Category Archives: New Hire

Laundry adds James Sweigert as managing director

Animation and design house Laundry has a new managing director in James Sweigert, who brings extensive experience in marketing, brand strategy, design and TV and film production to the studio, which recently moved into a new creative space in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.

Working closely with Richardson and ECD/partner Anthony Liu, Sweigert will oversee all creative and production management and operations for the studio, which encompasses animation, design, VFX and live-action production. He is also tasked with nurturing existing client relationships and cultivating new opportunities with brands, services and technology partners.

Sweigert arrives at Laundry following a tenure as executive producer of TV and Streaming at mOcean. Other previous positions include EP/partner at Nathaniel James, head of production at Brand New School and assistant EP at Fuel/Razorfish. He’s produced notable projects, including the main titles for the Emmy Award-winning documentary Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, which was featured on ESPN Films’ 30 for 30; IDs for the NFL Network’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, as well as work for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Sport in America.

Also a filmmaker, Sweigert has just completed producing and directing a documentary titled N-Men: The Untold Story. The film takes a look at the Northern California skateboarding scene from 1975 through today, featuring interviews with Tony Hawk, Tony Alva and the N-Men who inspired them. The film is scheduled for release in 2018 with Laundry playing an instrumental role in the post production.

“I’ve known James since arriving in Los Angeles 18 years ago, and the moons have finally aligned for us to work together,” says PJ Richardson, executive creative director and partner of Laundry. “What I’m most excited about is his fresh enthusiasm for design-driven animation and production, but also his understanding of how it is all evolving. Like us, he understands creativity comes down to having fun, so it’s a perfect fit.”

“Laundry has a sophisticated creative infrastructure, which I’m excited about bringing to new heights,” says Sweigert. “We can achieve great things with our clients by tapping deeper into the existing strengths of this company across the board, and implementing systems that allow us to become more of a strategic partner early on. I’m also keen on what the future holds for Laundry with respect to VR/AR, 360 and experiential work, as well as expanding our live-action bandwidth.”

 

Atomic Fiction hires Marc Chu to lead animation department

Atomic Fiction has welcomed animation expert Marc Chu to lead the studio’s animation efforts across its Oakland and Montreal locations. Chu joins Atomic Fiction from ILM, where he most recently served as animation director, bringing more than 20 years of experience animating and supervising the creation of everything from aliens and spaceships to pirates and superheroes.

Based out of Atomic Fiction’s Oakland office, Chu will oversee animation company-wide and serve as the principal architect of initial studio production, including the expansion of Atomic Fiction’s previs and digital creature offerings. He’s already begun work on The Predator and is ramping up activity on an upcoming Robert Zemeckis feature.

“Atomic Fiction is already well-established and known for its seamless work in environments, so this is an amazing opportunity to be a part of their journey into doing more animation-driven work,” said Chu. “My goal is to help grow an already-strong animation department to the next level, becoming a force that is able to tackle any challenge, notably high-level creature and character work.”

Chu established and built his career at ILM, creating and supervising work for some of the biggest film franchises of the last 20 years. For 2009’s Iron Man, he worked to define the characters and animation through the sequel and on the first two Avengers films. His extensive credits also include Star Wars franchise continuations The Force Awakens and Rogue One, and the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, which earned Best VFX Oscar nominations, and won for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men’s Chest.

Chu also has two VES Award wins for his Davy Jones CG character work.

Dell 6.15

Tom Vale joins FirstCom Music focusing on TV, film licensing

FirstCom Music, a provider of music for film, broadcast and new media, has named Tom Vale as its film & TV licensing manager. Vale joins the FirstCom Music team Frog Music Licensing, a company he started in 2010 with the goal of connecting the singer-songwriter talent found in Austin, where he was based, with placement opportunities in TV, film, advertising and gaming worldwide.

Vale has facilitated music placements in an extensive line-up of television programs, including Nashville (ABC), Empire (Fox), Breaking Bad (AMC), The Walking Dead (AMC), The Good Wife (CBS), Ray Donovan (Showtime), Togetherness (HBO), The Following (Fox), Twisted (ABC), Californication (Showtime), Parenthood (NBC), Sons of Anarchy (FX), Lucifer (Fox), From Dusk Til Dawn (El Rey), Satisfaction (USA), Casual (Hulu), Private Practice (ABC), Hart of Dixie (CW), Royal Pains (USA), Degrassi Next Generation (Teen Nick), The Listener, Heartland, and in the films Everything Must Go, Hold Your Peace, The Expatriate, Snitch, The Loft and more. He’s also placed music on national ad campaigns for Goodyear Tires, Nabisco, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, PGA Golf and others.

“I launched Frog ML after working as an assistant to music supervisor Thomas Golubic at SuperMusicVision (Six Feet Under) and after many years working in the music library and studios at LA’s KCRW and as a music journalist for Alarm, Under the Radar, Sentimentalist and others,” says Vale. “Now, my music career has brought me to one of the top production music houses in the industry.”


Audio post vet Rex Recker joins Digital Arts in NYC

Rex Recker has joined the team at New York City’s Digital Arts as a full-time audio post mixer and sound designer. Recker, who co-founded NYC’s AudioEngine after working as VP and audio post mixer at Photomag recording studios, is an award-winning mixer with a long list of credits. Over the span of his career he has worked on countless commercials with clients including McCann Erickson JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, BBDO, DDB, HBO and Warner Books.

Over the years, Recker has developed a following of clients who seek him out for his audio post mixer talents — they seek his expertise in surround sound audio mixing for commercials airing via broadcast, Web and cinemas. In addition to spots, Recker also mixes long-form projects, including broadcast specials and documentaries.

Since joining the Digital Arts team, Recker has already worked on several commercial campaigns, promos and trailers for such clients as Samsung, SlingTV, Ford, Culturelle, Orvitz, NYC Department of Health, and HBO Documentary Films.

Digital Arts, owned by Axel Ericson, is an end-to-end production, finishing and audio facility.


SAM names Eric Cooney president/CEO, replaces Tim Thorsteinson

Snell Advanced Media (SAM) has brought on former Tandberg Television president Eric Cooney as president and CEO. As CEO of Tandberg Television, Cooney led its merger with Ericsson Group in 2007. He subsequently resigned to accept the CEO role at NASDAQ-listed IT services provider Internap Corp.

The appointment will see Tim Thorsteinson step down as CEO after two years in the role for personal reasons, which, in the near to medium term, limit his ability to travel. Thorsteinson had led the rebranding of the group — which included Snell and Quantel — as Snell Advanced Media. He will continue to be involved in an advisory capacity to the board as part of a succession plan. He will also remain as a shareholder in SAM.

Headquartered in Newbury, Berkshire, SAM employs almost 600 people across offices in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The group, which recently reported 20 percent year-on-year growth, is backed by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

Commenting on his appointment, Cooney said, “Snell Advanced Media has seen good growth in recent years, in what has been a challenging market impacted by the changing nature of end-user media consumption. This is testament to its commitment to innovation and integration, whilst keeping its customers front and center.”

SAM delivers a range of technology-led products and solutions across the media production ecosystem, including live production, news and sports editing, post, playout and delivery, modular infrastructure and image processing.

 


Arcade grows with creative editor Graham Chisholm

Edit house Arcade, with offices in New York and Santa Monica, has hired creative editor Graham Chisholm. He will be based in the LA studio, but is available to work on either coast.

Chisholm’s career began in Montreal, where he worked for three years before moving to Toronto. For over a decade, he worked with a variety of advertising agencies and brands, including Gatorade, Land Rover, Budweiser, Ford, Chevrolet and the Toronto Raptors, to name a few. He has earned several awards for his work, including multiple Cannes Lions and Best in Show at the AICE Awards. According to Arcade, Chisholm has become best known for his ability to tell compelling and persuasive stories, regardless of the brand or medium he’s working with.

“Graham’s influence and dedication on a project extend beyond the edit and into the finishing of the film,” notes Michael Lawrence, director of a Powerade spot that Chisholm edited. “In our case, he is involved in everything, a true collaborator on an intellectual level, as well as a gifted craftsman. Graham has earned my trust and heartfelt praise through our time working together and becoming friends along the way. He is a gifted storyteller and a great man.”

Chisholm is in the midst of working on a new project at Arcade for Adidas via ad agency 72andSunny. He had just completed his first Arcade project, a short film called LA2024, also via 72andSunny, promoting Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.


Liron Ashkenazi-Eldar joins The Artery as design director  

Creative studio The Artery has brought on Liron Ashkenazi-Eldar as lead design director. In her new role, she will spearhead the formation of a department that will focus on design and branding. Ashkenazi-Eldar and team are also developing in-house design capabilities to support the company’s VFX, experiential and VR/AR content, as well as website development, including providing motion graphics, print and social campaigns.

“While we’ve been well established for many years in the areas of production and VFX, our design team can now bring a new dimension to our company,” says Ashkenazi-Eldar, who is based in The Artery’s NYC office. “We are seeking brand clients with strong identities so that we can offer them exciting, new and even weird creative solutions that are not part of the traditional branding process. We will be taking a completely new approach to branding — providing imagery that is more emotional and more personal, instead of just following an existing protocol. Our goal is to provide a highly immersive experience for our new brand clients.”

Originally from Israel, the 27-year-old Ashkenazi-Eldar is a recent graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts with a BFA degree in Design. She is the winner of a 2017 ADC Silver Cube Award from The One Club, in the category 2017 Design: Typography, for her contributions to a project titled Asa Wife Zine. She led the Creative Team that submitted the project via the School of Visual Arts.

 


EP Anna Rotholz joins NYC’s Spot Welders

Spot Welders, an editorial shop with offices in NYC and LA, has hired Anna Rotholz as executive producer/head of development in their NYC office. Having previously worked as a rep with Spot Welders early in her career, Rotholz brings over a decade of sales experience upon her return to the edit house. She has worked with directors, editors and designers at shops such as Believe Media, Uber Content, Imaginary Forces, Whitehouse Post, Union Editorial, Barking Owl Music, Independent Media, O Positive and Biscuit Filmworks, among numerous others.

“Anna started with Spot Welders 12 years ago in sales, when we first opened our office in New York,” notes Spot Welders managing partner David Glean. “I’m super excited to reconnect with her now as our EP/head of business development.”

The addition of Rotholz will further expand client relations and business development that enhances the editorial shop’s current pipeline of high-level projects, including notable VR and experiential pieces for the likes of The New York Times, Facebook, U2, Samsung and Bacardi.

She studied advertising and production at Hunter College, and after working for an independent rep as a full-time sales assistant, she went on to land a junior rep position at Ziegler Management, working for clients across production, post production and design. In 2009 she shifted in-house at Outside Edit + Design as head of sales, growing the slate of award-winning work out of the Soho boutique. Rotholz then landed at The Family as a senior rep, where she spent over five years. Most recently, she served as an in-house sales rep at Union Editorial before rejoining Spot Welders.


Senior producer Bill Galusha joins Leviathan

Bill Galusha joins Chicago-based digital and creative agency Leviathan as senior producer. Over the past several years, Galusha has produced and curated projects for Google, NASA, Nike, VICE and YouTube. He is a former producer at Bot & Dolly (and its sister company Autofuss), Google and Obscura.

In 2016, VICE’s arts and culture platform, The Creators Project, launched “Future Forward,” a nationwide series of events featuring original artworks from internationally renowned studios. Galusha was the series’ curator and executive producer. A year earlier, he and his team helped design and fully fabricate Prismatic NYC, a permanent kinetic sculpture that hovers just above NYC’s Highline Park.

“Bill’s breadth of hands-on experience producing content and interaction for environments is unmatched,” says Leviathan president Chad Hutson. “We’re talking robots, mirrors, lasers, projection-mapping, military-grade hardware, and beautiful imagery — all designed for physical environments.”

Post producer Tony Rucker joins Dallas-based 3008 Editorial

Post producer Tony Rucker has joined Dallas-based editorial boutique 3008. He brings over a decade of post experience including work on commercial campaigns, branded content, 3D animation and visual effects projects.

Before joining 3008, Rucker worked as a post producer at Post Asylum, Element X and Fast Cuts. Clients have included Visionworks, The Salvation Army, Atmos Energy, Mott’s and others.

This past year, owner and editor Brent Herrington assumed sole ownership of 3008. While editorial remains the company’s main focus, Herrington has expanded its editorial roster and turnkey production arm under his leadership. “As we see our clients needs evolve, we want to ensure that we too are evolving as a company to offer the talent, comprehensive services and a seamless experience,” he says.

Recent 3008 projects include work for AT&T, Chrysler, Cricket Wireless, McDonald’s, Top Golf, Snapple, Universal Orlando, Bridgestone and Frito-Lay.