Block & Tackle Dorian Carli-Jones, Mike Russo, Alex Winakor, Katelyn Costello | STASH MAGAZINE

NYC Studio Block & Tackle Keeps Growing

From the release:

NEW YORK – (June 18, 2019) – Partners and Creative Directors Adam Gault and Ted Kotsaftis of NYC-based creative studio Block & Tackle are pleased to announce several key appointments to their growing team. The new additions include Producer Dorian Carli-Jones, Designer/Animators Mike Russo and Alex Winakor, and Intern Katelyn Costello.

“As our clients seek more interesting ways to stand out, we always have to deliver for them in unexpected ways,” Adam began. “Technical proficiency and impeccable design are essential, but not enough. Our core strength is in our conceptual thinking, and new talent in the studio brings new ideas. It keeps us fresh.”

“As BLOCK & TACKLE continues to grow and evolve, Adam and I are more dedicated than ever to fostering an environment where collaboration is encouraged and creativity flourishes,” Ted added. “We encourage our team and our clients to be forward-thinking and willing to take risks.”

A veteran of countless film and television productions, Dorian was most recently a producer for Brand New School, where he rose through the ranks and produced commercial and branded content projects for many high-profile brands, including Google, JetBlue and Procter & Gamble. He has written, directed and/or produced many narrative and documentary short films which have screened at prominent film festivals around the world. Dorian earned his BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

“I was attracted to BLOCK & TACKLE’s boutique outlook, where the staff is treated as one big family,” he explained, “as well as its calm and professional work environment, where happy employees lead to quality work.”

Designer/Animator Mike joins B&T from Forbes, where he spent two years leading design and animation for all of the brand’s video content, ultimately earning a New York Emmy Award for the Forbes “30 Under 30” documentary series. That post followed a stint as Animator/Designer for Thrillist, where his assignments included pioneering the brand’s Snapchat channel. Mike graduated from Full Sail University with a BS in Digital Media and Design.

“In life, I believe you eventually reach a point where you have to pick between two paths… one of which truly scares you, challenging every ounce of your energy to learn things outside your comfort zone,” Mike said. “That’s the path I’ve chosen to take with the amazing team at Block & Tackle. Here’s to the next chapter.”

Designer/Animator Alex was a junior at Boston’s Emmanuel College last year when he applied as B&T’s summer intern. Based on his energy and resourcefulness – and his strong skills in photography, cartooning and filmmaking – he got the gig, and proceeded to make himself indispensable. Completing his BFA in Design and Animation this spring, B&T is thrilled to welcome him full-time.

“What I enjoy most about Block & Tackle is that I am never forced to pigeonhole myself as a creator,” he said. “The studio has an all-hands-on-deck mentality, so my role across projects is usually pretty fluid.”

Last but not least, Intern Katelyn is a “class of 2020” student animation filmmaker at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). Along with several MassArt screenings, her original short films have appeared in prominent regional film festivals over the past two years. Her latest film entitled “Francis” is an official selection of the 2019 Boston Short Film Festival, running July 8-12.

“I was really drawn to how Block & Tackle handles design and animation in a way that brings each medium to the next level,” she said. “One enhances the other in such a unique, engaging way that always keeps viewers on their toes.”

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