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When he looks back on his formative years in Cincinnati, Bob Portune can clearly see a pattern of eclectic activities and interests that destined him to land in the ad industry. “ ‘Doomed’ might be a better word,” he chuckles. “I can’t think of one other profession that embraces the nuts among us with such enthusiasm...”

While his classmates were playing with Crayolas and G.I. Joes, Bob recalls, “I was much happier creating these weird multi-media pieces for my own amusement - shooting slides, stringing 3 reel-to-reel recorders together to make audio collages, building miniature ‘sets’ and filming short action scenes, designing strange logos and greeting cards. I was definitely bitten by the creative bug,” he says, “and that bite still hasn’t stopped itching.”

After studying English Composition, Special Education, and Brass Performance at the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed College Conservatory of Music, Bob migrated to New York - and the growing Hispanic ad industry. “Seems perfectly logical to me,” he laughs. “Man, those were amazing, exciting, invaluable years. I not only learned the craft of commercial filmmaking ‘hands on’ from the ground up, I worked on virtually every product, every brand name you can think of. ¡Y aprendi hablar un poco de español también!”

Working through the ‘90s as a producer, director, editor and composer - more often than not wearing several hats at the same time - Bob gathered several industry awards including the CLIO, Telly, Belding, NY Film Festival, and MTV’s Best International Music Video. By 2000 he’d moved to the General Market and established a profit-making, internal AVID editorial division at Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Arnold Worldwide NY. There, he cut scores of creative visualizations, corporate sales and marketing pieces, and successful new-business presentations.

“Yeah, we did a couple of good things,” he grins.

In 2004 Bob left JMCP/Arnold to start his own one-man shop, eventually morphing into Yellow Whale LLC. “I wanted to work with a smaller number of smart, talented clients so I could finally have the time to get some damn sleep at night!” He became an integral part of African-American research and creative development for Volkswagen USA, as well as editing, scoring, and visually designing image pieces for clients ranging from Schiff Nutrition International to the NBA to the Democratic National Committee to Nike.

Editor. Composer. Producer. Designer. “My career has certainly been an adventure,” Bob concludes. “To me, every project I do is ultimately about storytelling, conveying that perfect mood or feeling or message with the right blend of images and sounds. I can’t imagine doing anything else - and I’ve still got quite a few stories left to tell.”
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