Commercial visual effects and finishing boutique Sea Level VFX has announced a slate of key new hires, including Executive Producer Steve Reiss and VFX Artists/Supervisors Christopher Noellert and Glen Bennett.
"Chris and Glen represent an exciting new direction for our company," said Steve Reiss, Executive Producer, Sea Level VFX. "Because he's spent over a decade in Sweden, Chris' European footprint is huge, so he'll definitely be an asset as we continue to grow our client base internationally. Glen's strong commercial and feature film background means he understands the rigorous demands of big effects jobs. His diverse design background is evident in his unique visual eye for the edgy yet beautiful. They'll both hold up Sea Level VFX's legacy as a high-end finishing boutique attracting A-list directors, agencies and brands, while taking the company into different markets and services, such as Color Correction and Beauty for HD. In addition, Chris and Glen will help to expand Sea Level VFX's CG capabilities, which are currently being overseen by our longtime CG Supervisor, Steffen Schubert."
Instrumental in bringing both Noellert and Bennett on board, industry veteran Steve Reiss joins Sea Level VFX after almost two decades overseeing commercials, music videos and content for television, web and film. The Grammy-nominated producer has held posts at Digital Domain, Speedshape and NBC Productions, and spent seven years as producer and post supervisor for Propaganda and Satellite Films.
He has also freelanced for Anonymous Content, SpotWelders, Moving Pixels and Partizan. Reiss has worked with many top directors, including Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Phil Joanou, Michael Bay, Mark Romanek and Joseph Kosinski.
Additional career highlights include co-producing R.E.M.'s ROAD MOVIE for Warner Bros. with director Peter Care, and channeling his life-long love of music and the art of the music video by co-creating two books: THIRTY FRAMES PER SECOND: THE VISIONARY ART OF THE MUSIC VIDEO, and MARK ROMANEK: MUSIC VIDEO STILLS. For the latter, Reiss also produced the director's DVD retrospective for Palm Pictures.
VFX Artist and Supervisor Christopher Noellert has spent the past 12 years working in Stockholm, Sweden, where he helped contribute to the country's naissance as an international creative hot spot.
While his bread and butter is vfx and online for commercials and music videos, Noellert has also been recognized for his compositing work on Autodesk Flame and Inferno systems. From 2003 to 2007, in addition to his duties as a vfx supervisor and lead artist, he designed and integrated digital intermediate facilities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark for major Scandinavian conglomerate NordiskFilm Post and, in 1999, he co-founded Stockholm post house The Syndicate.
Noellert helped grow the company from a seven-person operation to a staff of 30 while overseeing promos for Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Beyonce, and commercials for Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and others. Noellert's first project since joining Sea Level VFX is an AT&T Olympics spot directed by Mike Mills.
Glen Bennett also comes on board as vfx artist and supervisor. Prior to joining Sea Level VFX, he spent over five years as a senior compositor at Asylum Visual Effects, working primarily on A-list commercials for brands such as Chevy, BMW, Adidas, Skittles, Sprint, Visa, Lexus, Geico, Nike and Toyota, as well as feature films, including NATIONAL TREASURE, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, KING KONG, DOMINO and APOCALYPTO.
Bennett also held a three-year post as a vfx artist at legendary 525 Studios, where he collaborated with directors Mark Romanek, Wayne Isham, Paul Hunter and Dayton/Faris on some of the most groundbreaking music videos of the day.
From 1992 to 1995, Bennett worked at Rushes in his native U.K., during which he won an International Monitor Award for Best Visual Effects for the ENIGMA Guinness commercial helmed by Michael Haussman. Also while at Rushes, Bennett was instrumental in the technical and artistic development of the Flame/Onyx finishing system after the post house became the first in the world to purchase the technology.
Since joining Sea Level VFX, Bennett has wrapped a multi-spot ad campaign for GUITAR HERO, including spots starring AMERICAN IDOL finalists David Cook and David Archuleta and rock idols Aerosmith.
Both Noellert and Bennett were attracted to Sea Level VFX because of its boutique atmosphere and client-friendly beachside office space designed by renowned architect Roy McMakin (who also coined the name Sea Level), as well as the caliber of directors and brands that choose to bring their work there.
Noellert said, "After working at NordiskFilm, which had upward of 5,000 employees, it's exhilarating to be back in the boutique environment, where creativity is the focus and we can design a best-of-class team to tackle the most demanding jobs."
Bennett added, "The fact that Steve recently joined Sea Level VFX was also a huge plus. He's a great producer, very well respected in this industry and extremely well versed in both the vfx and production worlds."
The two new hires round out a team that also includes VFX Artist/Supervisor Ben Looram, who has been a free agent for Sea Level VFX for the past few years, and is an integral creative component to the growing team. Looram's resume boasts a seven-year stint at A52 as a visual effects artist, and a year and a half residency at Sway Studios as an effects artist specializing in Autodesk Flame systems. His visual effects work on the U2 and Green Day promo for the song THE SAINTS ARE COMING won a VES and MVPA award, and in 2004, he was part of a team nominated for a Creative Emmy for Main Title Design for the HBO series CARNIVALE.