JOE OTTING – Director
When asked what inspires and motivates him as a visual storyteller, Joe Otting goes to his childhood. “Amblin ’85.” With a vision and attention to detail in every shot, Joe not only directs, he creates a cinematic journey that both entertains as well as touches the heart.
Born and bred in the fertile fields of Iowa, and later seasoned in the big shoulder streets of Chicago, Joe Otting began his career at one of the world’s largest ad agencies, BBDO, and launched an award winning directing career that spans over two decades. With success in both film and advertising, he has the unique ability to combine both styles to create entertaining and cinematic content across all media.
His film roots run deep, beginning with “The Third Rail”, an IFP/Midwest grant fund recipient, Canne International Film Festival Kodak Selection, and winner of numerous best achievement awards in directing, editing, and cinematography. The film was downloaded over 2.5 million times during its release in Japan. From there came the Kafkaesque thriller “Asylum”, an HBO Project Greenlight short that received international acclaim and rave reviews following its premier on HBO, and garnered Joe as runner-up in the second season of the series.
His directing talents soon turned to features, the first being “Already Dead”, a suspense thriller for Sony Pictures that starred Ron Eldard, Til Schwieger and Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer. “Under New Management”, a crime comedy starring Emmy nominated actor Chris Diamantopoulos and Kelly Overton, followed with even more success after it was voted #1 by viewers after its premier on Showtime. Woody Allen called the film, “Terrific”, adding, “It’s funny, touching… well directed and beautifully shot.” Additionally, Martin Scorsese praised the film with, “It reminds me of that sub-genre of films in the 1940s at Warner Brother’s: the comic-gangster film.”
Pulling from his success and vast experience in film, Joe launched a commercial production company and became a go-to resource for many ad agencies working with brands such as Home Depot, Craftsman, Illinois Lottery, Sears, Hilton and The Palm Beaches. Joe won an Addy Award for his work on a Moosehead Lager campaign and numerous awards for excellence in commercial production. He was recently awarded a Gold Hugo for his work on “The Cover Up” a branded content film. He also topped over 7,000 entries to win the Entertainment Weekly Magazine, Short Film Big Screen Contest for his film, “Vows”. It played in all Loews Theatres across the country for one year and was viewed over 2 million times.
Joe recently completed a DoubleTree spot for Hilton Hotels out of YR Chicago. His inspiring holiday campaign for Craftsman tools out of Havas Worldwide was both cinematic in its stirring visuals, and in its simple but effective storytelling in showcasing the very heart of the everyday American garage.
Returning to his creative film roots, Joe most recently directed the parenting slice-of-life short “The Talk”, which premiered at Cinequest, an Academy-qualifying film festival, in March of 2016. Met with enthusiastic praise for its cinematic production and side-splitting humor, it was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick a week after its online release. Film critic Clinton Stark gushed, “The Talk is clever, (bitter?) sweet, and the ultimate anti-dote for the 21st-century challenged parent… oozing wonderfully in sardonic, black comedic sauce.”
Joe is a member of the DGA and lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. He is part of the filmmaking collective Fiber Films Chicago, and is repped by Principato Young Entertainment for features, Heart + Soul for commercials in the US and Wilfred Park in Canada.
Adam Sobocienski received a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Minnesota, studying a wide range of arts including film, video and design. After school, he began his advertising industry career editing at Optimus Chicago, followed by several years at Red Car Chicago. In addition to being an award- winning editor, Adam also served as a visual effects supervisor for Red Car’s Los Angeles and Chicago offices. While at Red Car, Adam was propositioned to direct commercials by many of his editorial clients. He continues to blur the line between editor and director, bringing experience from both disciplines to every project from start to finish.
Adam Sobocienski launched his commercial production company, Fiber Films, in 2009. Adam has collaborated with ad agencies such as Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Brunner, and Havas, always delivering high-end broadcast spots and content. He has directed and edited for such notable clients as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Coors, Bud Light, United Airlines, McDonald’s, Suave, Kellogg’s, Nestle and MacGregor Golf, which garnered awards for both direction and editing. Other award-winning creative directed and edited by Adam includes a TV spot he shot in Alberta, Canada for Zippo Outdoor lighters (ADDY & Hugo Awards) and his Rockford Health Systems, “Origami” TV spot, which was awarded a CLIO plus two Best of Show ADDY awards.
Adam continues to broaden his experience in the development of all forms of emerging media. His latest reel includes shooting, editing and finishing a docu- style testimonial campaign directing real people for the YMCA of the USA. Adam also recently directed a complex hidden camera shoot for the DISH Network and also edited the fun DISH social media campaign.
Having worked professionally as a director, editor and visual effects artist, Adam loves to collaborate and also, strives to bring a truly unique vision to every project he takes on.
CHARISSA POPP – Director of Development/EP
Charissa leads Fiber Films’ sales and marketing efforts and has successfully expanded the company’s business since its 2010 launch. She also serves as an Executive Producer, overseeing all post-production for Fiber Films’ full-service offering.
Charissa’s career started as an account manager at various ad agencies, including JWT Boston and DDB San Francisco. After crossing “living on both coasts” off the bucket list, her Midwest roots brought her back to Chicago, where she joined BBDO before making the leap to post-production, leading marketing for Swell and Cutters.
In 2008, Charissa enjoyed a two-year sabbatical from the industry to experience life as an ex-pat based in Sydney, Australia – managing to tick some others off the list with travels around the Southern Hemisphere and Asia. Upon returning to Chicago, she joined Sobocienski and Otting for the launch of Fiber Films.
In addition to Fiber Films, her passions include her two boys (Cal and Nixon), travel, cooking, food, wine and leading an active lifestyle that typically involves competition with her husband, Ray.