Newtek Hosting VFX Minds Event 11-10-11

Join NewTek on November 10th, 2011 for a very special evening hosted by actress, Jeri Ryan with special guest, Mark Rydell at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences - Leonard H. Goldenson Theater. The evening will celebrate the achievements of Emmy® Award-winning artists, supervisors, designers, actors, and producers in the television industry.

Included will be an informative "VFX Minds" panel of industry insiders, moderated by David Cohen, features editor for Variety magazine. The discussion will cover the current challenges of producing high-end, award-winning visual effects for television, under the constraints of increasingly limited budgets and reduced production schedules.

Top level participants on the panel include industry legend, Ron Thornton, the "godfather" of contemporary television VFX; Chuck Comisky, visual effects supervisor and stereoscopic expert and stereo supervisor for AvatarDoug Drexler, visual effects artist, designer, sculptor, illustrator, and academy award-winning makeup artist, along with Eric Hance, supervising artist on the hit Steven Spielberg series Terra Nova. The panel will share advice on how they create award-winning shows that entertain millions of viewers every week, as well as discuss the latest workflows and trends that allow them to complete projects, on time and on budget.

For over 20 years, LightWave artists, supervisors, producers, and studios have won more Emmy® Awards for animation and visual effects than any other, and we are pleased to host this event honoring those individuals who have created the work that has inspired and entertained us all. The evening will also feature a special LightWave product announcement.

Lite bites, cocktails, beer and wine will be served.

RSVP today. Seats are limited.

  • Event: VFX Minds and special LightWave product announcement
  • Place: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre
    5220 Lankershim Blvd.
    North Hollywood, CA 91601
  • Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011
  • Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm PT


jeriryan-thJeri Ryan
Jeri Ryan, one of Hollywood's hardest working actors, has performed a wide range of roles across a multitude of genres. Ryan attained cult status early in her career as the character Seven of Nine in the hit series Star Trek: Voyager. Currently, she stars in ABC's Body of Proof opposite Dana Delany and also recurs on TNT's Leverage and on the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.

After graduating from Northwestern University, Ryan soon landed her first series regular role on the short-lived, but iconic Dark Skies. She continued her sci-fi run on Star Trek: Voyager, becoming a fan favorite when she joined the cast in the show's fourth season.

David E. Kelly would create Ryan's next role specifically for her, that of frustrated lawyer-turned teacher Ronnie Cook of Boston Public fame. Ryan would continue her working relationship with Kelly in a recurring part on Boston Legal. Her next project, CBS's critically acclaimed legal drama Shark, would team her with Oscar winner James Woods. This and a string of noteworthy performances on a variety of shows has made Jeri Ryan one of the most recognized actors on television today.

On the big screen, Ryan appeared opposite Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in the 2003 comedy Down with Love, and with Gerard Butler inDracula 2000.

A gourmet-cooking enthusiast herself, Ryan met renowned French chef Christophe Eme at a charity event in 2003. The couple married in 2007 and reside in Los Angeles with their children.

Follow Jeri Ryan on twitter: @JeriLRryan

Special Guest:

altMark Rydell
Mark Rydell serves as president of the Actor's Studio in Hollywood and is renound in the entertainment industry as an Actor's Director.  Rydell has directed eight actors to Academy Award nominations, two of whom, Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, won for On Golden Pond.

As a director, Rydell's credits include The Rose (1979), On Golden Pond (1981, for which he received an Oscar nomination as Best Director), The River (1984), For the Boys (1991) and Intersection (1994). In 2006, Rydell directed the movie Even Money which starred Kim Basinger, Forest Whitaker, and Danny DeVito.

Rydell was also director of the TV bio-pic James Dean (2001), which earned actor James Franco a Golden Globe award. Rydell also acted in the movie, playing Jack Warner (head of Warner Bros).

Panel Moderator:

altDavid Cohen
David S. Cohen is a journalist, editor and photographer who has covered entertainment, arts, science and global business for publications around the world, from the South China Morning Post to Discover Magazine. He covers movies and technology for the entertainment bible-Variety since 1999, joining the newsroom as a copy editor in 2002, becoming a film reporter in 2004 and a V Plus features editor two years later.

Besides his V Plus duties, he covers visual effects and post-production as a news reporter. Before turning to journalism, he worked in show business for more than twenty years, as everything from casting agent to off-off-broadway stage director and even as a writer forStar Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is the author of two books, Screen Plays: How 25 Scripts Made It To a Theater Near You – For Better or Worse andThe Ballad of Rango: The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film. He lives in Los Angeles.


altRon Thornton
Ron is an Emmy Award-winning VFX producer and studio owner who has had an extraordinary impact on television visual effects. Ron launched the new era of television CGI visual effects with the groundbreaking show Babylon 5 in 1993. Throughout his career Ron has supervised an impressive list of television and film projects including Star Trek: The Motion PictureStar Trek:Voyager,Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the upcoming Red Tails.

altChuck Comisky
Chuck's impressive resume includes roles as VFX supervisor and film producer on Terminator 2 3D, and Aliens of the Deep, along with stereoscopic and VFX supervisor for Avatar. An expert on stereoscopic 3D production, he provided on set stereo supervision for Sanctum 3D and Final Destination 5 3D.

altDoug Drexler
Doug Drexler is a visual effects artist, designer, sculptor, illustrator, and academy award-winning makeup artist. His credits includeDick TracyThe HungerStarman, and Emmy Award winning nominations on Star Trek: The Next GenerationStar Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. Other recent projects include Battlestar Galactica: Blood and ChromeDrive Angry,Virtuality, and Caprica. Working closely with Visual Effects Supervisor Gary Hutzel, Doug has served as key team member and CG Supervisor on the Battlestar Galactica Television Series for which he was awarded two Emmy Awards and a Visual Effects Society Award.

altEric Hance
Eric is an Emmy Award-winning animator and supervisor with an impressive list of television visual effects credits. Currently serving as Supervising Artist on the hit Steven Spielberg series Terra Nova at Pixomondo, Eric and his team are pushing the boundaries with each new episode of this epic new television series. Past credits include Star Trek: EnterpriseSurfaceHellboy,NCIS: Los AngelesRoughnecks: The Starship Troopers ChroniclesLife After People and Ghost Whisperer.