Curious Pictures has tapped DreamWorks/PDI alum Lewis Kofsky to head its newly expanded visual effects department in New York. Kofsky recently completed the visual effects for SHREK 2 and the soon-to-be released MADAGASCAR.
Im thrilled to have found a home at Curious Pictures where creative freedom and the role of visual effects are paramount to all the work they produce said Kofsky, the new head of Computer Graphics and Visual Effects. Curious is a studio that can work in any media and values its artists strong design and problem solving abilities. The CG/vfx team is a creatively driven crew of characters with backgrounds in many media who are able to take clients from concept, through creative development to final picture. Its great to be in a place that sees visual effects as an integral part of the creative process as opposed to something that happens in post.
Kofsky will be heading a 75-member team that occupies part of the 30,000 square-foot space at Curious headquarters in downtown Manhattan. With a soundstage equipped with motion control and a full shop - 110 digital workstations and 50 traditional workstations - Curious is able to maintain a deep talent pool. Whether live action, invisible effects, stop motion, cel animation, high design or computer-generated 2D/3D, the team is able to use whatever technique fits.
Every project that comes into Curious has some degree of visual problem solving whether it includes live action, animation or high end cinematic visual effects, said Curious exec producer and partner David Starr. We need someone who understands a wide array of filmmaking techniques and can manage a large department. Lewis came back from California energized about his feature film experience and ready to jump back into the creative commercial world.
The new state of the art department is capable of delivering animation in any media and currently supports two television series, broadcast design, commercials and four made-for television animated branded entertainment movies.
With a production company that defines itself as a visual effects studio, finding the right leader for the visual effects department is critical, said Meridith Brown, head of production at Curious. Lewis had worked here as a technical director a few years ago and ended up in New York freelancing in the fall. After a couple of projects as a freelance vfx supervisor it was clear that he fit in at Curious and commanded the respect of the crews he was working with on TV Land and on a Lu Cookie commercial. We are delighted to have him back spearheading the creative problem solving team at Curious.
Kofsky recently completed two: 30 and: 60 spots that are currently airing on TV Land/Nick at Night, FAMILY TABLE and FAST LANE. One of the challenges of the unique project was to have an office chair drive a working father home through rush hour traffic to have dinner with his family. Kofsky designed and supervised a production process where creativity drove the production.
I believe that too many CGI artists see limitations or use the tools of their trade as a crutch, Kofsky added. I didnt want the shortcomings of a greenscreen or the complications of locked off cameras and motion control to dampen our vision, so our FX team pre-visd the entire piece before we even drew shooting boards, and our final spot is remarkably similar. We shot live action despite the difficulties and inherent dangers of filming an actor strapped in to a variety of rigs including a go-cart chair and motorcycle going down a highway at 50 mph.
Kofsky has worked at Curious since 1998 as a technical director and vfx supervisor fluent in a variety of media. He has worked on commercials, TV series, pilots, music videos and short form for CTW Sesame Street, Cartoon Network, HBO, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, ATT, Burger King, Kraft, Target and Wendys.
He recently returned from a sabbatical from Curious Pictures to work on SHREK 2 and MADAGASCAR, specializing in water and fluid effects.
Prior to Curious, Kofsky was a CG artist in the broadcast division of RGA digital Studios NYC and a freelance CG artist in New York, Boston, Peru and Chile. He is self-taught in the field of computer graphics and holds a BS in design from Stanford University.
Curious Pictures (www.curiouspictures.com) is one of the largest animation studios in New York and the home to award winning creators of animated television series, television commercials and celebrated animated characters in picture books and television. Curious incorporates elements of animation, design, production and brand strategy in creating successful branded entertainment for Mattel and AOL as well as in commercials for Target, Steve Madden, General Motors, Burger King, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and hundreds of other companies.