ALEX WEIL

2 entries
  • "Dear Marion, Joe, and friends of Charlex, I send my love..."
    - Kevin Jones
  • "I send my deep sympathy to the family of Alex Weil. He..."
    - T F
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Service Information
Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 West 76th Street
New York, NY
10023
(212)-362-6600
Obituary

WEIL--Alex. Commercial Director and Digital Video Pioneer, Alex Weil dies at 67. At the advent of cable television, during the fledgling beginnings of CNN, ESPN and before there was MTV; Charlex, Inc. was founded by Alex Weil and Charlie Levi in 1977. As its Creative Director, the young, charismatic Weil began to re-define the boundaries of traditional, visual storytelling. More than forty years later, Alex Weil had directed a body of creative work from commercials to broadcast to film that tells its own story and continues to be told to this day, at Charlex. Born in New York City, the son of Soya Pelagio, a prominent Portuguese concert Pianist and Walter Weil, a Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany in 1935 and then fought for the American Army's 10th Mountain Division in WWII, Alex became a pioneer in the television commercial industry as Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Charlex. After attending Johns Hopkins, he returned to Manhattan and accepted a position with the Bank of New York - if only to help fund his rock group, The Last Men. As the band sought to find its voice and Alex to find his creative outlet in finance, he changed course and teamed-up with college classmate, Levi. They shared sharp insights into media and technology and the determination that they could produce great television. The production medium of the day was analog videotape covered in magnetic particles. 8-track audio cassettes were popular in automobiles. Digital recording was in its infancy. Weil embraced the new technology and pushed the limits of those first rudimentary paint and recording devices to create new styles and techniques. Manufacturers looked to him for insight and direction of research and development. Among the hundreds of industry awards won over the years, including Emmys and Clios, the most popular and influential of the time, was the first-ever, MTV Best Music Video Award for The Cars "You Might Think" in 1984. It mastered both analog and digital techniques with an inspiring visual art that was once unachievable. He instantly became the go-to branding guru for Madison Avenue's creative elite. All wanted Alex Weil to bring his ground-breaking, multi- layered creative design to their audience. Networks sought the same, whether it be for the opening of Saturday Night Live or the ABC Evening News. Thousands of television commercials later, Alex decided to write and direct his own animated film in 2006. "One Rat Short" is a tale of longing and loss that Alex liked to think of as his own classic film, "The Red Balloon." It won film festivals and computer art symposiums around the globe, earning the short-list of near Oscar nomination in 2007. He was a man of great intellect, complimented by humor and an infectious laugh. He earned a reputation of generosity to those less fortunate. He was a friend as a boss, an entertainer who managed with inspired leadership and a mentor to hundreds of people who have continued his legacy of excellence coast to coast. He loved New York City pavement and parks, countered by the feel of warm sand under his feet. His footprints on the beaches of the Hamptons will endure among his favorite memories. He was gifted to share his final moments with his wife, Marie and children, Marion and Joe in his home at the Dakota, off Central Park. When often asked by reporters, employees and competitors alike -- how do you maintain your incredible standards of over- achievement? He would cite John Lennon and his words at the Beatles last performance on the rooftop of Abby Road. - Lennon said: "I hope that we passed the audition." It's the way Alex Weil approached every project, large and small - as an audition. - His performance made lasting impact throughout his life.

Published in The New York Times on May 12, 2019
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New York, NY   (212) 362-6600
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