The Mill has named Angus Kneale as its first chief creative officer. Kneale, who was one of the founders of The Mill's first U.S. studio in New York, first joined The Mill in London in 1997, moving to New York in 2002. He started his career as an animator at Video Lab in South Africa. The company has also promoted Ben Smith and Rama Allen to executive creative directors. Smith will be involved in overseeing all creative output from The Mill in New York and will focus on Mill+ projects with VFX artists, designers, editors and directors. Allen's job will include making interactive and immersive experiences, and building initiatives like Mill Lab to show interdisciplinary innovations across The Mill globally.
Brooklyn and L.A.-based production company Mssng Peces has signed Masa Kawamura, co-founder of Party Japan, to its directorial roster. Kawamura co-founded the Tokyo agency after spending several years as a creative director in agencies such as Wieden & Kennedy, BBH, and 180. His background is in coding and film directing. He was named one of the Creativity 50 in 2011. Also joining the roster is filmmaker and choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall. Her debut feature film, MA, which she wrote, directed and starred in, will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. She has worked with Lena Dunham & Gaspar as a choreographer and has directed videos for fashion publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour.
U.K.-based production company Knucklehead has opened in the U.S. The L.A.-based office will be headed by Cathleen Kisich, who comes on board as Knucklehead's first U.S. executive producer. Kisich began her career as an agency producer before making the jump to executive producer in 2010 at Caviar, representing talent including AG Rojas and Keith Schofield. She also brings along producer Lauren Small to the new Knucklehead U.S. Small previously worked at Partizan, and at Caviar. Knucklehead was established in 2005 by EP/Managing Partners Tim Katz and Matthew Brown; directors include Siri Bunford, Charlie Crane and Chris Hewitt.
Prettybird has signed director Mitch Stratten to its roster. His commercial work includes "Time Sculpture" for Toshiba through Grey, NY, as well as projects for Mini, Vision Express and Turkish Airlines. Originally from South Africa, his first success was his music video "Oh Diamond" for Nodern.
Black Dog Films has signed Chino Moya to its directorial roster. His work includes "Digital Witness," a music video for 2015 St. Vincent that was listed as one of the best videos of 2014 by Rolling Stone. His short film "Out of Here" was selected at over 40 festivals worldwide. Commercial work includes spots for Drambuie and the Sci Fi Channel, and he won a Bronze Film Lion at Cannes this year for a commercial for Thalidomide victims.
L.A. and Brooklyn-based creative studio Eskimo has added commercial and creative director Charles Nordeen to its roster. Prior to joining Eskimo, Nordeen was a founding partner of Light of Day, a design, VFX and live action studio. While there, he worked with brands such as Newcastle beer and agencies including DDB on several projects for the New York Lottery. His first work for Eskimo was Nestle's campaign for Coffee-Mate where customers at a cafe were pranked by nude baristas.
Editor Jason Kileen has joined the New York office of creative editorial shop Spot Welders. Most recently with Nomad, Kileen has worked with directors including Spike Lee and Errol Morris, and has also edited ads for brands like Comedy Central and American Express (for a spot starring Tina Fey). Other work includes documentary-style spots for clients like Titleist and Fruit Roll-ups and editorially-driven work for brands like Budweiser and Kit Kat.
VFX and design studio Ntropic has hired Ryan Duggan as creative director based in its New York office. He comes to Ntropic from a three-and-a-half year stint at Click3x, where he was a senior art director for clients including Verizon, HBO, Olay, MasterCard, Nat Geo, Wendy's, and Movado. Duggan is best known for his work on Wendy's Tweetathon.
@Large Productions has appointed Ashley Hydrick as executive poducer and partner, working with company founders Tracy Mays and Beth Aranda. Hydrick was most recently executive producer at Arsenal FX, where she was central to the company's launch, growth and culture since 2008. She has also worked as a producer for editorial companies Beast, Chrome and Jigsaw.