Cutting-edge talent rises in Underground

The Underground, a young L.A. production entity that boasts a stable of both live-action and animation talent, is becoming a creative warehouse, bringing award-winning filmmakers from around the world into the production of commercials, musicvideos and feature films.

The company, headed by founders Jeff Sachs and Andy Rosen and ad veteran Gary Streiner, recently entered into a partnership with Island Pictures to facilitate its long-range production plans.

According to Sachs, the idea behind the Underground is to place filmmaking talent from varied media into appropriate film and commercial projects.

The Underground, which enjoys a good relationship with Creative Artists Agency’s Jay Moloney, is working closely with CAA on a number of projects.

For example, award-winning filmmaker John Downer, whose BBC shows “Supersense” and “Lifesense” showcased ground-breaking techniques for filming animals, is about to direct a film, being put together by the Underground.

The Underground also brokered a deal for Downer to direct his first musicvideo — Peter Gabriel’s “Digg’n in the Dirt,” which received the 1993 Grammy Award for short musicvideo.

Other directors signed are Daniel Greaves and Nigel Pay, who received the 1992 Oscar for animated short for “Manipulation”; Robert Beebe, honored by the Academy for his experimental student film; Charlie Paul, known for his blend of stop-motion photography and paintmation; and Michael Geoghegan, whose musicvideo credits include Enya and Simply Red.

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