Former Wiredrive exec launches West Coast agency specializing in broadcast, branded content, digital and interactive with diverse and compelling roster.
After working in many facets of advertising and commercial production over the last 14 years, Erika Levy launches Empress Represents, specializing in broadcast, branded content, digital and interactive on the West Coast. The company launches with an initial roster of five clients: Coyote Post, Dirty Robber, Flawless FX, Loaded Pictures and Section Studios.
“My background is unique in that I’ve worked extensively in both creativity and technology. My philosophy and approach is different because of this experience,” says Erika. “I carefully curated my roster to be relevant for the needs of brands and agencies today. I’ve always found satisfaction in bringing the right people together at the right time to do great work – that’s the through line with everything I’ve done. I’d rather be considered a resource than a rep.”
Erika is best known in the advertising industry for her role as VP of Sales & Marketing at Wiredrive. In 2010, she moved to Denver and became the Marketing Director for Booyah Online Advertising. In 2012, she joined forces with Fueld Films to launch The Republic Collective, a national network of talent targeted at serving regional markets. EMPRESS is the culmination of these experiences.
“After launching two companies it felt like the next evolution was becoming an entrepreneur,” says Erika. “I have always loved representing and advocating for artists and I missed being closer to the creative process. As soon as I decided to launch Empress everything fell into place. I am really blessed to be working with five incredible companies right off the bat.”
Empress Represents launches with the following roster:
Coyote Post is a full service post production studio in the heart of Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood. They are a creative collective of editors, colorists, VFX and motion graphics designers who combine their premiere talent with the latest in technology. "We are able to scale our workflows and resources to accommodate any type of project and budget," says Executive Producer Rik Michul, "We are competitive in price, but we never compromise the quality of the creative or dedication to providing the best client service." Clients include: Dell, Hurley, 360i, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, MTV, Showtime, Lionsgate, Interscope and Capitol Records.
Dirty Robber is a full service content creation studio. Executive Producer Chris Uettwiller and Creative Director/ Director Martin Desmond Roe bring a fresh and fearless perspective to production. A perfect example of this is the short film produced by Dirty Robber "Buzkashi Boys," Directed by Sam French, about two children living on the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan who dream of a better life beyond their grim reality. Not only did the film receive a 2013 Oscar nomination, but during production they also trained local Afghan talent to be professional filmmakers. Additionally, they struck big at the 2014 Cannes Advertising Festival, winning two Lions for content they produced in partnership with 360i. Oscar Mayer "Wake Up and Smell the Bacon" not only won Silver in the Creative Use of Technology category, but was also mentioned by Business Insider, Adweek, and Mashable. The video was viewed nearly 5 million times and the phrase "Wake Up and Smell The Bacon" received over 450 million earned media impressions. Aside from winning a Bronze Lion, the video they created to encourage women to get mammograms became a social media sensation. With zero paid media support, "This is #Mamming" went global and viral, garnering over 332 million earned media impressions. Chris points out, "We are finding a lot of success in the content arena. We'd love to continue working on projects that connect with consumers in creative ways." They are currently in production on a feature length documentary about one of sport's true global superstars, Kobe Bryant, to be released Winter 2014.
Flawless FX was formed in 2013 to meet the overwhelming demand for beauty work, rig removal, set extension and cleanup brought on by the ever-increasing format size and clarity of broadcast video. Creative Director, Howard Shur has made some of the biggest names in entertainment look flawless: Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Faith Hill, Halle Berry, Maroon 5, Pink, Shakira & Michael Bublé just to name a few. With nearly 10 years in the field and over 700 commercials, music videos, and film/TV projects to his name Howard Shur leads Flawless FX's team of top level beauty & FX artists dedicated to making your project look flawless.
Loaded Pictures is a motion design production company. Animation, effects, illustration and beautiful photography are just a few of the tools they use to make memorable content for clients across various platforms. They draw on a wide variety of cultural and popular influences to create work that engages viewers and pulls them into the heart of the narrative. They recently designed a new identity for Xbox's "Live Gold Membership" for retail use around the world, which launched at E3. This spring, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences selected their animated Tribute to Skip Pitts, the legendary guitarist for Isaac Hayes best known for his distinctive work on the theme from "Shaft", as an Official Webby Nominee in the Animation category. "What you experience when you work with Loaded is a creative collaboration that's rooted in the story we are creating," says EP Brian Homman. "From selling consumers on new technology, explaining the science of the Earth's magnetosphere, to raising awareness around important issues or simply entertaining audiences, we immerse ourselves in every detail and enjoy the process of bringing stories to life."
Section Studios is a multi-faceted VFX and digital design studio located in downtown Los Angeles. They have three divisions: Games, Interactive, and Entertainment. Beginning with innovative concepts and cutting edge artistry, they deliver awe-inspiring design and proven results. Led by Creative Officers Justin Yun & Cecil Kim, this award-winning studio embodies creative thoughtfulness, modern technique, and breathtaking artistry. Recently, it was announced at Casual Connect USA 2014 that they launched a create-your-own-adventure game called Vlad the Impaler on Steam, which will soon be available on mobile as well. This year, in preparation for ChinaJoy 2014, China’s largest gaming event, the Section team created 2 epic VFX heavy live action game trailers for “Sword of Souls”. They’re excited to expand more into the commercial arena and have already worked with clients such as Toyota, Acura, Infiniti, Epson, HP and Beats by Dre. There is no limit to the creativity coming out of this company. CEO, Jimmy Yun says “We have to love what we make in order for us to make it well. Every product truly does first start in our hearts.”
Source: Empress Represents
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.