Cutters’ expansion moves beyond L.A. to Asian markets

Tim McGuire, Cutters Inc. founder/president

Cutters’ current expansion knows no bounds.  Chicago’s biggest post company has just implemented its L.A. operation with two high-profile editors and a Chicago-transferred assistant editor and shortly will be seeking Asian business for its new Tokyo office.

L.A. office newcomers are comedy/storyteller Adam Parker, who spent nine years at Chrome, and multicultural specialist Jaime Valdueza, a native of Madrid, who joined after four years at Lost Planet, and earlier headed his own L.A. company, Module Zero Media.

Parker, in addition to editing major campaigns (DirecTV, California Milk Board, Adidas, EASports, McDonald’s, Jaguar, Southwest Airlines, Allstate, Bud Light, Ikea, etc.), edited three 2012 Sundance-nominated documentaries.

Adam ParkerHe  was part of the editing team that cut celebrated doc director Lauren Greenfield’s “Queen of Versailles,” that was Sundance’s opening doc last Thursday.  Editing the unsettling film about a 90,000-sq. ft. mega-mansion allowed Parker to expand on his interest in docustyle, “a great fit for Adam’s writing/storytelling background,” says Visram.

Cutters had pursued Jaime Valdueza from the time he joined Lost Planet, notes McGuire. “We connected with him this time after we found office space large enough to bring in more editors.  The fact that we had strong business from Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles, three major Hispanic markets, was attractive to him – as well as our move into Asia.”

Bilingual Valdueza has been editing multicultural spots and features in L.A.  Last year, he edited actor/producer’s John Leguizamo’s low-budget comedy, “Fugly.” 

His commercial client roster includes Mastercard, the California Lottery, Ford, Toyota, Budweiser, Bud Light, Best Buy, Apple and Midway Games.

Cutters L.A. has a staff of nine; its own clientele

Jaime ValduezaParker and Valdueza are teamed with executive producer Nicole Visram; Barnett Kiel, considered a big-visual storyteller, who moved from Beast two years ago; rising star junior editor Aki Mizutani and assistant editor Kristen Gerhart, who officially starts Feb. 6.

Visram is credited as the driving force behind Cutters’ West Coast growth. Before opening Cutters L.A. office seven years ago, Visram, a Brit, had been a producer with Ogilvy and earlier had been a staff producer for director Tony Kay’s company in L.A. 

“We have our own clientele in L.A.,” she says.  “We will often start a job here and move back to our Chicago and Detroit offices, or the editor from those offices will come here to work.”

Local business, she adds, comes from L.A. agencies such as David & Goliath, Rubin Postaer Associates, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deutch, Inc. and Ogilvy.

New space has “good juju” from previous occupants

Nicole VisramLast September Cutters doubled its space when it moved from Main Street and two blocks from the beach to 5,000-sq. ft. offices at 1657 Euclid, where their neighbors are Dreamworks, JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot and @radical media. 

The remodeled and renovated office, with high ceiling and a lot of glass, was formerly occupied by The Mill, a London-based visual effects house “that left us with good juju,” says Visram.

The new space boasts FCP/Avid HD edit suites, a Smoke room, a conference room and space for Cutters’ transmedia company, picnic.

A boutique office is being sought in Tokyo for the launch of Cutters’ Asian expansion, which is being led by McGuire’s son, Ryan, a second generation film editor, who has been living and working in Tokyo for several years. 

Cutters Inc. extraordinary growth in one year

Cutters Inc. has surged forward faster in the past 12 months than in the previous 12 years of its 30 year existence. In a bold move last spring, McGuire and his partners and  former Grace & Wild partner, Steve Wild, acquired Detroit’s Ringside Creative.  Shortly thereafter, instantly-busy Cutters Detroit was established in Ringside’s building. 

The total company employs approximately 150: 75 in Detroit, 65 in Chicago and nine in L.A.

In tempo with the expansion, sales responsibilities have shifted among the three offices.  Will Kneip, Cutters marketing director, has relocated from Chicago to California where, as director of business development, he will focus on West Coast business. 

Sales rep Steve Tocco, based at Cutters Detroit/Ringside, calls on the East Coast and Midwest mid-markets. 

In Chicago, executive producer Craig Duncan represents the entirety of Cutters Inc.  He is assisted by new sales and marketing associate, Elizabeth Vassolo, who earlier had worked at Cutters in marketing.