The Production A-List '09: MJZ

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Founded 1989

Principals: David Zander, President; Jeff Scruton, Senior Executive Producer; Mia Dahlman, Production Manager; Eric Stern, Executive Producer; Brandy Curry, Production Manager; Lisa Margulis, Executive Producer; Sarah Bjerklie; Production Manager; Hien Nguyen, Director of Post Production; Tim Merjos, East Coast Sales Rep; Debbie Turner, Executive Producer, U.K.

Roster: Dante Ariola, Blue Source, Fredrik Bond, Ray Dillman, Lenard Dorfman (U.K. only), Nicolai Fuglsig, Victor Garcia, Jim Gilchrist, Craig Gillespie, Phil Joanou, Spike Jonze, Harmony Korine, Tom Kuntz, Rocky Morton, Marcus Nispel, Pleix, Rupert Sanders, Matthijs Van Heijningen, Clay Williams

MJZ continued to dominate the spots world in 2009. The unstoppable Tom Kuntz captured 20-plus minutes of sheer rock opera action for White Gold, in Goodby's latest production for Milk, "Battle for Milkquarious." He proved his candy prowess again on Cadbury's "Eyebrow Dancing," out of Fallon London, and his ongoing partnership with Skittles/TBWA-turned Wieden creatives Eric Kallman and Craig Allen made for more hilarious moments like Old Spice's "Scents for Gents," and Careerbuilder's quick-cut frustrated office worker moments in "Tips."

Rupert Sanders was his visually groundbreaking self, directing another masterful Xbox epic for Halo ODST, a complex projection-themed production for Puma and Droga5 and the anthem spot for TBWA/Chiat/Day New York's latest Absolut endeavor. MJZ also put a commercials face to indie director Harmony Korine, who directed a series of quietly moving real life stories for Liberty Mutual. The company's London outfit also helped to produce Fallon creative Juan Cabral's latest ambitious experiment for Sony, "Soundville" in which he transformed an entire Icelandic town into a soundsystem. Spike Jonze Couldn't hide fro,m the spotlight thanks to Where the Wild Things Are, but he also turned out spots for Softbank,starring Brad Pitt and a sumo wrestler. A new representional partnership with O Positive directors Jim Jenkins and David Shane in the U.K. also led to funny moments like the Shane-helmed spot for Doritos, featuring sad, sad Alan.

Read about the next company on the list: Moxie Pictures

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