Tim began his career, early in the digital visual effects industry, doing award winning, ground-breaking work in visual effects and computer animation. In addition to an Academy Award in 1990 for Visual Effects in the movie, Total Recall, Tim garnered 5 Clios, a Hugo and a Mobius. In 1992, at the creative helm at Sony Picture Imageworks, he grew it from 8 to 250 employees. A testament to Tim’s eye for talent is that among the employees he has hired, 4 went on to win Academy Awards.
His career began at ABC, where he was recognized for his work in animation and on-air graphic design. He joined the legendary Robert Abel & Associates to work with computer-controlled cameras and computer-generated imagery and within 6 months, was working with a team of 4 to create a 55 second sequence of CG sequence for Walt Disney’s Tron. During this time, Tim won five Clios, one for a ground-breaking TV commercial called Sexy Robot. It aired during the Super Bowl in 1985. Sexy Robot was the first time human motion had ever been applied to a computer generated character for television or motion pictures and it created a sensation with the Super Bowl TV audience.
In 1987, Tim joined MetroLight Studios as a founding member and Head of Production. He spent 5 years with MetroLight as a Visual Effects Supervisor where he worked with directors James Cameron, David Lynch and Paul Verhoeven.
In 1989, Tim directed the computer animated Skeleton Sequence for Carolco Pictures Total Recall. This work featured fluid and realistic motion of 9 humans and 1 dog. His work won the 1990 Academy Award For Visual Effects. Tim was the first Visual Effects Supervisor with a CG or digital background to have his work recognized with an Academy Award.
In 1992, Tim became a founding member, Senior V.P. of Creative and Technical Affairs, and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He grew the company from 8 employees to over 250, contributing to over 50 successful feature films, including Speed, The Net, Wolf, In The Line Of Fire, James and the Giant Peach and Johnny Mnemonic. Tim personally supervised Last Action Hero, Hideaway, Virtuosity, Money Train, The Ghost And The Darkness and As Good As It Gets. While at Sony, Tim also contributed heavily to the creative development of several pictures including Swat, with producer Joe Caracciolo.
Since leaving Sony, Tim has worked as an independent Visual Effects Supervisor and filmmaker. He has worked on films shot in Vancouver, Berlin, Amsterdam, Milan, Prague, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Goa, Jerusalem, Kigali and Belfast. Tim has been on business to India more than twenty times, and many times to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, London, Paris, Canne, Rome, Brussels, Tokyo and Montreal.
In September 2007-2015, Tim was appointed to the Steering Committee for the visual effects branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organization that awards the Oscars. Tim has been an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Visual Effects Society (VES – an honorary society with more than 3400 members worldwide) for 16 of the last 20 years. In January 2007, Tim was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the VES. He was a founding co-chair of the VES Awards Committee 2001-2006, where he worked with the Chair and 2nd Co-Chair to create the rules, categories, graphic look and awards events and show. He also produced and presented onstage the Fourth Annual VES Awards Show, which was televised in April 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Chair of the VES Committee for Outreach to Developing Regions, where Tim has created a network of committee members in India, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain to grow those regions to VES Section status and has helped to increase the number of VES Sections from 9 to 12 and soon 14. In 2015 Tim was asked to include Outreach to Animation and Games to the list of Outreach Committee’s missions. Tim was asked to join the Animated Feature Branch Nominating Committee for the Academy both in 2012 & 2016. Additionally in 2001-2013, he served as a member of the Advisory Board to the President of the San Francisco Academy of Art University.
In 2007, Tim joined his long time collaborator, George Merkert, to form Whisper Pictures, a development and production company focused on Animated Family Films. Tim is the Chief Creative Officer and wrote the screenplay for company’s first motion picture, TUSK: Hannibal’s Favorite Elephant and has 3 other stories in development.
Tim has given more than 40 talks in the US, Japan, Europe, India and Korea on visual effects and animation topics. He has also served as an expert witness in legal proceedings regarding visual effects patent issues.
Credits—Motion Pictures and Visual Effects
Dunkirk — Warner Bros.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War — Universal Pictures
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation — Paramount Pictures
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For — Miramax
Trapped — Sony Pictures
Equilibrium — Miramax
Supernova — MGM/UA
Stigmata — MGM/UA
As Good As It Gets — TriStar Pictures
The Ghost And The Darkness — Paramount
Money Train — Columbia Pictures
Virtuosity — Paramount Pictures
Hideaway — TriStar Pictures
Look Who’s Talking Now — Tristar Pictures
So I Married An Axe Murderer — Tristar
Last Action Hero — Columbia Pictures
Total Recall — TriStar Winner 1990 ACADEMY AWARD Special Visual Effects
Tron — Walt Disney Pictures
1990 ACADEMY AWARD Total Recall – Special Achievement in Visual Effects
1988 CLIO Hawaiian Punch – US TV / Cinema – Animation, Computer
1987 CLIO Benson & Hedges Gold POWER – Int’l TV/Cinema, Best Graphics
1985 HUGO Sexy Robot – Chicago International Film Festival, Best Special Effects
1985 MOBIUS Sexy Robot – US TV & Radio Commercial, Best of Festival
1985 CLIO Sexy Robot – US TV / CINEMA, Best Animation-Computer
1983 CLIO 7-Up Pacman – International TV / Cinema, Best Beverages
1983 CLIO 7-Up Pacman – International TV / Cinema, Best Graphics
1981 CLIO NBC Sunday Night at the Movies – US TV/Cinema Finalist
Memberships in Associations
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences / Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee ( 2006 – 2015 ).
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences / Animated Feature Nominating Committee ( 2012 & 2016 )
Virtual Production Committee ( A joint committee between the ASC, PGA, ADG & VES ) ( 2008 – present )
VES Board of Directors Member ( 1999 – 2017 ) off 3x’s only during required term-outs
VES Board of Directors Executive Committee – Vice Chair ( 2007 )
VES Awards Committee – Co-Chair ( 2001 – 2006)
VES Committee for Outreach to Developing Regions – Chair ( 2010 – present ) – Singapore, Japan, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy and India
President’s Advisory Board ( 2001 –2013 ) Academy of Art University (AAU ) San Francisco
University of Illinois at Chicago – Bachelor of Arts
Double Major in Graphic Design & Photography – Minor in Art History – Suma Cum Laude
Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honorary) – San Francisco Academy of Art University
Recent Speaking Engagements
2017 VR/AR Immersive Technology – Mumbai Round Table Member
2016 b’ Ars – Barcelona Internation Arts & VFX Fair VES Outreach Presentation
2016 FMX – Stuttgart Co-chair – CEO Summit, Moderator: Making of Jungle Book
2016 FICCI Frames – Mumbai Moderator – Masterclass: Creating Classic and Future Icons
2016 DSK Animation Conclave – DSK Campus-Pune A Breakdown of the 2016 Oscar Nominated VFX Films
2015 University of Texas at Arlington – College of Art A Breakdown of the 2015 Oscar Nominated VFX Films
2013 NAB – Las Vegas Bollywood Beyond Borders
2012 Pixel Hub – Montreal 48-60-120fps: High Frame Rate Impact on Digital VFX Post
2012 UCLA Film & Television Archive & VES – LA Tripping the Light Fantastic: Tribute to Robert Abel – Panel
2012 DICON – Keynote Address, Seoul, South Korea
2012 International Institute of Film Financing, LA, CA – Kicking It Up a Notch: Crowdfunding a $100 Million Animated Feature Film
2010 FICCI FRAMES Mumbai, India – Animation & VFX in the Box Office
2010 Animazing Spotlight Festival, LA, CA – The Magic of Robert Abel & Associates
2009 5D Conference on Immersive Design, Cal State University Long Beach – Fast & Fantastic – 3D Visual Effects
2008 FICCI US-India Investment Seminar & Business Expo, LA, CA – The Global Business of Animation & VFX
2007 VES Tour of India, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai – What India Needs Now
2006 VES 4th Annual Awards Dinner, Master of Ceremonies, Hollywood – How We Got Here
2005 FRAMES 2005, Mumbai, India – The History of CG VFX in Film
2002 ACADEMY of ART University, San Francisco, CA – The History of CG VFX in Film