Simply put, we are an entertainment company creating content for today's modern audience; four distinct companies sharing a common passion with a presence in the commercial, theatrical, feature film and reality TV marketplace.

Big Block is a digital production studio specializing in digital, automotive content, VFX, design and finishing for the integrated space: feature films, commercials, interactive, viral videos, large-scale venues, gaming, mobile and enterprise platforms.

bigblockla.com

Big Block Design Group is focused on design-oriented storytelling and creative ideation for commercials, interactive, branded content and broadcast design.

bigblockla.com/bbdg

Big Block Entertainment Group is dedicated to bringing ideas to life in any and all capacities, working in commercials, broadcast, feature films, live theater, branded content; constantly growing with every new venture.

bigblockentertainmentgroup.com

Our roster of directors is made up of true, modern storytellers - writers/directors who know how to build and engage with an audience and create commercials and branded experiences that captivate.

bigblocklive.com

  • 2014_07_14
    • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Scores Emmy Nom For Outstanding Main Title
    • PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


      COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY SCORES EMMY NOMINATION FOR OUTSTANDING MAIN TITLE DESIGN


      Big Block Design Group/BBDG Team Is Recognized for Epic Cosmos Show Open



      Santa Monica, California—July 14, 2014—The creative team at Big Block Design Group/BBDG were recognized for their main title design for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Main Title Design.

      Inspired by Carl Sagan's profound exploration of the universe, BBDG's Emmy-nominated team—creative directors Curtis Doss and Shaun Collings, visual effects supervisor Randall Smith and CG supervisor Tom Connors—produced an epic show open for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey comprised of customized CGI, live action footage and photographic elements.

      A transcendent vision of the mystery of the cosmos, the main title conveys a sense of wonder and also pays tribute to the series' legacy. The journey through the now-iconic eye bookends the initials C and S, which resolve to become the title Cosmos, the show's branded image and a subtle and emotional homage to Sagan.

      To view the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey main title, please go to:
      http://vimeo.com/88478420

      Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey received a total of 12 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Directing, Cinematography, Writing, Art Direction, Special and Visual Effects, Music Composition, Main Title Design, Theme Music, Picture Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.

      Kenny Solomon, managing director of Big Block, said, “This project inspired us in so many ways and really spoke to our strengths in design, live action and visual effects. We are so proud to have an Emmy nomination and we are most grateful to the Cosmos producers for taking us on this epic journey.”


      ABOUT BIG BLOCK
      Based in Santa Monica and New York, Big Block is the production and design studio division of Big Block Media Holdings. Big Block specializes in digital content, VFX, design, DI (digital intermediate) and finishing for commercials, broadcast, interactive, feature films, television, gaming, mobile and enterprise platforms. Big Block provides integrated end-to-end services, from concept and design to live action direction, visual effects and coding and represents the ultimate in end-to-end services for multimedia campaigns and branded content.

      A key component of Big Block's culture is Big Block Design Group (BBDG), whose creative leadership infuses design sensibility and brand strategy throughout the totality of the studio's productions from inception through live action and production.

      In New York, Big Block Live extends the studio's mandate with an emphasis on live action and branded content, while Big Block Entertainment Group focuses on the development and production of live theater, feature films and television.

      Big Block was launched by business developer Scott Benson and executive producer Kenny Solomon, whose collective experience with the production of branded content makes them uniquely suited to meet the challenges of creative communication.

      Big Block is housed in the Art Deco Ilona Building on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica and in the Neuehouse at 110 East 25th Street in New York.

      For more information, please visit: www.bigblockLA.com

      Big Block contact:
      Kenny Solomon
      Managing Director
      631 Wilshire Boulevard 2nd Floor
      Santa Monica, CA 90401
      310.954.9400
      kenny.solomon@bigblockLA.com

      ###
  • 2014_05_06
    • Hot Fashion Models Are Recruited for 'Sexy' Ad, but Then Things Get Really Awkward
    • An impossible assignment By Tim Nudd
    • An impossible assignment By Tim Nudd

      Attractive models are great at being sexy in commercials—until the dialogue on the cue cards starts getting super weird and unsexy. Have a look at this video without spoilers, then scroll down for more on the campaign.


      View on Youtube

      Spoilers below...
      Creative studio and production company Big Block Live created the video as a Mothers' Day campaign for Save the Children, which is on a roll lately with some great viral PSAs. Josh Ruben and Vincent Peone (Josh + Vince) directed the spot, having connected with Save the Children more than a year ago.

      "We connected last year when Michael Amaditz from Save the Children saw our talk at SXSW about making funny content," Peone tells AdFreak. "They challenged us to come up with an idea that dealt with the subject matter in an evocative way."

      "We essentially said, 'Let's take this a step further and add some organic reactions from our talent,' " Ruben adds. "Viewers respond to visceral material like that, and the turn really hooks you in such a fun, darkly awkward way. Save the Children already knew they wanted to use sexy content to drive attention to the cause, which is wise because, to put it bluntly, even the keyword 'sex' is an instant leg up for views."

      So, how awkward did it get on the set?

      "It certainly wasn't the most comfortable day on set," says Peone. "We had cast a 'director' character, Aubyn Gwinn, who did a great job at being supportive to our talent, encouraging them to give it their best shot. In the end, we were really happy with the level of commitment the models gave us, despite the ridiculous circumstances. Once the ruse was up and our models learned that they were in a Save the Children commercial, everyone was relieved and happy to have lent their performances to the cause. We were thrilled—we knew this piece could only work with genuine reactions, but we were highly sensitive about not ruining anyone's day in the process."

      Gwinn, in fact, has done fashion ads, which was critical. "We made it a priority to run the set like a fashion shoot. It was crucial that it looked and felt legit," says Ruben. "We knew if we said we were directing it, there would be a slight chance we'd get recognized from CollegeHumor."


      CREDITS
      Client: Save The Children
      Title: "The Most Important 'Sexy' Model Video Ever"
      Air Date: 5/6/14

      Creative Director (Save the Children): Michael Amaditz
      Manager of Video Production (Save the Children): Suzanne Klaucke

      Production Company: Big Block Live
      Directors: Josh + Vince
      Managing Director: Kenny Solomon
      Executive Producer: Mary Crosse
      Producer: Corwin Carroll
      Director of Photography: Joe Victorine

      Editor: Alex Amoling

      Colorist: Tristan Kneschke, Exit Editorial

      Sound Design: Joel Raebe, Lichen Lion

      Source: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/hot-fashion-models-are-recruited-sexy-ad-then-things-get-really-awkward-157502
  • 2014_04_15b
    • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
    • "The title sequence is as thoughtful and jaw-dropping as the show itself."


    • View intro sequence on Vimeo

      "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," the reboot of the classic science TV series helmed by Carl Sagan that aired in 1980, should be required viewing for all of us.

      In "Cosmos," artful visual effects and elegant motion design inform and delight in equal parts. Animation is as essential to the success of "Cosmos" as the lovable hosting talents of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

      All-Star Team

      With executive producer Seth MacFarlane behind the show and a 13-week run on Fox and National Geographic, the creators of "Cosmos" are going toe-to-toe with primetime. The premiere launched opposite AMC's "The Walking Dead" and ABC's heavily promoted "Resurrection" and still managed to rake in an impressive 8.5 million viewers.

      Brannon Braga, co-executive producer and director, is no stranger to space drama. He co-wrote "Star Trek: First Contact" and executive produced all of the Star Trek series after the original.

      Co-directing from behind the camera is DP Bill Pope, best known as the cinematographer for "The Matrix."

      Then there's Rainer Gombos, visual effects supervisor of "Game of Thrones" fame. VFX shots themselves have been handled by a who's who of facilities including Framestore, BUF, Tippett Studio, Atomic Fiction and Montreal's Mokko Studio.

      Not too shabby.

      The Title Sequence

      The title sequence (seen above) is as thoughtful and jaw-dropping as the show itself.

      Created by BBDG (Shaun Collings and Curtis Doss), the opener oscillates between the cosmic and the microscopic, the tangible and the ethereal. Like the show, the sequence uses the power of metaphor to draw parallels between the mysterious grandeur of the universe and the grand reality of our everyday lives.

      Character Animation

      The animated sequences produced by Kara Vallow (with whom MacFarlane has a long working relationship) and Six Point Harness are an alternative take on the live-action based historic segments from the original "Cosmos."


      View on Hulu

      In an interview with Geekosystem, Vallow explains the reasoning behind using animation:

      Seth [MacFarlane] thought that [using live action for the historic segments] was going to be prohibitive in this incarnation of the series, because viewers are much more sophisticated now than they were then in terms of historical time periods being recreated by Hollywood. We're attuned to seeing big budget period movies and costumes and stuff, and in the original series they were done very low budget.

      I don't think they thought that viewers were going to accept that now, and they didn't have the time to do a big budget Gosford Park type imagining of the narrative. So, it was Seth's idea to do those in animation.

      Watch it online

      Full episodes of "Cosmos" can be viewed at the official site and on Hulu




      Source: http://motionographer.com/2014/04/15/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/

  • 2014_04_15
    • Subaru WRX STI VS. The Drones: The Ultimate Obstacle Course
    • Big Block Creates Futuristic Drone Squadron for Subaru and DDB Canada
    • Big Block Creates Futuristic Drone Squadron for Subaru and DDB Canada

      Santa Monica, California-April 15, 2014-Bicoastal digital production and design studio Big Block produced the live action shoot, virtual obstacle course and animated drone fleet for the television, cinema and online commercial "Subaru WRX STI vs. the Drones." To show off the 2015 Subaru WRX STI's best-in-its-class high performance power and impeccable control, DDB Canada's Toronto office developed the concept of a futuristic autocross course made of CG drone quadcopters to challenge the WRX STI with real-time precision driving.

      Three hundred shape-shifting drones with an attitude put the equally badass WRX STI to the test, altering the course in a dynamic, real-time display of synchronized morphology and demanding the ultimate in performance and precision response from the car. Despite the challenge, the WRX STI, which is engineered to perform, navigates the course with impressive precision, ease and control.


      "There is no existing course that could adequately demonstrate the WRX STI's instantaneous reaction time, high-speed cornering and remarkable handling - so we created our own," says Rob Sturch, associate creative director, DDB Canada in Toronto.

      The commercial was shot by Big Block and DDB on a closed circuit in the historic Hughes Aircraft "Spruce Goose" hangar in Los Angeles. The shoot involved capturing live footage, including a real driver, and an array of reference material that Big Block's animators and visual effects artists would later use for simulations, lighting, reflections and environment.

      Among the challenges faced by Big Block director Mark Glaser was creating a virtual course within the hangar location, a solution that required massive data asset acquisition and management. Glaser and Big Block's team of visual effects artists, supervised by Randall Smith, spent all night capturing high-resolution photos and LIDAR scans of the space from key locations. All photos were shot as HDRI with seven exposure stops of lighting data. Each station created a 32-bit 32K HDRI and all eight stations ultimately produced 15 gigs of raw HDRI data, which was projected onto the hanger model and painted to correct any overlapping projections.

      The WRX STI's stunt driving was created within Big Block's Drive-A-Tron TM driving simulator, a physics-based driving technology using manufacturer's CAD data to perfectly model cars both geometrically and dynamically. The software allows these physically accurate animations to be configured into the studio's Autodesk 3ds Max lighting and rendering pipeline. Once the Subaru simulations were loaded into Max, the scenes were lit and rendered using V-Ray and environments were projected and painted using Mari. High-resolution stills were projected onto the converted LIDAR scans of the hanger giving a fully 3D reconstruction of the space with lighting baked into the textures. All CG elements and rendered layers were composited in Nuke. The final conform was done in Flame and grade was done in Da Vinci Suite.

      A detailed animation rig handled the stabilization and control of the drone movement and allowed Big Block's animators to focus on the shapes and actions of the flying drone squadron. Once the drones were placed and animated, the animators factored in the forces that the car's drift would apply to the drones as it blazed past them.

      The only live action shots that appear in the spot are of the driver and the interior of the Subaru as it is being driven.


      "Subaru WRX STI vs. The Drones" live shoot at Hughes Aircraft hangar in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Mark Glaser

      "We didn't want to take creative license on the way the car performs," said Sturch. "By replicating the real-world capabilities of the WRX STI in Drive-A-Tron, we see it conquer this course as it would in real life, reacting instantaneously and performing dynamically, regardless of what's put in its way."

      Big Block's Glaser said, "The most exciting aspect of this project was the way in which we captured a photoreal dataset of this rare, historical location using lasers and image sensors. This allowed me to shoot from anywhere inside the space virtually with minimal rendering cost."

      Kenny Solomon, managing director of Big Block, said, "This project hit our sweet spot from live action, design and photoreal CGI all the way through to DI and delivery. Kudos to DDB and our fantastic Big Block team for pulling this stunt off so beautifully and in record time."

      DDB Canada's "Subaru WRX STI vs. the Drones" launched on television, online and in cinemas on April 7 and is supported by print and digital advertising, point of sale materials and a social outreach program targeting key automotive, technology and gadget influencers. A branded experience with Xbox LIVE is slated at the end of April; users can watch "WRX STI vs. the Drones," take a closer look at the redesigned 2015 WRX STI with 360-degree rotation views of the vehicle and race through a drone-driving-course game.

      ABOUT BIG BLOCK

      Based in Santa Monica and New York, Big Block is the production and design studio division of Big Block Media Holdings. Big Block specializes in digital content, VFX, design, DI (digital intermediate) and finishing for commercials, broadcast, interactive, feature films, television, gaming, mobile and enterprise platforms. Big Block provides integrated end-to-end services, from concept and design to live action direction, visual effects and coding and represents the ultimate in end-to-end services for multimedia campaigns and branded content. A key component of Big Block's culture is Big Block Design Group (BBDG), whose creative leadership infuses design sensibility and brand strategy throughout the totality of the studio's productions from inception through live action and production.

      In New York, Big Block Live extends the studio's mandate with an emphasis on live action and branded content, while Big Block Entertainment Group focuses on the development and production of live theater, feature films and television.

      Big Block was launched by business developer Scott Benson and executive producer Kenny Solomon, whose collective experience with the production of branded content makes them uniquely suited to meet the challenges of creative communication.

      Big Block is housed in the Art Deco Ilona Building on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica and in the Neuehouse at 110 East 25th Street in New York.

      About DDB Canada

      DDB Canada is the most creatively acclaimed, internationally recognized marketing communications agency in Canada. The agency was named Top Creative Agency in strategy magazine's 2014 Creative Report Card and was ranked #1 agency in Canada by the Gunn Report in 2013. Known for advertising that generates significant results for clients, DDB Canada is a "total communications company" whose fundamental belief is that creativity is the most powerful force in business. DDB Canada has offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. The agency's integrated groups include: DDB Kid Think (youth marketing), DDB Public Relations, Tribal Worldwide (digital, social and mobile), Karacters Design Group, RAPP Canada (direct), DDB Hodes Recruitment Communications (recruitment marketing) and Shopper DDB (shopper marketing).

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

      Big Block contact:
      Kenny Solomon
      Managing Director
      631 Wilshire Boulevard 2nd Floor
      Santa Monica, CA 90401
      310.954.9400
      kenny.solomon@bigblockLA.com

      DDB Canada contact:
      Paige Calvert
      Director of Corporate Communications & Public Relations
      604.687.7911

      PRODUCTION CREDITS
      Subaru "WRX STI vs. The Drones"

      Client: Subaru Canada Inc.
      Agency: DDB Canada Toronto
      Chief Creative Officer: Kevin Davis
      Executive Creative Director: Todd Mackie, Denise Rossetto, Paul Wallace
      Associate Creative Director: Rob Sturch
      Copywriter: Rob Sturch
      Art Director: Rosalinda Graziano, Loretta Lau
      Agency Producer: Stef Fabich, Senior Producer; Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Associate Producer
      Account Team: Michael Davidson, SVP, Business Unit Director; Scott Barr, Account Director; Julia Morris, Account Supervisor; Lindy Scott, Account Executive
      Strategy: Tony Johnstone, SVP, Director of Strategic Planning; Sandra Moretti, Strategy Director
      Social Media Strategy: Ed Lee, Senior Director, Social Media

      Production Company: Big Block
      Managing Director: Kenny Solomon
      Executive Producer: Peter King
      Director: Mark Glaser
      Director of Photography: Mark Glaser
      Senior Producer: Kay Rough

      Post-Production Company: Big Block
      Online Editor: Brian Shneider

      VFX/Animation Company: Big Block
      Executive Producer: Peter King
      Senior Producer: Kay Rough
      VFX Coordinator: Tiffany Dickerson
      VFX Supervisor: Randall Smith
      CG Artists: Rob Glaser, Nick Poznick, Tom Connors, Paul Hormis, Tadao Masuyama
      Compositing: Olaf Wendt, Kevin Pierce

      3D Scanning: Gentle Giant Studios

      Color Grade: Cinelicious - Lynette Duensing

      Audio House: Grayson Matthews
  • 2014_03_12
    • Big Block Design Group Creates Epic Main Title And Show Open For Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
    • BBDG Pays Tribute To Carl Sagan In A Stunning Vision of the Galaxy
    • BBDG Pays Tribute To Carl Sagan In A Stunning Vision of the Galaxy

      Santa Monica, California-March 12, 2014-Big Block Design Group (BBDG) designed and created the main title and show open for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the long-awaited follow-up to Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Carl Sagan's profound and iconic exploration of the universe.

      The 13-part series premiered globally on March 9 on the National Geographic Channel and the Fox broadcast network, marking the first time that the Fox conglomerate has used the combined reach of two different networks to launch a series. Airing on 220 Nat Geo cable outlets and Fox-related networks around the world, episodes of Cosmos will reach more than half a billion homes in 181 countries.

      President Barack Obama delivered a special introduction to the premiere episode, inviting a new generation to embrace the spirit of discovery and inspires viewers to explore new frontiers and imagine limitless possibilities for the future.

      Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, is executive produced and written by Ann Druyan, who co-wrote the original Cosmos with her then husband, Carl Sagan, and executive produced by Seth MacFarlane. Druyan's Cosmos Studios, which produced the program, initially approached BBDG for a 15-second promo for Cosmos, which was shown at the Fox Upfronts last year.

      Impressed with BBDG's treatment of a vast and shimmering nebula, the Cosmos show producers told BBDG creative directors Curtis Doss and Shaun Collings that they would love to see what the design group would do for a main title, using the entire universe as an asset.

      BBDG, a division of Big Block Media Group, pulled from every talent at the studio to shoot live action, create customized CGI and build photographic elements to tell the story of our interconnected universe. Doss said, "The tonality and visual similarity of the original series was a touchstone for us. We researched everything from nebulous gasses covering millions of miles to high speed footage of a dandelion in order to represent a transcendent connectedness on all levels, from micro to macro."

      BBDG then produced a live-action shoot of a boy on a beach with a nautilus shell to show how the nautilus mimics the structure of the galaxy. A swirling seedpod parachutes from a CG dandelion and is transformed into a satellite.

      The show had also asked BBDG to create a sequence about the evolution of the eye, an important theme in the original Cosmos. Doss recounts "The show wanted grand, so that set the tone for our exploration and inspiration." Using a Nikon D800, Big Block's Mark Glaser shot high-definition photography of several eyes, the interiors of which become mountainous terrains over which viewers soar. It is a grand vision of the mystery of the cosmos, originating from the smallest scale and conveying a sense of awareness and wonder.

      It was during BBDG's creative development for this sequence that the tribute to Carl Sagan was born. The epic journey through the eye bookends the initials C and S, which resolve to become the title Cosmos, the show's branded image and a subtle and emotional homage to Sagan.

      The 90-second show open, a departure from the typical 30-second treatment, is just as much a landmark for Fox as the series' cross-network launch.

      Doss said, "Ann was the creative and passionate force at Cosmos Productions. There was always a mutual air of challenge on ideas, which made our interaction spirited and fun and also made for an extraordinary outcome. It was a great honor for us to be involved."

      Kenny Solomon, managing director of Big Block, said, "The energy and respect Fox devoted to this project mirrored our feelings as well. We were all big fans of the original Cosmos, so it is very meaningful for us to be a part of this generation's Cosmos."


      ABOUT BIG BLOCK

      Based in Santa Monica and New York, Big Block is the production and design studio division of Big Block Media Holdings. Big Block specializes in digital content, VFX, design, DI (digital intermediate) and finishing for commercials, broadcast, interactive, feature films, television, gaming, mobile and enterprise platforms. Big Block provides integrated end-to-end services, from concept and design to live action direction, visual effects and coding and represents the ultimate in end-to-end services for multimedia campaigns and branded content.

      A key component of Big Block's culture is Big Block Design Group (BBDG), whose creative leadership infuses design sensibility and brand strategy throughout the totality of the studio's productions from inception through live action and production.

      In New York, Big Block Live extends the studio's mandate with an emphasis on live action and branded content, while Big Block Entertainment Group focuses on the development and production of live theater, feature films and television.

      Big Block was launched by business developer Scott Benson and executive producer Kenny Solomon, whose collective experience with the production of branded content makes them uniquely suited to meet the challenges of creative communication.

      Big Block is housed in the Art Deco Ilona Building on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica and in the Neuehouse at 110 East 25th Street in New York.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com


      Big Block contact:
      Kenny Solomon
      Managing Director
      631 Wilshire Boulevard 2nd Floor
      Santa Monica, CA 90401
      310.954.9400
      kenny.solomon@bigblockLA.com

      Production Credits

      Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
      Main Title and Show Open

      Client: Cosmos Studios
      Executive Producer: Ann Druyan
      Executive Producer: Seth MacFarlane
      Executive Producer: Mitchell Cannold
      Executive Producer: Brannon Braga
      Co-Executive Producer: Jason Clark

      Big Block Design Group (BBDG)
      Executive Producer: Kenny Solomon
      Creative Directors: Curtis Doss, Shaun Collings
      CG Supervisors: Tom Connors, Randall Smith
      Producer: Troy Miller
      IT Director/Engineer: Albert Soto

      Designers/Animators:
      Curtis Doss
      Rob Glazer
      Grant Hoki
      Victor Latour
      Danielle Romero
      Oliver Scott
      Nick Tolve
      Dakota Warren

      Lead Compositors:
      Brian Shneider
      Olaf Wendt

      Additional Compositors:
      Larkin Flynn
      Jessica Laszlo
      Brian Williams

      Writer:
      Michael Perkins

      Editors:
      Brandon Hardin
      David Nitzsche
  • 2014_02_04
    • Big Block Grows With New Signings
    • The newly launched Big Block Live has announced its first directorial roster, signing directors Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia for exclusive representation in North America.

    • The newly launched Big Block Live has announced its first directorial roster, signing directors Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia for exclusive representation in North America. Collectively, these are writer/directors who create integrated campaigns across all platforms.

      Big Block Live, a division of Big Block Entertainment, specializes in branded content, live action production and design for commercials, broadcast, interactive and mobile platforms. The New York-based studio also serves as a local interface for Big Block Design Group/BBDG in Santa Monica.

      Big Block Live's new directors come from the Internet, where they have won huge social media followings; modern storytellers deftly combining offbeat humor and the spirit of the zeitgeist with professional production values. Their live action forays into branded content are highly entertaining and highly shared.

      Mary Crosse, executive producer at Big Block Live, said, "As we expand our roster of pop culture creators and artful directors, Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia are a perfect fit for us. We see ourselves as a creative conceptual group with an entire entertainment and production division as an additional asset for agencies and clients. And we'd like to be the ultimate playground for directors."

      Josh Ruben and Vincent Peone, the award-winning directing duo known as Josh + Vince, began their careers pioneering comedic viral videos over twelve years ago. The shorts films, commercials and music videos they have written, directed, shot and produced have amassed a combined total viewership of well over two billion.

      Their series of CollegeHumor videos for Vitaminwater, "Subway Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car" and "GPS Prank," has been covered by The Today Show and Good Morning America as well as TIME, Perez Hilton and MSNBC News. The Huffington Post named their subway prank as one of "7 Native Content Campaigns That Rocked 2013."

      Part of the founding team for CollegeHumor's original content department, Josh + Vince directed over 2,000 videos in the six years they served as in-house directors. Josh + Vince have also collaborated with ad agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Grey, BBDO, Havas, Leo Burnett, TWBA\CHIAT\DAY and a myriad of others, creating original content for brands like Budweiser, BBC, Blackberry, Verizon, Trojan, Sobe, IBM, AT&T, Kellogg's, Tribeca Films, MTV, CBS, Nintendo, Time Warner, Vitamin Water and Durex.

      Josh + Vince recently directed "Strong Island," one of the first comedy series to emerge from CC Studios, Comedy Central's digital platform, and a commercial for Vonage and Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot" series. The duo is currently in development for Toll Booth, their first feature film with Big Block Entertainment, which begins principal shooting in summer of 2014.

      GHOST+COW is the Brooklyn, NY-based directing duo comprised of Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci. LaGanke and Carlucci have worked extensively in advertising, as well as on the production company, music label and art scene in New York City.

      Strong conceptual thinkers, GHOST+COW are known for their convention-defying music videos, live concert projections, films, commercials and branded content. LaGanke's branded short film shot in Mumbai, won Best Webfilm of 2013 at The One Club and thinkLA's Emerging Directors Showcase. Their work has been screened at Slamdance, SXSW, Florida Film Festival, Milano, Hollyshorts and Telluride, and has been featured in Creativity Magazine, Wired, Motionographer, The Huffington Post, IFC, MTV, VH1, The Clio Awards, Stereogum, Kid Robot and Juxtapoz.

      Sabia is a New York City-based digital artist and storyteller who conceives, directs and executes multi-platform campaigns. In 2011, he received a YouTube grant to launch the music channel CDZA, which grew to 23 million views with 240,000 subscribers. CDZA subsequently went on tour for Google, opening for such acts as Macklemore and Snoop Lion. In 2013, Sabia directed a CDZA set at the first annual YouTube Music Awards, working alongside noted directors Spike Jonze and Chris Milk. BBDO and AT&T hired Sabia and CDZA to write, perform and produce 520 unique songs in only two days, with videos posted to YouTube within minutes of each performance.

      Sabia's 2011 TED.com talk on "The Technology of Storytelling" has over one million views and has made him a highly requested speaker on the subject of creativity and culture all around the world. He has been the co-host of Boing Boing TV on Virgin America flights and was chosen by Vanity Fair as one of 10 directors to create a commercial for their Centennial "Decades Series."

      Sabia has worked directly with companies like Google, Interscope Records, BBC America and AT&T. At the age of 22, he was hired to launch HBO's first digital lab and when he was 24, NewsCorp acquired his gaming company "Sexy Politics," which was the first live-time interactive strip quiz on the Internet, educating the public on the 2008 presidential election.


      Published 4, February 2014
      Source: http://www.sourceecreative.com/news-or-feature-story.php?type=news&ID=8480
  • 2014_01_22
    • Big Block Live Announces New Director Signings
    • Big Block Live to Represent Modern Storytellers Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia
    • Big Block Live to Represent Modern Storytellers Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia

      New York, NY-January 22, 2014-Big Block Live has announced its first directorial roster, signing directors Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia for exclusive representation in North America. Collectively, these are writer/directors who create integrated campaigns across all platforms, who know how to build and captivate audiences and who understand the importance of distribution and destination to story.

      Big Block Live, a division of Big Block Entertainment, specializes in branded content, live action production and design for commercials, broadcast, interactive and mobile platforms. The New York-based studio also serves as a local interface for Big Block Design Group/BBDG in Santa Monica.

      Big Block Live's new directors famously come from the Internet, where they have won huge social media followings; modern storytellers deftly combining offbeat humor and the spirit of the zeitgeist with professional production values. Their live action forays into branded content are highly entertaining and highly shared.

      Mary Crosse, executive producer at Big Block Live, said, "As we expand our roster of pop culture creators and artful directors, Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia are a perfect fit for us. We see ourselves as a creative conceptual group with an entire entertainment and production division as an additional asset for agencies and clients. And we'd like to be the ultimate playground for directors."

      Josh Ruben and Vincent Peone, the award-winning directing duo known as Josh + Vince, began their careers pioneering comedic viral videos over twelve years ago. The shorts films, commercials and music videos they have written, directed, shot and produced have amassed a combined total viewership of well over two billion.

      Their series of CollegeHumor videos for Vitaminwater, "Subway Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car and "GPS Prank," has been covered by The Today Show and Good Morning America as well as TIME, Perez Hilton and MSNBC News. The Huffington Post named their subway prank as one of "7 Native Content Campaigns That Rocked 2013."

      Part of the founding team for CollegeHumor's original content department, Josh + Vince directed over 2,000 videos in the six years they served as in-house directors. Josh + Vince have also collaborated with ad agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Grey, BBDO, Havas, Leo Burnett, TWBA\CHIAT\DAY and a myriad of others, creating original content for brands like Budweiser, BBC, Blackberry, Verizon, Trojan, Sobe, IBM, AT&T, Kellogg's, Tribeca Films, MTV, CBS, Nintendo, Time Warner, Vitamin Water and Durex.

      Josh + Vince recently directed Strong Island, one of the first comedy series to emerge from CC Studios, Comedy Central's digital platform, and a commercial for Vonage and Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot" series. The duo is currently in development for Toll Booth, their first feature film with Big Block Entertainment, which begins principal shooting in summer of 2014.

      "Getting our start on the web has taught us the value of a modern approach to commercials, branded content and features," said Ruben and Peone. "Big Block's trajectory is perfectly in line with our sensibilities. We're very pleased to call them our new home."

      GHOST+COW is the Brooklyn, NY-based directing duo comprised of Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci. LaGanke and Carlucci have worked extensively in advertising, as well as on the production company, music label and art scene in New York City.

      Strong conceptual thinkers, GHOST+COW are known for their convention-defying music videos, live concert projections, films, commercials and branded content. LaGanke's branded short film shot in Mumbai, India, won Best Webfilm of 2013 at The One Club and thinkLA's Emerging Directors Showcase. Their work has been screened at Slamdance, SXSW, Florida Film Festival, Milano, Hollyshorts and Telluride, and has been featured in Creativity Magazine, Wired, Motionographer, The Huffington Post, IFC, MTV, VH1, The Clio Awards, Stereogum, Kid Robot and Juxtapoz.

      Joe Sabia is a New York City-based digital artist and storyteller who conceives, directs and executes multi-platform campaigns. In 2011, he received a YouTube grant to launch the music channel CDZA, which grew to 23 million views with 240,000 subscribers. CDZA subsequently went on tour for Google, opening for such acts as Macklemore and Snoop Lion. In 2013, Sabia directed a CDZA set at the first annual YouTube Music Awards, working alongside noted directors Spike Jonze and Chris Milk. BBDO and AT&T hired Sabia and CDZA to write, perform and produce 520 unique songs in only two days, with videos posted to YouTube within minutes of each performance.

      Sabia's 2011 TED.com talk on "The Technology of Storytelling" has over one million views and has made him a highly requested speaker on the subject of creativity and culture all around the world. He has been the co-host of Boing Boing TV on Virgin America flights and was chosen by Vanity Fair as one of 10 directors to create a commercial for their Centennial "Decades Series."

      Sabia has worked directly with companies like Google, Interscope Records, BBC America and AT&T. At the age of 22, he was hired to launch HBO's first digital lab and when he was 24, NewsCorp acquired his gaming company "Sexy Politics," which was the first live-time interactive strip quiz on the Internet, educating the public on the 2008 presidential election.

      The new roster joins director Gavin Bowden who was signed for representation by Santa Monica-based Big Block in January 2013. Bowden is known for his stunning integration of live action storytelling and VFX in an array of commercial campaigns for Toyota, GMC, Chevy, Nike, Target and 7UP for such agencies as JWT, Saatchi LA and NY, TBWA and Weiden+Kennedy. He recently directed "Around" for the Texas Lottery, which was produced by Big Block for Austin-based agency LatinWorks.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockla.com

      ####

      Production Credits
      Vitaminwater "Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car"

      Client: Glaceau Vitaminwater
      Director, Integrated Marketing: Lee Roth
      Associate Producer/Integrated Marketing Manager: Vanessa Smith

      Agency: Crispin Porter +Bogusky
      Tim Blunt: Creative Director
      Associate Creative Director: Jens McNaughton
      Content Supervisor: Carly Tietzer

      Directors: Josh + Vince

      Production Company: CollegeHumor
      Writer: Kevin Corrigan
      Supervising Producer: Halavah Sofsky
      Producer: Jake Fuller
      Editor: Sam Jacobson
      Audio Mixer: Sam Jacobson
      Colorist: Sam Jacobson
      Music: Productiontrax.com
      Post Production Producer: Lacy Wittman
  • 2013_12_31
    • 7 Native Content Campaigns That Rocked 2013
    • Vitamin Water's "#makeboringbrilliant" campaign applied in subway panhandler prank video.
    • 7 Native Content Campaigns That Rocked 2013

      The banter around native advertising - and more specifically native content publishing - reached fever pitch this year. Every man and his dog had a view on how it should be defined, measured, labeled, scaled and priced. And while the the jury may still be out on a number of these issues, one thing we do know here at HuffPost Partner Studio is bloody good native content when we see it. It is with that in mind that we compiled our list of the top native content campaigns for 2013 (ourselves excluded, naturally). Our selection criteria ties closely to our definition of native advertising; that is, advertiser-sponsored content that is transparent (i.e. clearly-labeled as such) and authentic to the platform, its readers, and the sponsor.

      #1 Barbie's Dreamhouse
      Brand: Mattel
      Publisher: Trulia.com
      Integration: Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse Listing on Trulia.com

      It really doesn't get more native than this. For those of you that don't know Barbie so well, she has lived in the Malibu Dreamhouse since like forever! Mattel finally decided earlier this year that it was time for Barbie to move out of the "ultimate bachelorette compound", and ahead of the "big move" (read: NEW product launch and the start of the "Barbie Is Moving Tour") hired Josh Altman, one of the agents from Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles, to get her current Malibu McMansion listed for a cool $25M on the reputable Real-Estate site Trulia.com. The creative genius that came up with this integration and the whole "Barbie is Moving" campaign, which sent Barbie on a road trip to 13 cities across North America in search of a new crib, deserves a high five and a promotion. For those not familiar with the campaign, after a 6 month search Barbie ultimately ended up deciding to return to Malibu and renovate her existing "bachelorette compound;" adding an additional elevator, walk-in-wardrobe, and state of the art stainless steel appliances. The Trulia listing has since been unlisted and is now marked "Off Market".

      #2 Developing: Residents Embrace Bizarre New Bird Species
      Brand: White Wing
      Publisher: TheOnion.com
      Integration: A fictional special news report on the White Wing, "an odd never before seen bird" spotted in Shiner, TX

      This is a great example of native content that is organic to the publisher's platform -- it truly shares the same sensibility as other Onion content. Although The Onion, as a satirical news site doesn't have to play by the same rules as traditional publishers, a sense of humor goes a long way toward making a piece of content memorable. The piece offers a winking, knowing tone that goes over-the-top in product placement, but somehow still works.

      #3 Green Label
      Brand: Mountain Dew
      Publisher: Complex
      Integration: Green Label is a content hub that describes itself as "the intersection of skateboarding, music, and art."

      This sponsored campaign is chock-full of content that targets Complex's fashion-forward, culture-obsessed millennial audience (see: "A Brief History of Skateboarding," "50 States of Lego," and "10 Rumored Albums We Want To Hear Already.") In short, Complex has created a platform full of timely pieces that represent Mountain Dew's already existing ties to youth culture. (The Green Label Sound music label, Green Label Experience action-sports sponsorships, and Green Label Art initiatives have been running for years, but Dew lacked a consolidated online destination for its sponsored content.) It's a great example of a brand leaning on a publisher for editorial expertise and strategy.

      #4 The Power of Reinventing Work
      Brand: IBM
      Publisher: The Atlantic
      Integration: An interactive infographic on best business practices from IBM's "Power In Data: Turning Facts Into Discoveries" campaign.

      This B2B execution is great example of how native advertising can help brands establish thought leadership in a fresh and innovative way. The infographic features statistics from IBM case studies and applies them to a larger message of how a business can "reinvent" its workplace and ultimately drive value to the organization. In alignment with the IBM's "Power In Data" messaging, this execution turns facts into powerful discoveries via a creative design that engages readers and stimulates conversation.

      #5 Icons: History Told Through Human Achievement
      Brand: Rolex
      Publisher: The Atlantic
      Integration: A list of photos with quotes from icons throughout history, sponsored by Rolex. The quotes were pulled from Atlantic profiles of Martin Luther King, Jr., Marlon Brando, and Picasso, among others.

      This integration was anchored by beautiful, high-quality photographs and compelling quotes. The fact that the quotes are pulled from articles in the Atlantic's archives makes it truly native to the platform. Overall, it's a great fit featuring the marriage of an iconic, upscale publication with an iconic, upscale brand. It's simple content, beautifully executed.

      #6 17 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand
      Brand: HarperCollins
      Publisher: BuzzFeed
      Integration: A fun piece from the folks at HarperCollins in the form of a classic BuzzFeed listicle, comprised of the internet's greatest gift to the world: animated GIFs.

      A native content purist might argue that this post isn't technically a native ad, in that it's not a traditional Buzzfeed-produced sponsored listicle, but rather an unpaid community post by HarperCollins themselves. That said, huge kudos to the publishing powerhouse for really nailing it. Not only is their list a book-lover's delight, it expertly matches BuzzFeed's editorial voice and format. This is also an excellent example of a brand focusing on the kind of high-level messaging that does so well in native: not too "salesy", not tied to a campaign, but part of a broader brand storytelling effort.

      #7 Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car
      Brand: Vitamin Water
      Publisher: College Humor
      Integration: Vitamin Water's "#makeboringbrilliant" campaign applied in subway panhandler prank video.

      New York straphangers are all too familiar with panhandlers. At pretty much any time during the day, needy New Yorkers can be found in subway stations and cars soliciting cash from train riders in exchange for candy, a song and dance, or a tear-jerking sob story. Inspired by Vitamin Water's #makeboringbrilliant campaign, this sponsored video turns a subway begger into a subway bragger. A great example of clever, "viral-style" content that aligns perfectly with the brand identity without force-fitting direct product integration.


      ...AND AN HONORABLE MENTION FROM 2012

      The New Suit: Meet The 10 Most Creative, Innovative Entrepreneurs Redefining Office Style
      Brand: Levi's
      Publisher: Refinery29
      Integration: Levi's apparel featured in profiles of 10 modern professionals who are re-imagining business fashion in a sponsored slideshow.

      Last, but certainly not least, is a piece that just missed the mark (date-wise). Although published in 2012, this beautifully executed collaboration certainly deserves honorable mention. It's completely native to Refinery29's fashion-forward platform and the concept of the "New Suit" is relevant to both the publisher's audience as well as Levi's consumers. Such overlap allowed for a tasteful integration of Levi's products into the piece. A great slideshow with thoughtful interviews, quality photography, and awesome style to boot.



      Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tessa-gould/top-native-content-2013_b_4524797.html
  • 2013_12_10
    • 'Heathers' Musical Looks to Slay Off Broadway
    • Tuner version of the dark teen comedy lands in New York after a popular run in L.A. earlier this year

    • Tuner version of the dark teen comedy lands in New York after a popular run in L.A. earlier this year

      The musical version of dark teen comedy "Heathers" has locked in its Off Broadway run, setting a timeline that will see the tuner begin performances this spring at New World Stages.

      The stage adaptation of the iconic teen comedy - about a popular girl and a rebel without a cause whose murderous activities inadvertently make teen suicide trendy - lands in Gotham after a brief, popular run in Los Angeles earlier this year. It's also one of three mean-girls musicals in various stages of development or production, including "Jawbreaker" and "Mean Girls."

      Musical by Laurence O'Keefe ("Legally Blonde," "Bat Boy") and Kevin Murphy ("Reefer Madness") is helmed by Andy Fickman, whose film credits include "Parental Guidance" and "You Again." Marguerite Derricks ("Behind the Candelabra") choreographs.

      O'Keefe, Murphy and Fickman are also producers of the musical, among a team led by J. Todd Harris ("The Kids Are All Right"), Andy Cohen, Amy Powers, Bruce Bendell, Jamie Bendell, Scott Prisand, Scott Benson and Big Block Theatrical, the legit production arm of the Hollywood digital production and design shingle.

      "Heathers" begins its Off Broadway run March 17 ahead of a March 31 opening at Off Broadway multiplex New World Stages.


      Source: http://variety.com/2013/legit/news/heathers-musical-looks-to-slay-off-broadway-1200941705/

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2013_11_15
    • BBDO and Cundari claim Best of Show at Bessies
    • The third Best of Show Craft Film (which also received two Golds) went to Cundari for BMW's "Bullet" spot
    • Don't mistake last night's 25 gold jacket-adorning Bessies winners for participants in a Michael Jackson tribute. These big-ticket winners were deemed by the Television Bureau of Canada to be the creative minds behind the best television and digital films produced this year.

      It's not every award show you get to go home with a trophy and blinging jacket in tow, but that was the case for agencies such as BBDO, Taxi and Sid Lee at the 50th anniversary award show held at Toronto's St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

      Two agencies shared the three Best of Show awards. First up, BBDO pocketed the Best of Show Television award for the FedEx "Gimmicks" commercial, which cast a band of memorable characters to represent the company's different services, as well as the Best of Show Digital for comparing "Social Smoking" to other ridiculous behaviours, such as farting in public, for the Ontario Ministry of Health.

      The third Best of Show Craft Film (which also received two Golds) went to Cundari for BMW's "Bullet" spot, which captured the brand's M5 vehicle driving through walls and bursting oversized water balloons in slow motion.

      Of the 11 agencies to take home a Gold trophy and jacket last night, BBDO claimed the most, with five in total. These included four for the "Social Smoking" campaign for the Ontario Ministry of Health and another for "Gimmicks" for FedEx.

      Taxi and Taxi 2 each took home two prizes. The former agency snagged two Golds for the "Ribnecks" commercial it produced for Boston Pizza, while the latter won a Gold for the "Eye of the Squirter" spot for Mio and another for the "Swish" commercial, also for the Kraft-owned water enhancer brand.

      Grey, which was just named Agency of the Year at the ADCC awards show last week, claimed two Gold prizes, one for "It's time for Gun Sense" ad created for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and another for Salvation Army's "Small Dreams" spot.

      Also among the few to take home two Golds were Sid Lee and Dare. Sid Lee Toronto won top honours for Sport Chek's "Let it Snow" spot, which focuses on the anticipation of the first snowfall with winter athletes getting ready for the season, as well as for the "Brand Launch" commercial it created for the retailer. And the Vancouver-based shop won two Golds for the "Hospital War" and "Operating Room" PSAs, which were created for the BC Children's Hospital and showed the diminishing space in which nurses and doctors have to care for child patients.

      Grip Limited and "The Movie out Here" (another big winner in the recent awards circuit) created for Kokanee won a single Gold, as did the "Make Health Last" commercial created by Lowe Roche for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. MacLaren McCann snagged a Gold for the "Story of I" spot created for Wendy's, while Saatchi & Saatchi took home Gold for its Toyota Canada "Today" commercial.

      Instagram photo courtesy of School Editing

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

      Source: http://strategyonline.ca/2013/11/15/bbdo-and-cundari-claim-best-of-show-at-bessies/
  • 2013_10_30
    • In major expansion Big Block launches Big Block NY
    • Big Block Live And Big Block Entertainment Group To Develop and Produce Branded Content, Live Theater, Feature Films and Television
    • Big Block Live And Big Block Entertainment Group To Develop and Produce Branded Content, Live Theater, Feature Films and Television

      Santa Monica, California-October 30, 2013-Big Block has extended its reach with a major expansion to New York City and the creation of two new divisions dedicated to multi-screen content: Big Block Live and Big Block Entertainment Group/BBEG. Through Big Block Live, the studio will continue to specialize in branded content, live action production and design for commercials, broadcast, interactive and mobile platforms, while serving as a local interface for Big Block Design Group/BBDG and the studio's VFX, DI (digital intermediate) and finishing services in Santa Monica. Big Block Live will also sign and represent its own roster of directorial talent. Big Block Entertainment Group is producing live theater for Broadway and other stages, feature films and television. Big Block Entertainment Group represents the most significant creative and financial evolution of the Big Block brand since its inception. The group will acquire the rights for the properties they will develop and will also co-finance their production partnerships.

      Big Block Live will be headed by executive producer Mary Crosse, who was most recently executive producer at Click 3X, where she launched a live action division for branded content and established its first roster of directors. Prior to that she was executive producer at Lucky Branded Entertainment, a hybrid agency and film production company. She has more than a decade of experience at such top agencies as Draftfcb, Publicis, Havas and mcgarrybowen, producing work across the integrated space for global brands like Chase, Chevron, Del Monte, Disney, Kraft, The Wall Street Journal, Charles Schwab, Dos Equis, Intel and Jaguar. Crosse has spoken at SXSW Film 2012, Internet Week 2012, Social Media Week 2012 and 2013, Creative Week 2013 and ad:tech 2011.

      Theatrical and feature film production at Big Block Entertainment Group is spearheaded by noted Broadway theater and film producer Scott Prisand. Big Block Entertainment Group recently revived Inappropriate, the critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical based on the journal entries and poetry of teenagers. The play is now at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles, with an eye to open in London next year. Big Block Entertainment Group has also acquired the stage rights to the musical version of Heathers, running now in Los Angeles and targeting a New York debut this spring. On the feature film front, Big Block Entertainment Group recently financed and began production on Ride, starring Helen Hunt, who also wrote and directed.

      Among Prisand's Broadway credits are Grace, Rock of Ages, Legally Blonde, Brooklyn and Broadway Dreams, as well as the feature films Rock of Ages, Jewtopia, Nic and Tristan Go Mega Dega, Beware the Gonzo, Barry Munday, Sympathy for Delicious and Hesher.

      Also operating under the Big Block Entertainment Group banner is Big Block Television. Specializing in unscripted and alternative programming, Big Block Television's current slate has over a dozen projects in active development in both Reality and Game Show genres, with a possible eye to expand into branded content and scripted territory in the coming months.

      Big Block Television will be headed by television industry veterans Billy Cooper and Andrew Greenberger. Cooper has more than a decade of experience in reality and live television, having produced such shows as Pitbulls and Parolees, My Fair Brady, Don't Forget the Lyrics!, Little People, Big World, Forever Eden, Paradise Hotel and American Idol. Greenberger has equally impressive depth of experience in reality television having served as executive producer at Sirens Media, Big Table Media, Shed Media US, 495 Productions and 44 Blue Productions.

      Big Block Television is represented by Seth Lawrence of Rebel Entertainment Partners and attorney Bill Abrams of Abrams, Garfinkel, Margolis, Bergson, LLP. Big Block has experienced steady growth since its opening in Santa Monica in 2011, in spite of a challenging economy and turbulent times for the visual effects industry. The studio's executives worked closely with The New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment to take advantage of the city's favorable conditions and production incentives before building out the new location.

      Scott Benson, President at Big Block and CEO of Big Block Media Holdings, said, "We saw a significant opportunity to thoughtfully and strategically expand our company, leveraging our experience in branding, design and live action for the integrated space in a way that will powerfully augment our theatrical, feature film and television properties."

      "Being in New York provides us with the opportunity to have a presence in the world's media and finance capitol and to take advantage of the tremendous artistic and technical talents the city has to offer," he continued. Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block, said, "Mary, Scott, Billy and Andrew are very capable and highly respected. Their leadership skills and creative talents are precisely what clients and investors look for. They exemplify the attributes, accomplishments and drive that a venture of this magnitude requires."

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2013_09_24
    • Cult Musical 'Inappropriate' Gears Up for L.A. Revival
    • Updated teen tuner will play in a workshop staging with an eye toward New York

    • Updated teen tuner will play in a workshop staging with an eye toward New York

      Big Block Theatrical, a new legit arm of VFX firm Big Block, will revive 1999 musical "Inappropriate" in an L.A. workshop staging this fall, with an eye toward returning the Off Broadway alum to Gotham.

      A pop-rock tuner with material drawn from the journals of teens, "Inappropriate" followed its 1999 Off Broadway run with a stint in Los Angeles. Big Block Theatrical's Scott Prisand, a producer of Main Stem titles including "Rock of Ages," said he got the ball rolling on the new production after a song from the show, which he saw in L.A. 13 years ago, unexpectedly popped into his head.

      "Inappropriate" has a book by Lonnie McNeil and Michael Sottile and songs by Sottile, who also co-directs with choreographer Ray Leeper ("So You Think You Can Dance," "The X Factor"). Sottile has been adding material to the musical since its original run; Prisand estimates more than half the new production is different from the 2000 incarnation.

      Show features a cast of about 10, including an onstage DJ, chronicling the lives of contempo youths and the issues they face. Producers imagine a future life for the musical could include a run at an Off Broadway venue such as New World Stages, where "Rock of Ages" played prior to its Rialto transfer.

      Big Block Theatrical, whose exec team includes Scott Benson and Jamie Bendell, is also attached to the musical version of "Heathers," now running in L.A. and targeting a future New York life as well.

      "Inappropriate" runs Nov. 14-24 at the Odyssey Theater.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

      Source: http://variety.com/2013/legit/news/cult-musical-inappropriate-gears-up-for-l-a-revival-1200665094/
  • 2013_06_xx
    • Big Block Hires CG Supervisor Randall Smith
    • Smith Brings Strong Experience in Visual Effects And CG Imagery Spanning Digital Advertising, Commercials, Feature Films and Music Videos
    • Smith Brings Strong Experience in Visual Effects And CG Imagery Spanning Digital Advertising, Commercials, Feature Films and Music Videos

      Santa Monica, California-March 6, 2013-Digital production and design studio Big Block has hired Randall Smith as CG Supervisor. Smith joins Big Block's increasingly dynamic talent base of visual effects artists, programmers and live action directors, as well as the creative directors in its newest division, Big Block Design Group (BBDG). Smith brings more than a decade of strong experience in visual effects and CG imagery spanning digital advertising, commercials, feature films, music videos, video game cinematics and architectural visualization.

      At Big Block Smith is currently VFX supervisor on the feature film "Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant," directed by Sam Friedlander and starring Stanley Tucci, Marcia Gay Harden, Henry Winkler and Mark Feuerstein. Smith has been supervising on set and on location for the 2014 comedy, which wraps production this month.

      Notable among Smith's previous credits as lead compositor is The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Digital Experience, a gallery of provocative digital art designed to engage the resort hotel's guests. Developed by Anthony Vitagliano and Digital Kitchen, the project was the winner of the 2011 Cannes Grand Prix award for design and the 2011 One Show Gold Pencil Award.

      Smith was lead compositor on Katy Perry's music video "Firework," which was shot by Radical Media director Dave Meyers and named Video of the Year at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. He was lead compositor on Pink's "F*ing Perfect Music Video" and Christina Aguilera's "Secret Potion," both by director Dave Meyers, and lead CG and lead compositor on "The Baby Peas," a series of animated videos by will.i. am of The Black Eyed Peas.

      In addition to his work in branded digital content, Smith's expertise includes commercials for Sony, Hasbro, Nestle, Colgate, T-Mobile, Visa and Mountain Dew. He also served as lead compositor on the 2011 black comedy feature film "Bernie," directed by Richard Linklater.

      Most recently Smith was CG Director at Reel FX in Dallas, Texas, where he was involved in the strategic development of the studio and its production pipeline and managed a team of visual effects artists. He also collaborated with clients on creative solutions and oversaw the studio's projects from inception to delivery.

      Previously he was Creative Director at Corgan MediaLab and cultivated the studio's growth while maintaining the creative integrity of all projects.

      Smith began his career as Head of 3D Design at May Advertising after graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas with a degree in Computer Animation and Visual Effects. He has been a guest professor at Texas Tech University's Master Class on 3D Visualization and has also taught classes at Autodesk University on 3D processes and compositing.

      Of his new position Smith said, "From day one here I've been surrounded by top talent who are passionate about design and innovative content. Connecting the creative requirements of our clients to the ever-changing nature of advertising and film is what makes being at Big Block so exciting and I look forward to the work ahead."

      Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block, said, "Randall represents the new vanguard of VFX artists who are as adept with the demands of a big budget movie as they are with the challenges of a fast turnaround for a commercial campaign. We're very pleased to welcome him to Big Block."

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2013_03_20
    • Big Block Design Group Partners With Fuel TV on Fan Cameo On-Air Promos
    • New App Allows Fans To "Say It. Send It. See It Live."
    • New App Allows Fans To "Say It. Send It. See It Live."

      Santa Monica, California-March 20, 2013-Big Block Design Group (BBDG), a division of digital production studio Big Block, has created a series of on-air promos for FUEL TV's newly launched Fan Cameo app. A groundbreaking app that allows viewers to submit their video reactions to things they see on the network, Fan Cameo represents a bold new way for fans to "Say It. Send It. See It Live." on FUEL TV. The Fan Cameo promos began airing on March 11.

      FUEL TV viewers can be part of the action by submitting their video responses to the Fan Cameo question during various shows such as a UFC Post-Fight Show from a mobile phone, tablet or laptop and uploading the clip via FUEL TV's website or app (http://www.fuel.tv/fancameo). By submitting their video reaction, they might even have the chance to see themselves featured within minutes on the show.

      The production of the Fan Cameo promos, which encompassed concept, copywriting of script and creation of the tagline ("Say It. Send It. See It Live."), animated pre-vis, talent casting, live action shoot in a private home in Venice, California, graphics and visual effects through final post production, was handled entirely by Big Block Design Group. Big Block is one of the very few digital production studios with the ability to provide its clients with a totality of creative and technical services, including in-house DI and color grading by Cinelicious @ Big Block.

      View the Fan Cameo promo online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrsyoLE9pyw

      BBDG director/designers Shaun Collings and Curtis Doss were given full rein by FUEL TV to execute their creative for the Fan Cameo promos, along with an accelerated turnaround time of less than three weeks.

      Collings noted that the fast exchange of scripts and storyboards and the detail of the eventual animatics for the promos helped to maximize the turnaround time. "FUEL TV was responsive in a way that we found unprecedented," he said. "They were true partners with us at every step."

      "We had approvals from the highest level of management at FOX Sports, which told us how very important the promos were to them," said Doss. "And even though we all felt the pressure of the delivery date, we experienced a really fun working environment with the FUEL TV team."

      "The Fan Cameo project was a very high priority to us as a network," says Randy Abrams, FUEL TV. "Big Block understood the concept and ran with it and we couldn't be happier with the final campaign running now."

      Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block said "The Fan Cameo promos are proof positive that our 'holistic' approach to creating marketing content is the way to go in the fast paced world of network promos. And we had a blast working with the talented team at FUEL TV."

      ABOUT FUEL TV

      FUEL TV is the only cable and satellite television network that features the exciting world of adrenaline and thrill-seeking sports as well as high energy entertainment programming. This includes UFC®, surfing, motocross, BMX and more. With more hours of UFC® coverage than any other network, FUEL TV is the ultimate destination for live fights, weigh-ins, prelims, pre- and post-fight coverage, results and more. This new generation of sports provides a rich landscape of some of the most vibrant and action-packed television entertainment in the world. See why adrenaline sports fans call FUEL TV the channel they never turn off. FUEL TV, part of FOX Sports Media Group, was launched July 1, 2003 and is seen in more than 36 million U.S. homes and can be accessed by broadband, mobile devices and other digital platforms such as iTunes®. FUEL TV programming is available in more than 50 countries around the world with 24/7 channels operating in Australia and Europe.

      FUEL TV contact:
      John Stouffer
      Director of PR
      310.444.8564
      jstouffer@fueltv.com

      Production Credits
      FUEL TV Fan Cameo "Say It. Send It. See It Live."

      Client: FUEL TV
      Randy Abrams: Creative Consultant On-Air, Fox Sports Media Group/FUEL TV
      Melissa Forman: SVP Marketing & Production
      Carleton Curtis: Director, Digital Marketing
      Steve Wolcott: Writer

      Big Block Design Group
      Curtis Doss: Director
      Shaun Collings: Director
      Jordan Levy: Director of Photographer
      Kay Rough: Senior Producer
      Kenny Solomon: Managing Director
      Pete King: Executive Producer
      Michael Perkins: Writer
      Christine Brown: Editor
      Noha Khashoggi: After Effects Artist
      Randall Smith: CG Supervisor
      Nick Poznick: CG Artist
      Steve Devore: Line Producer
      Claire Bernard: Asst. Production Supervisor

      Tyler Fagerstrom: Color Grading, Cinelicious @ Big Block

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2013_02_13
    • Cinelicious Expands to Santa Monica in Joint Venture with Big Block
    • Cinelicious Expands to Santa Monica in Joint Venture with Big Block
    • Cinelicious Expands to Santa Monica in Joint Venture with Big Block

      SANTA MONICA, Calif., February 1, 2013-Cinelicious, based in Hollywood, has opened a leading edge Broadcast and DI Theater housed at production and design studio Big Block in Santa Monica to provide a convenient solution for Westside clients. Working in collaboration with Big Block's world-class design and VFX team, the new venture will broaden Cinelicious' reach in DI and short form telecine and provide a high-level color and finishing solution for both companies. As a key part of the expansion, Cinelicious has signed award-winning short form colorist Robert Curreri.

      "Being based in Hollywood, many of our advertising friends have only ever admired us from across the 405," says Cinelicious Principal Paul Korver. "With this expansion," he adds, "we bring our passion, talent and energy to the Westside to offer a fresh alternative for clients without the drive time. We are focused and committed to the art and craft of cinematography and image capture, while maintaining beautiful aesthetic and color calibration from film or digital capture on set through final color grading."

      "Installing the DI Theater at Big Block is a unique opportunity for both companies," adds Big Block Managing Director Kenny Solomon. "For Cinelicious' Westside clients it means freedom from the constraints of time and traffic. And having superb color grading capabilities in-house provides a completely holistic production environment for our clients." The new theater is unique and specifically designed to achieve perfect rec709 colorspace for Broadcast finishing, as well as P3 for Digital Cinema Feature Film deliverables.

      "For a new experience in commercial finishing our color science team collaborated with Barco to optimize a new Series 2 DLP projector to achieve a brightness and contrast ratio that is beyond what is typically seen in digital cinema, which allows us to emulate the blacks and colorspace of a broadcast display flawlessly, minus the shortcomings of Plasma and LCD technology. We've coined this experience 'Big TV' and our commercial clients are loving it," explains Korver. "In this emerging world of large, high resolution home displays it makes sense that commercial creatives want to interact more intimately with their images than they have been used to in a typical telecine suite with 24-40" mastering monitors. Big TV is an exciting new approach that affords them that opportunity"

      The collaboration with Big Block also marks a reunion for Big Block's Managing Director Kenny Solomon and Executive Producer Leslie Sorrentino with Cinelicious Operations Producer Reggie Diaz and colorist Curreri, all of who spent years together working side-by-side at The Syndicate, which was founded by Solomon and Sorrentino. It was this longstanding relationship that inspired the expansion and collaboration; one that provides newly expanded services for both companies and their clientele in the landmark Art Deco building at 631 Wilshire. Robert Curreri is an award-winning colorist who has contributed his talent to colored countless spots for such clients as Honda, Toyota, Ford, JC Penney, Reebok, Wachovia, Bud Light, Yahoo, Target, and Volkswagen. He has been an independent talent since 2008 and was previously a colorist at Riot/CO3 (2006-2008 and 1999-2002) and The Syndicate (2002-2006). On the music video front, his projects include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, My Chemical Romance (2006 MVPA Best Colorist Award Winner), The Killers, All American Rejects, and Queens of the Stone Age for directors Marc Webb, Nick Night, Marcos Siega, Ruben Fleischer, Brett Simon and many others. His feature projects include the Grammy Awardwinning Tom Petty documentary "Running Down a Dream" directed by Peter Bogdonavich and the Sundance Winner for best U.S. Documentary "We Live in Public" directed by Ondi Timoner.

      ABOUT CINELICIOUS

      Cinelicious is a creative studio that offers forward-thinking, talent-driven post in an inspired environment that caters to a new generation of filmmakers, ad agencies, studios and clients. From rising stars to wellknown artists, the Cinelicious team is made up of the most respected talent in their field. It was founded in 2008 by Paul Korver based on his notorious love of celluloid film, passion for cinematography and eye for creative talent.

      Cinelicious' Hollywood Studio is a 60s industrial style, 5,000 square feet filmmaker's playground that boasts a 4K pipeline with the latest 4K film scanning technology as well as a stunning 4K DI theater which allows for real-time 4K color grading review and mastering. Creative services in Hollywood are focused on new feature film DI and color grading, as well as 4K re-mastering and restoration of Studio and Library titles. Cinelicious Santa Monica is focused on serving the advertising community with Cinelicious' signature integrity, knowledge, creativity and passion.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2013_02_01
    • Big Block Opens New Division: Big Block Design Group
    • Creative directors Shaun Collings and Curtis Doss will bring design sensibility and brand strategy to BBDG's commercial and broadcast design projects
    • Creative directors Shaun Collings and Curtis Doss will bring design sensibility and brand strategy to BBDG's commercial and broadcast design projects

      Santa Monica, California-February 13, 2013- Digital production and design studio Big Block has opened Big Block Design Group (BBDG), a newly created internal division focused on design-oriented storytelling and creative ideation for commercials, interactive, branded content and broadcast design. BBDG will take creative ownership of Big Block productions, imprinting a high level of design sophistication and strategic thinking from concept and live action direction through production and delivery.

      Spearheading BBDG are creative directors Shaun Collings, who was formerly at Elastic and Blind, and Curtis Doss, formerly at BIGSTAR. Under their creative leadership, BBDG will infuse a design sensibility into all steps of Big Block's production process. Collings and Doss bring years of experience in the integration of design and motion graphics into a broader strategic vision for commercial, broadcast design and interactive projects. Collings and Doss were recently co-creative directors on Big Block's interactive design and animation demo for Ford Credit out of Team Detroit.

      Scott Benson, President at Big Block, said, "We have been actively searching for the right design team to add to our roster of talent for quite some time and are excited to have found the perfect fit. This will allow Big Block to further broaden the services we can provide our clients while maintaining the signature boutique feel we have created."

      Collings has been at Big Block over the past year, serving as co-director and lead designer on Ford "Custom Cars," a whimsical motion graphics-intensive commercial narrated by Tina Fey for agency TBWA\Toronto. He was also creative director and live action director of the brand launch campaign for True Car out of DW+H, Santa Monica, and Nissan's award-winning and attention-grabbing live watershow "Cat and Mouse," featuring a holographic Nissan Altima out of TBWA\Toronto, as well as the designer of an animated heart logo for Audi out of BBH London.

      Earlier Collings served as creative director and art director at production and design companies Prologue, Elastic, Blind and Shilo, where he led a variety of projects from commercials, main titles and graphics for brands like HP, Honda, Sony, Nike, HBO, Pepsi and Lexus. Getting a taste of live action at Elastic he went on to assist directors and began learning the craft of directing.

      In addition to his stint as creative director at BIGSTAR, Doss was also art director at production company Shilo on commercials for Nike, EA, Sony and Lexus and broadcast design projects for A&E, Bio, HBO, TNT and the Travel Channel. He began his career as an art director at DC Shoes, where he focused on branding DC's Surf and Snowboard divisions and helped build the company's video department, DC Films. Doss was Big Block's creative director on a series of technical online and retailer vignettes for Sealy Posturepedic, a package that serves as an adjunct to a new commercial campaign for Sealy. For that spot, directed by Annabel Jankel for Arcana Academy, Big Block provided a full complement of services: pre-viz, VFX supervision, CG, design, DI color grading and Flame finish.

      Collings said, "With Big Block's growth over the past year, I feel we've evolved into a multifaceted production team that can tackle any creative challenge with an arsenal of talent and solutions. I feel fortunate to be a part of this team and look forward to the horizon ahead."

      "I am excited to be working with Shaun and the entire Big Block team," said Doss. "I feel that our distinctive approach and thinking, combined with Big Block's expertise in photographic and CG production, will be a truly great platform for creative growth and exploration."

      Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block, said, "We are lucky to have not one, but two, fabulous creative directors in Shaun Collings and Curtis Doss to lead the creative charge for BBDG."

      Big Block recently signed director and cinematographer Gavin Bowden, known for his stunning integration of live action storytelling and VFX. With talented directors and designers under its representation banner, Big Block provides the ultimate in end-to-end services for multimedia campaigns and branded content to meet the full spectrum of its clients' creative challenges.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2013_01_09
    • Big Block Signs Director Gavin Bowden for Representation
    • Director and cinematographer is known for integration of live action storytelling and VFX
    • Director and cinematographer is known for integration of live action storytelling and VFX

      Santa Monica, California-January 9, 2013- Digital production and design studio Big Block has signed noted director and cinematographer Gavin Bowden for representation. Bowden is known for his stunning integration of live action storytelling and VFX in an array of recent commercial campaigns for Ford, Toyota, GMC and Chevy out of such agencies as JWT, Saatchi LA and NY, Y&R, BBDO and Campbell-Ewald. He has also directed commercials for Michelob Ultra, Nike, Target, 7UP and Levis for TBWA, Ogilvy, BBDO International and Weiden+Kennedy.

      Bowden has been recognized with numerous awards for his music videos; among his credits are Red Hot Chili Peppers "Warped" (MVPA Awards For Best Rock Video, Best Director, Best Design), Red Hot Chili Peppers "Aeroplane," Rage Against the Machine "No Shelter," Matchbox 20 "3 AM" (Billboard Music Award Viewers Choice), Silverchair "Anthem" (MTV Award Viewers Choice), Butthole Surfers "Pepper" (MVPA Nominated Best Alternative Video) and Fun Lovin' Criminals "Scoobie Snacks" (MVPA Nominated Best Rap Video).

      Bowden, a graduate of London College of Printing Media Studies and London International Film School, also directed the chart-topping Red Hot Chili Peppers documentary film "Funky Monks," which was also awarded a Billboard Gold Video Sales Award, as well as several episodes of the television series The Courier (CBS) and Hero's Return (CBS).

      Bowden believes that the integration of CG car elements is the way of the future for automotive advertising. Of his new association with Big Block, Bowden said that he had wanted to forge a different kind of working relationship, one more closely tied to the process from the inception, where he could offer bolder ideas and exciting solutions. He has known Big Block's Managing Director Kenny Solomon and Executive Producer Leslie Sorrentino since their time at The Syndicate, their former award-winning commercial, visual effects and design studio.

      Bowden observes, "A car is one of the most important and costly purchases in a consumer's life. It defines independence and status. It is the ultimate product. A car is very substantial, but at the same time extremely ephemeral. These abstract qualities require a great deal of conversation and collaboration between agencies and production studios, as well as the high quality of tools and artistic refinement found at Big Block."

      "I've lost jobs to Big Block before and that's the place you want to be. You know they're working at the level you want to be working at," said Bowden. "Gavin is a fantastic talent with the rare ability to craft stories with a gorgeous blend of live action and VFX," said Solomon. "This hits our sweet spot for auto visualization and makes him a perfect fit for Big Block creatively and technically."

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2012_12_14
    • Big Block Takes Mini, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford and Fiat For A Spin With Digital Stunt Driving
    • Behind the Wheel: Big Block's Proprietary Software Drive-A-Tron
    • Behind the Wheel: Big Block's Proprietary Software Drive-A-Tron

      Santa Monica, California-December 14, 2011-Digital production and visual effects studio Big Block has had a highly prolific year-end, producing innovative digital automotive content and virtual stunt driving for broadcast and interactive projects for MINI, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford and Fiat.

      Drive-A-Tron, Big Block's proprietary driving simulation software, was integral to the projects, enabling virtual cars to seamlessly interact with any live action or CG environment in real time 3D. Originally authored by Big Block creative director Mark Glaser, Drive-A-Tron was recently upgraded by Big Block's software group: a front end IT division in Santa Monica supported by 1,200 networked programmers and developers in India, all under the leadership of software development director Gary Vick.

      The latest iteration of Drive-A-Tron features a new physics engine whose attributes include precise vehicle modeling, real-time 3D and 2D applications, a high-performance rendering pipeline, advergaming applications and social network integration. The software is engineered to replicate the physical properties of specific vehicles-body, engine, drive train and suspension-down to the dynamic deformation of tires on the irregular surfaces of any terrain. An important creative tool as well, Drive-A-Tron offers cinematic parameters such as lens options, camera angle and height.

      Glaser was literally behind the wheel and directing camera moves for the wide sliding turns seen in MINI's new campaign. The six 15-second spots, "Picture-In-Picture," "Colors," "Volume," "Input," "Widescreen," and "Brightness," are a clever take on wordplay and graphics, focusing on the features of the line's newest models. CAD data and engineering specs from the auto company's product specialists were downloaded to Drive-A-Tron, whose car steering wheel interface allowed real-time virtual stunt driving in Big Block's screening room. There, agency creatives from Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners in Sausalito, California, were able to review multiple performances of the sporty CG MINIs in real time with Glaser and Big Block executive producer Pete King. Drive- A-Tron set the stage for the equivalent of a live action shoot, without a live action budget, in a theater. The clip can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/33568405

      "The Big Block team was great to collaborate with and helped us bring our MINI TV campaign to life. Their Drive-A-Tron technology made the cars' motion and driving look killer," said Steve Mapp, Creative Director at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners.

      Big Block also rolled out Drive-A-Tron for Chrysler's Street Racing Team (SRT) in a large venue presentation at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Big Block created a heart-

      pounding 60-second, all-CG intro for the public debut of hyper-charged versions of the new Jeep, Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300. The virtual muscle cars are a perfect storm of spirited performance and nimble handling as their matte surfaces are torqued away to reveal racecar red and chrome SRT badging. The clip can be viewed at: http://drivesrt.com/

      Currently Big Block is in production on a web-based game for Toyota in conjunction with its sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup soccer championship. Gamers will be able to move Toyota cars across a field in soccer play. The advergame will launch in January 2012 on a Toyota microsite and will be made available as iPhone, Android, and iPad apps, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

      Also in the production pipeline are vehicle demos for Ford's Digital Team via Team Detroit. Big Block's visual effects artists created CG versions of the 2012 Taurus, Lincoln, Flex and Edge and composited the models into extended HDRI plates shot in Palm Springs, California, by Glaser. The vehicles' advanced technology and design are shown in fly thorough and fly around scenes.

      "Drive-A-Tron began as a production tool, but by collaborating with our clients we have enhanced our software beyond realistic driving for commercials and games into full scale motion simulation for manufacturer-specific testing and training," said Scott Benson, President at Big Block. "Drive-A-Tron easily hooks into social media platforms so our auto brand clients can expand their marketing reach beyond the confines of a single location event or broadcast campaign. We believe our combination of creative talent and IT infrastructure is unique in this industry and we've only begun to tap into its potential."

      Big Block recently delivered the Fiat 500 and 500 by Gucci campaign featuring Jennifer Lopez for Doner Southfield, Prettybird and the Chrysler Group. Full CG car replacement with matched lighting, car beauty, day-for-night, and title design and animation were all handled by the Big Block team.

      Big Block recently hired VFX supervisor and senior Flame/Inferno artist Glen Bennett to oversee all aspects of the production process, from the design and implementation of shooting boards to the execution of CG, compositing and finishing. Bennett has worked at renowned studios in Los Angeles and London on a myriad of high profile commercial, feature film and graphics projects for more than two decades. Most recently at Company 3, Bennett has also worked at Sea Level VFX, Method, Asylum Visual Effects, The Syndicate and Click 3X.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2012_07_11
    • Big Block Goes Viral for BMW, Nissan and Audi
    • Multimedia Campaigns For High Performance Cars Attract Millions Of Viewers Online And At Live Events
    • Multimedia Campaigns For High Performance Cars Attract Millions Of Viewers Online And At Live Events

      Santa Monica, California-July 11, 2012-Digital production and design studio Big Block produced the arresting and engaging visuals for viral campaigns for BMW, Nissan and Audi. The multimedia campaigns for these high performance vehicles share a captivating performance art quality, compelling millions of viewers to comment and share the branded content exponentially.

      BMW's longform film "Bullet" quickly attained viral web status for its hypnotic blend of lush photography and music. Its exquisite production values provoked much debate among more than 3,400,000 viewers as to the nature of the film-virtual or live action? Big Block's Mark Glaser directed the branded content for Toronto ad agency Cundari, whose concept elevates the sculptural beauty and aggressive power of the BMW M5, the world's fastest sedan, to high performance art.

      Shooting out from a concrete tunnel designed to look like a gun barrel, the BMW M5 is a speeding bullet as it races across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway. In extreme slow motion, the car shatters a series of targets: a giant red glass apple, three enormous balloons filled with water and an oversized bulls-eye. With each impact the throaty roar of the 560-hp twin turbo engine is replaced with the crystalline notes of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, underscoring the car's refined luxury.

      View at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDuxWGHA-Z4

      Glaser spent three days at the Utah location, using a Nikon D800 to photograph the salt flats from a helicopter, a truck and from within a BMW M5 test car. The hi-res photographs were then stitched together by Big Block's visual effects artists and wrapped around geometry to digitally replicate the salt flats and surrounding mountains in a completely photoreal 3D environment.

      In another stunning twist, Big Block employed Drive-A-Tron, its proprietary driving simulation software, to create the star of the show: an entirely CG version of the BMW, down to the salt-encrusted tires and undercarriage and the reflections on its lustrous surfaces. Drive-A-Tron was used to race the virtual M5 across the terrain and interact with the targets with balletic grace. Big Block also generated the digital elements and fluid dynamics for smoke, water and the shattering of the CG props.

      Cundari's innovative media plan for BMW utilized targeted websites, social media and QR code-enabled billboards to take audiences directly to the highly-viewed film. "We are thrilled with the result and very encouraged by how quickly our customers and fans are sharing the video," said Marc Belcourt, Brand Communications Manager for BMW Canada.

      In another digital tour de force, Big Block created a live 3D watershow for the market launch of the 2013 Nissan Altima for TBWA, Toronto. "Splash" is a virtual cat and mouse game between a lighthouse and the Altima, which appears to play out on ocean waves in the dark of night. The spot was projected on massive 60 feet by 120 feet 3D water screens at lake and river locations in Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa and Vancouver on July 1 for huge crowds at the nation's Canada Day fireworks celebrations.

      View at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE2hQbKyna4

      In the production of the larger-than-life hologram, Big Block was charged with creating animation was both playful and dramatic to show off the Altima's energy and safety shield features. In order to enhance the live action feel and immediacy of the performance, the images could not "break frame" and had to be carefully scaled to the distance of the audience and the projector. Big Block producer Pete King noted that one of the most challenging aspects of production was that a true water screen test was only possible when the project was nearly complete, leaving no margin for error. The test, which was conducted in Pittsburgh under King's supervision, was hugely successful.

      Big Block also designed "Heart," a logo for Audi's top tier RS line using actual components of its V-8 engine as graphic elements which were deconstructed and refigured by the studio's creative director Shaun Collings to resemble a human heart. In a nod to the RS line's allure and heart-quickening 450 hp performance, as well as its positioning as the life force of the Audi line, the animated version of the logo features a syncopated heartbeat. The new logo was revealed by Audi at The Goodwood Festival of Speed in England and will be utilized by agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, for branding, merchandising, print and interactive.

      "These diverse projects gave us the opportunity to use all the tools of creative storytelling-real world imagery, digital techniques and most importantly, imagination. To have our work capture the attention of so many is very satisfying," said Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block.

      Recently Big Block delivered design and animation for "Peep Show," a cheeky interactive and experiential campaign for MINI and Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners that appears on JumboTrons and bus stop video screens and incorporates a live car reveal at a Hollywood Blvd. installation.

      Production Credits:
      BMW M5 "Bullet"
      Agency: Cundari
      Chief Creative Officer: Brent Choi
      Art Director: Raul Garcia
      Copywriter: Brian Murray
      Producer: Sumit Ajwani
      Production Company: Big Block
      Director: Mark Glaser
      Managing Director: Kenny Solomon
      Executive Producer: Pete King
      VFX Producer: Kay Rough
      VFX Supervisor (elements shoot): Glenn Bennett
      Production Manager: Kristen Zaik
      Coordinator: Cindy Chapman
      CG Supervisor: Tom Connors
      3D Artist: Rob Glazer 3D Artist: Ilya Astrakhan
      3D Artist: Nick Poznick
      Lead Compositor: Shahana Kahn
      Compositor: Mike Ek
      Editorial: Whitehouse Post
      Editor: Brandon Porter
      Music/Sound Design: Silent Joe West!
      Creative Director: Roger Harris
      Producer: Trevor Allan
      Sound Design: Jo Rossi/Tony Gort
      Recording: Matt Thorne
      Music: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5

      Nissan Altima 2013 Watershow "Splash"
      Agency: TBWA, Toronto
      Creative Director: Allen Oke
      Art Director: Jason Lee
      Copywriter: Francesco Grandi
      Producer: Ella Gruber

      Production Company: Big Block
      Creative Director: Shaun Collings
      Producer: Shelby Wong
      Producer: Kay Rough
      CG Supervisor: Tom Connors
      Flame Artist: Mike Eck
      3D Artist: Mike Oakley
      Fluids Artist: Ian Clemmer
      Previz: Danny Braet

      Audi RS4 "Heart"
      Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London
      Creative Director/Partner: James Swan
      Team Director: John Watson
      Campaign Director: Eleanor Powell

      Production Company: Big Block
      Creative Director: Shaun Collings
      Executive Producer: Pete King
      Producer: Shelby Wong
      Print Artist: Scott Leberecht
      Compositor: Mike Eck
      CG Supervisor: Tom Connors
      3D Artist: Mike Oakley

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2012_05_09
    • Leslie Sorrentino in the Shotgun Seat at Big Block
    • Veteran Studio Exec Brings Team to Santa Monica Digital Production Studio
    • Veteran Studio Exec Brings Team to Santa Monica Digital Production Studio

      Santa Monica, California-May 9, 2012- Executive producer Leslie Sorrentino, formerly of Animal West and The Syndicate, has joined digital production and design studio Big Block. He brings with him his production team, Flame artist Gizmo Rivera and producer Cindy Chapman, also from Animal West.

      The move reunites Sorrentino with Big Block's managing director Kenny Solomon. The two are longtime business partners and were co-founders of The Syndicate, their award- winning creative design, branding and digital production studio. At Big Block Sorrentino will work closely with executive producer Pete King to develop the company's client bases in broadcast, interactive, mobile and enterprise work. He will also promote and oversee compositing and finishing projects highlighting Gizmo's talents, for whom a second new Flame room has been built.

      Sorrentino, who is well known for cultivating and earning long-standing client relationships, has enjoyed a senior level career in the advertising and visual effects industry for more than 20 years. He has worked with top agencies, networks and studios on award-winning commercials, branded design, television, feature films and music videos.

      At Animal West, Sorrentino was executive producer on Samsung "Living Room" directed by Bram van Riet for Leo Burnett, K-Swiss "Kenny Powers MFCEO" directed by Jody Hill for 72andSunny, BlackBerry Torch "Love What You Do" directed by Henrik Hansen and Laban Pheidias for Leo Burnett Chicago and Doner's Superbowl rebranding for Dodge Ram directed by Klaus Obermeyer. His credits at The Syndicate include the Rolling Stones feature film Shine a Light and the Clio Award-winning Freixenet "The Key to Reserva," both directed by Martin Scorsese.

      Earlier in his career Sorrentino was director of new business at 525 Studios, the pioneering Hollywood digital post production company, and executive producer at Post Logic Studios, where he was responsible for visual effects production on the memorable Taco Bell "Talking Chihuahua" campaign for TWBA Chiat/Day.

      In addition to his time at Animal West, Gizmo has worked at The Mill Los Angeles, Hydraulx and A52. Gizmo's Flame wizardry and on-set experience also extend to character development for such feature films as Avatar, Wolverine and Skyline. His creative esthetic and technical integration of complex CG can be seen in commercials for Samsung "Living Room" directed by Jody Hill for Leo Burnett, TaylorMade "Green Noise" directed by Jon Huet for NYCA; Old Spice "Scent Vacation" directed by Tom Kuntz for Wieden+Kennedy; Gatorade "LaDainain Tomlinson: Re-Swagger" directed by

      Joe Pytka for TBWA\Chiat Day; and Audi "Boldly Designed World" and "Spring Cleaning" directed by Stacy Wall for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

      Prior to joining Big Block Chapman's career spanned multiple post-production disciplines working as a producer at Animal West, Comma Music and Beast Editorial. She has worked with top advertising agencies such as Fallon, Leo Burnett, Wieden+Kennedy and 72&Sunny on campaigns for Apple, Nike, Target, Toyota, K- Swiss, Charter Communications, TaylorMade, Samsung and DirecTV.

      Solomon said, "I'm delighted to have Les and his team here at Big Block. They are a powerhouse that will further allow us to meet the growing expectation from agencies that studios can handle every aspect of their projects, from conceptual design and visual effects to live action direction and software coding. It's definitely a value proposition for our clients, but it's also been our experience that being able to provide all of these services contributes to a higher level of involvement and final quality."

      Sorrentino added, "I am fired up to be collaborating with Kenny again. Big Block is so ahead of the curve with a huge range of creative and technical resources and a great core dynamic. We can't wait to offer that to our clients."

      Recent projects at Big Block include design and animation for "Peep Show," a cheeky interactive and experiential campaign for MINI and Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners that appears on JumboTrons and bus stop video screens and incorporates a live car reveal at a Hollywood Blvd. installation. (The work can viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEyz5YWQw2g)

      Big Block took a holistic approach to Jeep "Turn of a Wheel," which was entirely designed and directed by their in-house talent and Ford "One of a Kind" for Y&R Canada, designed and directed by Big Block's creative director Mark Glaser.


      Photo caption: Executive producer Leslie Sorrentino, flanked by producer Cindy
      Chapman and Flame artist Gizmo

      Production credits
      MINI "Peep Show"
      Agency: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
      Client: MINI Roadster
      Executive Creative Directors: John Butler & Mike Shine
      Creative Directors: Steve Mapp & Lyle Yetman
      Senior Art Director: Chris Toffoli
      Senior Copywriter: Mark Krajan
      Director of Broadcast Production: Adrienne Cummins
      Producer: Lori Pisani
      Account Supervisor: Candice Matthews
      Production Studio: Big Block
      Big Block Executive Producer: Pete King
      CG Supervisor: Tom Connors
      Flame Artist: Glen Bennett Flame and Nuke Artist: Mike Ek
      Music & Sound Design: Squeak-E-Clean

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com

  • 2011_05_04
    • Big Block Launches Digital Production Studio in Santa Monica
    • Venture Will Be Headed by Business Developer Scott Benson, Executive Producer Kenny Solomon and SWAY Studio Founder Mark Glaser
    • Venture Will Be Headed by Business Developer Scott Benson, Executive Producer Kenny Solomon and SWAY Studio Founder Mark Glaser

      Santa Monica, California - May 4, 2011 - Big Block, a new digital production and design studio, has launched in Santa Monica. The venture is headed by business developer Scott Benson, executive producer Kenny Solomon and SWAY Studio founder and creative director Mark Glaser. The partners are backed by a significant institutional investor, which also provides for the launch of a software development group and pending expansion to New York to take advantage of production tax incentives.

      Big Block will specialize in digital automotive content, VFX, design and finishing for feature films, television, web, gaming and mobile platforms, building on Glaser's experience and his innovative proprietary technologies. Joining Big Block's key management will be members of Glaser's creative and production team, as well as new talent specializing in automotive imagery, beauty and retouching.

      The investment opportunity enables Big Block to offer expanded services and "creative think tank" resources, more efficient workflow and faster turnaround, more competitive cost structure and new equipment. Technology research and proprietary software development in the area of car-related imagery will be a high priority for the new company.

      Benson is an entrepreneur whose specialty lies in growth strategy and operational plans for start up companies in the technology space. He is experienced in digital asset management and advertising distribution services, as well as business process engineering and enterprise resource planning at the Fortune 500 level.

      Solomon was a founding partner of The Syndicate, a Clio, BDA and Emmy® Award- winning creative design, branding and digital production studio specializing in live action direction, visual effects and color grading for commercials, feature films, television and music videos. The Syndicate has worked with top agencies, networks, directors and studios on content that has been seen around the world.

      In 2001 Glaser, a former CG supervisor, founded SWAY Studio, which has among its credits visual effects for CGI-intensive commercials for Chevy Cobalt, BMW, MINI Countryman, Scion tC, Budweiser and Burger King; promos for Showtime's hit series Dexter; and feature films such as 2012.

      "We have assembled a fantastic creative team from the VFX and design community," said Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block. "We want to own the digital automotive content niche and evolve the industry. We understand the art of visual narration and we believe that our strong strategic partnerships, steady financial backing and proprietary techniques will allow Big Block to deliver amazing work for our clients and their brands."

      Big Block is configured with a broad array of software, including 3D Studio Max, Nuke and Flame, as well as the company's recently completed proprietary driving simulation software, which simulates the physics of driving in real time 3D, a significant next- generation leap from hand-animated vehicle motion.

      Big Block is located in the heart of Santa Monica, in close proximity to the Westside's many advertising agencies, as well as top restaurants, shops and galleries.

      For more information, please visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com