Jesse Dylan (l) and Aaron SchneiderType: NewsCategory: NewsOptions: Directors David O. Russell, Aaron Schneider, Music Artist Trent Reznor are among the Filmmakers at Wondros, Jesse Dylan’s Recently Formed Production Co. With A Roster Assembled By Anne-Marie MackayLOS ANGELES, July 28, 2011, Robert Goldrich — David O. Russell, who received Oscar and DGA Award Best Director nominations this year for the Fighter, has extended his reach into the ad discipline for the first time, helming three spots (“Unmarked Door,” “Mud in Your Eye,” “Before Sunrise”) in the “Gentlemen, this is vodka” campaign for Ketel One out of Grey new York, followed by two comedy commercials (“Something new,” “Anything”) for Hillshire Farm via TBWAChiatDay, Los Angeles. Both jobs were produced by Wondros, director Jesse Dylan’s recently formed, L.A.-based production house featuring a directorial roster built by executive director Anne-Marie Mackay, whose pedigree includes assembling select filmmaking talent at Propaganda Films and later Palomar Pictures. While Russell has broken into the spotmaking ranks, two other Academy Award-winning artists are looking to make their commercial helming debuts. Trent Reznor, who earlier this year won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music on the strength of the original score for David Fincher’s the Social Network, has come aboard Wondros for his first career directorial representation. Reznor is currently working on the soundtrack for Fincher’s the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and will soon be available for spots via Wondros. Mackay described Reznor as “a creative visionary and tremendous collaborator” whose sensibilities and talent will transfer well to directing. Wondros also has secured director Aaron Schneider, a Best Live Action Short Film Oscar winner for his Two Soldiers (2003). Earlier this year, Schneider’s theatrical feature directing debut, Get low starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Schneider is no stranger to commercials. He first established himself as a cinematographer of assorted notable music videos and spots before moving into the director’s chair. in fact, Schneider in his early days shot clips for several Propaganda directors back when Mackay headed its music video division. Mackay sought out Schneider for Wondros when she saw Get low; at that time, she didn’t realize he was the same Schneider she knew for his music video lensing prowess.
Roster rundown in addition to Russell, Schneider and Reznor, Wondros’ spot directorial roster also consists of: Dylan who’s active in spots, videos, features and special projects; feature filmmaker Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter, King Arthur), who previously helmed commercials via Anonymous Content (and whom Mackay originally brought into the Propaganda fold); mark Pellington, whose filmography spans features (Arlington Road, the Mothman Prophecies), TV (Cold Case), commercials (most recently at production house Crossroads), music videos and music documentaries (for such artists as U2 and Pearl Jam); and Javier Aguilera, a noted music video director who has diversified into commercialmaking via Radke, a Toronto house which continues to handle him throughout Canada. Aguilera’s ad exploits have primarily been in the Hispanic market. under the Wondros banner, Fuqua recently wrapped a Nike spot, “They’re back,” for Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Ore, and Pellington has to his credit a pair of Crohn’s Disease pharmaceutical commercials (“Dinner and a Movie,” “The Interview”) out of Saatchi & Saatchi Health Communications, new York, and a three-spot package (Getting to Know You,” “GPS 2,” “Santa Jr.”) for Kay Jewelers/Jared from Stern Advertising in Pepper Pike, Ohio. at press time, Pellington was prepping some Ad Council PSA work (“No One,” “Driving Blind”) addressing the dangers of texting while driving an automobile for agency The Concept Farm, new York.
Formerly of Form Dylan approached Mackay last December and the two began working together in January to assemble Wondros’ talent roster. for the prior nearly 10 years, Dylan had been partnered with executive producer Craig Rodgers at production company Form. Dylan said the two split amicably and closed the company, ending a successful run with a clean financial slate. Dylan explained that he wanted to start a new chapter in his career by forming a production house with a small manageable roster featuring like-minded filmmakers who could learn from and bounce ideas off of one another. meanwhile Rodgers has since surfaced at GARTNER, joining that house along with director David Cornell who too had been at Form (see separate story). Wondros is headquartered at Form’s former L.A. complex, which also houses production companies Pony Show Entertainment and Third Street Mining Company, two shops that availed themselves of Form’s backroom/administrative services and now maintain that relationship with Dylan. (Both third Street and Pony Show are totally separate houses from Wondros).Back to the future for the Wondros launch, Dylan gravitated towards Mackay based on their experience together at Propaganda where Dylan made his directorial mark with breakthrough music videos, learning from other filmmakers there. “I’m not looking to create a big production company with a huge roster like Propaganda had,” related Dylan. “But I am looking to capture that creative spark I experienced at Propaganda?a group of great, versatile, interesting, diverse storytellers who spent some time together and were very collaborative and interdisciplinary. Anne-Marie handpicked that talent and helped to shape that positive creative environment.” Mackay affirmed her affinity for the Bauhaus principle of bringing disparate people together for a common cause while diversifying their careers and experiences, broadening their creative horizons. this school of thought, she said, has influenced how she tries to shape a production house and its roster. Dylan reasoned that the opportunity for directors to branch out today is greater than ever given how the ad industry entails not only the broadcast :30 but also longer forms, website development, online strategies, gaming and other varied forms of communication. Gina Zapata–formerly head of production at third Street Mining Company after she had come up through the ranks at Chelsea–now serves as executive producer of commercials at Wondros, which also maintains a music video division under the aegis of exec producer Joseph Uliano, formerly of Crossroads. the Wondros music video roster includes directors Aguilera, Dylan, Fuqua and Pellington as well as Howard Greenhalgh, Kennedy, Keven Kerslake, Walter Robot and Ryan Smith. Additionally Wondros Global specializes in giving a voice to causes, issues, philanthropic and technological pursuits, creating pieces of communication spanning short and longer form. for example, Wondros is producing a series of 18 films for the Beacon Communities Program, an initiative of the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator, which provides millions of dollars in support to institutions that use new technology to improve healthcare coordination, to increase the quality of care, and to slow the growth of healthcare spending. “This division is open to directors for projects and causes they feel strongly about,” said Dylan.