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Sway Studio Expands Studio & StaffNederhorst, Gamache, England & Winkel join staff and ?Driving Simulator? hits the road (June 14, 2005)
Computer animation and visual effects boutique Sway Studio is in the middle of a broad-based expansion to keep pace with growing demand for its services among high-end commercial advertisers. Doubling the size of its production staff, the studio has hired compositing supervisor Robert Nederhorst, animation supervisor Erik Gamache, digital artist Wayne England and producer Matt Winkel. Nederhorst, Gamache and Winkle all arrive from Digital Domain. England is a former freelancer who also once held a staff post at DD.
Additionally, Sway has expanded its production space by 50-percent, acquired three new computer animation workstations, added 30 processors to its render farm and upgraded its servers and internal network.
Over the past several months, Sway has kept extremely busy with commercial projects for Cingular via BBDO, (New York) and Smuggler; McDonalds via Moroch and Plum Productions; Jeep via BBDO, (Detroit) and Anonymous; and Crisco via Grey, (New York).
?Word has gotten out about us and weve worked on some great projects, said Sway Studio principal and creative director Mark Glaser. ?Its given us an opportunity to bring in new talent and to branch out in new directions. There are a lot of exciting things happening here.
Sway has also unveiled a new internally-developed system to create photo realistic movement for CG cars. Photo-real cars is a skill the studio is already well known for. Dubbed the SWAY Driving Simulator, the system allows an animator to ?drive a CG car in a manner similar to a real vehicle. The result is greatly reduced animation time and precise movement. Sway recently used the system for the first time on a spot for Mattels Hot Wheels and it is currently conducting demonstrations of the system for advertising agencies with car accounts around the country.
Additional expansion efforts are being planned. Among other things, Sway is eyeing the possibility of building a digital intermediate pipeline that could be used for real time color grading and visual effects work for commercials and other media. The company is also weighing an expansion into effects for features and other long-form media.
Nederhorst brings broad experience as an effects supervisor and compositor to Sway with credits in feature films, commercials and music videos. After beginning his career with Texas-based NewTek, developer of Lightwave animation software, he spent the past seven and a half years on staff at Digital Domain. His recent credits there include the upcoming Columbia Pictures release Stealth, directed by Rob Cohen where he was lead compositor, and a new Nine Inch Nails video directed by David Fincher. He also served as lead compositor on The Day After Tomorrow directed by Roland Emmerich and as a compositor on Daredevil, Star Trek: Nemesis, We Were Soldiers, Cameron Crowes Vanilla Sky and many other titles. His commercial credits include spots for Gatorade and Sony with Joe Pytka, Maytag with Breck Eisner, Gillette, Dell and many others.
England has been working as a freelancer for the past six years. His recent work includes spots for Nokia with David La Chappelle, Bridgestone Tires and Old Navy with Matthew Ralston as well as music videos for the groups Duran Duran and Sugababes also with Matthew Ralston. His credits also include Intels well known Blue Man Group campaign with David Kellogg, the Clio award winning Coca-Cola spot Skydivers with Jan De Bont and the Lexus spot Teacup.
England has held staff positions at Digital Domain, Planet Blue, Area 51 and Will Vinton Studios. He won an Emmy Award in 2001 for his work on the SCI-FI Channel mini-series Dune. He also was part of a team nominated for an Emmy Award in 1996 for Outstanding Special Effects Work for the FOX series Space: Above and Beyond. He began his career with Will Vinton Studios.
Gamache worked at Digital Domain for a total of five years in two stints dating back to 1998. In between, he held a staff post at DreamWorks. His credits at DD included commercials for American Express, Frito Lay and Intel, as well as the films Stealth, I Robot, Looney Tunes: Back in Action and Daredevil. At DreamWorks, he was part of a team nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special for Steven Spielbergs Taken.
Winkel has worked as a visual effects coordinator and producer at Digital Domain for five years, primarily on commercial projects. His recent credits include Coming Home, a spot promoting Disneys 50th anniversary. Directed by Joe Pytka, the spot featured 3D versions of Dumbo, Goofy and other Disney characters on a cross-country trek to the park. Recent projects included ads for Acura, Nike and Adidas.
Sway Studio is located at 1100 Glendon Avenue, 17th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90024. For more information, call (310) 689-7237 or visit www.swaystudio.com.
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