M ss ng P eces has appointed Mike Woods as director of immersive content, executive creative director. Woods is known for launching Framestore's digital department in 2005 and later its VR studio; he is also a co-founder of White Rabbit, a startup specializing in destination VR. At Framestore, he developed realtime animation workflows for projects such as the Coca Cola Polar Bowl, Beats by Dre "Beats Realtime," Geico "Gecko Realtime," and concepted and directed projects such as "Ascend the Wall" for HBO's Game of Thrones, Merrell "Trailscape," Marriott "Teleporter," the Interstellar VR Experience for Christopher Nolan, and more. In 2013 he was named to Ad Age's "Creativity 50" list.
RSA Films has launched RSA VR, a new division dedicated exclusively to the creative development and production of VR, AR and mixed media. Head of RSA VR will be Jen Dennis, who has collaborated with Ridley Scott to lead RSA's VR practice to date, most notably co-executive producing "The Martian" VR Experience, the companion piece to Scott's "The Martian." The first project out of RSA VR is for Scott's "Alien: Covenant," in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox's FoxNext and Technicolor's MPC. Among RSA's directors working in and pursuing projects in VR are David Karlak, Robert Stromberg, Aya Tanimura, Juriaan Booij, Michael Muller, Henrik Hansen, Jordan Scott, Luke Scott, Jake Scott, Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen, Ben Mor, Andrew Hines and Shynola.
Content studio Big Block has added director Neil Abramson to its roster. Abramson began directing helming music videos for acts like Deborah Harry, Dwight Yokum, and Mark Knopfler. He transitioned to the commercial side and has shot motion/print campaigns for clients like Merrill Lynch, Nike, McDonald's, Cadillac, Coca-Cola, United Airlines, and Toyota. His film work includes the 2008 feature "American Son" and feature documentary "Bob Smith USA."
Identity has signed Italian director Sergio Bosatra for U.S. commercial representation. Bosatra makes his debut in the U.S. commercial market with a new campaign for Modelo via Ogilvy, entitled "Brewed With A Fighting Spirit." Bosatra developed his directorial style while working as a first assistant director in Italy for commercial, music video and feature film projects. He began directing commercials in 2011 for international brands.
Toronto-based production company The Corner Store has signed director Greg Popp for Canadian commercial representation. Popp specializes in dialogue-driven comedy spots, and has worked with a variety of talent from the sports world, including Peyton Manning, Troy Polamalu, Adrian Peterson, Henrik Lundqvist, Danica Patrick, Roger Federer and Venus and Serena Williams. Brands he has worked with include McDonald's, Verizon, Bud Light, Head & Shoulders and Jeep. Popp began his career on the agency side at DDB Chicago, working on Anheuser-Busch.
Lisa Mehling has become the sole owner of Chelsea Pictures as longtime partner Allison Amon departs. At the same time, executive producer Pat McGoldrick will be promoted to vice president. Mehling is currently serving as chairperson of the 2017 AICP Show, as well as co-chair of the jury of the Ciclope Festival in Mexico City, and is an executive producer on Lauren Greenfield's forthcoming documentary feature slated for January 2018.
Santa Monica-based visual effects creative studio Jamm has added commercial and feature flame artist Brian Hajek to its roster. Hajek's experience includes compositing shots for movies like "The Avengers," "Life of Pi," "Avatar," "Snow White and the Huntsman," "American Sniper," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and others.
Editor Christopher Huth has joined the staff of bicoastal Union Editorial. Huth edited AICP Best in Show honoree "Dear Sophie" for Google Chrome via BBH and Google Creative Labs, and 2016 Cannes Direct Gold Lion-winner Pantene "DadDo" via Grey, directed by Pam Thomas. He recently completed spots for Tempurpedic and USPS as well as a short film for Chicco. Huth comes over from Wax, having begun his career at Lost Planet.
New York editorial shop Fluid has rebranded as Bandit and promoted editor John Piccolo to partner. Piccolo joined Fluid in 2012 as a staff editor and has cut spots for clients including Sony, NY Lottery, Crest, Pepsi, Chase, Geico and Dell. The name change is designed to reflect how the company is "stealing back the creative process and rekindling the kind of maverick collaboration that brings storytelling to life."
Zoic Studios has promoted VFX Supervisor Jeffrey Baksinski to creative director. Baksinski has over 30 years of experience in post-production working in film and video editing, set supervision, and visual effects. He earned a 2016 Emmy nomination for his work on the pilot of Amazon's original series "The Man in the High Castle." Recent credits as VFX supervisor include "The Get Down," "Hand of God," "Timeless," "Blindspot," "The Exorcist," "Blacklist," "Castle" and "Six."
NYC-based Nice Shoes has opened a Boston-based color suite led by colorist Phil Choe. The launch follows openings in Chicago, Minneapolis, and most recently, Toronto. Choe's color suite will be located at Boston editorial studio, Editbar, where Nice Shoes has had a remote partnership for the past year. Choe's recent projects include campaigns for Johnsonville, Covergirl, Target, and Champion.
Post-production and color grading studio Company 3 has promoted commercial production executive Ashley McKim to the newly-created role of global executive producer. Prior to Company 3, McKim worked for international editorial house Cutters Studios and partner companies. She held a similar role at the commercial post and editorial house Hybrid Edit and was also a founding partner and executive producer at Beef Films and Chop House Post.