Michael Jacobs’ new 30 for 30 premieres at Tribeca

05 - 2017

The spectacular rise and fall of the International Professional Volleyball Association, which existed between 1975–1980 complete with “party lifestyle,” rocking arena matches and stars on the court and in the stands, is chronicled in this Michael Jacobs-directed film. This is Jacobs’ third 30 for 30 for ESPN. His keen eye for story and love of sport serve to make this film a highly entertaining and surprising romp. Bump and Spike premiered at Tribeca 2017 in the shorts program and will air later this year on ESPN.

20th Century Fox and Scott Free release Phoenix Forgotten directed by Justin Barber

05 - 2017

Director Justin Barber’s debut full-length feature film Phoenix Forgotten opened in theaters nationwide in April 2017. Produced by ScottFree and Cinelou Films and written by T.S. Nowlin and Justin Barber, Phoenix Forgotten is a found footage-style psychological thriller that tells the story of a documentary director searching for her brother and two other teens. They went missing in the desert on March 13th, 1997, shortly after mysterious lights appeared in the skies over Phoenix, Arizona. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.

Phoenix Forgotten is Barber’s first full-length narrative feature, and a natural progression of his filmmaking career. Beginning as a VFX and animation artist, Barber transitioned to live action directing and soon found a niche helming documentary-style projects. As a partner of full-service production company Strike Anywhere (where he is represented for commercial work), Barber has helmed spots for Facebook, TaylorMade Golf, Pinterest, Southwest Airlines, and GE, among others.

Barber is known for seamlessly embedding photo-real VFX inside of live action – a rare blend of technical know-how and artistry that makes him perfectly suited to imagine and tell the story of Phoenix Forgotten. While belonging within the sci-fi genre, the film is grounded in true events, the inexplicable phenomenon known as “The Phoenix Lights,” the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.

Barber’s expertise of documentary storytelling lends itself to the believable, true-to-life feel carried throughout the movie, despite it being about alien abductions. “I was able to draw on instincts and methods I’ve honed over the years, interviewing subjects and working with real people, while doing documentary content for brands,” says Barber. “We wanted to make a film that felt really authentic. That’s what is so tantalizing about the genre…it can get underneath people’s skin in so many ways and allow them to drop their guard in a different sense, because they want to feel like it’s real.”

The inaugural full-length follows in the footsteps paved by Barber’s partners at Strike Anywhere. Michael Jacobs is a documentary filmmaker whose acclaimed debut, Audience of One, won jury awards at SXSW and AFIDocs, while Ryan Simon’s first documentary feature, The Black Jacket was released by Virgil Films on Netflix in the summer of 2016. Along with long-form projects, Strike Anywhere produces compelling story-driven commercials and content for global brands.

Here’s the full release.

Strike Anywhere helps Facebook Launch New Camera System

05 - 2017

Facebook launched a new in-app camera that is packed with dozens of effects to help you share your story with style.

You can access camera by tapping the camera icon in the top left corner of the Facebook app, or swipe right from News Feed. You’ll be able to apply masks, frames or effects like falling now, special movie partner effects or one of a kind effects from well known artists. The effects will change and be updated on a regular basis, you can even create your own.

You’ll be able to share your photos and videos directly to selected friends, or broadcast to all your friends in the stories section, at the top of app.

The launch content was incubated and executed by Strike Anywhere’s creative studio. The videos landed millions of unique global impressions during the first week of launch across social media and traditional media outlets.

Ryan Simon’s documentary The Black Jacket, now available on Netflix.

05 - 2017

The Black Jacket focuses on radical peace practitioner and former Black Panther Aquil Basheer who trains students, many of whom are ex-gang members, to anticipate and diffuse violent and dangerous situations. Basheer’s organization PCITI (Professional Community Intervention Training Institute) is based in South LA. Currently Basheer is working to bring the program to other cities in need. Statistics show that gang crime in LA is down substantially over the past five years, and the LAPD credits PCITI as strong partner in the process of violence reduction.

“Graduates from the program walk away with a broad set of universal skills to reduce violence and rebuild communities” Simon says. “But they also learn something unique and specific about themselves that turns them into agents for change in their own homes, workplaces, neighborhoods and cities.”

The film is available to stream on Netflix.

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Press:
LA Weekly

Aquil Basheer recently brought the Professional Intervention Training Institute to Newark through a partnership with Aqeela Sherrills Ras J. Baraka and Rutgers University to reduce street crime with continuing education and training. To bring positive change to Newark through the hard work of trained community interventionists.

Shots announces our hire of Executive Producer Cori Cooperider

08 - 2016

LA Weekly article on The Black Jacket

07 - 2016

Virgil Films signs on as distributor for The Black Jacket

07 - 2016

Pitchfork premieres Gift of Gab

06 - 2016

Dante Elephante Yung Gurls music video featured on Buzzbands

05 - 2016

Nowness premieres Michael Jacobs’ Stock Show

04 - 2016

Outside the Lines profiles our latest ESPN 30X30 film

04 - 2016

Facebook Aquila featured on Shots

08 - 2015

UberEats is Adweek’s Ad of the Day

05 - 2015

Pinterest Say Hello featured on Creativity

08 - 2014

Facebook 10 on Shots

02 - 2014

Our Taylormade Golf Spot on Shots

12 - 2013

Facebook Pages in Adweek

02 - 2012

The Science of Slap on Pitchfork

08 - 2010

Audience of One Praised in the New York Times

05 - 2009

Medicine For Melancholy’s Barry Jenkin’s On The Treatment

02 - 2009
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Medicine for Melancholy Praised in the New York Times