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 http://www.ikacollective.com

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 http://edit1.tv/