January 6, 2022

Judge Spotlight

Carol Madrigal, Motion Editor at Weta Digital

Our Q+A with Telly Jury Council Member Carol Madrigal

Motion Editor at Weta Digital
Carol Madrigal is a Motion Editor for WETA FX and a freelance Unreal Engine artist. Her passion for art and creative work started when she was very young, while growing up in Venezuela creating Virgin Mary banners for events at her Catholic School.
After receiving a scholarship to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design, she immigrated to the US, earning a BFA in 2D and 3D animation in 2002. Following graduation, she landed a motion capture artist position with Giant Studios, where she mastered the Giant/Lightstorm software suite. Carol has been credited as a motion capture artist in a multitude of films and games such as Polar Express, James Cameron’s Avatar, HALO5, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game, and more. Her resume includes names from leading studios such as Profile Studios and WETA FX.
 
Carol was selected to be a part of the Unreal Engine Fellowship in Fall 2020 where she completed the short film, “Virtual Field Trip.” Today, she has committed to a new chapter as a content creator, unleashing her creative spark that was buried under years of following one direction.

Read our Q&A below to get to know Carol!

How do you define creative success?

As an artist, creating something that is meaningful, seeing it to completion and being able to share it with others,  is success for me.  The icing on the cake is making a living out of the whole thing.

Have you had to/willingly make any changes following the reemergence of the industry after the height of the pandemic? Ie. work structure, remote working, remote production, etc. 

Yes, the pandemic made me into a 100% remote worker.  I have had to learn to balance work/life in a way that I had never thought possible, yet it is incredibly rewarding.  I am able to be present for my children as well as present for my career.  

How would you describe your creative process? Could you provide details?

My creative process varies depending on the media that I am working on.  In general, after an idea, I start evaluating my options for execution.  If this is part of something that I do well, then pretty smoothly, I am able to accomplish a goal. If it is something new to me or that I am not very good at, I spend time researching the process and any background info that could make my idea even better. Then, I execute. Of course in between, there is always a moment where either I realize this is a winner or that I need to go back a few steps to the drawing board.  When working with a team, it’s a group effort in a similar way to accomplish a goal.

What are some of the challenges that you face moving ahead into a content heavy landscape for 2022?

There is a lot of work out there now, but there is also a lot of evolution in the industry. My biggest challenge as an animator and a creator, is trying to stay up to date with tech, software and processes that are out there. I am always trying to find the time to continue to learn and grow., 

What are some of your creative goals for the upcoming year? How do you plan on achieving them?

My main personal creative goal is to complete a new short animation in Unreal Engine. I have been working on a story with a couple of friends and just need to follow through with execution. This has been a busy year for me; making time for it will be a challenge but it will be my main priority apart from my family and work. 

What does being part of the Telly Awards Silver Council mean to you?

It is an honor for me to be a part of the group of folks that gets to be entertained by the best of the best while evaluating and rewarding quality work and excellence in visual media.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I was the kid that used to draw and paint the banners for the events at my school. I have always  been an artist and wandered into 3d animation because of my love for cartoons and animated music videos.  Now, almost 20 years in, I still get to create, and I love the projects that I have contributed to. 

 

October 19, 2021

Judge Spotlight

Ashish Verma, Global Head of Bloomberg Media Studios

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Ashish Verma

Global Head of Bloomberg Media Studios

As the Global Head of Bloomberg Media Studios, Ashish merges data science and strategy to craft creative solutions that allow brands to meaningfully connect with Bloomberg’s audience of leaders and influencers. Bloomberg Media Studios has grown over 40% under his direction, becoming an award-winning powerhouse through campaigns that touch virtually every industry, from luxury and technology to health and finance.

Over the past 20 years, Ashish has been driven by his belief that the best creative work is rooted in science and purpose. Prior to Bloomberg, he was Managing Director of Kelton, where he expanded a research company into an insights-driven Brand Development & Innovation consultancy for clients like Google, Diageo and Pfizer. Before that, Ashish brought his passion for innovative thinking to game design at Atari, where he launched the first-generation Sony Playstation; branded entertainment at William Morris Endeavor, where he worked to gamify brand experiences; and to advertising agencies like Digitas, where he established the creative practice for health and wellness in New York.

Ashish’s creative impetus has resulted in numerous awards and industry recognition from Communication Arts, Creativity, Digiday, Webby’s, Cannes Corporate and more. He holds a BFA in Design from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts, New York. His interactive art has been exhibited at the NTT Center in Tokyo, ZKM in Karlsruhe, German, and the Postmasters Gallery in New York. He is fluent in Hindi, struggles with Italian and lives with his daughter in Brooklyn.

Read our Q&A below to get to know Ashish!

How do you define creative success?

The definition of creative success hasn’t changed over the years for me. It’s about being able to have a meaningful connection with your audience, that either moves them in the way they think or behave. Ultimately, good creative is about creating, reinforcing or instilling a shift in a person’s relationship with the brand.

Have you had to/willingly make any changes following the reemergence of the industry after the height of the pandemic? Ie. work structure, remote working, remote production, etc. 

Creative work is best when collaborative. The pandemic has forced us to find a balance between retaining the convenience and flexibility of remote work and recreating the magic that happens in a room, when the air is charged with creative energy and colliding ideas. It has been a lot of experimentation with digital tools and new approaches. Legacy processes have been thrown into question and new ways of working have been illuminated – some that will sustain themselves post-pandemic. I don’t think we have all the answers yet but we’re definitely getting better at it everyday. 

How would you describe your creative process? Could you provide details?

You might argue that “creative process” is an oxymoron, but what has always worked for me is getting smart at the outset, diving into the subject matter, the landscape, and the audience. What I love about Bloomberg Media is the depth of intelligence and data that allows us to immerse ourselves in the critical issues facing established and emerging leaders today. No other competitor in the space has proprietary expertise and insight like we do. Once you have that as your anchor, the ideation process can flow more freely and organically. 

What are some of the challenges that you face moving ahead into a content heavy landscape for 2022?

We have surpassed peak content – more content is being produced than anyone physically has time to read and absorb. There is so much wasted content piling up in digital landfills. Our response at Bloomberg Media Studios is about being mindful of what we create, why it exists, how it’s developed and where it’s distributed. It’s not enough to create great content, we have to work much harder to get in front of the right people and be compelling enough to demand attention and provide value.

What are some of your creative goals for the upcoming year? How do you plan on achieving them?

Our goal is to address the challenge I spoke about above. How do we break through the volume of content being churned out by brands, publishers, agencies and others? How do we stand out from the sea of sameness that seems to be surging within brand content? At Bloomberg Media Studios, we are in a position to redefine what brand content means to our audience and how it can be additive and essential to their experience. With Bloomberg L.P., we are backed by one of the most trusted and influential brands which gives us the ability to see the world like no one else. We unlock that value for our clients and audiences.

At the same time, we are very invested in our talent. While we’ve seen record growth in our revenue, the last couple of years have taken a toll on our team. We are ambitious but we can only get there if we help our creative talent find the balance and space to nourish themselves personally and creatively. 

What does being part of the Telly Awards Silver Council mean to you?

It means a lot being part of a community of diverse, accomplished people. It’s the kind of collective that helps recognize and celebrate work that’s entertaining, informing, and educating audiences. It’s what we need now more than ever. 

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I am restless and sometimes impatient. But what I’m learning is that it’s not always about leaping to the next big thing. Oftentimes it’s about sitting still and refining what you have to the very best it can be. It’s a life lesson I credit to my six-year old daughter.

 

Judge Spotlight

Sharese Bullock-Bailey: Chief Strategist + Principle Consultant, Ghetto Film School

Our Q + A with Just Council Member Sharese Bullock-Bailey

Chief Strategist + Principle Consultant, Ghetto Film School

Sharese Bullock-Bailey is the Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer at Ghetto Film School.  Sharese has funded, distributed, and curated independent media globally for the past 18 years. She has led service and international education programs in over 20 countries, including filmmaking exchanges for young producers and educators throughout the US, UK and India.  She is an Emmy-nominated producer, and founder of Overstand – a global strategic consultancy.

Sharese recently served as Director of Tribeca Teaches, a filmmaking residency at Tribeca Film Institute, and was selected by the Ford Foundation as a 2015 Rockwood JustFilms Fellow and as a 2016 New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow.  Sharese is an Executive Board Member of ITVS (Independent Television Service) and Board Member at The Frick Collection.

Sharese received a BA in Communications at The University of Pennsylvania, then participated in the Financial Analyst program at Goldman Sachs.  She also served as a Teach For America Corps Member, earning a M.S. in Education while teaching in her hometown of Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Read our Q+A below to get to know Sharese!

How do you define creative success?
Creative Success is individually designed mastery of craft and expression.

Have you had to/willingly make any changes following the reemergence of the industry
after the height of the pandemic? 
Change is constant; collaboration is a must. For the past two decades, I’ve consistently encouraged artists and brands to collaborate; working intentionally in partnership is sine qua non in the post-pandemic space.

How would you describe your creative process? Could you provide details?
Strategy first; Listen Closely; Stay loyal to the craft and your authentic voice. I think long term strategy is my greatest creative superpower- I think of ideas for 30 year, 300 year, and 3000 year impact to start. My love of history, storytelling and art allows me to create data insight from many sources, which guide my cultural practices, yielding the most accretive impact.

What are some of the challenges that you face moving ahead into a content heavy landscape for 2022?
The greatest challenge will remain retention of the best creators, people are the greatest asset in our culture and organizations – we are finding a scarcity of time and available resources to make sure the right people are working together at the right time.

What are some of your creative goals for the upcoming year? How do you plan on achieving them?
Complete 2 manuscripts; a memoir and a book of strategems. My plan is to continue to retreat for writing sessions in 2022 to hit my deadlines.

What does being part of the Telly Silver Council mean to you?
Team and Community are our greatest advantages as creative leaders. While being in a class of one can yield great innovation and excellence, it’s through the league of creative community where we find true impact and relevance. I’m honored to be part of this community of creative excellence.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?
I’m from Brooklyn, I’m a world Citizen.

Judge Spotlight

Joe Lynch: Group Head of Content & Programming, EA

Our Q+A with Telly Jury Council Member Joe Lynch

Group Head of Content + Programming, EA

Joe Lynch is the Group Head of Content & Programming for Electronic Arts. Over the past 20 years, Joe’s career brought him from NBC to China, WWE, OWN, Time Inc., GoPro and finally, EA. He is currently responsible for all competitive gaming production and content. Over the past two years, Joe has expanded EA’s live and feature content offerings, while expanding in-house production capabilities including the EA Broadcast Center. Prior to joining EA, Joe brought Access Hollywood to China, managed digital production for WWE, built the live division of Time Inc., and was the Executive Producer of Lifestyle and Music at GoPro.

Read our Q&A below to get to know Joe!

Has there been a major shift in your work following the emergence of the industry following the height of the pandemic? How so?

Our production workflow has gone through enormous change since March of 2020. Prior to the pandemic, live production required people to gather, use specific equipment and work in a certain way. We had to change, and change quickly. In a matter of days, we were forced to rethink how to produce a live show, remotely, and to the quality and scale that audiences expected. Every day, every rehearsal, every show was a new experience and we were constantly iterating on how we get better and more efficient. 

What is the piece of work that you are most proud to have been part of?

Each piece we create has a special place in my heart. Perhaps The Sims Spark’d is that one that brings me the most pride. This was a project unlike anything Electronic Arts had undertaken. Not only did we have to create a compelling narrative with great characters and aesthetics, but we also had to work through a system that was not designed for this type of work. Our partners on the game development and marketing teams were fantastic teammates that helped work through the process and deliver a fun show. 

What is your creative process like?

Each project is unique. Some begin with a creative spark, others with a problem we are trying to solve. Regardless of where it begins, the process is about open collaboration and a drive to do something better than the last. For me, its about the team. Connecting smart people doing the right things is the key factor to success. We have a direction and goals, then pull in the right people to help create something special. 

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry and more distinctly your company?

The most exciting part of what we are doing is that the rules are still being written. Competitive Gaming and esports are in their infancy. Each game, each show, each event brings new challenges and opportunities. The past five years have gone by in an instant with new forms of content emerging every single day. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for gaming entertainment. 

What has winning a Telly Award meant to you and your team?

Winning a Telly has been an amazing honor for our team. To bring a video game to life in this way has been unbelievably gratifying. We were fortunate enough to work on some amazing projects this year.  From Madden to FIFA, Apex Legends and The Sims, we starting with great games and amazing communities that helped bring our shows to life. Our team is only a few years old and recognition from The Telly Awards is validation that we are moving in the right direction.

 

August 9, 2021

Judge Spotlight

Nouf Aljowaysir: New Media Artist + Senior Design Technologist at Medium

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Nouf Aljowaysir

New Media Artist + Senior Design Technologist at Medium

Nouf Aljowaysir is a Saudi new media artist and creative coder based in Brooklyn. Currently, she is working as a senior design technologist at MediumAljowaysir blends art and computation to examine how emerging technologies will shape our future—from branded environments to non-traditional interfaces. Her explorations focus on collaborating with Artificial Intelligence to design speculative futures and new modes of human-machine collaboration. 

Nouf recently premiered Alexa, Call Mom!, an interactive installation that blends smart home technology and storytelling, at the Tribeca Film festival and CannesXR 2020. Alexa, Call Mom! was nominated for a Storyscapes award for new trends in digital media and technical and creative innovations in story creation. 

She also previously worked as the lead researcher in Art & AI at creative agency Havas, algorithmically producing hundreds of images and videos for client ADP – making them the first major organization to incorporate a semi-generative brand identity. She was awarded a residency at ThoughtWorks Arts 2020 and currently serves as a dedicated mentor at NEW INC Incubator. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and festivals in the US and Europe, including the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and SXSW 2019. She studied computational architecture and human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and earned her Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

Read our Q&A below to get to know Nouf!

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?

The major shift in my work has occurred in finding creative ways to adapt my physical projects to digital ones. Asking questions such as: “How can you reconstruct in-person networking and connection through virtual means?”

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I am proud of being a part of the global re-branding initiative for ADP at Havas. We re-branded ADP into an identity that strategically positioned it as Always Designing
for People. We created a flexible design system that uses AI as a signature element to communicate ADP as an influential HR leader.

As a creative technologist, I algorithmically generated hundreds of uniquely-branded images and videos for ADP’s new visual identity. Our innovative use of this emerging technology made them the first major organization to incorporate a semi-generative visual system created by Artificial Intelligence. Our creative process revolved around the question: “How can AI be the artist for ADP?”

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I am a multidisciplinary creative individual that is passionate about the intersectionality of design and emerging technology. I believe that by breaking down these schools of thought, we can explore speculative futures and new modes of human-machine collaboration. From designing with industrial robotic arms to creating an Alexa that can contact the dead, my projects blend art and computation to search for innovation.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The global pandemic has paused the Location-Based distribution that many creators count on for audience cultivation. The most exciting moment right now is addressing these challenges and exploring different ways to adapt projects for at-home audiences. There is a drive for connectivity and collaborations that perhaps didn’t exist before. It is inspiring to watch how projects unfold in new and experimental ways.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?

I was deeply inspired by The Book of Distance, which premiered at the Tribeca Film
Festival earlier this year. It is a VR experience that joins director Randall Okita as he searches for his grandfather, Yonezo. The journey follows generations of Okitas as they migrated from 1930s Hiroshima, homesteaded in Canada, and were forced into a Japanese internment camp.

It is a moving exploration through the emotional geography of immigration and family archives to understand what it means to leave home.

June 28, 2021

Judge Spotlight

Ali Alvarez: Head of Creative, JustSo

Ali works between advertising and documentary filmmaking. She is currently Head of Creative at JustSo creating work for Diageo, Google, Unmind and more. Her branded series for The Olympic Channel, What Moves Me, just won a Webby for Branded Entertainment. Ali directed and produced the  feature documentary, Muerte Es Vidawhich premiered at the Thessaloniki Film festival and has been distributed on iTunes, Amazon and WaterBear. Her films feature on Nowness and have screened at the British Museum. Her ad work has been recognized by Cannes, The One Show, The Emmys and D&AD. She is currently in development on her second feature documentary.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable landscape of the last year? 

The pandemic and the BLM movement shaped 2020 for me, and it’s work.

First, the type of talent I’m working with – finally I’m able to work with a more diverse set of people. Working remotely has really helped that as they aren’t all London-based. I’ve always tried to champion diversity, but I feel like the industry is really putting energy behind since the events of last summer. It’s getting a bit easier to find new talent. New talent brings different voices. So work  looks different – it has a new sensitivity, a focus on different stories and people. 

Secondly, let’s add to this a realistic result of the pandemic – smaller budgets. This requires a simplicity and single mindedness to work that I think we had forgotten about.

New talent + single mindedness. So far that’s resulting in more honest and human stories that are told with new perspectives.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

Professionally, it’s What Moves Me, a global content series for the Olympic Channel and Toyota, that features top athletes’ stories of overcoming personal challenges to be their best. Stories of depression, anxiety, sexism. (Osaka’s mental health story would fit right into this series.)

Personally, it’s my first feature documentary, Muerte Es Vida, that I made while recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury. It went on to screen at festivals around the world and even has Danny Boyle as a fan.

Actually, as I write this, I’m not sure any project ever is going to mean as much to me as that. 

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you? 

I love tequila.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

At the moment, it’s the diversity in talent that is trying to break through. You’re finally starting to see women, people of colour, people from underrepresented communities finally starting to be recognised. This is going to change the stories we tell. A whole part of the world are going to actually start seeing themselves reflected in culture. This excites me.

The effect that this will have, in return, back on culture will hopefully create a wave of people that feel represented, that have a voice and feel inspired to be an active part of culture. Creativity helping to push society forward. Exciting.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?

My Octopus Teacher. This movie hits all the right notes of inspiration for me… nature connecting to a person. Learning from animals. Reflecting because of our world around us. It’s just like the other sea story plays continuously in our house – Octonauts. Yes, the cartoon. Loved by my son and always on. We’re all in deep sea life lessons in this house!

April 26, 2021

Judge Spotlight

Jorge Camarotti: Photographer and Director

Born in a working class family in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2003, Jorge Camarotti moved to Montreal, where he pursued a career as a professional photographer. In 2017, he published a book, Mile-End Chronicles, a 10+ year photographic collection of portraits documenting the lives and stories of immigrants living in Montreal.

After studying Meisner for two years, he realized that he could use empathy as a tool to spread his views of the world through storytelling.

Since his beginnings in filmmaking six years ago, Jorge has directed a dozen short films, both documentary and fiction, always remaining true to giving voice to the most aggrieved individuals of our society.

Jorge wrote and directed Kinship (2019), which was selected in many reputable film festivals such as Palm Springs International, Maryland, Clermont-Ferrand (Sodec), Regard and which received a nomination at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards for best live-action short.

 

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable landscape of the last year?
 
I believe last year’s events will be remembered as the tipping point of a whole generation, as it forced us to see life through a completely different lens. Personally, besides the tragic events and so much grief, the forced slow down had a good impact on my work. Before the pandemic, I felt a pressure to “perform and share” what I was doing, but when you’re a writer/filmmaker everyone knows good things take time, and I found that time last year. Since then, besides sharing music playlists every day for the first 45 days of the pandemic, I managed to finally finish developing a TV series’ bible I had been working on for the past 5 years, and I wrote the first draft for my next feature film. The uncertainty about the future forced me to stay in the present, and staying present made me focus on the work process, rather than on the possible outcome of my projects.
 
What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?
 
My most recent work I’m most proud of is an Ad campaign for Amnesty International to fight systemic racism in Canada, more specifically in Québec. We assembled a small team (Covid proof) and chose a very simple approach for the commercial, delivering our message in one, 30-second take. I’m thankful for TAXI agency reaching out and giving me a lot of freedom to shoot this spot. I’m also very proud of my short film KINSHIP which received a nomination at the Canadian Screen Awards for Best short live action film. Both projects shine a light onto the struggles of marginalized communities, which are integral, driving themes of my career as a director.
 
I’m also very excited about my next film Ousmane, featuring Issaka Sawadogo https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1371957/, that I just wrapped production on, with the plan for it to launch in the fall of this year.
 
 
What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I always try to give a sense of humanity and empathy to any project I get involved in. With my work I try mainly to raise awareness towards social issues that are oftentimes marginalised. I believe that any form of communication can be used to pass a subtle and subliminal message that, in the long term, can change and improve the lives of people in our society.
 
What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

Streaming platforms are the most exciting thing right now. It’s hard to break through as an independent filmmaker, and the addition of more and more streaming services gives people like myself more opportunities to bring projects to fruition. Simply put, more streaming sites means more content. Yes there is a problem with oversaturation, but at the end of the day, more voices being heard, and diverse ones at that, is better than only a select few getting their chance.  
 
What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?
 
I watched a lot of TV last year, but a show that stood out was, Dark, a German show on Netflix that really impressed me in terms of storytelling and production value. Otherwise, I have been watching a lot of Japanese films lately. Shoplifters was a personal favorite of mine, a great story focusing on social issues.
March 2, 2021

Feature

Nasreen Alkhateeb: Cinematographer

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, Nasreen Alkhateeb

Cinematographer
Nasreen Alkhateeb is an award-winning Cinematographer, who has dedicated the last 10 years creating content that amplifies underrepresented voices. By illuminating racial injustice, marginalized youth, melting ice, women peacekeepers, and the construction of the largest telescope NASA has ever attempted, Nasreen thrives as a leader on diverse storytelling projects.

As a multi-heritage woman of color, Nasreen has a plethora of lenses she sees the world through. Being Black, Iraqi, and disabled she is constantly translating these worlds, with one foot on three continents.

In 2020, Nasreen was chosen as the lead Cinematographer for Oprah on the series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, and the Kamala Harris campaign. In 2019, she produced East of the River that screened the Tribeca Film Festival, and captured two campaigns for NASA and Women’s March, in addition to the Director of Photography on two narrative films highlighting LGBTQ and disabled storylines. In 2016, Nasreen was awarded Cinematographer of the Year by NASA for her work in Greenland. Nasreen has participated in the Sundance Film Festival, and helped program AFI DOCS, The Nantucket Film Festival, The Brooklyn International Film Festival, CINE, TIVA, and the local EMMYS.

What Video/Television piece inspired you recently?

HBO’s Lovecraft Country uses a combination of historically relevant social justice
themes, coupled with stellar production design, to immerse audiences into current
political strife, while keeping them entertained.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your idustry?

Studios, companies, and institutions are being encouraged to touch on human rights
issues.

What is one thing The Telly Awards community should know about you?

All of the projects I work on have social justice themes as a bedrock.

1. I was chosen as the lead Director of Photography for Kamala Harris’ campaign. (this
is not public information yet, so please do not share)
2. Night Waking is a film the Frankly Film Festival was just nominated me for Best
Cinematography award. A women lead scifi production, focused on a queer family.
3. East of the River, a film I Executive Produced, was chosen by the Tribeca Film
Festival in 2019. A film that focuses on the school to prison pipeline in Washington
DC.
4. In 2016 NASA awarded me Cinematogrwpher of the year for my work in the Arctic
covering scientist measuring the melting ice.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

In 2016 NASA awarded me Cinematogrwpher of the year for my work in the Arctic
covering scientist measuring the melting ice.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?

With 2020 shifting my ability to be on set for 6 months, I was able to dedicate
more time to facilitating the creation of content coming from the disability
community and youths of color communities.

January 27, 2021

Judge Spotlight

Amy Tunick: VP, Operations & Activation at WarnerMedia

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, Amy Tunick

VP, Operations & Activation at WarnerMedia

Amy Tunick is an integrated marketing executive and team leader known for developing and executing multi-channel advertising campaigns and leading operations for creative profit centers. She has two decades of agency, brand, and media experience, with a focus on branded content, talent, experiential and partnerships.

Amy is currently driving exponential growth while overseeing operations, production strategy and best-in-class client services for Fortune 100 and 500 advertisers at WarnerMedia (owned by AT&T) in her role as VP, Operations & Activation, Sales Marketing Solutions. She enjoys wearing multiple hats — she leads a team of 15+ who execute custom cross-platform campaigns for domestic and global advertisers of CNN; she oversees operations and financials for Courageous, CNN’s brand studio, as well as the broader News ad sales marketing team; she leads B2B and B2C event marketing for the News division and produced CNN’s upfront event from 2018-2020. In 2020, she also led production strategy for Courageous, ensuring that 80+ video shoots adhered to COVID health and safety guidelines. Amy is a versatile, hands-on leader with a deep understanding of all facets of the marketing, media and advertising industries.

Prior to WarnerMedia, Amy spent 14+ years at Grey Group, a WPP company, where she was President of Grey Activation & PR. She led a team of 40+ to develop and implement integrated brand-building campaigns via pop culture (experiential, partnerships, promotions, influencers, branded content), while building a profit center for Grey. Amy’s team contributed to 30 Cannes Lions wins (i.e., Canon, Volvo, the National Park Service, the American Egg Board, States United to Prevent Gun Violence). Amy has negotiated countless entertainment, talent and cause partnerships with the Hollywood, Digital and Content communities on behalf of brand clients.

Before joining Grey, Amy worked in the famed mailroom agent trainee program at the William Morris Agency.  She lives in Westchester with her husband and two kids.

 

What video/TV piece inspired you recently?

I recently watched a video from General Mills’ Nature Valley in support of the brand’s partnership with the National Park Foundation.  It features Daveed Diggs from Hamilton and has so many stand out elements.  First, the star power of a beloved celebrity performing a popular, catchy retro song (“I Will Walk 500 Miles” by The Proclaimers) is sure to grab viewers’ attention. The clever and wholesome twist on the lyrics will appeal to consumers across generations.  Also, the corporate social responsibility effort and brand purpose message within the piece is powerful and inspiring.  Finally, my personal connection to the National Park Foundation is that they were my client for many years while I worked at Grey, and we launched the #findyourpark campaign that’s still in market today.  I feel proud of my former clients when I watch this video because I know how hard they worked to get it done, and I believe it will effectively drive awareness of our precious national parks among millennials and Gen Z.

 

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

I am inspired by the constant evolution of the marketing and media industries and am grateful to work at the intersection of creativity, culture, marketing, media, entertainment, news and technology. There are several memes floating around right now that visualize the many players in these intersecting industries, such as the one with bubbles of various sizes listing each company’s value and linking to other bubbles that represent its assets/properties.  It is eyebrow-raising to see how much things have evolved in just the past five years.  This global pandemic we’re all still facing today has accelerated the push to streaming and the idea that content and creativity can come from anywhere – in-house, through media/publisher partners, from traditional large agencies or from newer/smaller indie shops. I think these changes will ultimately help some advertisers understand the power of integrated marketing and that’s exciting. One good idea can and should live across many powerful channels. There are many brands, including many Fortune 100 and 500 advertisers, that are still planning their creative and media campaigns in silos. We all need to adapt to the changes and realities of the industry for continued growth and success.

 

What is one thing the Telly Awards Community should know about you?

I am a versatile generalist, a Jane-of-all-trades, and a right/left brain executive who equally enjoys flexing my creative and analytical muscles. I love leading teams, mentoring people, and juggling macro and micro decisions daily. I’m also nurturing my new pandemic obsessions – midnight baking and daily nature walks.

 

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

This goes back a decade, but it was a game changer in so many ways.  I was one of the key players on the Canon “Project Imagination” campaign, which we launched with Ron Howard in 2011 and evolved for several iterations until 2015. This campaign scored a Cannes Lion and demonstrated the power of different disciplines and channels coming together around a single, simple idea:  what if consumer photos could inspire a Hollywood film?  I worked with fabulous creatives, negotiated all the talent partnerships, oversaw execution of two global film premieres at the American Museum of National History and Lincoln Center, and most importantly, drove year on year results for Canon’s camera business, leading to increased brand awareness and sales growth. The “Project Imagination” team of agency partners and clients is still in touch to this day and we’ll always be proud of this collaboration.

 

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?

Our team at WarnerMedia was challenged in 2020 in so many ways. As head of operations for Courageous Studios, CNN and HLN’s brand studio, I stepped in to play a much larger role with our branded content production team.  When the pandemic began, I was promptly educated in the world of video production.  It was essential that we adapted our film processes to ensure there was no disruption on our current projects and to feel 100% confident that we could maintain the highest safety standards for our crew and talent.  I oversaw the development of our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines and later implemented those guidelines across our team for national and global productions.  We all had to quickly learn the ins and outs of remote shoots and then continually evolve that process, utilizing more and more sophisticated software and equipment to get the highest quality output.  I’m proud to say that despite the challenges that we all faced, Courageous successfully filmed over 80 shoots in the field last year by remaining nimble and adjusting to the changing environment, rules and regulations.  I learned a lot this year, to say the least!

December 15, 2020

Judge Spotlight

Ryan Honey: Co-Founder & Co-CCO of BUCK

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, Ryan Honey

Co-Founder & Co-CCO of BUCK

 

 

 

 

 

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

The Midnight Gospel on Netflix is one of the most innovative and inspiring series I have seen recently.

 

What is the most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The increasing interest in the US for adult animation in the entertainment space.

 

What is one thing that The Telly Awards community should know about you?

I, my partners and the leadership of our company put our people, our values and our desire to make great work above all else.

 

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

At this point in my career, I am most proud of all of all our work for social good and the environment. To quote my fellow Canadian Marshall Mcluhan, “There are no passengers on spaceship earth, we are all crew.” 

 

December 2, 2020

Judge Spotlight

Joash Berkeley: Owner & Creative Director at Eido

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, Joash Berkeley

Owner & Creative Director at Eido

As creative director of Eido, Joash leads a team of multidisciplinary creative professionals who solve business challenges through thoughtful design and animation in an environment of collaboration and holistic development.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?

While our clients are incredibly valuable to us, our primary work has shifted more towards improving internal culture and architecture for greater team unity.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

The Hidden Life of Rosa Parks

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m a faith-based creative leader that believes people come first and the product second.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The opportunity that this global crisis has given us to come to terms with the core issues in our world today.