John Hughes, Co-Founder and President, is also the co-founder and President/Executive Producer of Tau Films. Previously, he led (as well as co-founded) the studio Rhythm and Hues (R&H) for 26 years, earning 3 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (Babe, The Golden Compass, and Life of Pi) and 4 technical Academy Awards for achievements in science and engineering along the way.
He began his career at Robert Abel and Associates in 1976, designing motion control camera control systems and producing some of the first commercial uses of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) in motion pictures that ushered in new possibilities in the art of film and commercials as we know today.
John is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Arts Education and chaired the education committee for the Digital Coast Roundtable as well as serving on the California State Superintendent of School’s Task Force on the Visual and Performing Arts. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Workforce Investment Board for the City of Los Angeles.
A hands-on artist for much of his career, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with Bachelors Degrees in Economics and in Electrical Engineering, and a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering.
Shish Aikat, Co-Founder and Head of Global Learning, is the former Manager-Education and Head of Global Learning at Rhythm & Hues (R&H) Studios in Los Angeles where he oversaw the knowledge management dissemination and global learning for the studio’s operations in the U.S., Canada, India, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
While at R&H, he co-founded Rhythm & Hues University (RHU) to create and foster a global learning eco-system for R&H. In addition, Shish was the Vice Principal of Exceptional Minds, a digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum in Sherman Oaks, California.
Shish worked for many years as a technical communicator in both the Los Angeles area and in Silicon Valley and is a former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (LASTC). He has also taught as a Lecturer in the School of Film and Television (SFTV), Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and in the Master of Professional Writing (MPW) Program, USC.
Originally trained as a mechanical engineer at Jadavpur University, Kolkata (B.M.E.), Shish received his M.F.A. from the Division of Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts at USC, where he was also a Nickelodeon Fellow. In addition, he has an M.A. in Communication Management from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, USC.
Mandeep Singh, Director-Global Operations, is the producer for all international aspects of Tau Films production. From 2009-2013, he has managed production for Rhythm and Hues - 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. In 2008, Mandeep relocated to Malaysia to establish a VFX and animation facility in the Malaysian Multi-Media Super Corridor (MSC). There he oversaw all production beginning with Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 (2009), and culminating in work on the Academy Award winning Life of Pi (2012). Mandeep also plays a pivotal role in staffing and resource-planning for Tau Films' international facilities.
Pavleen Kaur, Manager-Digital Media, has a Masters in Marketing & Retail Management with emphasis on branding, social media, marketing, and traditional media. She brings along years of experience in media-client servicing and telecom/mobile VAS products management with Indian brands like Radio City 91.1 FM(Music Broadcast Pvt. Ltd.), Aaj Tak News Channel(TV Today Network Ltd.), One97 Communications Ltd.
Her dynamism is rooted in managing back-end VAS products (Voice, SMS, etc) and successful product launches in multiple cities. She thrives on deliberate and exhaustive client interactions leading to frequent changes for live products and new-product development in coordination with the in house engineering, studio, and other related departments. In her previous roles, she also worked on conceptualizing the needs and executing tie-ups for media clients, checking on media sales and tapping their proper utilization while coordinating with various media agencies and media companies.
Sue Lewak, Director, Programs & Development/Web Designer, has a Ph.D. from UCLA. She advised domestic and international undergraduates in major and course selection, as well as paths to graduate school, for UCLA’s College of Letters and Sciences. She also was involved in program development and advising undergraduate and graduate international students at USC’s (University of Southern California) International Office. In addition, while at UCLA she developed experimental curriculum using instructional technology for courses that integrated narrative in visual and text-based mediums.
Sue is a writer and editor. She has been passionate about creating digital content ever since she realized that it might be her only hope of finding the question - The Ultimate Question - of Life, The Universe, and Everything (to which the answer is 42).