WETHEPEOPLE is excited to announce the expansion of our director’s roster with the new signings of Directors Hamoody Jaafar and Grant Kolton. Visionaries in their own right, they have transcended their mediums with impactful work and we are humbled by the opportunity to welcome them into our family.
As a company that gravitates towards defining moments that connect humankind, it was without question that we would align ourselves with Hamoody Jaafar. While pulling his inspirations from people, urban culture, and his family’s immigrant roots, Jaafar uses storytelling as a means to bridge uncomfortable gaps and to shed light on authentic human emotion.
From his early years as an independent filmmaker financing his own work, Jaafar was driven by a desire to challenge stereotypes within culture and unravel stories that were underrepresented. With the celebrated “Detroit Diamond,” he explored the life of a young single mother consumed by heroin addiction and battling to keep her child out of the hands of the state.
Jaafar joined Woodward Original in 2016 and was appointed Creative Director shortly after, executing campaigns from conceptualization to direction and delivering award-winning work. With Goodwill’s ‘Flip The Script,’ he dives deep into a recovery program through Goodwill Detroit, a spot that won the D Show Silver Award in 2018.
His winning streak continued with the 2018 Judge’s Choice Award from the American Advertising Federation (Addy’s) for his Cleveland Cavaliers spot. His collaborative relationship with the team expanded with two mini documentaries highlighting five legendary figures within the Cleveland Cavaliers organization over the 1970s & 1980s.
It was through Jaafar’s heart-tugging campaign for the Regional Transit Authority that WETHEPEOPLE’s Jesse Ford began to notice the quality of his work, a tender spot advocating for regional transit in support of low-to-middle class communities.
With realism, minority experiences and mental health at the forefront of his passions, Jaafar credits his upbringing in Downriver and neighboring Detroit areas for exposing him to a spectrum of socioeconomic, racial and religious backgrounds that further nurtured his commitment to the cause.
Taking the reigns as our leading animation wizard, Grant Kolton brings a wealth of experience as a writer, director, and animator specializing in 2d traditional frame by frame animation. His expertise extends to social animation, short form, commercials, explanation/infographic, mixed-media live-action, and anything related to comedy.
Kolton began his career animating and directing music videos for My Morning Jacket, Dave Matthews Band, Gogol Bordello, Cage the Elephant, and Snoop Dogg. Some other clients include Pepsi, Bleacher Report, HP, McDonalds, Wienerschnitzel, Truth, IMDb, AC Entertainment, and PayPal. His work has aired nationwide commercially and has been featured on MTV, Vevo, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Filter, MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles), and The Hammer Museum.
Grant’s short “City Dwellers” was co-produced by Frederator and Sony Pictures Animation for the “Go! Cartoons” series on Cartoon Hangover. His previous self-produced short film “By the Name of Boston” played at over 30 festivals internationally where it won several awards including the Best International Super Short Film at Monstra Festival of Animation in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to its festival run “By the Name of Boston” was listed as a Vimeo Staff Pick alongside his other films “No Back Dan” and “The Freak.”
Grant served as chief-animator for Circa News where he produced, wrote, directed, animated, and often voiced original short form political satire and pop culture pieces on a monthly basis. His videos often exceeded viewership targets with some racking up millions of views.
Currently, Grant is directing, writing, and animating original shorts for FX.
Welcome to the team Hamoody and Grant!