Mary Mathaisell and Alaina Goetz have joined collaborative design studio Bonfire Labs as head of production and creative director, respectively. Stepping into a new role, Mathaisell is working with the executive producer, producers and creative team to lead production for the digital studio. Goetz will draw on her heavy VFX, design and commercial background to help lead Bonfire’s design team and widen the studio’s range of design work.
“I’d worked with Jim Bartel and Jonathan Keeton before, so when they approached me to come to Bonfire, I was eager to take the position,” Mathaisell explained. “Everybody here is genuinely interested in finding the best way to do each project and answer the problem presented by the client. It’s a great team that has come together. Now we can work with clients to develop the story they want to tell and create compelling work, whether through animation or live action, editorial, interactive, VFX, design, etc.”
“Bonfire has a great reputation for their stream of work and I’d love to help continue that excellence,” said Goetz. “We are looking to expand into a lot of different fields not just design work, but interactive projects and events. For me, it’s all about the people. We are building something very new and creating it as we go with this team. It’s exciting to be on the ground floor as this evolution is happening.”
Mathaisell joins Bonfire from AKQA where she worked on digital campaigns for GAP and Target, managing every facet of the latter retailer’s 2011 holiday campaign – from mobile to e-commerce to social. Having worked in production for 15 years, Mathaisell helped produce award-winning campaigns, broadcast commercials and prototypes for the likes of Disney, Coca-Cola, Apple and VW. This extensive advertising experience equipped Mathaisell with a perspective that makes her particularly skilled at managing both agency and production company roles. At Bonfire, she will establish project protocol to ensure client satisfaction and the creation of great work. A graduate of SFAI film school, Mathaisell has produced at Colossal Pictures, Radium, Wild Brain, The Orphanage and Publicis.
Part artist and part technologist, Goetz comes to Bonfire after completing an assortment of freelance projects. Skilled at building interesting interactive, and sometimes stereoscopic work, Goetz recently completed work on a piece integrating 2D and 3D elements for artist Marco Brambilla and played an integral role in creating content for Zynga’s massive “Unleashed Event” media bonanza. A well-rounded creative force, Goetz has been a visual effects designer, creative director and compositor throughout her almost 20-year career. She helped establish Radium as a formidable effects provider and built the first CG department at Cutters, a Chicago editorial boutique. While at Hybride, Goetz worked on feature films Shark Boy and Lava Girl and Sin City. She also held positions at Ntropic, Spy Post and Eveo’s EvLab, and earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.