April 30, 2009

Original Film Adds Director Yann Secouet

Company Forms Creative Alliance With
London-based Prod. Co. 76 Ltd

LOS ANGELES, CA - Original Film (http://www.originalfilm.com), the award-winning commercial/entertainment production company led by Executive Producers Bruce Mellon, Jeff Devlin and Joe Piccirllo, has added director Yann Secouet to its impressive talent roster, and formed a strategic creative alliance with London-based 76 Ltd, which represents Secouet throughout Europe.

Secouet, whose talents include a deft hand with animation and visual effects-heavy projects, as well as an expert car shooter, joins a directorial roster that includes feature filmmakers Simon West, Dennis Dugan, Hugh Hudson; and commercial directors Michael Mieke, Ben Orisich, Brendan Williams, Tim Gibbs, Dick Buckley, Anibal Suarez and Doug Finelli. Original also represents branded content specialist Geoffrey Madeja.

"Our relationship with Yann and 76 Ltd reflects the kind of growth my partner Bruce and I were looking for," Joe Piccirillo partner/executive producer Original Film, said "Yann's work is so strong and 76 Ltd. is a tremendous production resource."

Educated in England and France, Secouet began his career at the London production company MKD before moving on to the branding and communications agency Kemistry. It was there he developed the extensive knowledge of design, animation and visual effects that informs much of his work. It's Secouet's mastery of both live action filmmaking and post techniques that makes his work so compelling. For evidence look no further than his extensive work for Saab, Electrolux, Toyota, Lowes, BBC and Channel 4 (London).

"Original Film has a strong heritage as a production company," Secouet said. "I see Original as a company that facilitates the opportunity for creative people to do great work across all areas of the commercial process and that's my philosophy exactly."
Regarding his style, Secout noted that his expertise in post is often most important in the early stages of a project.

"I regularly draw upon my background in graphics and animation," Secouet explained. "But it's in the early stages of a project that I use it to great affect by creating animatics that explore camera moves for tricky narratives and visualize complex effects. It allows the whole team to get a clear idea of how we're going to get the shots we need, and thus I can spend more time on the 'whys' rather than the 'hows.'"

Beyond simply adding a top director to its roster, the creative alliance between Original Film and 76 Ltd is equally crucial to both companies as global reach becomes more imperative to success in today's commercial production industry. Last year Original forged a similar alliance with Australia production house 8 Commercials, Sydney.

"As the commercial business expands outside individual markets now more than ever before it's essential to form alliances to service an ever-increasing range of productions," Mark Murrell, Executive Producer of 76 Ltd, said. "Agencies benefit from having a global perspective and production companies need to tap into that. Original has a fantastic reputation and an amazing roster of directors that complements ours. It gives us a foothold in the States and allows us to work together on co-productions whether that be UK jobs shooting in the US or Original work that may need servicing in the UK."

About Original Film:
Founded in 1992 by Bruce Mellon and Neal Moritz, Original Film has built a well-earned reputation for creating some of the most memorable advertising in the last two decades. The company is led by Executive Producers/Partners Mellon, Jeff Devlin and Joe Piccirillo and represented by Robin Pickett in the Midwest and Finn/Saxon in the West. For more information go to

Web Resources:
Click below for more info about Original Film:

Click below for more info about 76 Ltd:

April 22, 2009

BOND Teams Up With Leo Burnett To Promote The World Wildlife Foundation's Earth Hour Big Turn Off

Hilarious Two-Spot Campaign Featuring Janeane Garofalo and Alanis Morissette Promotes Worldwide Green Initiative

NEW YORK, NY -- The Big Turn Off was the World Wildlife Foundation's Earth Hour campaign to get every one in the world to turn off their lights for one hour. Promoting this worthy cause are two funny spots featuring comedian/activist Janeane Garofalo and singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, created by agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, with creative editorial and audio post work from BOND (http://www.bondedit.com), the full-service post house led by Creative Director Jeff Beckerman. The spots were directed by Jim Tozzi of production company THEM, New York.

"Being a part of a great creative campaign that also happens to be attached to a worthy cause doesn't happen all the time," Beckerman says. "We're proud of our role in this year's project and the fact that the event proved to be a huge success with millions around the world taking part."

BOND's Claudia Reda-Walker edited the spot "Personal Grooming" (:30), which features Garofalo talking directly to the camera about the Big Turn Off event as she sits before a canvas painting with her freakishly long arm pit hair. Stas Lipovetskiy cut "Airplane," which depicts Morissette, seated in the first-class section of an airplane, clipping her toenails (one of which lands in a glass of water belonging to the guy seated next to her), and talking about the importance of the Big Turn Off. The spot ends with the guy holding his glass of water in disgust and ringing for the flight attendant.

"Janeane's performance guided the edit, every cut was done subtly to allow the attention to focus on her delivery and the comedy," Reda-Walker says. "The biggest challenge was selecting one take versus another -- they were all hysterical."

For Lipovetskiy, the project offered him yet another opportunity to further his knowledge of the RED Camera system, one of the newest digital camera formats used in production. BOND has worked on numerous projects featuring the RED camera system and has quickly earned a reputation as the go-to post house on the East Coast for RED Camera post-production, particularly with the Avid editing system.

"Even now there are still some kinks in the RED post-production workflow," Lipovetskiy says, "but because of our experience with RED we are quickly able to resolve any issues that might arise on any given project. Our expertise definitely saves the client time and money."

About BOND:
From inside their beautifully designed 6,500 square foot studio, BOND (
http://www.bondedit.com) - the creative editorial/post house founded in 2006 by editor Jeff Beckerman - lends its versatile talents to the best in cross-platform advertising and entertainment. They offer clients a full menu of creative services, including editing, graphics, motion effects and sound design/audio post. For more information contact Executive Producer, Stephanie Shayne at stephanie_shayne@bondedit.com or 212-533-9400.

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the WWF Earth Hour spots:

Click here to check out BOND's website:

Creative Credits:
Client: WWF Earth Hour
Project: "The Big Turnoff" (2 :30s)
Airdate: March 2009

Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago, IL
SVP Creative Director: Avery Gross
SVP Creative Director: Brian Shembeda
VP Content Architect: Vincent Geraghty
SVP Account Director: David Brot
Account Executive: Lisa Akey

Production Company: THEM, New York
Director: Jim Tozzi
Executive Producer: Tony Harding

Editorial: BOND Edit, New York
Editors: Claudia Reda Walker (Janeane Garofalo)
Stas Lipovetskiy (Alanis Morissette)
Producer: Amy Kommatas
Creative Director: Jeff Beckerman

Sound Design/Audio Post: BOND Audio, New York
Sound Designer/Engineer: Mark Cobrin

yU+co. Creates Main Titles Sequence for Disney’s Race To Witch Mountain

Award-Winning Design/Visual Effects Studio Incorporates
Archival Footage of UFOs to Haunting Effect

HOLLYWOOD, CA - How do you distill the world’s collective understanding and evidence of UFOs into three-and-a-half minutes? That was the challenge facing visual design and motion graphics studio yU+co. (http://www.yuco.com), led by Creative Director Garson Yu, for the main title sequence to Disney’s Race To Witch Mountain, opening in theatres on March 13.

"Race To Witch Mountain represents the third time we worked with director Andy Fickman," says Yu, who previously worked with Fickman on The Game Plan and She’s the Man. "I’m very proud of the fact that so many top directors like Andy, Zack Snyder, Ang Lee and many others continue to come back to us for titles. It says a lot about both the creativity we bring to each project and the collaborative nature between yU+co. and the director. This project was especially challenging, but we’re proud we could bring Andy’s vision for the titles to life."

Race to Witch Mountain is a sci-fi adventure about two alien visitors and their search for their lost spacecraft. For the main title sequence, yU+co.’s concept was to tell the story of UFO’s from early sightings in the U.S. to present day, using archival newspaper headlines, film footage, photos and eyewitness accounts of UFO sightings. Set to a pulsating orchestral score, the tension-filled sequence immediately pulls viewers into this mysterious world with fast-paced editing of astonishing UFO imagery coupled with a subtle, yet powerful type design that animates on and off as if emanating from an extraterrestrial transmission signal.

"The main title sequence started in the editing room by researching hundreds of pieces of archival UFO footage that would help us tell the story," says Synderela Peng, yU+co.’s Art Director. "We delineated decades of UFO discoveries, beginning with the 1950’s to the present day. We also spent a lot of time on details like treating the headlines and the film footage so they reflect the time period they were supposed to be from."

For example, yU+co treated some of the clips with film scratches and burns to simulate aging film stock from the 50’s. They also added microfiche animations on the sections that covered the1980’s, and overlaid TV scan-lines to many of the clips that belonged in the 1990’s and later.

"The main title went through several transformations," Peng adds. "Andy [Fickman, the director] was very specific about what he wanted in the final. He asked for a title sequence that built the mystique and the history of UFO’s and uses the wealth of footage that have been captured throughout time, mixing it with newspaper and magazine headlines to help inform the viewers on seminal UFO sightings. Typographically, we went with a classic font that was reminiscent of what you would see in 1920’s tabloid newspaper headlines."

While the creative challenges were many, for David Garber, yU+co.’s Executive Producer, the approval process for using the archival footage proved to be extremely complex, requiring a coordinated effort with Disney’s legal team.

"There were some incidents where we had fallen in love with a piece of footage and how it fit into the whole piece only to find out Disney couldn't secure the rights and we had go back and find something different," Garber says. "There was a lot intricate legal footwork happening. In the end everyone was happy with the way it came out and I think audiences are going to be struck by it."

In addition to Race to Witch Mountain, other yU+co. projects include the re-teaming with director Zack Snyder (300) for the main title sequence of Warner Bros.’ Watchmen, and the overall visual design and motion graphics applied as visual effects for Lakeshore Entertainment/Lionsgate’s upcoming futuristic thriller, Game. yU+co. also created the cinematics for Capcom’s new release of the popular video game franchise, Resident Evil 5.

About yU+co:
Recognized as an industry leader in visual design and motion graphics with offices in Hollywood, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, yU+co. (http://www.yuco.com
) specializes in digital content for all media platforms as well as for title design for film and television, visual effects and animation, theatrical logos, game cinematics and commercials. For more information, contact: Dianna Costello (feature film and television); or Michael Bennett (gaming/game cinematics and commercials) at 323-606-5050.

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the Race To With Mountain title sequence:

Click here for more info about yU+co:

Click here for more info about Race To Witch Mountain:

Creative Credits:
Project: "Race To Witch Mountain" main title sequence
Client: Disney

Design/Animation: yU+Co., Hollywood, CA
Creative Director: Garson Yu
Executive Producer: David Garber
Art Director: Synderela Peng
Production Coordinator: Annie Chen
Title Editor: Nikita Kleverov
Editorial Assistant: Brandon Muse
Layout Artist: Edwin Baker
Animator: Gary Garza
Animator: Alex Yoon
Animator: Danielle Leiser
Shake Artist: Alan Boucek
Roto Artist: Merlin Carrol
Roto Artist: Miljohn Ruperto

April 21, 2009

Sexiest Commercial Ever? BEST* Company Ever Produces New Ad For Lifestyles Skyn Condoms

New Spot to Air on MTV, Internationally and a Hilarious
Viral Version Featuring ‘The Condom Fairy’

EL SEGUNDO, CA - BEST* Company Ever (http://www.bestcompanywebsite.com), the creative production house led by directors Laura Murphy and Eileen Doherty, has produced a condom commercial that actually uses sex to sell condoms. The new spot for Lifestyles Condom’s newest product called Skyn features three attractive young couples in some serious back-scratching, toe-curling action. The spot will break later this month on MTV and air internationally with an even racier version.

"We talked with MTV standards before the shoot about where the line was in terms of what could and couldn’t do," Murphy said, "then we did everything we could to dance around the line. We wanted sexy but not dirty. It was a little like playing doctor -- telling the actors specifically what they could and couldn’t touch. Basically, no boob touching, no heads below the waist and nothing too ‘porny.’ It also led to more innuendo, double entendres and ‘that’s what she said's' than you have ever heard on a set before."

Entitled "Skyn Revolution," the ad begins with a shot of a dimly lit hallway as a young couple, leaving an apartment party, can barely keep their hands off each other. That scene cuts to a parked SUV with a couple kissing passionately in the front seat, which then cuts to a third couple on a bed in a messy bedroom with an open closet door partially obscuring the room. From there the action unfolds with a series of quick cuts from each couple as clothing is removed, things heat up and tension builds. As a driving song from Eagles of Death Metal ups the ante, a sultry female voice intones "it’s like nothing now and like nothing ever before because it’s like nothing at all.

The Skyn revolution is here and safe sex will never feel the same way again."

"We have a lot of experience with the 18-24 year-old male, in life and in work, which meant we were in our comfort zone demographic-wise but we usually do comedy. The sexy and serious tone of the project was a nice break allowing us to really focus more on the look and style of the spot," Doherty says. "We wanted it to feel realistic. So take the couple in the car: we’ve all had sex in a car and it can be awkward, but almost getting caught adds to the excitement. We wanted to capture the fun coupled with the sexy."

Helping ease any awkwardness and adding to the look of the spot was BEST*’s use of the Silicon Imaging SI-2K digital camera - the camera that was used extensively in the Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire. For Murphy, the fact that the camera has a removable head that is small and maneuverable was key. It allowed them to really get it into the action without intruding on the actor’s performances. "It gave us the freedom to get in small places and to get intimate shots of them touching without being right in their face with a bulky camera and the footage looked amazing."

About Best Company Ever:
Laura Murphy and Eileen Doherty spent their formative years in New York at MTV, drinking, writing and directing really funny on-air promos. From there, Eileen went on to become Executive Producer of Stardust, a bi-coastal motion graphics/production company, where she basically ran the show and impressed big shot clients like Nissan, Microsoft and Target. Laura left MTV and signed on as a commercial director with a New York based production company and went on to direct spots for Comedy Central, AT&T, Major League Baseball and others. With an eye on the changing environment of advertising and wanting to combine their unique and diverse skill set, they saw the opportunity to create a new business model. Specializing in writing, producing and directing advertising, promotional and comedy content for on-air, online and print, they have created a model that is streamlined, cohesive and incredibly creative…. the BEST* business model ever.

Creative Credits:
Client: Lifestyles Condoms
Project: "Skyn Revolution" (:30)
Airdate: March 2009

Agency: AMP, Boston, MA

Production Company: BEST* Company Ever, El Segundo, CA
Directors/Producers: Laura Murphy, Eileen Doherty
DP: Christophe Lanzenberg

Post: Filmcore, Los Angeles, CA
Editor: Adam Svatek

Finishing: New Hat, Santa Monica, CA
Colorist: Bob Festa

Music/Audio Post: Wholly Cow Audio, Manhattan Beach, CA
Engineer: Steve Gregan

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the Lifestyles Condoms "Skyn Revolution" spots:

Click here for more info about BEST* Company Ever:

Click here for more info about AMP:

Click here for more info about Lifestyles Condoms

Click here for some hilarious euphemisms for condoms:

April 4, 2009

PMcD Design Makes Impact With Starz Crash

Design Studio Creates Comprehensive Promo Package For
The Network's First-Ever Original Series

NEW YORK, NY -- Crash, the Academy Award winning film, is now a series on the Starz Network, marking the network's first-ever original series. With so much riding on the show's success, Starz turned to New York-based PMcD Design (http://www.pmcddesign.com), part of the transmedia branding and design group LORI PATE+ (http://www.loripateplus.com), to design and produce the comprehensive promotional package that includes IDs, end pages, long form title sequence and a comprehensive toolkit for Starz producers and editors to use for tease, launch and episodic campaigns.

For Patrick McDonough, founder/creative director of PMcD, the package needed to convey the essence of the show - characters from different backgrounds on separate journeys till fates collide and lives are changed forever. To capture the elements of tension and danger, McDonough and his creative team in collaboration with Brian Kintz and the Starz team shot images of glass shattering and metal twisting as well as time-lapse footage of the Los Angeles skyline using the super high-speed Phantom digital camera (1000 fps), The show's logo is seen projected over a myriad surfaces and layered throughout the footage and graphic elements.

"The idea was to graphically illustrate the uneasy and volatile quality of the relationships seen in the show," McDonough said. "The high-speed photography of breaking glass and crushing metal visually suggests the random destruction of lives. We also wanted to capture the character of Los Angeles and give it a sensual quality. The time-lapse photography captures a feeling of chaos and the randomness of life in general."

Starring an ensemble cast led by film icon Dennis Hopper, the series looks at the way different lives intersect and collide in the melting pot of L.A. The drama features a disparate group of Los Angelinos, including maverick record producer Ben Cendars (Dennis Hopper); impulsive cop Kenny Battaglia (Ross McCall); his actress-turned-police officer partner Bebe Arcel (Arlene Tur); frustrated Brentwood mom Christine Emory (Clare Carey); her pre-bust real-estate developer husband Peter Emory (D.B. Sweeney); former gang member-turned-EMT Eddie Choi (Brian Tee); Ben's street-smart driver Anthony Adams (Jocko Sims); illegal Guatemalan immigrant Cesar Uman (Luis Chavez); and cocky, hot-tempered detective Axel Finet (Nick Tarabay).

For PMcD designer/director Suzanne Kiley the challenge was making best use of the array of footage they had to work with - the elements they shot, footage from the show and Starz logo.
"My biggest concern was designing elements that utilize the best of the beautiful, organic live action elements within the typographic framework that supported the show and created a strong brand personality" Kiiley said. "I wanted to make sure all of the selects from the slow motion crushing metal , glass and projections were incorporated within all of the deliverables."

PMcD Design is a New York-based, full-service design company. PMcD specializes in all aspects of broadcast, and print design as well as production for the entertainment industry. Clients include ABC, NBC, ESPN, NGC, Starz, Encore, PBS and WNET. PMcD Design is part of LORI PATE+, a transmedia branding and design group. For further information, please contact Lori Pate by visiting

LORI PATE+ represents the top branding, promotion, design, interactive and production professionals in the broadcast, cable and evolving media industries. Experienced and innovative, LORI PATE+ connects clients to its members to produce effective media branding solutions.

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the Crash PMcD-designed promo campaign for Starz:
Click here for more info about PMcD:
Click here for more info about Crash:
Click here for more info about Lori Pate+:

Creative Credits
Client: Starz
Project: Crash promotional campaign
Art Director: Brian Kintz
Executive Director, Creative Services: Kandy Barry
Executive Director, Creative Services: Marc Chusid
Vice President, On-Air Promotions: Che Che Mata
Director, Starz Channels: Stacey Libbrecht

Production/Design: PMcD Design, New York
Creative Director: Patrick McDonough
Executive Producer: Dana Bonomo
Designer: Suzanne Kiley
Producer: Alison Cole
Live Action Producer: Alessandra Pasquino
Director / DP: Andrew Turman
Lead Animator: Alex Gasowski
Animation / Editor: Genevieve Manion
Media Artist: Josh Lynne

Brand New School Brings Nightmares to Life for Sci Fi Network's "Estate of Panic"

LORI PATE+ Welcomes Company As Its Newest Resource

NEW YORK, NY - Never have nightmares been so lucrative -- or funny. Designed to promote "Estate of Panic," the new reality-style game show on the Sci Fi network, Brand New School (http://www.brandnewschool.com), the bicoastal design, promotion and production collective, and member of transmedia resource group LORI PATE+ (http://www.loripateplus.com), took an oddly lighthearted look at how a couple of common phobias can lead to a fistful of cash. Brand New School's Mario Stipinovich and Jonathan Notaro directed the two promos.

"Sci Fi came to us with a whole bunch of creepy ideas," says Danny Rosenbloom, Executive Producer at Brand New School. "We wanted to bring a cinematic, yet comic style to these pieces, and those elements are what really drove both the casting and the shoot. Along the way, we made several references to science fiction movies and horror films. These spots were created very traditionally. There were no greenscreens, no computerized effects, just good old-fashioned, in-camera shooting."

In "Walls," an area rug bunches up and a piano splits down the center before a startled looking man realizes that the walls are closing in on him. In a scene reminiscent of the trash compactor scene in Star Wars, the man jams a table leg between the walls, just as he discovers a thick wad of bills. His elation is short-lived, however, when the table leg begins to split. As his screams linger in the air, the camera tracks quickly backwards and out to reveal the huge, dark estate of the show's title.

"Water" begins with the oddly muted sounds of a room underwater where a young woman thrashes madly at the water before surfacing near the ceiling, gasping for air. As books and sofa cushions float around her, she clutches at the crown mouldings before coming up with a hand full of cash and shrieking with joy.

"The scenarios in the spots are quite cliche, so making them a little more stylized, and slightly campy, as if they were from a 70s British horror film or a late 90's thriller, was a fun angle for us," Notaro said.

Added Stipinovich, "It was interesting, especially in this day and age, to create these practical effects. Given the schedule, we knew there would be no 'fixing it in post,' but I think we wound up thriving under those constraints. Approaching the job practically just catapulted the realism to the extreme and brought out the best in our actors. There was absolutely no doubt that these scenarios were actually happening."

LORI PATE+ Adds Brand New School
Denver-based LORI PATE+ (http://www.loripateplus.com), the transmedia resource group, has added the renowned bicoastal design, promotion and production studio Brand New School (http://www.brandnewschool.com) as its newest roster member.

"Brand New School is the perfect addition to our strategic and creative group of transmedia branding resources," Pate said. "The company is known for its amazing work and remarkable creative solutions. They are great problem-solvers -- whether it's doing design, promotion, live action, animation or production. I'm excited to offer their services to our media clients."

Brand New School joins the other LORI PATE+ resources, including Lee Hunt LLC for brand strategy; Orange Design for print design; loyalkaspar and PMcD Design for on-air design and production; and BroadTent for interactive design and content.

With offices in New York and Los Angeles, Brand New School is a bicoastal directing collective working in all fields of commercial art. Ever evolving, the studio continues to cultivate a sense of wonder and exploration. For its artists and clients alike, BNS represents an opportunity to play at work, to conduct experiments in image-making, and to feed the inspiration that drives the industry.

LORI PATE+ represents the top branding, promotion, design, interactive and production professionals in the broadcast, cable and evolving media industries. Experienced and innovative, LORI PATE+ connects clients to its members to produce effective media branding solutions.

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the 'Estate of Panic' promos:

Click here for more info about Brand New School:

Click here for more info about LORI PATE+:

Click here for more info about Sci Fi Network:

Creative Credits:
Client: Sci Fi Network
Project: Estate of Panic - two-spot promo campaign

Production & Post Production: Brand New School, New York
Creative Director: Jonathan Notaro
Director: Mario Stipinovich
Executive Producer: Danny Rosenbloom
Cinematographer: Max Goldman
Production Designer: Kevin Bird
Storyboard Artist: Brian Wilcox
Line Producer: Hillary Rogers

Art Director: Mario Stipinovich
CG Supervisor: Vadim Turchin
3D Lighting: Aditi Kapoor
3D Animation: Matt Guzzardo
3D Modeling/Texturing: Adam Rosenzweig
Matte Painting: George Fuentes
Flame Artist: Mark French
Compositor: Chris Gereg
Editor: Matt Silver
Senior Producer: Devin Brook
Producer: Toby Sowers

Telecine: Company 3, New York

Sound Design: Sound Hound, New York
Composer: Brian Rund