Red Magnet, a visual effects boutique catering to the advertising industry, has launched in Venice. Headed by Shira Boardman, former executive producer at Sway Studio, the new company will offer 2D and 3D design and effects, previsualization, project management and supervision, compositing and animation. Red Magnet has already completed its first project and has two more underway. The former is a 6-spot campaign for Lexus and Team One Advertising (directed by Boxer Filmsâ€™ Andrew Hardaway), supporting the exclusive internet launch of the 2008 LX 570 SUV. Team Oneâ€™s Erin Finch, who produced the project, said the flexible approach Red Magnet brought to the project paid off in results of a higher quality than might otherwise have been possible given the budget. â€œThey worked with Andrew to deliver something that is really spectacular,â€? she said. â€œDoing effects-heavy production for the web is a new frontier for us and they helped us along.â€?
Each spot in the Lexus campaign promotes a different feature of the new SUV and shows the vehicle in a variety of stylized CG environments. Boardman put together a team of designers, animators, visual effects artists and compositors who worked with Hardaway from the initial production phase through the delivery of web-ready stories. In progress are spots for Central DuPage Hospital out of Chicago agency Element 79 (Vadim Perleman, director at Tate & Partners) and a campaign for airborne telecommunications company Aircell (Rob Groenwald of Boxer Films director). Red Magnet is a different kind of visual effects house. Boardman, who is assembling her core creative team, will keep the staff small, while relying on strategic partnerships with other visual effects creative teams to perform specialized tasks and tackle large scale projects. This approach, she insists, allows the company to keep its overhead low and deliver maximum production value to the screen. â€œWith the way that the business is changing I think it is important to be nimble,â€? she said. â€œI want to be able to match the right artists to the job and have a diversity of talent and resources at my fingertips.â€? Boardmanâ€™s tenure at Sway Studio spanned over three years. Her credits there included the GM spot Robot that debuted on last yearâ€™s Super Bowl broadcast (the spot was created by Deutsch LA and directed by MJZâ€™s Phil Joanou) and the U2/Green Day Hurricane Katrina-related music video When the Saints Come Marching In, which won a VES Award. (It was directed by Radical Mediaâ€™s Chris Milk.) Previously, Boardman served for five years as Executive Producer and partner at Japanese Monster, a Los Angeles-based commercial production company.