Dan Bryant back from L.A. as The Whitehouse’s new EP

Dan Bryant, The Whitehouse’s new executive producer

After 14-years in Los Angeles as an executive producer of commercials, Dan Bryant is thrilled to be working Chicago again, as the Whitehouse Chicago’s new executive producer.

Joining The Whitehouse was a matter of perfect timing on both sides.  A month ago, Bryant and his wife were seriously considering returning to the Midwest after the post house he’d worked for had closed.  

When he phoned his friend Sue Dawson, The Whitehouse’s director of postproduction, to tell her the news, she said, “That’s interesting you called me just now,” as she had been reviewing candidates for the open EP slot in Chicago.

Dawson had known Bryant as a good Whitehouse client during the years he had freelanced as an agency producer. “It was one of those things.  (L.A. managing director) David Brixton and I had been talking solutions and that’s how we were now viewing Dan.  We now looked at him with a new hat on,” she says.  

“Dan had managed companies before and has great industry knowledge and wanted to come back to Chicago.  It was a perfect fit.  He met Matthew (Wood, the Chicago managing director) and they hit it off.  This was one of those wonderful situations that just fell into place.”

In a matter of weeks, Bryant was back in Chicago. His wife, Jennifer, is a native of Northern California who had never visited Chicago before. “She fell in love with it right away.  I explained to her, however, that it’s going to get a little cold in winter …” 

Story hired Bryant for its L.A. divisions in 1997

In 1994, Bryant, a native of Louisville, who’d come to Chicago to work right out of college, joined the new Story company and from 1997 to 2001, he’d been the executive producer for Story’s companies, Area 451 Films and The Joneses in L.A.

Then, after a short stint with an L.A. editorial company, Backyard hired him in 2002 as executive producer/chief operating officer for its Venice office.

Two years later, Bryant switched from permanent full-time to freelance. For the next six years he was a senior executive producer for agencies that included DDB Worldwide, Euro RSCG, Goodby Silverstein, GSD&M, Exopolis, and design agencies Digital Kitchen, Blind, Buck Design, Convert, Shilo, Juxt Interactive and many others.

His last L.A. stop was Radium/Reel FX for 18 months until its Dallas headquarters closed the Santa Monica office and Bryant picked up the phone to tell Dawson about it.

Bryant supervises 25 of The Whitehouse’s 35 staffers

Out of The Whitehouse’s 35 employees, Bryant has the responsibility of supervising 25.  

They include eight editors: Brian Gannon, Meg Kubicka, Carlos Lowenstein, Glorily Velez, Matt Walsh, Christine Wolf, Matthew Wood and Nikki Vapensky; three producers: Dawn Guzowski, Laurie Adrianopoli and Jojo Scheerer; eight assistant editors, two runners; two interns and a vault manager. 

Founded in 1990, The Whitehouse has branches in London, New York and Los Angeles.  In addition to Matthew Wood and David Brixton, managing partners are Rick Lawley in L.A. and John Smith, Russell Icke and Alaster Jordan in London.

The Whitehouse occupies the entire fifth floor of the historical  Courthouse building at 54 W. Hubbard St.  When the company took over a 4,000 sq. ft. office last September, it hired California architect Bruce Boland to design and remodel the expanded 13,000-sq. ft. space, completing the transformation last March.