Los Angeles—Director Rick Knief has joined Accomplice Media for exclusive
representation in commercials. A former award-winning creative director, Knief
has directed campaigns for such brands as the Wall Street Journal, Century 21,
IBM, Time-Warner and American Express, producing work that spans a range of
genres from comedy to visual storytelling to real-people documentary. Last
year, he earned critical and popular acclaim for a music video for indie
singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur that was shot with a rig equipped with nine
iPhones.
“Rick is a great talent,” says Accomplice Executive Produce
Jeff Snyder.
“His agency background gives him an understanding of the project from client
and creative points of view, while his skills as a director enable him to
execute in a wide range of genres…. emotional and visual storytelling,
performance and humor as well as real people and documentary.  He has an innate understanding of people and
motivations which helps him to draw out authentic performances in every spot.”

Knief’s most recent work includes campaigns for the Leukemia
and Lymphoma Society, Radio Shack and 
Weis Markets. Rick’s first project with Accomplice was a campaign for
Chicago’s North Shore Hospital. Knief points to that experience in explaining
his decision to make Accomplice his home. “They get my work and get what I do,”
he explains. “I wanted to join a company that believed in me. I’m not a
one-trick pony. I bring a more complete picture to the creative process.”
Knief acknowledges that the scope of his work makes him hard
to fit into just one box, but insists that all of his work shares certain
common traits. “Whether it’s comedy or documentary or visual, the goal is
always to do the best job in the smartest way…to make it beautiful, make it
real and make it honest. That’s what I try to do with every project.”
Over the Sun, the music video Knief
directed for Joseph Arthur, is a good example of his innovative approach. He
shot the video with a rig equipped with multiple iPhones and used it to create
a mosaic of changing and overlapping images. More than an arresting visual
device, the mosaic offered a way to capture the artistry of Arthur, who sings
and plays all of the instruments in the song.
“I wanted to do something that captured the uniqueness of
this artist,” he says. “He’s not only a musician, he records himself and loops
himself; he also paints. His work, like the video, is a collage.”
Knief’s recent campaign for the East Coast supermarket chain
Weis Markets alternates black & white interviews with farmers describing
their love for their work with color imagery of produce, fields and harvesting
facilities. The campaign is unusual for the category in the way it personalizes
the connection between the viewer and the people who grow their food.
“The interviews are stripped down so they appear real and
honest,” Knief says, “and they make a nice juxtaposition for the gorgeous,
color imagery of juicy fruits and vegetables.”
A graduate of New York’s School of Visual Art, Knief began
his career as an art director. He got his first opportunity to direct while a
creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, New York, on a campaign for American
Express’ Blue Card. Rick was named Best Creative Director in Forbes Magazine’s
American Business Awards for a campaign for British Virgin Islands Tourism, a
project that he also directed. Rick left the agency ranks to direct full time
through Crossroads Films and was most recently represented by Untitled. In
addition to his commercial work, Knief has directed two short films, Looking for My Brother and The Last Session.

Knief draws on his agency experience to inform his work
behind the camera. “From the treatment phase, I analyze the project the way a
creative would,” he observes. “How does this tie back to the client? How can we
brand this commercial? What is the strongest shot to lead into the graphics?
What font should we use?
“When I was an art director, I wanted directors for my
projects who were true collaborators. I see myself as a problem-solver and as a
collaborator who knows how to bring ideas to life.”

For more information, visit  http://www.accomplice-media.com/
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