New York, NY – May 17, 2011 – Bill Reilly, the Owner and Executive Producer of the L.A. based live action production company Space Program, has been named the new Executive Producer for commercials and advertising content at Curious Pictures, the New York-based animation and mixed-media production company. Reilly will merge Space Program, his live action production house, into Curious Pictures, bringing with him directors Zach Braff and Scott Duncan. The announcement was made by Jan Korbelin, Managing Partner of Curious Pictures.
In addition to the hire of Reilly as EP, the studio has also announced the opening of an office in Santa Monica, the first outside New York in its 18-year history and has named new representation for the East Coast. The new office will provide a base of operations for the studio’s growing involvement in feature film, TV programming and other entertainment projects, as well as service the work of its West Coast-based directors. Reilly will divide his time between the New York and Santa Monica offices of Curious.
Handling East Coast representation for the company is the repping firm Hello, Tomorrow, consisting of reps Michelle Stuart and Mary Eiff. They previously repped Space Program.
Korbelin says the moves are in response to changes in the studio’s historical positioning of being a New York-based animation house. While maintaining its status as one of the top animation studios in the US, it’s also been steadily adding live action directors to its roster and extending its production footprint to the West Coast in terms of both advertising and entertainment work, he says. The hire of Reilly, an experienced live action EP with a background in visual effects and animation, along with the new office in Santa Monica, furthers its growth in both regards.
The studio is now producing a network pilot and is working on various development projects for both advertising and entertainment, Korbelin points out. The workload has increasingly seen Curious’ producers and directors travelling to California for meetings and shoots, making the L.A. office a needed outpost to complement the work of its New York studio. That’s where the bulk of its staff of 150 producers, directors, animators, CG artists and other specialists are based, working out of a 30,000 square foot studio. One of the largest animation and visual effects production companies on the East Coast, Curious boasts a shooting stage, a full CG department and motion capture capability, all in house.
“We’re continuing to lay the groundwork for the future of commercial content at Curious,” says Korbelin about Reilly’s signing. “As advertising is now incorporating so many new forms—everything from games to apps to long form—the signing of Bill is going to go a long way to ensuring our role as partners and producers for both agencies and brands.
Reilly sees joining Curious as way for him to offer a broader range of creative options and resources to his agency clients. “At Space Program, we were frequently asked to provide different kinds of deliverables that we didn’t have the capability of executing on our own,” he says. In his new post he’ll work closely with Camille Geier, Curious Picture’s Head of Production/EP, who’s joined the studio last year from the New York visual effects shop Rhino. She had previously worked with Reilly on numerous projects, handling visual effects on jobs shot by his Space Program directors.
Indeed, Reilly initially viewed Curious as a potential co-production partner for Space Program, but the more he learned about the studio the more compelling he found the idea of joining in a full time capacity. “Being here gives me so many more things to talk about with agencies,” he explains.
The union is having immediate benefits, as Reilly’s first order of business was to successfully bid Zach Braff on a comedy job out of Saatchi & Saatchi, New York on a P&G brand that combines live action, visual effects and tabletop. The spot will be produced out of Curious.
The move brings Reilly back to his roots in visual effects — he got his start in the industry fresh out of UCLA’s film school with a job at Dream Quest Images, an early and influential visual effects studio in Simi Valley. He later worked at ILM (where Geier is also an alum) before teaming up with the comedy director Mike Bigelow, his UCLA classmate, to launch Space Program.
While Bigelow eventually left the company, Reilly continued to build Space Program into a respected boutique. Over the years he’s worked with a range of directorial talent that includes the Academy Award-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, Elma Garcia, Michael Shapiro and others.
Curious already boasts a deep bench of animation and live action directors; its roster includes such talents as the comedy specialist Steve Chase, tabletop director Greg Ramsey, animation and stop-motion director Rohitash Rao and the fashion photographer and documentarian Douglas Keeve. Most recently the studio signed David Turnley, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and documentary director, whose TV commercial work includes spots for such brands as Nike and others.
“We’re delighted in finding someone of Bill’s background, reputation and experience to head up our commercials division,” says Korbelin. “This move gives him a broader base to continue doing what he’s been doing, which has been working closely with directors to build and manage their careers and collaborating closely with agencies to get the best product available for their clients.”
About Curious Pictures
Curious Pictures (www.curiouspictures.com ) is a creatively driven, multi-platform production and entertainment company. It uses its extensive production, animation and advertising expertise to create entertainment in all media in the form of television shows, video games, new media content, feature films, commercials, network promos, music videos, visual effects, and books. Its credits include TV series such as the recently debuted Team Umizoomi (Nick Jr.), Little Einsteins (Disney) and Codename: Kids Next Door (Cartoon Network); animation for the videogame sensations Rock Band and Rock Band II; and work for many of the most respected brands worldwide. The studio is home to more than 150 accomplished artists, writers, directors and designers, as well as producers, advertising professionals and marketing and media experts. Founded in 1993, the 30,000-square-foot studio in lower Manhattan contains 2D and 3D animation departments, a 7500-square-foot shooting stage, a motion-capture system and digital editing rooms. Curious work, and the work of its directors, has been recognized by the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, BAFTA, the British Animation Awards, the Webby Awards, Promax/BDA, The One Show, One Show Interactive, the Cannes Lions Festival, the AICP Show, the International Animated Film Festival in France and the Ottawa International Animation Festival.