When Nathan Brown was in college in St. Louis, he was told that if he wanted to get into advertising he should drive up to Chicago, pick a company that sounded interesting and just walk in the door in the hope of getting an informational interview.
The door Brown decided to push open was Cutters and the person who happened to greet him at the door was Brian Bullock, director of CGI, who graciously spent the next hour-and-a-half showing him around and fielding his barrage of questions.
Flash forward 10 years to Jan. 3, when Brown officially joined Bullock’s fast-growing re:think studios, as a partner/executive producer after many years of their doing a lot of business together – Brown as an agency producer and Bullock as Cutters’ CGI designer.
Bullock is delighted to have his friend and colleague aboard, calling him “an extremely talented and trusted member of the community, who will be in the forefront of our expansion.”
Bullock and general manager/editor Jessica Simmon in November, 2010 founded dedicated 3D and CGI re:think studios, which was recently rebranded from re:think post “to better reflect the scope of our services” notes partner/operations manager John McGrath, former Cutters general manager, who joined them last October.
Like his new partners, Brown believes “design-driven CG is the future … heads of production say the same thing. It’s creatively and logistically flexible; it has the ability to cost-effectively go cross-platform and I prefer to view it as a complete production solution and not only a postproduction technique.”
As a producer, he says, “Nearly every project I produced required some or all CG and a lot of it left Chicago. We’re building out pipelines and bringing the best talent anywhere in the world to take on complex CG and visual effects projects, with the intent of keeping more of the best work in Chicago.”
Brown has strong agency credentials
After graduating from Washington University in 2004, with degrees in communication and economics (studied at his mother’s urging in case communications didn’t work out, he says) Brown’s first job in Chicago was as an assistant producer on the Budweiser account at DDB.
He worked at DDB until 2006, when he alternated between staff positions (senior producer at Critical Mass, integrated producer Crispin Porter + Bogusky,) and freelance (Walt Disney Internet Group, mcgarrybowen) and most recently for Edelman Public Relations’ new integrated market division.
Over the course of his agency career, Brown engaged Bullock on CG projects for such major advertisers as Rolex, Motorola, Philips, BlackBerry and Humana.
Brown worked extensively with Simmon and McGrath at Cutters Studios while producing a massive amount of broadcast work for Dell Computer/DDB.
re:think studios’ concentration is design driven photo-real CG and complex CG simulations, such as liquids, crowds and CG food, and also offers visual effects, creative editorial and finishing.
Recent projects include commercials for Philips/Norelco/ Walton Isaacson, Chicago and Los Angeles; Clorox/Critical Mass, Calgary and Trek bicycles/ Arum Design, Milwaukee.
Last month the 10-person company moved into temporary space at 955 Fulton Market while waiting for completion of its renovated space in the West Loop.