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With an extensive background in design, visual effects and live action, Mebes seeks to create ‘magical realism’ in the projects he directs.
Eight VFX, the New York and Los Angeles-based visual effects, design and production studio, has named Jens Mebes to the position of Creative Director for its New York office. The announcement was made by Abbe Daniel, the New York-based Executive Producer for Eight VFX (www.eightvfx.com), and by the company’s partners, Creative Director Jean-Marc Demmer and Managing Director Baptiste Andrieux.
Mebes joins the office just a few months after Daniel was named to be its new Executive Producer. The pair had previously worked together at the New York office of Digital Kitchen. In addition, Mebes has held Creative Director posts at Psyop and MassMarket, as well as at the New York office of MPC and later at Imaginary Forces.
A graduate of the Art Center College of Design, Mebes has created highly-visible brand experiences, won numerous awards and worked with clients such as Under Armour, Audi, Nintendo, Hyundai, Jim Beam, Dolby, Nike and Samsung. He’s also created promotion and identity packages for such networks as ABC, CBS Sports, CNN, HBO and TCM, and has worked directly with such brands as Exxon Mobile and Ford.
“We were looking for a talent experienced in design as well as VFX, and invited Jens to be our New York-based Creative Director based on his work, his insights and his experience partnering with brands,” says Daniel. “In addition, Jens will be directing projects for us at Eight, and in fact has just wrapped his first job, for Heineken out of digital agency Red Urban, a division of DDB.”
The Heineken project, which comprised three :15 spots, was handled start to finish at Eight VFX, including tabletop live action and liquids as well as design, editorial, CG, finishing and music/sound design. Mebes has led several other projects for Eight, including a campaign for UXIN, the Asian car-trading platform, produced by Superprime and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, for which Eight did design, animation, editorial, color grading and finishing.
Mebes says he was attracted to Eight VFX for several reasons. “I’ve been working as a Director, Creative Director and Designer, with a background in graphic design, animation and live action direction, for the last 16 years,” he remarks. “My focus in recent years has been on creating work that aims for what I call a magical realism achieved through an organic fusion of live action, VFX and design. Eight VFX felt like a great fit for me to continue to pursue this goal, not only because of my prior working relationship with Abbe, but also because of their boutique-like attitude and vision in bringing visual stories to life through polished, high end VFX.”
Born in Germany, Mebes was trained in London, Paris and Los Angeles as an art historian, artist and designer – all disciplines he’s combined in his role as a filmmaker and creative director. His work frequently draws on a blending of media and techniques, from live action to design-infused VFX, graphic design, illustration and typography.
In addition to his studies at Art Center, Mebes also studied at the Parsons School of Design in Paris. His work has been recognized by the Typography Annual and the Promax Gold Awards, and he’s the recipient of design awards from the Broadcast Designers Association and the Institute of Graphic Arts. In addition, he’s been the subject of feature articles in such prestigious design journals as Graphis, Communication Arts and Applied Arts Magazine.
"I enjoy the challenge of solving brand communication problems, and I like to draw my audience into brand experiences that are engaging, whether it’s a commercial, a VR experience, an experiential design-driven project or a broadcast identity system,” he says. “That Eight VFX is active in all these disciplines means I’ll have ample opportunity to help create more magical realism for our clients, across the board.”
Eight handles a wide range of assignments, including commercials for brands like Target, Pandora, Puma, Ram Trucks, New York Lottery, Call of Duty, Honda, Perrier and many others. The studio has worked on numerous features, which are handled by both its New York and L.A. offices. Among its recent and notable projects are all the VFX shots for “I, Tonya,” vfx work on the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things 2” and “The Orville,” the sci-fi comedy from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. Other recent credits include “Beasts of No Nation,” “Mother”, “Million Dollar Arm” & “Knight & Day”.