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amalgamated’s eric silver answers the questionnaire.

Monday, 20. June 2011 7:04

from copywriter to chief creative officer, eric silver has been involved in creating a great body of work at agencies including wieden and kennedy, cliff freeman & partners, bbdo and now amalgamated, new york where he oversees the shop’s creative and has added a new title, business owner.  our thanks to mr. silver for taking a little time to let us know more about him on the poolhouse questionnaire.

eric silver

where is your hometown?
i grew up in a small town outside of new haven, ct.

where do you currently live?
short hills, nj.

what led you to working as a copywriter when you first started out?
i was in law school and blown away by some nike tv commercials i saw in the early 90s. god, i can’t believe it was that long ago.

who influenced or inspired your career path the most
?
the people i met at wieden and kennedy in the mid-90s were amazing. it was truly an honor to work there then. at the time, it felt like getting into harvard or something. dan wieden begged me to write from my heart and his lieutenants lambasted me if i created anything that felt like an “ad.”

what is your most marked characteristic?
i would say my two most distinct qualities are: not caring and caring way too much. kind of an odd dichotomy

what is your favorite aspect the creative process?
my favorite part of the creative process is watching the idea come to life. irrespective of the medium, i love watching words on paper take take flight.

how did you land at amalgamated?
i was faced with a few offers to join big agencies and, ultimately, i thought this might be my last shot to own a small agency. the success rates of small agencies in manhattan are very daunting… but, fuck it, you gotta try, right?

what are your thoughts on digital advertising vs. traditional?
i loathe the terms “digital” and “traditional.” i think the two necessarily overlap. some of the very best digital ideas utilize film and some of the very best traditional ideas use digital elements. for example, i know chalkbot out of wieden was great. but is that digital or traditional?

what’s your biggest passion right now?
figuring out this whole business owner thing.

if you could have another skill what would it be?
patience.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?
the thing that i will always take the most pride in are the people who used to work under me… who are now cds. i’m in no way taking credit for their success, but i am proud to have mentored them in some way.

the bbdo group was amazing and, of course, i fondly think back on the cliff freeman crew: william gelner, dan kelleher, rick ardito, grant smith, jason gaboriau, steve doppelt, ian reichenthal, scott vitrone, kevin roddy, ari weiss, aaron adler, roger camp, richard bullock, reed collins, adam chasnow, rob carducci, etc.

what would you like to do next?
rest.

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karen mc kibben’s passionate life

Tuesday, 24. May 2011 12:31

poolhouse producer karen mc kibben takes on the questionnaire and talks about living her life with balance and passion.

where is your hometown?

new orleans, la

what location are you currently in?

new york, ny

what led you to working as a producer?

a very long and complicated story. basically, it suits my personality well and it was meant to be.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

i have a saying… “if you are going to do something, do it right.”  so basically, if you are going to do something right you have to have passion for it, which means everything that i do in my life with passion.

what is your dream job?

this is my dream job. bossing people around, laughing, being part of a creative process, getting paid for those things. yeah. this is it.

karen mc kibben

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

putting the pieces together and finding a way to make every project better, also, watching the creatives faces when they really like something and learning what each person’s tastes are, these are the types of things that make my day interesting.

how did you come to the poolhouse?

arrow kruse put me in touch with veronica. the rest as they say is history.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

i go back in forth, singing or being a morning person. being a morning person is probably more practical. let’s go with that.

who in production do you most admire?

dane johnson is definitely one. he gave me my start, and learning from dane was like going through boot camp. i knew what to do when i came out of the experience. elaine hinton too. she always fussed at me when I didn’t eat at reasonable times. sometimes it is great to have a momma type to remind you to take care of yourself too.

what is your pet peeve?

when anyone forgets they should be working for the same goal: good creative that sells something.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

for work: where ever my next shoot takes me. which is currently looking like l.a. not exotic, but i can visit friends.

for pleasure: crete (greece)- i spent three weeks on an archeological dig rummaging around in minoan ruins. oh there might have been some drunken nights and swimming in the mediterranean sea as well.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

thank you. i find please goes a long way. especially when it is sincere.

what or who is your greatest love?

my children, bain and lillie.

karen with her greatest loves: her children.

when are you happiest?

when i am with my kids or my friends, anywhere. when i have a good day at work. when i buy a fantastic pair of shoes or get on an airplane to go somewhere new. the list is pretty long.

what is your current state of mind?

determined to get through this survey and happy.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

i have worked very hard to get where i am in a short amount of time. i took time off to be a stay home mom for a few years, which can sometimes hurt a woman’s chance of having a successful career, but when i came back i was back and i am still feel like my kids are the center of my world. i am just really busy now.

what would you most like to do?

i have lived a full life, i don’t have many boxes left to check. if there is something i think of though – i‘ll do it.

where would you like to live?

whereever my kids are until they are 18. then i’d like to have a few houses- new orleans, somewhere in georgia, l.a. and of course new york. basically where my friends and family are so i can visit whenever i want.

what is your most marked characteristic?

i know what i want.

what is your motto?

if you going to do it, do it right

what are you doing right now?

freelancing at wieden + kennedy ny and taking a break from researching airfare.

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the questionnaire meets stacey higgins guerrero

Friday, 13. May 2011 8:47

 

 

 

 

 

like most producers, stacey higgins guerrero’s work has given her the chance to run jobs in a variety of cities and gives the seattle-based redhead the opportunity to spend a good amount of time in california, the state she loves.  her joyful, expressive personality is a great match with the head of red hair which makes her standout in a crowd.  and while the world of marketing, distribution and production has been changing the types of work needed, she has been at the forefront in creating new types of work while also working on more traditional 30s.   last year stacey produced a unique pop-up art gallery in tribeca called “thirty days in ny” for tbwa’s client absolute.  an experience that was much lauded and she calls “very cool”.

stacey on the slopes with one of her loves -- son oscar.

 

where is your hometown?
connecticut, but my heart is in san francisco…and i now live in seattle.

what led you to working as a producer?

i was the oldest of 3 kids & my mom was a flight attendant, so i’ve been a producer since i was 8.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

having fun.

what is your dream job?

to have one client.

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

ending with something i’m proud of.

how did you come to the poolhouse?

i was in an e-mail group & then veronica turned it into trump towers of production….and here we are today.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

a stoner.

who in production do you most admire?

all of them.

what is your pet peeve?

when people shrug their shoulders and say “UGHHhhhh”.  a close second is the word, rad.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

flying home is always the best.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

are you kidding me?

what or who is your greatest love?

my family.

when are you happiest?

in august.

what is your current state of mind?

life is good.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

my kids.

what would you most like to do?

i’m doing it.

where would you like to live?

california

what is your most marked characteristic?

my huge red hair.

what are you doing right now?

lunch.  tomato soup.

after a day shooting in mexico city which stacey says "makes you thirsty".

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sherri levy’s turn to take on the questionnaire

Wednesday, 20. April 2011 3:21

sherri In a boat on the ganges river in varanasi, india.

the questionnaire has been revealing an interesting group of passionate people.  poolhouser sherri levy not only is an interesting, passionate producer but one of her latest projects, brings to mind some parallels within all our lives.

this project is one sherri is quite proud of, with good reason, as it’s a beautiful piece of work that anyone would be love to be attached to.  the anthem spot for jim beam,“parallels” stars willem defoe, directed by mjz’s dante ariola and edited by rock paper scissor’s adam pertovsky was created by strawberryfrog.  the spot showcases the great actor in a story showing all the choices we have and a wide range of roles including some interesting characters and the decision to lead a passionate live in new york.  it sounds a little like sherri’s life.

where is your hometown?

new york city

what location are you currently in?

new york city.

what led you to working as a producer?

i babysat for bill hamilton when i was in college and i knew i wanted to do what he did, because he got to stay out late and go to fun parties.  he told me that i couldn’t just enter advertising as a creative director but maybe i could learn the ropes in production and go from there.  i started in the production department at ogilvy before I even left nyu and i loved it so much i never left the field.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

renovating my apartment.  the passion is to get it done.   also my delicious dog frida.

what is your dream job?

one where everyone is in perfect sync: there are no money issues, political issues, legal issues, client issues, talent issues,etc.  everyone has the same goal in mind and everyone is working in perfect harmony to achieve it.  oh and this is all happening in africa.  i have had jobs like this a few times and they are the best.

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

editing.  love it.

how did you come to the poolhouse?

i spoke to veronica about a year ago and the timing was right.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

i would love to be craftsy.  i have zero skills for sewing or cutting or pasting or painting or drawing…the list is endless.

who in production do you most admire?

probably another poolhouser, jenny hollowell.  she is not only a good producer, but she published her first novel and had a kid all within the last few years and all while still producing. i admire the shit out of someone who can do that. i also really admire dave rolfe at cpb.  when i work for him he always has my back and makes sure i am taken care of.  i also think he is whip smart and cares about this business in a very genuine way.

what is your pet peeve?

kids who grew up learning excel in nursery school and who have silly im names because they made them up when they were in the 8th grade.  you know what I was doing in the 8th grade?  playing space invaders in the entryway of the local diner.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

for work, without a doubt south africa.  i’ve had the pleasure to shoot all over the country as well as the neighboring namibia and i’m just mad for the place.  i cannot wait to get back.  for pleasure it’s a dead heat between the spiritual and incredible varanasi in india and the city I love second to nyc, barcelona. they are both very special places for very different reasons.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

holy shit

when are you happiest?

when I am with people that I love.

what is your current state of mind?

excited.  i am about to do a big shoot with one of my favorite actors.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

living life on my own terms.

what would you most like to do?

judge a season of top chef.

where would you like to live?

i would love to split my time between nyc and barcelona, or paris.

what is your most marked characteristic?

i tell it like it is whether you like it or not.

what is your motto?

it’s really my mom’s but i use it:  fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.

what are you doing right now?

really?

here’s a link to the lovely film sherri produced for jim beam

http://youtu.be/RDZ0wAd9y10?hd=1

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the poolhouse questionnaire presents @radical.media’s frank scherma

Tuesday, 12. April 2011 12:03

in our desire to expand those profiled in the poolhouse questionnaire we are reaching out to people who work in various capacities in commercial production. when thinking of who to reach out to as our first to answer the quesionnaire from a production company frank scherma came to mind.

as the president of @radical.media frank and his partner jon kamen have created a global production company that is media agnostic. @radical has spent 18 years producing photography, television, films, “new media”, and of course music videos and commericals.  @radical’s work has garnered any award you can think of including an academy award®, emmys®, a golden globe®, grammys®, webbys and two palme d’ors at the cannes lions international advertising festival.

if you have spent much time in commercial production you undoubtable have borne witness to frank scherma’s booming personality and warm embrace.  as frank is on the board of governors of the television academy for arts and sciences (the emmys®) and given that it is the time of year when those in commercial production can submit their work to be considered for an emmy nomination, it seemed the perfect time to ask frank scherma to take on the poolhouse questionnaire.


frank,  thanks for answering our questionnaire. so we have some background can you tell us how you came to produce and how @radical came about.

i started at chiat day when they first opened an office in new york.  i worked as an assistant producer for a few months and then started to oversee projects as a producer for 3 years at the agency.

my next journey took me to ammirati and puris for another 3 years on the bmw account.   the art director i worked with was working with a young still photographer named jeff zwart, who he felt had the potentials to be a director.   he connected me with jeff and i linked jeff and myself with jon kamen.  jon asked me to open up the west coast office of sandbank films with jeff zwart as our director.  after several years working with each other, jon and i realized we had a similar vision of what we wanted in a company. therefore, jon bought out his ex-partner and jon and i became partners. we renamed the company @radical.media in 1993 as we realized the industry was evolving.

can you tell us a favorite story related to your work?

my dog, gnocchi, came into the office with me  since he was a  puppy.  when he was 12 weeks old i took him out on a car shoot.  he was happily in the back of the car with myself and the account guy from the agency.  as the dog bounded out of the car following the account guy, he accidentally slammed the door on the puppy’s paw breaking a digit.  cut to:  five years later, a new client shows up for a pre-pro and my fully grown dog barks like crazy when he sees him.  i quickly explained to the client about how a not very bright account guy slammed the door on his paw and now, gnocchi always barks at men in suits. (in honesty, he never barked at anyone).  after the third pre-pro meeting with this new client, he finally felt comfortable in telling me he was the young account guy that broke my dogs paw.   gnocchi knew.

there are two reasons for highlighting your work as our first production company e.p./owner – firstly, @radical.media has been doing for quite some time what so many companies are now trying to do – you have very successfully diversified the work you do – commercials, films, television, photography…  you produce content that spans so much territory – how and why did you and jon and the team at @radical come to this decision?  can you tell of some of the fun and success you’ve had, some of the surprises along the way and perhaps something that seemed a smart risk at the time but didn’t turn out the way you expected?

jon kamen called me one day and told me to go buy this new thing called TiVo.   i think i have number 25 and paid a lifetime fee of $99.00.   it’s still in our guest bedroom. jon was always ahead of the curve seeing what was on the horizon. We realized that consumers were given multiple platforms and the media landscape was fragmented.   we wanted to understand all the mediums that advertisers were going to use to reach their consumer/audience.

as to the successes…we see it in the growth of our talents and our staff as well as the accolades and trophies associated with the advertising, marketing and entertainment industries.

in the beginning, i think we were too far ahead in understanding the digital space.  we tried to convince an airline company and their agency (in 1993) that we could build something called a ‘website’ and one day consumers would be able to buy a ticket that way.  needless to say, we were laughed at during the meeting. we spent tremendous amount of energy figuring out this space and it’s now paying off…but it did not look like it would work back then.  currently, we’re creating and producing a bevy of applications for various tablets and smartphones for a multitude of brands and artists.

secondly, as it is time for emmy submissions it would be great to have you tell us a bit about the television academy as it relates to commercial production especially given that many people in the commercial production industry don’t know that they can submit their work for an emmy or be considered for membership in the television academy.  frank, can you expound on the benefits of the television academy and it’s relationship with commercial production.

the television academy represents all walks-of-life within the television world.  there is a peer group for commercials.  currently i am a governor of the academy, representing folks in the commercial world. many years ago, sheila manning and myself petitioned the board to get an emmy for commercials.

if you have worked in Commercials for a number of years and have enough credits, go to www.emmys.org to apply for membership. it allows you to vote for the emmy for commercials and all the additional perks you’ll find on the website.  it is actually quite simple.

in my mind, being a member of the academy is an honor and I feel that commercials are a very important component of television and its culture.

@radical produces a great show for sundance – iconoclasts.  if frank scherma was on iconoclasts who would you want to be paired with and why?

i would love to be paired with steve jobs! apple is an innovative company that has transformed due to steve’s undying of his belief in the products and future. his marketing prowess is quite astounding. also, he’s a marketer who has formed a bonding relationship with an agency and a trust that allows great work and creativity.

and now for our standard (and hopefully fun) questionnaire…

where is your hometown?

brooklyn, ny

what location are you currently in?

sydney, australia

what led you to working as a producer?

at one point, i was an actor and then i realized i’m better when i’m in charge and giving orders than taking them.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

my wife and kids.  three teenagers give us tremendous amount of joy and meaningful conversations.  they’re at a point where what we say and do means a lot.  important that they find their passion in life like i did with my career.

i also love to cook.

what is your dream job?

i am doing it.

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

solving problems and learning something new every time we figure out a production

breakfast burritos aren’t bad either.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

to cook as well as mario batali

who in production do you most admire?

my partner, jon kamen

what is your pet peeve?

people afraid to ask questions.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

for pleasure – italy

for work – sydney and berlin

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

probably would be “fuck” and “that’s a wank”

what or who is your greatest love?

my greatest love is my wonderful wife of 22 years, cari.

when are you happiest?

in my office when it is so busy that we run out of forks for lunch.

at one of my kids sporting events.

at dinner with my wife.

so best case scenario of when o’m the happiest: when it’s ridiculously busy on a friday at the office, followed by a saturday of soccer, water polo and volleyball with my kids, followed by dinner and a great bottle of wine with my wife…and hopefully, the kids will be sleeping when we get home.

what is your current state of mind?

having a blast. wondering how it could get any better.  no joke.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

my three kids followed by @radical.media

what would you most like to do?

travel parts of the world I have not been to.

there would you like to live?

tuscany, as long as no work is involved.

what is your most marked characteristic?

undying belief in myself.

what is your motto?

never say i can’t.  it can always be done.

my kids were not allowed to say i can’t they had to say i don’t want to.

what are you doing right now?

on spring break with family in australia.  traveling to the great barrier reef today….

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david rolfe – the first agency head of production to take on the poolhouse questionnaire

Tuesday, 29. March 2011 7:00

while we’ve been longing to expand those profiled on the poolhouse questionnaire to include people throughout production,  folks in production are a busy lot and it’s hard to pin them down.

david rolfe is first in what we hope will be long list of people in production we are showcasing. as partner/director of integrated production at cp+b, rolfe oversees production for the agency’s six “factories” (boulder, miami, los angeles, toronto, london and gothenburg) for a  diverse client list that includes microsoft, unilever, kraft, phillips, coke zero, discovery networks, american express, domino’s pizza, metlife, molson canadian, old navy, sas, best buy and bolthouse farms’ baby carrots. cp+b’s work has has made them one of most-awarded agencies in the world—with the unprecedented distinction of winning the grand prix at the cannes lions international advertising festival in every category and advertising age has named them  agency of the decade.

the agency has a reputation for being made up of a passionate team (now numbering over 1000 people) with boundless energy and many interagency relationships. rolfe’s profile shows he’s the embodiment of all this — with his drive for great production, passion for tennis and knowledge of wine and his love for his wife, cp+b vp/group creative director tiffany rolfe.

 

david rolfe, cp+b director of integrated production

where is your hometown?

i’m from seattle, i did some time in portland and then i went all the way to miami, for like thirteen years  then on to chicago for twenty months and wound up in boulder, co where there’s 64 times more sun than the first two places mentioned here.  i am going to also be spending a lot more time in la soon but that won’t be too much different than the last twelve years anyway.

what location are you currently in?

i’m in boulder. in an office. looking out my blurry door windows that tend to make people taller, so i feel intimidated before every meeting.

what led you to working as a producer?

i think i got lucky because i wanted to be in film (a filmmaker) since i was about 15. i had a mentor who was a feature maker and i worked with him during and after college, and then jumped in to film work just after college, and never really strayed (except for part-time in wine biz, that diverted me just enough to actually be useful in producing). i was always a producer because i am some form of a control freak. not exactly a control freak, just a version of a control freak. a producer version.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

by far, tennis. i have always been possessed by a firm competitive need to play sports. tennis has been the hardest and its been a renewed-since-teen’s passion for about five years now—after i had to quit basketball due to repeated ankle sprains. injuries are still fucking things up but i’m working through it.

 

what is your dream job?

being a pro baseball player. or pretty much doing what i do now. i forget often but certainly not all the time that i have a dream job, that i get to do something akin to what i’ve wanted to do since i was young, that i’ve evolved and learned greatly within the business i’m in (advertising and marketing) and i work around driven and smart creative people day and night.

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

i like the “completion factor.” i don’t mind that most everything we may see starts as a form of a problem. its an inspiring problem, always. but what gets me through it—every… single… time… over and over—is that i know it will end and it will be done. so i consistently feel driven to make something great every time—cuz i know it will be done, it will finish, so might as well make it best it can be. this is not an abstraction it’s empirically real—we are in a biz where things get done, together.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

mathematician, maybe. yoga instructor? i did yoga once and got hurt, made no sense. so that could be a good ‘other skill.’ maitre d’ also. my god iwould be good at that, methinks.  at a dinner party one of our great young producers said her fiancé was “really aware of even the small things going on with the people around him.” i said, “so, he’s sensitive.” i knew that would f with her a little because her fiancé also happens to be a pro hockey player. so she couldn’t admit to it. i am sensitive, because i don’t play pro hockey (yet).

who in production do you most admire?

can’t imagine a harder question. i enjoy admiring lots in the peeps around us—an admiration whore. in the film production biz i think daniel bergman is quite a piece of work (in a good way). i like different peeps in our biz for a variety of reasons: carmody for director culture, pat for our bond, stavros for his uniqueness and drive, kamen for his diplomacy, and speaking of diplomacy—matt miller, steve golin for what he’s done, letitia edwards has always blown me away, matt bonin is a smart thinker, chris rossiter for his balls and candor, bijarchi for his persuasive gifts, both classic minn guys dilo and sitley, i don’t know ben grylewicz well (but come onnnn, that work over the years), tk for his spirit, my partner for on and on rupert, peter friedman for how he was so complimentary when i was younger, john garland for his enterprise and grant hill for his consummate grace. then there’s buckley, one and only. kerstin. yvette. and bart fucking lipton. anyone that can have elongated bouts of sincerity and passion, i could shout out on and on.

what is your pet peeve?

let’s see… i don’t like ineffective drinking. much shouldn’t be solved during drinking, but so much can be.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

i thought shooting in barcelona was quite a treat. and stockholm with stylewar in the summer. for pleasure i like the whole world but i’m seriously not at all fettered whilst floating in a pool in palm springs. s. africa is tops too. and I shot a bit in reykjavik. not sure this was supposed to be another laundry list answer, but I have a counter to everything.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

it used to be “honestly…” so lame, so fallibly used, that word. you mean you haven’t been honest on your other thoughts? i think i have tons of these unfortunately. i am the worst with overused expressions. truly have days where i am happy with my “work performance” and then many days where i am absolutely positive i am michael scott.

what or who is your greatest love?

i really hit my stride as the most fortune man in the world when my wife tiffany and i were married. we have fun and love each other lots.

 

the rolfes - dave & tiff

when are you happiest?

the unexpected moments that reveal that you’ve grown in to something, accomplished something, rode out something positively, etc. the moments when you can somehow reflect that you’ve reached a situation or a perspective because you deserved it. i really like it when its along with someone else too—the team thing. could be some point at the end of a production with my team or a pal’s embrace or my wife sleeping, a drop shot or a shudder on a ski lift.

what is your current state of mind?

i have a lot of work to do. it’s monday.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

i definitely like what i do, and love the people i work with. i definitely adore my wife a lot. i love my pals a lot and my family means everything to me. that’s all I need to get done in this life.

what would you most like to do?

always remember that i get to choose.

where would you like to live?

i have lived in seattle, portland, miami, chicago and boulder. all are pretty cool. portland is probably the coolest place. but in the truest sense, colorado is an incredible place. this isn’t shared by everyone i work around and i seriously struggle with why that is. my explanation is on my blog under “co.” i am also about to live in la, which is home to lots of great friends. that’s what’s going to carry me through it.

what is your most marked characteristic?

i have had a sort of goatee that is what a hopefully cool 23 yr old would have had in 1994, for near ten years. so the marked, problematic thing is: i am 42, its 2011, and the goatee is mostly white-grey.

what is your motto?

i have lots. about 30% are useful and don’t make me seem like michael scott. today i said, “make em smell the blood.” i also say “don’t make it hurt.” sometimes in the same conversation. which is why I can be so much like michael scott. but i just reread this question and I see it’s mottos and not expressions. i don’t have a motto. i talk so much i don’t think i could ever get something down to a single thought.

what are you doing right now?

half-pondering a work-station that will be easier on my back. so when i’m not working i can continue to be hard on my back.

 

dave in a game of extreme ping pong

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mark johnston – his latest work for adidas, chillin’ and and how he got here.

Wednesday, 23. March 2011 6:05

mark johnson in buenos aires

producer of the recent adidas “all in” campaign for sid lee.   johnston tells us about this brand’s largest ever launch in its history and takes on the poolhouse questionnaire.

working for montreal agency sid lee, poolhouser mark johnson has spent the past 6+ months on a round-the-world production trek on adidas’ “all in” global brand campaign — the largest marketing campaign in the company’s history.  this effort merged adidas sport, music and fashion presence featuring the elements of the brands styles in sports performance, adidas originals, adidas spots style into a single campaign.

launching simultaneously in 55 countries on march 16th, the campaign includes broadcast, cinema and online work from :05 teasers to 2 minute pieces and social platform conversations including www.facebook.com/adidas and www.youtube.com/adidas.

shot in argentina, rio, chicago, barcelona, london, los angeles, toronto, & south bend. the work features nba star derrick rose, soccer stars david beckham and lionel messi, pop icon katy perry, hip hop artist b.o.b, the university of notre dame and skateboarders silas baxter-neal, lem villemin, and jake donnelly.

johnston enjoyed working with sid lee and the agency’s production arm jimmy lee under head of production claudia roy who he calls “amazing”.

b.o.b. in london

fighting irish crowd at notre dame

now back in nyc we caught up with johnston for his take on the poolhouse questionaire.

where is your hometown?

new york city

what location are you currently in?

new york city

what led you to working as a producer?

i knew i wanted to be in film after graduating from the school of cinematic arts at usc but didn’t know in what capacity.  the parties were great while i was making films in school.  we had built a great community and knew i didn’t want this lifestyle to end.  after several crew jobs i decided working on set was not for me.  i successfully landed a job as the a/v specialist at tbwa\chiat\day la.  after a couple years i needed to make a decision on if i wanted to focus on editorial or production.  a producer at chiat by the name of debra witlin took me under her wing and not too long later my boss, elaine hinton, brought me onboard into the broadcast department.  i remained for another 7 years before moving to nyc to pursue freelance opportunities.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

documentary filmmaking. the desire to uncover untold stories has a lot of attraction.  there is no limit to the amount you can discover and yet there is no room for telling everything.

what is your dream job?

continuing what I’m doing now. traveling the world working with exceptionally talented people producing high end deliverables with celebrities and athletes for some of the largest brands in the world with big or small budget challenges.

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

being able to keep things real, making the production experience fun and always keeping the end game positive!

how did you come to the poolhouse?

after deciding to leave chiat after 9 years, i was connected to veronica beach through ezra burke in la.  he said that she was forming a group of freelancers in new york and that we should hook up.  i reached out to veronica who invited me to a freelance dinner she was organizing at a mexican restaurant called dos caminos which happened to be the same day i was arriving in nyc.   i barely made the dinner.  i was arrested the night before coming home from my going away party.  my roommate had to pick me up in jail that morning.  luckily with no traffic, and because i had already packed my bags and loaded them in my roommate’s car ,i was dropped off at the airport just in time to make my flight.  after a quick shower and change at my new apartment i arrived and met the group and was brought into the poolhouse.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

cobbler

who in production do you most admire?

ridley scott. the only time it seems he took time off was for a few years after blade runner, 1995 and 2004.  other than that he has produced a film nearly every year to date.  so f’ing amazing.  when I feel that my project is getting tough I think about what this dude must be doing.  so much respect.

what is your pet peeve?

hamburgers. i want to have one right now.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

tie for lithuania and thailand for work, for pleasure sweden.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

dude

what or who is your greatest love?

too shy to say

when are you happiest?

when things are new or when the things that were happy to me once come again.

what is your current state of mind?

chilling, and thinking about eating a hamburger

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

graduating high school (barely made it) and getting into usc film school.  professionally, producing the recent adidas all in campaign was a great achievement.

what would you most like to do?

fly fast

where would you like to live?

stockholm in the summer, nyc in the spring and fall, la in the winter. or maybe just sydney.

what is your most marked characteristic?

freckles. and they change all the time.

what is your motto?

coolmandude

what are you doing right now?

sliding on my vans and heading to the corner bistro.

derrick rose in chicago

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erin goodsell’s take on the poolhouse questionnaire

Tuesday, 18. January 2011 10:39

it’s been a great year for erin whose old spice work has been the most lauded work of the past year. but, you have to expect something great from a commercial producer who’s name is goodsell.

where is your hometown?

lawrence, mass, but my parents have been in jersey for longer than they haven’t.

what location are you currently in?

my little home office in silver lake, los angeles, ca

what led you to working as a producer?

i first worked for an account director who was kind and wise enough to say “you definitely don’t want to do this.” she hooked me up with ozzie spenningsby to be his assistant.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

london online real estate porn and any/every design blog.

what is your dream job?

to blow things up on “mythbusters.”

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

i have to say it’s a tie. i love helping to facilitate creative collaborations and i love breaking down a messy production problem into something digestible and doable.

how did you come to the poolhouse?

i found myself unemployed, and had no idea how to be freelance after being staff for 13 years. the fabulous letitia jacobs steered me toward veronica and the group.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

i wish i could speak french and italian.

who in production do you most admire?

if I had known “production designer” was a viable career option when i was younger, i would have loved to have gone down that path.

what is your pet peeve?

scrutinizing line items in a low budget world.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

rome for both.

erin in her favorite place, rome.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

when in rome…. just kidding. probably “and then we’ll go from there”.

what or who is your greatest love?

traveling is the what. my bloke is the who.

when are you happiest?

when i’m with him, which is no easy feat. i live in la. he lives in london. good thing i like traveling.

what is your current state of mind?

optimistic concentration.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

working on the stuff I’ve been working on lately. i keep pinching myself.

what would you most like to do?

be more disciplined.  make more art projects. learn as much as I can.

where would you like to live?

i’d like a house here in la, and apartment in nyc, and a flat in london. is that too much to ask?

what is your most marked characteristic?

trying to fit 20 pounds of sh*t in a 5 pound bag

what is your motto?

“i’ll sleep when i’m dead.”

what are you doing right now?

procrastinating, when i should be sending work emails. :)

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motor city native and l.a. based producer anne kurtzman on the questionnaire

Tuesday, 14. December 2010 16:14

anne kurtzmann's inspiration

where is your hometown?

detroit, michigan

what location are you currently in?

los angeles

what led you to working as a producer?

always wanted to be in show biz.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

my family, writing features with my husband.

what is your dream job?

i’m doing it — i love producing.

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

i love the variety of it — one day you’re shooting celebrities and sports figures, the next you’re putting squirrels in funny outfits.  we get to works with great directors, dp’s, editors, musicians…it’s like hollywood without the bullshit.

how did you come to the poolhouse?

many of my favorite producers and good friends were already members; i am thrilled to be a part of this amazing collective.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

i’d love to be a dancer.

who in production do you most admire?

geez, there are so many great producers out there and if i mention one, i’d have to mention them all. but elaine hinton always struck me as someone who keeps her cool when all around her are falling apart.

what is your pet peeve?

egos

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

work: london

pleasure: ireland

anne in one of her favorite places, dublin.

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

nice

what or who is your greatest love?

my wonderful husband, andrew.

when are you happiest?

with my family at lake margrethe, in grayling michigan

what is your current state of mind?

my brain is crammed full of stuff.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

being head of production at one of the most creative ad agencies in history, cliff freeman & partners.

what would you most like to do?

produce a feature written by my husband and me.

where would you like to live?

back in ny

what is your most marked characteristic?

i’m relentlessly cheerful.

what is your motto?

life is too short to work with assholes.

what are you doing right now?

bidding out a superbowl spot with some great directors, looking for colleges with my kids, writing a spec script with my husband, and keeping my sanity.

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gisellah harvey brings the perspective of a scot to the questionnaire.

Tuesday, 7. December 2010 21:54

now a new york resident, gisella shares some of what has made her a producer.

where is your hometown?

musselburgh, scotland (town right outside edinburgh).  it really was famous for mussels back in the day, but they got contaminated years ago sadly.

beach in cellardyke, scotland

what location are you currently in?

carroll gardens, brooklyn

what led you to working as a producer?

i used to be a production manager for mtv and comedy central.  i met a writer who went on to work at wieden & kennedy and he recommended i tried agency producing. i never looked back.

what’s your biggest passion right now?

winter squashes

what is your dream job?

being the presenter of the bbc radio 4 show “woman’s hour”

what is your favorite aspect of producing?

i love going on shoots, but editing is top of the list too as i’m married to an editor so i’ve really learned a massive amount about that craft over the years.  meeting new directors is also great fun, especially when they are very collaborative.  really love searching for original music for spots.

how did you come to the poolhouse?

letitia jacobs introduced me to veronica.

if you could have another skill what would it be?

being able to draw.

who in production do you most admire?

the producers and e.p.s at rsa, saffron case @ avso.

what is your pet peeve?

the conservative party in the up and the republicans in the us.

where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to for work and for pleasure?

for work – vancouver & paris

for pleasure – guadelupe & carriacou

what word or phrase do you most overuse?

great

what or who is your greatest love?

my daughter sido (she’s 6) and my husband.

when are you happiest?

the month of august when we go to scotland.

what is your current state of mind?

pretty peaceful and happy right now because i’m working from home looking at beautiful autumn leaves blowing around the back garden.  but that could change in 5 minutes if i get an email or the phone rings!!

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

moving to new york in 1989 with $600 and ending up with a lifestyle i pretty much always dreamed of. i don’t want to sound smug, but new york really has been such a land of opportunity for me. and it continues to be, i’m always meeting new and incredible people which leads to more interesting and rewarding opportunities.

what would you most like to do?

retire.

where would you like to live?

paris

what is your most marked characteristic?

i can get along with even the most difficult or peculiar people.

what is your motto?

no matter how bad it is, it will come to an end.

i learned to repeat that over and over during the most challenging jobs, especially in the days leading up to a shoot when the tension get’s unbearable.  it took me years to remember that it’s a completely normal process and you always come out the other side!

what are you doing right now?

i’m listening to woman’s hour of course!

someone's enthusiastic laundry i spotted this summer.

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