has announced the promotion of Billy Montross to editor. The announcement was made by managing director/partner Craig Duncan and managing editor Grant Güstafson.
"Billy is a rare talent," Güstafson said. "He is an incredibly creative and instinctive editor with a very engaging and positive personality. This combination allows him to provide his clientele with beautifully nuanced edits while making the long hours working in the room extremely enjoyable and relaxed. He has been a great partner to me and I look forward to watching him thrive in this new role."
After beginning his career as a P.A. for Chicago-based director John Komnenich, Montross was soon introduced to Cutters editor Tom Brassil. Writing to Craig Duncan led to an internship in 2012, and by early 2013, Montross earned the role of assistant editor, supporting many of the Cutters editors and key clients, but primarily working with Güstafson. Rising as a highly respected creative who consistently earns high praise for his exceptional intelligence, problem solving abilities, teamwork and leadership, Montross has emerged as a client favorite with agency leaders from DDB, Leo Burnett, mcgarrybowen, Ogilvy and We Are Unlimited, among many others. His reel features work for Capital One, Esurance, Fairfield Inn and Suites, McDonald's, Oscar Mayer, Scotts, Spalding and Western Union.
"There's no better place for a young artist than Cutters," Montross began. "One of Cutters' greatest strengths is growing and cultivating young talent and giving them the tools to succeed.
"Personally," he continued, "I've been extremely fortunate to be Grant Güstafson's assistant for the better part of more than four years. Having one of the planet's best editors as a mentor is something any young editor would kill for, and I'm so grateful for the opportunities to learn from him and all the other premier talents at Cutters."
Regarding the unique growth opportunities at Cutters, Montross also nods to the experiences he gained in 2015 and 2016 working at Cutters Tokyo. There, he worked on projects for Jeep, McDonald's, Nissan and Suburu, all of which he said, "definitely made me into a more rounded editor." He also acknowledges Duncan for his leadership and guidance: "He has always been tough in pushing me to work harder and grow," he added.
Over the past few years, several agency creatives who have worked directly with Montross have made a point of calling out his strengths. His vocal supporters include two leaders from DDB Chicago: executive integrated producer Debora den Iseger, and associate creative director/writer Zach Bonnan. Den Iseger called out Montross as being solution-oriented, funny, kind, and a hard worker who showcases great creative taste, leadership and ownership… while Bonnan shared this insight.
"Billy brought so much to the 2017 'Bill's Yard' spot for Scotts," he said. "It's always a bit nerve-racking to watch a first cut, because you never know if the editor will get the feel, tone and story you're going for. Billy nailed it right off the bat. And as I worked more with him on this spot, it was clear that he's not the type of editor that just takes direction, he brings his own ideas, solves and voice to the work. Essentially, he has exactly what creatives want in an editor."