Kuntz & Maguire Split; Maguire to Join Goodby

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K&M's holiday campaign for Virgin Mobile.
Kuntz & Maguire, the MJZ directing team known for their knack for outlandish comedy, are parting ways. Tom Kuntz will remain on the MJZ roster as a solo director, while Mike Maguire will join Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as an ACD in April. The amicable split was prompted, according to the duo, by Maguire's desire to get back in the agency game. "As much as I love seeing a script coming over the fax machine, I really miss that blank piece of paper," he says. "I still miss that part of getting briefed and starting with a completely clean slate."

The pair -- who wrapped their last job, a Citibank shoot for Fallon, earlier this week -- have worked together since 1995, when they were partners at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York. After that, they set off for MTV before signing with Propaganda Films as a directing team in 1999. They won a Gold Lion in 2001 for Fox Sports Net's "Alan and Jerome" campaign out of Cliff Freeman and Partners and made news later that year by joining fellow Propaganda alums Spike Jonze and Dante Ariola at MJZ. More recently, they've gained notoriety as the directors of The Onion Movie, a skit comedy based on the satirical weekly. While the film, produced by Fox Searchlight, has been shot and a version of it has been tested with audiences, no release date has been announced.

Kuntz says he's looking at boards now, but is being choosy as he establishes his solo reel. As he says, "People will be looking to judge me based on the next few jobs." Meanwhile, Maguire -- who, in a world of CDs who want to direct, is headed in the opposite direction -- is slated to start at Goodby on April 11. "You're either writing advertising or you're directing it," he says, "but either way it's a damn fun business."

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