Paul Hunter and Kerstin Emhoff Launch Prettybird

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Former HSI director Paul Hunter and executive producer Kerstin Emhoff have given flight to Prettybird, a new production company that they say will put a premium on creative fluidity and partnerships while being positioned to address the industry's shifting production needs. "We came from a very big company where we definitely spent a lot of time crossing over from music videos to commercials or commercials to movies, or print photography to commercials," Emhoff says. "It's exciting to start from scratch and make it not about crossing over into things, but about bringing people together in a way that you're using the best of everyone."

Hunter has been wrapping his final projects out of HSI, including an upcoming basketball campaign for adidas and spots for Budweiser. Joining Hunter on Prettybird's roster will be director/photographer Peggy Sirota, who's already booked the company's first job for Covergirl, shooting in early January. The partners say that commercials will just be one of the company's offerings, and they're also currently developing other entertainment content, including a possible television series and Hunter's next film, the semi-autobiographical tale Government Cheese.

As for Hunter's thoughts on his new role as a director-owner, "I want to embrace all types of creativity from different directions and nurture it," he says. "That's also one of the reasons I came up with the name Prettybird, because it's not about me. The value in the company is about the creativity, not so much about gun for hire, doing one-off jobs, but actually creating a partnership where creativity's shared, whoever it is that we're working with." Emhoff addds,"It's not about either of us. We have producers and writers, people we're close to that we want to keep developing projects with in this new structure. It's not just a director company."

For directors they do sign in the future, "We're not looking for the guys who just want the day rate," Hunter says. "I really embrace the creative process. It's about not being afraid of an idea, not being afraid to embrace something you hadn't thought about. So within that, I think the directors we want to find are creative thinkers and writers first."

Hunter recently took his first acting class to learn more about communicating with actors and likens his lessons to the culture he'd like to create at the new shop. "It was really intense. The basis of acting and learning to communicate with actors is you start with your feelings. We created a clear palette, a clear mental space, and it opened the floor. Once you have that space, then creativity can come out. With the directors, the vibe of this company, that's what we're trying to do. " (will be up and running in the next couple days)

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