Transatlantic Talent and Production Firm 42 Acquires Commercials Outfit OB (EXCLUSIVE) Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

Los Angeles and London-based management and production company 42 has acquired OB Management, an integrated director management and production firm for commercials and music videos.

OB founder Otis Bell will continue to lead the company along with COO Frida Nilsson. The company will be rebranded as “OB/42” and will continue to operate as a separate entity within the 42 Group. 42 owners Mark Allen, Josh Varney and Ben Pugh will sit on the board of OB/42 going forward.

The acquisition includes Probation – which Bell co-founded with Matt Davey in 2011 – a photo agency representing top photographers working in advertising, music and entertainment, along with OB Management. She sits. It will also include OB’s US office, OBSIDIAN/Reprobates, headed by EP Anna Heinrich, which will be strengthened and rebranded as OB/42 as a global identity.

The deal continues 42’s ongoing expansion, which includes the recent hire of former Netflix and Tiger Aspect Productions executive Ben Keavey (“Bad Education,” “Benidorm”) as head of comedy and entertainment. Including managers and producers joining a growing US-based footprint of 42. . The partnership will allow OB Management to establish a strong foothold in the US and allow both companies to collaborate on talent development.

Formed in 2013, 42 is run by six partners: producers Rory Aitken and Pugh, and managers Kate Buckley, Cathy King, Simon Beresford and Verney. The company recently produced “The Silent Twins,” starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence, which premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. The company’s recent productions for Netflix include its multi-year first-look development, financing and production deal with “End of the Road,” starring Queen Latifah and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. “The Weekend Away”, starring Leighton Meester. “Night Teeth” starring George Lindbergh Jr. and Debbie Ryan. and “Outside the Wire,” starring Anthony Mackie, which has a sequel in development.

Varney, co-founder and 42-year-old managing partner, said: “We’ve admired Otis, his team, and the incredible roster he’s assembled for some time now – he’s brought together an array of iconic musicians and global brands. has created content for the series for nearly two decades. The deal marks 42’s commitment to cementing its position as a home for creativity and talent that shapes and influences culture. Happens – There are synergies with OB management and new business avenues we can partner on to leverage both our existing expertise and commitment to talent. Growth We are very excited about the future of this partnership. .

Bell added: “It’s always been our desire to offer representation to creators and directors in all areas of storytelling. Having known the partners of 42 years for many years, our initial conversations have It was clear that partnering with them would be the most effective and reliable way to enhance our offering.

“We bring a wealth of experience in short-form talent and production, making the consolidation of OB and 42 a significant expansion of talent representation for both companies,” Bell continued. “The team at 42 is not only incredibly smart and entrepreneurial, but they also share the same values, work ethic and passion for nurturing talent across all mediums of storytelling. We at 42 are proud of our friends. And are excited to further develop the company together with the partners.

Bell also noted that the business is seeing “unprecedented” demand from agencies and brands to produce content in “every visual storytelling format,” including stills, animation, traditional ads, short-form, long-form. And interactive.

“Our combined talent pool and production departments position us well to create impactful stories through mobile algorithms to theater aisle seats and wherever advertising takes us,” Bell said.

Originally conceived to represent talent in emerging production companies and music videos, OB expanded into talent management for directors and photographers in both music and commercials, simultaneously overseeing the head of production in their own departments. Created a comprehensive production department to support a comprehensive slate of projects. and executive producer Sam Holmes.

In music videos, OB has worked with artists including Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z, Billy Eilish, Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Little Simz, Bonobo, Arlo Parks, Michael Kiwanuka and Radiohead. In advertising, the company has worked with youth culture and lifestyle brands such as Pepsi, Adidas, TikTok, Just Eat, Ballantine’s, Walkers, Starbucks, Samsung, Facebook, Bumble and Apple.

In its first foray into long-form projects, OB funded and produced the short film “Three Meetings of the Extraordinary Committee”, which was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2022 BAFTAs.

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