On the eve of integrated hybrid Utopic’s third anniversary, its spot production division has been “restructured,” said Utopic digital partner Shannon Kemp, and founding partner Michael Antonucci, executive producer who had been in charge of production, left the company in November.
“We are focusing on smaller productions for clients, in addtion to our core competencies of postproduction and digital,” she said. “We are currently producing pieces for cllients direct, mostly web-based content.
Antonucci had told friends that he was looking to do something different, but did not elaborate as to what that might be. He has had a lengthy and respected career as an agency production executive, starting in 1986 with eight years at JWT and 10 years as senior producer at Leo Burnett.
He moved to Detroit in 2003 as head of broadcast production for McCann Erickson. Back in Chicago in 2007, he worked as an integrated executive producer.
Utopic’s spot production business was considered quite good, with Leo Burnett, for one, as a steady client.
Utopic’s production side was opened in July, 2011 with the signing of spot director Michael LaBellarte, who has since moved to Los Angeles, and grew rapidly with the addition of Alex Beh, Al Wyatt and Kevin Banna, each of whom came with an impressive list of mahjor advertising clients.
The Utopic directors were represented by Laurel Dobose’s Gypsy rep firm until November, when she was told that the company wanted an inside sales person instead of an outside rep and her services were no longer required.
Opening for business in January, 2009, Utopic was co-founded by Antonucci with former Optimus creative editors Jan Maitland and Tim Kloehn, and a merger of Shannon Kemp and Tony Passero’s digital TribeAgency.