Tag Archives: Optimus

Editor David Cea joins Chicago’s Optimus  

Chicago-based production and post house Optimus has added editor David Cea to its roster. With 15 years of experience in New York and Chicago, Cea brings a varied portfolio of commercial editing experience to Optimus.

Cea has cut spots for brands such as Bank of America, Chevrolet, Exxon, Jeep, Hallmark, McDonald’s, Microsoft and Target. He has partnered with many agencies, including BBDO, Commonwealth, DDB, Digitas, Hill Holliday, Leo Burnett, Mother and Saatchi & Saatchi.

“I grew up watching movies with my dad and knew I wanted to be a part of that magical process in some way,” explains Cea. “The combination of Goodfellas and Monty Python gave me all the fuel I needed to start my film journey. It wasn’t until I took an editing class in college that I discovered the part of filmmaking I wanted to pursue. The editor is the one who gets to shape the final product and bring out the true soul of the footage.”

After studying film at Long Island’s Hofstra University, Cea met Optimus editor and partner Angelo Valencia while working as his assistant at Whitehouse New York in 2005. Cea then moved on to hone his craft further at Cosmo Street in New York. Chicago became home for him in 2013 as he spent three years at Whitehouse. After heading back east for a couple of years, he returned to Chicago to put down roots.

While Avid Media Composer is Cea’s go-to choice for editing, he is also proficient in Adobe Premiere.

Filmworkers brings on color vet Craig Leffel

Chicago’s Filmworkers is representing veteran colorist Craig Leffel for color grading projects in the Midwest. Leffel will continue to serve as executive producer of Big Spoon Industries, the creative production studio he formed last fall, while handling color correction assignments through Filmworkers.

Leffel has been a colorist in Chicago for more than 20 years. He has worked with all of the city’s top agencies for accounts including Coors Lite, American Family Insurance, Kraft, Coke, Chicago Blackhawks and many others.

Leffel’s background includes a 15-year run as senior colorist at Optimus and three years as director of production of its production arm, One at Optimus. He also was a partner in the company. He left Optimus last fall to launch Big Spoon Industries, a collective of directors, artists and designers focused on producing work directly for brands, digital agencies, marketing firms and others.

Leffel says his agreement with Filmworkers allows him to continue to pursue his passion for production and storytelling, while meeting demand for his skill as a colorist. “It’s a great opportunity. I’ve had a long relationship with Reid (Filmworkers president Brody), and we share a similar respect for color correction. I like the people at Filmworkers and the support they give to their artists. They are perfect allies.

“Color correction, for me, is a very iterative process,” he explains. “It’s about interpreting the thinking of the creative team and interpreting what was captured on the set, and turning it into something people want to see on screen. In the best scenario, it goes beyond what anyone hoped or imagined.”

In terms of tools, Leffel says he’s “ninja-level” on FilmLight’s Baselight, and proficient in Scratch, Lustre, Resolve, Speedgrade, and many others.