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Exclusive: Tippett Studio Names Michael Root New CTO, Ups Dale Taylor to Head of Production

January 24, 2022 12:30 | By
Michael Root

Image via Tippett Studio

Tippett Studio, the award-winning effects studio founded by two-time Oscar winner Phil Tippett, has announced that Michael Root has been promoted from Director of Technology to Chief Technology Officer, while Dale Taylor has been promoted from VFX producer to Head of Production.

The studio’s recent projects include The Mandalorian Season 2 and Marvel’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney Plus, as well as Locke and Key Season 2 on Netflix. The studio also recently moved into content production for themed entertainment, partnering with international brands in addition to continuing its role as one of the industry’s leading post-production houses.

The company recently promoted Sanjay Das to CEO and Gary Mundell to COO and rolled out a series of NFTs based on Tippett’s portfolio of artwork on his SuperRare profile page.

Root began at Tippett Studio in 2007 as a Compositor/Pipeline Engineer/Graphics Software Engineer before being promoted to Head of Research and Development in 2010, and then Director of Technology in 2015. He has used his experience as both an artist and a programmer to modernize Tippett’s infrastructure and pipeline at every level while ensuring that multiple concurrent productions all finish on schedule. Before joining Tippett Studio, Root helped start Tweak Films/Tweak Software in 2001 (sold to Autodesk in 2015). Root also worked at Weta Digital on Peter Jackson films such as The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) and King Kong (2005) as a Compositor and Lead Lighting Technical Director, respectively.

Dale Taylor

Image via Tippett Studio

“I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since I started at Tippett Studio. It’s been a fun challenge keeping an independent shop with a commitment to tradition up-to-date with the rapidly evolving tools of modern filmmaking. I’m looking forward to using my new role to continue making us better, faster, and more flexible as we take on new ventures,” said Root.

“Michael Root has been the engine keeping Tippett Studio artists like me able to make pretty pictures.  And grotesque ones too. He’s a huge asset to us and I’m proud to have him in this role. The joint might not work without him,” said Phil Tippett, who is the visionary behind some of cinema’s most iconic characters, including Jabba the Hut and the Rancor Monster in Return of the Jedi; the Tauntauns and Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back; the Raptor and T-Rex stop motion puppets in Jurassic Park; and the ED-209 from RoboCop.

As for Taylor, he previously worked for ILM and Atomic Fiction on projects including Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Wars: Episodes 2 & 3 as well as Steven Spielberg‘s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and War of the Worlds.

“Dale is the most solid VFX producer I’ve ever worked with. He’s a one-man show, from a producing standpoint, with a great work ethic. He recognizes our clients’ needs and is creative and flexible in adjusting schedules and budgets as needs change,” added Mundell.

Tippett Studio is a full-service animation and visual effects production company staffed by designers, supervisors, animators, and producers who are dedicated to delivering premium visual effects at a competitive price. From hands-on stop-motion animation to cutting-edge computer graphics, its studio in Berkeley services clients from around the world. Tippett’s latest movie, Mad God, is an experimental film that took 30 years to come together before ultimately premiering to rave reviews at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival and going on to screen at the Edinburgh, Fantasia, and Sitges film festivals, among others.