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Hires, Wins & Business

Production Studio NB Content Launches in US

Melbourne-based studio names former agency production head Mark Sitley MD for North America

Production Studio NB Content Launches in US

NB Content, an Australian based integrated production studio with broad experience working directly for major global marketers as well as ad agencies, has launched in the US with the opening of offices in New York and Los Angeles.  As part of the company’s ambitious plans to export its lean and cost-effective production model to the States, it has named Mark Sitley to the new post of Managing Director for North America.

Sitley is an accomplished agency production executive who’s held Director of Production roles at such agencies as Euro RSCG (now Havas) in New York (where he was also an Executive Creative Director), Fallon Worldwide in Minneapolis and Chiat/Day in New York. During his career he’s led production on such brands as Volvo and many others, and was Executive Producer on the groundbreaking BMW Films series, still considered a paradigm-shifting branded entertainment achievement.

In his new role, Sitley is partnering with NB Content Co-Founders Tom Marks, Scott Pioro, Dave Schmidt, Elise Trenorden and Mark Bradley. Their goal is to introduce the NB Content model to brands and agencies in both the US and Canada.  Beyond its capabilities in producing traditional ad content such as commercials, the studio also works in the areas of live event production, film, programming and music.

Partnering with Futurist John Blackford, NB Content is also an innovator in the use of robotic and computer-controlled image capture systems, which are used to create digital assets for brands that can be easily repurposed across media platforms and genres.

Originally named NiceBike when the company was established in Melbourne in 2009, its new identity references the Latin expression “nota bene,” meaning “pay attention” or literally, “note well.”  With this new hire and move into the North American market, this is exactly what the NB team is aiming to make brands and agencies do.

“It’s been my great fortune to work with exceptionally sharp ECDs, CMOs and CEOs, for whom I would help refine concepts, create alliances with suppliers and, of course, take responsibility for everything produced that goes out the door, says Sitley about his new post. “Nothing could be more exciting than bringing the NB Content offering to those people now.”

NB Content describes itself as a “client-focused entity” that has created content for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (particularly Jeep), Visa, and Nike, among others. Its founding members have produced documentaries (their “Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea” is a look at asylum-seekers trying to enter Australia) and have also ventured into narrative film with the upcoming “Sugar Mountain,” starring Jason Mamoa and Cary Elwes (best known for “The Princess Bride” and “Glory”). Many of its partners are members in goodbyemotel, a band known for its “4D Live Music Experience,” which launched at SXSW this year.

The company has re-engineered and re-defined the relationship between the production company, the agency and the client, assembling integrated teams of directors, producers, DPs, sound designers, music producers and colorists. Together they work collaboratively and efficiently on client briefs, pushing the boundaries of creativity and capability regardless of media platform or usage.

“We’re delighted to have someone with Mark’s credentials and experience leading our efforts to launch NB Content in North America,” says Marks. “He understands how the content production model for both marketers and agencies is evolving, and is well-positioned to offer our unique set of integrated capabilities as highly creative and efficient problem solvers to clients across the board.”

Sitley joins NB Content after running his own branded content shop, Beyond Belief (a joint venture with Believe Media) and producing for such clients as Chevrolet (Commonwealth), Land Rover (Tag Worldwide) and Lord & Taylor (Nerve Group). He also produced a series of online programs for Fast Company in association with brands like Cartier and others. On the agency side, his work has been recognized with multiple Cannes Lions, an Emmy and numerous other honors. Indeed, BMW Films won the first-ever Titanium Grand Prix in Cannes. 

Citing NB Content’s definition of itself as an ‘idea factory,’ the company’s multi-faceted offerings are strategically moving in the development of robotics and new technologies.  Sitley notes, “Creating the next ‘next’ is required in order to be effective and stay relevant for our clients’ brands. And these guys have the goods.”

The company is set to move into a new space in Brooklyn in association with the digital/print production company Sandbox Studio, which also has locations in Manhattan, Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  NB Content is also bolstering its West Coast film and programming arm under the guidance of Executive Producer and Director Richard Gray, who helmed “Sugar Mountain.”