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Miki Kuretani

Michael Deane

Executive Producer, Co-Director

Michael is a producer of content such as commercials, documentaries, TV programs, music videos and emerging technologies including mobile phone and branded content. He has also directed commercials, looming form projects, music videos (including the first rap video on MTV Dr. John’s Jet Set) as well as fashion videos and more.

Deane has produced more than 350 commercials for the U.S., Brazilian, English, German and Japanese markets. The international work dates back well before it was fashionable or even the words “globalization” and “advertising” were used in the same sentence. In that capacity he produced spots with Paul Newman, Eddie Murphy, Ringo Starr, Andy Warhol, Ry Cooder, Miles Davis, Billy Joel, Alvin Ailey among others, mostly for the Japanese market.

He was also ahead of the curve on HD (he produced his first project in that format in 1988) and also formed one of the first live Action/CGI hybrids (Black Cat) again in 1988.

Deane started early, studying with the Young Filmmaker’s Foundation in New York and making his first film “The Pusher” at 13. Later, recognizing the convergence of film and video in the post, he earned a Masters in documentary film and telecommunications from the Newhouse School of Public Communications as well as continuing his education with film courses at NYU, MOMA and the New School. He also studied at HB Studios where he studied acting for several years.

After seven years of staff and freelance work, Deane’s interest in visual effects, CGI and live action led him to open Black Cat Inc., a hybrid computer graphics and live action production company. Projects included broadcast promos, commercials and developing an Imax project “Cosmic Voyage” which later went on to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Three years later, he opened Modern Times Film Company to work in commercials, music videos, industrials, fashion videos, long form and television. He also directed a feature for the Japanese market called “Dance Club”

Also in the long form arena, he executive produced a documentary “Outlaws, Rebels & Rogues” for TBS Productions.

Recent work includes commercials for various clients and broadcast promos for DIRECTV.

Deane lives in Los Angeles. His passions include karate, motor racing, wine, photography and of course Brazilian music.

Marcelo Machado

Co-Director

Marcelo is a producer and director specializing in documentary and storytelling.

He began his career after in 1981, after studying Architecture at the São Paulo University. Marcelo along with former college classmate Fernando Meirelles formed the production company Olhar Eletrônico. The company was a pioneer of experimental video production in Brazil. Their award-winning videos such as “Marly Normal”, co-directed by Fernando Meirelles, and “Do Outro Lado da Sua Casa” put Olhar Eletrônico on the proverbial electronic broadcast map.

Marcelo left the company to work as the Programming Director of TV Gazeta. He later became Head of Production of public channel TV Cultura, and then helped launch MTV Brasil in1991. In the early 90’s, he changed the television industry for advertising when took over the Radio and Television Department of the advertising agency, DPZ. There, he produced domestic and international advertising campaigns. At DPZ he directed his firsts commercials and two documentaries (“No Limits” and “Around The World”) about a million-dollar cigarettes campaign showed at HBO Brasil.

Machado left the agency in 2000 to direct commercials and long form projects. His resume includes a TV series “Música Brasileira” and the documentary “Drum In Braz” for MTV Brazil. He has also directed the “Cláudio Zoli in Concert” project and in 2003 he received the Best Electronic Music Video Award (MTV Brasil prize for “Samba Sim”).

He then spent two years creating and co-directing the feature documentary “Ginga” an O2Films and Nike Entertainment co-production. Later he directed the documentaries “The Pure Spirit of Brazil” for O2 Films and executive producer Fernando Mereilles, then “Trip to Anhui” about a personal journey in China for Bossa Nova Films.

In 2008, he helmed the documentary “Oscar Niemeyer, an Invention Master” for Abril Cultural. And in 2009 he directed the special “Piano, a 300 History” for SESV TV.

For the past 18 months he has been hard at work on the feature documentary “Tropicália” a Bossa Nova and Revolution Films co-production to be launched in 2011.

He lives in Sao Paulo with his wife and family.

Marcelo Gonzaga

Evangelist

Marcelo Gonzaga is an experienced Brazilian UX designer, branding consultant and speaker based in Belo Horizonte. Works as head of business and digital intelligence at Agência Surf, a small high creative digital branding agency.

He is passionate for ideas, people, interactive design, user experience, social, video, animation, music and experimental technologies.

Merilee Newman

Producer

Merilee is a producer with vast and varied experience including projects for HBO, French television, and countless commercials filmed in the United States and around the world. Her commercial clients include LG, Miller, Dodge, DIRECTV, Sears, Circuit City, and many more. She recently organized and produced the most financially successful annual fundraiser for the Feminist Majority Foundation, The Global Women’s Rights Awards Gala, hosted by Mavis and Jay Leno.

Merilee was educated at SUNY Stoneybrook and the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania. After finishing her graduate education she worked for many years in New York City and Los Angeles before before making Los Angeles her home.

Her interest in Brazilian music dates back to her memories of growing up listening to her parents Bossa Nova record collection as a child in the small town of Liberty in upstate New York.

John Hilton

Co-Director

John is a TV commercial director who began his career in 1990. He is adept at dialogue, storytelling and comedy though his greatest strength is as a problem solver. Hilton’s work as “dialogue-intensive, quirky comedy” but his wit also has a strong visual component especially his collaborations in the special effects and graphics arenas.

Hilton has been singled out by many of the nations largest advertising agencies to helm the creative and logistical process of directing television commercials for a variety of their most distinguished clients including Disney, AT&T, Pioneer, Directv, T-Mobile, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Calloway Golf, Qwest, SC Johnson Co., Best Buy, Microsoft and many more.

His directorial responsibilities require driving a creative vision through all aspects of production including hands-on involvement with writing, casting, art-direction, shot design/cinematography, directing on-camera talent, editorial and final sound score.

Most recently, John directed and co-produced the nationally released ‘Get Coached’ DVD series featuring football greats Mike Ditka, Sean Payton, Rex Ryan, Mike Singletary and Bobby Bowden. Over the years his filmmaking accomplishments in both the commercial and philanthropic arenas have been recognized with a number of production industry awards.

Hilton was born in Seattle, a city he calls “the coffee/heroin/alternative music capital of Western Civilization,” and where as a youngster his visual and comedic personas were formed “by watching countless hours of Dark Shadows, Speed Racer and Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp.” After college, he embarked on a career as a stockbroker, an experience he credits with having a profound effect on his “twisted” perception of life. After four years, he abruptly quit his Wall Street job to pursue work as a filmmaker.

His first effort was “A Trip to the Movies”, a theatrical short which was purchased by Silver Screen Entertainment and won honorable mentions at the USA, Seattle and Mill Valley film festivals.

He lives in Seattle with his wife Annie and their daughter.

Russell Slater

Consultant

The UK -based Russell Slater is a journalist specializing in writing about music from South America, and especially from Brazil. He has written for a number of publications in the UK including The Wire, fRoots and Drowned In Sound, and has his own column in Time Out Sao Paulo, called Sounds of the Underground, in which he highlights new music coming out of Sao Paulo. In addition he has set-up the hugely successful website Sounds and Colours which helps to promote music from South America, and also works for JungleDrums, a platform to promote Latin American music and culture in the UK. Through all of these capacities he has become a prominent champion of new music from Latin America, as well as someone with a vast knowledge of music from the region.

He attended Nottingham Trent University in the UK before spending time at Confetti School of Recording Technology to understand the basics of music production.

His interest in Brazilian dates back to his discovery of tropicália many years ago. After later hearing artists such as Os Novos Bainos, Baden Powell and Nana Vasconcelos he realised that music from Brazil is very possibly the richest and most diverse music of any country in the world and that the only way he would be able to find this out for certain would be to immerse himself in it – a journey which he is currently part way through.

Russell is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and splits his time between England and South America, where he is always on the lookout for new music.

Miki Kuretani

Co-Director

Graduated Meiji Women’s College, Tokyo. After working for a major record company, she moved to U.S. to study photography. While there, she wrote articles for entertainment magazines. That led her to film Industry where she worked as a freelance prod. coordinator / producer, and later she became a staff Producer for a LA-based production company. She worked on many shoots with numerous celebrities, automobiles, fashion models in North & South America.

After she returned to her hometown Tokyo, she produced TV spots for major brands like Pepsi, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Sony etc. She also spent considerable time working in music industry again, as both licensing director for dance compilation “Trance Anthem 1-3” (Transmission). Presently she resides Tokyo where she utilizes much of her experience and expertise in serving feature film productions , commercial productions and advertisement campaign through her company IFD Ltd. Throughout her filming experience, she has shot moving images in many parts of the world working with crews from each continent. Recenty she completed the feature length documentary, “Futebol Brasileiro”

#we love brazilian music

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