CAMPAIGN CRAFT: Academy doubles its directors roster

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.

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

nine.



Gower explained her decision:‘I am always on the look-out for

extraordinary talent. And signing these three directors increases

Academy’s diversity.’



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.



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