December 24, 2012

Waveplant Composer Joel Corelitz Blends Traditional and Non-Traditional Musical Elements For Sublime "The Unfinished Swan" Videogame Soundtrack

Recorded With A Full Orchestra, Evocative Score Perfectly Captures The Mood Of Acclaimed Game Designed For Sony Playstation

CHICAGO, IL - The new Sony Playstation 3 game "The Unfinished Swan" is all about exploring the unknown. The same is also true for composer Joel Corelitz of Waveplant Studios, whose personal creative journey with the project found him writing some 60 minutes of original music that blends traditional and nontraditional elements into a wholly original score.

"People in music often talk about film and TV scores as either being traditional or non-traditional, with non-traditional frequently being characterized as at odds with a classic, melody-based score," Corelitz says. "I wanted to create something that felt like a mix of both, a blending of organic instruments and ambient sound design that would feel fresh ten years from now."

Set in a mysterious black and white landscape that grows more colorful as the game progresses, "The Unfinished Swan" centers on a lonely 10-year-old orphan named Monroe who follows a swan that has stepped out of an unfinished painting and wandered off into a surreal, storybook-inspired kingdom. Each chapter brings surprises, new ways to explore the world, a host of bizarre (and sometimes dangerous) creatures and encounters with the eccentric king who built this empire.

Finding A Balance:
For Corelitz, who Is perhaps best known for his work in advertising and film/video installations, such as LOOM, the interactivity musical installation work for HP, as well as traditional ads for Dodge Dart, Pop Tarts and Kelley Blue Book, one of the key challenges centered on taking the game's moody narrative and composing a score that didn't sound too minor key. The goal, he says, was to use those emotions and build on them with music that also captures a sense of wonder at this strange world.

"There's a sad backstory to the main character," Corelitz explains, "and we needed to bring those emotions to the table, but it was equally important that we infuse the music with a sense of curiosity and playfulness."

With that in mind, Corelitz's score features an array of plucked acoustic instruments, such as harps, marimbas and violins, layered onto a bed of ambient sound design and ethereal synth tones. It's a blend that effectively borrows from traditional film scorers and non-traditional mood purveyors.

"As you play the game, the music is constantly evolving," Corelitz says. "It's never quite the same no matter how many times you play. The music is not just background noise, it's part of the world, it's part of how you feel, how the character feels. We didn't want those things to be separate, we wanted it to be all one experience."

Recording In Nashville:
The music was recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, TN, and for Corelitz hearing his score performed live by both a 25-piece orchestra and a simple string quartet was a powerful moment.

"Ocean Way is an amazing studio housed in a 100-year-old gothic church," Corelitz says. "Hearing my music performed by this orchestra in this studio was amazing. 'The Unfinished Swan' let me spread out creatively and flex musical muscles that haven't used in awhile. It was an amazingly satisfying project to be a part of and I'm proud of what we accomplished."

About Waveplant:
Led by Composer Joel Corelitz, Waveplant transcends classification in its design-oriented approach to composition - creating a seamless sensory experience. Fusing music and sound design, Waveplant produces audio for advertising, broadcast, gaming, film and live installations. Firmly believing that truly special projects deserve originality in every aspect of their creation, as well as the idea that being hired to work on something should never preclude the incorporation of heart and soul, Waveplant is a haven for original sound. For more information go to

Web Resources:
Click here to hear Waveplant's score for "The Unfinished Swan":

Click here for more information about Waveplant:

Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Unfinished Swan" music:

December 23, 2012

IKA Collective Teams With Discovery Networks On Premieres For "American Chopper" and "Deadly Affairs"

Hybrid Creative Studio Crafts Powerful Promos For Popular Shows

 From the "American Chopper" (left), and "Deadly Affairs" (right) promos, both produced by IKA Collective for Discovery Networks.

NEW YORK, NY - "American Chopper," now in its ninth season on the Discovery Channel, remains one of cable's most popular reality shows. When the network needed to promote the much-awaited new season it turned to frequent collaborator IKA Collective, the creative strategy, production, post hybrid studio led by Ian Karr. The conceptual spot, directed by Chris Stifel, centers on the rift between father and son and the rebuilding of their relationship.

Over at sister network, Investigation Discovery, Karr himself directed the launch promo for "Deadly Affairs," the new series hosted by Susan Lucci that tells real-life tales of love gone terribly wrong.

"Both of these projects are very different, but perfectly showcase the range of services IKA Collective brings to our clients," Karr says. "For 'American Chopper' we were there to support Chris's vision and delicately handle the real-life estrangement between Junior and Senior. Conversely, 'Deadly Affairs' was a project in which we were asked to pitch the creative strategy and execute it."

Tension In Orange County:
As any "American Chopper" fan will tell you, the Teutul family is a complex one, especially since the high-profile rift that saw Junior leave his dad's famous motorcycle shop, Orange County Choppers. Their fractured relationship was a big consideration for Karr, who served as Executive Producer on the project.

"This is a big show for Discovery and everyone wanted the new season to begin with an epic promo," Karr says. "We found an old airport hanger at Stewart Airport in Orange County, New York, that perfectly captured the gritty look Stifel and DP Pete Konczal were after."

Set in a dramatically lit shop, reminiscent of OCC's humble beginnings, the spot begins with audio echoes from past arguments between Senior and Junior, as we see the two enter and walk toward the center of the garage where a motorcycle sits on a table covered by a tarp. Facing each other, Senior says, "under this is where it all started." "And now we're going to rebuild it," Junior replies, laying out the story arc for this pivotal season.

The production faced numerous challenges, including shooting in a hot, leaky TSA-monitored hanger located next to a live tarmac with constant plane traffic.  In order to make the day, it was necessary to create multiple sets for simultaneous shooting.

"We pre-lit the entire spot to minimize on-set time for Junior and Senior," Karr says. "After we fired up the cameras and the guys stepped in, you could feel the electricity in the air. With such great on-camera chemistry, it's clear why the show is such a hit."

Deadly Direction
For "Deadly Affairs", the new real-life soap on Investigation Discovery that looks at love triangles gone terribly wrong, IKA's creative team pitched several concepts for the promo. "The only mandate from the network was that they wanted an ending with a twist, just like in the show itself," Karr notes. "We had to strike a balance between dark and light, entertaining the audience without minimizing the tragic nature of these true stories."

The winning concept from IKA Collective and Creative Director Robbie Chafitz, begins with a woman entering her home, walking past a mantle and walls full of happy family pictures as a warm female voiceover says, "He's the love of your life, the father of your children, the man you share your bed with." The mood then turns sinister as the wife opens the bedroom door, revealing her husband with another woman. As she raises a gun toward the fearful cheaters, the voiceover adds, "and yours is the last face he will ever see."

The spot ends with the sound of a gunshot, smash cutting to host Susan Lucci who buttons the spot by saying "first comes love, then comes marriage...and sometimes murder."

In addition to the live action, Karr photographed a series of family portraits -- wedding photos, a fun day in the park, soccer games, etc. -- that served both as props in the home and as backstories for the characters.

"This was a fun scene to create," Karr says. It's partly an homage to Stanley Kubrick. I've always loved the way he used camera placement and motion to evoke a mood.

Karr adds, "The whole spot is shot using a Steadicam. It begins with us happily following the wife around, but when we cut to the scene outside the bedroom, the camera becomes more voyeuristic and you quickly sense that something's off. Then she enters the room and we reveal she's the murderer, not the victim. Sometimes the best way to tell the story comes down to where you put the camera and how you move it."


About IKA Collective:
Founded by noted brand strategist/director Ian Karr, IKA Collective is more than a production company. Rather, they're creative collective of writers, producers, editors, directors, composers, digital artists, fashionistas, foodies and horror film fanatics who love to tell stories. Whether it's an ad, a network promo, a digital media project, or their own original content, IKA Collective is all about communicating in a way that entertains and gets results. Our facility includes a live insert stage, five edit rooms, digital color grading, graphics, compositing and audio mixing suites, allowing us to deliver great work at budgets that make sense in every medium. Recent clients include Fox TV, Discovery Channel, Continental Airlines, Hallmark Channel and Penguin Publishing. For more information go to

Creative Credits:
Client: Discovery Channel
Project: "American Chopper" promo

Agency: Discovery Channel, New York
Creative Director/Director: Chris Steifel

Production: IKA Collective, New York
Director: Chris Steifel
Executive Producer: Ian Karr
Producer: Robbie Chavitz
DP: Pete Konczal

Post: IKA Collective, New York


Client: Investigate: Discovery
Project: "Deadly Affairs" promo

Agency/Production: IKA Collective, New York
Creative Director/Director: Ian Karr

Post: IKA Collective, New York

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the "American Chopper" promo:

Click here to watch IKA Collective's "Deadly Affairs" promo:

Click here for more info about IKA Collective:

December 12, 2012

Stephen Arnold Music Releases 'The Six Strings of Christmas' Album Benefiting Little Kids Rock Charity

Virtuoso Guitar Performances of Holiday Classics Help Non-Profit Organization Provide Free Instruments, Music Lessons to Disadvantaged Public Schools

DALLAS, TX - Stephen Arnold Music, has found a meaningful way to give back in 2012: Record an unforgettable new spin on classic holiday songs, then release them as an album where 100% of the proceeds support the nonprofit organization Little Kids Rock(tm).

Rooted in the company's years of experience creating sonic branding and original music, The Six Strings of Christmas presents a welcome new way to enjoy 16 essential holiday season tunes. Each track is a virtuoso guitar performance - four, six, eight, and 12-string instruments are all represented - arranged and performed by top studio musicians and talent that work with Stephen Arnold Music throughout the year on their many demanding projects.

The result is a collection of fresh renditions of "Joy to the World", "Ave Maria," "Little Drummer Boy," "O Come Emmanuel," "The First Noel," "Auld Lang Syne," and ten more that are magical to listen to. Recorded at Stephen Arnold Music's studios in Dallas, TX, each track captures the nuanced performances of some of the world's top musical craftsmen.

Available on iTunes and CD, The Six Strings of Christmas sells for $9.99, with all proceeds going to Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit that transforms children's lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in disadvantaged public schools. Little Kids Rock partners with school districts, training public school teachers in their innovative curriculum, and donating all of the instruments and resources necessary to run full-fledged music programs.

Stephen Arnold Music's work has been central to the identity of such clients as Nexstar Broadcasting, Fox Business Channel, CNN, The Weather Channel, and a full 35% of all US local TV markets. With The Six Strings of Christmas, the company realized it had an opportunity to make a difference through music.

"We've always had a strong belief in the power of music to positively affect the life of a child," Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music says. "We have the great fortune to work with these amazingly skilled musicians, and after we got to know Little Kids Rock it made perfect sense to put it all together this holiday season.

"Little Kids Rock is an all-volunteer organization that's very efficiently run - it's amazing how far they can make a dollar go," Arnold continues. "By collaborating with them on The Six Strings of Christmas, it's our hope that underprivileged kids across America will get to experience music as an anchor, and an inspirational force, in their lives."

With its highly efficient use of funds, Little Kids Rock will be able to make the most of each copy of The Six Strings of Christmas that is sold:

1 CD = One "rock band" lesson for an entire classroom of students
2 CDs = An entire year of music lessons for one student
5 CDs = One brand new acoustic guitar into a classroom
10 CDs = One brand new electric keyboard and amp into a classroom

"Music education is being stripped from our nation's public schools at an alarming rate due to budget cuts," Keith Hejna, Communications & Outreach Coordinator for Little Kids Rock says. "It's up to the adults to stand up for our children's right to rock this holiday season, and ensure that they receive music education, which is vital to their development as students and human beings.

"Stephen Arnold Music has been a wonderful partner to Little Kids Rock, supporting our mission of not only restoring, but also revitalizing music education for disadvantaged schoolchildren all across the country. Since Stephen Arnold Music is donating 100% of the proceeds of The Six Strings of Christmas, you are actually helping Little Kids Rock bring music into children's lives just by buying some for yourself."

"Our future does not lie in our children's hands," Little Kids Rock Executive Director, David Wish adds. "Our future lies in our children's creativity. We appreciate Stephen Arnold Music and all of its supporters and fans for investing in our children, and our future!"

To purchase The Six Strings of Christmas, or to help spread the word, please visit

Web Resources:

Deck The Halls (featuring Stephen Arnold):
Auld Lang Syne:
Ave Maria:
O Come, O Come Emmanuel:

November 29, 2012

Creative Agency Loyalkaspar Rebrands Screenvision

Comprehensive Project Includes New Logo and On-Screen Visual Environment

NEW YORK, NY – What would it take to get moviegoers to come to the theater early to see the pre-show entertainment? That was the branding challenge facing Loyalkaspar, the Entertainment Branding Agency led by David Herbruck and Beat Baudenbacher, when they tackled the rebrand of Screenvision, the leader in cinema advertising representing over 2,300 theaters across the U.S.

"Our over-arching goal was to create a pre-show experience that would make audiences purposely get to the theater early," Herbruck says. "Screenvision knew they had to take a more proactive look at their brand and the overall entertainment value of the on-screen presentation. We started with designing a new logo and moved from there to exploring new ways to engage and interact with the audience."

The New ‘S’:
Loyalkaspar senior designer Josh Lynne oversaw the logo design and explained that he wanted to deconstruct the letter "s" down to its most basic elements.

"We set out to explore the shape of the letter 'S' in the name ‘Screenvision.’" Lynne says, "The idea we landed on were these high-tech-looking building blocks that formed the 'S.' The look not only suited the brand, but we saw potential in using the rectangle shape to house and deliver content in a variety of ways."

That simple approach to the logo design belies the complexity of the overall on-screen look -- a richly detailed, futuristic environment replete with sleek geometric lines and vibrant neon colors, reminiscent of the sci-fi classic "Tron."

Reintroducing CMOR:
This dynamic world is overseen by the ever-present animated robot, CMOR (as in ‘see more’), who serves as the host of "Limelight" – the Screenvision pre-show featuring interactive trivia contests incorporating smart phones; the new music segment "Soundtrax"; and exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming film releases.

"CMOR was a hold-over from the old brand," Herbruck notes. "We thought he had tremendous value, both in terms of equity and functionality, but we had to give him more to do and imbue him with more personality. We came up with the concept of Limelight as this futuristic digital playground that explores."

Loyalkaspar producer Melissa August adds, "The challenge for us centered on creating a cool world where all these fun opportunities exist with CMOR as your host," she says. "To keep audiences in their seats we made it immersive and visually engaging."
About Loyalkaspar:
Loyalkaspar is an entertainment branding agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles. With an emphasis on crafting unified brand narratives through smart storytelling and an international design aesthetic, Loyalkaspar offers a full spectrum of strategic and creative capabilities from initial insight to final execution. For more information go to

Creative Credits:
Client: Screenvision
Project: Corporate rebrand

Agency: Loyalkaspar, New York
Exec. Creative Director: Beat Baudenbacher
Creative Director: Elliott Chaffer
Executive Producer: David Herbruck
Senior Producer: Melissa August

Design/Animation: Loyalkaspar, New York

Web Resources:

October 24, 2012

Calabash Animation Transports Reality In New Lucky Charms Spot "Transportasty"

Targeting Adult Audience New Ad Brings Nostalgic Office Worker Into Lucky The Leprechaun’s Enchanted Forest

 CHICAGO, IL – Tapping into the kid inside every adult, Calabash Animation, the award-winning animation studio led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry,worked its animated magic on a new ad targeting adults for General Mills’ Lucky Charms cereal. Created by agency Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, "Transportasty" features a busy office worker whisked away to an enchanted forest by just one bite for a chance encounter with Lucky the Leprechaun.

"This spot touches on nostalgia for one’s own youth – a simpler time when a bowl of Lucky Charms and Saturday morning cartoons were the highlight of the week," Henry says. "It was fun idea because the truth is kids aren’t the only ones who love Lucky Charms and this spot gets at that idea in a smart and cinematic way."

Blending 3D animation and live action photography, "Transportasty" (:15) opens with an employee walking through her office break-room. Noticing a bowl of Lucky Charms on the table she helps herself to a bite and is suddenly transported to a lush, beautifully animated 3D forest – complete with rainbows of swirling Lucky Charms cereal pieces around her. As she savors her first bite, Lucky appears uttering his famous catch phrase ("they’re always after me Lucky Charms"), and snatches the bowl of cereal from her hands.

Just as quickly as she got there, she’s transported back to the office, saying to herself "I forgot how good these taste." The last embers of her journey can be seen in the form of pixie dust emanating off the spoon in her hand.

For Brejcha, the creative challenge was determining exactly how Lucky was going to interact with the live action.

"Historically, Lucky doesn’t interact very often with live action characters, and it was imperative to keep it true to the existing Lucky design," Brejcha says. "We spent a lot of time on the photographic details of the CG environment 
and the coherent lighting of this world, because it was crucial that viewers believe that Lucky and this woman are in this world together – magical though it is."

Brejcha adds, "We approached the CG environment in a very painterly way, using gorgeous concept art to guide the feel of it.  Lucky’s animation was an amalgam of 2D drawings informing the CG animation, as we tried to keep Lucky as nimble and expressive as always."

About Calabash Animation:
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation, Inc. ( is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio, known for its award-winning cel, 3D and stop-motion animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to working on some of today’s top advertising the company has also produced several acclaimed short films. It’s 2002 short ‘’Stubble Trouble’’ was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. Its most recent "Botnik" will hit the festival circuit in Fall 2008.

Web Resources:
Click here to view Lucky Charms' "Transportasty" spot:

Click here for more info about Calabash Animation:

Creative Credits:
Client: General Mills/Lucky Charms
Project: "Transportasty" (:15)

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
Creative Director: Manny Galan & Pat Giles
Art Director: Justin Roth
Copywriter: Adam Kline
Producer: John Catapano

Animation: Calabash Animation, Chicago, IL
Animation Director: Wayne Brejcha
Animation Producer: Sean Henry

Production: CO2 Films, Santa Monica, CA
Director: Rogelio Sikander
Producer: Toni-Ann Parker
Executive Producer: Dora Medrano

Editorial/Post: Northern Lights Post, New York
Editor: Michael Novello

Music: Stimmung, New York
Composer: Robert Miller

October 15, 2012

BIGSMACK Brings On The Bling for A&E's "Duck Dynasty" Promo

Rap Video Parody Airs During NFL Games and MLB Playoffs

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Eyeing that always elusive young male demographic, A&E Networks turned to entertainment agency BIGSMACK to craft a clever new hip hop music video inspired promo for the season premiere of their popular "Duck Dynasty" reality show on Wednesday, October 10. The cross-channel spot aired during NBC's highly rated Sunday Night Football broadcast, and will run during this week's MLB playoffs, as well as on other channels.

"Usually our work for an A&E targets a very broad audience, but this was all about reaching the dudes," Andy Hann, BIGSMACK's Creative Director says. "We wrote some lyrics, but honestly the funniest material came when we let rapper Kurt Hunte do some free-styling on his own."

The clever spot combines a classic hip hop groove and a fast cut music video edit to tell the "Duck Dynasty" story, which centers on The Robertsons, a newly-minted multimillionaire Louisiana bayou family living the American dream as they operate a thriving sporting empire manufacturing top-of-the-line duck calls and decoys made out of salvaged swamp wood.

Hann notes that this was one of those rare projects that actually benefited from having a quick turnaround - the project went from concept to final delivery within days.

"Sometimes quick projects like this can be creatively fun because you don't have time to over-think," Hann adds. "With more time and money, a simple yet effective idea like this might not have made it up the ladder."

BIGSMACK is an award-winning entertainment agency comprised of writers, directors, producers, editors, designers, animators, strategists, audio engineers and musicians.

We are more than 100 strong, occupying creative and production space in New York and Philadelphia.

We are all about commercials, promos, print, interactive, design and animation, full-blown productions, show launches, network launches and rebrands, show opens, titles, marketing and upfronts.

We sport the latest technology in our 15 AVID/Final Cut bays, four audio finishing and recording suites and eight Smoke/Inferno/Lustre workstations.

We are partners with ad agencies, studios, networks, cable channels, sports leagues, Internet companies and advertisers direct. 

Contact:  Andrew Kobliska,

Web Resources:

Creative Credits:
Client: A&E Networks
Project: "Duck Dynasty" promo

EVP, Marketing: Guy Slattery
VP Brand Creative: Valerie Albanese
Senior Creative Director, Brand Creative: Maria Pecoraro

Agency/Production/Post: BIGSMACK, Philadelphia, PA
Creative Director: Andy Hann
Producer: Laura Gillespie
Editor: Craig Fields
Copywriter: Tom Pace
Animator: Matt Hall, Jason Harmon
Colorist: Jason Harmon
Composer: Bob Schachner
Rapper: Kurt Hunte

September 20, 2012

Welcome To Cartoon Lagoon:

Longtime Agency Creative Directors Pat Giles and Manny Galán Return To Animation Roots With The Launch Of Cartoon Lagoon Studios


First Project Is Original Series "Captain Cornelius' Cartoon's Cartoon Lagoon" Available This Fall On DVD

NEW YORK, NY - Longtime Saatchi & Saatchi creative directors Pat Giles and Manny Galán have returned to their animated roots in a big way with the launch of Cartoon Lagoon Studios. The studio's first release is "Captain Cornelius Cartoon's Cartoon Lagoon," coming to DVD this November.

Part puppetry, part animation, this distinctive show promises to plumb the depths of "Cartoon Lagoon" as characters Wet Willy Jones and Axel Rodd McGee go on an undersea quest aboard the Manta Ray, a cartoon-retrieving vessel commanded by Captain Cornelius C. Cartoon, in a search of the best and the worst cartoons ever made. The show was created by Galán and co-produced with Giles.

The official trailer for "Captain Cornelius Cartoon's Cartoon Lagoon" is available here: The series will have its premiere screening at New York Comic-Con (#NYCC) in October 2012.

Melting Pot of Pop Culture:
A portion of the show clearly pays homage to "MSTK3000" as the crew searches for the best and the worst cartoons ever made, and make fun of them as they screen them. But it is also much more. Each DVD also features "Captain Cartoon's All Star Revue" - a line-up of new and classic cartoons, musical guests, and interviews with leading animators, original skits and commercial parodies.

"We constructed these segments to help this show feel like it exists in an alternate reality -- like it's from a TV Universe other than our own," Galán says. "It's a Saturday morning or Friday night animation lineup that never existed on TV."

According to Galán, "Captain Cornelius Cartoon's Cartoon Lagoon" is a big melting pot of pop culture commentary and a nostalgic reflection on animation days gone by.

"The spirit of the show harkens back to a time when kids would wake up before their parents on a Saturday morning with a big bowl of cereal and watch cartoons because that was the only time they were on," Galán adds. "This is our attempt to recreate what ephemeral appointment television felt like, only put it on ever-ready DVD and digital media."

Animated Bios:
Galán and Giles know their cereal and their cartoons. They have been in the kids pop culture business for years, most recently as agency creative directors at Saatchi & Saatchi, New York creating ads for General Mills' cereals, such as Lucky Charms, Trix, Cocoa Puffs and Honey Nut Cheerios.

Beyond that the duo have a long pedigree in anmation. Giles was the art director for Disney's "Stanley" series, and worked on 6 other TV shows, including "Doug," and MTV's "Daria."

Galán worked at Marvel, DC Comics and Archie Comics, before joining Nickelodeon, first in their Consumer Products division, and later in the On Air department where he wrote and directed hundreds of shorts, including the legendary "NIckmas" series, "Captain Nick," and "How Angelica Stole Christmas." Galán's toy line "Dookie-Poo" is an award-winning collection of designer vinyls and plush. They also co-own two small comic book publishing companies, featuring the indie-hit "Monkeysuit" series, and "Combination Platter" collections.

But Cartoon Lagoon is the culmination of years of hard work -- half of which was spent in Manny's basement.

"Manny started building a submarine in his basement, about two years ago. He would mention it now and again, you know, this goofy thing," Giles says. "Next thing I know this stunning miniature submarine stage appears. It was amazing."

The show features some noteworthy talent, including legendary voice actor Chris Phillips as 'The Captain'; director Euralis Weekes; and head writer Steve Borst (Robot Chicken, MAD).

"We had a great time making this and we're thankful that so many talented folks were interested in helping us create this modern day tribute to the things we hold so dear," Galán says.

About Cartoon Lagoon:
Join Wet Willy Jones and Axel Rodd McGee on their undersea quest aboard the MANTA RAY, a cartoon-retrieving vessel commanded by Captain Cornelius Cartoon. This brand new animated/puppet show adventure available on DVD in Fall 2012, plumbs the depths of Cartoon Lagoon in search of the best and the worst cartoons ever made. Check out our blog at

Created By Manny Galán, Produced by Pat Giles and Manny Galán, Directed by Euralis Weekes, Director of Photography, Joshua Meyers, Starring Chris Phillips as the voice of "Captain Cornelius C. Cartoon," featuring the puppeteers Michael Schupbach, Noel MacNeal and Frankie Cordero, with puppets designed by Julia Rosner. Written by Manny Galán and Steve Borst, Recorded at Super Exploder, Trailer Scored by Jeff Elmassian and Endless Noise, Produced by Cartoon Lagoon Studios, Filmed in Lagoonimation!

Web Resources:

September 12, 2012

BIGSMACK Adds Matt Hall As Creative Director

Creative Strategist Joins Award Winning Entertainment Agency Following Work With

NBC Sports, Discovery Networks and Microsoft

NEW YORK, NY - Building on their reputation as a leading creative force in the entertainment marketing community, BIGSMACK has added Matt Hall as Creative Director. Hall, who most recently worked on projects for NBC Sports, Discovery Networks and Microsoft, joins a staff led by Chief Creative Andy Hann and Head of Marketing Andrew Kobliska.

Hall joins a BIGSMACK that is in the midst of a creative boom year for the agency hybrid. In addition to winning 10 awards (5 gold) at the recent PromaxBDA Conference held in Los Angeles, the company has been busy on a series of high-level projects for Ogilvy Entertainment, A&E, Nat Geo and comprehensive image campaign for New Jersey's Kean University.

"Matt is the perfect addition to our team,'' Hann says. ''We've worked with him in the past on projects for OWN and A&E and have always been impressed with his writing and his conceptual thinking. BIGSMACK has evolved greatly over the years to the point where some of the largest entertainment brands in the world are turning to us to help guide them through today's complex media landscape with strategic creative, as well as our ability to deliver full service production and post. Having someone like Matt on our team helps BIGSMACK continue our creative evolution."

Joining BIGSMACK represents a reunion of sorts for Hall and Hann, who worked together at Concrete Pictures, Los Angeles, from 2004-2007. Prior to that Hall was a Creative Director at the design/visual effects house3 Ring Circus, Los Angeles. Since 2007 Hall has been working as freelance creative director/designer for clients ranging from NBC Sports, where he developed logos for their Epic Cycle, College Hockey and College Football franchises; and Discovery Networks where he worked on promos for their Animal Planet, TLC, and Discovery channels. He's also freelanced at BIGSMACK, working on projects for A&E, OWN and Discovery.

"I've known Andy for a long-time and I know how he thinks and what he expects - in a way we share a creative shorthand in which we know instinctively where we're going with a particular idea or execution," Hall says. "That kind of familiarity with each others' style and sensibility really helps, especially when time is of the essence, which is the case with so much of BIGSMACK's work. I'm looking forward to working again with Andy, Andrew and the entire BIGSMACK team and contributing to what they're building: the top creative agency in the entertainment space." 

We are an award-winning entertainment marketing agency filled with writers, directors, producers, editors, designers, animators, strategists, audio engineers and musicians.

We are more than 120 strong, occupying a ton of creative and production space in New York City and Philadelphia.

We are all about creating commercials, promos, print, interactive, design and animation, full-blown productions, show launches, network launches and rebrands, show opens, main titles, marketing strategies and upfronts.

We sport the latest technology in our 15 AVID/Final Cut bays, four audio finishing and recording suites and eight Smoke/Inferno/Lustre workstations.

We are partners with ad agencies, studios, networks, cable channels, sports leagues, Internet companies and advertisers direct. 

May 9, 2012

DuArt Authors Joe Satriani’s “Satchurated: Live In Montreal” 2D & 3D Blu-Ray Release At For Cinemusica


Joe Satriani, widely recognized as one of the world’s top guitarists, has added to his legacy with the release of the new live-concert film, "Satchurated: Live in Montreal." The HD film was authored for both 2D and 3D Blu-Ray release by DuArt, NYC’s full-service video and audio post facility.    

Filmed by GRAMMY and EMMY award-winning concert filmmakers Pierre & François Lamoureux of Cinemusica, Satchurated was captured live during Satriani’s “The Wormhole Tour,” supporting his studio album "Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards" at the Metropolis in Montreal, Canada. "Satchurated: Live in Montreal" was released to select theaters throughout the country for a limited engagement in March.

Cinemusica captured the sold-out concert with a total of ten camera positions, recording Satriani’s musical best in both 2D and 3D HD formats, in 7.1 Surround Sound. 

Randy Hudson, Director of Digital Media Post Production for DuArt, oversaw a meticulous 3D Blu-Ray authoring process at DuArt’s advanced facilities in midtown Manhattan. “This was an amazing project, and well deserving of the level of production necessary for making it available on 3D and Blu-Ray,” says Hudson. “You have a front row seat to every chord change, played by one of the world’s undisputed guitar masters.”
Working with his team in DuArt’s dedicated 2D/3D BluRay authoring suite, Hudson used the NetBlender encoding module, Panasonic multiscan displays, and his deep media production experience to help Cinemusica prepare Satchurated for 3D Blu-Ray release.

“Over 5,000 retail DVD and Blu-Ray titles have been collectively authored by the Disc Production team here at DuArt,” Hudson explains. “That helps us to fully understand the workflow and the final product that we’re working toward: knowing the intricacies of 3D subtitling and menuing, advising the client on how to simultaneously set up to playback in 2D for checking text or credits, and myriad other details are all factors in delivering the best possible product to the consumer.”

The complete post offerings available in DuArt’s 12 floor building on 55th Street and 8th Avenue provided Cinemusica with additional important benefits. “Along with the video assets, we can also handle full QC of the audio in a surround environment,” notes Hudson. “All the services at DuArt are available to the client for a fast, complete turnaround, no matter what the format is.”

About DuArt:
DuArt is a full service post facility in NYC, servicing the broadcast and film industries. Operating out of their 12-story building in midtown Manhattan, DuArt provides video editing, color correct, voice recording, casting, 3D editing, direction for animation, music scoring, sound design, film and audio restoration, production space, complete DVD, Blu-Ray, and 3D Blu-Ray disc media production services, and more. Since being established in 1922, DuArt has finished thousands of the world’s most loved feature films, documentaries, festival releases and television shows. For more information, please visit

Cinemusica was formed by brothers, Pierre & Francois Lamoureux.  Their films have won a Grammy, two Emmy, two Juno, two Gemini, a multitude of industry and technical awards, sold millions of copies on BluRay and DVD and aired all around the world. Pierre & Francois Lamoureux have directed  and/or produced concert films and music documentaries for Rush, The Who, Harry Connick, Jr., Slipknot, Rihanna, The Pretenders, Zappa Plays Zappa, Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny, deadmau5, Cowboy Junkies, Collective Soul, Ben Harper, Willie Nelson, Deep Purple, The Stray Cats and others. For more information, please visit

Web Resources:
Click here for more info about DuArt:

Click here for more info about CINEMUSICA:

Click here for clips from "Satchurated":
"Satch Boogie":

April 2, 2012

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Top Book Publishers Turn To IKA Collective To Create Cinema Trailers, Branded Content, Viral Ads and More

From the viral ad for writer Julie Klam featuring actor Timothy Hutton, directed by IKA's Ian Karr.
NEW YORK, NY – Bestselling authors Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts and Patricia Cornwell may not have much in common style-wise, but they do share one thing – each have turned to IKA Collective and its founder/director Ian Karr to help navigate the new media landscape with content that ranges from powerful trailers to clever viral ads to social media.

“Book publishers are embracing new media in a big way,” Jonathan Jacobson, IKA Collective producer/director says. “They recognize that it’s not just about selling books, but about building the brand of their bestselling authors, and fostering a sense of community between them and their readers.”

Several recent IKA book projects showcase the range of creativity the company brings to the publishing industry.

‘Locked On’ With Tom Clancy Trailer:
IKA’s latest book project is the Hollywood-style book trailer for Tom Clancy latest page-turner “Locked On” (Putnam) directed by Jacobson. The spot begins seemingly as a typical political ad for the presidential candidacy of Jack Ryan, but the mood quickly turns sinister. Fast-cut, grainy images of an army on the move, intercut with shots of an assassin’s hands carefully assembling a high-powered shotgun, perfectly capture the book’s tone of political intrigue and espionage.

Viral And More:
On the opposite end of the spectrum is IKA’s viral ad for writer Julie Klam and Riverhead Books, featuring actor Timothy Hutton, and directed by Karr. Shot in a mockumentary style, this funny short begins with Klam talking with her publisher about how Hutton, an avid reader with a popular blog about literature, is a fan of her books and wants to help promote them. Hopes are quickly dashed when a rude Hutton reveals that he doesn’t actually read books, but rather leaves it to an assistant.

“No matter how much technology evolves, the importance of telling a good story remains constant," Karr says. "The story of the trailer doesn’t necessarily have to mirror the one in the book. If the trailer is funny and interesting, the inference is that the book is too. Having an Oscar-winning actor willing to poke a little fun at his fame made for an effective viral ad.”

Karr adds, "Everything today is about content and publishers have loads of it. The trick is re-packaging and promoting the work in a way that makes it more accessible to a digitally-obsessed world. We do that really well at IKA.“

For writer Nora Roberts, IKA produced of a one-of-a-kind web special exclusively for Roberts’ readers in which she gives a tour of the Inn Boonsboro in her hometown of Boonsboro, Maryland. She and her husband co-own the inn, which recently reopened after a 2008 fire nearly destroyed it. Since her latest romance trilogy is set in the town and the inn, Roberts worked with Karr and IKA to give fans an inside look around and a Q&A with Roberts.

“With book trailers you have to interpret the book in a concise and visually exciting way,” Robbie Chafitz, IKA’s Creative Director,  says. “Fortunately, this is something we are quite good at. And because of all the resources we have available to us, we can provide not only the strategy and the production, but also the editorial, visual effects and music. IKA’s combination of talent and resources is why so many leading publishers want to work with us, and why we see the publishing industry as a tremendous growth area for us.”

About IKA Collective:
Founded by noted brand strategist/director Ian Karr, IKA Collective is more than a production company. Rather, a creative collective of writers, producers, editors, directors, composers, digital artists, fashionistas, foodies and horror film fanatics who love to tell stories. Whether it’s an ad, a network promo, a digital media project, or their own original content, IKA Collective is all about communicating in a way that entertains and gets results. Our facility includes a live insert stage, five edit rooms, digital color grading, graphics, compositing and audio mixing suites, allowing us to deliver great work at budgets that make sense in every medium. Recent clients include Fox TV, Discovery Channel, Continental Airlines, Hallmark Channel and Penguin Publishing. For more information go to

Web Resources:
Click below for more info about IKA Collective:

Click below to view some of IKA Collective’s best-known book work:
Tom Clancy "Locked On" trailer:

Julie Klam, Timothy Hutton Viral Ad:

Nora Roberts on "The BoonsBoro Trilogy" online content:

Patricia Cornwell "Scarpetta" trailer:

Michael Zimbard Takes Reins At Edit1; Adds Exec Prod Mike Donovan

Mike Donovan

Michael Zimbard
NEW YORK -- You start out at a company, young, optimistic and driven. And you show your worth, cultivate respect, and eventually you end up running the whole place. OK, first there's 10 years of sharing your ability, your vision, your sweat. Then you take over the place. For Michael Zimbard, new owner and president of acclaimed pre-viz studio Edit1, that dream scenario is now reality.

"When I came onboard at Edit1, I wanted to be part of a company that I could help grow – where I could effect change – and I was able to do that," says Zimbard. "Now as owner, I want to push the company to the next level, building on our strong creative capabilities to position ourselves as the premier pre-visualization studio for commercial advertising." 

Zimbard's first step in building a bolder Edit1 is the hiring of Mike Donovan as Executive Producer. Donovan carries over a decade of experience in animation production and comes to Edit1 from Launch and most recently Nice Shoes, where he was managing director/head of production.

"Our business model allows us to offer clients a unique level of creative attention," says Zimbard, "and the addition of Mike Donovan as EP exemplifies our commitment to maintaining personalized access even as we grow. His dedication to clients is unmatched, and will further separate us from our competition.

"We strive to build relationships that are focused on our clients' needs. We want them to feel as if their project is the only one we're working on – not juggled among others or plugged into some formula."

Fostering a collaborative environment, Edit1 enjoys having clients visit its New York City studio, where a recent redesign complements the company's brand refresh. But while things may look a little different, the priority placed on earning clients' trust remains. That commitment, whether face to face or a thousand of miles away, is something Donovan says stands out within the industry, and is a big reason why he chose to join Edit1.

"Michael and I share similar philosophies in terms of creativity, client service and where the industry is heading," says Donovan. "I felt like I wanted to get back to the basics of production and work with clients on a more personal level, which is the nature of pre-visualization."

That nature is quick to evolve, with the technology becoming a more vital tool as the amount and variety of content increases. Zimbard believes it has untapped potential, and that engaging pre-visualization early in the production process helps agencies maximize its power.

"From design to demos, there's a closer marriage between test commercials and the final edit," says Zimbard. "Our pre-viz capabilities provide agencies with a stronger product at the start, one that stands up through the production process, leading to positive outcomes for creatives."

And while professional, efficient production is something Edit1 thrives on, Donovan believes one of the strengths of pre-viz is its ability to strengthen nascent or undeveloped creative imagery.

"By fleshing out the visual language, we're able to help agencies execute the telling of their stories," he says. "We make sure that our clients' ideas work, and then help them elevate those ideas, saving them time and money and, in the end, helping them create a better product."

For more information about Edit1 visit

February 17, 2012

Stephen Arnold Music Delivers New Sonic Brand For HLN’s “Jane Velez-Mitchell”

DALLAS, TX -- The anticipated debut of “Jane Velez-Mitchell,” HLN’s new nightly news show starring one of the network’s most recognizable on-air talents, features an energetic and distinctive new theme from sonic branding experts Stephen Arnold Music. “Jane Velez-Mitchell” airs at 7 PM EST, Monday-Friday on HLN.    

HLN once again turned to Stephen Arnold Music for “JVM” -- the latest in a series of successful collaborations that also includes original sonic brands for the shows “Dr. Drew,” “Prime News,” “Showbiz Tonight” and “Morning Express with Robin Meade.” The objective for JVM: create a strong and compelling theme that mirrored the dynamic personality of the show’s colorful host.  

A Musical Jolt for “Jane”

Using an inspired mix of keyboards, loops, live guitars and bass, Stephen Arnold Music produced a driving, upbeat audio theme. The distinctive melody morphed into a musically diverse package representing rock, electronic and hip hop styles, reinforcing the show’s various moods. Stephen Arnold Music’s new theme reinforces the rebranding of the show, which had previously aired as “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell.”

“’JVM’ is a very musically intensive show – HLN treats the themes as theatrical elements,” Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music says. “The new music reflects the drive and passion that Mitchell brings to her reporting.”

Arnold adds, “When we do sonic branding for a show that’s centered around a personality, we spend a lot of time watching them on the air and seeing what they’re about before we even start writing. Jane brings drama, mystery and a lot of positive force to the screen -- our goal was to capture her musically.”

Ratings Up at HLN

HLN’s 2011 ratings broke records for the network, a positive trend involving a growing number of shows scored and sonic branded by Stephen Arnold Music.

“Every show is different, but we understand that HLN needs their music to feel fresh, innovative and artist-driven,” Stephen Arnold concludes. “It’s a sound that’s connected to what their audiences are listening to, and that supports the brand objectives of each show. ‘JVM’ stands out musically, while still being a perfect fit with HLN’s lineup.”

About Stephen Arnold Music:

As a multiple Emmy, Addy and Promax Gold award-winning music production company, Stephen Arnold Music has over 15 years of success in delivering the sounds that make a difference to networks, television stations, advertising agencies, film studios and video game companies the world over. The company's Commanding Sonic Branding approach to music production and commitment to industry-leading service is at the core of its promise. For more information, please visit

Web Resources:
Click here to view the "Jane Valez-Mitchell" show open + montage of musical variations:

Click here for more info about Stephen Arnold Music:

January 3, 2012

ShootersNYC Sets Sights On Editor David Smalheiser

NEW YORK, NY – Adding yet another piece to the creative puzzle that is ShootersNYC (, the hybrid post boutique offshoot of Philadelphia-based ShootersINC has added veteran editor David Smalheiser's to its staff. Smalheiser joins an editorial team that also features Anthony Marinelli, Mark Hutchinson, Chris Magliozzo, Matthew Burres, Rob Graham and Steve Wheelock.
“I have worked with Dave over the years and I knew he would be a perfect fit with what we’re building with ShootersNYC,” Jeff Beckerman, ShootersNYC Managing Director/Executive Producer says. “He’s a veteran editor who understands how the industry is changing and why Shooters’ unique business model is so valuable to clients today.”

That business model is one that emphasizes a boutique approach to customer service and creative one-on-one with clients, combined with a tremendous amount of talent and full service resources available thanks to a high speed link to its Philadelphia studio.
“Dave’s talent and creativity will be a big asset for us in the work we do in the traditional advertising space, as well as our TV Development and production, feature film, broadcast promotion and branded entertainment work,“ Ray Carballada ShootersINC President says.

Known for his deft touch with comedy, lifestyle and vignette style spots, Smalheiser‘s clients include such top agencies as Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, BBDO, EuroRSCG and McCann Worldgroup, among others. In his career he’s worked with such acclaimed directors as Spike Lee, David McNamara, Tim Hamilton, Tenny Fairchild, Annibel Jankel and Marcus Nispel.

Since joining ShootersNYC Smalheiser has completed a package of spots for Nature Valley and Chex, both through agency Campbell Mithun/McCann Worldgroup. His current showreel includes spots for State Street Global Investments and Hamburger Helper.

“There’s great energy at ShootersNYC and I Iove that there are so many facets to the company,” Smalheiser says. “There’s a boutique feel when you walk in the door, but I’m able to access so much talent and technology for my clients – it’s really the ideal situation, and one that is perfectly in sync with the way clients want to work today.”

ShootersNYC ( is the New York division of ShootersINC, a multi-dimensional creative production and post house specializing in editorial, visual effects, graphic design, finishing and audio post for advertising, television, feature film and new media. For more information contact Managing Director, Jeff Beckerman at 212-533-9400 or at 

ShootersTV ( is a division of Shooters Inc., dedicated to creating programming for reality and non-scripted television. ShootersTV is represented by Peleton Entertainment, the New York-based television agency representing leading producers working in reality and documentary. For more information contact Rob Miller at Peleton Entertainment by email at or phone 212-572-9632; or contact Carrie Spott at ShootersTV by email at or phone 215-861-0100.

ShootersINC ( is a full service production and post house that blends talent, technology and client service to provide a superior level of quality and creativity. Shooters’ client base consists of ad agencies, production companies, political consultants, PR firms, and corporations. For more information contact Shooters’ Anne-Marie Starker ( or phone 215.861.0100.

DIVE ( is the visual effects, DI and film finishing division of ShootersINC, led by veteran Visual Effects Supervisor Mark O. Forker. As one of the east coast’s premier postproduction facilities for film finishing services, DIVE offers filmmakers the opportunity to complete Visual Effects, Digital Intermediates and Titles by coupling creative continuity with an integrated workflow. For more information, contact DIVE VP Business Development, Bob Lowery ( at 267.514.7700.