Los Angeles—Underscoring its focus on nurturing
ties with creative-minded directors and advertising agencies, TWC Films has
rebranded as Cultivate.Media. The Santa Monica-based production company’s new
name, logo and website are meant
to suggest its mission to build relationships and the evolving nature of
advertising production.
“Our name speaks to our story,” says Managing
Director/Executive Producer Mark Thomas. “We cultivate relationships with
directors and we cultivate relationships with agency creatives to pursue our
common goal of #doingfamouswork.
That’s our hashtag.”
Cultivate.Media debuts with an expanded directorial roster.
Continuing from TWC, are directors Abhinay Deo, Dean Blumberg, Gail Mancuso,
Olivier Staub, Scotty Bergstein and Suthon Petchsuwan. Joining is the highly
awarded Egyptian born director Ali Ali, as well as comedy director Matty Smith,
and the directing team Indigenous. Hugh Bacher continues as Executive Producer. “We’re a company of storytellers, filmmakers and serious students of
advertising,” Thomas says.
Mark Thomas

Senior agency producers who’ve worked with Thomas expressed
enthusiasm for the company and its lineup of filmmakers. “Mark is smart and
innovative. He has brought a lot of new talent into the industry,” says Greg
Gibson, Director of Broadcast Production at The Richards Group. “He is someone
I often call on for input on new projects.”
“Mark is excellent at developing
trust and building relationships, and that leads to long-lasting benefits from
this,” agrees Energy BBDO VP/Executive Producer Jeff Drooger. “He knows how to build a company and always recruits
professionals who are similar to him in their knowledge of the business, their
follow-through and commitment to the jobs that they work on with the directors,
agency and clients.”
A winner of four
Cannes Lions as well as many other top advertising awards, Ali has quickly
become one of the most admired and sought-after commercial directors in the
industry. In 2015, he won an astonishing seven Pencils at the D&AD
Awards, including a Yellow Pencil for Direction. He began his career on
the agency side, working as an Art Director and Creative Director at German
offices of Leo Burnett, JWT and McCann Erickson, and later served as Executive
Creative Director at DDB, Berlin.
Ali Ali
In 2010, Ali co-founded the creative boutique Elephant. A
year later, it was named one of the world’s three most exciting new agencies at
the Cannes Lions. In 2013, he turned to directing full time. Since then, he has
created international campaigns for Vodafone, Google, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Nestle,
Orange Telecom and others. The Gunn Report recently named Ali to its list of
the world’s Top Ten most-awarded directors.
Among recent projects is a darkly comic campaign for Mideast
telecom giant Du. One spot, Tears of Winter,
is presented as a promo for a film about a man who goes blind and is abandoned
by his daughters. Its tagline is “some movies are too sad to watch alone.” The
campaign took the Grand Prix at this year’s Dubai Lynx, the eighth time that
Ali has been so honored. Ali is currently directing a campaign for KFC out of
Impact BBDO Lebanon.
Thomas calls Ali’s work “clever and exceedingly smart.” “As
a former creative director, he has the ability to recognize good ideas,
potentially good ideas, and ideas that need to be challenged,” Thomas adds. “He
improves every project he takes on; that’s his signature.”
Although consistently inventive and spotlessly executed,
Ali’s work remains hard to classify. Its tone ranges from heartfelt to
outrageously funny. “I approach every brief differently because each idea is a
different animal,” he explains. “I change my research. I change my tools. I
change the way I shoot. I like to experiment and I’m not afraid to experiment.
I’ve done that throughout my career.”
Ali adds that he is excited to continue to push boundaries
in the highly competitive U.S. advertising market through Cultivate.Media.
“It’s a like-minded company and very eager to promote my work,” he says. “It’s
a perfect fit.”
A Los Angeles-based writer/director, Matty Smith has worked
in episodic television, branded content and advertising. He is co-creator of
the TBS sit-com Prodigies. He also
wrote a Lego Star Wars: A Droid’s Tale for
Disney XD. He has written for FX and Nickelodeon, and wrote and directed
several shows for Funny or Die. His
work in advertising includes a campaign for Coke Zero starring Kevin Hart, Holiday
Inn Express starring Jim Gaffigan, as well as branded content for Microsoft’s
xBox and New Era.

Matty Smith
Smith says that he was attracted to Cultivate by Thomas
experience in developing directorial talent. “He obviously knows what he’s
doing,” Smith says. “He got me. He got my humor and the quirkiness I go for. It
thought I could have a place at Cultivate doing what I do best. It’s a good
place to grow and get better.”
Thomas says that he was impressed by Smith’s creative
thinking and problem-solving abilities. “I look for directors with a strong
creative background,” he explains. “Matty understands his role as a director is
to work collaboratively with agency creatives, and to help them by bringing
ideas to the project that they haven’t thought of.”
Indigenous is the directing team of Marc Levy and Marc
Salomon, known for their work in documentary films and reality-based branded
content. Their work includes the series Undrafted
for NFL Network and the branded documentary Peaking: A Big Wave Surfer’s
Perspective
, produced for
Red Bull. They have also created work for Subaru, Nieman Marcus, QVC, Intel and
Dell. “To us, story is everything, authenticity is the vehicle and
collaboration is the method,” Levy says. “We bring passion, experience and a
sense for the authentic to everything we do.”

Indigenous
About
Cultivate.Media
Cultivate.Media is an awarding-winning commercial and
content production company based in Los Angeles. We collaborate
with advertising creatives from almost every corner of the globe on our
journey, our goal, to always be part of doing, “famous work.”
We’re about engaging audiences by telling great stories.
Length, budget and platform are secondary considerations. What motivates us is
to produce courageous, compelling content that provokes a memorable, emotional
response.
We are a resource for unique and gifted filmmakers. We have
an auspicious track record for discovering and developing talent. We
have assembled a roster of directors who’ve worked for the world’s top agencies
and brands, along the way winning virtually every award for
creativity in advertising.
Mostly, we’re about relationships. Our name speaks to it. We
Cultivate relationships…with agencies…with directors…and with the best support
staff in the business.
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