Pulse Films has signed director duo Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, creators of web-series "High Maintenance," to its roster of commercial directors. Known as"Ben& Katja," the pair recently announced a financing deal with Vimeo that will see "High Maintenance" become Vimeo on Demand's first directly-funded original programming series. Blichfeld is an Emmy-winning casting director, while Sinclair, who also stars in "High Maintenance," is an actor and editor.
Tool has added Jaci Judelson to its roster as a director. Her commercial work includes spots for clients such as Nokia, L'Oréal, Evian, Match.com, Gap, France Telecom and Dove's "Real Women" series. In addition, she has created branded content and films for clients such as BMW, Ralph Lauren, H&M, Vogue Paris, and GQ. On the social action side, Judelson has directed AIDS public service commercials, as well as the "Vote From Abroad" internet campaign for President Obama's 2008 election run. She also directed documentary series "Undressed: Fashion in the 20th Century," which was broadcast internationally on Channel Four, Bravo and Canal+.
Aramique has also joined Tool, as an interactive director. His work includes the first 3D-printed music video for Cut Copy, an immersive labyrinth for Nike and most recently, a 30-foot tall interactive balloon sculpture powered by tweets in Times Square. Prior to Tool, Aramique was the creative director at Obscura Digital N.Y. and founded Odd Division, a studio for emerging media. His collaborators have included brands such as Nike, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Pepsi, Puma, Sonos, XL Recordings and Moogfest.
British music video director JT is one of the three partners behind the launch of creative content studio Squire in London. JT, who has also directed branded content for the likes of Range Rover, Google, Next, Boots, Volvo and Absolut, founded the studio along with veteran producer Phil Tidy and finance and commercial director, Clare Nicholls, who previously co-founded indie TV company Splash Media. Its directorial roster includes Simon Henwood, who has helmed campaigns for Adidas, Reebok, Diesel and BT, as well as directing videos like Kanye West's "Love Lockdown", and BAFTA-winning team Mr Kaplin, which has created live action and animated films for brands such as MTV, Chivas Regal, Intel and Samsung.
Nice Shoes has opened the Nice Shoes Creative Studio, headed by Executive Producer Geraint Owen, who joined from Superfad last year. Joining Owen are newly signed Creative Director/Director James Coulson, Creative Director/Director Harry Dorrington and VFX/Animation Director Steve Parish, who's worked with QuietMan, Smoke & Mirrors, and The Mill.The team will work out of a new workspace in the company's NYC office.
Sister production companies Lucky 21 and Directorz have merged under the name Lucky 21. Represented under the new Lucky 21 banner are directors Jeff Bednarz, The Chartrands, and Tom Ryan. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. with a second office in Dallas, TX.
Australian production company Photoplay has entered the US commercial market by acquiring NYC-based Razr. The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia with offices in Auckland, New Zealand, and representation across Asia. Mitchel Elsen, who founded Razr last year, will stay on board through the acquisition to become the company's managing director overseeing all North American activities. Its roster includes Australian directors Scott Otto Anderson and Husein Alicajic, VFX collective No Brain, visual comed director Matt Mantovani, illustrator/animator Lucinda Schreiber, and Canadian duo Felix & Paul. Benjamin Lacour also joins, together with Christian Gruener.
Director Gary Nueman has launched Engine Virtual Film Company, a new, creative content and production company based in California, as principle partner. Nueman has worked in production with agencies such as Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. The directorial roster includes Noah Harald, David Mahmoudieh, Scott McCullough, Kevin McVey, and Andrew Rydzewski. Work so far includes a Hard Rock Energy campaign to be released in Summer 2014, led by McVey, and an Audi spot for digital agency AKQA, co-written and directed by Nueman and McVey.
Arcade Edit has added Dave Anderson to its team, based out of its New York office. His portfolio includes work for brands such as Swedish Fish, FedEx, Staples, Fruit Snacks, ESPN, Little Caesars and Comcastas well as the Carmax "Slow Clap" 2014 Super Bowl spot, which was directed by Harold Einstein. In 2012, Anderson won Best PSA at the AICE Awards for Ad Council's "Funny Fails," which promoted birth control awareness. Before joining Arcade, he worked at Mackenzie Cutler for ten years.