CHICAGO — Creative director Linas Jodwalis has opened Almost Gold (http://almostgold.com), a new design-driven production studio that includes the talents of director Matthew Egan and executive producer Tom Leonard. The Chicago studio is positioning itself to provide concept-to-completion creativity for the advertising and entertainment industries.
"Almost Gold is a cohesive model by design and because of design," explains founder/CD Jodwalis. "We codified this approach because it benefits client relationships with continuity and trust, and allows us to efficiently produce thoughtful and vibrant work."
"We love working on the integrity of the idea, using creative intuition and respect for brand voice to develop the most captivating and effective results," adds director Egan. "With Almost Gold we have built an environment where ideas and opportunity can thrive, and we are excited to share that with clients."
Jodwalis, Leonard & Egan
Jodwalis’ vision can be traced back to his start in the explosive growth of the design centric production and VFX in Los Angeles. An inaugural team member of Motion Theory, he was integral to commercial and music video shoots for HP, Reebok, Beck, SyFy Channel and Velvet Revolver, among others. Returning to Chicago to be director of 3D at Digital Kitchen, Jodwalis expanded his leadership role with projects for Coke, Target, PBS, and McDonald's. It was at Digital Kitchen that he first worked with Egan, developing the creative shorthand that would be central to their future collaborations and ultimately lead to the development of Almost Gold.
Egan has an unabashed passion for the visual arts and conceptual storytelling. His strengths lie in distilling concept, design, and story down to their most authentic elements; creating small windows into larger stories. With a background in visual art and a life-long infatuation with all things film, Egan honed his craft in the trenches of experience, starting as an editor and expanding into directing. To date, he has directed projects for Target, Jim Beam, Kellogg's, Nintendo, POM Wonderful, and writer/executive producer Derek Haas.
Strategy and business acumen is the domain of Tom Leonard, who is Almost Gold's executive producer.
"Tom an outstanding, idea-driven producer who naturally unites client needs and artistic vision with his vast experience," says Jodwalis. "He's the perfect business backbone for the company."
"He has a wonderful dynamic with people," adds Matt. "He has the ability to make everyone happier while ushering projects along smoothly. It's a rare talent."
During his successful and multifaceted career in the advertising and entertainment industries, Leonard has served as producer, executive producer, and director of business development. He brings to Almost Gold a combination of expertise in strategy, branding and PR, with an equal fluency in production, design, VFX, and editorial. His career includes time with NBC, Rhythm & Hues, Pittard Sullivan, PDI/ DreamWorks, Digital Kitchen, Butler, Shine & Stern, Goodby, and Imaginary Forces.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity," comments Leonard. "Linas, Matt, and I had a great working relationship at Digital Kitchen, and I'm elated to be able to help them launch and build Almost Gold. They are exceptional creatives. Both bring key, symbiotic creative strengths to the process, which is why they work so well together. I think with my experience, and the A level resources we have at our disposal, we're going to be an invaluable partner to agencies and brands when it comes to producing highly creative content."
Almost Gold's studio is located in the Hubbard Street Artists Lofts in the West Town/Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago.