Geoff Edwards tops busy week of moves in LA

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Ad vet Geoff Edwards takes the helm at R/GA

CAA’s Geoff Edwards to helm R/GA

Ad Age reports that Geoff Edwards, co-creator of peace coalition Saturday Morning and former CAA Marketing co-head of creative, has joined R/GA as VP Executive Creative Director of LA.
Edwards, who spent a good deal of time in Chicago at DDB, FCB and Element79, is said to have a mission of expanding the agency into entertainment.

According to the article, Edwards officially joined R/GA last week and succeeds Kalle Henzen, who left the agency in July last year. During Edwards’ time at CAA, he led accounts for Anheuser Busch InBev, Blizzard, Keurig, 4-H and Casa, and he played an integral role in cultural work, such as the award-winning short documentary American Dreams about Jimmy John’s.

ALSO READ: Geoff Edwards brings peace into fashion

“R/GA is a brand that I’ve coveted for some time,” Edwards told Ad Age. “I’ve admired how they tell modern stories that are both actionable and tangible, and they have been able to disrupt themselves since the ’70s and change with a changing environment.”

Edwards went onto say that his focus will still be on “systematic thinking meets storytelling, but with a nod to culture and entertainment.”

With Saturday Morning as his passion project, Edwards is said to want to still play an integral role in order to addresses social issues within and beyond the marketing industry using creativity.

R/GA’s L.A. office has about 65 staffers and was opened in 2013. Clients include PepsiCo’s Quaker, WD, SanDisk, Nike and Hollywood Foreign Press.

 
Matt Siegel partners with Madison + Vine

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Seigel to become first partner

L.A.-based content studio Madison + Vine has found its first partner and managing director in Matt Seigel. He will oversee the company’s growing ad business and report to CEO James Shani.

The CEO said in a statement, “Matt is widely known as the rare breed of ad executive with strategic, creative, client service and tremendous leadership chops.” “We’re very excited about him joining at this time in our evolution as a company, and we look forward to him leading bold and innovative work.”

Seigel had been with VaynerMedia since 2014. Previously, he was a key leader at digital startup EQAL, which was sold to Everyday Health in 2012. There, he managed Effie-winning campaigns for brands including Walgreens and Kraft Foods and helped launch media brands including LaurenConrad.com and Makeup.com. Seigel began his career as an entertainment executive and producer, overseeing the development and production of projects across a variety of studios, including Universal, Sony, and 20th Century Fox.

“Madison + Vine is the kind of place I always felt in the back of my mind should exist — a creative company that brings these worlds together and helps brands transform traditional marketing thinking,” read Seigel’s statement. “I’m looking forward to helping lead Madison + Vine’s agency offering and growing an already special culture.”

 
RSA FILMS signs director Matthew K. Firpo

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Rising star to join Ridley Scott’s company

RSA Films has announced the signing of filmmaker Matthew K. Firpo for commercial representation worldwide. Firpo has directed spots for Tinder, Snapchat, fashion films for Suitcase Magazine and a Super Bowl commercial for Chase Bank.

Refuge, his award-winning documentary short about the Syrian refugee crisis, garnered rave reviews as a riveting human rights chronicle and premiered at SXSW. Here’s an example of his commercial work for Tinder:

Firpo is a graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. It was here his thesis film paved the way for his first commercial work with Tinder, helping legitimize the world’s most popular dating app; his series of spots won him “Best Director” at the Adweek Watch Awards. Through his own shop, Magna Carta, he went on to direct a vast range of commercial projects, short films and integrated campaigns. He landed on the radar of Forbes, which featured him in the prestigious ‘30 Under 30’ last year.

Firpo said, “For me, working as a director, photographer or screenwriter, the purpose is the same—to change the way people see the world, through the telling and sharing of stories that matter. Whether its sports, fashion, cars or social causes, the work I’m most passionate about is based in capturing the world in bold new ways. I want to chase work that people will never forget.”

 
Joss Whedon out as director of “Batgirl”

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Whedon leaves Batgirl

The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap have published stories that director Joss Whedon has stepped down as director of Warner Bros. and DC upcoming Batgirl, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story,” Whedon told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. Whedon added, “I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?”

This is no surprise given the critical and financial drubbing that Whedon’s last outing with Justice League took. Whedon, if you remember, stepped in for Zach Snyder after the director had to leave due to a family tragedy.

 
Duplass Brothers sign global 4-picture deal with Netflix

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Duplass Brothers sign 4-pic deal.

According to a new Variety story, Jay and Mark Duplass, the veteran American independent filmmakers behind The One I Love, The Overnight, Creep, and Jeff Who Lives At Home, are entering into a new agreement with Netflix that gives the streaming giant worldwide rights to their next four upcoming films.

The first film under the deal is an untitled Duplass Brothers-Ray Romano project, which will be released later this year. The pic follows a bittersweet “bromance” and centers on themes of friendship, mortality, and made-up sports. The film, which stars Mark Duplass and Romano, recently wrapped production.

Last year, the indie filmmakers also partnered with filmmaker crowdfunding site, Seed&Spark, to launch “Hometown Heroes” designed to challenge “filmmakers from all over the country to tell stories that have never been told from wherever they are.” The brothers reportedly promised to oversee and contribute $25,000 to each of the five winning films.

 
Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.

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