rhinofx Deepens Talent Pool, Adding Eight to Effects Team


Last Updated: July 16, 2007 3:41 pm GMT
(July 16, 2007) Rhinofx, one of New York’s premier visual effects studios, recently hired a host of renowned designers, animators, and technologists to support the company's growth.

With access to these additional resources, rhinofx is even better positioned to deliver a broad range of visual effects services, across both film and broadcast mediums. SVP of Production Camille Geier notes, "We really scoured the globe for the top talent in each discipline to add depth and talent to our staff. The additions support our goal to broaden expertise and experience within feature films, adding several of the industry's top designers and animators to our team. With their help, we will continue to solidify our position as one of the top studios for film effects."

From both a creative and a technical standpoint, the new team members have an impressive track record in both commercials and film. This has helped to support a string of recent big-screen success. The additions come in the midst of two major design/VFX projects - Columbia Picture's Perfect Stranger, starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, and Weinstein Company's Nanny Diaries, starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, and Paul Giamatti. The company's recent commercial work also includes notable spots for Mercedes, Arby's, Country Crock, Pinnacle, and Panasonic. Commenting on the process, Partner/Managing Director Rick Wagonheim notes, "From artists to animators, lighters, and technologists, these additions will prove to be a powerful step in our growth and ability to deliver the highest level of quality for any project - across features and broadcast."

Key additions include the following:
Tom Bardwell: Lead Lighter
Dan Kelly: Lead Inferno Artist
Goran Ognjanovic: Lead Animator
Sean Curran: Animator
Rich Shurtliff: Systems Director
Rodrigo de la Parra: Designer and Compositor
Julie Mai: Inferno Artist
Veronica Skogberg: Lighting TD

Australian-native Tom Bardwell leverages his talent and expertise serving as the firm's Lead Lighter. Trained in a variety of advanced digital effects, Bardwell previously worked at Animal Logic, providing digital effects for the film 300, as well as for Aquamarine and Stealth. His award-winning commercial work includes Toyota Prado's Ice Sculptures, which earned a 2006 AEAF Award, and Carlton Draught's Big Ad, which garnered a 2005 Mobius Award. He also worked on numerous spots for Smirnoff, Adidas, Sony, Toyota, Qantas, Visa, Energizer, Subaru, Lunesta, and Optus.

Set to serve as rhinofx's Senior Inferno Artist is Dan Kelly, a Visual Effects Artist originally from the UK. With an extensive history in both commercial and long form projects, Kelly has worked on the effects for several major motion pictures, including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Saw II and III, Balls of Fury, and Weirdsville. Additionally, Dan was involved in several prominent works for television, including the A&E original movie Kings of South Beach, and has worked on notable spots for BMW, Motorola, Nokia, Guinness, Heineken, Smirnoff, and Ford.

Leading rhinofx's animation department is Goran Ognjanovic, who brings a proven record of top-tier technical skills and accomplishments to rhinofx. Ogdanovic has served as the lead animator for two of Belgrade's top visual effects houses, Helium and Zepter International, where he worked on spots for Pepsi, Coca Cola, Skittles and Snickers. He also fine-tuned his craft as an advanced animation software instructor, training international clients in 3D studio, 3DS MAX, and MAYA technologies.

Seasoned industry veteran Sean Curran also joins rhinofx's animation team. Sean has amassed an impressive resume of visual effects experience working at Industrial Light + Magic. There, Curran earned considerable acclaim and as a senior animator for the films Artificial Intelligence, Transformers, Chicken Little, Star Wars Episode III, Hulk, The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Blue Sea, and all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Rich Shurtliff will help oversee the strategic expansion of the company as a Systems Director. Shurtliff brings considerable industry experience in building and managing complex network and workstation build-outs. Before joining rhinofx, Rich served as the CTO at Curious Pictures, as well as working at R/GA and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Applying his background in networking and integrated business applications, Shurtliff helps rhinofx remain at the forefront of technological advancement.

Rhinofx's also added the talented Rodrigo de la Parra, a designer and compositor from Mexico City. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York's prestigious School of Visual Arts, de la Parra has already gained considerable recognition across the visual effects industry. His short film Beginnings was featured in both the Metropolitan Area College Computer Animation Festival and the Chilean International Short Film Festival, and won a Motion Graphics Outstanding Achievement Award.

Julie Mai leverages her fluency in animation software working as an Inferno artist for rhinofx. Mai worked on several successful advertising campaigns and high-definition broadcasts at Production I.G. and Sparx-fx, two of France's top post-production studios. Prior to that, she served as a project manager at Titus Interactive, overseeing the creation of all of the graphics for Barbarian Game's marketing website. Mai began her career at Brunet & Saunier Architects as a graphics design engineer, and recently earned her PhD in special effects in Japanese animation from Marne-la-Vallée University.

Veronica Skogberg joins rhinofx as a lighting technical director. Before her move to rhinofx, Veronica enjoyed a successful stint as a lighting and texturing artist with Eyebeam and Curious Pictures, providing special effects for independent films and documentaries and contributing to the feature film Barbie Diaries. Veronica also worked on the 3D effects for several other major projects: she developed the character, environment, and prop design for the computer game Rapunsel, created the 3D environment for a documentary shown in Sweden's Museum of Armory, and served as a design assistant during the makeover of Scandinavian airlines.

About rhinofx:
Since its launch in 2000, rhinofx has created award-winning visual effects, design, and animation for commercials, VFX for feature films, episodic television, webisodic mini-series, and videogame cinematics. The company's principals and artists have also led the industry's exploration into the boundless potential of branded digital content. By cultivating extensive relationships with key brands, advertising agencies, and film/TV studios, rhinofx utilizes its creative directors and artists to develop and execute powerful branded entertainment to build both identity and awareness. The company's principals include: Partner/CD/Director: Vico Sharabani, CD/Director: Harry Dorrington, CD/Director: Arman Matin, CD/Director: Natasha Saenko, SVP of Production: Camille Geier, and Partner/Managing Director: Rick Wagonheim.



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