After spending a year running her own solo rep firm and realizing she missed the collaboration inherent in a creative company, Melissa Thornley happily returned to the postproduction business last week.
She was named executive producer of Beast Editorial’s Chicago office, one of five branches of the off-line editorial boutique specializing in commercials, web virals and music videos.
L.A.-headquartered Beast Editorial, with offices in Austin, Detroit, New York and San Francisco is a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded Ascent Media.
Thornley heads a staff of five: Editors Angelo Valencia, formerly with her old company, The Whitehouse, John Dingfield from Cutters, assistants Mark Bachara and Morgan Bradley and producer Kim Walsh.
Walsh had been with Red Car before she and Valencia opened a Chicago office for L.A.-based Film Core in May, 2008. The office only had a short presence here before it was purchased by Beast, in July, 2008, to become a strategic office in Beast’s coast-to-coast operation.
Thornley’s background is tailor-made for the company’s future in this market. She had spent 12 years with The Whitehouse Post, becoming managing director of the company’s four offices after roles as executive producer for the New York and London offices and senior producer in the Chicago office.
Thornley gave up her own sales and corporate coaching business in October “because I had this ideal of creating my own entity, but I found I missed collaborating with a team,” she says.
“I’ve known Angelo and John for some time. They’re very talented. We share the same ideas about the type of work we want to do and we all have a passion for filmmaking,” she says, adding Beast offers the best of both worlds, “a boutique atmosphere and access to a network of talent, financial and strategic areas not available to a stand-alone company.”
Thornley is also serving her first term as president of Women in Film Chicago, which was revived from years of dormancy by new leadership five years ago.
“We’re getting to that next level of the organization where we can network with other chapters and have greater impact to help build the community,” she says.
Beast Editorial is located at 230 E. Ohio; phone 312/573-2400. The company is represented by The House of Representatives. See