The Underground, one of the leading US commercials and music video
production conglomerates, has stepped into the European market by
opening up in London.
The company’s shareholders are the US founders, Jeff Sachs and Andy
Rosen, plus Chris Blackwell, founder of the Island music empire, and Don
Block, owner of the GLG network of commercial production companies.
The Underground first set its sights on Europe earlier this year when it
formed a representation deal with Fat Fish Films. This deal, no longer
in operation, was for Fat Fish to act for the Underground’s 14 US
directors. The new London office is now working with eight of the 14
Americans plus four British-based directors.
The London arm is headed up by the producer, Hannah Quarmby, 28, who
worked with the Underground at Fat Fish, and 24-year-old Katya Baker,
whose background spans PR and the music business. Baker is also the
daughter of the veteran producer and former head of television at
Saatchi and Saatchi, Jim Baker.
Baker and Quarmby are confident that the new venture will succeed. ‘This
is not a gamble - we have very definite goals,’ Quarmby said.
The eight US directors include the animator, Chel White, whose
commercial credits include spots for Adidas and Coors Red Light, and
Floria Sigismundi. Both appeared in the Saatchi and Saatchi new
directors’ showcase at Cannes this year.