As Omaha Pictures is dissolved after nine years, founding partner Diane McCarter has linked up with James Studholme of Blink Pictures, London, in a new production enterprise, Furlined. The new company will represent former Omaha talents Speck/Gordon, Brian Aldrich, Charlie White and Zach Math, and will also be the U.S. home for Blink directors Dougal Wilson, Pleix, Stuart Parr and Blink's animation think tank, BlinkInk, which encompasses Ark, Lynn Fox, Ben Hibon, Pleix, Simon & Jon and Ruairi Robinson. Furlined will also house the roster of leading U.K. music video operation, Colonel Blimp. Along with White, Wilson, Lynn Fox and Pleix, directors Adam Smith, Alastair Siddons, Alex & Lane, Blue Source, Ark, Diamond Dogs and Dominic Hallstone comprise the Colonel Blimp lineup.
"[Omaha] was formed at a different time in the industry," says McCarter of the conclusion of that shop. "I wanted to create something with a completely different DNA." McCarter and Studholme met last year in Cannes through Outsider's Robert Campbell and found they had similar ideals and goals, including a focus on building talent, cross pollination and an international eye. The two also share an affinity for talent with an artistic bent, with directors like White and Pleix making the leap from boundary pushing art to commercials work. White is currently wrapping a project for Svedka vodka through Amalgamated. The final project through Omaha was a global campaign for Samsung from Speck/Gordon and Berlin Cameron Red Cell.
"It's vital in this day and age, if you want to be at the very top of the game to offer that integrated international dimension to developing the careers of those directors that transcend their home markets," says Studholme, who points to Furlined's inclusion of BlinkInk-what he calls a "director focused hybrid animation/live action/FX mashup, anything goes house"-and the consistent award winner Colonel Blimp as major differentiators for the new shop.
Oh, and the name? Apparently, like many interesting and unexpected things, Furlined was born in Amsterdam, called forth spontaneously from the lips of the Samsung client as he talked to a fur-wearing McCarter during a late-night wrap party aboard a canal boat. The production designer on the shoot referenced artist Meret Oppenheim's "Fur Covered Cup," Will Speck ran with it and drew a fur-lined cup, which was photographed by DP Darius Kondji, and there you have it.