Oscar and Bafta-award-winning creative studio Framestore is expanding its North American operation after a successful year.
The third US office, and fifth globally, is based out of Chicago's vibrant West Loop and will encompass all of Framestore's diverse capabilities. The office will be run by current Framestore employees David Mellor, in the creative director role, and Raven Sia, as head of production. Newly appointed Krystina Wilson will lead as executive producer, joining from The Mill in Chicago.
Framestore’s Chicago office signals an expansive growth period for Framestore’s Integrated Advertising division, which in 2016 had its most successful year to date. Winning a slew of accolades including Clio and LIA Production Company of the Year, and Ciclope’s Visual Effects Company of the Year, along with over 70 awards for the groundbreaking group VR experience ‘Field Trip to Mars’, including 19 Cannes Lions.
“The value of proximity is key. We’ve always partnered with Chicago agencies, brands and production companies but now we’re developing the work within the community and operating as part of the culture,” said Jon Collins, president of integrated advertising at Framestore.
Mellor and Sia are both seasoned Framestore veterans, with Sia’s tenure at twelve years to Mellor’s fourteen. They both share ambitious and diverse portfolios. Sia has executive produced Geico’s acclaimed Gecko campaign for many years. She also produced content for Morgan Stanley’s Times Square digital signage with Framestore Labs, which won the first-ever D&AD Pencil in Data Visualization. The projects she has produced have won Webbys, VES award nominations and Outstanding VFX accolades.
Mellor has worked in nearly every department and at every level within Framestore, spanning Runner to Head of CG. In addition to his title of creative director he is an awarded director with Framestore Pictures, with whom he recently co-directed Chick-Fil-A’s TV and VR campaign, ‘Cowz VR’. In recognition of his technical and creative skills Mellor won a CLIO in Direction for Qualcomm Snapdragon’s ‘Coming Soon’, and the spot was nominated for two Cannes Lions.
Wilson joins as executive producer from The Mill’s Chicago office, where she helped launch the company’s Midwest office in 2013.
Framestore recently worked with Leo Burnett Chicago to update Kellogg’s animated brand icon Tony The Tiger. They also worked with FCB Chicago to produce, direct and build seven CG characters for a new six-spot TV campaign for Cox Communications.
Chief Production Officer Diane Jackson of DDB Chicago says of Framestore: “Like many in the production community here in Chicago, I’m delighted to see world class talent and a major player, such as Framestore investing in our market.”
Led by Mellor, Sia and Wilson, the Framestore Chicago office will work with new and existing clients across brands, ad agencies and production companies. The office is actively hiring a wide range of staff roles, from production and artists through to office support. Services offered will encompass the range of Framestore’s offerings including post-production, live-action, VR, digital installations and CG character development.
“We want the production and the creative teams here in Chicago to view Framestore as a creative partner rather than a vendor. We have opened this office because we know the work coming out of the Midwest is some of the best in our business,” said Wilson.