NY-based independent VFX and design house, Phosphene announced that it has hired CG supervisor Vance Miller, lead digital artist Eddie Porter, and lead compositor Scott Winston. In addition, lead digital artist Aaron Raff has been promoted to VFX supervisor.
“With Vance, Eddie and Scott on board, we now have the team we’ve been wanting from day one,” partner and executive producer Vivian Connolly explained. “Also, Aaron being promoted to VFX supervisor means Phosphene can expand and take on more projects.”
For more than 25 years, Miller has been part of the growth and expansion of the visual effects world in New York. Early in his career, Miller took to CG work, and by 1995 was vice president of CGI operations for Pixel Light Communications. Soon after realizing he craved a more hands-on approach, Miller became a freelance animator/modeler and lighter. Over the next 10 years, he worked primarily in the commercial and gaming worlds for clients including AT&T, MTV, Best Buy, McDonalds, Jeep, Tropicana and Verizon.
Miller said there is more time for R&D and creative exploration these days, so in the mid-00’s, Miller made the transition to film and television work where he took on the role of CG technical director and lighting/rendering specialist. More recently, Miller has been focused on character animation.
After collaborating with Phosphene partners Connolly and John Bair for many years, Miller was brought on staff to help Phosphene continue to expand its CG pipeline, with greater focus on character animation and 3D environments.
“I have collaborated with Vance for over 10 years,” Bair said. “He has an unmatched combination of creative talent and technical savvy with a real eye for innovative solutions to CG challenges.” Prior to joining Phosphene’s staff, Miller collaborated on many Phosphene projects including Tower Heist, The Adjustment Bureau, Salt and Doubt.
Porter got his start in 2006 as lead matte painter/background designer on Fat Guy Stuck in Internet for Adult Swim. Following this project, Porter briefly left film and television to pursue opportunities working in the commercial world. Until 2011, he had a range of roles from development and previs work to overseeing the completion of full ups on more than 100 commercials. During this time, Porter dedicated his free time to working on short films, including: Mean to Me, and Portal: No Escape.
After leaving the commercial world in 2011, Porter broke into feature work and episodic television again, working as a visual effects artist and expanding his knowledge of title design. As a freelancer, Porter was able to work on many of the exciting television shows and films that have come through New York City in the past few years including, Smash, The Borgias, So Undercover, Tower Heist and Rampart. Porter also contributed work to the title design and compositing of the 3D credits for Hugo.
Winston is known in the industry as an extraordinary technical talent, as well as an incredible teacher and mentor to young artists. Winston was 17 when he began his first internship at a stop-motion studio. Having realized his passion for this work very early on, he went on to train as an animator at New York’s School of Visual Arts and worked in traditional animation before transitioning to 3D animation and compositing work.
As a freelancer, Winston had the opportunity to work as both a compositor and as an on-set supervisor, contributing to more than 50 projects, including The Da Vinci Code, SeeMore’s Playhouse and Sinatra: His Voice, His World, His Way. Between 2003 and 2006, Winston lent his talents as an educator to NYU, teaching the theories and practices of visual effects work to undergraduates and graduate students. Winston has been collaborating with Bair and Connolly since 2005 on projects including The Adjustment Bureau, Salt and Mildred Pierce.
Raff is now the company’s second in-house VFX supervisor. Raff, who has been working with Bair since 2008, has supervised Treme, John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo, and is hard at work in New Orleans on the set of HBO’s currently untitled series directed by Cary Fukunaga. “Aaron has that perfect balance of creative and technical knowledge that we’ve long valued in Phosphene’s John Bair, and his collaborative attitude, fast-thinking and ability to integrate postproduction VFX expertise with on-set production needs has made him a great asset,” said Jess Levin, producer of both the Fukunaga project and Treme.