LOS ANGELES — Namesake (www.namesakecontent.com), a production company with roots in Utah, has launched a Los Angeles division. The studio opened in 2018, though its origins go back more than a decade, when founders Julian Acosta and Cole Webley met in film school in Salt Lake City. They starting out shooting local projects together, and as their respective careers grew over the years, they came to nurture a collective of directors.
“Unlike other models, our owners are rostered elsewhere — Julian at RSA Films, and Cole at Sanctuary,” explains executive producer Tori Palmatier (pictured), who is leading the charge to make LA the company’s main presence. “The birth of Namesake, and Julian and Cole’s consistent involvement, is based solely on developing and fostering talent for the new production age. They are our mentors, our guides and the heads of the Namesake family.”
Namesake has been a home for up-and-coming storytellers. Its body of work features humanity-driven narratives and cinematic aesthetics. And because the company is already used to working-remotely as a collective spread across the US, their team is equipped for remote production of any kind, including setups that support remote camera monitor sharing.
A recently completed American Express campaign for Mcgarrybowen NY showcases Namesake’s nimbleness and invention. Ashkan Memarian served as director and creative director, and was physically present at the three-day main unit shoot in Utah, where Namesake has established relationships with experienced crews and vendors. Meanwhile, Namesake-affiliated directors spread out across the US handled the second unit shoots and still photography from their respective cities: Abigail Enright in Austin, Christian Schultz in New Orleans and Amandla Baraka in New York. The four-unit production across went from the bidding stage to final delivery in just three weeks.
As was the case with the AmEx campaign, many of Namesake’s shoots are comprised of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ identifying creators. Empowering under-represented crew and creatives is a vital component of the Namesake DNA.
“We created Namesake to be a nest for filmmakers hell-bent on delivering the goods, no matter the challenge,” explains Webley. “And the way that Namesake has been built, with our nimbleness and ability to have low overhead and a small, tight crew, is oddly perfect for today’s circumstances.”
“And as we continue to carve out a name for Namesake in LA, Utah and beyond, by the threads of who we are, we are based anywhere we need to be,” Acosta adds.