Legend 3D Bolsters Exec Team with Multiple Hires

Legend-3D-150

Leading 3D conversion, VFX and VR studio Legend 3D has brought onboard several new hires to its executive leadership team as the company strengthens its resources and looks to expand its global footprint. Legend 3D has been key to creating visual spectacles for blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Ben-Hur and Ghostbusters.

“These key roles reflect Legend’s ongoing commitment to provide clients with the most experienced and accomplished professionals in our business,” said CEO Aidan Foley. “As an industry leader, Legend takes serious our obligation to engage world class talent in all facets of our operations. We’re very pleased to welcome these respected and skilled new members to the Legend family.”

Building out the team under the leadership of Foley, who joined the company in December, are eight experienced digital entertainment veterans:

Richard Baker, Chief Creative Officer – With some 15 years of VFX experience, the former Creative Director and Senior Stereographer for Prime Focus World’s Stereo Conversion division brings to Legend a wealth of 3D conversion expertise, having supervised such films as Beauty and the Beast, World War Z, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, which earned him the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society Creative Arts Award for Best 2D to 3D Conversion.

Barry Stagg, Chief Marketing Officer – Stagg brings more than two decades of marketing communications experience to the Legend team, having handled marketing communications for such studios as Warner Bros./Lorimar Television, Fox Family Worldwide, Ascent Media, 4Kids Entertainment and Norman Lear’s Tandem/TAT/Embassy Communications. He’s also led these efforts for several web-based businesses including the former Homestore.com (now Move.com).

Scott Willman, Chief Information Officer – Willman has played pivotal roles for both major film studios and tech companies, with experience ranging from oversight of a department of 50+ artists, production staff, and software engineers and completely redesigning and building a 3D film conversion pipeline at two major VFX studios. He has personally supervised 3D output on 15 major theatrical films and has served as the sole 3D supervisor on films for 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate and New Regency Enterprises. In 2013, Scott founded Dimension X with production partner (and wife) Heather Willman, to provide a full range of 3D services directly to studio production teams and VFX companies including full creative supervision, production management and editorial support. Under his direction, the company has developed extensive automation and proprietary techniques for post-processing natively captured stereo images — seen on such films as The Martian, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the X-Men franchise.

Crys Forsyth-Smith, Vice President, Production – Forsyth-Smith boasts more than 20 years’ experience in all aspects of production, including visual effects, from budgeting, scheduling and on-set work to crewing, pipelines and stereo deliverables, including serving as Vice President, Production for Method Studios, as VFX Producer at Sony Pictures Imageworks, and as Production Manager for several companies including Digital Domain.

Prasanna Kodipadi, Vice President, International Operations – A respected and experienced veteran of motion picture production services, Kodipadi joins Legend from Stereo D, where, over the past five years he served as Creative Outsource Supervisor, as well as a Compositor. In addition to helping Legend expand its presence beyond North America to support an increasing list of projects, he will also be managing all third party vendors the company engages.

Chris McClintock, Senior Producer – With 15 years’ experience in on-set production, post-production, animation, VFX and virtual reality, McClintock has worked on blockbuster hits such as Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Leveraging an understanding of emerging film technologies, he helped build stereoscopic workflows at companies including Stereo D, and as a producer at Prime Focus World, where he led the high- quality stereo conversion of Men in Black 3, Green Lantern and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. He also contributed to the studio’s VFX production work on Avatar.

Lisa Sepp-Wilson, Head of VFX Production – Toronto – Sepp-Wilson’s extensive VFX background includes over 20 years of on-set production, post production and animation in both Vancouver and Toronto, two Gemini and Leo Award wins and several Emmy and Visual Effects Society Award nominations. She served as VFX Producer and CFO at Anthem Visual Effects, the Vancouver-based agency she co-founded, as well as working as VFX Producer and Executive Producer for Encore in both their Vancouver and Toronto studios, on such TV series as Under the Dome, Homeland, Newsroom and Orange Is the New Black, to name a few.

Simon Kern, Stereo Supervisor – Kern brings a decade of VFX professional experience to the Legend team, developing new tools, pipelines, and techniques while working directly with clients to bring their vision to life on such films as Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed, and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, which won the Advanced Imaging Society’s 3D Scene of the Year honor. Kern has trained artists in the skills of stereo compositing and paint, aided in Real-Time Depth Grading development, and introduced filmmakers to the art of stereoscopic 3D while working with Marvel, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., Alcon, and 20th Century Fox, among other studios.

All newcomers (except for Sepp-Wilson) will be based at the new Legend Studio Offices on the Columbia Square campus in Hollywood, a 27k sq. ft. LEED building which the company moved into last November.

Legend 3D

Legend 3D

  • Concerned Artist

    Legend also recently fired 70% of their artist staff in the US, and another portion in Toronto. I’m quite disappointed by this fluff piece. It’s not news, it’s promotion of yet another studio that has fired it’s North American staff to set up shop overseas.

    • A Happy Artist

      There’s also justified reason behind the layoffs and the only reason people would be let go is due to the work performance of individuals, just like any other studio. I keep seeing posts like this from people who were let go because they are upset which isn’t fair to the company or to people concidering going to work there. Don’t let negative biases sway you away from Legend as a company because they are clearly doing something right considering the contribution they’ve made to the film industry.

      • Outsourcing

        You don’t lay off 70% of your staff for work performance, it’s to set up shop overseas and to outsource to take advantage of cheap labor. Look at the description for international operations. A ton of studios have already done the same, same as why legend first moved to Toronto, tax incentives for clients.

        • A Happy Artist

          To be clear it was a ramp down which is normal with any VFX company at the close of projects. Yes it was around 50 but considering there were over 400 staff employees this is hardly 70% it amounts to about 12.5%. Opinions are welcome as long as they are accurate.

          • Some Girl

            I’ve been a freelancer for years and dont work for Legend but I can concur that the industry is up and down at times. You work for one company for six months on a project and then go to another company for a few months and then back to the first one for another gig. The best thing to do is become a professional and take your own career into your own hands. If you are a good artist then you will most likely be invited back when another project ramps up.

          • van_vfx_dude

            Yea this is normal for the VFX industry, MPC laid of loads in London and grew in India, IMAX just laid of 100+. Its the business I’m afraid and as always its the Vendors that suffer from Studio delays and changes. As ‘some girl’ said you need to control your own career and build your skills so you can be flexible and change companies when this happens.

          • PayAttention

            The only difference would be whether they told the artists that their contracts would not be extended within the common courtesy timeline that most companies fallow. Walking in one day to be let go, is not a ramp down. It’s a culling due to lost contracts.

          • TruthTeller

            1)It was not a ramp down.
            2)There was at most 280 employees in Toronto, which they laid off 53. There was never over 400 staff members in total, that is a lie.
            3)Legend3d is not a VFX company, they do stereo conversion and do minimal VFX if any.
            4)I’ll just leave this here:
            https://www.glassdoor.ca/Reviews/Legend3D-Reviews-E405239_P2.htm

        • Concerned Artist

          To be clear, I was not one of the artists laid off. I left Legend well before this happened after seeing the direction it was headed.

          This was not typical ramping up and down. The 70% was a number given to artists during the layoff – it applies specifically to the Hollywood location. The layoffs in Toronto may have been part of a typical fluctuation in workforce.

          For those who are unaware of the niche differences, VFX studios generally fluctuate from a skeleton crew (10-20%) and back up depending on the projects in house – 3D conversion studios generally fluctuate from about 70-80% and back up depending on projects in house. Most of the artists at Legend in Hollywood had been with them since they officially moved to the area, or before (approximately 2 1/2 years ago).

          I think we can all agree that it’s the general trend of the VFX industry to lay off North American artists to hire overseas workers. My initial disappointment was not the article’s focus on executive hires, but the complete lack of comment on the other things happening within the company – which suggest not a company growing stronger, but yet another company following the typical “only money matters” mentality.

      • John Grasham

        I worked with Legend for five years, Mr. or Ms. Happy Bullshit Artist buddy. They did not up and fire yes 70% of the Hollywood team one Thursday without warning in a mass of people because of their “poor performance”. They went around to all of us one happy normal day in the middle of the week after we’d come to work and gotten coffee and sat down and whispered in our ears one by one that Jeff wanted a meeting with all of us downstairs at once, and we collectively all trooped downstairs to be handed a folder and told “thanks but get out, we’re specifically letting you go because Canada is cheaper”. Don’t feed us that “poor performance” bullshit, it’s absolutely insulting for you to talk to us like you had anything to do with it when you obviously never stepped foot in our building. It’s absolutely a slap in the face to artists, some that had been there longer than I have, even one who had been there 7 straight years, to tell us like you know anything that it was “poor performance”. What an absolutely ignorance filled ass of a comment that was, you should be ashamed for your baseless and wildly inaccurate accusations. They let go of people who were leads and seconds and thirds (read:people that were really fucking good at their jobs), people who had led teams to success, who suffered through many hundreds of late hours, people who sacrificed countless weekends, went through ridiculous changes in policy sometimes multiple times a week more than a few different times because managers there can’t agree on things or talk to each other first, had Caprice Paxton come out and shriek at us several times for LAUGHING QUIETLY (because we’d been fucking yelled at before) during 12-14 hour day shifts cooped up in a little room where we were not allowed to leave our desks except for lunch and two 10 minute breaks….for 12 hours, Mr. Happy Artist, like we were slaves instead of people (welcome to a small glance at the behind scenes of our “smart and intelligent” management). You weren’t allowed to be a Happy Artist when Caprice was there. When she moved offices away, we were thrilled though she was still too close. Then she moved right back and it was the worst to see her little plants and decorations filling the room nearby again. Caprice treated us like lesser people and screamed at us more than a few times. We all lost respect for her and for the people who allowed this type of pathetic “managing” to happen. Other managers were a lot nicer and a million times better at their jobs, like Adam Lauwers and Christy Williams and Erasmo Romero and Matt Kemper, but one guy was clueless since we had the manager of our entire stereo department living in another country, with their ONLY information about how to manage us coming from absolutely 100% unbiased and level-headed sources like…you guessed it. Caprice. Fair, right?

        He was fired as their fall guy when Legend lost a lot of money from having us work on nothing but training tutorials for weeks because of their poor time management of projects and inability to get more work for months after losing people who knew what they were doing because they saw where the company was going.

        Look at the reviews on Legend 3D on Glassdoor. They’re so terrible that Legend itself tells new hires specifically not to listen to them and that they’ve changed.

        THEY HAVE NOT. THE REVIEWS ARE THERE FOR A REASON. Why would anyone target a particular company for THAT many bad reviews if there wasn’t a reason? Those hundred some odd reviews grow weekly and they are almost never favorable. Last I saw they had what, a 1.6 star rating out of 5 stars, and a couple of those 5 star reviews are suspiciously brief and vague while none of the complaints are.

        What would you say the industry standard for vfx work pay would be? In LA especially? Somewhere around $30-$50 dollars? I started at $15 for 3 years on a contract. They would let us go for a few weeks right before the year was up to avoid giving us a raise or hiring us full-time. 3 times, 3 years. They gave me one raise after 3 years. Not just me, but several of us 3 year contractors got a dollar to two dollar raise. Why? Because we threatened to leave for Gener8, not because of our merits.

        When I was laid off again due to poor management of movie deals and timing, they rehired me back for $20 an hour. That was what I made in LA. And I’m not the only one.

        So many people asked for reviews. Asked for raises. Asked for raises based on reviews. Sent MULTIPLE emails to HR and were ignored forever unless you could track Jeff down in person, then you’d get a vague response that meant nothing and went nowhere. Several, several times.

        That oh-so-nice new CEO, Mr. Aiden Foley, acted like we were worth something at one point but then ignored and walked right past crying individuals who had just lost their job to shake the hands of the less hysterical individuals who had just lost their jobs. He held a town meeting about 7 or 8 months ago, the beginning of 2017, where he promised us he would prioritize us, change how we were treated for the better, promised us regular quarterly reviews, promised us raises based on the merit of our reviews. Guess what? Not a single one of us saw hide nor hair of a review for the rest of the year all the way up til we were all laid off in July and August for apparently 3-7 cumulative years of “poor performance”, as you so…wisely…say.

        As a matter of fact, Mr. or Ms. Happy Artist, it was really hard to get fired from Legend for anything but the most egregious of offenses, regardless of your performance…when they needed bodies to fill the seats. You could come in late (many, many people came in anywhere from 8 am to 1 pm or even later at times with zero accountability or punishment of any kind), scream at your artists (professional right? Also an issue in Toronto from immature leads), sleep with whomever to get to the top, be on your phone all day and pretty much do whatever you wanted as long as you were a somewhat mediocre artist.

        But, when they no longer needed those bodies, no matter what your ability was or years in the company or being on time every day or top producing abilities or never ever calling out, you were fired in the same room right next to the person who came in every day at 12 pm, who called out every two days of the week, who spent all their time playing Mobile Legends on top of their desk, who got one easy shot in a week compared to your five medium to hard shots.

        And in case you were also unaware, there was that one time where they had a hiring wave from all over, bringing in people who uprooted and moved themselves across the country on their own dime with zero relocation assistance, signing leases and mortgages and buying cars for their new life…only to be fired almost immediately after they got out on the floor in a massive firing wave that took out 80% of the entire Carlsbad building. Yeah. That was a fun day. “Poor performance”, right? You’re obviously very intelligent, are you sure you’re not a Happy Production Manager? Faugh.

        So don’t sit there and tell us we were let go due to “poor performance”. Don’t sit there and tell us we’re just complaining for no reason and you’ve heard it all before. Don’t act like you have any right to pass judgement on how happy we are when you obviously haven’t got a fucking clue what we went through.

        Your comment was baseless, classless, and the type of rudeness borne only of the most reprehensible ignorance. Shove it right up your self-righteous ass and do your fucking research before you blame the people who gave this awful company years of their lives for nothing but empty promises and endless bullshit. You have no fucking right.

  • Indifferent Artist

    Based on what I’ve heard from contacts within the company they seem to be in financial trouble. It doesn’t make sense why they recently bought such an expensive office space if they can’t afford to staff it. Whatever their plans were must have changed suddenly. Mass layoffs combined with multiple costly executive hires within a short span of time plus a push to send more of the work offshore smells like a desperate company hoping to be acquired before the money-well runs dry.