U.K, production and technology company Grand Visual is opening a U.S. office, based in New York, to be headed by Ben Putland as chief operating officer. Grand Visual, which specializes in digital out-of-home technology, won four Bronze Lions at Cannes this year for its work on Pepsi and Google, and has counted Cadbury, Dove and Audi among its recent clients. Putland has worked at Grand Visual London for over a year, and has 13 years of experience with agencies including Dentsu, Wieden + Kennedy and Proximity. He will be joined by Rebecca Jean Louis as producer and Jennifer Bolnick as account director in the New York office.
Luc Schurgers and Dominic Bernacchi have launched production company Pet Gorilla in Los Angeles. Bernacchi and Schurgers previously worked together at Minivegas, which was founded by Schurgers in 2005. Bernacchi, who was executive producer at Minivegas, has previously worked at companies including Digital Domain, Partizan and Radical Media. Pet Gorilla's roster includes Resa Razoli, who was previously a creative director at Brand New School and Blind and a part of directing team Three Legged Legs, and Bobby Lewis, previously repped by Partizan.
Executive producer Kala Sherman and creative director/composer Dave Wittman have teamed up to launch bicoastal music production company, Travis + Maude. The pair formerly headed up music production company Elias Arts. Together they have over two decades of experience creating compositions for commercials, feature films and web content, working with clients such as Nike, Pepsi and Taco Bell. Travis & Maude (named after Sherman's two dogs) has already contributed to two World Cup spots for ESPN out of Wieden & Kennedy, N.Y.
Amsterdam based production house MediaMonks has hired Noor van Geloven as executive film producer for its film division, MediaMonks Films. Before joining MediaMonks, van Geloven headed film projects at KesselsKramer, 100% Halal and StrawberryFrog for clients such as Emirates Airlines, Diageo and Bavaria. She will head up global digital productions for MediaMonks Films.
Toronto-based production company Sparks has signed director Dale Heslip to its roster. Heslip started his career as an art director and then moved into directing music videos, including a three-hour concert film for Rush. He also designed a live set for Aerosmith. He has since directed commercials, TV, short films and documentaries.
ArsenalFX Color has appointed Randy Starnes as colorist. Most recently, Starnes had been a colorist with Sony Pictures Studios' Colorworks Division, where he worked in its 4K television facility. During his career, he has worked on TV series as "The Black List," "Masters of Sex," "The Big C," "The Client List," "Private Practice," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives."
The Colonie, the Chicago-based provider of editorial, finishing and motion design services, has promoted Brian Salazar to editor. Salazar began his career as an intern with the company in 2008 becoming an editor in 2010. He has experience cutting spots and other media for such brands as Levi's, ConAgra, Kellogg's and Pacific Gas and Electric. His latest work includes a series of web videos for ConEd's "Coolest Summer Ever Forever" promotion.