Tag Archives: design

Industry vet Alex Moulton joins NYC’s Trollbäck+Company

New York’s Trollbäck+Company has hired Alex Moulton as chief creative officer where he has been tasked with helping businesses and organizations develop sustainable brands through design-driven strategy and mixed media.

Moulton, who joins the agency from Vice Media, was recently at the helm of NBC Universo’s highly regarded brand refresh, as well as show packaging for ESPN’s The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena With Common.

“Alex brings an invaluable perspective to Trollbäck+Company as both an artist and entrepreneur,” says founder Jakob Trollbäck. “In his short time here, he has already reinvigorated the collective creative energy of our company. This clearly stems from his constant quest to dig deeper as a creative problem solver, which falls perfectly into our philosophy of ‘Discard everything that means nothing.’”

Says Moulton, “My vision for Trollbäck+Company is very clear: design culturally relevant, sustainable brands — from initial strategy and positioning to content and experiential activations —  with a nimble and holistic approach that makes us the ultimate partner for CMOs that care about designing an enduring brand and bringing it to market with integrity.”

Prior to Trollbäck+Company, as senior director, creative and content at Vice, Moulton helped launch digital content channel Live Nation TV (LNTV) — a joint venture for which he led brand creative, content development, production and partnership initiatives.

As executive creative director at advertising agency Eyeball, Moulton led product launches, rebrands and campaigns for major brands, including Amazon, New York Public Radio, Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, A&E, CMT, Disney, E!, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, Ovation and VH1.

An early adopter of audio branding, Moulton founded his own branding agency and record label, Expansion Team, in 2002. As chief creative officer of the company, he created the sonic identities of Aetna, Amazon Studios/Originals, Boeing, JetBlue and Rovi, as well as more than 15 TV networks, including CNN International, Discovery, PBS, Universal and Comedy Central.

A DJ, composer and speaker about topics that combine music and design, Moulton has been featured in Billboard, V Man, Electronic Musician and XLR8R and has performed at The Guggenheim.

Behind the Title: Volt Studios EP Amanda Tibbits

NAME: Amanda Tibbits

COMPANY: Minneapolis-based Volt Studios

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a one-stop production shop for high-end creative content. We provide production, post production and design.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Partner/Executive Producer

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Basically, I control the time, money and communication for all projects that come through our doors. I am in charge of figuring out how to bring a piece to life within a client’s timeframe and budget.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
I like to refer to myself as a mother hen or air traffic controller, depending on the day. I keep all the artists sane and all the projects moving in and out of the facility.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Getting to work with amazing talent in our studio and collaborating with some of the best creative brains on the client/agency side. And free beer.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Being attached to my desk all day (i.e. air traffic control).

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
This is going to sound crazy, but Monday mornings. We all kind of gather, catch up and talk about what is happening that week.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Tap dancer or tambourine player. Those are jobs, right?

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
This job chose me. I answered a classified ad in the paper, which totally makes me sound like a dinosaur. It was a job as a receptionist at a post house. I had no idea what that meant but as soon as I walked in I knew it was where I belonged. That was 20 years ago.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Arby’s TV campaigns are always fun. Every time I get a rough cut and hear the scripts I crack up. The Subaru brand spots we recently finished made me pretty emotional. We just worked on Life cereal’s first TV spot in a decade. I remember “Mikey Likes It.” So, it was cool to see where the brand has evolved to.

jon-stewartWHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
It was pretty fun to be involved in the Arby’s commercial that was a farewell to Jon Stewart. The combination of Ving Rhames singing the Golden Girls theme song and Jon Stewart’s one-liners… we couldn’t go wrong.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
iPhone, Bluetooth in my car and a record player.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I’m big into Instagram. All my friends want me to Snapchat but I can’t handle one more social media outlet.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
I do… Otis Redding, Johnny Cash or The Beastie Boys, depending on my mood.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
See the comment about free beer. No really, I try to get out and enjoy the Minnesota lakes. I also take every minute of my allotted vacation time. No rolling over days over for
this girl.

Behind the Title: State Design ECD/Owner Marcel Ziul

NAME: Marcel Ziul

COMPANY: Los Angeles-based State Design

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We’re a design, animation and live-action production company. We’re on the small-ish side. Some fancier people might call us a “boutique.” We just like taking on a few select projects at a time.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
I’m the Executive Creative Director and Owner.

STATE_01WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Being the owner, I used to handle quite a bit of our business affairs, but now I mainly direct and oversee projects that come in our doors on a creative level. Along with a great team of artists and producers, I help ensure that our clients’ creative visions are fulfilled and surpassed.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Probably the balancing act of being an owner and creative director. It’s sometimes tough to separate the two. Early on, I used to be bogged down by business dealings during the day and then focused on creative after business hours. That was unacceptable.

In the last two years, we’ve grown up as a company, and I’ve hired the right staff to handle the majority of the business, so now I can focus primarily on the creative and strategy of the studio.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Working with a client that truly enjoys collaborating. When you’re in sync with your client it’s no longer just work, it’s fun. Also, I really enjoy working directly with my team of creatives. Our 3D lead Mauro Borba, for example, is always really excited about the projects, and his leadership makes my job more rewarding and creative.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
The opposite of the above answer!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
When I have time to only focus on the creative direction and how to improve upon the projects we are currently working on. Most of the time, this is when I’m alone at the studio in the early morning or late evening.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’d open a coffee store and probably drink coffee all day long. I also love cycling. That said, a bike shop wouldn’t be a bad idea either. But these are just entertaining thoughts. In reality, I wouldn’t do anything different than what I’m doing now.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
It’s actually because of my dad. One of his best friends had a production company and he thought it would be a good opportunity for me to intern there. I was 18 years old at the time. To me, it was the most amazing thing ever. From there, I went straight to college where I graduated with a degree in advertising.

FIFACAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Our recent work includes the History of FIFA Women’s World Cup web spot for Fox Sports, the “No Brainer” co-branded commercial campaign for IFC, and a beautifully animated commercial called Veteran’s Day for Syfy.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
That’s hard to say because I’m proud of all our collaborations. As of today, I’d say it’s our self-initiated spot called “Statement.” It hits home for me because it’s kind of a culmination of my life’s work up to this point.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
iPhone, Nespresso Machine and my Fuji XT-1.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
I love Instagram, but I also follow Facebook and Vimeo.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK? CARE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
Of course! Anything by Sepultura and Queens of the Stone Age to Apparat and Moderat.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Besides cycling, I enjoying relaxing with my family and friends, going to concerts and watching UFC and soccer.

Design studio Spontaneous adds ECD Darryl Mascarenhas

Design and animation studio Spontaneous in New York City has hired branding expert Darryl Mascarenhas as its executive creative director. Mascarenhas, who has an Emmy nomination under his belt, is also a live-action filmmaker. He will work with Spontaneous managing director Cara Cutrone to continue the studio’s evolution into live action and strategic branding.

Over the last decade, Mascarenhas held senior roles at Loyalkaspar, MPC, Eyeball and Quietman. As a director/ECD at Quietman, Mascarenhas helped transition the company from a visual effects boutique to a full-service creative studio with a focus on direct-to-client production and agency collaborations. He has worked with companies such as AT&T, Disney, General Motors, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft, and recently created the opening titles for the 2016 AICP Show at MOMA. Additionally, Mascarenhas has creatively led and directed content for many broadcast networks, including the complete rebrand of Lifetime.

At Spontaneous, Mascarenhas will use the infrastructure in place as part of the Lively Group network of companies, which includes BlueRock, Rain, Scarlett and LivelyContent. As part of this group, Spontaneous can offer live-action, design/animation, VFX, and editorial services under the same roof.

“More and more, clients require beginning-to-end solutions,” says Mascarenhas. “Being agile has been a massive advantage in evolving Spontaneous’ new business model.”

Behind the Title: Mr. Wonderful CD Gary Keenan

NAME: Gary Keenan

COMPANY: New York City’s Mr. Wonderful (@mrwdesign)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Mr. Wonderful is a NYC based creative-production studio specializing in concept-driven motion design, branding and effects for television, film, interactive and environmental media.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Creative Director

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?

It involves having a clear creative vision and being able to provide constructive, specific and intelligible feedback to my team so they can create their best work. Building strong client relationships, developing briefs and making presentations are also essential. The creative director is a manager, salesman, therapist and sometimes a creative.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Having the right mix of talent and interpersonal skills is a very difficult task, which is why good creative directors are hard to find – there are so few people who can both be creative and manage creative.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
Persuasion, it’s the most useful tool of all. Failing that, some Irish charm.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
The variety of projects that come across my desk is what keeps the job interesting.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
Miller Time. Sorry, working in advertising is bound to have its effects.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Oshiya. In Japan, oshiya are professionals that are hired to push people onto trains. I live in Manhattan and do it here everyday for free.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
When I came to the realization that I was absolutely useless at everything else.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
The season launch promo and digital package for Keeping up With the Kardashians for E! and the identity for the new late night show Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Easy, Robert (13), Zach (10) and Marcus (4). It’s a work in progress but ultimately the most satisfying one.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Electricity, the Internet and a pair of glasses.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Yes. I like listening to different genres of music, and the genre I’m currently listening to is Stomp and Whittle. It’s like stomp and flutter, but with a more traditionalist bent. Those stomp and flutter guys just took it too far. My guess is you are now doing a Google search for Stomp and Whittle. Don’t. It’s absolute rubbish.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Turn off my phone.

Quick Chat: Aardman Nathan Love director/animator Sean McClintock

Animator and director Sean McClintock has joined NYC-based animation house Aardman Nathan Love. With nearly 20 years of experience in design, directing, illustration and animation under his belt, he brings a rich resume. McClintock has spent time at production companies, such as Psyop, Brand New School, The Mill, Hush and Buck, working with big-name brands including Nike, Google, Twitter, Coke Zero and Viacom.

According to ANL owner/ECD Joe Burrascano, McClintock’s diverse experience was a key factor in bringing him aboard. “Our studio has always been known for high-end character work, but Sean brings a level of sophistication that expands our reach further into the world of design. His experience with the top studios in advertising, combined with his strong and refined sensibilities are sure to bring new and exciting opportunities.”

“I’ve been a fan of both Aardman and Nathan Love for years,” he explains. “Both studios have some of the best animators, character designers and storytellers in the business. And on top of that, they have a great sense of humor that comes across in their work.”

We reached out to McClintock to find out more:

Did you start off as an animator?
I actually come from an illustration/design background. Interactive design led me to animation, which led me to motion design.

What led to directing?
It’s been a natural progression. I worked my way up to being a creative director at a small interactive studio years ago, but after switching to motion design I needed to take a step back and learn the nuances of the craft.

How does your background as an animator help directing animated projects?
Being a designer/animator helps you to see where a project can go and to see the steps that will lead it there. It also gives you first-hand knowledge of the potential and limitations of the medium.

Have you done live-action projects as well? Live-action and animated combined?
I’ve directed some stuff here and there. Mainly elements to be incorporated into animated spots.

What is your favorite and why?
I’d have to say animation for its limitless potential and, partly, because I’m more familiar with it. I am really interested in getting more into live action and seeing what’s possible.

As an animator, what tools do you prefer? What’s your process like?
I like all the tools. From traditional mediums like pen and paper, oils, gouache and macaroni art to digital painting and sculpting in Pixologic’s ZBrush.

My typical process looks something like: Information Gathering > Pencil sketching > More pencil Sketching > Style Frames > Final Design.

Quick Chat: Ghost Town Media’s Brandon Parvini

By Randi Altman

Los Angeles-based  Ghost Town Media was founded in 2006 by a few like-minded independent designers, animators and content creatives. They knew to succeed in a very saturated market, they had to become a creative think-tank of sorts. They like to get involved early and with as many people on the production as possible. Looking at things from all angles gives them a creative advantage.

We decided to dig in a bit deeper with Brandon Parvini, creative director/lead designer at Ghost Town (@gtmvfx).

Tell us a bit more about Ghost Town Media
We’re a small VFX and design house made up of a fairly multifaceted group. We are all linked by Continue reading

Blur hires EP Greg Talmage, promotes others

Culver City’s Blur Studio, known for its VFX and design work for games, spots and films, has hired Greg Talmage as executive producer. Talmage brings 15 years of experience in creative services to Blur and was most recently from Iron Claw, an Emmy Award-winning production company that he co-founded in 2008.

In his new role Talmage will help guide Blur’s continued growth in games, commercials, VFX and film projects, and drive opportunities for Blur’s emerging pool of directors.

“I’ve always been a fan of Blur,” he says. “Their work has emotional impact and authentic, human resonance. Blur pushes the creative concept until it’s absolutely memorable and hard-hitting. My goal is to broaden our horizons, elevate brand awareness and expose more people to the passion and talent here — we work with top-level movie directors, develop our own properties, write trailers, direct commercials and create stunning animation. Now, it’s time for Blur to also shine in different markets and new forms of media.”

Talmage began his entertainment career at DreamWorks in marketing in the late 90’s and then gravitated towards design and short-form projects, rising through the ranks as a producer at companies that included Imaginary Forces, Transistor Studios, Troika and Logan, where he managed projects for major brands such as Microsoft, Apple and Electronic Arts.

In addition to bringing Talmage on board, Blur has promoted three long time artists to leadership roles within the company. Director Dave Wilson assumes creative director responsibilities, providing a guiding vision together on all company projects with Blur co-founder Tim Miller, while former VFX/CG supervisor Kevin Margo will be directing commercials, shorts and content for video game marketing campaigns. Previously the most senior CG supervisor at Blur, Jerome “Jed” Denjean now oversees all department leads as head CG supervisor, in addition to managing projects.

PromaxBDA 2014 award winners

PromaxBDA, an association for marketing, promotion and design pros, announced the winners for the 2014 Promotion, Marketing & Design North America Awards and Global Excellence Awards. The ceremony was held at PromaxBDA: The Conference 2014 in New York, which recognizes “the most creative and high-impact work produced in North America and throughout the world.”

FX Networks won for Marketing Team of the Year, in addition to securing 40 individual awards for specific campaigns. Stun Creative in Los Angeles received the Agency of the Year award, plus seven awards for individual campaigns.

“This award means a lot to us,” said Brad Roth, Stun Creative co-founder/partner. “The idea to start our shop was actually hatched over coffee at Promax 15 years ago in South Beach.”

Mark Feldstein, Stun co-founder and partner added, “We wouldn’t be where we are today without the total collaboration and imagination of the incredible talent we have on staff, and our clients, who give us the opportunity to take creative risks.”

Other North America Award winners were A&E Television Networks with 30, Showtime with 26 and HBO with 25. Additional winners were National Geographic Channels, Fox Sports Marketing, Bell Media Agency, Discovery, ESPN, History, and Nickelodeon.

For a list of winners in the area of Promotion, Marketing and Design, click here.

For a list of winners in the Global Excellence Awards, click here.

Meet The Artists: Ben Watne and Chris Averbeck

Chris and Ben

Chris Averbeck and Ben Watne

COMPANY: Splice (www.splice.tv, @splice_here)

NAMES: Ben Watne and Chris Averbeck

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Chris: Splice is a Minneapolis-based studio that specializes in VFX, Design, Edit, Sound, and Color…and production.

Continue reading