SEATTLE — Will McDonald has joined Amazon Web Services (AWS) Thinkbox as head of business development. He now leads client relationships for AWS Thinkbox, working closely with the business development team to help studios manage on-premises resources and rendering on the cloud.
McDonald comes to AWS Thinkbox from Conductor Technologies, where he served as VP of product, and helped launch the company’s cloud-based rendering platform. He has also spent more than four years at Autodesk as senior manager of interactive and emerging technology, and has held various art, TD and R&D roles at Electronic Arts, ILM and Pixar Animation Studios.
McDonald began his career as a VFX artist for LucasArts, working on AAA video games and developing an internal particle simulation engine and node-based UI. He holds a Master of Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in VFX from Savannah College of Art and Design. With this new role, he is based in Seattle, WA.
“Will’s background in content creation and software development provides him with first-hand understanding of VFX workflows and the challenges studios face in production,” says Chris Bond, Thinkbox founder and director product management EC2, EC2 pricing and launch services, Amazon Web Services. “At AWS Thinkbox, we are all committed to helping our customers meet their deadlines, and Will’s dedication, experience and leadership is an excellent resource for our customers. We’re very excited to have him join the AWS Thinkbox team.”
“I really love the M&E industry and, as an artist and engineer, have always enjoyed finding new exciting ways to help both technical and creative people build new things,” McDonalds adds. “Joining AWS Thinkbox puts me in a position to help studios be even more successful and produce their best work. I’m a huge believer in moving towards a more flexible way of working, whether that means leveraging cloud compute, machine learning, computer vision, or virtual workstations. The recent ability to burst to the cloud with Thinkbox Deadline at economical cost with EC2 Spot means tremendous opportunity for customers big and small in rendering, and we are only just getting started!”