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QuietMan – The One Stop Shop

QuietMan has long been known as one of the most innovative VFX houses in the industry. But increasingly, the company is being sought out by high profile agencies and clients for their full service capabilities, which range from pre-production areas such as casting and wardrobe, through the directing of the actual shoots, and on into post production and finishing services.

This versatility is currently on display in several new campaigns for such diverse clients as BMW, du MAURIER, Givenchy and Samsung, all of which also illustrate the directing talent of QuietMan Founder and CD/Lead Flame Artist Johnnie Semerad.

All the spots presented very different challenges for Johnnie and his QuietMan team, who pride themselves on being a one-stop shop that can tackle any situation and come up with an answer that is inventive, cost-effective, practical and stylish. Some involved setting up the shoots, while others involved dealing with stock footage and then dealing with visual effects in post to create the finished spots. “We can do it all,” stresses Johnnie. “In fact, the only element we go out for is the music. Otherwise, clients can come to us and know that we are very experienced in every aspect of production.”


Discover du MAURIER

spots, for the G2 agency, were shot at a country club in Westchester which doubled for an exotic beach location, and were all directed by Johnnie. They feature sophisticated couples hanging out at a beachside patio, illustrating a lifestyle that complements the product. “But you can’t show people actually smoking the cigarettes, so it became more about being creative within those restrictions,” he notes.

QuietMan then cast the actors, and organized everything down to the location and wardrobe – in addition to dealing with unexpected problems on the shoot. “It was pouring rain on the day, and the condensation on the pitchers of lemonade was actually rain,” he admits.

To deal with this, Johnnie set up a protective tent over his actors, organized lighting to match “that magic hour look,” and then checked the local Doppler radar forecast before rolling. “I saw one hole coming our way, and we timed it perfectly to coincide with the one bit of sunshine we got all day,” he reports. “And the moment that hole closed up, down it came, and we all ran inside.”

For the Givenchy

Ange ou Demon

spot, which features a playful Uma Thurman flirting with herself in a mirror, Johnnie collaborated with

Monsoon Wedding

director Mira Nair, who shot the actress’ scenes. Johnnie, who was on set with the star, then directed all the tabletop products featured at the end of the piece for agency Anton & Partners.

For the Samsung Galaxy Tablet

How To

spot, created for the Digitas agency, QuietMan again provided services from start to finish. The company cast the actress, and then shot the spot and all the table-top footage at the QuietMan’s offices. Then in post, Johnnie and his team, which included motion and graphic designer Anthony Ferrara and several 3D artists, added all the graphics and CG elements to complete the spot.

By contrast, the three spots for BMW feature humor; a lone penguin in the Antarctic has a colorful Toucan’s beak, while one racehorse in a race has the hindquarters of a zebra, and a couple on safari in Africa come across a ‘Luffalo’ – a cross between a lion and a buffalo. All are cleverly used to illustrate BMW’s individuality. “Again, the G2 people came to us and said, ‘Can you solve this problem? Can you do this from start to finish?'” reports Johnnie. “So we chose stock footage, and the agency found some of the shots, we found the rest, and then we did all the effects of making the Toucan nose and the Zebra butt and putting the buffalo horns on the lion.”

Johnnie notes that directing has been just another capability that QuietMan has offered for a long time now. “I’ve always directed and I’ve been on so many sets over the years, with so many top directors – Joe Pytka, Kinka Usher, Baker Smith,” says Johnnie, who’s worked with Pytka on “hundreds” of commercials. “So it was like this great film school, and even if I wasn’t paying attention, I learned so much just watching them and studying their approach and methods. And the good and bad of this business is that every day is so different. There’s always some new challenge to deal with and conquer; fortunately, we’re known for being dynamic and flexible and for having the skills to adapt to these challenges accordingly.”

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Client: Samsung

Spot Title:

Samsung Galaxy Tablet How-To Videos

Agency: Digitas

CD: Matthew Zavala

AD: Raynald Wood

Copy: Stefanie Gunning

Producer: Avi Walsky

Prod Co: QuietMan

Director(s): Johnnie Semerad

EP(s): Carey Gattyanbr />Producer(s): David Michaels / Jess Pierick

Editorial Co: QuietMan

Editor: Nick Link

Producer: Jess Pierick

Post/Effects Co: QuietMan

VFX Artist: Johnnie Semerad, Ricky Weissman

Motion and Graphic Design: Anthony Ferrara

3D Artist: Sue Jang, Young Park, Alex George, Zach Rubins

Digital Artist: Cryssy Cheung

Sound Design Co: Bang

Sound Designer: Ryan Billia


Client: Givenchy Parfums

Spot Title:

Ange ou Demon / Ange ou Etrange

Agency: Anton & Partners

CD: John Painter

Director(s): Johnnie Semerad

Producer(s): David Michaels

Post/Effects Co: QuietMan

VFX Artist: Johnnie Semerad

3D Artist: Young Park


Client: du MAURIER

Spot Title:

Discover du MAURIER

Agency: G2

CD: Jason Zangrilli

AD: Albert Ignacio/Daniela Masiello

Copy: Tom McConville/Jordan Korfine

Producer: Mark Sitley

Account Director: Garrick Gelinas

Prod Co: QuietMan

Director(s): Johnnie Semerad

EP(s): Carey Gattyan / Bob Nelson

Producer(s): David Michaels

Editorial Co: QuietMan

Editor: Brad Turner

Producer: David Michaels

Post/Effects Co: QuietMan

VFX Artist: Anthony Ferrara

Motion and Graphic Design: Anthony Ferrara

3D Artist: Sue Jang, Alex George, Zach Rubins, Young Park

Sound Design Co: The Station

Sound Designer: John Northcraft


MW Financial Services Team:

General Manager, Marketing: Tom Stepanchak

Dealer Marketing & Communications Manager: Ania Neil

Dealer Marketing and Communications Analyst: Courtney Budd

G2 USA Team:

Account Team: Nancy Grebey, Arnel Kasmally, Jason Alongi, Laura Kaye

Creative Director: Rene Lehouillier

Art Director: Chris Silva

Copywriter: Michael Abdul-Qawi

Producer: Sam Milgrim

Digital Project Manager: Eric Liou

Retouching and Editing: Rob Anderson, Mark Petrella, Sterling Uhler

Art Buying: Jen Santiago, Liz Jenei

VFX: QuietMan

Special Effects Director: Johnnie Semerad

About QuietMan

The brainchild of CD and Founder Johnnie Semerad and long-time collaborator EP Carey Gattyan, QuietMan is a high-end creative collective set in an innovative workshop atmosphere that fuels projects from concept to completion. A recently overhauled production department includes fully developed print, web and TV arms capable of producing multifaceted advertising campaigns with a specialty in high-quality, groundbreaking VFX.

More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA)