As an advertising exec, Jeff Blodgett favors computer graphics and his “vintage junkyard chic” work space in Santa Monica to storyboards and a Madison Avenue high-rise. Despite that, “I think I was Don Draper in a former life,” jokes Blodgett about the fictional ’60s-era ad man from the hit TV show “Mad Men.”
But Blodgett’s not winning clients at three-martini lunches. At his new position as executive producer at Brickyard VFX, Blodgett wants to attract high-profile clients with the visual effects company’s growing computer and motion graphics department.
“(Brickyard) is run and owned by artists rather than businessmen. It’s a nice collaboration, because their interests are also in design,” said Blodgett, who does not have an equity interest in the company.
He is hoping to raise Brickyard’s profile as a creative studio that can provide CG and motion graphics to customers, saving the expense of bringing in a third firm to handle such graphics work. Brickyard clients include Toyota, Carl’s Jr., Yahoo and the National Basketball Association.
The Chicopee, Mass., native developed his editing and production skills at University of Massachusetts, Boston. After graduating in 1988, he moved in 1992 to Los Angeles, where early notable gigs include working on the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 1992 and 1993.
Blodgett was able to score one Hollywood credit: He worked on visual effects for Mel Gibson’s 2006 action film “Apocalypto.” The film, an imagined take on 16th century Mayan civilization, provided a unique set of challenges in presenting that period.
“They shot the scenes in the jungle areas of Mexico,” he said. “(The actors) would’ve torn their feet up, so all the warriors had sandals on. We had to make computer animated (bare) feet. It was an incredible effect.”
Blodgett, 44, lives in Santa Monica with his wife, Lisa, and two young sons, John and Will. In his free time, he plays the more than 7,000 vinyl 45s he accumulated as a college radio hip-hop DJ.