Vinci Resolve color grading theater and three broadcast color correction suites, plus editorial conforming, quality control and related resources. In addition, it has 20,000 square feet of offline editorial space that it leases to film and television productions on long- and short-term bases. Recent projects that have undergone post-production finishing at the facility include Beatriz at Dinner, Miguel Arteta’s film, starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow, that had a major release through Roadside Attractions after premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  Its series work includes Sing It! for YouTube Red and Party Over Here for Lonely Island and Fox.

“We’ve built a culture that is by and for filmmakers,” says Macomber. “That’s something the artists who bring film and television projects here appreciate and something we plan to continue and build on.”

About Fancy Film

Fancy Film is a boutique post production house located in Silver Lake. We feature top quality equipment, high standards of quality control and a knowledgeable, friendly staff focused on inspiring long-term customer relationships. We make it our top priority to provide our clients with a top-notch post experience that is comfortable, streamlined and pleasant. Fancy Film offers start-to-finish post services, including consulting, creative editing and finishing. Located at Sunset Junction in downtown Silver Lake, we specialize in HD and 4K ingest, dailies, offline, color timing, post production sound, layoffs, dubs and QC.


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The Cavalry Productions Signs Comedy Director Melissa Bolton-Klinger

2017-10-17 10:56:42 rpg246

Los Angeles – The Cavalry Productions has signed comedy Director Melissa Bolton-Klinger for spot work, branded content and virtual reality. The announcement was made by Cavalry Executive Producers Tanya Cohen and Ross Grogan. Bolton-Klinger has directed A-list talents Amy Schumer, The Rock, Ray Romano, Snoop Dog and Kevin Hart among many others.

Fearless Comedic Voice

“We are all fully aware there are far too few female directors in the media landscape, even fewer in the comedy and action genres. Melissa is here to change that,” says Tanya Cohen. “She’s a badass. She has flawless comedic timing, whether it be subtle nuanced humor and performance, or more raunchy bathroom style! Her brand of funny starts with her own sassy sense of humor, which always makes the collaboration inspiring and entertaining. There is a reason why Viacom, Sony, Paramount, Fox, Lionsgate, MTV and Comedy Central all come to her.”

Director Melissa Bolton-Klinger

Groundling Improv

Bolton-Klinger studied at L.A.’s infamous improv and comedy troupe, The Groundlings. Working with a vast array of talented people at The Groundlings helped Bolton-Klinger hone her craft in terms of directing talent. “Improv taught me how to read the room, how to pivot when unexpected wrenches get thrown at you, literally and figuratively.” Says Bolton-Klinger “It taught me how to work quickly and get different performances from people, so there are options in the edit beyond what was scripted. That flexibility has saved me a few times in my directing career, especially when you might only have a couple of hours max with celebrity talent.”

Bring It

Bolton-Klinger was looking for a company that would help her expand into other platforms. “I love that the Cavalry is a production company that straddles between traditional and future story telling technology,” she says. “(EPs) Ross (Grogan) and Tanya (Cohen) are the dreamiest of dream teams. Ross and I both did a tenure at G4 sharing a love of video games and tech culture. Tanya is amazing because she not only is an Advertising BOSS, but has a Literary Agency pedigree and knows how to bring home the boards that target my style and sensibility. That’s a sweet spot for this director. And did I mention that they both have an amazing fashion sense which forces me to shower more often and not always show up to set in my old dirty Vans?”

About The Cavalry Productions

The Cavalry Productions is a global boutique company focused on the creation of astounding moving imagery for both commercials and the digital world. We pride ourselves on being responsive collaborators and true allies for our clients.


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Director Paul Stone Joins Spears & Arrows

2017-10-10 17:26:01 rayecke
LOS ANGELES, CA – It is often noted that many great directors began their careers as editors — that is certainly true of Paul Stone, the editor-turned-indie filmmaker-turned commercial director who has joined the roster of Spears & Arrows, the three-year-old commercial production company led by Founder/Executive Producer Jason Wolk. Stone joins a diverse Spears & Arrows roster that includes directors Arni Thor Jonsson, Phil Brown, Ago Panini, John Grammatico, Don Broida and Josh Miller.
“Paul’s work as an editor provided him a unique filmmaking education that he uses to great effect as a director,” Wolk says. “Whether on his acclaimed indie films or commercials and branded content for AirBnB, Instagram, NyQuil, Fidelity Investments, Casper Mattresses or DeWalt Tools, Paul effortlessly blends striking visuals with a strong sense of character and story to craft spots that instantly grab viewers’ attention.”
Most recently repped in the US by documentarian Morgan Spurlock’s production company, Warpaint Films, the Brooklyn native began his professional career as an editor at production company RSA, New York and Red Car, New York, before transitioning to director. 
His first short film, “Tales of Times Square” premiered at the LA Shorts Film Festival where it took home the top prize for Best Documentary and went on to screen at 30 film festivals worldwide. His short films “Man Under” and “Mulberry” (premiered at the 2015 and 2016 Tribeca Film Festival respectively). Another short film, The Boombox Project, was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick and is currently being developed into a feature film. He also recently wrapped a new short film titled “The King Thing.”
His current commercial work includes a new spot for PNC Bank for Deutsch, New York; a multi-spot campaign for New Orleans-based Community Coffee via TM Advertising, Dallas; three branded content VR films for American Family Insurance through Huff Post/Ryot Media, Los Angeles; spots for Proctor & Gamble’s NyQuil via Publicis, New York; and a beautifully shot lifestyle spot for Fidelity Investments. 
“As a filmmaker my background springs from cinematography, documentary filmmaking and post-production,” Stone says.  “My experience in all of these realms has informed my process and allowed me to find those ‘perfectly imperfect’ moments that engage an audience and allow them to connect with the story on a human level.”
Stone adds that before joining Spears & Arrows he collaborated with Wolk and the company as a freelancer. Those projects, according to Stone, went exceedingly well and led to his decision to join the company full time.  
“The support and the level of professionalism was amazing, so joining Spears & Arrows was an easy decision for me,” Stone says. “Plus, Jason and I are both native New Yorkers — he is from the Bronx, I’m from Brooklyn — so  ‘Fuhgettaboutit.’  
In addition to Spears & Arrows, Stone is represented in Europe by Bakery Films, Hamburg, and in Canada via Spy Films, Toronto.
About Spears & Arrows:
Like, Honor & Passion, Excellence & Inspiration, Spears & Arrows are a team that values the balance and blend of best practices with the best talent in commercial production. The company is represented by Hello Tomorrow on the East Coast; Goodrebel on the West Coast and Texas; and by Nikki Weiss & Co in the Midwest.
Web Resources:
Click here for more info about Spears & Arrows:
Click here for more info about Paul Stone:
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Directors David Serota and Henrik Hedin Join Yard Dog

2017-10-10 10:24:27 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES— Continuing to add unique talent to its creative roster, Yard Dog has signed directors David Serota and Henrik Hedin for exclusive representation in the United States. Both directors are known for their storytelling ability and skill in creating emotional bonds between consumers and brands.

Serota’s credits include commercials and branded content for American Express, UPS, Levi’s, Participant Media, United Health Care, International Medical Corps, Chevron, The Nature Conservancy, Marriott, JP Morgan Chase, Starbucks and Patagonia. The Swedish-born Hedin has helmed international campaigns for Volkswagen, Volvo, Burger King, Etisalat, Rewe, Grolsch, Bosch and the Swedish amusement park Gröna Lund (which won an IAAPA Brass Ring Award). This is his first affiliation in the United States.

David Serota

“David is a gifted filmmaker who we felt an instant connection to his work,” says Yard Dog partner/ executive producer Joe Piccirillo. “David is a storyteller with a lot of heart and an uncanny ability to capture unaffected, genuine performances from talent.“

Serota specializes in telling real stories about real people as well as scripted work that’s meant to feel real. A graduate of Los Angeles Film School, he first garnered attention when his short film won the Really Real Shorts Award at SXSW in 2007. He has since produced numerous short films, documentaries, branded content and commercials centering on heartfelt stories of the human experience. Notable credits include the film series We Are JP Morgan Chase¸ conceived by Mcgarrybowen. In a production that spanned the U.S. and Europe, it captured true stories of the bank’s employees and customers.

“I believe in directing campaigns that reflect the values I live by,” Serota says. “The ones that put an importance on things like family, friendship and adventure but also themes like one’s ability to persevere, where you discover strengths you didn’t know you had. They provide me with opportunity to seek what’s real inside of me so that I can craft a story as authentically as possible.”

In discussing his move to Yard Dog, Serota says that he sees it as an opportunity to access interesting creative assignments and broaden his agency relationships across the United States. “Joe and Beth appreciate the realistic nature of my work,” he notes, “and I look forward to working with the entire Yard Dog team on projects that will challenge me as a storyteller.”

Henrik Hedin

Hedin began his career directing short films and music videos and got his start in commercials via Flodellfilm, Stockholm. Since then, he has directed commercials for agencies across Europe. His work is distinctive for its cinematic quality and larger-than-life feel, often accompanied by a comic twist. A prime example is Next Time, Send Flowers for Sweden’s Interflora. In it, a man goes to elaborate lengths to prepare a Valentine’s Day surprise for his girlfriend, including disrobing, only to have her arrive with her parents in tow.

“I like to take audiences on a journey where they feel they are watching something that could happen,” the director explains. As a bonus feature, Hedin directed several short films that expanded on the scenario from the Interflora ad. The 15-second films became very popular on Instagram and other social platforms. “Henrik is a young star with polished skills and a great sense of humor. The range of his work and his passion for what he does is inspiring” says Beth Pearson, Yard Dog, partner and executive producer “We’re excited to introduce him to agencies here in the U.S.”

Hedin applied a very different style of storytelling to a campaign for eyeglasses maker KlarSynt. It features lifestyle scenes of people in natural and home settings that make subtle allusion to the value of eyesight. “Our aim was to show, in an epic and poetic way, the diversity of people who depend on glasses,” he says. “It became a journey through Sweden. You get to know the characters and you instantly understand who they are and what they value.”

Yard Dog is located at 1265 S. Cochran Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019. Call 310.209.8992.




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CoMPANY Films Signs Director Mary-Sue Masson

2017-09-28 21:23:19 rpg246

Los Angeles – Writer and Director Mary-Sue Masson has signed with CoMPANY for both spots and branded content. The announcement was made by CoMPANY Executive Producers Robin Benson and Richard Goldstein. Masson is probably best known for her highly regarded currently airing campaign for HARIBO and agency Quiet Storm. The funny series of spots feature adults funneling their inner child through the famous Gold Bears candy. This marks the first time Masson has been represented by a spot company in the States. She will continue to direct spots in the UK out of HunkyDory.

Fresh Voice

“We love introducing new talent into the marketplace and are thrilled to introduce Mary-Sue as a fresh new voice alongside her much awarded Haribo campaign,” says Benson. “We can’t wait for people to have the chance to work with her; she’s talented, charming and funny!”

Great Fit

“A producer friend of mine in London thought I’d make a good fit at CoMPANY,” says Masson. “They don’t have 58 people, just a selection of great directors. My objective at CoMPANY is to continue making fun, attention-getting commercials. I love the writing, collaborating… really the entire process.”

BBC and Comedy Central

Masson is an experienced creative, scriptwriter and filmmaker. With degrees in design, writing and art direction from Ware College and Watford in England, Masson got her start at the BBC. Seeing her talent, executives sent her to L Street Studios to hone her production and directing skills. “It was the best formal training one could get, you learned how to craft stories.” Masson soon found out her training was very appropriate for a career in advertising. “As a creative, I understood how hard it is to get projects to that final production stage. As a female director, I’m often pitched against the big boys but I feel an inherent advantage. Most products that you might buy in a grocery store the woman is your target audience. The same for getting the best performances out of children. Being a mother gives me insights not always shared with men.”

“Gold Bears”

Her recent campaign for HARIBO out of Quiet Storm is a good example. “I wanted to come up with an funny idea that was universal, that could hold up in many languages,” says Masson. “We refer to it as the “Kids Voices” campaign. The adults talk about Gold Bears but only kid’s chatter comes out. We recorded the children, completely unscripted, talking about the candy. Then we shot several scenarios with the grown ups. The campaign is for kids and adults, which is perfect for the brand.”

In between commercial work, Masson is writing a comedy-based mini-series and involved with other filmmaking projects.

About CoMPANY:

Company is a boutique production house filled with talented people that enjoy working together. We’re proud of our creative partnerships and creating content that serves the needs of clients worldwide. For more information visit

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Bully Pictures Signs Cannes Lion Winning Director Roderick Fenske

2017-09-11 13:12:34 artisanspr

LOS ANGELES —  Comedy director Roderick Fenske has joined Bully Pictures for exclusive representation for advertising projects in the US. Fenske is known for a distinct brand of comedy that combines absurdist humor with high production value and cinematic execution. He has already completed his first project with Bully, a new spot package for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and its integrated marketing agency of record, R&R Partners, the latest addition to the long-running “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign. Fenske won a Cannes Lion for an earlier LVCVA spot entitled ChinChilli Day.

Roderick Fenske

Bully Pictures Executive Producer Jason Forest says that Fenske’s background as an agency creative director and comedy writer is evident in his work. “He has great instincts, truly understands the creative ad process, and is innately funny,” Forest observes. “He employs a lot of visual trickery and is brilliant in his use of the camera. It really makes his work stand out.”

In Dream Vacation, the director’s latest spot to launch for LVCVA, a business woman reflecting on a recent trip to Las Vegas is shocked to find her memories pictured in a thought bubble that, remarkably, is visible to her co-workers. “I like to take people on a journey where the humor is unexpected,” Fenske says. “When the joke lands, it’s much funnier when you don’t see it coming.”

Fenske is thrilled that his association with Bully has gotten off to a strong start and he attributes it to Forest’s appreciation for his quirky brand of humor. “Jason likes what I do and is very good at communicating it,” he says. “It’s important to have an EP who is your advocate and can talk to people about your work in depth.”


Fenske began his career with agencies in San Francisco and New York, before relocating to London where he was on staff at St. Luke’s and TBWA. He turned to directing at the urging of legendary British advertising executive Trevor Beattie. Since then, he has helmed hundreds of commercials and short films and has received numerous awards including ones at Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show and Eurobest.

Fenske’ commercial credits include a spot for Dannon YoCrunch Yogurt where actor Neil Patrick Harris bursts out of a magazine to magically transform a staid office from “boring to fun.” Fenske gives the ridiculous scenario an air of pseudo reality through the detailed attention given to the maze of office cubicles and the deadpan performances of Harris’ supporting cast.

ChinChilli Day offers a perfect illustration of Fenske’s ability to blend pointed comedy with epic filmmaking. In it, a young exec asks for time off from work to celebrate a fictitious holiday. A flashback to the genesis of the “holiday” includes a shootout that is straight out of a classic Spaghetti Western except that the combatants are the residents of a south-of-the-border pueblo and their gun-toting pet rodents. “It’s an example of taking something that is absurd and shooting it in a dramatic style that people recognize, creating comedy in hilariously unexpected ways,” Fenske says.

About Bully Pictures:                                                                                      

Bully Pictures is a full-service production company located in Venice, California.  The company’s roster includes Javier Aguilera, Dustin Lance Black, Fredrik Callinggard, Cric, Roderick Fenske, Anne Fletcher, Gaute Hesthagen, Kim Jacobsen, Jeff Aron Lable, Justin Simien, Taylor Steele, Morten Tyldum and Tripp & Tyler.

For more information, write


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Cutters Studios Promotes Dustin Kaufman

2017-08-26 13:27:59 ccwire-staff

Chicago-based Cutters Studios said newly promoted editor Dustin Kaufman is moving to Kansas City. With his new job title, Kaufman’s purview will include running the company’s new studio in Kansas City, Missouri — an editorial suite located at creative studio Hint.

“I fell in love with Kansas City on my first visit,” Kaufman said in a prepared statement, “after seeing a Tesla dealership across the street from a Cheesecake Factory. It’s got the vibe of a super modern upscale metropolis with the charm of a small town.”

Kaufman first signed on with Cutters in 2013 as an assistant editor. His credits include spots for Dairy Queen, Courtyard by Marriott, Gatorade, and McDonald’s.

Read the full story at StudioDaily.

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The Cavalry Productions Signs Deluxe

2017-08-03 22:11:13 rpg246

Los Angeles –  The Cavalry Productions has signed Deluxe, aka director Stephane LeLoutre. The announcement was made by Cavalry founder/EP Ross Grogan and EP Tanya Cohen. Deluxe recently wrapped a Hyunda project for agency Innocean and a Toyota campaign out of Burrell. At press time, Deluxe just completed a project for Porsche, with the resulting multiple short films to be aired worldwide beginning in this fall.

Bold, Action Packed
“Deluxe’s spots are bold, sometime raucous,” says Grogan. “Stunning cars in different terrains, sheet metal to performance, exquisite design, the car is the star.” In a spot for Peugeot titled, “Fractal,” the world is introduced to an experimental prototype via a visual tour de force; i.e. magnets, speaker membranes, sound waves, liquids, ear drums, strobe lit interiors, stage shots, geometric projections and a high speed urban romp, all to show off a car “designed by sound.” Another spot titled, “4008”, features men spotting a Peugeot on the street, instantly leading to thoughts of wild rides down the road. In Deluxe’s first spot for The Cavalry, titled, “I Do,” viewers follow multiple story lines around the use of a Toyota Corolla everything from woven street art to the set up an impromptu urban barbershop. The day concludes with an amazing artist-inspired light painting photoshoot around her car, a touch concepted and added to the creative by Deluxe.

The Emotion Of Sheet Metal
Deluxe believes you should evoke viewer emotion first, and then shoot the car in a completely different way. “My approach applies to all luxury brands, things of high elegance,” he says. “All spots start with having a good knowledge of the brand. That makes for accurate filmmaking. I’m very open to everything, to question, to find new ideas. The creative around Toyota is fantastic, beautiful car work.”

The Deluxe Treatment
Deluxe loves the process of working with agencies. “The relationship between director and agency has to be a collaborative one,” he says. “There is a strength in having many discussions. You talk about the idea; you talk about the storytelling, the art direction and spend lots of time with the creative director. Get the entire team to go along with it and then execute it with everyone on board with the vision.”

About The Cavalry Productions
The Cavalry Productions is a global boutique company focused on the creation of astounding moving imagery for both commercials and the digital world. We pride ourselves on being responsive collaborators and true allies for our clients.

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Beth Barrett Named SIFF's Artistic Director

2017-08-03 03:45:38 ccwire-staff

SEATTLE – Beth Barrett, former Director of Programming, has been named SIFF’s new Artistic Director. With her advancement, Barrett becomes SIFF’s first female Artistic Director, one of only a select few women in the United States holding this position for a major film festival. Barrett assumed the mantle of Interim Artistic Director last October, leading the organization though a very successful 43rd Seattle International Film Festival.

Barrett began her career at SIFF in 2003, in the Publications department as a volunteer Copy Editor. By 2006 she had worked her way up to Programming Manager, eventually moving into the role of Director of Programming in 2011. Since then has been responsible for managing all aspects of film programming, from overseeing the staff of film programmers, to securing films and guests for the Festival. Barrett has also been instrumental in the programming and management of SIFF Cinema and SIFF’s other year-round programs. An aficionado of short films, she helped secure SIFF’s status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival in 2008.

“Beth has played a key role in SIFF’s growth for over a decade. Along with her artistic vision she brings a ton of passion and energy,” said Rich Fassio, SIFF Board President. “This is an exciting time for our organization; SIFF is experiencing consistent upward growth and we are about to conclude another record year. The Board looks forward to supporting Beth as she continues SIFF’s mission to bring the best of the world of cinema to Puget Sound and beyond.”

“Beth is, without a doubt, the right person to lead SIFF’s artistic programming into the future. She has a deep knowledge of and commitment to film and our community that is expressed beautifully through her artistic choices. SIFF is very lucky to have her on our team,” said Sarah Wilke, SIFF’s Executive Director.

Reflecting on her years at SIFF, Beth said, “Having been part of SIFF for the last 15 years, during times of growth and change, I am constantly amazed at the staff, board, and members’ commitment to the work we do and the community we have built. I am honored and excited to shepherd the organization into the next chapter.”

To celebrate Barrett’s success, SIFF is hosting Beers with Beth on Tuesday, August 22 at Lagunitas Brewery in Ballard from 6 to 8pm. The event is free with beer proceeds going to support SIFF.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, Aug 15 to attend.

About SIFF
Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 140,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 450 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. The 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival will be held May 17 through June 10, 2018. SIFF Cinema exhibits premier theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.

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