Big Block Live Announces New Director Signings


Big Block Live to Represent Modern Storytellers Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia

Last Updated: January 24, 2014 6:55 pm GMT
(New York, New York--January 24, 2014) Big Block Live has announced its first directorial roster, signing directors Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia for exclusive representation in North America. Collectively, these are writer/directors who create integrated campaigns across all platforms, who know how to build and captivate audiences and who understand the importance of distribution and destination to story.

Big Block Live, a division of Big Block Entertainment, specializes in branded content, live action production and design for commercials, broadcast, interactive and mobile platforms. The New York-based studio also serves as a local interface for Big Block Design Group/BBDG in Santa Monica.

Big Block Live’s new directors famously come from the Internet, where they have won huge social media followings; modern storytellers deftly combining offbeat humor and the spirit of the zeitgeist with professional production values. Their live action forays into branded content are highly entertaining and highly shared.

Mary Crosse, executive producer at Big Block Live, said, “As we expand our roster of pop culture creators and artful directors, Josh + Vince, GHOST+COW and Joe Sabia are a perfect fit for us. We see ourselves as a creative conceptual group with an entire entertainment and production division as an additional asset for agencies and clients. And we’d like to be the ultimate playground for directors.”

Josh Ruben and Vincent Peone, the award-winning directing duo known as Josh + Vince, began their careers pioneering comedic viral videos over twelve years ago. The shorts films, commercials and music videos they have written, directed, shot and produced have amassed a combined total viewership of well over two billion.

Their series of CollegeHumor videos for Vitaminwater, “Subway Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car” and “GPS Prank,” has been covered by The Today Show and Good Morning America as well as TIME, Perez Hilton and MSNBC News. The Huffington Post named their subway prank as one of "7 Native Content Campaigns That Rocked 2013.”

Part of the founding team for CollegeHumor’s original content department, Josh + Vince directed over 2,000 videos in the six years they served as in-house directors. Josh + Vince have also collaborated with ad agencies Ogilvy & Mather, Grey, BBDO, Havas, Leo Burnett, TWBACHIATDAY and a myriad of others, creating original content for brands like Budweiser, BBC, Blackberry, Verizon, Trojan, Sobe, IBM, AT&T, Kellogg’s, Tribeca Films, MTV, CBS, Nintendo, Time Warner, Vitamin Water and Durex.

Josh + Vince recently directed Strong Island, one of the first comedy series to emerge from CC Studios, Comedy Central’s digital platform, and a commercial for Vonage and Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” series. The duo is currently in development for Toll Booth, their first feature film with Big Block Entertainment, which begins principal shooting in summer of 2014.

“Getting our start on the web has taught us the value of a modern approach to commercials, branded content and features,” said Ruben and Peone. ”Big Block's trajectory is perfectly in line with our sensibilities. We're very pleased to call them our new home.”

GHOST+COW is the Brooklyn, NY-based directing duo comprised of Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci. LaGanke and Carlucci have worked extensively in advertising, as well as on the production company, music label and art scene in New York City.

Strong conceptual thinkers, GHOST+COW are known for their convention-defying music videos, live concert projections, films, commercials and branded content. LaGanke’s branded short film shot in Mumbai, India, won Best Webfilm of 2013 at The One Club and thinkLA’s Emerging Directors Showcase. Their work has been screened at Slamdance, SXSW, Florida Film Festival, Milano, Hollyshorts and Telluride, and has been featured in Creativity Magazine, Wired, Motionographer, The Huffington Post, IFC, MTV, VH1, The Clio Awards, Stereogum, Kid Robot and Juxtapoz.

Joe Sabia is a New York City-based digital artist and storyteller who conceives, directs and executes multi-platform campaigns. In 2011, he received a YouTube grant to launch the music channel CDZA, which grew to 23 million views with 240,000 subscribers. CDZA subsequently went on tour for Google, opening for such acts as Macklemore and Snoop Lion. In 2013, Sabia directed a CDZA set at the first annual YouTube Music Awards, working alongside noted directors Spike Jonze and Chris Milk. BBDO and AT&T hired Sabia and CDZA to write, perform and produce 520 unique songs in only two days, with videos posted to YouTube within minutes of each performance.

Sabia’s 2011 talk on “The Technology of Storytelling” has over one million views and has made him a highly requested speaker on the subject of creativity and culture all around the world. He has been the co-host of Boing Boing TV on Virgin America flights and was chosen by Vanity Fair as one of 10 directors to create a commercial for their Centennial “Decades Series.”

Sabia has worked directly with companies like Google, Interscope Records, BBC America and AT&T. At the age of 22, he was hired to launch HBO’s first digital lab and when he was 24, NewsCorp acquired his gaming company “Sexy Politics,” which was the first live-time interactive strip quiz on the Internet, educating the public on the 2008 presidential election.

The new roster joins director Gavin Bowden who was signed for representation by Santa Monica-based Big Block in January 2013. Bowden is known for his stunning integration of live action storytelling and VFX in an array of commercial campaigns for Toyota, GMC, Chevy, Nike, Target and 7UP for such agencies as JWT, Saatchi LA and NY, TBWA and Weiden+Kennedy. He recently directed “Around” for the Texas Lottery, which was produced by Big Block for Austin-based agency LatinWorks.

Based in Santa Monica and New York, Big Block is the production and design studio division of Big Block Media Holdings. Big Block specializes in digital content, VFX, design, DI (digital intermediate) and finishing for commercials, broadcast, interactive, feature films, television, gaming, mobile and enterprise platforms. Big Block provides integrated end-to-end services, from concept and design to live action direction, visual effects and coding and represents the ultimate in end-to-end services for multimedia campaigns and branded content.

Key components of Big Block’s creative culture are Big Block Design Group (BBDG), whose creative leadership infuses design sensibility and brand strategy throughout the totality of the studio’s productions from inception through live action and production.

In New York, Big Block Live extends the studio’s mandate with an emphasis on live action and branded content, while Big Block Entertainment Group focuses on the development and production of live theater, feature films and television.

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

Big Block is housed in the Art Deco Ilona Building on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica and in the Neuehouse at 110 East 25th Street in New York.

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Production Credits
Vitaminwater “Panhandler Pranks Entire Subway Car

Client: Glaceau Vitaminwater
Director, Integrated Marketing: Lee Roth
Associate Producer/Integrated Marketing Manager: Vanessa Smith

Agency: Crispin Porter +Bogusky
Tim Blunt: Creative Director
Associate Creative Director: Jens McNaughton
Content Supervisor: Carly Tietzer

Directors: Josh + Vince

Production Company: CollegeHumor
Writer: Kevin Corrigan
Supervising Producer: Halavah Sofsky
Producer: Jake Fuller
Editor: Sam Jacobson
Audio Mixer: Sam Jacobson
Colorist: Sam Jacobson
Post Production Producer: Lacy Wittman


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