ColorNation Adds Colorists Vincent Taylor and Lea Mercado As It Marks First Anniversary

ColorNation, the remote color grading service founded by veteran post production entrepreneur Reid Brody, has added two colorists to its roster of available artists. The veteran artist Vincent Taylor, based in Los Angeles, is now available through ColorNation, as is Lea Mercado, an engaging young artist based in Southeast Asia.

The signing of these two impressive talents coincides with ColorNation celebrating its first anniversary. Since opening last summer, ColorNation has provided high-end color services for a range of agencies and brands, working on projects for the US Army, Duluth Trading Company, Michelob, Dove, Deloitte, Carrier, and McDonald’s, and for such agencies as DDB Chicago, Burrell, BVK, Highdive, Burrell, UWG and Lerma.

New Additions to the Roster

“We’re thrilled to have such an experienced and versatile artist as Vincent Taylor on the ColorNation roster,” says Brody, “and just as thrilled to have a fresh young talent like Lea Mercado join him. We’ve set a goal since our launch of offering world-class color talents to producers across the spectrum of categories, genres, budgets and schedules, and we’ve been able to do that. Artists like Vincent and Lea see where the industry is headed, and they’re eager to be a part of it. And that makes us proud.”

Taylor brings an eclectic and well-traveled resume to his work as a colorist. Born in the US but raised in Australia, prior to entering the color suite he built a strong reputation there as a cinematographer, working closely with directors and film crews and winning numerous industry awards as a DP. Once he made the transition, he rose quickly through the ranks, and has been on staff at such global post production icons as Deluxe, Technicolor, MPC, Chimney and Harbor, in addition to running his own color studio in Melbourne.

Here’s a look at Taylor’s latest…

To screen Taylor’s work, visit his page on the ColorNation site here.

Along the way, Taylor has worked on everything from features to commercials, collaborating with clients and agencies everywhere from Shanghai to New York. With a prolific social media presence, not to mention his sought-after podcast, The Color Timer, he’s become an influential voice among senior colorists around the world. 

Taylor was referred to ColorNation by Heather Hay, a ColorNation artist and colleague from their days working together in Oz, whom he both trusts and admires. “When Heather recommends I meet with someone I generally do, because I respect her judgment,” he explains. “And she said one thing about Reid that appealed to me, which was ‘old school.’ To me, that means having a great work ethic, with respect for workflows and the way things should be done. That jumped out a mile, because it’s honestly what I’m constantly craving.”

Mercado came to color grading from her work as an editor and motion graphics designer in various post production houses as well as a short stint as an art director in the Philippines. She eventually made her way into color grading, starting in the Philippines, then eventually moving to Vietnam, working remotely with various directors from L.A., Australia, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore and Spain (to name a few), even before the pandemic. With a strong client base of both established and up and coming brands throughout Asia and the Americas, she’s graded for such agencies as Publicis, Dentsu, Ogilvy and TBWA. Her color work includes spots and brand content for such advertisers as Honda, Unilever, Nestle, Samsung, PepsiCo, Honda Motors, Kimberly-Clark and Nike, among others. 

Here is a look at Mercado’s latest…

“Being represented by Reid and ColorNation is definitely an honor,” says Mercado. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been noticed for my work internationally, but this is the first time someone has acknowledged my work to be on par with the US market. It’s truly gratifying.”

To view Mercado’s work, visit her page on the ColorNation site here.

Celebrating a Year of Change

A longtime advocate for finding innovative solutions to how post production work is delivered to clients, Brody’s goal for ColorNation has been to bring a highly flexible and adaptable array of global talent to his agency and brand clients, with a particular focus on those located in the Midwest. Based on comments from ColorNation fans, he’s done all that and more.

Katie Roach, a freelance agency EP who’s worked with ColorNation on spots for Duluth Trading Company at Planet Propaganda, has banked a high level of trust while working with Brody on color projects during her stints at Chicago agencies like FCB, BBDO and mcgarrybowen. “Reid has always had a great eye for color, and when he launched ColorNation I was really excited,” she explains.

Being based in Madison, Wisconsin, Roach points out that getting top-tier color artists to work on her projects can be a logistical and scheduling headache. “We’ve always been open to working remotely, and with his roster being based all over the world, we’ve got access to great talent whether we’re working supervised or unsupervised,” Roach says. “Our work with colorist Heather Hay, for example, was a fantastic experience from start to finish.”

Tom Syoen, Executive Producer at The Works, the internal studio at DDB Chicago, says working with ColorNation “has been a dream. As a start-up in-house studio at a large agency, we frequently find ourselves overloaded with work beyond our capabilities, so resourcing can be a challenge – especially in the current climate of ever-shifting schedules and ever-tightening budgets.

“ColorNation allows us to not only outsource color, but Reid also relieves a good chunk of the producing workload that goes along with that,” Syoen continues. “I don’t have to worry about vetting talent, tedious scheduling, or having to discuss business directly with artists while they’re focused on executing the work itself. Reid just gets it. The peace-of-mind ColorNation offers alone is invaluable.”

ColorNation’s roster also reflects a high level of diversity, not just in terms of the colorists themselves, Roach notes, but also in their mix of work and their regional influences. “It’s a really wide range of perspectives, more than we’d have access to in a smaller market,” she says.

The remote, work-anywhere-at-any-time model Brody supports seems well suited to how agencies and brands are addressing production and post today, Syoen adds. “It allows for a degree of flexibility and capability beyond what most color vendors can offer,” he offers. “Clients more than ever are looking for the most bang for their buck, and that leaves agencies stretched thin. Creatives rarely have time to dedicate an entire day to a single color session, so remote sessions have become the default, due to the inherent time and budget savings and overall convenience.”

Doing color remotely is an accepted workflow these days, and it offers a range of benefits. “As Reid has shown, there’s no need to limit collaboration to local talent anymore,” Syoen notes. “Like our own agency and its global network, ColorNation leverages their international network to allow greater flexibility with regards to resourcing and to tap into a deeper talent pool. It’s a no-brainer in this brave new post-Covid world.”

Taylor and Mercado join a ColorNation roster that includes, Gino Amadori, Calvin Bellas, Yohance Brown, Ben Federman, Andrew Francis, Paul Harrison, Heather Hay, Mark Todd Osborne and Ben West. For more information contact Reid Brody at 312-401-9333 or at reid@colornation.net.

Check back here at SCREEN for more of the latest from the Chicago and Midwest advertising community. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

Leave a Reply