Ask Me Anything: VFX Pros Tell All
- Hear from successful VFX pros from diverse backgrounds
- Ask your questions to the pros
- Get exclusive insights – career highlights, hurdles, lessons learned on the journey
- Explore career choices in the evolving world of visual effects
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Inside Exceptional Minds & Neurodiversity in VFX
Plates Lab Wrangler at the Motion Picture Labs at Walt Disney Studios
Prior to working at Marvel, he attended school at Exceptional Minds, where he gained experience in production management. At Disney Studios, Xavier has worked on projects such as GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 3 and SECRET INVASION.
Director, Exceptional Minds Studio Programs, VFX
Mike brings vast expertise with more than 12 years experience on projects including THE WALKING DEAD, AGENTS OF SHIELD and BIRD BOX, he has implemented new metrics for studio performance and fostered a positive, growth-oriented environment for the artists.
Jr. Lead VFX Compositor at Exceptional Minds Studio
An Exceptional Minds graduate working full time, who has accrued over 40 professional credits across television and film in his five years at the EM Studio.
Vice President, Recruitment, Talent Development and Outreach at Nickelodeon
Camille Eden joined Nickelodeon as Vice President, Recruitment, Talent Development and Outreach in January 2020, where she leads the recruitment for Nickelodeon Animation, finding and placing new talent that will help develop a growing slate of series and feature productions. (Read more)
Achieving Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: In Conversation
with Women Who Lead in Media & Entertainment Technology
How can women leaders help achieve parity and diversity in the workplace? What programs and benefits foster a productive, inclusive culture that attracts and retains talent and supports workforce development, equity and advancement? This insightful conversation will spotlight initiatives making an impact and talk about where there are still gaps and what can be done.
Director of Media & Entertainment Marketing, Autodesk
Leona is a passionate storyteller and experienced marketing enthusiast who has worked with global brands and across industries to build impactful marketing and content strategies. She leads Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment marketing team and focuses on connecting with M&E audiences, communicating the brand’s vision and highlighting the Autodesk solution portfolio across the customer lifecycle. Leona holds post-graduate degrees from the UK and Canada specializing in International and Intercultural Communication. Leona is a board member for Autodesk’s Black Network where she is working to build a community for Autodesk Black employees and their allies.
Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion Partners, Intel
Responsible for designing and implementing the Business Unit strategy to reach Intel’s corporate diversity and inclusion goals. Nina brings an approach to change that is grounded in deep research, continuous development, cultural context, and lived experience. She started her career in the non-profit sector where she lobbied for immigration reform during the launch of the DREAM Act at the Immigration Center in Boston, and then assessed risk for micro-loans for small and medium sized cooperatives in Latin America at Root Capital.
Global M&E Industry Strategy Lead, Z by HP
Barbara has spent 30 years in the media & entertainment industry with organizations such as the BBC, Autodesk, Epic Games and now HP Inc. As the Global M&E Industry Lead at HP, she oversees initiatives and industry partnerships that drive adoption of Z by HP technology solutions in entertainment content creation. Throughout her career, she has found herself in predominantly white, male-dominated industries and has been an advocate of challenging the status quo, taking responsibility for showing up and asking for the ‘why’, not just the ‘what.’
Lyndon J. Barrois, Sr.
Artist, Animation Director, Filmmaker
An Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) VFX Executive Branch member, Lyndon boasts a long career in art and animation. His film credits include The Matrix Trilogy, Happy Feet and The Thing, where he directed pivotal character animation sequences in those features and many others. He currently wins accolades for his unique gum wrapper sculptures and stop-motion animations of historic figures and events, whose portrait and Sportrait films are produced entirely on iPhones. (Read more)
Producer and InclusionFX Founder
Audrea Topps-Harjo has worked in the entertainment industry for almost thirty years. She has worked for Sony Pictures (CONTACT, STARSHIP TROOPERS), Cinesite (X-MEN 2), Electronic Arts (MEDAL OF HONOR), WETA FX (RISE OF THE PLANETS OF THE APES, THE HOBBIT), and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment (AVATAR SEQUELS). She produced three independent films (SECRETS, ALL IN, THE AVAILABLE WIFE) and served as Mind & Machine’s VFX Producer on Ridley Scott’s (RAISED BY WOLVES). (Read more)
Building the Next Generation of VFX Pros: In Conversation with Women VFX Leaders
Senior Vice President of Lucasfilm Visual Effects and General Manager of Industrial Light & Magic
Janet Lewin is the Senior Vice President of Lucasfilm Visual Effects and General Manager of Industrial Light & Magic. A 28-year veteran of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic, Janet oversees all aspects of the visual effects and animation business for Lucasfilm and ILM, including Production and studio operations across the global organization. She also oversees the company’s burgeoning virtual production StageCraft business. (Read more)
Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES
Senior Vice President of Visual Effects at HBO
Janet Muswell Hamilton, VES is the Senior Vice President of Visual Effects for HBO. Janet is a VES Fellow and member of the Visual Effects Society global Board of Directors and Education Committee. With a career spanning several decades, she established her reputation as a VFX Producer and Supervisor for cutting-edge visual effects on a wide range of groundbreaking television series and theatrical features, as well as animation, IMAX, commercials and Stereoscopic Special Venue projects. (Read more)
Visual Effects Supervisor
Sheena Duggal is an acclaimed visual effects supervisor and artist whose work has shaped numerous studio tent-pole and Academy Award nominated productions. Most recently, Duggal was Visual Effects Supervisor on the box office blockbuster VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE and is a current BAFTA nominee for Best Special Effects for her work as Visual Effects Supervisor on the Oscars VFX-shortlisted GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE. She was the first woman to be honored with the VES Award for Creative Excellence, bestowed in 2020. (Read more)
President of Women In Animation and Head of Studio at Skybound
Emmy-Award winner Margaret Dean is the Head of Studio for SKYBOUND, the home of “Invincible” and “The Walking Dead”. Dean is responsible for the production of original content and operating from studios in Los Angeles.
Prior to Skybound, Dean was the Head of Studio at Crunchyroll, the largest streaming source of Anime. Prior to that she was General Manager of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the largest stop motion studio in Southern California, where she supervised production of Emmy award-winning “Robot Chicken” (Adult Swim) (Read more)
Freddy Chávez Olmos
Director at Directors Guild of Canada/VFX Compositing Supervisor at Image Engine
Freddy Chávez OImos, compositing supervisor, writer, director, brings more than 14 years of experience in visual effects working in feature films, TV and commercials. Born in Puebla, Mexico, Freddy studied special effects make-up in Los Angeles and was later mentored by the legendary Dick Smith (THE EXORCIST).
Working in the visual effects industry in Vancouver, Freddy has worked on productions directed by Guillermo del Toro, Neill Blomkamp, Robert Rodriguez, Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan, and (Read more)
Director and Head of Story, Cinesite Studios
Cinzia Angelini, creator and director of animated films, has worked for major animation studios in Europe and the U.S. for more than 25 years. While she started out as both a 2D and 3D animator, she later became a story artist for Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Sony Imageworks, Disney Animation Studios, Duncan Studio and Illumination Entertainment. Her body of work includes BALTO, PRINCE OF EGYPT, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO, SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, SPIDER-MAN 2, BOLT, MINIONS, DESPICABLE ME 3, THE GRINCH and ABOMINABLE. She is currently directing HITPIG, an upcoming animated feature for Cinesite Studios. (Read more)
Visual Effects Supervisor, Wētā FX
Award-winning VFX Supervisor Chris White has more than 25 years industry experience creating compelling digital environments, creatures and effects and is the recipient of multiple VES Awards for his artistry.
Chris has played a pivotal role in the development of Wētā FX’s new water pipeline for the AVATAR sequels, bringing technical and artistic expertise to this cutting-edge technology that is setting a new industry standard for the creation of digital water. (Read more)
Nonny de la Peña
Founder, Emblematic Group
Nonny de la Peña, founder of Emblematic Group, is a pioneer of virtual reality and immersive journalism – a phrase she coined to describe the groundbreaking application of VR for social impact. She was named Wall Street Journal’s “Technology Innovator of the Year” and one of CNET’s “20 Most Influential Latinos in Tech,” as well as “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget and The Guardian for her leadership using cutting edge technologies to tell important stories. (Read more)
Visual Effects Supervisor, Visual Effects Producer
Ellen Poon is a world-renowned expert in visual effects and animation, with a career spanning more than 30 years, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Executive Committee. She has collaborated with numerous acclaimed directors, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Woody Allen, Christopher Nolan and Jennifer Lee. (Read more)
Creative Director & Visual Effects Supervisor
Aruna Inversin specializes in direction, creative direction, visual effects supervision and real-time supervision for real-time immersive content and experiential technology. From his twenty-year career in feature film VFX, he has stepped into real-time direction and supervision. As a VFX supervisor, he has driven small and large teams across multiple countries and continents to succeed. (Read more)
Head of Studio-NY, Sr. VFX Supervisor
Greg Anderson is the Head of Studio-NY and Senior VFX Supervisor at FuseFX, an award-winning visual effects studio providing visual effects services for episodic television, feature films, commercials and VR production across three studio locations – Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver. (Read more)
Former Global Managing Director
As Global Managing Director of Mill Film, Lauren champions the talented team of artists, technicians, producers and developers that make up Mill Film’s Montreal, Adelaide, Bangalore and Los Angeles studios. A driving force within the visual effects industry, Lauren looks to realize the full potential of the industry’s most diverse talent in the pursuit of creative excellence across Episodic and Feature VFX. (Read more)
As an Animation Supervisor, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo ensures the animation his team delivers is the best in the industry, whether it’s achieved through performance capture, keyframe animation, or a combination of both. (Read more)
President, Executive Producer
As a founding Partner, President and Executive Producer of SPINVFX Neishaw Ali has been working in the film and television industry for over 25 years. She has molded SPINVFX into an internationally recognized leader in visual effects production, with teams in Toronto, Atlanta and Los Angeles. (Read more)
Visual Effects Supervisor, Founder
Kaitlyn Yang is the founder and visual effects supervisor of Alpha Studios, a Burbank-based postproduction company specializing in visual effects. With more than 12 years experience in visual effects, Kaitlyn has credits including film, television and commercials and her works include The Walking Dead, Robot Chicken, Grey’s Anatomy, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. (Read more)
EVP, General Manager
Sony Pictures Imageworks
Michelle Grady is EVP, General Manager of Sony Pictures Imageworks, responsible for overall operations, strategy, planning, and production. She most recently oversaw production of the Academy Award®-winning SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Pictures Animation), SMALLFOOT (Warner Animation Group), and SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Marvel/Columbia Pictures). (Read more)