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HomeCraftsAnimationBig Block Signs Alex Topaller and Dan Shapiro

Big Block Signs Alex Topaller and Dan Shapiro


Alex Topaller (left) and Dan Shapiro

Digital production and visual effects studio Big Block has signed an exclusive deal with Alex Topaller and Dan Shapiro, the directorial and design duo known as Aggressive. Aggressive will be represented under the Big Block banner for direction and design for commercials, advertising and broadcast design.

Big Block and Aggressive have already delivered their first collaboration on branded content for a major international client, which was just revealed at the Oracle OpenWorld technology conference in San Francisco.

The East Coast-based Aggressive, winners of the 2008 Latin Grammy Award for Best Music Video for Juanes “Me Enamora,” will be a creative complement to Big Block’s focus on digital production for commercials, feature films and television. Shapiro, the son of Hungarian emigres, and Moscow-born Topaller, who has lived in Israel and Belgium, bring an international sensibility and entrepreneurial drive to the new venture.

The up-and-coming pair created Aggressive five years ago, building on their talent for motion graphics and typography with compositing, visual effects and ultimately live action direction for music videos for some of the world’s best-known artists. In addition to the Grammy-winning video for Juanes, Aggressive has directed and created visual effects for videos for Stone Temple Pilots, Megadeth, Bloc Party and Kerli (“Walking on Air,” nominated in 2008 for Best Pop Video, MTV VMA Award), as well as an as-yet-unreleased video for Michael Jackson‘s “Behind the Mask.”

Aggressive has also designed and directed graphics and visual effects-driven broadcast and web commercials for P&G Anna Sui Cosmetics “Rose,” Penfolds “(RED),” Marc Ecko “Ecko Unltd.,” Toyota “GST,” Topps Attax “Got Mine,” and “Virtual Fashion Show” and created visual effects for Adidas “A3.”

Topaller and Shapiro said, “Until now, we’ve been completely autonomous and personally involved in every single aspect of our projects. Now we’re ready to take on bigger challenges in the commercial space and to expand our creative possibilities. We are very excited to be collaborating with Big Block and their wealth of resources. This is the work we’ve been hoping to do.”

Kenny Solomon, managing director at Big Block, said, “Aggressive adds a forward facing persona to the Big Block creative team. Alex and Dan’s fearless work in concept and design, motion graphics, CG integration and live action direction adds a unique, cutting edge approach to our visuals. Our vision is to offer a complete creative solution to our clients from concept to creation and delivery on any platform.”

Big Block is housed in the newly renovated Art Deco Ilona Building on Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Santa Monica.

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