Principals: Jon Kamen, Chairman & CEO; Frank Scherma, President, Executive Producer; Frank Stiefel, VP/EP; Donna Portaro, EP; Deborah Sullivan, EP; Gregg Carlesimo, EP; Maya Brewster, EP*
Roster: N.Y.: Matthew Brady, Richard D'Alessio, Stuart Douglas, Jon Hollis, Siraj Jhaveri, Sam Ketay, Greg Kohs, Barton Landsman, Rick LeMoine, Steve Miller, Ralf Schmerberg, Andrew Zuckerman* L.A.: Daniel Askill*,
Becker.Simson, Peter Darley Miller, Jeff Darling, Brett Froomer, Antony Hoffman, Jeff Labbe*, Dave Meyers, Chris Milk, Erik Moe, Molly & Mariah, Neveldine.Taylor, Gregor Nicholas, Derin Seale, Brett Simon, Tarsem, Jeff Zwart London: Calle Astrand, Giuseppe Capotondi*, Roman Coppola, Jeremy Lovering, Sharon Maguire, Luciano Podcaminsky, Sebastian Strasser, Tarsem, Jamie Thraves, Marcus Tomlinson*, Joe Wright Paris: Daniel Askill, Olivier Barma, Siraj Jhaveri, Ray Lawrence, Les Elvis, No Brain, Olivier Marceny, Leandro Sanchez, Toru Tokikawa, Edouard Salier*
Berlin: Quinn.Cashman, Ralf Schmerberg, Sebastian Strasser* Sydney: Vikki Blanche, Jeff Darling, The Glue Society, Patrick Hughes, Bruce Hunt, Nick Robertson, Derin Seale Greg Brunkalla*, SandJ*
(See story, p. 52)
Anonymous Content Founded 2000
Principals: Steve Golin, Founder/CEO; Executive Producers: Lisa Margulis, Dave Morrison, Andy Traines, Cassie Hulen Agents: Gisela Knijnenburg, Tara Averill, David Wagner, Michael Digirolamo (Head of Sales)Head of Production: Jeff Baron
Roster: Armando Bo, Carter & Blitz, John Dolan, Andrew Douglas, David Fincher, Garth Jennings, David Kellogg, Rory Kelleher, Steven Klein, Joe Kosinski, Robert Logevall, Christian Loubek, Nic Mathieu, Brett Morgen, Alex Proyas, Mark Romanek, Patrick Sherman, Malcolm Venville
Gorgeous: Frank Budgen, Chris Palmer, Tom Carty, Peter Thwaites, Ben Seresin, Vince Squibb
V3: Sylvia Kahn, EP; Roster: Sorrel Ahlfeld, Eric Fitzpatrick, Tom Gatsoulis, Ramesh Iyer, Jesse Jacobs, Christian Johnston, Shywam Madiraju, Rick Rabe, Judy Starkman, Mark Taylor, Keith Wisniewski
Having reached its five-year anniversary, Anonymous Content remained in peak form this year. Commercials highlights include Malcolm Venville's gorgeous work for Nike I.D. and Gameboy, Peter Thwaites' shotgun Super Bowl spot for Cadillac, Mark Romanek's tech-tacular dance for Acura, Robert Logevall's door-happy work for Mercury and Tom Carty's crazy in-camera antics for Pepsi's "Can Fu." Elsewhere, Romanek received lots of love at this year's MVPA and a VMA nomination for Coldplay's "Speed of Sound." On the features side, DGA nominee Andrew Douglas' Amityville Horror remake and indie film Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus earned respectable critical reviews, while Garth Jennings' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy got raves from press and audiences alike. The shop is currently in production on Babel, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Anonymous also formed V3, an incubator for up and coming talents.
Backyard Founded 1989
Principals: Blair Stribley, Founder/Partner/EP; Roy Skillicorn, Founder/Partner/Head of Sales and Marketing
Roster: Kevin Smith, Rob Pritts, Don Rase, Chace Strickland, Steve Burrows, Tim Abshire, Nick Piper, Jeffrey Karoff, Jesper Ericstam, Magnus Rosman, Michael Chaves, Rob Sanders, John Immesoete*, Aaron Stoller
Backyard has proved that hailing from a #2 market doesn't mean second best. With its HQ in Chicago, the shop has managed to build a strong network of talent that's also forged a growing overseas presence. Robb Pritts launched the hilarious "Where's Angie" campaign for USPS and shot new work featuring William Shatner, for Kelloggs in London. Actor/director Steve Burrows also took the chucklefactor abroad, shooting laughs for Irn Bru and Knorr. Burrows and Pritts also tag-teamed on 19 spots for Washington Mutual. John Immesoete, the former DDB/Chicago GCD and scribe of Budweiser classics, including the much-loved "Real Men of Genius" radio/TV campaign, signed on in February and was immediately back on the Bowl with a Bud Light campaign featuring a cocky cockatoo. New to the crew is recent MTV alum Aaron Stoller, co-director/AD on the excellent "If MTV Were" campaign. Nick Piper flexed his auto skills on Nissan, Cadillac and Buick. Michael Chaves shot his first London campaign for Vodafone 3G. Tim Abshire directed Sheryl Crow for Dell in London, Jeffrey Karoff shot for GM and Buick, while Kevin Smith saw the seven-year anniversary of his Footjoy "Signboy" campaign, with continuing work for V8 and Wachovia. U.K. director Rob Sanders shot his first U.S. production for EA Sports, out of Wieden + Kennedy. Additionally, Backyard relaunched its newbie division Seed as a branded entertainment company, partnering with director Immesoete as well as Harris Goldberg and Steve Gormley. The company's Transistor Studios, which represents top design talents like Justin Harder and Matt Pyke, went bi-coastal and added design directors James Price, Anders Schroder, Joel Lava and Saiman Chow.
Believe Media Founded 2000
Principals: Luke Thornton, President/EP; Liz Silver, Partner/EP; Gerard Cantor/EP; Michael Brady/EP; Betsy Kelley, Head of Production/L.A.; Chris McBride, London EP; Mike Brady, EP/Branded Content; Katie Matson, Head of Sales; Emily Van Nierop, Head of Production/N.Y.
Roster: Anthea Benton, Nick Brandt, Carolyn Chen, Tryan George, Howard Greenhalgh, Jorn Haagen, Anders Hallberg, Jason Harrington, Albert Kodagolian, John Lindauer, Monica Perez, Pucho, The Brothers Quay, Floria Sigismondi, Melissa Silverman, Jim Sonzero, Paul Street, Vogel-Villar.Rios, Bruno Aveillan, Remy Belvaux, Jaume, Zack Snyder
Quad USA: Bruno Aveillan, Remy Belvaux
mister boomboom: Stephane Sednaoui, Guzman, Alistair Taylor-Young
Brown Bag: Charles Stone III, Maurice Marable
Believe's footing got a lot more fancy this year, thanks to Anders Hallberg onto his third HIV/AIDS Campaign for CP+B for the Kaiser Family Foundation, Quad's Bruno Aveillan filled the screen with more gorgeous spectaculars for Infiniti as well as Miller's "Labels" stunner. Paul Street resurrected iconic superstud Steve McQueen in the cornfields for Mustang, while Vogel Villar-Rios shot more doc-inspired work for Coca Cola. Former Academy director Jorn Haagen, Partizan-alum Jaume and Albert Kodagolian, previously at Tate, came on board. Outside of spots, the shop also formed U.K. clips division Extra Large, giving home to refugees from the now defunct Large. Directors Jaume and Zack Snyder both made impressive leaps onto the big screen, with House of Wax and Dawn of the Dead, respectively. Jaume is in production on his second feature Goal about professional footballers and Snyder is shooting his sophomore effort as well, 300, based on Frank Miller's comic book classic. Both are set to return to spots by December 2005. Believe's offshoots bore significant fruit as well. Brown Bag Film's Maurice Marables shot the stunning promos for the closing season of Six Feet Under, while Mister Boomboom founder Stephane Sednaoui debuted his own Palm Pictures collection, which includes a jarring clips-inspired short for Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side."
Biscuit Filmworks Founded 2000
Principals: Noam Murro, Owner/Director; Shawn Lacy Tessaro, Executive Producer
Roster: Noam Murro, Tim Godsall, Jeffrey Fleisig, Russ Lamoureux*, Mike Bigelow, Steve Rogers Reginald Pike (Subdivision): The Perlorian Brothers, Mark Gilbert, Yael Staav
Despite its small size, Biscuit has always contended with the big boys, thanks to the stellar work of Noam Murro who this year went all out on Olympus, adidas, EBay and Axe. He finally carried home the DGA honor, in his third year being nominated, and hit another peak when he collected the most hardware of any director at this year's ad fetes (see Creativity, August 2005). Despite Murro's grand stature, the rest of the Biscuit family has managed to cast impressive shadows. In particular, Tim Godsall led Virgin Mobile along the path to enlightenment out of Fallon/N.Y., and caught Mr. Met playing bad ball in a campaign out of Ogilvy/N.Y. The tie-up with quirky Canadian hotshop Reginald Pike showed off some saintly Orbit smiles for BBDO, weird piscine encounters for Mrs. Pauls, bone-chilling back-to-school spots for Old Navy, and entertaining abnormalities for Latin market Virgin Mobile) all via The Perlorian Brothers. In March former Hungry Man Russ Lamoureux joined the crew. Overall, the compact shop yielded power with every punch, taking second place for the Cannes Palm d'Or for the second year in a row.
Bob Industries Year Founded 1998
Principals: Chuck Ryant, Partner/E.P.; John O'Grady, Partner/E.P.; T.K. Knowles, Partner/EP
Roster: Blue Source*, Peter Care, Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Faris, Kim Geldenhuys, Phil Harder, Chris Hooper, Mark Kohr, Bob Odenkirk*, Lisa Rubisch, Jason Smith, Spencer Susser, Syd & Eric, Alan White*
Dayton/Faris, now currently editing their feature Little Miss Sunshine, got back on the road with VW, with several spots and a branded content short The Check-up, starring Joe Pantoliano of Sopranos fame and Entourage's Kevin Connolly, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Lisa Rubisch applied her soulful storytelling to Renault and Fidelity, while Spencer Susser brought his twisted approach to Nintendo and a RES/Panasonic-commissioned short A Love Story, starring Amy Smart. More bovine antics appeared for California Cheese, via Chris Hooper, and mud-masked Jeep lovers appeared via Jason Smith. The MVPA bestowed a lifetime achievement nod to Peter Care, who also shot for Sprint PCS and an episode of Six Feet Under. Bob beefed up with a pair of feisty add-ons: U.K. directing duo Blue Source, formerly of Blink, best known for their offbeat comedy and breakthrough clips for Dirty Vegas and Fat Boy Slim, who directed travel tales for Virgin Mobile; and Alan White, previously of @radical.media who went on to direct spots for Puma and Expedia.com. Bob has been globe-trotting as well, moving into the Italian and French markets and teaming with Curious Films for Austral-Asian work. The company is also producing its first feature Broken with director White.
Chelsea Pictures Founded 1987
Principals: Steve Wax, Allison Amon, Lisa Mehling, Partners; Katy Greene, Sam Penfield, Executive Producers; John LaChapelle, Head of Production; Jared Shapiro, East Coast Sales; Brent Novick, West Cost Sales
Roster: Nicholas Barker, Evan Bernard, Simon Blake, Jelle Oortman Gerlings, David Gordon Green, Haxan, Johan Kramer, Kevin MacDonald, Charles Mehling, Ago Panini, Kathi Prosser Bruce St. Clair Associations: Niestat Brothers, Breck Eisner, Ben Younger
While Chelsea maintained its steady footing with traditional spots work, most notably Evan Bernard's multi-awarded Chicago Music Exchange campaign and David Gordon Green's subtly honed spots for ESPN, the shop made its biggest strides into the labyrinthine world of immersive entertainment branding, including an online campaign for Levi's, featuring the work Simon Blake and Bernard; as well as Sharp's "More to See" and the ultra elaborate "The Art of the Heist" for Audi, via directing team Haxan. The latter will now go off on its own to start Campfire, a partnership with Chelsea and media strategist Elizabeth Talerman. (see story, p. 48)
Crossroads Founded 1989
Principals: Camille Taylor and Dan Lindau, Founders/Co-Owners
Roster: Jesse Peretz, Nick Lewin, Mark Pellington, Kieran Walsh, Sebastien Grousset, Bruce Hurwit, Marcus McCollum, Russell Bates, Rick Knief, Gillean Proctor, Wilfrid Brimo*, Wayne Isham, Steve Eshelman, Smith n' Borin and Tom Chilcoat
Velocity@Crossroads: Keith Rose, Gary Gray, Sergio and Mark Lawrie
Merge@Crossroads: Bill Barminski, Nathan Cox, Sam Erickson, Darren Grant, Patrick Hoelck, Wayne Isham, Kevin Kerslake, Mark Pellington, Jesse Peretz, Smith n' Borin, Scott Winig (Live TV/Concert) Martyn Atkins, Wayne Isham, David Mallet, Jeff Richter
Newhouse: Greg Maya Patrick, Solomon, Steve Ramser
Avion@Crossroads: Wade Sherman, Chris Woods, Ian Robertson
Full-bodied and full-service has been the M.O. at Crossroads, which produced campaigns for Netscape, Tabasco, Target, N.Y. Lottery, Chase Bank, VW, Playstation and Hanes, as well as the 40th anniversary Mustang Spot, shot by clips master Wayne Isham. Velocity helmer Greg Gray increased his stature on continuing great work, including the homo-erotic laughfest on Virgin "Love Story," which won Silver at Cannes. The shop also added Wilfried Brimo, who dazzled audiences at the festival this year with his Gold Lion-honored Aides "Life" animated PSA. Crossroads' features division had a healthy ouput this year, with the release of John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson vehicle, Love Song for Bobby Long, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. It signed Sideways Academy Award-winning scribe Jim Taylor to write the screenplay for the upcoming Tupperware!. Other notable efforts include Darren Grant's critically acclaimed Diary of a Mad Black Woman, as well as Francesco Vezzoli's film installation at the Venice Biennale, Gore Vidals' Caligula.
Czar Founded 1991
Principals: Steve Shore, N.Y. EP; Megan Kelley, Head of Production; Rogier Van der Ploeg, President/Director
Roster: Lionel Goldstein, Steve Ayson, Toon Aerts, Rogier Van Der Ploeg, Koen Mortier, Jeroen Annokkee, Maggie Zackheim, Sonny &Bonny, Mark Tiedemann, Lieven Van Baelen, Wiebke Berndt, Mattias Schut, Bart Timmer, Markus Walter, Norbert Heitker, Marlon Griffin, Lars Damoiseaux, Brecht Vanhoenacker, Joe Vanhoutteghem, Honest, Pes
Re-establishing its U.S. base did well for the Dutch company Czar, which in the past year has played host to eye-opening work from stop motion master PES, who directed the roving medallions-turned-shoe, for Coinstar, the Diesel "Dreams" stunner "KaBoom!." and another mixed media campaign for Bacardi. Lionel Goldstein, masters of the questionable documentary shot the finger-joined twins for Fox Sports and earned Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively for their Belgian spots for Axion Youth Banking, Proximus Mobile, and the squished scenarios for Thomson/RCA out of Publicis. Czar's U.S. hub also hooked up with Kiwi powerhouse The Sweet Shop to represent its directors in the U.S.
Epoch Founded 1989
Principals: Mindy Goldberg, EP/Owner; Jeff Preiss Director/Owner; Jerry Solomon, EP/Owner
Roster: Matt Aselton, Matthew Badger, Paula Greif, Phil Morrison, David Preizler, Matt Smugkler, Jeff Preiss, Stacy Wall, Miranda July
Out of Epoch, expert laughs were aplenty from powerhouse Stacy Wall, on Dr Pepper, T-Mobile, DC Shoes, and a new Levis campaign out of BBH/London. The newest of the shop's creative-turned-directors, Matt Aselton, made his mark this year as one of the few live action and American directors honored at the Saatchi New Directors Showcase at Cannes while turning out clever spots for Gatorade and Bryl Creem, as well as a new campaign for Coke out of W+K/Amsterdam. Matt Badger kept Target on its design-minded track, earning an AICP honor for his work on the client, while funnyman Matt Smukler brought refreshing laughs to McDonalds. Vet Jeff Preiss realized a poignant, motivating tale for Kaiser and also completed a Rem Koolhaus film. Conceptual artist and newcomer to commercials Miranda July is sure to add more dimension to the shop's offerings, given the raves she earned for Me and You and Everyone We Know, which she directed, wrote and starred in, winning special prize at Sundance as well as the Camera 'dor honor as best first director at the Cannes Film Festival last July. While it's maintained rank as a small, powerful player for 15 years, Epoch elevated its stature with its first feature, the critically-acclaimed Junebug, expertly directed by Phil Morrison. The company also launched a London office at the beginning of this year, led by Rob Godbold, formerly of Large.
Go Film Founded 2000
Principals: Gary Rose, EP/Partner; Jonathan Weinstein, EP/Partner; Robert Wherry, EP/Partner
Roster: Jonathan David*, David Dobkin, Christopher Guest, Tim Hamilton, Andrews Jenkins*, Simon McQuoid, Tom Schiller, Michael Shapiro, Neil Tardio Jr., Who?
Go was in top comedic form thanks to the likes of Tom Schilller, who exposed some uncomfortable bathroom moments, for Angel Soft; Neil Tardio Jr. who brought metrosexuals back to manliness, for EA sports; and Simon McQuoid, who gave parents a goofy comedic cool in refreshing PSAs for Goodby and the PDFA. Features director David Dobkin made a monstrous big screen impression with one of the year's most successful comedic blockbusters, The Wedding Crashers, for which he also shot a pair of cross-promotional Budweiser spots. The shop also demonstrated visual flair on spots for the PGA, SBC and Ben Hogan as well as an artist-driven campaign it produced for TBWA/Chiat/Day/N.Y., in which artists like Barnstormer David Ellis, Kenji Hirata, Maya Hayuk and Phil Frost respectively dressed the iconic bottle with their dazzling imagery. Extra-commercial pursuits also include the comedy short Jihad, written and directed by Michael Shapiro, which was honored with a Narrative Short Special Mention at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. The company also welcomed into the fold former MJZ director Jonathan David as well as Andrews Jenkins, previously of Food Chain Films.
Harvest Founded 2001
Principals: Bonnie Goldfarb, Principal/EP; Baker Smith, Principal/Director; Scott Howard, EP; Karen Dade, Head of Production
Roster: BigTV, Michael Downing, Annabel Jankel, Paul Laufer, Baker Smith,CJ Waldman
The beauty of the boutique was made evident this year at Harvest, which yielded an an abundance of impressive work. Baker Smith was a cannon of laughs, shooting out spot after hilarious spot for Netflix, Miller and Lynx. Canadian newcomer Michael Downing, best known for his unadorned laughs on spots like Science World's lips-locking "Boardroom," made a splashy a U.S. debut on Bud Light's "Skydiver." The spot ranked as the audience fave at the Super Bowl on U.S.A. Today's Admeter and originally started out as a prodco-funded spec. BigTV shot a pair of sexy feel-good spots for Rolling Rock and Annabel Jankel, former partner at MJZ, joined the crew and hurled back onto the scene with dark comedy virals for Go Fast, out of TDA and PSAs for New York Remembers.
HKM Founded 1980
Principals: Carl Swan, EP; Ned Brown, EP; Melissa Culligan, EP
Roster: Michael Karbelnikoff, Nelson Cabrera, Michael Patrick Jann, Barbara McDonough, Timothy Kendall *, Jacobs/Briere, Shafei/Levitz *, Cheryl Dunn, Graham Henman, Robert Caruso, Joey Garfield
At 25 years, HKM is no spring chicken in this business, but it retains its solid rep upon continued good work from vets and newcomers. Nelson Cabrera, who debuted on the scene with memorable Mini work, went on to earn to win a Silver Lion at Cannes for his Show Bound Naturals' "Ping Pong" spot, and just completed a spot for Mercedes out of Merkley, with more on the way for Ford and McDonalds. Jacobs/Briere continued their Fuse madness and brought Extreme athletes to LAX for the X-Games, as did Michael Patrick Jann, who also finished his third season as a director for Comedy Central's "Reno 911." Michael Karbelnikoff shot global brand work for Tyco as well as spots for Philips. The company also added Tim Kendall and directing team Shafei/Levitz, who earned an MVPA honor for best low budget music video.
HSI Founded 1986
Principals: Stavros Merjos, Owner/President; Kerstin Emhoff, Head of Commercial/Sr. EP; Executive Producers: Maddi Carlton Annique DeCaestecker, Ellen Jacobson-Clarke; Sales: Pamala Buzick, MaryKate Hatfield, Michelle Ross, Music Video: Rebecca Skinner, Head ,Sr. EP; Coleen Haynes, Ciarra Pardo, EPs;
Exposure Films/HSI London: Nicola Doring, Managing Director Medium: Marco Brambilla, Creative Director; Rebecca Skinner and Kerstin Emhoff, EPs
Roster: HSI Productions: Arni & Kinski, Irv Blitz, Gerard de Thame, F. Gary Gray, Robert Hales, Paul Hunter, Joseph Kahn, Randy Krallman, David LaChapelle, X (Julie Christian Lutz), Paul Middleditch, Saline Projec, Joe Public, Brett Ratner, Chris Robinson, Kevin Samuels, Peggy Sirota, Josh Taft, Matthew Vaughn, Len Wiseman
Exposure Films: Barney Clay, Simon Hanwood, Jake & Jim, Jaci Judelson, JJ Keith, Thomas Napper, Twig, Rojo
Person Films: Michael Haussman
Venus: Matthew Rolston
Drool dribbled from mouths across the country when celebrity lensmaster David LaChapelle directed the much blogged about Fantasy Ranch for Burger King. With its sultry shots of babes swinging from trees and playing with hoses, it encouraged the sort of day dreaming not necessarily inspired by a saucy food shot. The director also achieved a career highlight with his film Rize (formerly Krumped), which garnered widespread acclaim. Newcomer Randy Krallman earned a spot in Saatchi's New Directors Showcase this year, thanks to his sharp co-direction on the hilarious "If MTV Were" campaign,which he also wrote. He went on to take HBO's Entourage for a surreal spin in a campaign featuring B-list celebrity stand-ins for the show's real posse. Fowl play was widespread for Paul Hunter, who shot a pair of dueling roast birds for Pepsi, as well as the raunchy rockers of BK's Coq Roq. Joe Public, who moved from longtime roost Headquarters, developed anew on Axe, ESPN and Toyota, while Joseph Kahn brought his stunning visuals to Bud Light, Sony Playstation and British Telecom. Features director Matthew Vaughn of Layer Cake joined the team in July. While it's maintained rank as a small, powerful player for 15 years, Epoch elevated its stature with its first feature, the critically-acclaimed Junebug, expertly directed by Phil Morrison. The company also launched a London office at the beginning of this year, led by Rob Godbold, formerly of Large.
Hungry Man Founded 1997
Principals: Stephen Orent, Bryan Buckley and Hank Perlman, Partners/Owners; Lauri Aloi, Head of Sales; Caroline Gibney, L.A. Head of Production/EP; Tom Rossano, N.Y. EP; Kevin Byrne, N.Y. N.Y.*; Ralph Laucella, N.Y. EP*; Dan Duffy, L.A. EP; Matt Buels/Managing Director, U.K.; Tim Nunn/U.K. EP*; Alex Mehedff*/ Managing Director, Rio
Roster: Bryan Buckley, Hank Perlman, David Shane, Allen Coulter, Jim Jenkins, Paul Gay*, Brendan Gibbons, David Gray, Owen Harris, Robert Jitzmark, David Levin, Peter Lydon*, Bennett Miller, Sebastian Reed, Marcos Siega, Bj”rn Stein, Scott Vincent, Christoffer Von Reis
Cannes was generous again to last year's Palm D'or winner. Bryan Buckley took gold for his Mini "Counterfeit" spot and earned bronze for his continuing Orange campaign, as did Jim Jenkins for his deadpan masterpiece Nextel "Dance Party." David Shane's impeccable performance work served well for longform projects like McDonald's "Lincoln Fry" which took cyber bronze as well as Dell's "Clay's Talent." Other high points of the year include Brendan Gibbons' CNN.com campaign, which gave TV talking heads a comedic makeover; Hank Perlman's ongoing laughs for Target ("Call Center"), Las Vegas Tourism and Pimm's; and Scott Vincent's webisodes for Target, chronicling college freshman in their first week of school. And now that it's already taken London, Hungry Man has gone south with a new outpost in Brazil, led by Alex Mehedff. On the features side, the company's directors have a full plate. Bennett Miller shot Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Chris Cooper while Allen Coulter, who added Rome to his HBO CV, wrapped his first feature Truth, Justice and the America Way, a mystery starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane. Meanwhile, Marcos Siega helmed the black comedy Pretty Persuasian and Underclassman, set for release in the next few months.
MJZ Founded in 1989
Principals: David Zander, President; Rocky Morton, Co-Founder/Partner; Jeff Scruton, Sr. Executive Producer, Lisa Rich, Executive Producer, Debbie Turner, U.K. Executive Producer; Tim Merjos, East Coast Sales
Roster: Dante Ariola, Fredrik Bond, Lenard Dorfman, Nicolai Fuglsig, Elma Garcia, Victor Garcia, Craig Gillespie, Phil Joanou*, Spike Jonze, Tom Kuntz, Rocky Morton, Marcus Nispel, Rupert Sanders*, Sean Thonson, Matthijs Van Heijningen, Clay Williams
MJZ's A-list roster of talent propelled the shop to new heights this year, when the company walked away with the coveted Palm D'or at Cannes. Spike Jonze emerged with full force, directing the magnificent Gold Lion-honored "Hello Tomorrow" for adidas as well as anxiety-ridden animal actors, for Miller. Gold went to Craig Gillespie as well, on the quirky National Geographic-reminscent docs for Leo Burnett's "Altoidia" campaign, while Fredrik Bond earned a Silver Lion on "Gimme the Ball" for adidas. Rocky Morton sustained his hilarious hand on spots for Miller Lite, Toyota and Starburst, while Dante Ariola imparted his distinctly dark humor to Levi's and Heineken. Nicolai Fuglsig brought his bold approach to Fox Sports Net and adidas' "Never Quits." Before Mike Maguire called it quits and returned to Goodby as an ACD, he and partner Tom Kuntz showered Virgin Mobile with wacky touches, and once solo Kuntz remained strong on new spots for Virgin and Starbucks' "Hank." Although the shop said goodbye to former partner Annabel Jankel and director Jonathan David, it welcomed former Omaha hotshot Rupert Sanders and Phil Joanou, who shot an impromptu roving concert clip for U2.
Moxie Pictures Founded 1992
Principals: Robert Fernandez, Co-President/Executive Producer; Dan Levinson, Co-President/Director
Roster: Wes Anderson, Berman/Pulcini, Spencer Chinoy, Cameron Crowe, James Griffiths *, Martin Granger, Jared Hess, Dan Levinson, Henry Lu, Rob Marshall, Errol Morris*, Todd Phillips, Bob Purman, Peyton Reed, Jim Sheridan, Kevin Smith, Pete Sollett, Pam Thomas, Frank Todaro, John Waters
Consistently cited by industry folks as the nicest company in the business, Moxie maintained its place at the winners' table thanks the continued laughs from Martin Granger, who's become one of the most prolific faces in comedy with his spots for Burger King and Skittles, among others. Errol Morris also signed on to roster, reuniting with former @radical colleague Robert Fernandez and bringing his expert touches to TIAA-Cref. Former W+K/Portland producer Henry Lu elevated his stature on Nike, Mastercard, Honda and 24 Hr Fitness,while Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess brought his quirky P.O.V. to McDonads and Land Rover. Outside the spots zone, Moxie produced another round of Greg the Bunny for the IFC and is in production on the "Reel Moments" short film series for Glamour, featuring first-time director outings for Gwenyth Paltrow, Trudie Styler, Jenny Bicks and Rosario Dawson. The series will premier later this fall and a will be featured as a DVD supplement to the magazine. In March, the shop opened a new office in London, which will also represent additional newcomer James Griffiths. Moxie's features directors also took time to shoot spots between their longform pursuits: Wes Anderson on Anomaly's Dasani campaign, Ed Burns with Saturn, Peyton Reed for the Gap and Jim Sheridan, on Borders, Cingular and Mastercard.
Oil Factory Founded1984
Principals: Billy Poveda, EP; Jay Wakefield, Head of Production
Roster: Doug Aitken, Dom&Nic, Ken Fox, Allen Hughes, Liam Lynch, Sophie Muller, Muto, Doug Pray, Rainbows&Vampires, Pedro Romhanyi, Philipp Stolzl, Jamie Thraves, Tomorrow's Brightest Minds
Oil Factory quietly maintains its reputation as creative hotbed thanks to efforts from directors like Steven Tsuchida, whose comic touches appeared on Wendy's hilarious campaign starring a smartass Ranch tooth, out of McCann. Deft documentarian Doug Pray completed an HIV aids project knowhivaids.org, out of DDB Seattle as well as a graffiti-influenced spot for Sprite Remix. The director has continued his longform work as well, on a pair of documentaries about long haul truckers and surf icon Paskowitz. The youngbloods of Tomorrow's Brightest Minds tapped into XM, Nascar Raacepoints, Trio and a viral for Jonnie Walker out of BBH/N.Y. The shop also produced Liam Lynch's upcoming film Sarah Silverman, Jesus is Magic, due out this month. Lynch also is wrapping up new Tenacious D movie for New Line while the crafty Dom & Nic just shot their second Renault spot and new Chemical Brothers Video. Sophie Muller turned out more clips innovations for Sarah McLaughlan, The Killers and Gwen Stefani. The Factory's branded content projects include a feature length doc for W+K/N.Y. on sneaker culture, as well as a teen pregnancy docu-short for Ogilvy/N.Y, directed by the newly-signed Israel. Director Phillipp Stoelzl branched out musically, directing an opera that will open the season for the Berlin Philharmonic.
Park Pictures Founded 1997
Principals: Jacqueline Kelman Bisbee, EP/Owner; Lance Acord, Director/Owner
Roster: Lance Acord, Alison Maclean, Neil Abramson, Ramaa Mosley, Rad-ish,* Joachim Back*, Carter Smith Small Family Business: Ringan Ledwidge, Luke Forsythe
Park enjoyed another high-performance year thanks to all its standout talents. Lance Acord, who wrapped his shooting on Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, earned honors for his adidas Olympics followup "Nadia" and shot a broad range of stories for Converse, Cingular, A.G. Edwards and Coke. Alison Maclean emerged with a great slew of performance-driven work, for Miller Lite, FX Channel and Starz, as well as one of the favorites of this year's Sony "Dreams" event, Flight. Neil Abramson shot the "Chevy Drives Texas" campaign and has moved on to 2006 work for Silverado. Newcomers Joachim Beck and Rad-ish added body to the roster: Back earned raves for his Viagra campaign, out of Taxi/Toronto (out of Partners/Toronto, while Rad-ish has already sped onto back to back campaigns for Volvo and Acura.
Partizan Founded 1986
Principals: George Bermann, founder/owner; Madelein Sanderson, EP/London; Sheila Stepanek, CEO/EP; Melanie McEvoy, EP/N.Y.
Roster: Dominic Murphy, Doug Nichol, Gary McKendry?, Josh and Xander, Michel Gondry, Olivier Gondry, Paul Goldman, Traktor, Zoe Cassavettes
International: Alex and Martin, Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, Eric Coignoux,, Jim Hosking, Lance Kelleher, Matthias Hoene, Melanie Bridge, Numero Six
Seismic shifts occurred at Partizan this year with the departure of N.Y.-based EP Maya Brewster, who left to @radical.media and of Sheila Stepanek, who returned months after as CEO following founder George Bermann's buyout of U.S. main man Steve Dickstein. Work-wise, however the shop hardly faltered, thanks to the steady stream of goodies from the Traktor boys, who have become a well-rounded directorial braintrust, showcasing their skills most notably on the mesmerizing Spy vs. Spy antics for Mountain Dew and troupe comedy for Sierra Mist. Ramon & Pedro shot some sushi lovin' and little people wrestling for an AOL viral campaign, out of ATTIK, while Josh & Xander caught LeBron Janes playing Bubblelicious ball in a spot for the Super Bowl. Paul Goldman brought mannequins to life for Dunkin Donuts and erected a giantess for Lee Jeans, while Doug Nichol reversed a tragic tale for ONDCP.
RSA Founded 1968
Principals: Jules Daly, President/Managing Director, Marjie Abrahams, VP/EP; Fran McGivern, EP; Tracie Norfleet, EP; Philip Fox-Mills, N.Y. EP; Kai Hsuing, Managing Director, London; Rhea Scott, Founder/E.P., Little Minx @RSA
Roster: U.S.: Acne, Jonas Akerlund, Samuel Bayer, Peter Bloomfield, Joe Carnahan, Tom Dey, Hugh Johnson, Morgan Lawley, The Malloys, Sean Mullens, John O'Hagan, Johan Renck, Carl Erik Rinsch, Jake Scott, Jordan Scott, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, John Schwartzman, David Slade Little Minx: Laurent Briet, H5, Matt Kirkby, Josh Miller, Chris Nelson, Mark Seliger, Malik Hassan Sayeed, Dawn Shadforth
U.K.: Chris Cunningham, Laurence Dunmore, Sean Ellis, Chris Hartwill, Nick Livesey, Adrian Moat, Mehdi Norowzian, Tim Royes, Luke Scott, Adam Smith*
La Division: Angel, Simon Bross, Magaby Garcia, Augusto Zapiola, J. Zeus Special Project: Andrew Dominik, Kaz Kiriya, Sam Mendes, John Moore, The Polish Brothers
RSA provided plenty of evidence for why it remains of the industry's top players. It embarked on another branded content venture with Amazon, featuring online shorts directed by Jake, Jordan and Tony Scott, David Slade and Acne. Jake Scott demonstrated his prowess on Hummer, the Nike stunner "Magnet" as well as adrenaline-filled adidas thills on "Improvisation." The Malloys updated a Coca-Cola's classic with "Chilltop," out of Crispin, and Sam Bayer was non-stop, directing for Sony, Intel, GE and M&Ms. He re-affirmed his reputation as a clips master, on a slew of videos for Green Day, including the one for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," which earned Video of the Year and the best direction nod at this year's MTV VMA's. Former Hungry Man John O'Hagan landed at the company and was off to a hilarious new start with a hilarious Milwaukee's Best campaign out of Mother/N.Y. Headline talents Johan Renck and Jonas Akerland also joined, from HSI, and the shop launched a Latin market branch, La Division.
Smuggler Founded 2002
Principals : Brian Carmody and Patrick Milling Smith, Executive Producers/Founders; Allison Kunzman, Head of Production, N.Y.; Laura Thoel, Head of Production, L.A.
Roster: Brian Beletic, Adam Berg,James Brown, David Error! Reference source not found., Nacho Gayan, Happy, Neil Harris , Filip Engstrom , Daniel Levi , Neo *, Renny Maslow, Ben Mor, Henry Alex Rubin*, Chris Smith *, Eidur Snorri, Stylewar, Jon Watts, Ivan Zacharias
Smuggler has developed to startling maturity after just a few years in the game. While it's consistent about keeping its roster fresh and vibrant, with new additions like American Movie and The Yes Men feature director Chris Smith, formerly of Independent Media, and Henry Alex Rubin of Murderball fame (see p. 60) and VW's "Singing in the Rain" directing duo Ne-O, the shop's founding talents have been developing their careers in expansive ways. In particular, Brian Beletic rose to the top of his game with the highly awarded "Unstoppable" for adidas, as well as spots for Gatorade and Coca-Cola. David Frankham retained his comedic edge on Fox Sports but also displayed his elegant storytelling hand on adidas' "Ball". The ever-clever Happy gave Brawny, Fuse and Bacardi a taste of the bizarre. Meanwhile, Filip Engstrom of Stylewar took spectacular solo flights for Jack's Links, ESPN and a stunning short for Sony Dreams. Stylewar itself emerged as a top directing force, most recently in the team's stunning work on a pair Nextel spots out of TBWA/Chiat/Day/N.Y.
Thomas Thomas Films
Principals: Kevin Thomas, director; Philippa Thomas, EP
Roster: Kevin Thomas, Jim Gilchrist*
Kevin Thomas, who's actually been directing standout work in the U.K for several years, has quickly raised a high profile in the States thanks to the now modern day classic Citi "Identity Theft" campaign, which earned him an Emmy last Fall. Since then the director has moved onto big ticket U.S. work, most recently for Amex, including and a TV-to-web push featuring Andy Roddick in search of his Mojo. The shop expanded this year with the addition of former Fallon/U.K. producer and Small Family Business director Jim Gilchrist.
Tool of North America Founded 1995
Principals: Erich Joiner, Owner; Phillip Detchmendy, Managing Director; Jennifer Siegel, EP; Amy Delossa, Head of Production; Meredith Bergman, Head of Sales; Dawn Rao, Midwest Rep; Stephanie Stephens,West Coast rep; Claude Letessier, EP/Paranoid Projects: Tool
Roster: Erich Joiner, Tom Routson, Sean Ehirnger, Harry Cocciolo*, Sam Jones*, Robert Richardson*, Sam Cadman, Johan Tappert Paranoid Projects at Tool : Poiraud, Francois Vogel
In recent years Tool has proved itself not just a house of laughs, but also the place to be for visual talents, thanks to its tie-up with Paranoid Projects, out of which Francois Vogel has continued to produce more mind-boggling visual feats for HP. The shop, however, maintained its comedic prowess with consistent laughs from Sean Ehringer, who shot a campaign laffer for Colonial Williamsburg, andErich Joiner, who directed a round for DHL. Newcomer/creative-turned director Harry Cocciolo also came on board, shooting an array of work for the San Francisco Zoo, Hotwire, and Reebok, out of McGarry Bowen. On the awards front, the shopearned seven honors at this year's AICP show, in a tie with heavy-hitter Biscuit.
Villains Founded 1998
Principals: Robin Benson, EP; Richard Goldstein, EP; Music Videos: Janet Haase, EP
Directors: Robert Altman, Philippe Andre, Douglas Avery, Coen Bros., Mona El Mansouri, Gary Fleder, Guard Bros., Axel Laubscher, Dewey Nicks, Terry Rietta, Harald Zwart
Douglas Avery has made a name bringing unexpected twists to vanilla categories, most recently on Clorox' "Changing White" , while Larry Frey took Toyota onto the playing field and track, Newcomer Harald Zwart shot Scope's tradition-breaking "Rubbing Noses." Keystone director Phil Joanou left to MJZ last year, after shooting hilarious spots for T Mobile. There was also more to see from Philippe Andre, who brought his gorgeous visual approach to an anthem spot for Sharp.
House of Usher Founded 1999
Principals: Kinka Usher, Director; Nancy Hacohen, EP
Evergreen powerhouse Kinka Usher sped through the year with more big-budget fireworks. He shrunk the celebrity kids on Verizon's "Miniatur-
ization," continued the phone-y business on a Cingular cinema actioner and showed a skillful serious side adidas' "Night Practice."
Kleinman Productions Founded 2005
Principals: Daniel Kleinman, Director
A solo flier since the close of U.K.-based Large earlier this year, Daniel Kleinman soared through a string of excellent work including the Cannes-honored "Ventriloquist," adidas' "Impossible Field" the wild and wooly "Esuvee" PSA, as well as the most charming U.S. Levi's work we've seen recently, featuring a guy who counterfeits his own cruddy pair of jeans as a goodbye token to his gal pal.
Pytka Founded 1972
Principals: Joe Pytka, Director; Tara Fitzpatrick, Executive Producer
The inveterate Joe Pytka's filmic marksmanship was in peak form. On continuing work for IBM and Ogilvy, he put an old English polish to the warriors of the boardroom; he realized a fanciful menagerie for BDO/N.Y.'s "Ecomagination" campaign and picture perfect scenarios for Kodak and a Motorola TV/viral campaign, and shot gorgeous black and white day in the life portraits of Manhattan for the NYC 2012 effort.
Smith & Jones
Principals: Ulf Johansson, Director: Philippa Smith, Executive Producer
Ulf Johansson pioneered a world outside the Traktor collective and after just a couple years can boast a proud oeuvre that includes the fantastic "Michael Vick Experience," for Nike and W+K/Portland as well as surreal sweet tooth silliness for Skittles and Snickers.
One to Watch: Furlined Founded 2005
Principals: Diane McCarter, Managing Director/EP; James Studholme, Partner
Directors: Brian Aldrich, Doug Foster, Speck/Gordon, Pekka Hara, Zach Math,Stuart Parr, Dougal Wilson, Charlie White Blink Ink: Ark, Lynn Fox, Ben Hibon, Pleix, Simon & Jon, Ruairi Robinson Colonel Blimp: Alastair Siddos, Alex & Liane, Ark, Ben Ib, Charlie White,, Diamond Dogs, Dominic Hallstone, Dougal Wilson, Happy, Lynn Fox, Pleix, Waverly
There was little time to mourn over the shuttering of former top shop Omaha, considering the majority of its key players, and then some, re-emerged in the newly formed Furlined, which joins the forces of former Omaha EP Diane McCarter and U.K. Blink Pictures' EP James Studholme as well as a tasty directorial mix of Omaha and Blink talent. The shop will also be the U.S. home for clips mavens from the Colonel Blimp lineup. Furlined has already turned out a tasty clip by Wilson that debuted at ResFest.