The Visual Effects Society (VES) has announced the 2016 officers for its Board of Directors. The officers, who comprise the VES Board Executive Committee, were elected at the January 2016 Board meeting.
Officer include Mike Chambers, who was re-elected as Board Chair; 1st Vice Chair Jeffrey A. Okun, 2nd Vice Chair Nancy St. John, Treasurer Susan Thurmond O’Neal and Secretary Rita Cahill.
Mike Chambers is an independent Visual Effects Producer and freelance VFX Consultant, specializing in large-scale feature film productions. He is currently in post-production on Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (Disney). He most recently completed work on Transcendence, the directorial debut of award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister, following their collaborations on The Dark Knight Rises and Inception for Christopher Nolan (WB). Mike has contributed to visual effects on many Academy & BAFTA award-winning films, and has personally won two VES Awards for Best Visual Effects, for The Day After Tomorrow and Inception, and has been nominated for his work on I Am Legend.
Jeffrey A. Okun is currently working on Albert Hughes’ The Solutrean for Studio 8 and Sony Pictures. He is 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, and has won the VES Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects for his work on The Last Samurai. Okun was recently named a Fellow of the VES, as well as the recipient of the Founder’s Award. He also created and co-edited the VES Handbook of Visual Effects and served as VES Board Chair for seven years.
Nancy St. John has help build VFX facilities around the world over the last 30+ years and has produced, executive produced and consulted with a Who’s Who of renowned VFX and computer animation facilities. The list includes Robert Abel & Associates, Digital Productions, Pacific Data Images, Industrial Light & Magic, Rhythm & Hues, Mill Film London and Prime Focus Vancouver. Most recently as studio-side VFX Producer she completed onset work for the highly anticipated new Ghostbusters, directed by Paul Feig. St. John previously served as the VES 1st Vice Chair and is also a member of the Producers Guild of America.
Susan Thurmond O’Neal has more than 18 years of experience in the visual effects industry, during which she’s worked to build teams, track progress, inspire artistry and liaison for high-profile clients. Susan is currently a creative recruiter for BLT Recruiting and has worked as Ops Manager at The Mill, Ops Director at Escape Studios, Account Manager at Side Effects Software and head of production at R!OT Pictures. She has also worked on teams that produced such films and projects as T2:3D – Battle Across Time, Titanic, The Italian Job, West Wing and Six Feet Under. O’Neal is Co-chair of the Education Committee, Chair of the Membership Committee and creator of the ad hoc “Cross Pollination” Committee, whose mission is to explore industries parallel to VFX for employment opportunities for the VES membership.
Rita Cahill is an international business and marketing/PR consultant for a number of US, Canadian, Asian and EU companies for animation and visual effects feature films. Current and former clients include VFX and animation companies Digital Domain, Look FX, Method Studios, Milk VFX, The Mill, The Orphanage, Rainmaker Animation, Rajtaru Studios, The Senate, Shade VFX, Shanghai Cartoon, Shanghai SFS Digital, Trixter Film, Vertigo Digital and Xing Xing Digital, along with industry related organizations Animation Mentor, Jiaflix Enterprises and Wuxi Studios. She is also a partner in MakeBelieve Entertainment, a film development company, and serves as Executive Producer on a number of international projects. This will be Cahill’s second term as Secretary. Cahill has served as Chair or Co-Chair of the VES Summit for the past six years.