Tool Adds VR to its Offerings, Go Signs Chris Nelson and More
Los Angeles production company Go has added director Chris Nelson to its roster for U.S. commercial representation. Nelson has directed spots for brands such as ESPN, HBO, Gatorade, Go Daddy, Reebok and Miller, and won awards including a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for HBO's "Voyeur" project, which he co-directed out of BBDO New York. His first feature, "Ass Backwards," made its debut at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and his second, comedy "Date and Switch", was released by Lionsgate in 2014. He is currently in development on his third feature project, the Hilary Swank-produced "Liv," for Black Label Media.
Tool has expanded its division that focuses on experiential and VR projects for the commercial and entertainment industries. Recently hired integrated executive producer, Steve Gould, will support the division under the leadership of Tool's managing partner, digital Dustin Callif and live action managing director Oliver Fuselier. Projects have included the recent Google Cardboard VR film project for Converse and Anomaly.
London production company Indy8 has signed director Liz Unna to its roster. Her recent work includes films in "The Times"/"The Sunday Times" project, the Unquiet Film Series. She is a former creative director of Channel 4's FilmFour, and subsequently of More4 and has directed long form drama and documentary films for Channel 4 as well as commercials for the likes of Dove Men.
Australian production company Finch has added Dael Oates to its roster of directors. Oates began his career as a designer before moving into directing with a special effects background, spending eight years at studio Animal Logic. He has helmed spots for brands such as Holden, Staples, Sprint and Renault, and has just finished writing and directing his third short film, "Death In Bloom."
Pulse has added British director Duane Hopkins to its roster for representation across commercials, branded entertainment and music videos. Hopkins is new to advertising but is known for his film work, including recent short film "Twelfth Man," and two features, 2008's "Better Things," and "Bypass," due for release this year.
Editorial company Beast has named Valerie Petrusson as president. Petrusson co-founded Beast in 2006 and headed up the company until moving over to parent company Deluxe in 2012. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing Beast's seven offices across New York, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Austin. Beast has also hired Executive Producer Astrid Downs to oversee projects for its Santa Monica office. Most recently, Downs headed up the commercial division of MRB Production and also previously worked at Bully Pictures.
MPC LA has hired Jason Schugardt as head of 3D. Schugardt has worked at companies including Sony Imageworks, Weta Digital, MPC Film, Asylum VFX, and most recently, Method Studios, on projects such as Skittles' Super Bowl 2015 spot "Settle It," directed by Dante Ariola, and Sonos' "Face Off" Super Bowl 2014 spot directed by Mark Romanek. He has also led projects for Acura and Time Warner Cable for Nicolai Fuglsig as VFX supervisor, and Kia and EA Battlefield for Noam Murro as CG supervisor.
Los Angeles-based Duck Studios has signed San Francisco-based creative animation studio Aatma Studio to its roster of directors. Aatma, which specializes in the production of imagery for broadcast and interactive media, has worked for brands including Pepsi's Brisk Ice Tea, Nike, Asics, Lucasfilm, Visa and Roche. It is headed up by CEO Pramod Modi Shantharam.
Bicoastal music shop Elias Arts hired Joey Netter as executive producer based in its New York studio and promoted Vicki Ordeshook to executive producer in its Los Angeles studio. Additionally, it promoted Katie Overcash to head of production and Allee Futterer as production coordinator in Los Angeles. Netter has worked supervising music production on the agency side including songs for the "Got Milk?" Mother's Day campaign with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Leann Rimes. Ordeshook worked at music shops including Machine Head, Comma Music, Superfad, and The Lodge Music before joining Elias in 2013.
Audio production studio Pivot Audio has opened a Los Angeles office, to be led by the company's founder, composer Guy Amitai. Founded in Amsterdam in 2008, Pivot specializes in original composition, production, and sound design for creative clients worldwide. Its recent work included Coca-Cola's 2015 Super Bowl spot "Make It Happy" via Wieden+Kennedy.