Academy, one of the top ten commercials production houses, headed by the
producer, Lizie Gower, has signed up three new leading talents in a move
that increases its roster by 50 per cent.
It has poached Martha Fiennes, known for her visual work, from Smith
Jones Brown and Cassie; the American, Zack Snyder, whose ‘painterly’
approach has been used on both sides of the Atlantic; and the puppet
animators, the Brothers Quay.
The three new signings expand Academy’s roster of directors from six to
Gower explained her decision:‘I am always on the look-out for
extraordinary talent. And signing these three directors increases
The Brothers Quay’s commercials work includes spots for Nikon, Honeywell
and Drug Free America, the latter featuring ceramic heads emitting the
phrases ‘Get slow. Get stupid. Get Aids.’
In addition, they have recently been recognised via a special mention at
the Italian Locarno film festival for their first live action/
animation combined feature film, The Institute Benjamenta. Reminiscent
of the Fritz Lang classic, Metropolis, the Channel 4-backed film
explores the institute, whose facade as a domestic service skills school
is exposed to reveal an institution dedicated to teaching only obedience
and duty to its pupils.
Snyder, meanwhile, was voted one of the best commercials directors in
the country by the US trade magazine, Adweek, in April. He has not been
represented by a UK production house before.
With a fine arts background from Pasadena’s Art Center College of
Design, he first started directing commercials five years ago with the
now defunct MGMM. He signed to Los Angeles-based the End three years ago
and has built up a reel including Nike, Reebok, Pacific Bell and Sega.
His European work includes Lynx for S. P. Lintas and Citroen for Euro
RSCG Paris. He has just finished an international Reebok campaign for
Leo Burnett in Chicago.
Fiennes, who graduated from the National Film School eight years ago, is
known for her dream-like montages and eclectic use of costume. Her
repertoire includes Archer’s Peach Country Schnapps for Burkitt
Weinreich Bryant, Du Pont Lycra for Saatchi and Saatchi and Pharmacia
for the Stockholm-based Wellinder Bozel, which won the gold award for
best foreign film at last year’s Midsummer Awards. Like Snyder, she also
directs music videos.
The three join a roster which includes the comedy director, Geoff
Posner, who made all the Mercury Harry Enfield ads, Jonathan Glasier,
who shot the current AT&T and Caffrey’s Irish Ale films, and Andrew
Gillman of Rolo and Utterly Butterly fame.