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Production Company A-List 2012: Rattling Stick

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If there's a new way to tell a story, Rattling Stick will find it, as it made very clear when Ringan Ledwidge directed one of the outstanding "Three Little Pigs" spot for the Guardian. Ledwidge teamed with BBH London to rework the classic kid's tale into a lesson about the modern day media. The spot was rife with rich detail--Ledwidge had studied vintage nursery-rhyme illustrations from the '20s and '50s and based the spots' costumes around those, and the production team created the pigs' heads from from molds from the Royal Ballet company's production of Beatrix Potter.

Ledwidge was also on board for BBH New York's surprising twist on Axe. He directed the poignant tale of a man looking back on his less confident high school years, reflecting on Susan Glenn, the one that got away--but the one who could have been, had he known the man he would turn out to be--Kiefer Sutherland. Ledwidge had more celebrity turns with Kevin Bacon, in a hilarious campaign for Everything Everywhere out of Saatchi London, including one ridiculously good spot in which Kevin Bacon from "Footloose" dishes around the table with Kevin Bacon from "Hollow Man" and Kevin Bacon from "A Few Good Men." Ledwidge was all about the romance as well, and directed Nike's awkward, endearing tale of singing runners who decide to run across country to meet each other and John Lewis' split-screen tale of lovers from different eras, "The Other Half."

Other highlights came from Danny Kleinman, who directed Venables Bell's story of Captain Ahab gone automotive, for Audi and a stop motion tale of a town that settles down for a night with family and friends, albeit via technology, for Talk Talk out of Chi and Partners. Beyond that, Kleinman also continued his long-running partnership with the James Bond franchise, directing the opener for "Skyfall," his sixth James Bond intro to date, cementing his status as successor to longtime Bond title designer Maurice Binder.

Pete Riski also crafted a superb tale of a man easing his way into a new family-and warming up to a new stepson in a heartwarming spot for Renaut, via Publicis London.

Outside of traditional spots, Sarah Dunlop shot a documentary and spot for HTC's daring campaign out of Mother London, featuring a photography student who jumps out of a plane to capture a model on a freefall shoot with the phone's camera. She also captured the heartbreaking tale of a young Filipina girl named Sunshine living on the streets of Manila, in a film supporting education for underprivileged girls for Plan International, created out of AMV BBDO.

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