Nick Foster was formerly head of Global FX at DreamWorks Animation, will take over as cto at IDT Ent., effective Aug. 15, 2005, with responsibility for unifying the technology and staff of the FX departments at the Los Angeles and Bay Area production studios. Robert Taylor has joined IDT Ent. as vp, animation finance, to oversee all production finance matters related to the animated slate.
Foster will provide the technology vision and choice of production toolsets for all animation studios to ensure the highest quality animated features. He is charged with establishing strong vendor strategies that, when combined with innovative proprietary software solutions, will help to position IDT Ent. at the cutting edge of the animation industry.
Foster has expertise as a high-end developer, a seasoned technology manager and a well-respected animation innovator. Foster reorganized the technology infrastructure at DreamWorks overall support capacity so they studio could increase from one to six concurrent feature films in production. In 1999, Foster was awarded a Technical Achievement Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Prior to DreamWorks Animation, Foster was head of animation software at PDI/DreamWorks, where he was responsible for building and maintaining core proprietary software for CG animated feature films. This included the development of next-generation proprietary toolsets, including an industry-leading renderer, as well as character animation and rigging tools. Foster was also a senior member of the R&D team at PDI, developing cutting edge visual effects software for animation and live-action effects.
Foster has a doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. His film credits include ANTZ (1998), SHREK (2001), SINBAD (2003), SHREK 2 (2004), SHARK TALE (2004), MADAGASCAR (2005), FLUSHED AWAY (in production) and OVERTHE HEDGE (in production).
Taylor recently served as a consultant, providing project management services, on Disney's feature animation film, THE WILD. Prior to that, he was director of production finance at Pixar Animation Studios where he directed, developed and implemented the companys strategic planning, project scheduling, budgeting, financial review and forecasting systems. Taylor also navigated Pixar throughout its relationship with Disney to maximize the benefits that the partnership offered. Additionally, Taylor oversaw production and finance issues on A BUG'S LIFE, TOY STORY 2, MONSTERS INC., FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES and CARS.
Prior to Pixar, Taylor held several senior positions at The Walt Disney Co. including, production finance exec, director of pre-production and finance manager. Taylor led the department at Disney responsible for creating, analyzing and reviewing the feature film budgets, which totaled more than $1 billion annually. He also negotiated financial settlements of co-financed production deals and performed feature film production audits in some 40 domestic and international on-set locations.
Newark, New Jersey-based IDT Ent. (www.idtentertainment.com) is a vertically integrated entertainment concern focused on developing, acquiring, producing and distributing computer-generated and traditionally animated productions and other productions for the film, broadcast and direct-to-consumer markets. IDT owns Film Roman (now DPS Film Roman), DKP Effects, Manga Ent., Anchor Bay Ent. Group, a controlling interest in Mainframe Ent. Inc. plus a minority equity interest in Vanguard Animation Llc. and Stan Lees POW! Ent.