Digital Domain Recruits ILM Trio

Digital Domain has hired a trio of top senior execs from Industrial Light & Magic as it attempts to re-emerge as a vfx powerhouse. Mark Miller, a 22-year vet of ILM, most recently vp and senior exec in charge of production and marketing, has been named president of Digital Domain, reporting to ceo Carl Stork. Cliff Plumer will retain his cto title at Digital Domain and will lead the companys planned expansion of its technological resources and in the convergence of film and videogames. Kim Libreri, a vfx supervisor at ILM (POSEIDON), will join Digital Domain as vp, advanced strategy. He was the architect behind ESC Ent. and a key force behind all three MATRIX movies.

"Mark, Cliff and Kim have distinguished careers in the visual effects industry and we are delighted that they share Digital Domain's vision and will join forces with our talented artists and technologists," said Stork. "Whether it's developing photorealistic computer-generated humans or exploring digital technology pipelines capable of producing commercials, videogames and feature films, Mark, Cliff and Kim will play key roles in ensuring Digital Domain's industry leadership for many years to come.

"We believe our photorealistic computer-generated technology, with the assistance of Mark, Cliff and Kim, will revolutionize the entertainment industry and will change the way we think about live-action and will even allow directors to bring back personalities of the past to `perform' new material.

John Textor, Digital Domain co-chairman, noted that as well as being a testament to Digital Domain's leadership position in the industry, the addition of the three executives will help the company execute on the growth strategy laid out when Textor and his partners acquired Digital Domain earlier this year.

"When we acquired the company earlier this year, we clearly communicated our goal to build on the company's continuing success in the creation of visual effects in both feature films and commercials, while also establishing a first-of-its-kind digital production studio for the world's leading filmmakers. The addition of these three distinguished industry leaders will have a profoundly positive impact on these efforts," Textor said. "The talented team at Digital Domain is now well positioned to take advantage of rapidly evolving digital visual effects technologies and games technologies to allow the most forward-thinking filmmakers to tell even more compelling and visually stunning stories in the future."

"ILM has been a true pioneer in visual effects and really the best place for us to have established ourselves within this industry. Cliff, Kim and I had the pleasure to work with great people in an environment that was responsible for the creation of so many visual effects standards and breakthroughs," Miller said. "Since its founding, Digital Domain has also remained at the forefront of the visual special effects business and, for us, represents an opportunity to try some new things in an entrepreneurial environment that will contribute greatly to the continued innovation of our craft while continuing to be focused on the needs of filmmakers. Digital Domain has a team with a reputation for high quality, cutting-edge work and the ability to deliver stunning visual imagery through commercials and feature films. We're all pleased to be joining Digital Domain at the beginning of what we believe will be an exciting growth phase for the company, especially given the new technology in the pipeline, as well as for the visual effects industry. Our vision is to help directors and artists bring creativity to life on screens of all sizes."

Miller, Plumer and Libreri will join Digital Domain's executive leadership team alongside Stork, Ed Ulbrich, who heads the company's industry leading advertising business unit and oversees select feature films and alternative media projects, and Jeff Stringer, who leads the digital studio group.

At ILM, Millers credits include overseeing the vfx on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST, THE HULK and two installments of JURASSIC PARK. He began his career at Lucasfilm in 1984 as a production assistant on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. In 1991, he started his visual effects producing career on Oliver Stone's THE DOORS. Other credits at ILM include SLEEPY HOLLOW, three HARRY POTTER films, PLANET OF THE APES and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best visual effects.

Plumer enjoyed a 10-year stint with ILM and parent company Lucasfilm Ltd. He provided the strategic technical vision and executed the technology planning and updates for the companies, including in connection with the recent move to new office space in San Francisco from George Lucas' previous headquarters in Marin County. A graduate of Ithaca College, Plumer began his career in 1984 as a computer graphics artist, camera operator editor and technician.

Libreri's credits include WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and two MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE installments. He also was an architect of ESC Entertainment. Libreri graduated from the University of Manchester (England) with a bachelor of science degree (with honors) in computer science. He began his visual effects career as a senior software engineer at the Computer Film Co. in London.

Digital Domain (www.digitaldomain.com) was acquired in May 2006 by an affiliate of Wyndcrest Holdings Llc., an investment group whose principals in addition to Stork and Textor are director Michael Bay, NFL football great Dan Marino and Jonathan Teaford. Wyndcrest Holdings is a Florida-based private investment and acquisition firm focused on technology-related opportunities in entertainment, telecommunications and the Internet.

Founded in 1993, Digital Domain is an award-winning full-service digital studio and production company that creates special visual effects and other visual imagery for feature films, commercials and music videos. Pioneers in digital effects, Digital Domain's business units have been recognized with awards from the top industry organizations. In its 13-year history, Digital Domain has won five Academy Awards: two for Best Visual Effects (TITANIC, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME); and three for Scientific and Technical Achievement for its proprietary imaging software. The company has also been nominated for three other Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (APOLLO 13, TRUE LIES, I, ROBOT). In addition, its excellence in digital imagery and animation has earned Digital Domain multiple British Academy (BAFTA) Awards, and Prix Arts Electronica and Prix Pixel INA awards.

Digital Domain's Commercials division provides digital imagery and animation for television commercials, working with the top commercial directors. Serving Fortune 100 companies, the division has built a reputation as an innovator and industry leader in television commercial production and is the largest and most-awarded creator of digital imagery in its field. To date, it has been awarded 34 Clio Awards, 22 AICP awards, 8 Cannes Lion Awards and numerous other advertising honors. The Commercials division has also produced multiple music videos working with artists that include The Rolling Stones, Faith Hill, Creed, Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Bjork, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Nine Inch Nails, and has earned Grammy and MTV "Music Video of the Year" Awards.

Digital Domain's D2 Software subsidiary was established to productize the software tools developed by Digital Domain, such as the company's Academy Award-winning Nuke compositing package.

Wyndcrest Holdings Llc. (www.wyndcrest.com) is a Florida-based private investment and acquisition firm focused on technology-related opportunities in entertainment, telecommunications and the Internet. Wyndcrest actively supports its portfolio companies to assure the optimal positioning and deployment of associated technologies as well as the efficient execution of related business plans.

Wyndcrest is comprised of five investment principals with significant financial and legal expertise in the closure of public/private mergers, acquisitions and investments, and in the operation of large, small and start-up companies. The principals, John Textor, Michael Bay, Jonathan Teaford, Carl Stork and Dan Marino, have extensive direct experience in the disciplines of management, technology development, strategic planning, business development and investment banking.

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