Leslie Sorrentino in the Shotgun Seat at Big Block


Veteran Studio Exec Brings Team to Santa Monica Digital Production Studio

Last Updated: May 10, 2012 12:03 am GMT
(Santa Monica, California--May 10, 2012) Executive producer Leslie Sorrentino, formerly of Animal West and The Syndicate, has joined digital production and design studio Big Block. He brings with him his production team, Flame artist Gizmo Rivera and producer Cindy Chapman, also from Animal West.

The move reunites Sorrentino with Big Block’s managing director Kenny Solomon. The two are longtime business partners and were co-founders of The Syndicate, their award-winning creative design, branding and digital production studio. At Big Block Sorrentino will work closely with executive producer Pete King to develop the company’s client bases in broadcast, interactive, mobile and enterprise work. He will also promote and oversee compositing and finishing projects highlighting Gizmo’s talents, for whom a second new Flame room has been built.

Executive producer Leslie Sorrentino, flanked by producer Cindy Chapman and Flame artist Gizmo

Sorrentino, who is well known for cultivating and earning long-standing client relationships, has enjoyed a senior level career in the advertising and visual effects industry for more than 20 years. He has worked with top agencies, networks and studios on award-winning commercials, branded design, television, feature films and music videos.

At Animal West, Sorrentino was executive producer on Samsung “Living Room” directed by Jody Hill for Leo Burnett, K-Swiss “Kenny Powers MFCEO” directed by Jody Hill for 72andSunny, BlackBerry Torch “Love What You Do” directed by Henrik Hansen and Laban Pheidias for Leo Burnett Chicago and Doner’s Superbowl rebranding for Dodge Ram directed by Klaus Obermeyer. His credits at The Syndicate include the Rolling Stones feature film Shine a Light and the Clio Award-winning Freixenet “The Key to Reserva,” both directed by Martin Scorsese.

Earlier in his career Sorrentino was director of new business at 525 Studios, the pioneering Hollywood digital post production company, and executive producer at Post Logic Studios, where he was responsible for visual effects production on the memorable Taco Bell “Talking Chihuahua” campaign for TWBA Chiat/Day.

In addition to his time at Animal West, Gizmo has worked at The Mill Los Angeles, Hydraulx and A52. Gizmo’s Flame wizardry and on-set experience also extend to character development for such feature films as Avatar, Wolverine and Skyline. His creative esthetic and technical integration of complex CG can be seen in commercials for Samsung “Living Room” directed by Jody Hill for Leo Burnett, TaylorMade “Green Noise” directed by Jon Huet for NYCA; Old Spice “Scent Vacation” directed by Tom Kuntz for Wieden+Kennedy; Gatorade “LaDainain Tomlinson: Re-Swagger” directed by Joe Pytka for TBWAChiat Day; and Audi “Boldly Designed World” and “Spring Cleaning” directed by Stacy Wall for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Prior to joining Big Block Chapman’s career spanned multiple post-production disciplines working as a producer at Animal West, Comma Music and Beast Editorial. She has worked with top advertising agencies such as Fallon, Leo Burnett, Wieden+Kennedy and 72&Sunny on campaigns for Apple, Nike, Target, Toyota, K-Swiss, Charter Communications, TaylorMade, Samsung and DirecTV.

Solomon said, “I’m delighted to have Les and his team here at Big Block. They are a powerhouse that will further allow us to meet the growing expectation from agencies that studios can handle every aspect of their projects, from conceptual design and visual effects to live action direction and software coding. It’s definitely a value proposition for our clients, but it’s also been our experience that being able to provide all of these services contributes to a higher level of involvement and final quality.”

Sorrentino added, “I am fired up to be collaborating with Kenny again. Big Block is so ahead of the curve with a huge range of creative and technical resources and a great core dynamic. We can’t wait to offer that to our clients.”

Recent projects at Big Block include design and animation for “Peep Show,” a cheeky interactive and experiential campaign for MINI and Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners that appears on JumboTrons and bus stop video screens and incorporates a live car reveal at a Hollywood Blvd. installation. (The work can viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEyz5YWQw2g)

Big Block took a holistic approach to Jeep “Turn of a Wheel,” which was entirely designed and directed by their in-house talent and Ford “One of a Kind” for Y&R Canada, designed and directed by Big Block’s creative director Mark Glaser.

Big Block is a digital production studio specializing in digital automotive content, VFX, design and finishing for feature films, commercials, web, gaming, mobile and enterprise platforms. Big Block provides integrated end-to-end services, from concept and design to live action direction and coding to meet its clients’ creative challenges.

A key component of Big Block’s focus is Big Block Interactive, its interactive and software development group, which generate new techniques to evolve and extend client brands across the creative landscape. A prime example is Drive-A-Tron, Big Block’s proprietary driving simulation software, which precisely replicates the physics of driving in any live action or CG environment in real time 3D.

Big Block was launched by business developer Scott Benson, executive producer Kenny Solomon and creative director Mark Glaser, whose collective experience with the production of branded content make them uniquely suited to meet the challenges of creative communication.

Big Block is housed in the newly renovated Art Deco Ilona Building on Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Santa Monica.

For more information, please call 310-954-9400 or visit: http://www.bigblockLA.com


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