Production Company Report: The List, @radical.media-Furlined/Blink
We were also much obliged to survey some of the most significant digital players?straight up production shops or hybrid creative entities who realized the year's most exciting and innovative new media and tech-driven ideas.
(* denotes new addition)
Roster: (Commercials/Music Videos) Daniel Askill, Andrew Becker, Greg Brunkalla, Ric Cantor, Derek Cianfrance, Peter Darley Miller, Lenard Dorfman, Brett Froomer, Glue Society, Antony Hoffman, Josh & Xander, Greg Kohs, Barton Landsman, McCoubrey Brothers, Zack Merck, Dave Meyers, Chris Milk, Steve Miller, Gregor Nicholas, Luciano Podcaminsky, Matthew Rolston, Rosey, Ralf Schmerberg, Derin Seale, Brett Simon, Dick Sittig, Tarsem, Andrew Zuckerman, Jeff Zwart, (Film) Joe Berlinger, Jay Chandrasekhar, Bill Condon, Randall Einhorn, Terry Gilliam, F. Gary Gray, David McKenzie, Neveldine/Taylor, Brett Simon, Bruce Sinofsky (Berlin) Hobby, Christopher Schier, Sebastian Schipper, Sebastian Strasser (London) Hadi, Phil Lind, Marcus Tomlinson (Paris) Giles Bretin, Joel Pront, K-Roll, David Tomaszewski, Nick Vecchi (Sydney) Vikki Blanche, Patrick Hughes, Sean Kruck, Christopher Riggert.
Principals: Jon Kamen, Chairman/CEO; Frank Scherma, President; Frank Stiefel, VP; Chris Kim, Director of Global Marketing; Maya Brewster, EP/Head of Global Sales; Jim Bouvet, Gregg Carlesimo, Donna Portaro, EPs; Robert Friedman, Pres. Entertainment/Media; Justin Wilkes, VP Entertainment/ Media; Dana Locatell, EP/Sales; James Spinder, CD; Maggie Meade, EP/Design; Jiffy Iuen, Producer/Design; Evan Schechtman, CTO; MDs: Jason Kemp (London); Christiane Dressler (Berlin); Alexis Bensa, (Paris); Rob Galluzzo (Sydney); (Photography) Amy Zale, Chiara Chung, Dominic Bernacchi, and Sherry Riad
@radical.media looked toward Asia this year, opening up shop in Shanghai and producing Nike branded content projects for the Chinese market, including the documentary Dare, directed by Ralf Schmerberg. The Glue Society re-routed the historical POV on the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square for Johannes Leonardo's Pangea effort; Steve Miller shot Dos Equis' "Most Interesting Man in the World"; Chris Riggert introduced office nut cases for Brother; and Dave Meyer took Missy Elliott into 3D in her "Ching-a-Ling" video. As expected, excitement brewed aplenty in non-spot spaces. West Coast met East Coast in the McCoubrey Brothers' artsy adidas big shoe showdown, and the company's car-on-demand channel DriverTV picked up the pace thanks to a new partnership with NBC Universal, which paid $6 million for a 35% stake in the effort?proving home grown ideas might just be worth the investment. Taking a Planet Earth-style approach to documenting urbanization around the world, @radical partnered with TED Conference founder Richard Saul Wurman on the launch of the 192021 initiative, which will document and study 19 "supercities" to see the repercussions of population density on business and urban planning.
Roster: Sorrel Ahlfeld, Daniel Benmayor*, Armando Bo, Mac Carter, Garth Davis, John Dolan, Andrew Douglas, Stuart Douglas, David Kellogg, Joseph Kosinski, Robert Logevall, Christian Loubek, Minivegas, Brett Morgen, Jake Nava, John Osborne*, PES, Justin Reardon, Mark Romanek, Patrick Sherman, Sebastian Strasser*, Malcolm Venville
[email protected]: Frank Budgen, Nick Broomfield, Tom Carty, Chris Palmer, Vince Squibb, Peter Thwaites Film Directors: Jeff Blitz, David Fincher, Antoine Fuqua, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Gavin Hood, Garth Jennings, Wong Kar-Wai, Ang Lee, Dito Montiel, Guy Ritchie, Dominic Sena, Brad Silberling*, David Slade, Gore Verbinski
Principals: Steve Golin, Chairman/CEO; Dave Morrison, Partner/Head of Commercials; Paul Green, President; Diane Janicki, CFO Commercials: Andy Traines, EP; Cassie Hulen, EP; Jeff Baron, EP; Sue Ellen Clair, Head of Production; (Integrated) Danielle Peretz, EP and Cody Allen, Director of New Business Development; Susan Murphy, Head of West Coast Sales & Management*; Paul Muniz, Head of East Coast Sales/Management*; Becky Jungmann, West Coast Sales*; Lisa Sabatino, East Coast Sales; David Wagner, Independent Midwest Sales
Surely, 2007 was a hard act to follow, between the much-lauded "Mad World" for Gears of War, high profile features by Alexandro Gonzalez Inarritu and David Fincher?Babel and Zodiac, respectively ?and more. This year's Anonymous Content crop kept the high quality output up thanks to Garth Davis' slow motion bubble action in Schweppes "Burst" and sympathetic tailor of Herringbone's "Henri," Andrew Douglas getting inside "Manning's Mind" for Sprint, Guy Ritchie being all over Euro 2008 with Nike's "The Next Level" and Inarritu's downright creepy PSAs for Montana Meth. Also, the integrated department's Cody Allen teamed up with pro skater and indie director Steve Berra for kick-push content on popular skateboarding website The Berrics. On the feature front, Malcolm Venville began filming his debut 44 Inch Chest, penned by Sexy Beast scribes Louis Mellis and David Scinto, Gavin Hood released Rendition and Brett Morgan's animated historical docudrama Chicago 10 chronicled the trial of anti-war protestors arrested following the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Backyard/ Transistor Studios
Roster: Luis Carone*, Ericson Core, Jesper Ericstam, John Immesoete, Jeffrey Karoff, Nick Piper, Rob Pritts, Don Rase, Rob Sanders, Kevin Smith, Aaron Stoller, Chace Strickland
Principals: (Backyard/Transistor) Roy Skillicorn and Blair Stribley, partners ; (Transistor) Damon Meena and James Price, partners; (Backyard) Kris Mathur, Eriks Krumins, Peter Steinzeig, EPs
Transistor Studios grew in leaps and bounds this year, tripling in size and taking on the lead role in the design and re-launch of Hyundai's Cannes Cyber Lion short-listed Thinkaboutit.com. The studio also signed former OgilvyOne/Ogilvy Interactive senior creative Jacob Bondre as its new lead interactive developer, and added Chris James Hewitt, aka motion director/photographer/designer DSTRUKT, as a design director. Hewitt has previously produced work for high-profile clients including MTV Networks Europe, BBC, EMI Records, Discovery Channel and VH1. Backyard also added Brazilian director Luis Carone, who earned top honors in his country as a clips director and formerly was a 3D motion graphics pro at The Mill. Meanwhile, director Aaron Stoller introduced us to Stella Artois' "Femme Fatale" and Ericson Core led "The Gathering" into Super Bowl XLII for Under Armour and lent BMW some "Balance."
Roster: Bryan Barber, Bruce Hunt, Jeffrey Darling, Tryan George, Jason Harrington, George Jecel, Jorge & Javier*, Liz Friedlander*, Luca Maroni, Maurice Marable, Matthieu Montavani*, Pucho, Joel Pront, Floria Sigismondi, Zack Snyder, Paul Street, Vogel-Villar.Rios, Whitey; UK: Anthea Benton, Jorn Haagen, Nick Jones and Steve Reeves , Rory Kelleher*; Another Film: Nick Jones* and Steve Reeves* , The Quay Brothers; Quad USA: Bruno Aveillan; Mister BoomBoom: Terry Richardson*
Principals: Luke Thornton, president/EP; Liz Silver, owner/EP; Gerard Cantor, Betsy Kelley, Mike Brady, EPs; Katie Matson, N.Y. producer
Believe Media was back with some high-profile hits in and out of the ad game. Zack Snyder continued work on the much-anticipated film adaptation of The Watchmen, set for a March 2009 release, while new roster addition photog and all-around hipster mascot Terry Richardson made some waves with his work for Belvedere vodka and Tom Ford. Whitey helped Kobe jump over an Aston Martin in a truly viral effort for Nike, and added to his music video quiver with new work for artists Santogold, the Thermals and Cobra Starship. Believe also financed Kassim the Dream, a documentary on the life of Ugandan boxing champ Kassim Ouma, who went from child soldier to professional sweet scientist, which premiered at Tribeca '08 to raves.
Roster: Noam Murro, Tim Godsall, Aaron Ruell, Steve Rogers, Clay Weiner*, Jim Hosking, Adam Cameron, Russ Lamoureux, Rick LeMoine, Trevor Cawood* and Charlie White.
Principals: Noam Murro, president/director; Shawn Lacy, Sr. EP; Colleen O'Donnell, Holly Vega*, EPs; Gary Naccarato, head of creative; Matej Purg, production manager; Alissa Nurko, production coordinator.
All things Biscuit start with Noam Murro. It was a busy year for the acclaimed director, who saw the premiere of his debut feature Smart People at Sundance, then distributed by Miramax. On the commercials front, Murro continued to churn out award-winning work, most notably his Lion-nabbing efforts for VW?"Night Drive" and "Dog," respectively?and the genetically-modified bunny for Comcast's "Rabbit." Aaron Ruell (aka Kip of Napoleon Dynamite) released Some Photos, his first book of photography, in between work for Comcast, Dominos and the NBA. Steve Rogers teamed with Radiohead to create the video for the band's track "All I Need" for MTV Exit in an effort to raise awareness of human trafficking, while Tim Godsall gave AMP its "Walk of No Shame" and Old Spice a series of informative spots with Will Ferrell's Semi-Pro character Jackie Moon. Clay Weiner took the use of the word " Dude" to new levels for Bud Light while continuing to release footage of the world's funniest and creepiest Mom on YouTube.
Roster: Peter Care, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Kim Geldenhuys, Davis Guggenheim, Phil Harder, Chris Hooper, Adam Karsten, Axel Laubscher, Zach Math, Bob Odenkirk, Lisa Rubisch, Trish Sie, Jason Smith, Spencer Susser, Syd & Eric, Alan White
Principals: Chuck Ryant, John O'Grady, T.K. Knowles, Partners/EPs
Dayton/Faris continued Sprint's dazzling show of light and directed Goodby's NBA finals campaign, which juxtaposed the fierce looks and words of competing b-ball giants. A steady supply of laughs came from the entire roster, as on Peter Care's suggestive BK "Morning Tongue" spot, featuring a guy with an embarrassingly stiff organ and new happy cow antics from Chris Hooper for CA cheese. When it comes to sappy love moments, they couldn't be more charming than on Lisa Rubisch's work for Chemistry.com. Beyond spots, Spencer Susser shot a self-produced must-see intersection of love and zombies in the creepy yet touching short film I Love You Sarah Jane, Trish Sie directed more dance moves for Goodby's Haagen-Dazs Honeybees campaign, and for all of you who thought that bird-poop-in-reporter's mouth clip was the real thing?surprise! Just another genius comedic moment from Bob Odenkirk, who also staged a "making of" and a dog doo follow-up during his downtime from directing ESPN's internet campaign for March Madness.
Roster: Nicholas Barker, Richard Gibson, Christopher Quinn, Jonathan Brown*, David Gordon Green, Jim Sonzero*, Lauren Greenfield, Neil Tardio*, Kevin Fitzgerald, Johan Kramer, Chris Wilcha, Larry Frey, Kevin MacDonald, Alex Gibney*, Charles Mehling.
Principals: Allison Amon, partner; Lisa Mehling, partner; John LaChappelle, Pat McGoldrick, EPs; Kari Romeo, national sales; Jennifer Warren, East Coast sales; Jim Robison, Mid West sales; Mark Andrews and Astrid Steel, West Coast sales.
From feature films to web content to spots, Chelsea directors were everywhere this year. Johan Kramer directed the San Marino episodes of the adidas/180 "Dream Big" project; Christopher Quinn did work for Microsoft, Neil Tardio shot for Volkswagen, AT&T and Cingular, while Larry Frey turned in spots for Walmart and Wendy's. On the film front, Lauren Greenfield's documentary kids+money premiered at Sundance and was picked up by HBO; Alex Gibney's Gonzo doc took a closer look at the late, great Hunter S. Thompson; and David Gordon Green's pie-eyed action flick Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, was one of the summer's most anticipated releases. Smaller tube feats were aplenty for Chris Wilcha, who earned another Emmy nomination for his direction on the acclaimed series This American Life.
The Director's Bureau
Roster: Andy Bruntel, Roman Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Patrick Daughters, Nash Edgerton, Bucky Fukumoto, Mike Maguire, Geoff McFetridge, Melodie McDaniel, Mike Mills, Kris Moyes, Shynola
Principals: Roman Coppola, president; Cayce Cole, Melissa Culligan, Lana Kim; Duffy Culligan, EPs; Elizabeth Minzes, head of production; Rebecca Perkins, production manager.
Usually behind the lens, both Mike Mills and Geoff McFetridge found themselves sitting in front of the camera for the art documentary Beautiful Losers, directed by Aaron Rose. Mills also saw his own documentary on big pharma and depression in Japan, Does Your Soul Have a Cold?, re-released and also made available on iTunes. Patrick Daughters lent his skills to the Zune campaign, Mike Maguire introduced the prickly ways of Cactus Boy in a series of Oasis beverage spots, and the Roman-Coppola-directed Arctic Monkey's video "Teddy Picker" won best video at the 2008 NME Awards.
Roster: Matt Aselton, Matthew Badger, Wilfrid Brimo*, Rey Carlson, Collision*, Paula Greif, George Hickenlooper, Miranda July, Matt Lenski, Mike Long, Enda McCallion, Phil Morrison, Jeff Preiss, Stacy Wall; Rattling Stick (U.S.): Ivan Bird, Steve Cope, Daniel Kleinman, Ringham Ledwidge, Andy McLeod, Tom Vaughan
Principals: Mindy Goldberg, founder/EP; Jerry Solomon, partner/EP; Jeff Preiss, partner/director
Epoch added to its international line-up this year, thanks to a partnership with Rattling Stick in the U.S. The shop recently found itself involved in a lil' Cannes scandal with Mike Long's JCP "Speed Dressing" spot, which, so the story goes, never got client approval. Neverthless, the spot was pretty damn funny and there's no denying Epoch's stellar productions elsewhere. Phil Morrison continued his award-winning work for Apple, and Matt Aselton turned in a hilarious spot for Old Spice featuring former TV doctor Neal Patrick Harris. On the film front, Aselton wrapped shooting feature debut, the comedy Gigantic, starring Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel and John Goodman.
Roster: Brian Aldrich, Brian Lee Hughes*, David Turnley*, Dougal Wilson, Douglas Avery, Jess Hall, Lynn Fox, Nicolas Kasakoff*, Mark Molloy, The Perlorian Brothers, Speck/Gordon, Stuart Parr, Ted Pauly, Yael Staav (That Other Thing) Drew Lightfoot*, Kristofer Strom, Noah Harris, Ramon Bloomberg, Simon Willows, Terri Timely* (Blink) Brian Lee Hughes, Dougal Wilson, John Birkin, Kosai Sekine, Lynn Fox, Nicolas Kasakoff, Patrick Daughters, Ramon Bloomberg, Speck/Gordon, Stuart Parr, The Perlorian Brothers, Yael Staav (BlinkInk) ARK, Ben Hibon, Kalle Haglund, Kristofer Strom, Noah Harris, Pleix, Ruairi Robinson, Simon Willows
Principals: Diane McArter, partner/MD; James Studholme, partner; David Thorne, EP; George Meeker, EP/director representative
Although EP Matt Factor set off to do his own thing, Furlined continued to build its coat of comedic arms this year with standout spots by The Perlorian Brothers, who turned in great work for Droga5's TAP Project, some squeaky clean language for Orbit and spliced Duran Duran and Bruce McDonald for Old Spice. Speck/Gordon let us know the sad fury of an old car's scorn for the snazzy rental, courtesy of Avis, and David Turnley added to W+K's Nike hoops history with a portrait-based effort for Brand Jordan called "Look Me In The Eyes." Out of Blink, Juan Cabral turned everyone's?millions of YouTubers, awards judges, gorilla aficionados?attention to Cadbury with a certain Phil Collins' loving ape, as well as its follow-up "Trucks."
Read more from the Production Company Report:
The Changing Game
The List, Go Film-O Positive
The List, Outsider-Stink
Top Interactive Production Companies