Original Film Adds Directors Simon West and Jim Manera; Joe Picciriilo, Formerly of Joe Blow Films

Veteran production company Original Film has started off 2008 with some big moves adding Cannes Gold Lion winning director Simon West and multi-award winning director Jim Manera to its already impressive roster of talent
By: Ray Ecke/Right Word Media
 
 
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March 28, 2008 - PRLog -- Original Film Adds Directors Simon West and Jim Manera; Joe Picciriilo, Formerly of Joe Blow Films, Joins As Partner/Executive Producer

Piccirillo Brings Directors Dick Buckley, Anibal Suarez and Stanley To Original

LOS ANGELES, CA - Veteran production company Original Film (http://www.originalfilm.com) has started off 2008 with some big moves -- adding Cannes Gold Lion winning director Simon West and multi-award winning director Jim Manera to its already impressive roster of talent; and naming Joe Piccirillo, most recently Founder/Executive Producer of Joe Blow Films, Los Angeles, as Partner/Executive Producer. In addition, Piccirillo has brought former Joe Blow Films directors Dick Buckley, Anibal Suarez and Stanley into the Original fold.

The company currently represents theatrical directors Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and upcoming You Don't Mess with the Zohan), Hugh Hudson, (Chariots of Fire, winner of Academy Award for Best Picture) for commercials and Stefen Fangmeier (Eragon)

"The company has changed a lot over the years," said Partner/Executive Producer Bruce Mellon. "At times we've had a lot of directors, other times fewer, it's all a reflection of the ebb and flow of the business. Personally I like a smaller roster because it means more personal attention for each director and a close family feel for the company. With the addition of Simon, Jim and Joe as a partner, as well as Dick, Anibal and Stanley, the company is extremely well positioned for continued growth in these demanding and changing times for the filmmaking industry."

Adds Jeff Devlin, Original Film Partner/Executive Producer: "Bruce and I have had an amazing run in this business -- not just surviving but thriving -- but we wanted to bring in someone young and smart who had an entrepreneurial spirit and Joe fits the bill perfectly. To compete in this business in 2008 you have to have top drawer talent, both directors and management, and that's what we have."

Although Joe Blow Films was enjoying a successful run of its own since its launch in 2002, for Piccirillo the opportunity to join Original Film was too good to pass up, especially considering he would be bringing his core directing talent with him.

"This was just a fantastic opportunity to grow professionally and to work with Bruce and Jeff to take the company to another level," Piccirillo said. "Original is such a great brand and to have an opportunity to be a partner and be a part of its future is truly an honor. Dick, Anibal and Stanley immediately saw it as a great opportunity for themselves as well."

Piccirillo adds, "For me the attraction of joining Original is the consistent success the company has enjoyed over nearly two decades.  There aren't many companies that have had longevity in this business and Original is one of them. The joy for me is working with someone you respect and that has such a great reputation in this business."

Simon West
Born and raised in Hertfordshire, England, director Simon West began his career in 1981 when he joined the BBC as an apprentice film editor. During his four-year tenure there, he worked on a number of award-winning productions, including the documentary "Strangeways Prison" and the dramatic series "Bleak House" (both of which won BAFTA Awards). In 1985 West began directing commercials and music videos for production company Limelight and quickly won a reputation for his cutting edge work. He won a Gold Lion for the Little Caesar's spot "Italian Feast").

After joining Satellite Films (a division of Propaganda Films) he helmed the "Ant" spot for Budweiser and the Pepsi "Bottle" spot, which both aired during the 1995 Super Bowl. In the late 1990s he began a successful run directing feature films, including Con Air" (1997), The General's Daughter (1999) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). His most recent film was the 2006 remake of the horror classic When A Stranger Calls.  He also created the 2003 show Keen Eddie, which aired on Fox and Bravo!.

His current show reel includes spots for Fry.com, Capital One, Blockbuster Video, Jeep and Nissan.

Jim Manera
Perhaps best known for his work on the long-running Chevrolet "Like A Rock" campaign, Manera, who was most recently represented by Reactor Films, Santa Monica, CA, began his career as an art director and copywriter with Leo Burnett/Chicago. He later joined DDB Needham/Chicago as group creative director, where he made his commercial directorial debut. Looking to direct fulltime, Manera joined the Michael Daniels commercial production company (later renamed Bedford Falls) in 1989, directing campaigns for such leading advertisers as AT&T, Campbell's, Sony and Budweiser before departing for Sony Pictures' commercial division in 1996. In 2004 he launched his own production company, Blindfaith.

His numerous directing awards include twenty-three Clio Awards, 2 Cannes Advertising, fourteen Andy Awards, 3 One-Show Awards and 5 Canadian Bessie Awards, including, "Best in Show" and "Best in Category" for a 5-spot package for Moosehead beer featuring Academy Award-winner Alan Arkin.

His most recent spot work includes ads for Bermuda Tourism for Global Hue, Long Beach, CA, and a six-spot campaign for Honda via agency Rubin Postaer and Associates.

In addition to his commercial work he directed an episode of the CBS show Nash Bridges and was Second Unit Director and B-camera operator under director Adrian Lyne for the acclaimed feature film Indecent Proposal, staring Robert Redford, Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson. He also currently has a deal at Paramount/CBS for a dramatic TV movie he wrote and plans begin shooting the independent film "The Red Blanket," based on his own original screenplay. The film is a poverty to fame story about an orphan who rises to fame in the world of bullfighting set against a political backdrop of Francisco Franco regime.

About Original Film:
Founded in 1992 by Bruce Mellon and Neil Moritz, Original Film has built a well-earned reputation for creating some of the most memorable advertising in the last two decades. The company, who's directing talent features Hugh Hudson, Dennis Dugan, Jim Manera, Simon West, Stefen Fangmeier, Dick Buckley, Anibal Suarez and Stanley, is led by Executive Producers/Partners Mellon, Jeff Devlin and Joe Piccirillo. The company is represented by Yvette Libinsky on the West Coast and Tim Harwood in the Midwest. For more information go to http://www.originalfilm.com.

Web Resources:
Original Film website:
http://www.originalfilm.com

Simon West website:
http://www.simonwest.com

Simon West on IMDB:
http://imdb.com/name/nm0922346/

Jim Manera's website:
http://jimmanera.com

Jim Manera on IMDB:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2690726/

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