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Great Bowery, Freshly Founderless, Dives into Film Production

The super-agency is launching a new in-house film division just four months after founder Matthew Moneypenny stepped down amidst reports of disagreements with the investor.
Jimmy Choo spot featuring Nicole Kidman by Mikael Jansson | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Chantal Fernandez

NEW YORK, United States — In a period of controversy and change, super-agency Great Bowery is launching a new in-house film division.

When chief executive Matthew Moneypenny exited the business he founded in 2014 in May due to disagreements with its investor, asset management firm Waddell & Reed, Great Bowery's future was uncertain. The collection of fashion agencies was formed to better capitalise on the talents of its image-makers, including Inez and Vinoodh and Katie Grand, in light of declining print magazines and the evolving demands of advertising campaigns.

"We are growing our talent and we are working with amazing brands: that side of it has not really changed at all," says Howard Bernstein, managing partner of Bernstein & Andriulli, one of the company's 12 sub-agencies and the managing director of Great Bowery. "[Matthew] put us all together and we, as founders and partners, will always be grateful to him for that." Great Bowery's other subsidiaries include the image licensing firm Trunk Archive, and the agencies Camilla Lowther Management, Streeters, Wenzel & Co, and M.A.P.

Through the new film division, clients will no longer need to contract production companies when hiring Great Bowery’s photographers and directors to create everything from branded video content to broadcast commercials and feature films. “This provides a very comprehensive way for clients to get moving imagery film and stills for all platforms,” says Bernstein.

Executive producer Shannon Lords, who joined Great Bowery in February from the advertising content studio Humble.tv, says the company expects to see more opportunities for its artists in video now that a dedicated sales force is looking at film projects. “On the client side, it helps to keep the creative vision consistent as well, so we can offer up our talent to work in more than one medium.” One image-maker can, therefore, oversee an entire campaign no matter the platform.

Great Bowery Film plans to bring new film directors into the fold as well, and Bernstein says it is only one of several new areas of growth the company is currently exploring. Whether or not the new initiatives will satisfy Waddell & Reed’s expectations for the company is yet to be seen.

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