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Students create professional spots in collaboration with production companies

image of a video monitor showing an actor in costume as the easter bunny

Brandcenter students and faculty partnered with production companies—Hungry Man, Visual Kinship, and Brian Camp Pictures—and other industry veterans to create professionally-produced spots this spring.

The year-long project started last fall in a portfolio development class taught by Tom Scharpf (Art Direction, 1998). Student teams of second-year art direction and copywriting students wrote scripts for spec spots, choosing between a dozen different brands. They then pitched their scripts to a professional director and the three participating production companies who each selected a team to move on to production.

This unique opportunity to work in partnership with professionals gave our students practical experience in all aspects of production, from storyboarding to casting, filming, editing, audio and more. The “Nerds: Tied Spies” team traveled all the way to Seattle to work in an abandoned flour mill, while “Spotify: Easter Bunny” borrowed a VCU RamSafe bus for a day of filming, and “CBS March Madness: It’s Bracket Season” took over a professor’s living room. 

We are very thankful to those who partnered with Brandcenter to realize student work. In addition to the stellar production companies, we express gratitude to directors Megan Brotherton, Brian Camp, Devin Whetstone, and alum Micah Gendron (Art Direction, 2005)—plus producers integral to the process, Kerry Ayers from SuperJoy, John McAdorey from GSD&M, Danny Ryan from Arts & Letters Creative, and Scott Friske from CoStar Group, and all those who lent their talents to the process. Our students were incredibly lucky to work with and learn from these experienced pros. 

The work speaks for itself. Check out final spots and full credits below. 

This year was such a success that we plan to make this an annual project. Brandcenter will be looking for more production companies and directors to collaborate with on next year’s spots. If you might be interested, please reach out to [email protected] to get the conversation started.

Nerds: Tied Spies

  • Executive Producer: John McAdorey, GSD&M
  • Director: Megan Brotherton, Hungry Man
  • Brandcenter students: Miranda Arias (Art Direction, 2024), Shay Franzen
Click here to expand full team credits

→ John McAdorey, Executive Producer, GSD&M

→ Megan Brotherton, Director, Hungry Man

→ Buzzy Cancilla, Line Producer, Hungry Man

→ Caleb Dewart, Executive Producer, Hungry Man

→ Bebe Baldwin, Executive Producer, Cut and Run

→ Keith Munley, Producer, Cut and Run

→ Kevin Schlanser, Director of Photography, Hungry Man

→ Miranda Arias (Art Direction, 2024), Art Director/Writer, VCU Brandcenter

→ Shay Franzen, Copywriter, VCU Brandcenter

→ Tom Scharpf, Creative Director/Professor, VCU Brandcenter

→ Michelle Fondacaro, Asst. Producer, VCU Brandcenter

→ James Kracht, Editor, Cut and Run

→ Blaire Woodall, Producer – Audio/Finishing, BLK MKT Studios

→ Chris Erlon, Mix, Digital Domain

→ Nick Smith, Colorist/Conform, Finland Finish

→ Peter Nashel, Creative Director/Founder, duotone audio group

→ Ross Hopman, Executive Producer, duotone audio group

→ Gio Lobato, Senior Producer, duotone audio group

→ Dana Hom, Director, Music Licensing, duotone audio group

Spotify: Easter Bunny

  • Executive Producer: Kerry Ayers, SuperJoy
  • Producer: Danny Ryan, Arts & Letters Creative
  • Director: Devin Whetstone, Visual Kinship
  • Director: Micah Gendron (Art Direction, 2005), Visual Kinship
  • Brandcenter Students: Cat Clark (Art Direction, 2024), Celeste Chance (Copywriting, 2024)
Click here to expand full team credits

→ Danny Ryan, Producer, Arts & Letters

→ Devin Whetstone, Director, Visual Kinship

→ Micah Gendron, Director, Visual Kinship

→ Kerry Ayers, Executive Producer, SuperJoy

→ Brian Fox, Producer, SuperJoy

→ Danny Caporaletti, Producer

→ Alex Kent, Director of Photography

→ Cat Clark, Art Director, VCU Brandcenter

→ Celeste Chance, Copywriter, VCU Brandcenter

→ Tom Scharpf, Creative Director/Professor, VCU Brandcenter

→ Scott Witthaus, Editor, VCU Brandcenter

→ Carlos Chafin, Producer/Audio Engineer, In Your Ear Studios

→ Paul Wiederholt, Flame Artist, Super Joy

→ Roslyn Di Sisto, Colorist, Royal Muster

→ Thatcher Peterson, Executive Producer, Royal Muster

→ Diane Valera, Head of Production, Royal Muster

→ Emily Kundrot, Storyboard Artist, Arts & Letters

→ Tom Preston, In Your Ear

CBS March Madness: It’s Bracket Season

  • Executive Producer: Scott Friske, CoStar
  • Executive Producer: Kerry Ayers, SuperJoy
  • Director: Brian Camp, Brian Camp Pictures
  • Brandcenter Students: Raquel Fereshetian (Art Direction, 2024), Jenn Valerio (Copywriting, 2024)
Click here to expand full team credits

→ Scott Friske, Executive Producer, CoStar

→ Brian Camp, Director, Brian Camp Pictures

→ Brian Gregory, Editor, Superjoy

→ Kerry Ayers, Executive Producer, Superjoy

→ Brian Camp, Director of Photography, Brian Camp Pictures

→ Raquel Fereshetian, Art Director/Copywriter, VCU Brandcenter

→ Jenn Valerio, Art Director/Copywriter, VCU Brandcenter

→ Tom Scharpf, Creative Director/Professor, VCU Brandcenter

→ Jody Boyd, Owner/Engineer, Red Amp

→ Marna Bales, Executive Producer, Red Amp

→ Brian Camp, Colorist/Conform, Brian Camp Pictures