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R!OT Adds Two Award-Winning Visual Effects Supervisors

Creative Director Cris Blyth and Visual FX Supervisor Toby Brockhurst join R!OT team (November 28, 2005)

As part of its ongoing effort to add to the depth and scope of its talent on a national basis, R!OT has brought on two award-winning visual effects supervisors with top level experience in television commercials. Cris Blyth, former Visual Effects Supervisor with Digital Domain, will hold the title of Creative Director. He will be based out of R!OTs Santa Monica office and be available for work as a Visual Effects Supervisor. Toby Brockhurst, who has held senior effects posts with Moving Picture Company in London, A52 in West Hollywood and Sight Effects in Venice, will be based out of R!OT Manhattan and hold the title of Visual Effects Supervisor and Senior Artist.

Blyth and Brockhurst are the latest in a series of recent additions to R!OTs senior level visual effects staff. The moves are part of the companys effort to redefine its role beyond that of a traditional post production facility and become a more active player in the conceptualization, design and production of effects-driven media, especially commercials. R!OT has also been working to foster increased collaboration between its studios in Santa Monica, New York and Atlanta in order to better leverage its combined talent and resources, and to provide more flexible solutions and increased financial benefit to its clients.

?We are transforming the way we conduct business, our workflow and our role in the process, said Michael Taylor, Managing Director of R!OT Santa Monica. ?Although we can act like a traditional post house, we now have the ability to go far beyond that and provide the creative input that the market is increasingly demanding.

R!OT Manhattan Managing Director Connie Griffin added that visual effects production is becoming an increasingly national business with companies in distant markets often collaborating on projects. ?Having studios in three markets is a tremendous advantage for R!OT, she said. ?It allows us to overcome geographic issues, to add resources at a moments notice and to bring in an artist with unique talents for projects with special needs. Griffin noted that R!OTs Manhattan and Santa Monica offices recently teamed up for a 3-spot package for Cotton and DDB New York (via Cosmo Street Editorial).

R!OTs new production model was a key consideration for Blyth in his decision to leave Digital Domain. ?R!OT has added a lot of creative people to the mix and is offering them expanded opportunities, he said. ?I enjoy situations where Im able to have creative input into how a commercial develops, and provide solutions that help directors achieve their vision. Knowing that there is a tight team of multi-disciplined artists here to explore these visions gives me a great comfort level. Having such great technical resources and computing power here doesnt hurt either.

For Brockhurst, R!OT offered a ?best of both worlds opportunity. ?Working on ads is my passion and I am delighted to have the chance to work in the greatest advertising market in the world, he said. ?R!OT Manhattan is a very special place. Its intimate, boutique environment is ideal for doing great work, while its relationship with Ascent Media, affiliations with R!OT Santa Monica and R!OT Atlanta, and proximity to Company 3, give it immediate access to unlimited resources.

Blyth joined Digital Domain in 1999 as a digital artist and later moved up to CG Supervisor and then to Visual Effects Supervisor. His credits include award-winning campaigns for Autotrader (Doner), American Express (Ogilvy & Mather), Gatorade (Element 79 Partners) and Disney (Pytka). Additionally, he directed several spots for Pennzoil through TBWA Chiat/Day and Fruit 2o through Ogilvy & Mather. Blyth also worked on several feature film projects, including Daredevil, Adaptation, We Were Soldiers and Stormrider.

A native of Scotland, Blyth earned degrees from Queens College and Henderson College in England and began his career as a computer programmer. He joined award-winning video game developer Team 17 in 1993 where he contributed to numerous game titles. Notably, he created cinematics for the companys hugely successful ?Worms game series that won many awards worldwide.

Brockhurst has been working as a freelancer for the past four years, drawing challenging assignments from visual effects studios across Europe and North America, including The Mill, Play and Glassworks in London; Digital Domain and Asylum in Southern California and Das Werk in Germany. Among his credits are the Land Rover spot Gourd, a winner of a Bronze Medal at Cannes and the spot Cant Look for the British non-profit National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a winner of the Palme DOr.

Brockhurst began his career with the post house VTR in London. Relocating to the United States in 1996, he joined Sight Effects in Venice, California and was later recruited by CFC in Culver City. Brockhurst returned to London in 1998, joining Moving Picture Company as Senior Inferno Artist. Brockhursts credits also include Director Nick Parks animated short Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave that won an Academy Award in 1996.

R!OT Santa Monica is located at 702/730 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401. For more information, call Bill Frazee or Michael Taylor at (310) 434-6000 or visit

R!OT Manhattan is located at 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017. For more information, contact Connie Griffin or Luis Ribeiro at (212) 907-1200.

R!OT Atlanta is located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. For information, contact Debbie Maddox at [email protected] or by phone at 404-237-9977.


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