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Collective News

  • Colorist Jeff Altman Joins Filmworkers

    Young post production artist brings experience in commercials, independent features, documentaries, web media and television. …

    CHICAGO—March 6, 2015— Filmworkers has boosted its creative staff with the addition of colorist Jeff Altman. A Chicago native, Altman spent the past two years in New York, working on advertising, digital content and feature film projects. On the commercial side, he’s done work for Pepsi, Capital One, Verizon, Intel and Mountain Dew, among other brands. His long-form credits include the independent features 6 Years from director Hannah Fidell, slated to premiere at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, and Nasty Baby from Chilean director Sebastian Silva, which debuted last year at Sundance.

    “Jeff is a star,” said Filmworkers president Reid Brody. “He’s had an opportunity to work on some great projects, and he’s really honed his craft. He brings a fresh perspective and energy to color grading that has been lacking in the Chicago post community. We’re glad to have him as a part of our team.” In his first project with Filmworkers, Altman is grading a web campaign for Four Loko with creative from Onion Labs.

    For the past 18 months, Altman has been coloring projects through Color Collective, a boutique service that provides color grading services through New York editorial houses including Spotwelders and Final Cut. He performed final color grading for five feature films, several shorts, and numerous commercials. He also colored segments for Saturday Night Live.

    Altman says he looks forward to continuing to work on a mix of projects at Filmworkers. “I want to go deeper into commercials, while continuing to work on features and documentaries,” he says. “My goal is to achieve a balance of great projects.”

  • Treehouse Adds Motion Graphic Services; Hires Jeff Vick

    DALLAS—February 12, 2015—Treehouse, the Dallas editorial boutique, has expanded its services through the hiring of motion graphics designer Jeff Vick and the addition of a new graphics design and production suite.…

    The company will offer graphics both in tandem with editing and finishing, and as a standalone service.

    Vick brings ten years of experience as a motion graphics designer for commercials, broadcast media and corporate media, most recently with Fast Cuts Edit, Dallas. His credits include work for H-E-B, Red Lobster and the Dallas Cowboys. He has already contributed to several projects for Treehouse, including a campaign for Home Depot and a spot for H-E-B that debuted during this year's Super Bowl broadcast.

    Treehouse founder, editor Peter Tarter, says that in-house graphics capabilities enables the company to provide advertising agencies with a well-rounded package of post production services and fulfill more of their creative needs. "This gives us one more way to deliver work that is better than the clients expect," Tarter says. "Our new graphics capabilities will allow us to add an extra layer to a lot of projects."

    Tarter adds that he was impressed by Vick's experience in national and regional advertising, and strong work ethic. "We liked the quality of Jeff's reel," Tarter notes. "He's got a great personality and fits in well with the rest of our team."

    Vick will work in a new graphics suite equipped with a host of high-end software packages including Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator, and Maxon Cinema 4D, as well as sophisticated monitoring and processing gear.

    A Dallas native, Vick received his training in graphic design at NYU, where he earned his Master's Degree. Vick returned to Dallas in 2004 to work with the Dallas Cowboys, serving as creative director and motion graphics designer for its in-house broadcast production department.

    In 2008, Vick joined n2o Editorial, Dallas, and moved to Fast Cuts Edit, Dallas, in 2012. At both shops, he served as a motion graphics designer for advertising projects.

    Vick says that he's been a fan of Treehouse and is excited to join a company that has established itself as a top supplier of creative post production services. "Treehouse has a great team of editors who do great work," he states. "I see no end to our potential. The sky's the limit."

  • Editor Jason Payne Joins Treehouse

    DALLAS—January 7, 2015— Continuing on a path of steady growth, Treehouse has brought on editor Jason Payne.…

    Payne, who is well known in the Dallas advertising community through previous posts with Fast Cuts, N2O and The Richards Group, becomes the boutique editorial house’s fourth editor, joining founder Peter Tarter, Jayson Limmer and John McStravick. (The company’s key staff also includes Executive Producer Jeremy Besser and finishing editor Bryan Bayley.) Payne brings more than a dozen years of experience as a commercial editor and a reel that includes work for H-E-B, Red Lobster, Georgia Power, Firestone, McDonald’s and many other brands.

    “Jason is a talented young editor with a great vibe,” says Tarter. “We look for editors who are great at what they do, have excellent client skills and are pleasant to work with; Jason fits in perfectly.”

    Tarter adds that Treehouse had been seeking to add another editor to round out its staff and help it keep pace with demand that rose steadily in 2014. Having four editors will allow the shop to take on multiple, complex projects while maintaining the high level of quality and customer service that have driven its success.

    Payne began his career as an in-house editor with The Richards Group in 2001 and cut his teeth on work for H-E-B, Red Lobster and other accounts. Since joining N2O in 2008 and Fast Cuts in 2011, Payne has continued to handle projects for The Richards Group and other local agencies. His recent work includes a series of documentary-style spots for H-E-B focusing on the supermarket’s suppliers in Latin America, the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.

    “I love the relationships I have with my clients and the trust we’ve built over the course of many campaigns,” he says.

    At Treehouse, Payne looks forward to continuing his established relationships while adding new clients. “I have admired Treehouse and am amazed at what they have accomplished,” he says. “Peter is an extremely talented editor and the opportunity to work with him and his team is awesome.”

    Treehouse is located at 3400 Carlisle St., Ste. 105, Dallas, Texas 75204.

  • Filmworkers Supplies the Creative Spark for Elegant "Misfit" Campaign

    Facility provides turnkey services for new multi-platform lifestyle ads for the stylish fitness tracker.…

    CHICAGO-November 21, 2014- In a true, tour de force effort, Filmworkers, in association with 2DS Productions, has produced an elegant and inspired advertising campaign for Misfit, a wearable fitness tracker with a sleek design.
    The new internet and in-store ads consist of lifestyle footage of active people using the button-sized device, which can be worn like a piece of jewelry, while engaged in laser tag, rock climbing, diving and other extreme sports. Shot in various locations along the California coast, the imagery is stunning and shows off the features of the device in an organic and unobtrusive manner. Misfit's technical functions are further underscored by distinctive 3D graphics that animate over the live action. The accompanying voiceover speaks directly to people who "set forth to scale mountains, to dive to the darkest depths of the sea" and asks them, "Do you accept the challenge".
    Filmworkers produced the campaign from a concept developed by 2DS Productions and director Aram Rappaport. The idea was to make Misfit stand out from other fitness monitoring devices by highlighting its stylishness. "It looks like a fashion accessory," explains 2DS Productions' Bill Ryan. "We're selling a lifestyle as much as a product."
    Rappaport's script for an initial 2-minute in-store ad was approved by Misfit's marketing team and the project went into production in California four days later. In the interim, the production team worked to locate more than a dozen real-life extreme athletes. "YouTube was a big help," Rappaport notes. "A producer tracked down a skate crew that I had referenced in a video. They turned out to be Naval Academy guys and skateboarding was their weekend hobby. We found a 20-year-old kid who did loops in his plane. We then traveled from L.A. to San Francisco to Santa Ana to get all the shots. Production spanned four days."
    Editorial, graphics design, animation and post production were all completed at Filmworkers' facility in Chicago. Creative Director Daniel Pernikoff led the design team in creating graphics elements that included 3D animations, showing the inner components of the Misfit device, that literally pop out of the live action. "We wanted the graphics to be simple, but beautiful, and integrated seamlessly into the piece," Pernikoff says. Our aim was to draw attention to the functions of the device, without simply calling out "Hey, this is waterproof."
    Producer Casey Swircz notes that the project utilized virtually every aspect of Filmworkers' creative services. "It was a very collaborative project," she says. "We were really pleased with how well everyone worked together and our ability to take the project from beginning to end."

    Filmworkers is located at 232 E. Ohio St. Penthouse, Chicago, IL 60611. For more information, call (312) 664-9333 or visit


    Client: Misfit. Tim Golnick, Vice President/Product and Design; Julie Golnick, Senior Manager/Visual Design; John Blet; Senior Associate/Marketing.

    Production & Post: Filmworkers. Derek de Board, Executive Producer; Casey Swircz, Producer; Aram Rappaport, Director; Daniel Pernikoff, Senior Art Director; Drew Parks, Lead 3D Artist; Rob Churchill - Creative Director; Michael Anderson; Flame Artist; Fred Keller - Colorist

  • Vitamin Pictures Produces Horrifying Results for Knott’s Scary Farm

    Hybrid production studio teams with Cramer-Krasselt for creepy broadcast, web and social campaign.…

    CHICAGO—October 30, 2014—If the new ad campaign for Knott’s Berry Farm is any indication, visitors to the park’s annual Knott’s Scary Farm event are going to get the bejesus scared out of them. Chicago hybrid production studio Vitamin Pictures produced the multi-platform package for agency Cramer-Krasselt. It consists of a series of gritty, high tension television ads and webisodes populated by sinister clowns, macabre dentists and ravenous zombies. The creep factor is high. Clown follows a young woman through a bleak warehouse scattered with children’s toys. Turning a corner, she’s confronted by a demented clown with a tortured grin. Just as he’s about to pounce, the scene cuts to a title card reading “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s here.” Tooth Fairy reveals an even grimmer encounter between a man and a dentist who’s performing oral surgery without the benefit of anesthesia. Vitamin creative director Danny DelPurgatorio notes that all of the spots are structured to end a split second before something nasty happens. “We’re playing on the fears viewers bring to the spots themselves,” he observes.
    Vitamin’s creative team worked closely with their counterparts from Cramer-Krasselt in detailing the scenarios and visual style. “From the treatment stage we were in sync, visually and conceptually,” DelPurgatorio recalls. “We developed a trust that allowed us to push things in a direction that is pretty cool, and really scary.”
    Vitamin, which handled everything from live action production through editorial and post, knows something about scary pictures. It produced the short horror film Other¸ which has won numerous awards including Best Short at Elvira’s Horror Hunt. “It was great to be hired to make these little horror films for Knott’s,” DelPurgatorio says. “There were severed heads, body parts, blood and gooey stuff all over the place. It was a dream come true.”
    Or maybe a nightmare.

    Vitamin is located at 232 East Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611. For more information, call 312.664.6683 or visit


    Client: Knott’s Berry Farm

    Titles: Clown, Tooth Fairy

    Agency: Cramer-Krasselt. Will Meyers, producer; Pat Hanna, creative director; David Vaca, art director; Tom Katers, writer.

    Production: Vitamin. Danny DelPurgatorio, director; Larissa Berringer, executive producer; Melody Hinkley, line producer; Chris Vinopal, director of photography; David “Big” Krause, production designer; Cirque FX, prosthetic makeup; Rob Foster, art director; Danny DelPurgatorio, compositor; Michael Siegel, concept artist/3D generalist; Francis Vallejo, storyboard artist; Andrew Maggio, editor; Fred Keller, colorist; Lauryn Grimando, associate producer.

  • Filmworkers Launches Churchill’s Studio for Visual Effects and CG Rob Churchill to lead new creative unit, whose first project is an all-CG spot for Cedar Fair.

    Rob Churchill to lead new creative unit, whose first project is an all-CG spot for Cedar Fair.…

    CHICAGO June 24, 2014 Continuing its expansion mode, Filmworkers has formed a new in-house creative unit, Churchill’s Studio, focused on visual effects and animation. Headed by Visual Effects Director Rob Churchill, the new unit will provide services ranging from compositing and visual effects to full CG production.

    The new venture will also feature the talents of Art Director Daniel Pernikoff, who joins Filmworkers from Method Studios, as well as a team of compositors and animators. Technical resources include multiple Autodesk Flame and The Foundry Nuke workstations, and a variety of CG, visual effects and animation desktop systems. The group will work out of an artist’s studio environment, newly-built within the Filmworkers facility.

    Visual effects work at Filmworkers has been growing steadily in response to Churchill’s success for such brands as McDonald’s, State Farm, La Quinta, Embassy Suites, Capital One and Pizza Hut. The added personnel and technology will enable the company to tackle more and more complex projects, while the studio environment will help it retain a creative focus and one-on-one relationships with clients.

    Daniel Pernikoff and Rob Churchill
    “We now have enough horsepower under the hood to take on the most demanding projects, says Churchill, who has been on staff at Filmworkers since 1997. We can do it all, technically and creatively, from concept through finish.”

    Churchill’s Studio is fully integrated with Filmworkers and all of its post production resources, as well as with hybrid digital production studio Vitamin. We can draw on an incredible pool of artists and resources,” notes Churchill. We have the best talent in Chicago. Churchill expects the Studio to expand further before the end of the year.

    In its first project, Churchill’s Studio has produced a fully-animated spot for amusement park operator Cedar Fair and its new ride, Banshee. Pernikoff served as Art Director on the project. It was great to have the whole team of artists working on the project in the same studio, Churchill says. It made it easy to trade ideas and comments, which is so important to doing great work and it shows in the finished product.”

    Pernikoff brings diverse experience as a motion graphics designer, animator, compositor and director. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, he began his career with Digital Kitchen, Chicago, and later spent six years in New York where he worked through Brand New School, Thornberg & Forester, Imaginary Forces and other shops. He returned to Chicago in 2012 and joined Method Studios as a compositor, designer and animator. His resume includes advertising work for Budweiser, Coors, Cadillac and Lincoln, as well as broadcast work for Comedy Central, Bravo and ESPN.

    Pernikoff says he is eager to take on the challenge of helping Filmworkers build its visual effects and animation capabilities. He adds that he is also impressed with the creative ambitions of Churchill and his team. “The energy level and passion were just what I was looking for, Pernikoff says.

  • Filmworkers Appoints Derek de Board to Executive Producer

    The 10-year industry veteran will also serve as Executive Producer of Churchill Studio.…

    CHICAGO - Filmworkers has promoted Derek de Board to Executive Producer. De Board, who marks his tenth anniversary with the company this month, will oversee production activities, lead a team of producers and schedulers, direct sales and coordinate joint projects with Filmworkers’ Dallas and Nashville facilities, as well as other members of the Filmworkers Group (which include Vitamin, Giannini Creative and Tree House Edit). He will also serve as Executive Producer of Churchill Studio, Filmworkers’ newly formed, in-house visual effects studio.

    DeBoard joined Filmworkers in 2004 and has served the company in many administrative and production capacities. For the past four years, he has been Senior Producer, managing post production work for scores of advertising projects for top agencies and national brands. He also served as Post Production Supervisor on the independent feature Bad Johnson.

    “Derek is a homegrown talent who has proven his talent, dedication and competence in many ways over the years,” said Filmworkers President Reid Brody. “He has earned this opportunity and we expect him to be a key contributor to our continued success.” De Board is currently overseeing projects for State Farm, McDonald’s, US Cellular, Embassy Suites, Scottrade and Allstate.

    De Board will focus on further streamlining workflows between Filmworkers’ various departments, as well as between the Filmworkers facility and the other companies in its group. “The collective Filmworkers has built is unlike any other resource in this market,” de Board said. “I’m excited to be the face of the best post-production house in Chicago and honored to represent the artists in every chair in the building.”

    De Board is a native of Highland Park, Illinois and a graduate of Columbia College. He literally grew up in the business—his step-father was a producer at DDB, Chicago, for many years, and he, himself, worked briefly as a child actor. He got his professional start with Optimus before joining Filmworkers.

  • Filmworkers Uses Scare Tactics in New Campaign for Cedar Fair

    All-CG spot produced by Filmworkers’ new VFX and animation unit Churchill Studio introduces “Banshee,” the world’s largest inverted roller coaster.…

    CHICAGO— Filmworkers’ new creative unit Churchill Studio encourages viewers to face their worst fears (while enjoying the thrill of their lives) in a new spot for amusement park giant Cedar Fair and Chicago agency Cramer-Krasselt. Everything You Fear is an all-CG spot introducing Banshee, a new roller coaster debuting at Cedar Fair’s Kings Island park this summer.

    In the spot, the giant ride appears to build itself and then takes park patrons on an adrenalin-pumping trip full of vertical loops, dives and zero-g rolls. The ride’s ghostly namesake appears out of nowhere and pursues the riders, while emitting a bone-chilling scream. The narration notes that Banshee has “everything you fear: your fear of heights…of falling…of flying…of demons.”

    Led by Visual Effects Director Rob Churchill and Art Director Daniel Pernikoff, the team from Churchill Studio modeled the animation after prototype drawings and animatics of the new ride, recreating its architecture in precise, photo-real detail. The sense of menace is accentuated by setting the scene at dusk. “The sunset hour allowed us to play with a lot of cool highlights and shadows,” says Pernikoff. “It’s realistic, but surrealistic at the same time. Our 3D guys did an amazing job in adding the details that sell the effect.”

    The surreal tone is further enhanced by the appearance of the Banshee. The ghoulish figure forms out of a vapor trail and swoops over the screaming riders before resolving into the ride’s logo. “We broke the logo into its components parts—its arms and hands and tattered clothing, and animated each part individually,” recalls Churchill. “Working with Daniel on this first project was amazing!”

    Filmworkers provided editorial finishing for an additional 50 spots for Cedar Fair. The entire package will serve as the summer campaign for all of the parks in the group.

    Title: Everything You Fear

    Client: Cedar Fair Entertainment. Kelley Semmelroth, EVP/Chief Marketing Officer; Lupita Suda, Manager Advertising.

    Agency: Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago. Pat Hanna, VP/Creative Director; Larry Liss, Assoc. Creative Director; David Petti; Assoc. Creative Director; Derek Green; Senior VP/Exec. Creative Director; Julie Sheridan, Senior VP/Group Account Director; Tiffany Williams, VP/Account Supervisor; Rich Mules, VP/Management Supervisor; Will Meyers, Producer; Liz Dacko, VP/Campaign Manager; Nancy Bernardin; Business Manager.

    Animation & Post: Filmworkers (Churchill Studio). Daniel Pernikoff, Art Director/Lead Compositor; Rob Churchill, Nuke Compositor/Flame Online; Charlie Peterson, CGI Artist; Drew Parks, CGI Artist; Quin Barclay; CGI Artist; Fred Keller; Colorist; Jeff Charatz, Online Finish; Derek de Board, Executive Producer.

    Edit: Beast Editorial. Angelo Valencia, Editor; Lauren Scheurer, Post Producer.

  • Vitamin Adds Tim Sepulveda as Technical Director

    Veteran visual effects artist, animator and designer will help the studio grow in 3D and other areas.…

    CHICAGO June 23, 2014— Hybrid production studio Vitamin Pictures has added Tim Sepulveda as Technical Director. Sepulveda brings broad experience in visual effects, animation and design through work with Leviathan, Charlex, Daily Planet and elsewhere. At Vitamin, he will act a liaison between clients and the studio’s creative team and oversee projects for a technical perspective. He’ll also work to improve workflows and implement new technologies.

    Technical director is a new position for Vitamin and its addition reflects the studio’s growth and the broadening of its creative horizons. We’ve been growing, taking on more projects and expanding the palette of our work, and it’s important that we have top talent to support all those efforts, explains Danny DelPurgatorio, Vitamin’s Creative Director. Tim is an extremely well-rounded artist. He has excellent skills in storytelling and design. Plus, he has deep technical knowledge about 3D and effects. It’s very exciting to have him on board.”

    Sepulveda has worked with Vitamin as a freelancer on several occasions over the past few years, most recently on a national commercial campaign for Coors. I really liked the vibe of the studio, he says. It’s very well organized, everyone is very disciplined and the work is top notch.”

    A Chicago native, Sepulveda began his career with Radar Studios. He later served as Senior Designer at Foundation Post before joining Charlex, where he became an Associate Creative Director. He joined Leviathan as VFX Supervisor in 2011 and has worked as a freelancer since 2012. His skills run the gamut from on-set visual effects supervision to designing 3D workflows to illustration and animation.

    Vitamin Pictures Executive Producer Larissa Berringer says that one of Sepulveda’s chief tasks will be to grow the studio’s 3D capabilities. We are doing a lot more 3D both as standalone work and as a component to other work, she says. Tim will help us elevate that.”

  • Filmworkers Celebrates "Modern Southern Music" with Hayden Panettiere

    CHICAGO — Matt Egan has directed Nashville star Hayden Panettiere in a new ad for Belk that is part of the fashion brand’s “Modern. Southern. Music.” campaign.…

    Filmworkers provided post production services for the glamorous commercial, produced by Coin-Operated Films, which captures the actress arriving on location at the newly-renovated Country Music Hall of Fame for an evening shoot.

    The spot evokes the Southern lifestyle and Nashville’s connection to country music, new and old, with plenty of panache. Egan took advantage of the ebullient architecture that has recently sprung up in the city’s downtown, including the sprawling Music City Center, to create spectacular nighttime vistas. “We wanted to capitalize on Hayden’s star power through a day-in-the-life story that has a dreamlike feel,” says Egan.

    The dreamlike quality is accentuated by the fluid cinematography of DP Vance Burberry, subtle slow motion effects (that draw attention to elements of Panettiere’s wardrobe), a pulsating editorial rhythm and an upbeat score. A heart-shaped graphic recurs throughout the spot to underscore Panettiere’s love for the Belk brand.

    Egan relished the opportunity to direct Panettiere, who recently earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Nashville. “She’s a total pro and a great collaborator,” he says. “The camera loves her; the hardest part of the job was deciding which were our favorite takes.”

    Egan supervised editorial, performed by Coin-Operated Films’ Charles Newberry, and final post work completed at Filmworkers. Senior Colorist Fred Keller used a Baselight color grading system to polish the final look. “For Belk, we like to pump the color and create a warm feel with rich skin tones,” explains Keller. “The images in this spot are especially deep and dramatic, and we emphasized that with lots of contrast. When Hayden walks out on stage, it really pops.”


    TITLE: Belk Most Wanted

    CLIENT: Belk

    PRODUCTION: Coin Operated Films. Matt Egan, Director (Filmworkers); Jon Singer, Executive Producer; Vance Burberry, Director of Photography.

    EDITORIAL: Coin Operated Films. Charles Newberry

    POST: Filmworkers. Fred Keller, Colorist; Justin Winkler, Finishing Editor; Todd Freese, Post Production Supervisor; Lisa Long, Executive Producer; Derek de Board, Senior Producer.