'Dumb Ways to Die' Director Julian Frost Signs With Passion Pictures; Savage Opens in L.A. & More

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Julian Frost, the director behind one of the year's most celebrated ad films, the animated "Dumb Ways to Die," has signed with Passion Pictures for representation in the U.K. and Europe. The film for the Australian Metro earned multiple Cannes Grand Prix. Mr. Frost studied visual communication at Christchurch Polutechnic in New Zealand and has spent time as an illustrator, claymation set maker, web and games designer and digital creative.

Production company Savage has opened up office in Los Angeles, with EP Jay Shapiro taking the helm on the West Coast. The company, which recently also just moved into a new space in its New York home, has just wrapped work for Nike, Merrill Lynch, and Google. Mr. Shapiro, who has experience working with acclaimed directors like Bryan Buckley and Fredrik Bond, joins new arrival director Sam Tootal, who has worked for brands like BMW, ESON, Sony and Aviva.

New York-based VFX studio Artjail has a new executive producer: Arthur Portnoy. The commercial veteran is known for specializing in design, CG, animation and VFX. he was most recently EP and creative production shop Shilo, where he has since 2005 run sales and production. He also spent time at Creative Management Partners, representing Passion Pictures, Rhythm & Hues and Dreamworks Animation, among others. To celebrate Mr. Portnoy's arrival, Artjail has created a new reel. See it here.

Finch has added director Wade Shotter for representation in Australia and New Zealand. With a background in creative advertising, Shotter spent the early years of his ad career as an agency art director, before deciding to take his place behind the camera. He has done work for brands including Vodafone and Sony Playstation and has been recognized at Cannes, the One Show and more. He is known for directing the Pet Shop Boys video, "Integral."

Splice has hired Drew Sondeland, as editorial and post-production producer. Sondeland, who has been working on projects for the American Cancer Society, as well as Cloud Cult, since joining the Minneapolis-based Splice, spent the last six years with Page Productions, as a supervising producer, where he oversaw the editing and post process for the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

Argentine director Pepe Puenzo has been signed by Slim Pictures. His portfolio includes spots for Coca Cola, Johnnie Walker, Burger King and VH1, as well as a comedic short, "Mas Adelante." Mr. Puenzo's work is multilingual: he has done spots in English, Spanish, Chinese and Russian, and has worked with agencies like Crispin Porter & Bogusky, on Burger King and Belvita work, as well as Leo Burnett Shanghai.

MassMarket Los Angeles has appointed J.J. Wilmoth as an executive producer. With years of experience in managing VFX, editorial, experiential, digital and production, Wilmoth has spent time at Nola Pictures, and also agency side at McGarryBowen New York. She was an executive producer at Spine, Los Angeles, and spearheading the launch of Beast Editorial as an EP in New York. At Massmarket, she will head up operations in the Venice Beach office.

YouTube star Devin "Supertramp" Graham has signed with Recommended Media for advertising and commercials. Graham is known for his viral videos like the 'World's Largest Rope Swing," which racked up over 20 million views. His channel boasts about 1.5 million subscribers. Graham just finished filming four videos for Ford, out of Team Detroit, one of which taps into his signature style to feature a Ford Focus ST racing down a highway behind a bunch of longboarders.

Paul Abatemarco has joined Brand New School as executive producer. The 15-year live action/VFX/motion graphics vet has served previously as EP at MPC Creative and Stardust and has worked on campaigns for Nissan, Google, Adidas, American Airlines and the Grammy's, with agencies including Goodby, Deutsch, TBWA/Chiat/Day, The Martin Agency and Leo Burnett. His hire coincides with the return of Managing Partner Devin Brooks to the company's N.Y. office.

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