MONTREAL — Cinesite Montreal (cinesite.com) has welcomed three new VFX supervisors: Dottie Starling, Damien Hurgon and Ellen Poon. The studio has also added a new feature animation head of production, Nathan Santell. Collectively, they have a wide range of expertise spanning pre-production planning, on-set supervision, post production visual effects and pipeline development.
The hires come on the heels of a year of steady growth for the Montreal VFX division, which includes work on Respect (MGM), The North Water (AMC), and Tribes of Europa (Netflix), as well as feature animation work on Space Jam: A New Legacy (Warner Bros.) and Blazing Samurai (Aniventure & GFM Animation).
“While Cinesite has a strong track-record of promoting artists and staff from within, it's often beneficial to bring in people from elsewhere,” says Graham Peddie, Cinesite Montreal COO. “We know Nathan, Dottie, Ellen and Damien will each bring with them new experiences, techniques and inspiration to help Cinesite Montreal expand its creative palette and meet the growing demand for new high quality entertainment content.”
Dottie Starling is a highly experienced visual effects supervisor with more than 60 production credits across her 24-year career. From primetime episodic series, like Ozark, to Academy Award-winning feature films, such as 12 Years a Slave, Starling is known for delivering stunning, photoreal visual effects.
Damien Hurgon’s experience ranges from delivering 250 VFX shots of Jake Gyllenhaal as a double above-the-knee amputee for Stronger, to supervising a creative team of over 40 to bring Stephen King’s novel Pet Sematary to the big screen once again. He joins Cinesite with over 12 years experience, having worked for Mikros and Mr. X in Paris and Montreal, respectively.
Ellen Poon is an expert in visual effects and animation, with a career spanning more than 30 years. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Executive Committee and has worked on films such as Jurassic Park, Frozen, Zootopia, Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon just to name a few.
Nathan Santell is an inspiring leader with a strong track record and clear vision. As head of production for the feature animation division, he will lead the teams in creating efficiencies and continuous improvements to the production pipeline and workflows. His past credits include Mad Max: Fury Road, Gravity, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers to name a few.
Launched in 2014, Cinesite’s Montreal office now boasts capacity for over 700 employees.