Jesper Ohlsson “Breaks Free” for PETA

Backyard director + VFX maestro Jesper Ohlsson out with a fantastic new spot for PETA, highlighting the plight of great apes in captivity

PETA – “Break Free”

Ideas aren’t quarantined ! BACKYARD & SEED are open + ready to shoot – remotely of course

Sister companies BACKYARD & SEED remain open for business, able to adapt to these ever-changing circumstances. They encourage you to distance yourself from the ordinary and think big but small.

Several of our directors own their own equipment providing a number of options across a range of genres, producing content remotely including full access via virtual video village.

Backyard director Greg Popp shot this film with his father-in-law at his own home. Greg wrote, directed, edited, and scored everything from his home studio.

SEED director Sam Ciurdar shot this film just last week using the Paul Harvey speech. He shot it in one day and edited it that evening, all with no crew

Backyard director Chace Strickland just produced this spot for PSEG/Long Island, which he shot in one home with a very small crew and only three talent. He has crew, equipment and a large varied residential location ready to go.

Backyard director Paul Stone shot this Instagram piece entirely on an iPhone and cut on a laptop while traveling through Europe. Paul can direct, shoot, edit, score and color !

Backyard’s Greg Popp with fun new work for Head & Shoulders + Frito Lay

BACKYARD director Greg Popp has been busy !  Couple of fun new campaigns dropping recently for Head & Shoulders and for Frito Lay, which was part of the Super Bowl pre-game


Head & Shoulders – Tear Away Pants


Head & Shoulders – Didgeridoo


Head & Shoulders – Log Workout


Frito Lay – Group Chat


Frito Lay – Super Bowl !

Backyard adds director/DP Anthony Furlong


We’re happy to welcome director/DP Anthony Furlong to the BACKYARD roster for US representation in spots + branded content.

Furlong brings diverse expertise as a live-action director, VFX/graphic artist and animation director usually integrating two or more of these disciplines for projects. His body of work includes collaborations with various blue-chip brands, including IKEA, Motorola, Samsung, Apple and NBC.

Motorola – Zoom


With a background as an actor, programmer, auto engineer, and numerous creative roles, Furlong brings a unique analytical perspective to each project that complements his instinctive artistic sense.

“His works are performance driven, artistic masterpieces,” said Backyard CMO and managing director, Roy Skillicorn.  “They reflect the vision of a true visual thinker.”

Charter – More


Back in 2014, furlong earned an Emmy in art direction for his work on NBC’s Sunday Night Football intro starring Carrie Underwood.

“His lavish imagery draws from a deep, and constantly updated, toolbox of techniques,” related Kris Mathur, Backyard’s EP; “With an engineer’s mind and the heart of an artist, his work manifests itself in unique and unconventional cinematic ways.”

IKEA – Made By the Johnsons


Furlong said he was drawn to Backyard by its “high quality work” as well as its “familial environment, communication and teamwork.”

Backyard’s president, Kevin Allodi, added, “Anthony is the proprietor of Basic Nature, where he applies his various VFX/GFX and editing skills, often finishing his own work.  He not only fills a significant place as a live action director on our roster, but his post company allows us to efficiently package live action through the finished product, something many of our clients are increasingly asking for–we plan to put Basic Nature to good use for our entire roster, whenever appropriate.”

Toujeo – Journal

Furlong joins a Backyard directorial roster that includes Greg Popp, Xander Strohm, Kevin Fitzgerald, Jeff Lable, Jesper Ohlsson, Shyam Madiraju, and Patrick Creadon.

Director Chace Strickland Returns to Backyard

We’re thrilled to welcome director Chace Strickland back to the family at BACKYARD !

Here’s the official press:

Director Chace Strickland, known for his authentic lifestyle and warm family oriented work, has returned to Backyard Productions for commercial representation in the U.S. The move reunites him with his longtime friends, original founder/managing director Roy Skillicorn, EP Kris Mathur, and Backyard’s Midwest rep, Nathan Skillicorn (who represented Strickland’s own production company a couple of years back).

Strickland signed with Roy Skillicorn and Backyard in the mid-’90s as one of the company’s first directors and was a major contributor to its success for many years. He left Backyard after Roy Skillicorn sold his ownership in 2011. Strickland then started his own company, Room Service, and hired Roy’s son, Nathan Skillicorn, to handle representation.

Strickland began freelance directing again in 2018, and had always kept in touch with Nathan and Roy Skillicorn. When the latter agreed to return to Backyard and join new president Kevin Allodi, Strickland began sending them his newest work that exhibited a fresh, developing look and style. Both were impressed, as was Backyard’s sales teams.

“When I first signed with Backyard, it felt like I had been adopted into a family as soon as I walked through the door,” recalled Strickland. “The place and people had a positive, nurturing and caring energy.  Kevin, Kris and Roy have done it again–and it’s good to be home.”

Strickland added, “My path has always been the same…trying to find and capture honest and visually genuine realism.  Sometimes it just happens…sometimes you have to re-create it, but either way, the viewer knows it when they see it and it touches them emotionally.”

Backyard’s Greg Popp Debates Offense vs. Defense for Head + Shoulders

Head & Shoulders brought back retired NFL star player Troy Polamalu and paired him with reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes for this funny new spot from director Greg Popp in his first spot project since joining the roster at BACKYARD. Both popular players have gained great notoriety for their unique hairstyles and they square off in a traditional “offense vs defense” debate

Client: Head & Shoulders Shampoo
Ad Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, NY
Exec Creative Director: Richie Glickman
Creative Directors: Gill Witt, Dan Cohen
Assoc. Creative Director: Jonah Levine
Exec. Producer: Jerry Boyle
Client Partner: Rachel Poad
Account Manager: Tyler Geist
Acct Exec: Anna James

Production Company: BACKYARD
Director: Greg Popp
VP/Executive Producer: Kris Mathur
Line Producer: Henri Dragonas
DP: Chris Mably
Production Designer: Scott Gallagher


Here’s a bit of entertaining press on the new campaign:

Aside from his football prowess and MVP stature, Patrick Mahomes has gained notoriety for his hair on and off the field.

PEOPLE exclusively unveils the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback’s new campaign with Head & Shoulders, in which he costars with longtime hair icon and retired NFL star, Troy Polamalu.

Mahomes, 23, and Polamalu, 38, who both arguably boast two of the most googled looks in their sport, let their hair down (figuratively and literally) to open up to PEOPLE about how hair and self-care can be lateral passes in conveying the importance of identity and confidence.

“Everyone has their own style. You see it with the uniforms, you see it with how guys go about their business, showing up at games and being on the field. They want to be unique,” says Mahomes, who first started wearing his hair in a mohawk in college.

“It wasn’t something I wasn’t going for, but once it grew out, everybody seemed to like it and it kind of became a thing,” he recalls. “Now it’s a thing in the NFL and it’s part of who I am.”

Polamalu, on the other hand, was inspired to let his locks grow when he met his wife Theodora in the early 2000s — when Mahomes was only a child — after admiring the “greatest warriors throughout history who’d always had long hair.”

Indeed, both men can also classify themselves as inspiring warriors. “It’s really cool any time you see someone, especially little kids, who are trying to be like you in any way, and know that you’re an inspiration to them,” Mahomes says of the influence his hair has reached. “It just kind of shows that you have a platform that you can go out in the community and show these kids what it’s like to be a good human being, not just a great football player.”

And the higher the hair, the higher the praise. “It’s definitely a dream come true,” Mahomes says of working with Polamalu for the campaign after being a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers star’s “legendary” ads. “Seeing Troy and then seeing all those iconic commercials, I knew that once my hair was kind of my thing I wanted to be able to put that as part of my brand. I’m glad that it came into fruition, and I got to be a part of it now.”

Polamalu adds, “Having these opportunities to work with Head and Shoulders, now with Patrick, has always been a blessing that’s been a part of my life throughout my football career. Being able to meet somebody like Patrick and have somebody like him carry the brand forward is awesome.”

When asked who their Mount Rushmore of NFL hair greats would be, both men had saved a spot for one another.

“Troy had the iconic hair, he’d just run around the field and his hair’s just flying around everywhere,” says Mahomes, who also selects Odell Beckham Jr. (“His blond hair was different, especially when it first came out.”), Tom Brady (“He had long blonde hair, everybody loved that.”), Clay Matthews (“When his hair’s stringy and flying around, making plays.”) and Marion Barber III (“He used to shake his dreads when he ran so hard.”)

Polamalu also chose OBJ and Matthews, rounding out his selections with Brian Bosworth.