Tag Archives: Loyalkaspar

Behind the Title: Loyalkaspar EP Scott Lakso

“People probably don’t expect that sometimes being an EP involves jumping into After Effects to render something, or contributing written ideas to strategic and conceptual projects.”

Name: Scott Lakso

Company: New York City’s Loyalkaspar

What does Loyalkaspar do?
We’re a creative branding agency specializing in brand strategy, identity, marketing and production. In human terms: We like to make good work that people will enjoy, and we try to do it for companies that make the world better!

SyFy rebrand

What’s your job title?
Executive Producer

What does that entail?
It entails a little bit of everything you’d expect, but mostly it involves making sure our clients are happy so that they’ll want to keep working with us on new projects. It also means establishing relationships with potential clients. At the office, it means overseeing the team of producers and making sure that everyone is happy and productive. There are a lot of proposals, budgets and timelines as part of that, but all of the nitty-gritty stuff is in service of fostering healthy relationships inside the company and with outside clients.

What would surprise people the most about what falls under that title?
People probably don’t expect that sometimes it involves jumping into After Effects to render something or contributing written ideas to strategic and conceptual projects. The title makes it sound like a reductive position, as in an “executive” producer doesn’t do any of the tasks they used to do as a coordinator or mid-level producer, but it’s actually more of a cumulative role — all of the skills I’ve developed over the 11 years it took to get to EP are still used anytime it seems appropriate.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite aspect is having the freedom, capacity and trust of the company leadership to do whatever I feel is best for our people, our clients and Loyalkaspar as a whole. Sometimes that’s helping a client out of a bind on short notice, encouraging a staffer to vent over a pint or organizing a spontaneous karaoke night when the time is right… which is more often than you might think.

What’s your least favorite?
When the circumstances of a project or situation require me to work reactively rather than proactively. I’m not a fan of winging it! It feels like driving at night with the headlights turned off. I’m much happier when I can plan a few steps ahead and help everyone avoid the headaches of hazardous speed bumps.

What is your most productive time of day?
Anytime that I can tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand. That’s more about creating a productive window in which to work rather than waiting for a specific time of day.

If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
I’d be doing literally any job that NASA would be willing to hire me for, given my lack of astronautics knowledge and experience. So I’d probably be scrubbing dishes in the Cape Canaveral food court or something equally unglamorous.

How did you choose this profession?
“Chose this profession” is a strong phrase, given that I had no idea this kind of work existed until I moved to New York after college. I think I technically stumbled into it. That being said, at some point while stage-managing high school theater, I probably subconsciously chose to go down the path that would lead me to something like this as an adult.

Super Bowl halftime show graphics 2010

Can you name some recent projects?
For the past few months, I’ve been mostly dedicated to the brand identity development for Peacock, the new streaming platform from NBCUniversal. But other recent standout projects have been an interactive film for a museum in Philadelphia and involvement in pitches to the Sesame Workshop and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Do you have a project you are most proud of?
It’s hard to pick only one, but producing the Super Bowl halftime show graphics in 2010 and overseeing our all-encompassing rebrand of SyFy in 2017 are a couple of personal favorites.

Name three piece of technology you can’t live without.
I’d have a hard time living in a world that didn’t have the technology to enjoy music and movies/television, so let’s say a good screen of some kind, a record player/stereo/iPod and some good headphones.

What social media channels do you follow?
At this point, only Instagram. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that most social media content makes people feel worse about themselves and the world. At least on Instagram, people seem interested in posting things that others will enjoy rather than just broadcasting whatever will get them the most attention.

Do you listen to music while you work? If so what kind?
I find it impossible to work without music on. In terms of what specifically, almost anything instrumental is good for working to, but I really love old, cheesy music like bossa nova, retro Italian film soundtracks, 1960s/1970s library music, Burt Bacharach, etc. That probably makes me sound pretentious, or maybe like a dork, but I’m not exactly proud of my weird taste in music.

What do you do to de-stress from it all?
There are tons of options! When time permits, traveling and hiking outside of the city (especially outside of the country) are great for stress. I know that exercise is good for stress but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable, so I have to trick myself into accidentally getting a workout while doing something like being in nature or exploring a foreign country. On a smaller scale, just drinking wine with my wife, going to a movie with my phone turned off or doing anything you can find in a book on “hygge” (like reading in my pajamas or cooking comforting food).

Loyalkaspar brands CNN’s ‘The Seventies’

Following the CNN original series The Sixties, creative agency Loyalkaspar reunited with the network to help produce another multi-platform branding and marketing campaign for its new offering, The Seventies.

The eight-part documentary series from producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (Playtone), in association with HBO and producer Mark Herzog (Herzog & Company), immerses viewers into that era through the use of rarely seen archival footage, as well as interviews with journalists, historians, musicians and television artists who were eyewitnesses to history.

Led by creative director Anna Minkkinen, Loyalkaspar worked closely with CNN to create a series of promos and teasers, as well as key art and brand elements for The Seventies campaign’s digital components. Watch it here.

According to Minkkinen, “That decade revealed the consequences of the ‘60s and, ultimately, set the stage for our modern world today. This lasting significance informed how we concepted our campaign, while the integrity and intelligence of both the series and CNN inspired our work.”

Drawing a connection to The Sixties campaign motif — television’s entry into the American home — Loyalkaspar used classic Polaroid photos to frame the subjects explored in the second installment of the series.

“We wanted this campaign to have its own personality as a decade within the larger brand of the series,” says Minkkinen. “When the first truly instant camera came out in 1972, it was the quintessential consumer-facing technology of the time — and the perfect device to visually underscore the purveying theme of change explored in CNN’s series.”

This theme is further expressed through the tagline that Loyalkaspar coined — “One Nation Under Change,” which alludes to the bicentennial, as well as themes of self-reinvention in America, both socially and politically.

The teasers and launch promo feature iconic ‘70s songs, including the revolutionary chant of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” in the launch spot, a dynamic stop-motion collage of instant photographs and sound bites that capture the essence of the decade.

Loyalkaspar combined an array of design and filmmaking techniques to create the spots. The intensive pre-production process included detailed animatics and tests to map out camera moves choreographed to the music, as well as meticulous prop selection — both to ensure historical accuracy and to create a bold and cohesive color palette.

logoLoyalkaspar captured the nostalgic environments primarily in-camera on Phantom 4K and Red Dragon 6K models, using a techno-crane to achieve complex long takes with curving moves that travel over detailed sets. A Canon 5D was used to shoot some additional elements (backplates and Polaroids) used in the launch spot. Dream On evokes the POV of a determined journalist, as the camera moves across a colorful desk of ‘70s artifacts, including a typewriter, rotary telephone, and a Watergate-headlined newspaper. The team also shot additional background plates for future episodic promotions, including props for end pages.

“We wanted these spots to feel photographic and expressive of the time, which was a big motivation for capturing the environments in-camera,” concludes Minkkinen. “We did rely on CG for certain shots, but by combining real elements with our CG strategically, we were able to keep the spots feeling organic.”

For preproduction, Loyalkaspar created animatics with Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema 4D. In post, they  called on Adobe Premiere for the edit. Tracking was in Imagineer Mocha and Photshop’s After Effects was used for compositing, animation and color treatment. The studio did some 3D modeling and animation in Maxon’s Cinema 4D for the Let’s Get it On spot.

Bi-coastal Loyalkaspar in expansion mode, hires two

Loyalkaspar has added Heidi Erney as executive producer and Janice Walbrink as director of business development. The branding agency, which opened a new space in LA earlier this spring, has also added a new office in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Erney and Walbrink are part of Loyalkaspar’s bicoastal expansion, which began last summer with the addition of chief development officer Robert Blatchford and creative director Anna Minkkinen.

“It’s been quite a run for our agency over the last 12 months,” said David Herbruck, Loyalkaspar’s principal/president. “Our recent growth and success point to the fact that we’ve stayed true to our core philosophy that great creative is born out of strategic thinking. We continue to refine our creative methodologies by taking on new challenges and working with aspirational clients and talent. With exceptional people like Heidi and Janice on board, we’re stronger than ever before.”

Erney joins Loyalkaspar’s New York office bringing with her extensive experience growing businesses and leading creative teams in the field of entertainment branding. She has launched brands from the ground up, including Discovery HD Theater, Rush HD and The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She was most recently executive producer/head of production at BigSmack, which she helped launch in 2007.

Janice Walbrink

Janice Walbrink

Walbrink, who is based in the Los Angeles office, brings a diverse entertainment background. Previously she was at creative studio Imaginary Forces. Prior to that, she served as head of business development at LA-based mixed-media production company Roger.

While initially breaking into the film and TV business working in the TV literary department at Creative Artists Agency, she eventually found her way to advertising working at Biscuit Filmworks, where she worked closely with acclaimed director Noam Murro while simultaneously directing and producing her own award-winning short films, music videos and spec projects.

Main Photo Caption: (L-R) Heidi Erney.