'SNL' Director Briganti Joins Merman, Variable Signs Hoover

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Paul Briganti
Paul Briganti Credit: Merman

Merman, the production company founded in 2014 by Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford, is adding L.A.-based director Paul Briganti to its directing roster. Briganti is a comedy television, film, and commercial director whose filmed pieces for Saturday Night Live include Melissa McCarthy's musical transformation into Sean Spicer and Totino's parody spot starring Kristen Stewart. He has also made films for Comedy Central, CollegeHumor, "The Late Late Show With James Corden," Funny Or Die and The Onion. He has directed and produced several comedy TV pilots and his debut feature film, "Village People" will be released next year.

Steve Hoover
Steve Hoover Credit: Variable

Director Steve Hoover is joining the directorial roster at New York production company Variable. His reel includes spots and branded content films for Gap Kids, Walmart, National Geographic, Google and ESPN, while his first feature-length documentary, "Blood Brother," won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Choice Award for best U.S. feature length documentary at Sundance in 2013. His first collaboration with Variable is a documentary film, "It Takes a Village" for Gap Kids, produced through Shebang Creative Studio.

Ben Fink
Ben Fink Credit: Rocket Film

Rocket Film is adding food specialist filmmaker and photographer Ben Fink to its roster. He has worked on brands such as Kraft, McDonald's, Burger King, Food Network, Eggo Waffles, Hellmann's and Hillshire Farms, and collaborated on projects with culinary stars and organizations including Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, Rachael Ray, Anne Burrell and the Culinary Institute of America.

Brent Jones
Brent Jones Credit: Yard Dog

Director Brent Jones has joined Los Angeles-based Yard Dog, led by executive producers Joe Piccirillo and Beth Pearson, for work in commercials, branded content and web media. Jones is best known for automotive spots, but his work also extends to brands including WeatherTech, DiGiorno Pizza, FedEx, Monster, and Subway.

Kamila Prokop, Executive Producer, Here Be Dragons
Kamila Prokop, Executive Producer, Here Be Dragons Credit: Here Be Dragons

VR and experiential studio Here Be Dragons has tapped Kamila Prokop and David Richards as executive producers. Prokop moves from Maven Label, the representation agency she co-founded. There, she worked with directors such as Dougal Wilson, The Russo Brothers and Kahlil Joseph and talent network Working Not Working. Richards was formerly an executive producer who worked with clients including Nike, Geico, Apple, Walmart and Others.

Oscar Thomas
Oscar Thomas Credit: Little Minx

Little Minx has tapped Oscar Thomas as an executive producer. Formerly an executive producer at AllDayEveryDay, Thomas brings with him over 20 years of industry experience. He began his work in production at the age of 16, as a runner at Blackdog and RSA in London and has worked as an agency producer for CP+B and Cliff Freeman & Partners, and founded production collective Bullett. He has produced global work for brands including Mini Cooper, Delta Airlines, and Coca-Cola.

Margaret Elman
Margaret Elman Credit: TASTE

Culinary production house Taste is signing Margaret Elman to its roster. Her reel features images for clients including Haagen-Dazs, Chipotle, Nestle, Dole, McDonald's, Kikkoman, Publix, Chobani, Panera, General Mills, Campbell's, Applebee's, Healthy Choice and Olive Garden. She began her career as an agency creative and has also been an off-Broadway playwright, and started Chair Couture, a furniture design company.

Jessica Entner
Jessica Entner Credit: DapperTV

DapperTV, the Los Angeles-based production company, is appointing Jessica Entner as executive producer and partner. Having been a Warner Chappell singer/songwriter, she worked as as business development at Hum Music & Sound, which led her to the role of executive producer for The Lodge, where she opened its West Coast operation, before becoming head of production at Massive Music.

Darren Foldes
Darren Foldes Credit: Method Studios

Method Studios is hiring Darren Foldes in L.A. as senior executive producer, business development. He joins Method from Caviar, where he served as executive producer. He was also executive producer andh ead of sales at Green Dot Films for a decade.

Andre Betz
Andre Betz Credit: Brickyard VFX

Brickyard VFX is adding editor Andre Betz to its team. Betz has worked on spots brands such as Mercedes, Nationwide, VW, Chobani, Honda, and many more. He and Brickyard have been longtime collaborators through his shop Bug Editorial, and Bug will now be the official banner for Brickyard's editorial roster and services.

L to R: Serge Patzak, Ross Siegel, Andre Geller
L to R: Serge Patzak, Ross Siegel, Andre Geller Credit: 1stAveMachine

Production company 1stAveMachine is launching a talent management division and appointing Ross Siegel, who has held executive positions at MGM and Maker Studios during his career, to serve as head of management and development working alongside 1stAveMachine partner Serge Patzak and head of content Andrew Geller. The company is also expanding its content production business.

Ela Topcuoglu
Ela Topcuoglu Credit: Start VR

Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles-based virtual reality studio Start VR is hiring Ela Topcuoglu in the new role of development executive and producer, based out of its Los Angeles office. She joins from Jaunt VR and prior to that served as an executive assistant to the Senior Vice President at film and TV studio MRC Studios.

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