VES Board of Directors Bios
Mike Chambers is an independent Visual Effects Producer and freelance VFX Consultant, specializing in large-scale feature film productions. Most recently completing work on The Dark Knight Rises for Christopher Nolan & Warner Bros Studios, it is his second collaboration with the esteemed director of Inception.
Early in his career, Mike gained invaluable traditional filmmaking experience working for many seminal Hollywood figures and production companies. Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Doug Trumbull's Showscan and Richard Edlund's Boss Films were among his first training grounds. He then moved on to freelance visual effects coordination, most notably on James Cameron's The Abyss. While working for Apogee Productions, Mike began producing effects for feature films and special venue projects. Later, while serving as VFX Producer on True Lies, he was also a member of the team that built the then-new start-up VFX studio, Digital Domain. Some of his other early credits include Die Hard, Big Top Pee Wee, Heart & Souls, Broken Arrow and Galaxy of Terror.
Mike studied filmmaking at the University of California, and earned his degree in Fine Arts from the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute.
While Mike has contributed to the visual effects efforts on several Academy & BAFTA award winning films, he has personally won 2 VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, for The Day After Tomorrow and Inception, and was nominated for his work on I Am Legend. Mike is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), and sits on the Board of Directors for the Visual Effects Society (VES), also serving as the Chair of their Membership Committee.
Rob Engle has extensive experience in the resurgent field of stereoscopic cinema, having supervised the 3D on numerous films, including "The Polar Express," "Monster House," "Beowulf," "G-Force,"
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "The Amazing Spider-man." In addition to his 3D work, Rob's broad background in live-action visual effects includes specialties in shot supervision, look development, lighting, rendering technology and software R&D. He holds an MS CS degree from Stanford University and a BS EE/CS from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Rob has been a Director of the VES since 2008 and has served on several committees including the Archives Committee and the Technology Committee. Within the Society, Rob's primary interests are promoting history, education and outreach while enhancing the value of membership.
IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0257511/
Michael has earned degrees from California State University Northridge, San Francisco Art Institute, and California Institute of the Arts, in an attempt to disguise a checkered past.
Michael began working in film on China Syndrome in 1977. He “cut his eye teeth” on films such as Star Trek the Motion Picture and Blade Runner, and became a Visual Effects Supervisor on War Games (BAFTA Nomination), in 1982. He has since worked on over 50 films, including Buckaroo Banzai, Batman Returns (BAFTA and Academy Nominations), Braveheart, Mars Attacks!, X-Men, X-Men 2, Constantine, The Golden Compass (BAFTA Award, Academy Award), Tropic Thunder, Avatar, Tron: Legacy, Sucker Punch, Tree of Life, and Life of Pi.
Michael is a founding member of the Visual Effects Society, a member of the Executive Committee of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy, and is a Visiting Professor at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, while continuing his visual effects career.
David Johnson is the Lead Visual Effects Artist at Activision/Blizzard’s Infinity Ward Studio as a hands on artist as well as supervisor/coordinator to multiple ATVI studios. David has 15 years of computer graphics experience, of which 13 has been dedicated to video games. David has shipped a remarkable 15+ video games and contributed on some of the largest names in video game history including the Call of Duty and Halo franchises. The combined revenue of games David has worked on exceeds 3 Billion Dollars, and have broken multiple records for units sold. David is an active VES member as a Board of Directors alternate, and member of the education and membership committees.
Jeff Kleiser’s pioneering work in computer animation has spanned the history of the medium. He has contributed to films with groundbreaking visual effects including “Tron,” “Stargate,” “Judge Dredd,” “Clear and Present Danger”, “Mortal Kombat Annihilation”, “X-Men” and “X-Men United”. He served as senior visual effects supervisor on “The One”—a film in which martial arts master Jet Li battles his evil doppelganger that required the development of innovative digital face replacement techniques. More recently, Kleiser has supervised visual effects in “Exorcist The Beginning”, “Son of the Mask”, “Fantastic Four”, “Scary Movie 4” and “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “Surrogates” and “Ra.One”
With Diana Walczak, Kleiser has directed ambitious CG-animated stereoscopic films for projects such as the Thea and EDDY Award-winning “Amazing
Jeff Kleiser has presented papers at many international events including the London Effects and Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH, INA Imagina, NAB, Opera Totale and the Virtual Humans Conference. He has served as an industry expert in interviews with The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings. Kleiser serves on the
Kim has experience from both the Production & Post Production sides of film making and visual effects producing for a total of over two decades, having worked for Universal Studios on film production then shifting to visual effects in 1994.
Since then, she has been instrumental in building out specialized visual effects boutique studios, working on films such as Frida, Minority Report, Cats and Dogs, Charlie’s Angels, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Terminator 3, Last Samurai, etc.
Aligning herself with the global marketplace, she worked at Weta Digital in various producing roles on; King Kong, XMen 3, Bridge to Terabithia, 30 Days of Night, Enchanted & The Water Horse, etc. Currently, Kim is continuing to bridge the gap between New Zealand and the US film and post production markets.
She has served on the VES Awards Committee since its inception in 2002; and has also served as a VES Board Member and Secretary for several terms: 2004 – present.
Van Ling is a freelance visual effects supervisor, producer, editor, consultant, and digital artist whose film credits include "The Abyss", "Terminator 2", "Twister", "Starship Troopers", "Doctor Dolittle" and "Titanic"; in addition, he has designed and produced several of the THX trailers seen in theatres around the world and also created stereoscopic 3D trailers for both THX and DTS. When not doing visual effects and graphics for feature films and television ("Milk", "Public Enemies", "Piranha 3D", Lifetime's "Last Man Standing", HBO's "John Adams", AMC's "The Walking Dead", CBS' "Person of Interest" and even the Werner Herzog documentary "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"), Ling designs and produces animated graphics and effects for a diverse range of theme park projects; his work on such attractions as "Star Tours: The Adventure Continues", the new "EPCOT Test Track" and "The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow" is seen by thousands every day at the Disney theme parks, and folks aboard the Disney Cruise Ships can see his multiscreen animated city panoramas in the Skyline Lounge. Ling has also produced many seminal DVDs and high-definition Blu-ray discs, creating in-depth special features on titles from "Field of Dreams" to "Titanic" and often pioneering innovative menu systems, including those for "The Abyss Special Edition", "Independence Day", "The Hunger Games", various incarnations of "Terminator 2" and all of the "Star Wars" films on DVD. His work on many of these titles have garnered multiple awards and nominations from various home theatre and industry trade organizations and is widely respected by both home video professionals and consumers.
An active member of the Visual Effect Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America and the Visual Effects Society, Ling is now serving his fourth term on the VES Board of Directors, and is active on the Archives, Vision and Annual Membership Meeting Committees, co-Chairing the latter. He has also created a number of signature VES images, including the VFX image collage for the 11th Annual VES Awards, and his "VES 50 Most Influential VFX Films" compilation and annual VFX-film montages have been inspiring artists at VES events around the world. He is currently developing new feature projects in addition to creating graphics, animation and visual effects at his home studio in southern California. For more information about his work, please visit www.vanlingpro.com
Jeffrey A. Okun has contributed visual effects design and execution to a wide-range of films including the award winning sci-fi hit Stargate (1994), Deep Blue Sea (1999), The Last Starfighter (1984), Sphere (1998), The Last Samurai (2003), Blood Diamond (2006) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008).
Okun is known for creating 'organic' and invisible effects, as well as spectacular effects which seamlessly expand both the look and scope of a film, but also enhances the storytelling aspect of the movie. Additionally, Jeff is the creator of the revolutionary visual effects techniques dubbed the "PeriWinkle Effect" & the "Pencil Effect", which have been used in many projects to help achieve more a sense of the fantastic, wonder and more accurate budgets. Okun is the author of breakdown, budgeting and tracking software currently being used by professionals throughout the industry.
Emmy Award winning Model Supervisor
Eric Roth brings more than 20 years of strategic management, communications and public affairs experience to his position as Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society (VES).
Since taking over VES he has tripled the size of the organization and is frequently consulted on worldwide visual effects trends by journalists and vfx practitioners of all stripes. VES now has almost 3,000 members in 29 countries comprised of the most talented visual effects artists worldwide in film, TV, animation and video games.
Prior to joining VES, Eric was a former Chief of Staff at Los Angeles City Hall, in addition to directing the Government Affairs Department for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).
Richard has an extensive background in live action direction, production design, special effects, and computer generated images for theatrical films, television commercials, computer games, special venues and new media.
Richard began his career as an artist and holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah. He began making short films in 1965 and in 1967 co-created Rainbow Jam, a multi-media light show and graphics company. Rainbow Jam toured with The Grateful Dead and regularly preformed concerts at The Family Dog, The Fillmore, The Winterland and other concert venues with bands such as Santana, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
In 1971 Richard received The Cole Porter Fellowship to USC where he earned his Masters Degree in Photography and Printmaking.
In 2008 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco.
In 1973 Richard joined Robert Abel and Associates, the pioneer TV commercial graphics/special effects studio, where he served six years as art director/director. Richard received four Clio awards for his work on the 7UP Bubbles, 7UP Uncola and Levi’s Trademark commercials. He directed promotional films and network graphics for ABC, CBS, and NBC and designed new theatrical logos for CBS and Columbia Pictures. While at the Abel Studio Richard worked for Paramount Pictures on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, where he supervised the storyboarding of the film and designed and supervised the building of the miniatures including The Enterprise.
In 1980 Richard became the Creative Director at Information International Inc. (III) one of the first companies to create computer-generated images for film and television. While at III Richard designed and directed the special effects for Looker, a Michael Crichton feature and became the co-effects director of the innovative special effects and computer-generated images for Walt Disney’s Tron, the film that introduced the world to computer simulation.
In 1983 Richard became Creative Director of Magi-Synthavision’s west coast studio. While at Magi Richard created special effects for Disney’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and John Lasseter’s Where the Wild Things Are. He also directed numerous commercials including Atari’s Worm War One the first commercial to receive a Clio award for computer animation.
Richard joined with Lee Lacy and Associates in 1985 where he directed award-winning commercials for clients such as Ford, 7UP, RCA, and Duracell.
In 1987, Richard moved to Apogee Production Inc. where he launched the internationally acclaimed 7UP Spot campaign. The 7UP commercial Baseball won the CLIO for Best Live Action/Animation Combination and the spots Teacher Lounge and Christmas both won Best Director at the International Monitor Awards.
From 1989 thru1992, Richard directed at Image Point Productions where he created spots for numerous clients. His Reebok commercial Cowardly Baskets won three Clio Awards.
In 1992, Richard joined with director David Dryer to form Dryer/Taylor Productions, where he directed campaigns for Duracell, McDonalds, Warner Bros., and Disney. Richard won three Clio’s, two Hugo’s and two Mobius Awards while at Dryer/Taylor.
From 1998 to 2000, Richard directed for Rhythm & Hues Commercial Division expanding his clientele to include Disney Cruise Lines, UPS, Honda, Bud Light, Intel, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Census 2000.
In 2003 Richard became the Cinematic Director at Electronic Arts Los Angeles where he directed the cinematic sequences for Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Kane’s Wrath, Command & Conquer, Red Alert 3 and Red Alert 3 Uprising. He was nominated four times by the Academy of Interactive Media and The Visual Effects Society for Best Cinematics in a Video Game. Command & Conquer 3 won Strategy Game of the Year in 2008.
Richard has been a member of the DGA (Directors Guild of America) for 28 years. He has been the Vice-Chair of the VES (Visual Effects Society) and is on the Presidential Advisory Board of The Academy of Art University of San Francisco. Presently he is artist in residence at the Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television.
Richard has worked freelance since 2009. He designed and directed multiple projects at Yu+Co including trailers for the Ubisoft games Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smashup and Call of Juarez, the Cartel. He designed and directed 3D projects including the end title sequence for Shrek 4 and a new 3D logo for 3ality. His Turner Classic Movie 31 Days of Oscars won a Gold and Two Silvers in the 2010 BDA Awards. HIs Showtime Energy Logo won a GOLD for Logo Design/Network Channel at the 2011 BDA awards.
Presently Richard is the Creative Director at his company XLNT FX. He is also Media Director at RGH Entertainment where he’s directing the media on two special venue attractions, one of which features the first 3D dome with imagery rendered at 6k resolution at 60fps.
She is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Visual Effects Society (VES). She chairs the DGA AD/UPM VFX/Digital Technology Committee, is a member of the Producers Guild of America, and Chair of the VES Special Projects. (VES). Over the past fourteen years she has planned and hosted numerous technology and visual effects seminars for these organizations.
Her credits appear on more than 50 major films, producing the visual effects for TALL TALE, (Disney) BROKEN ARROW, Fox) ALIEN RESURRECTION (Fox) MAFIA! (Disney) MEN OF HONOR (Fox) THE ONE (Revolution Studios) AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (Walden Media and Disney) FAT ALBERT, (Fox) and THE GUARDIAN (Disney/Touchstone) and VAMPS. Her other production credits include the acclaimed ALL THAT JAZZ, WISE GUYS, SCARFACE, NIGHTSHIFT, NIGHTHAWKS, and THE FLAMINGO KID.
A special highlight in Ms. Zwerman’s career was winning a Grammy Award for "Best Concept Music Video" in 1989, producing the I’M FAT music video starring Weird Al Yankovic. This led to the producing of the fantasy sequences and music videos of ‘Weird Al’ in the film UHF.
In addition, Ms. Zwerman is a well-known seminar leader at many universities, teaching visual effects techniques in the entertainment field. Susan co-authored the book on producing visual effects, “The Visual Effects Producer: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX”.
Web Site: http://www.crystalrain.biz
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