Independent Production Resource Continues Breakthrough Successes In Content Creation For Ad Agencies & Entertainment Clients
DRIVER, an independent content production department, ushers in its fifth anniversary with the addition of Partner/Managing Director Linda Rafoss and a new location in Los Angeles. Partnering with agencies and clients alike to create multi-platform campaigns, DRIVER offers traditional and integrated production, interactive design and digital production, music production and licensing, media distribution and business affairs.
Executive Producers Scott Weitz and JD Williams founded DRIVER in 2002 after realizing the need for a high-end production-outsourcing model to service ad agencies and creative clients, who had downsized in response to the dot-com bubble burst. Drawing on their 25 years of combined agency and production experience, the two formed the producer-run company to provide tailored media solutions for projects of all scales, budgets and needs.
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“We saw an opportunity in the marketplace to create a company that an agency or client could call directly to book a producer or get production help,” says Williams. “As an independent production department, DRIVER is a much more adaptable and dynamic resource for the unpredictable needs of large, mid-size and small creative shops. With our extensive agency background, we know how to identify the parameters of each project and respond with the right production solution.”
“Whether it is producing multimillion-dollar commercials, broadcast television content, podcasts or original programming for satellite radio, DRIVER has the creative resources, vast talent network and production expertise to help clients create, execute and market in traditional and non-traditional mediums,” adds Weitz. “DRIVER offers all this on an as needed-basis, avoiding the high cost of staff producers.”
Celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, DRIVER continues to expand its vision with the addition of Partner/Managing Director Linda Rafoss and a new office in Los Angeles. Rafoss joins the company with 17 years of agency and postproduction experience. She was formerly an Executive Producer at Ogilvy and J. Walter Thompson, and spent the past seven years as Managing Director of Version2 Editing & VFX.
“Linda’s breadth of experience in the industry ensures that DRIVER stays focused on our future endeavors, as well as our core business of matching projects with producers,” comments Williams.
“I was attracted to DRIVER because they are ahead of the curve in terms of the direction that the industry was taking,” remarks Rafoss. “DRIVER is a collective of seriously smart, resourceful producers.”
DRIVER‘s staff of producers include Weitz and Williams, Oscar Thomas, Rob Farber, Vera Pandolfo, Becky Reagan, Meena Sajwani, Sal DelGiudice, who serves as Executive Producer of Trip Productions, DRIVER‘s in-house production arm, as well as Nathan Ehrenfeld and Bryan Ray Turcotte, Executive Producers of Beta Petrol, DRIVER‘s in-house music licensing division.
Recent and notable projects include the Coke M5 initiative featuring “Faithless & Paranoid,” the highly acclaimed, animated music video, which had over 12 million views online, and specially designed Coke bottles; original web content for Sports Illustrated; and an extensive TV re-launch campaign for Delta, as well as spots for Canon (featuring tennis star Maria Sharapova), Microsoft, E*TRADE and LG Electronics, to name a few.
Says Craig Christenson at Coca-Cola: “Our second installment of the M5 project was incredibly well received at Cannes – with people sneaking our designed bottles into their bags! The person who brought this all together was Oscar [Thomas]. He was always available, proactive and passionate about the project, and always had a strong point of view on where we needed to take it to success. DRIVER has gained a solid foundation and reputation at The Coca-Cola Company and we look forward to future endeavors together.”
Marc Lucas, Creative Director at SS+K, remarks: “We‘re a small agency and needed a resource who would help us deliver a world-class product to our client Delta. DRIVER has the resources, connections and know-how to get things done. They‘re not scared to tackle the impossible even when we have limited time or ambitious scripts. Scott [Weitz], JD [Williams] and Oscar [Thomas] are smart, easy to work with and fun. They get the job done with savior-faire. We‘re always pleasantly surprised with what they can pull off.”
Agrees Kevin McKeon, Executive Creative Director of Strawberry Frog: “My experience with DRIVER has been amazing. They are nice people and total pros. On every job, the producers there have gone above and beyond to deliver great work.”
Weitz, Williams and Rafoss are bringing DRIVER‘s successful philosophy to Los Angeles to further cultivate agency partnerships and expand their pool of freelance talent – with Thomas managing the new office. The company is currently developing original content for a number of clients, and is ramping up its suite of services to include interactive design and highly targeted, media distribution over the web.
“We feel very strongly that DRIVER is a business model that can be replicated in other major markets, given the trend of agencies downsizing their in-house production overhead,” explains Rafoss.
“DRIVER‘s capabilities goes beyond just coordinating production and post,” comments Weitz. “We are precise about matching projects with the right producer‘s skill-set whether it is music supervision and rights management, talent payments, direct production, in-house editorial or production-related business affairs. We can enhance an existing production or seamlessly operate as a complete agency production department.”
“The advertising and production industry is ever-changing, and the concept of production outsourcing is becoming an increasingly popular alternative for clients large and small,” concludes Williams. “What defines us is our ability to understand our clients‘ needs, provide them with a 360-degree point of view, and consistently deliver a high-end product on time and on budget.”