Spinning towards feature film FX

Spin Entertainment, the Toronto animation/FX/design shop with sister offices in Atlanta and Vancouver, played revolving doors at the close of 2004. The shop saw five staff come on board and four exit in what Spin CEO and executive producer Norm Stangl calls 'a restructuring.'

Spin Entertainment, the Toronto animation/FX/design shop with sister offices in Atlanta and Vancouver, played revolving doors at the close of 2004. The shop saw five staff come on board and four exit in what Spin CEO and executive producer Norm Stangl calls ‘a restructuring.’

‘We needed to refocus in terms of the creative excitement that we want to build,’ Stangl explains.

Joining Spin in Toronto for its commercial work is senior creative director Wade Howie, a veteran of cross-town C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures and the commercial division of ILM. Three of the new hires come from the Technicolor Creative Services fold: Naomi Anderlini, senior inferno artist and designer; Chad Malbon, senior VFX producer; and Marcus Beiner, VFX system administrator. Rounding out the list is senior designer Larissa Ulisko, who comes with credentials from Red Rover Studios and TSN.

Those let go include Rob Jones, creative director; Lindsay Hood, sales and marketing (who has subsequently joined Discovery Channel as an interactive producer); and system administrator Jaime Pinto. Producer Jennifer Selskey’s contract was not renewed, according to Stangl.

Stangl says the moves represent a slight shift in direction for the shop.

‘There is a focus to go toward a certain amount of longer-format work, such as visual FX in features,’ he says, ‘which requires us to add some of the newer players we’ve brought on.’

As part of this new focus, Spin is doing FX work on zombie-meister George Romero’s Land of the Dead feature that wrapped in Toronto in December. Spin is doing zombie and explosion embellishment as well as matte-painting extensions.

Spin is partners with Vancouver’s Mainframe Entertainment on the 26 x 30 CGI series Beat Freaks (formerly Delores Deadhead), about underachieving teenage monsters. The companies recently signed an extended development deal with the U.K.’s Cosgrove Hall Films ‘to help us modify it a bit to make it more appealing to the European market,’ says Stangl.

Vancouver’s Spin office has provided FX for the series Andromeda and Stargate Atlantis, and the mini Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital.

-www.spinpro.com