Lucas Digital’s Morris Departs to Pursue Computer Animation

Jim Morris, president of Lucas Digital for 11 years, is heading south to produce computer-animated movies. Chrissie England, svp of production at ILM, has been promoted to president of ILM.

Jim, Chrissie and their team at ILM have been working hard over the last 18 months to implement sweeping changes in both the operations and structure of ILM, commented Lucasfilm Ltd. president Micheline Chau. Now that those initiatives have been launched, Jim is taking this opportunity to move on to other areas of the entertainment business.

Morris also served as gm of ILM for 13 years. During his tenure, the company led the way in the digital revolution that resulted in every major breakthrough, from the pseudopod in THE ABYSS, to the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK to the invisible effects of FORREST GUMP to the stunning visual worlds and characters of the new STAR WARS trilogy.

The 17 years Ive spent at ILM have been extraordinary, added Morris. The passion that propelled that small group of rebels in 1975 to create the visuals that stunned the world for STAR WARS carries on to this day. As Georges vision for the digital future continues to unfold, Im delighted that I can pass the baton to Chrissie. She has been my partner and friend throughout my tenure and there is no one better or more qualified to run this great company.

England is a 27-year veteran of ILM. She has held a number of positions in the company in the production area, and has line produced visual effects for numerous motion pictures. She has held her current position since 2002. Before joining the management ranks, England was a production supervisor for the groundbreaking visual effects work on WILLOW AND WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? As executive in charge of production, she oversaw the STAR WARS trilogy Special Editions, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK 2, MEN IN BLACK, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE MUMMY, THE PERFECT STORM and the first episode of the STAR WARS prequel trilogy. In 2000, England was named ILMs vp of feature production. PEARL HARBOR, AI ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, JURASSIC PARK 3 AND MINORITY REPORT are among her credits while in this role. In her new role, England takes on the day-to-day management of all aspects of ILMs business and its nearly 1000 employees.

I will miss Jim terribly. Hes been a great mentor to me and Im excited to bring the plans weve been working on to fruition, said England. With the move to the Presidio, ILM is restructuring to respond to the ever-growing needs of our clients. Im looking forward to leading the company in those new directions.

Jim has been a great leader for ILM, proclaimed George Lucas. The visual effects industry is not an easy one to manage with the ever-changing technology and challenges. Jim successfully led the company into the digital age as ILM broke new ground each year. Im sad to see him go, but I know that Chrissie is the perfect person to carry ILM forward as we move into an exciting new era in the company.

In summer 2005, ILM will move to the Letterman Digital Arts Center. For the first time in the companys history, all of the Lucas award-winning businesses, including ILM, LucasArts Ent., Lucas Licensing, Lucas Online and Lucasfilm Ltd. will be under one roof. The custom-designed 23-acre campus is located at the Presidio in San Francisco.

Currently, ILM is putting the finishing touches on LEMONY SNICKET: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and SON OF THE MASK. STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH will be completed this coming spring. In addition, XXX2: STATE OF THE UNION, WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE ISLAND, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, JARHEAD, THE PACIFIER, ARE WE THERE YET and the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean are in various stages of concept development and production.

Industrial Light & Magic (www.ilm.com) is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects. ILM has been awarded 14 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and received 17 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Rafael, California.

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