Los Angeles, CA – (September 16, 2009) — On the eve of its second anniversary, Wild Plum Productions has signed accomplished director Kieran Walsh. The director’s genuine style and his ability to capture sublime “slice of life” moments is a complement to the Wild Plum family, which includes directors Jan DeBont, Shane Drake, Matt Goodman Jason Sands and Walter May. Walsh is already at work on two campaigns via Wild Plum including a six spot healthcare package and new work for Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.
“We have been great fans of Kieran’s work for years and appreciate his approach and passion,” says EP Shelby Sexton. “He brings something new and unexpected to each project, tapping universal truths and developing empathic characters which translate into exceptional commercials”
“I am excited to be a part of Wild Plum,” explains Walsh. “Shelby and Alisa Allen have been able to build something really unique in just two years – a combination of incredible resources and experience within a youthful, boutique environment. The connection we felt was instantaneous and their energy is contagious.”
Kieran’s commercials for ESPN, HSBC, Coca Cola and The Hartford Financial have earned the director respect and praise for his talent for telling personal stories that reach to the core of the human spirit. Performance and dialogue-drive work is where Walsh shines and he explores scripts like a method actor, creating reality within the characters through subtext and back-story.
“I like the challenge of giving the emotional connection between the characters and the viewer a voyeuristic quality and resonance,” explains Walsh. “Audiences are smart and the job of the director and agency is to support an idea through authenticity or the audience will change the channel.”
From an early age, Walsh’s parents taught him to appreciate the arts: his mother introduced him to the works of painter Andrew Wyeth, his father encouraged him to view the work of fellow countryman and QUIET MAN director, John Ford. After attending Columbia College (of Columbia University) in New York, Kieran moved to Los Angeles hoping to work as a stage actor, but wound up landing work as a production assistant on music videos instead. After completing two spec spots in 1995, he signed with production company MJZ and started to direct commercials. After six years with MJZ, Walsh began looking for opportunities with smaller companies — ultimately joining Chelsea Pictures in the year 2000.
In addition to signing Walsh, Year 2 proved exciting for Wild Plum. The company signed reality director Jason Sands (The Hills, Murder in Small Town X, Real World) to the company roster earlier this year and he has since shot a five spot package for Jenny Craig out of Y&R Irvine; Shane Drake directed several American Idol music videos for Ford and Team Detroit – the second of the series for Wild Plum — and was nominated for a 2009 Video Music Award for Best Rock Video for Paramore “Decode” (from the Twilight official soundtrack). He also just finished two spec spots for Altoids. Director/Editor Walter May helmed a star studded Caitlin Crosby video and toured with Katy Perry, directing her “Ur So Gay” video which has garnered over 6 million hits to date on YouTube and MySpace. Matt Goodman directed a viral for Butterfinger and has been busy shooting various extreme sports projects, including the brand-enhancing X Games 3D movie that screened in over 1200 theaters nationwide, while Jan DeBont is currently developing some feature film and television properties. Various commercials have felt the Wild Plum touch and the client list encompasses a wide variety of agencies and brands.
Additionally, the company has been tapped to produce advertising and content properties by major brands and film studios. For these specialty projects, Wild Plum’s extended resources and relationships with independent and feature film directors come into play and translate integrated and branded campaigns to large and small screens. Among them, its second series of music videos for Ford and Team Detroit that run during American Idol. 11 music videos are produced each season that require an intensive production cycle that starts with shooting on Sunday, through post and delivery to air the following Wednesday. The project also involves creating integrated content, including ‘behind the scenes’ segments, in tandem with the music videos. Wild Plum was also one of the companies selected, by Team Detroit, to shoot two in a series of ten short documentary films for Ford, now featured on
Mustang: POV – shot by Jordan Valenti and Mustang: Queen Of The Road starring the multi-talented Queen Latifah – shot by Vance Burberry. Wild Plum is currently collaborating with Academy Award-winning Guillermo Navarro on a top-secret campaign for a major motion picture and entertainment studio.
“We’ve always been interested in projects that take the viewer on interesting journeys and strive to be a valued resource to any media partner,” concludes Shelby Sexton. “Stories can be delivered in so many ways and for a variety of potential audiences that it makes sense to have a model that embraces content in any form. What used to be called branded content is part of our everyday landscape and offers a wealth of exciting opportunities.”
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