Theatrical Ad Agency Wild Card Thrives in Creative, Laid-Back Workspace

When Nick Temple and his Wild Card Creative Advertising team moved into their current modernist offices in Culver City, the idea was to give his 40 or so employees ample room to roam, and not feel constricted by conventional corporate confines. And with a generous 20,000 square feet, 28-foot-high ceilings and plenty of common areas, the place feels like a cross between an ultra-spacious loft and a fantasy man-cave.

It’s quite a dramatic departure from the company’s original 3,000-square-foot headquarters in Hollywood. Wild Card — which fashions theatrical motion picture campaigns, on-air promos, interactive game advertising and entertainment-related marketing materials — may create content at a boiler-room pace, with a heavy workload and multiple deadlines, but its new state-of-the-art production compound feels anything but industrial.

Work spaces and common areas flow into each other in a way that feels communal, not segregated. Accents like surf boards, electric guitars and movie posters provide eye candy and inspiration. A vintage Bell and Howell 8mm camera and Underwood typewriter are among the tchochkes that adorn one lounge nook. A cowhide rug lays splayed beneath a lunch table. Oversized couches and lounge chairs from well-known local vendors like Environment and HD Buttercup, as well as catalog franchises like West Elm and Restoration Hardware, add to the homey, relaxed vibe.

The halls, with their polished concrete floors, are wide and long enough that skate-boarding would not seem out of place (a blown-up photograph from the film “Dogtown and Z-Boys” in Temple’s office reinforces the notion). Those concrete floors also help keep the temperature down, so that the 20 or so edit bays and countless computers throughout the building don’t overheat.

Wild Card’s central corridor is accented by a futurist mural by Los Angeles-based artist Augustine Kofie. Black mesh Moooi Random Lights that hang from the rafters add to the post-industrial vibe. And indoor plants suck up the ample natural light throughout the building.

(Nick Temple, who founded Wild Card in 2007, wanted his Culver City headquarters to be open, and not compartmentalized.)

A screening room that could easily have accommodated more bodies instead seats 20 comfortably. “The designers said, ‘We can fit 25,’ ” Temple says. “I thought that’s the difference between economy and first-class, so I said, ‘Let’s at least do business class.’ ”

When not toiling away cutting trailers for such films as the “X-Men” franchise, “Avatar,” the most recent version of “The Great Gatsby” and the rebooted “Planet of the Apes,” Wild Card employees can retreat to the game room, or a sprawling kitchen with long tables and bar stools, and even mark their turf on a large chalkboard that adorns one wall.

Not everything is designed for practicality. A space adjacent to the game room is airy and cavernous enough to stage a concert, or at least a mini rave. “We haven’t addressed this area,” Temple says, “but what we’ll do is summer sessions with bands coming in.”

The building is nestled in Culver City’s Hayden Tract, a former industrial area that’s been reimagined with the help of Eric Owen Moss Architects into the Conjunctive Points project. The compound, originally built in the 1940s, is largely populated by such creative agencies as Oglivy and Anonymous Content.

It’s a kind of industrial park for visionaries, and Wild Card’s facade, courtesy of EOM, is marked by a twisted jumble of metal tubing, curved glass and staircases to nowhere — kind of like M.C. Escher filtered through H.R. Giger.

EOM originally redesigned the building as a performance and recording venue for an experimental performance series called the Green Umbrella, which had been produced by the L.A. Philharmonic when plans to build the Disney Concert Hall had stalled.

Leigh Herzig conceptualized Temple’s edit bay/office, known as the War Room, and Edel Legaspi of Christopher David Associates oversaw Wild Card’s interior design upon its expansion from 7,500 square feet when Temple and company first moved into the building in 2007.

Today, those surf boards and guitars look awfully inviting. Who says showing up at the office has to be a drag?

(Wild Card’s kitchen encourages staffers to express themselves)

(Eclectic furnishings, copious natural light, and work and lounge spaces that freely flow into each other are among the features that distinguish Wild Card’s Culver City digs.)

(Photos by James Wong)

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