1stAveMachine Director Maxime Bruneel Brings Vibrant Flair to Fashion in E! ‘So Cosmo’ Promo

Celebrated director Maxime Bruneel of production company 1stAveMachine brings the pages and people of Cosmopolitan to colorful life in an enticing promo for E!’s new reality series, So Cosmo, which focuses on the staff within the international fashion magazine.


Shining a vivid light on the couture, culture and characters that comprise the inner workings of Cosmopolitan, Bruneel takes viewers on an animated, page-turning, intriguingly abstract journey that symbolizes his patented mixed-media/digital pop-art approach. “The network loves that aesthetic and wanted the feel of a jump-cut / animation, dynamic spot,” Bruneel says. “The goal was to depict each character of the show in a very abstract way. So Cosmo is 100% based on the strong and extravagant personalities of Cosmo’s staff, so the job was just to translate their most notorious features into a symbolic scene.”

Produced in a matter of weeks, the So Cosmo promo is a glaring reflection of the cohesive collaboration between Bruneel and his art director, Morgan Harary, who were both given plenty of creative freedom throughout the project. “The art direction and the ‘mise en scène’ had to work hand-in-hand because everything is so interlaced,” the director explains. “We had a lot of fun with Morgan brainstorming about ideas because the show is about this light and fresh way of seeing the world of fashion and lifestyle.”

According to Bruneel, the So Cosmo effort also demanded some production sleight-of-hand in order to create an ultimately mysterious yet mesmerizing effect. “Our goal was to make a spot that leaves you wondering how it’s done technically,” he says. “The challenge was the timing and the mix of many different techniques, between the rhythm, the happenings in the magazine and the motion design on the top. We couldn’t get this done with a traditional pipeline of production, so we invented one that allowed us to do a lot of back and forth between the animation and the editing room. Thankfully, the 1stAve team understood this process from day one and created this system that remained really smooth all along the way.”



Client: NBC Universal Cable Entertainment
Product: E! So Cosmo
Spot Title: “So Cosmo” :30, :15, :05

Agency: NBC Universal Cable Entertainment
Executive Producer, Shoot Production: Janelle Albino
VP, ECD, Visuals: Mark Schneider
Senior Director, Creative Innovation: Albert Choi
Art Director, Visuals: Saundra Vo

Production Company: 1stAveMachine
Director: Maxime Bruneel
Art Director: Morgan Harary
Executive Producers: Sam Penfield, Lisanne McDonald,
Line Producer: Jason Taragan
Production Manager: Jonathan Mayo
DP: Zach Lowry
Prop Design: Anthony Asaro
Prop Stylist: Tim Mitchell
DIT: Kyle Forbes

1st Ave Post Producer: Abby Okin
Collage & Graphics Designer: Michael Burk
Lead Animators / Compositors: Sean Wehrli, Danny Kamhaji, Kun-I Chang, Brian Hayes

Editorial Company: 1st Ave Machine
Editor: Luca Campanale
Editorial Producer: Abby Okin

Color: RCO
Colorist: Seth Ricart

Composers: (Stock / Frequency / NBC Universal)

Sound Design: Heard City
Sound Designer: Elizabeth McLanahan
Sound Design Executive Producer: Heath Raymond

Mix: Heard City
Mixer: Elizabeth McLanahan
Audio Producer: Heath Raymond

About 1stAveMachine

1stAveMachine is a mixed media production company and storytelling outfit. They create video, digital, and experimental content for TV, print, web, and mobile, all with a unified singular vision. They have won numerous awards since their formation, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cannes Lions, AICP, One Show, and ANDY awards, and many others. Their work has been featured across the globe and during the Super Bowl, and their division 1stAve Content has been instrumental in pairing the perfect influencers and creators with agencies and brands.