VFX ADVISORY BOARD
The Animation Mentor VFX Advisory Board consists of visual effects industry luminaries and leaders. Our board members are experienced, working professionals from leading visual effects institutions — including artists, supervisors, producers, educators, and hiring authorities.
The VFX Advisory Board contributes perspectives based on their own professional experience and shares up-to-the-minute thinking on current industry trends. Their input shapes the Animation Mentor experience, community, and visual effects curriculum.
Jeff A. Okun
Senior VP Visual Effects, Prana Studios
Chair, Visual Effects Society
Jeff recently completed work on 20th Century Fox’s feature film, Hitchcock and The Watch as well as Disney’s John Carter of Mars and several other high profile projects.
Jeff, known for creating “organic” and invisible effects, as well as spectacular “tent-pole” visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of the project, has won the VES Awards for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects for his work on The Last Samurai. He has been nominated for two other VES Awards as well as numerous other awards. “I feel that the job of visual effects is to serve the story above all else. The art and technology of visual effects is only one color in the palette available.”
Jeff has also delivered wide-ranging effects in award-winning films such as Blood Diamond, Stargate, Sphere, Red Planet, Deep Blue Sea, Lolita, and The Last Starfighter. Additionally, he oversaw the rush 3D conversion of Clash of the Titans for Warner Bros.
Jeff coedited the VES Handbook of Visual Effects, a 980-page reference covering all aspects of creating visual effects, techniques, and practices. The book won the Prose award in 2011.
His background also includes editing and visual effects work on award-winning music videos and long-form projects from such varied artists as Sting, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janet Jackson, Wayne Newton, Bryan Adams, Amy Grant, Dolly Parton, Prince, Michael Jackson, the Neville Brothers, and Rod Stewart.
Jeff created the visual effects tracking and bidding software that is in wide use within the industry today, as well as the revolutionary visual effects techniques dubbed the "PeriWinkle Effect" (an underwater blue screen technique) and the "Pencil Effect” (accurately predicts the final visual effects count and budget).
Jeff is currently serving his fifth term as Chair of the Visual Effects Society, and was the Founding Chair of the VES Awards program and event.
He is a respected member of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (currently serving on the VFX steering committee), British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Academy of Television Arts and Science, and an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
Executive Professor of Creative Industries
An animation producer with almost 25 years of very eclectic production experience, SHOTS magazine called Terrence “possibly the most mobile practitioner in the CG industry.” Working in broadcast, video games, special venue, feature animation, and visual effects, he came up through the ranks on more then 20 films including Hook, True Lies, Interview with a Vampire, and three Star Wars movies. He is also well known for single-handedly developing the original CG pipeline for South Park in 1996 and as the on-camera image analysis expert for the History Channel’s UFO Hunters and Ancient Aliens. His short film Bunkie & Booboo won first place in the World Animation Celebration in 1998.
As Founding Director and Executive Professor of Creative Industries at Northeastern University in Boston, Terrence led the vision, creation, and leadership of all undergraduate Game Design and Interactive Media curriculum in the College of Arts, Media and Design. He continues to serve on and chair numerous interdisciplinary committees developing university-wide team-based projects and curriculum with the new Media and Screen Studies Program. An active volunteer with SIGGRAPH since 1988, Terrence served as 2006 Computer Animation Festival Chair, SIGGRAPH 2010 Conference Chair, and is currently the ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Service Awards Chair. A much sought after international speaker and consultant, Terrence is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Visual Effects Society, an ACM Distinguished Lecturer, and author of the industry standard CG101: A Computer Graphics Industry Reference.
Visual Effects Supervisor
Wayne has been working in the visual effects industry for over 17 years. He began his career writing educational software that used a graphics-oriented approach to learning. He then worked at PDI/DreamWorks on Shrek 2 and as a CG Supervisor at Electronic Arts.
Wayne started at Weta Digital in 1994 and has worked on projects including The Frighteners, Contact, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, and Avatar. He helped develop the lighting and rendering pipeline that was used across Avatar. Wayne’s latest project was The Adventures of Tintin, for which he was nominated for two VES awards and a BAFTA. He is currently working on an unannounced project and is also Head of the Shots Department.
Visual Effects Supervisor
Industrial Light & Magic, Singapore
Brennan's most recent credits include Marvel’s The Avengers and Battleship.
In addition to his production work, Brennan is an integral part of Training and Talent Development for ILM's parent company, Lucasfilm Singapore, serving as Digital Artist Supervisor and mentor to the artist community in the Singapore studio. In this role, he oversees studio-wide training programs designed to help artists and technicians expand their skills across multiple disciplines. Lucasfilm Singapore is a fully-integrated digital studio with close to 500 employees working in visual effects, games, and feature film animation including the 2011 Oscar-winning film Rango.
Brennan is also responsible for building the pipeline for entry-level talent through the Jedi Master’s Program — an apprenticeship program designed to fast track potential recruits to work on world-class international productions. Brennan has helped build partnerships with a variety of academic institutions in Singapore to help bridge the gap between school and industry.
Prior to Joining Lucasfilm, Brennan spent 14 years with Tippett Studio in Berkeley, California, serving in a variety of roles with increasing levels of responsibility and leadership. This cross-studio experience included his function as a Compositing Technical Director, Visual Effects Supervisor, Training Director, Technology Manager, and Head of Creative Operations. Before focusing on Visual Effects for film, Brennan was a founding partner in a small studio that developed educational, interactive multimedia games for the digital publishing industry.
Throughout his professional career, talent development has been a keen interest. He is currently an adjunct professor at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore and has taught at both San Francisco State University and The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Brennan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts with an emphasis in Educational Technology from San Francisco State University.
Most recently, as Head of Outreach for DreamWorks Animation, Marilyn Friedman spearheaded the company’s educational outreach initiatives, assessing university academic programs as they pertained to the studio’s varied production needs. She liaised on behalf of DWA with industry and community related events, festivals and other projects. Prior to her outreach role, Marilyn led DWA’s world-class team of recruiters in staffing all animation studio production and technology groups. Her efforts were key in building up the studio’s production capability with PDI/DreamWorks first computer animated feature film, Antz. She was responsible for the continued staffing of Academy Award-winning Shrek as well as the sequel, Shrek 2. The first and second computer-generated films to be produced at DreamWorks Feature Animation, Shark Tale and Over the Hedge, also came under her watch.
Marilyn joined PDI (Pacific Data Images) in 1994, as one of two production managers for the pioneering computer graphics production facility. She then moved into a recruiting role with the studio in 1996 when PDI entered into a co-production deal with DWA.
Marilyn kicked off her career in the graphics industry with the creative services agency Peterson and Dodge in San Francisco. She later moved to San Francisco’s Frazier Design, a high-end graphic design studio, where she held the role of studio and project manager for six years.
Marilyn is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She has been involved with many educational initiatives and advisory boards worldwide.
CEO and Visual Effects Supervisor
Indian Artists Computer Graphics Pvt. Ltd.
Srinivas has 15 years of industry experience. He was the VFX supervisor for the blockbuster film, Endhiran the Robot, the most influential film so far in India. Srinivas is Founder & CEO of Indian Artists Computer Graphics Pvt. Ltd., which has won three National Film Awards (Indian Oscar) for Best Visual Effects for Magic Magic Stereoscopic in 2003, Sivaji the Boss in 2007, and Endhiran the Robot in 2010. In addition, Endhiran the Robot was recognized with the 2011 FICCI Frames award, 2011 IIFA award, 2011 Star Screen Award, 2011 Global Indian Film & TV Honor, and William & Mary Global Film Can Award.