Faculty

RUTH DALY–ANIMATION

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Ruth Daly is an Animation Supervisor at Tau Films. She began her career In 1996 as a traditional animator at Warner Bros Feature Animation, where she worked on Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant in 1998. Ruth then transitioned to CG in 2001 at Rhythm & Hues Studios, where she worked her way up to a supervisory role over a period spanning twelve years. She was involved in a number of films there including The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Night at the Museum, and The Golden Compass. She also played a central role in growing the animation teams at  the Rhythm & Hues India and Malaysia facilities, by training animators for projects such as Life of Pi and Snow White and the Huntsman in 2013. 


Ruth received a Diploma in Classical Animation from BallyFermot Senior College in Dublin (Ireland).


CJ SARACHENE–ANIMATION

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CJ Sarachene is an Animation Director at Tau Films. She began her career as a traditional animator working for various studios including Disney, MTV, Lifetime, and Nickelodeon. In 2001 she moved into digital animation and in 2003 joined the team at Rhythm & Hues Studios, working on projects including The Chronicles of Narnia, Night at the Museum, Evan Almighty and Alvin & the Chipmunks. In addition to being a lead animator, CJ Sarachene served as an animation supervisor on Land of the Lost and Hop. Across her animation career CJ has had the great fortune of working with Award winning directors and artists including Ralph Bakshi, Emily Hubley, Bill Kroyer and Bill Westenhofer.


CJ received her B.F.A. in Mixed Media from Caldwell University and a Certificate in Animation from the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.

SENTHIL VELAN–ANIMATION

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Senthil Velan is a Senior Animator at Tau Films. He was also a Senior Animator at Rhythm & Hues Studios, where he worked on several award-winning projects, including Life of Pi (2012). His recent animation credits also include his work in prominent Hollywood projects, such as, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) and The Golden Compass (2007).


Senthil was one of the pioneering animation instructors at Rhythm & Hues University (RHU) where he trained animation apprentices at Rhythm & Hues Studios facilities in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kuala Lumpur for projects, such as, Yogi Bear (2010) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009).

JACQUELINE (JACKIE) COOPER–COMPOSITING

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Jacqueline Cooper is a Senior Compositor at Tau Films. She has been creating  imagery for film, TV, commercials, music videos, and live events for decades. Her clients include Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain, MPC, and Deluxe/Method Studios.  She has worked on numerous films such as: Jurassic World (2015), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part - 2 (2011), Iron Man 3 (2013), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Tron: Legacy (2010). She has also worked on music videos for Santana, Justin Timberlake, Toni Braxton, Jewel, and Lisa Marie Presley.


Jackie has a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz.

RANDI DERAKHSHANI–COMPOSITING

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Randi Derakhshani is Head of 3D at Exceptional Minds, a digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum in Sherman Oaks, California. She also teaches 3D and visual effects at various colleges. Randi has worked as a digital artist and technical director for games and movie projects with Gizmo Games, RJB Enterprises, and Sony Imageworks. Along with production work, Randi is also a published author for the 3ds Max and Autodesk training manuals, and works closely with Autodesk as an Autodesk Certified Instructor.


Randi has a B.A. in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles, and an A.A. in Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, and Special Effects from Santa Monica College.

ANDREAS JABLONKA–COMPOSITING

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Andreas Jablonka is a Compositing Supervisor at Tau Films where he leads a team of artists worldwide involved in VFX for feature films, commercials, and themed entertainment. His career in VFX, has involved working with prominent Hollywood productions and VFX studios in projects ranging from features, music videos, VR, and commercials. As a VFX supervisor, Andreas has overseen all aspects of a project -- from bidding to scheduling to preproduction,  and on-set supervision to final post production approval. 


Andreas has a Diploma in Visual Effects from The German Film School,  Elstal, Germany. 

WALT JONES–CREATIVE PRODUCTION AND GLOBAL PRODUCTION

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Walt Jones is the Creative Director and Visual Effects Supervisor at Tau Films. He is the overall creative lead for the computer graphics work at Tau Films. He has over 20 years of experience in production and design and has contributed to over twenty feature films in the past decade alone, as well as numerous music videos, television and commercial projects. Walt has worked extensively with international teams throughout Asia, North America and Europe, most prominently in India and China. He was nominated for Visual Effects Society (VES) awards for Life of Pi (2013) and Movie Park Germany’s The Lost Temple (2015). Walt was part of the teams at Rhythm & Hues Studios that won Academy Awards for their work on The Golden Compass in 2008 and Life of Pi in 2013.


Walt has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Puget Sound.

EDWARD DAWSON TAYLOR - LIGHTING

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Edward Dawson Taylor is a Senior Technical Artist at Roborace and is also the owner of Edge Visual. He was previously a senior CG supervisor at Pure Imagination and has been a Lead Software Architect for large multinational clients, as well as a Senior CG artist in movies, TV, commercials and live events (having worked for ILM, Disney and Digital Domain on Blockbusters like Jurassic World, The Lion King and Jungle Book)


Co-founder of successful world touring group The Sancho Plan, Edward loves to use cutting edge technology to create engaging and inspiring experiences, as well as beautiful world class imagery.


Ed has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from The University of Bristol. 

JON MEIER–LOOKDEV and LIGHTING

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Jon Meier is a CG Supervisor at Tau Films, specializing in look development for creatures and environments.  He leads the work of a global team of artists for feature films and themed entertainment. Jon has supervised lighting and environments on award-winning feature films, including Life of Pi (2012) and Happy Feet (2006) at Rhythm & Hues Studios


Before joining Tau, Jon completed work at Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) on Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) and at MPC for the feature film Jungle Book (2016), winner of the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 2017.

MARK ALLEN - LOOKDEV

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Mark Allen is a Virtual Production Technician at Magnopus. He works directly with filmmakers on set to make their creative ideas for shots in film and in television programs a reality, through the use of cutting-edge, real-time game engine applications.  He is committed to learning more from his professional work, as well as passing that information on to others. He was part of the Virtual Production team for the 2019 remake of The Lion King.  


Mark received his M.F.A. in Film and Television Production from the School of Film and Television, at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and his B.F.A. in Digital Media from Otis College of Art and Design.

DARIUSH DERAKHSHANI - LOOKDEV

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Dariush Derakhshani is a VFX and CG Supervisor in Los Angeles  and an award-winning CG Generalist-Lighter.  Dariush was the Visual Effects Supervisor for the 2019 film 1982, which won the Netpac Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere, at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).


Dariush is a pipeline, lighting, and production consultant and has  been an animator and supervisor on commercials and feature films for companies such as Digital Domain, Pixomondo, Zoic Studios, Radium|ReelFX, Café FX, Rhythm & Hues Studios, Sight Effects, and South Park. He is the author of several 3ds Max and Maya books, including the best-selling series Introducing Maya—with over 13 editions since 2002 and translated into more than a dozen languages.


Dariush received his  M.F.A. from the Division of Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), University of Southern California (USC). His B.A. is from Lehigh University in Architecture and Theatre, and his He is an active member of the Visual Effects Society and has won a London Advertising Award for commercial effects, is a multiple recipient of the Telly and Addy Awards, has won the Bronze Plaque from the Columbus Film Festival, and is a VES Awards nominee. 

KEITH GOLDFARB– MEDIA PIPELINE & ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP

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Keith Goldfarb is the Chief Software Architect/Co-Founder of Blackthorn Media and an Academy Award winning artist. He was a co-founder of Rhythm & Hues Studios, and the chief architect for its proprietary software, where his pioneering visual effects were honored with dozens of awards including Oscars, Baftas and Cleos. Over Keith’s career he has invented, designed, directed and managed massive pipeline production techniques and environments that are praised and imitated across the industry today.


Keith has a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).

BRADLEY SICK–MODELING

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Bradley Sick is the Modeling Supervisor at Animal Logic in Vancouver.  He was previously the Modeling Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues Studios for over 17 years. He was also the modeling supervisor on the Lego Batman series and Peter Rabbit (2018).


Brad has an M.A. in Architecture from UCLA and a B.A. in Architecture from Rice University.

SUE LEWAK–CHAIR of NARRATIVE STUDIES/FACULTY

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Sue Lewak has a Ph.D. in English Literature from UCLA, where she taught for a number of years as a lecturer, instructor, and teaching assistant. She was also the recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award and two Outstanding Teaching Recognition Awards from  UCLA's department of English. In addition, she has an M.A. in Visual Anthropology from USC, an M.A. in English Literature from CalState- Los Angeles, and a B.A. in English Literature from Mount Holyoke College. 


Sue is a specialist in narrative, film adaptation, and science fiction. Her research and teaching interests include graphic fiction such as Yoko Kamio's transmedial manga series, Hana Yogi Dango (Boys Over Flowers) which has been adapted in both the episodic series and cinematic formats in Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea. She is also interested in adaptations of the works of Indian authors Rabindranath Tagore and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.  Additional interests include visual effects blockbusters that were adapted from literary works such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927), Stanley Kubrik's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982), Ang Lee's Life of Pi (2012),  and  Gary Ross's The Hunger Games (2012).

SAM CLARK–PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

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Sam Clark  is the VFX Workflow Specialist at Netflix and was previously VFX Coordinator and CG Production Manager at Rhythm & Hues Studios. Sam has been involved with several global, post-production houses in a range of capacities and roles — Production Coordinator, CG Production Manager, On-Set Motion Capture Production Manager, and Visual Effects Data Manager. He has worked on a variety of Hollywood studio pipelines featuring proprietary and off-the-shelf tools for motion-picture and episodic-television projects. Sam was a member of the VFX post-production crew for the OSCAR®-winning motion picture, Life of Pi (2012).


Sam has a B.A. in Communication Studies/History of Science and Technology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

MANDEEP SINGH–PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

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Mandeep Singh is the Executive Producer & Head of International Production, oversees all of the international aspects of production at Tau Films. He also managed production for Rhythm & Hues Studios - Malaysia. Mandeep began his career as an independent producer of commercial content in India. He then shifted his attention to feature VFX and animation, joining Rhythm and Hues  and providing production management for over 15 films including the Academy Award winner The Golden Compass. He also established a VFX and animation facility in the Malaysian Multi-Media Super Corridor (MSC), and  oversaw all production.  Mandeep plays a pivotal role in staffing and resource-planning for Tau Films' international facilities.

SHI "MING" QIU- PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

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Ming Qiu  is currently a Production Coordinator at Tau Films, and sometimes makes cameo appearances as a pipeline developer. 


Ming received her M.F.A. in Producing from The American Film Institute, Los Angeles (AFI) and has a  B.S. in Machine Intelligence from Peking University, Beijing. She believes in love stories, greedy algorithms, and Confucius.


ERIKS VITOLINS–RIGGING AND ANIMATION SET UP

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Eriks Vitolins is a FrontEnd Engineer for Amazon Web Services. He was formerly an animator and Animation Development and Production Technology Liaison at Rhythm & Hues Studios. While at R&H, Eriks helped establish the groundbreaking ‘Animation Development Group’ (AnimDev) to assist the collaboration between the animation and other involved departments. As a key member of the AnimDev group, Eriks designed and developed tools, rigs, workflows and education in an effort improve artists’ efficiency for  a number of tent-pole Hollywood projects including Snow White and the Huntsman, Hunger Games, The A-Team, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and The Incredible Hulk.


Eriks has a BFA in Animation from the Academy of Art University.

TYLER CAYCE–TECHANIMATION/CFX

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Tyler Cayce is a Lead Hair & Cloth TD at Blur Studio, and was previously a CFX artist at Psyop and Method Studios.  He has worked on many feature films as well as commercials, video game trailers, video game cinematics, and Netflix animated shorts.  Tyler has also been involved with large and small FX houses, ranging from Rhythm & Hues Studios and Digital Domain to Atomic Fiction and Psyop.  With a background in programming and art, he wants to share his wealth of knowledge when it comes to cloth and hair simulation, tool creation, and technical asset development. 


Tyler has a B.F.A in Visual Effects from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), as well as a B.S. in Computer Science from Clemson University.  

SHISH AIKAT–TECHANIMATION/CFX

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Shish Aikat  is the Head of Global Learning at The John Hughes Institute and Tau Films. He was initially a member of, and later ran, the Education and Global Learning Department at Rhythm & Hues Studios (R&H) for a decade. He was also the Vice Principal of Exceptional Minds, a digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum. In addition, he taught as a Lecturer in the School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Los Angeles, and in the Master of Professional Writing Program (MPW), University of Southern California (USC).


Shish received his M.F.A. from the Division of Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), University of Southern California (USC), where he was also a Nickelodeon Fellow. He also has an M.A. in Communication Management from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, USC. and a B.S.in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.