Thursday, May 23, 2019

People on the Move

  • Thursday, May. 23, 2019
John Kilshaw joins Framestore as sr. VFX supervisor/creative director for TV
John Kilshaw

Framestore has added sr. visual effects supervisor and creative director John Kilshaw who will be based in New York and continue to build the company’s presence within episodic television.

With more than 15 years of experience, Kilshaw comes to Framestore after previously holding roles at a number of VFX facilities including DNEG, ILM, Lucasfilm, Method, and Zoic. His extensive film credits include several Harry Potter installments, The Avengers, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and he has worked on hit television shows such as Marvel’s Iron Fist, The Defenders, Cary Fukunaga’s Maniac and FBI thriller Quantico.

‘Episodic gives us the opportunity to create fantastic visual effects for an audience whose expectations have never been higher’, said Charles Howell, managing director, Framestore New York. ‘I’m looking forward to welcoming John, his passion, and experience in the field as we continue our global expansion in this area.’

Framestore’s episodic division has been working on a roster of shows that include His Dark Materials for BBC and HBO, The Boys for Amazon Prime Video and See for the new Apple TV+ streaming service, Framestore is providing VFX work on several other BBC, Channel 4, and Netflix productions.

Kilshaw holds a BA in photography and design from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and an MA in 3D computer animation from Bournemouth University.

  • Thursday, May. 23, 2019
Andrew Gordon joins DNEG as head of character animation
Andrew Gordon

Visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company DNEG has appointed industry Andrew Gordon as head of character animation for its feature animation team, at the shop’s headquarters in London.

Gordon joins managing director of feature animation Tom Jacomb, animation director Troy Saliba and VFX supervisor Philippe Denis in leading DNEG’s rapidly growing feature animation team.

With more than 20 years’ experience in feature animation at Pixar and Warner Bros., Gordon has an impressive credit list that includes many blockbuster animated franchises such as Ratatouille, Monsters University, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars and The Incredibles 1 & 2.

Throughout his career, Gordon has received global recognition for bringing to life iconic characters such as Mike Wazowski--the green, one-eyed star of the hugely successful Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University films, for which he was animator/character designer and directing animator, respectively; and Marlin in Finding Nemo, for which he won a VES Award for Outstanding Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture.

Jacomb said of Gordon, “His natural and inspirational leadership style, combined with his knowledge and creativity, particularly when it comes to creating characters that audiences really connect with, are invaluable assets that will strengthen our capabilities and play a crucial role in the future growth of the team.

“DNEG has a global reputation for helping storytellers capture audiences’ imaginations through our combination of industry leading technology and an internal philosophy focused on creativity, which has helped us to win four Oscars in the last five years. Now, we want to emulate this success for feature animation. Andrew is joining us at the perfect time, and alongside Troy and Philippe he will play a crucial role in elevating DNEG’s feature animation capabilities on the global stage.”

(The alluded to four Best Visual Effects Oscars in the past five years were for First Man, Blade Runner 2049, Ex Machina and Interstellar.)

In his new role, Gordon will help to foster a culture of creativity that allows animators to thrive by actively promoting and encouraging the sharing of ideas and new ways of thinking. Well known among industry peers for creating the “Lucky 7 Lounge” at Pixar, a secret room accessible through a small hatch in his office frequented by the likes of Steve Jobs, Gordon will focus on harnessing the team’s diverse experience and talents to develop a bespoke look and feel for each feature.

Gordon said, “I am delighted to be joining such a dedicated and hardworking team, led by the amazing Tom Jacomb, at an exciting stage in its journey. Together we are creating a working environment where each film is not just treated as a task, but rather as a collaboration--a chance for everyone to input their individual creativity and character.

“I’m excited to be here in London, which is one of the most diverse capital cities in the world. I believe that London’s rich history provides the perfect environment for our team--a melting pot of creativity that lends itself perfectly to feature animation.“

Gordon will be delivering a masterclass entitled “Acting and Gesture in Animation” at Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 11.

  • Wednesday, May. 22, 2019
HouseSpecial signs director John Robson 
John Robson
PORTLAND, Ore. -- 

Animation studio HouseSpecial has signed director John Robson. He brings a digitally rich portfolio that includes the Vimeo Staff Pick CG short Quality Time and memorable content for brands including Xbox One X, Nike, IBM, Apple, Gnarls Barkley and Campbell’s Soup. A Southern California native, Robson refined his accomplished narrative sensibilities in Los Angeles at studios such as Blind, ManvsMachine, Brand New School and Motion Theory.

Robson is also the founder of Late Lunch Inc, a studio specializing in live action and post production, including 3D animation, conceptual design, compositing and virtual reality.

A former UC Santa Barbara Film major, Robson is looking forward to discovering Oregon’s lush natural scenery while working in a globally known maker culture that embraces tactile creation and digital experimentation.

  • Tuesday, May. 21, 2019
VMLY&R names Gilroy, Nadarajah joint directors of global diversity, equity and inclusion
Suba Nadarajah (l) and Tasha Gilroy

VMLY&R has appointed two leaders to spearhead the agency’s expanding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives across its global network. Tasha Gilroy and Suba Nadarajah, joint directors of diversity, equity and inclusion, will lead VMLY&R’s global DEI strategy. They will be focused on introducing new programs and partnerships that build on the agency’s inclusive culture and diverse workforce, and drive continued cultural literacy, awareness, and acceptance across the organization. Both roles will report to Ronnie Felder, executive director of human resources.

Gilroy will lead talent and partnership initiatives that build VMLY&R’s pipeline of top talent in North America and globally. In this role, she will guide the vision and execution for an equitable talent recruitment and retention strategy across the network. She will continue managing and growing the agency’s many existing relationships with partner organizations such as 4A’s MAIP, ColorComm, AAF Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism, One Club for Creativity, and 3% Conference.

Nadarajah will lead the development and implementation of internal strategies that nurture a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable global culture. In this role, she will cultivate independent employee networks and programs and wider industry support systems in collaboration with organizations such as NAAAP, Mid-America GLCC, and GLAAD. She will also lead in-agency advocacy, identifying and advancing best practices, education, and employee engagement programs that promote progressive environments where all talent can thrive. 

“Our goal is for the diversity of our teams to reflect the diversity of the world we create for,” said Jon Cook, VMLY&R global CEO. “While we’ve taken many steps forward—as a Top 100 Best Adoption Friendly Workplace and committed partner to organizations like the 3% Movement—we know how much work we have left to do. DEI is a critical dimension of our success as an agency and industry, and we will continue our education and investment to support an inclusive, diverse workforce and pipeline of leaders.”

Gilroy and Nadarajah will work together to introduce new programs across the U.S. and global markets such as Brave Questions, Safe Spaces (BQSS) a platform designed to promote intersectional dialogue, awareness, and community. It encourages employees to engage in respectful conversations about cultures or perspectives they may otherwise feel nervous discussing. BQSS has sponsored thought-provoking conversations with notable guests such as Academy Award-winning “BlacKkKlansman” co-writer Kevin Willmott and Telly Leung, star of Fox’s hit series “Glee” and Disney’s “Aladdin” on Broadway.

Gilroy has served in culture and inclusion roles for the past 13 years. Most recently, she was director of inclusion and community for Y&R. Over the years, she has introduced a range of high-impact programs including unconscious bias executive training and employee programs that have forged access and opportunities for women, people of color, and the industry’s most underrepresented groups. Gilroy is a member of ColorComm and an active supporter of Advancing Women Executives and The Bougie Brunch Group. 

Nadarajah has been an influential thought leader on the role of design and creativity in promoting equality. She previously served as the director of design for VML, leading design and branding counsel for client teams. Her experience spans senior design roles at Hallmark, River City Studio, Bernstein-Rein and Blacktop Creative. Over the years she has worked on major brands such as Walmart, McDonald’s, Sprint, and Bayer, and earned recognition from The One Show, Art Directors Club, and Addy Awards for her work. Nadarajah has also been an adjunct professor at the Kansas City Art Institute and University of Central Missouri, where she taught branding and design systems.

  • Wednesday, May. 15, 2019
Jolene Pinder named exec director of Kartemquin Films
Jolene Pinder

Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago-based documentary nonprofit organization, has named Jolene Pinder as executive director. Pinder will begin on June 10, overseeing all aspects of operations, programs, and serving as executive producer on Kartemquin’s documentaries.

Founded in 1966 as a documentary collective, Kartemquin helps develop filmmakers, produces films, and advocates for the field of documentary. The six-time Emmy® Award-winning organization has received three Oscar® nominations in the past two years for Minding the Gap, Edith+Eddie, and Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and on May 18 it will become the first independent nonfiction production company to receive a Peabody Institutional Award, “for its commitment to unflinching documentary filmmaking and telling an American history rooted in social justice and the stories of the marginalized.”

Pinder joins the organization having served as executive director of #CreateLouisiana since 2017, where she spearheaded statewide and regional advocacy efforts and grantmaking initiatives. Pinder previously led the New Orleans Film Society as executive director between 2011-2017, where she increased the budget by 400% and grew annual attendance at the New Orleans Film Festival by 250%; launched signature programs to support Southern storytellers and advocate for a more equitable, inclusive landscape; and conceived of and secured funding for the acclaimed Southern Producers Lab. Pinder also has independent production experience as producer of 2018 DOC NYC selection All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk and the forthcoming Sundance Institute and IDA-funded Hollow Tree, and from earlier in her career producing (A)Sexual and working in various roles on documentaries such as Arctic Son and Election Day during her period as a staff producer at Arts Engine/Big Mouth Productions.

Kartemquin’s distinctive production process has guided over 65 award-winning, socially impactful films to completion. Its acclaimed filmmaker development programs serve over 40 filmmakers annually and have launched over 500 alumni into careers in documentary filmmaking. The films and filmmakers it supports are known for the social importance of their stories, the quality of their storytelling, the inclusive, respectful, and ethical ways in which they work with their subjects, and the impact of the films on communities, audiences, and policymakers.

Pinder was selected by Kartemquin’s board of directors following a national search conducted over a seven-month period.

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
Anonymous Content opens UK office under aegis of MD/EP Tor Fitzwilliams
Tor Fitzwilliams

Anonymous Content has opened a London commercial production office and appointed Tor Fitzwilliams as its managing director and executive producer. The outpost will offer the UK access to Anonymous’ talent pool which includes such sought-after directors as Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, Armando Bo, Autumn de Wilde, Brett Morgen, Cara Stricker, Chris Sargent, Daniel Kaufman, Dee Rees, Grant Singer, John X. Carey, Johnny Green, Malcolm Venville, Mark Romanek, Pantera, and Tim Godsall.

Fitzwilliams brings 15 years of production experience, having worked across sales, strategy and talent management with leading filmmakers and creative agencies globally. She began her career at production company Blink, where she spent five years working with some of the U.K.’s most prolific directors and on some of advertising’s most iconic work. She then joined Smuggler London as head of sales, before moving to Smuggler New York to head up their East Coast sales. In 2015, Fitzwilliams returned to London as executive producer at Stink Films. She has also served on many juries, including Film Craft at Cannes Lions and, most recently, last year’s Film Craft jury for Creative Circle.

Eric Stern, Anonymous Content partner and managing director, cited Fitzwilliams’ “myriad experience” as making her “the perfect person to be leading this office and our commercial partnerships in the U.K.”

Fitzwilliams is enthused about opening the London office, sharing, “No other production company has proven how to bridge the gap between the commercial and entertainment world better than Anonymous Content. They have world-class talent on their books, which is accessible to all agencies and brands.”

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
Marcus Thomas promotes Scott Chapin to COO
Scott Chapin

Independent creative agency Marcus Thomas LLC has promoted former SVP of analytics Scott Chapin to chief operating officer.

Chapin joined the Marcus Thomas team in 2011 as a digital strategist and was promoted to SVP of analytics the following year. He became an agency partner in 2015. As COO of the 200+ person, Cleveland-based agency, Chapin will oversee all operations including process, staff utilization and leadership initiatives. The COO’s day-to-day tasks will include leadership of the project management team, developing and deploying operational policies, ensuring compliance and legal review, and managing the facilities operation at all Marcus Thomas offices. Chapin will continue to support the agency’s clients directly as partner-in-charge on several key accounts. 

With an extensive background in data analytics, Chapin will prepare Marcus Thomas to address client challenges in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
Rebecca Manning joins Alkemy X as compositing supervisor
Rebecca Manning

Alkemy X has hired Rebecca Manning as compositing supervisor for its VFX division. Manning brings 16 years of experience and more than 40 major feature film and television credits, including Ghostbusters, The Jungle Book, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avatar. Manning will be based out of Alkemy X’s New York studio and will lead its compositing team on projects including the television series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fear of the Walking Dead, Mr. Mercedes and Blindspot.

Manning arrives from Weta Digital, where she served as sr. compositor on the films War for the Planet of the Apes and Mortal Engine. She previously served as sr. compositor at Digital Domain, Iloura and Rising Sun Pictures. She was sr. compositor for the team that won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for The Jungle Book in 2017. (The film also won a VES Award for Compositing.) Additionally, she was part of the team that won the Oscar for Visual Effects for Avatar in 2010. She has been a lead and look development artist at several companies and served as head of department at Framestore in London. Other notable credits include The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. She served as chair of the Visual Effects Society’s UK board in 2011.

“I love art, I love movies and I love technology,” observed Manning. “Compositing combines all three. Some compositors tilt toward the artistic side; others are more technically-minded. I have a good combination of the two and have been interested in art and technology since I was very young. Compositing is a role I’m ideally suited to.”

Manning said she was drawn to Alkemy X by the plans of Mark Miller, EP/business development, to expand its visual effects division and compete for the largest and most challenging film, television and advertising projects. 

  • Monday, May. 13, 2019
Meg Thorne promoted to editor at Cut+Run London
Meg Thorne

Assistant editor Meg Thorne has been promoted to editor at Cut+Run London. She joined the Soho edit house as an assistant in 2015 from postproduction studio The Farm, and has since been honing her skills under the close mentorship of edit partners Julian Tranquille and James Rose, in-suite and on-set.

Thorne has collaborated regularly with director and choreographer Holly Blakey, editing a number of acclaimed, dance-led projects for brands including Swoon and Christie’s. Her 2017 promo for Everything Everything’s “Can’t Do,” directed by Blakey, earned Thorne a Best Editor nomination at the Kinsale Sharks Awards and was shortlisted across categories at the UK Music Video Awards.

Thorne recently edited Sparrow, a narrative short, which was directed by Ali Kurr. Launched at this year’s BFI Flare, London’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival, it was included in the official selection at the London Short Film Festival, and was shortlisted at Underwire, the UK’s largest film festival celebrating female talent across the crafts.

Thorne has edited films for clients including Samsonite, Tommy Hilfiger, 888 Sport and Veet, and has cut music videos for Lily Allen, Mabel, Jessie Buckley, Peter Perrett and Amber Simone, among others. 

Cut+Run maintains studios in London, New York, Los Angeles, Austin and San Francisco.

  • Thursday, May. 9, 2019
A Deluxe addition: sr. colorist Tony Dustin
Tony Dustin

Tony Dustin has joined the Deluxe Post Production creative team as sr. colorist, working from the EFILM and Encore post facilities in Hollywood. With more than 20 years of experience in color grading, Dustin’s work spans styles and genres, with a talent for revealing details in the darker palettes of many of his projects. Dustin’s notable credits include Netflix dramatic series Sense8, for which he was nominated for an HPA Award; Hulu horror series Castle Rock; Best Picture Academy Award nominee Silver Linings Playbook, directed by David O. Russell; and Gran Torino, directed by Clint Eastwood.

“Tony has a seasoned eye and a unique combination of skill and speed,” said Chris Holt, EVP global operations for Deluxe Post Production.

“Deluxe has a stellar reputation in the post industry, not only for their colorists’ talent but also their state-of-the-art facilities and how they take care of their clients,” noted Dustin. “I have great confidence in EFILM’s leadership and look forward to forging an exciting new chapter in this fantastic environment.”

Dustin’s first project for EFILM is biographical drama Harriet, working with Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll, whom Dustin previously collaborated with on Sense8. Dustin comes to EFILM from Technicolor, where he spent nearly 17 years perfecting his craft; he’s also held various color-centric roles at Westwind Media and EFILM sister company Encore. Dustin got his start in postproduction by happenstance, discovering the color grading process through his work in the vault at Editel while attending college. Having spent many hours developing negatives in a photo lab as a youth, Dustin has a well-honed eye and deep appreciation for cinematic visuals. 

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Erik Anderson



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