Escape grows advisory board, plans LA academy
March 16, 2011

Escape grows advisory board, plans LA academy

LONDON — CG academy Escape Studios (, which plans on opening a campus in Los Angeles this spring, has brought on several advisory board members from studios such as Pixar, Sony Picture Imageworks, The Mill, Method and MPC. The advisory board members come from diverse backgrounds and each bring a different perspective and knowledge base.

Joining the advisory board are: Afonso Salcedo of Pixar Animation Studios; Ken Maruyama of Sony Pictures Imageworks; John Leonti of The Mill; Patrick Davenport of Method; and Andrew Bell of MPC. 

Afonso Salcedo is a full-time lighting artist at Pixar Animation Studios and has worked on the films Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3. He works to create the atmosphere and final appearance that matches what the film’s director and director of photography are trying to achieve. He studied animation at Escape Studios. 

Ken Maruyama is VP of recruiting, academic relations and animation artist management at Sony Picture Imageworks. He manages the company’s animators and recruits fresh talent. Additionally, Maruyama directs the IPAX program, which establishes training standards developed from actual production issues and provides guidelines that help member schools better train graduates to meet industry requirements.

Working as co-head of 3D at The Mill’s Los Angeles office, John Leonti has helped grow the department from four to 20 artists in three years. He has over ten years of experience in 3D and has worked on films like Casino Royale, Amazing Grace and The Other Boleyn Girl. His credits also include an array of high-profile commercials, including this year’s Super Bowl spot.

Patrick Davenport is the VP of creative operations for Method’s Los Angeles and New York studios. With two decades of experience in VFX and production, he has worked on projects such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Isuzu’s Giant, Coca-Cola’s Jitterbug and Iomega’s Pool. He also produced a variety of series and documentaries for Bravo, E! Entertainment, VH1 and MTV.

And Andrew Bell is head of product for commercials at MPC’s Los Angeles studio. He is charged with winning business and managing several high profile agencies, including the likes of Grey, Wieden & Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Droga 5 and Team One. Bell came to MPC in 1999 and has been a senior producer since 2002.