Production Company Highlight: FUELD

Sep 8, 2015

Jake Kovnat, one of Fueld Film’s nine new directors, and DP David Wilson shot a few spots for the Weber Q Portable Gas Grill earlier this year.

Fueld Films is an Austin-based film production company that’s been making creative content since 2001. With additional offices in Denver and Salt Lake City as well as a network that extends nation-wide, Fueld produces films, commercials, and branded content from coast to coast. Some of their clients include Shiner, BandAid, Progressive, McDonalds, GE, Weber, Huggies, and Heinz, to name a few. Fueld has recently added nine new directorial talent to their roster, each one bringing with him or herself a different point of view and skillset.

Director David Quinn is a Toronto-based filmmaker who has created content for United Way, Paralympics, and Park University. He was the Cannes 2014 Young Director of the Year for North America, and he recently directed a National University spot for Fueld.  Annie Gunn is an Austin-based director with an eye for children’s content and magical realism. She has directed commercials for Telus and Shaw, as well as music videos including 2012’s critically acclaimed “Postcard from 1952” for post-rock band Explosions in the Sky. She works as part of the shooting/directing duo Peter & Annie, with her partner, DP Peter Simonite.

Jake Kovnat is a Toronto-based filmmaker who has created viral videos for Tetley Tea and WestJet. Fueld recently brought him down to Austin to direct a campaign for the Weber Q portable gas grill (see photos above).  Anthony Garth is a Detroit and New York City- based director known for his work with auto companies like Chevy, Ford, and Lincoln, and Jeep. He worked with Fueld on their recent commercial for ERA (Electronic Realty Associates).  Nate Balli is a Salt Lake City-based director whose spirit of adventure has helped him shoot commercials for NorthFace, Range Rover, ESPN, and National Geographic. He was the winner of the Mountain Dew 2014-2015 commercial competition, and he won the grand prize at Canon’s Project Imagination Film Festival in 2013. He recently teamed up with Fueld to shoot some spots for Yeti Coolers.

Doug Chamberlain is an LA-based Director and DP who holds an MFA from the American Film Institute and has directed spots for Verizon, Kellogg, and the Arizona Department of Health. LA-based Nicolas Iyer’s eye for absurdist comedy has garnered him big clients like Snickers, Sprite, Big Red, and ACE, and his spot for Aspercreme made him a Cannes Young Guns finalist.

Cleveland-based director Kevin Kerwin’s ability to help people open up on camera makes him a top choice for spots with a docu-style approach. He has won the Milos Forman Screenwriting Award, the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Award, the Austin Film Festival’s Best Comedy Screenplay, and he was featured in The New York Times and in Shoot Magazine’s 2009 New Director Showcase. LA-based Matt Fackrell is a comedic director who has worked with Nintendo, Ohio Lottery, AZ Lottery, American Greetings, and Stride Gum. He has also written, directed, and edited the popular children’s series Yo Gabba Gabba.

Fueld’s Executive Producers Summer Finley Kelly and Brady Anderton are psyched to have put together such a talented team:

We heard you recently signed with a bunch of new directors! Tell us a little bit about the new team! How did you go about finding them?

BRADY: Finding a new director is like finding a four-leaf clover…in winter…in Australia. Or somewhere else that you wouldn’t think had a lot of clover. It takes perseverance and patience. The new Fueld Films directing roster is the culmination of years of hard work. Some directors were people we’d collaborated with over the years on a freelance basis. Others came as recommendations from creatives we trust. Some were the result of watching reels…literally hundreds and hundreds of reels…and then reaching out for a meeting.

The key for us, the secret ingredient in our special sauce, is in finding people who represent that rare overlap of talent and a collaborative outlook. We weeded out directors who had amazing reels but weren’t fun to work with, and we similarly passed on friendly directors with a mediocre body of work. Then we were left with a shining few who were talented on set, and worth sharing a beer with after we wrapped. And those are the people we signed. Keep your eyes peeled…we’ll have some additional announcements in this arena in the next few months!

What have you been working on these days? What’s next for you?

BRADY: Commercially, Fueld continues to make great work all over the country. The new roster has really broadened our reach and our clients couldn’t be happier. We’ve got some great new work we’ll be rolling out over the next month for Yeti, Utah Transit Authority, and University of Colorado Health, among others. We are also launching a new Branded Content division to address the varied and growing need for a multi-platform campaign shot on the quick without looking cheap. We’ll be adding that service to our new website as soon as we get a break from actually making the work!

SUMMER: In January of this year we also soft-launched our feature film division, and since then we’ve been in development on 8 different feature films shooting around the country and in the UK. We just finished principle photography on our first feature and couldn’t be more thrilled. Things are pretty exciting around here! So far, Fueld Features is kicking ass! (Can I say that?)

How far back does your relationship with MPS extend? What was the first project you came to us for?

SUMMER: When I started working as a coordinator back at the turn of the millennium, I was clueless about equipment, and was terrified of making a mistake. Brothers/Owners Brad and Mark Beasley, along with Gill and Laurie in the office, took me under their wings and taught me all I ever wanted and needed to know about cameras, lighting, grip, invoicing, budgeting, etc. They have always been family to me, and had patience with me when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I owe a huge part of my success to their kindness and knowledge. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without people like them on my path.

I also have to add that when Meredith and Marc came on to the team a few years later they were dream partners from the beginning. We work together on finding solutions for our clients that fit within the constraints of time and money. So much so, I’d say I don’t really even consider them a vendor. I think of them more like an extension of our Fueld production team.