Jenkins and Laucella split from Hungry Man to launch new company

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Jenkins (left) and Laucella
Jenkins (left) and Laucella
Director Jim Jenkins and producer Ralph Laucella have left Hungry Man and today open the doors of O Positive, a new production company based in New York. "There was no reason necessarily for us to leave Hungry Man," Jenkins explains. "There was really only a reason to do this. Hungry Man's a great company and we just wanted our own great company."

"We had a blast while they were here and wish them all the best," says Hungry Man managing partner Steve Orent.

Prior to departure, Jenkins and Laucella wrapped a three-spot Geek Squad campaign for Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and on day one of the new venture, they're already collaborating with Droga5 on undisclosed projects. The job reunites Jenkins with David Droga and Duncan Marshall, for whom he directed the hilarious 2004 TBS brand campaign out of Publicis/N.Y. "Jim is always the first to grab a pen and wrestle with the scripts-from the first meeting to the end of shooting," says Marshall. "His background as a creative helps, as there is always a solid, logical core to his suggestions. I have always found he is keen to see projects all the way through the edit, which I'd love to see more from directors. It's invaluable to have that creativity supporting the idea through the entire process. With Jim it always shows in the end result."

Jenkins says that at the outset, "I'm being careful about what I choose, Ralph might say overly careful, but the first work you do is important." That basically comes down to "great storytelling and entertaining work." He expects comedy to be part of the mix, but "I want to work in a much more visual world, and I think in the last couple years, the reel has taken considerable steps to get there."

For now, Jenkins is the sole director on the roster, but that will change--eventually. "We will carefully assemble talent people who work the way Jim works, in which everything is open, everyone makes everyone else better," says executive producer Laucella. "We're not interested in just having other directors merely to take on the work he passes on."

"I really try to keep processes fluid," Jenkins says. "So I really want directors who work in the same way, not just in terms of how they work with their teams and the agency, but even how they work with me. That collaborative attitude really is a must for anyone who joins us. I don't just want it to be about my own career. I don't think directors necessarily need to be kept an arm's length from each other. With the right kind of attitude, people can work much more organically to not only make themselves better, but also make the company, the brand that they're associated with, better."

On the origins of the company's name, "I could say it's the only thing that Ralph and I have in common-blood type," Jenkins says, "but we just like the sound of it. The real meaning to the name will be the one that we give it through the work and our approach to the work."

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