Visual Effects from Around the World: Biographies 2020

PANELISTS
GAIA BUSSOLATI
Gaia graduated from Polytechnic of Turin in Architecture. Her interests are in scientific studies and in particular ethology, art and mathematics. At the university she studied architectural design between Turin and Hannover (Germany), focusing on building design, set design for theater and film. After working as an assistant production designer for the cinema, Gaia learns about visual effects. She graduated with full marks with a thesis on “Spaces, unrealizable and achievable” and it is thanks to this that she comes into contact with EDI Effetti Digitali Italia. Since then she has been working as a 3D modeler and digital compositor, later becoming VFX supervisor and head of the color grading department. In her spare time Gaia continues to collaborate with theater and circus performances. Her Visual Effects credits include Jungle Cruise, Ford v Ferrari and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Gaia is a recent member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

GREG ANDERSON
Greg is currently Sr. VFX Supervisor and Head of Studio for the New York office of FuseFx, a global visual effects studio for television, features and commercials. He started the office in 2014 and since then, it has grown to over 70 employees. In his role as VFX Supervisor, mostly recently, he supervised the visual effects for the Netflix limited series, When They See Us, written and directed by Ava DuVernay. He also supervised the visual effects for several hit Marvel television shows as well; Luke Cage, The Punisher and Iron Fist. In addition, he oversaw the visual effects for Mr. Robot, which in 2018 he and his team were nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. Originally, from St. Louis, Greg completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He started his career designing visual effects for several blockbuster Oscar-nominated features including Starship Troopers, Hollow Man and Spider-Man. Over the next 15 years, he worked on over 20 feature films as an artist and supervisor. Greg is a member of both the Television Academy and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

GEETA BASANTANI
Geeta received her BFA in illustration from L.S.Raheja School of Arts and also received a degree in 3d Animation and Visual Effects from Vancouver Film School. She began her career at CMM Studios, Mumbai as editor/compositor/3dArtist. For one year she was a VFX/matte painting instructor, and four years Advanced Compositing Instructor at The Art Institute of Vancouver. She has also worked as a digital compositor/matte painter at Stargate Digital, Rainmaker ltd, Frantic Films, EntityFx, Matte World Digital, Image Engine Design Inc, Zoic Studios and Industrial Light and Magic. She is now in Look Development and Compositing Lead at Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver where she has worked on such films as American Sniper, Guardians of the Galaxy, Edge of Tomorrow and the three most recent Spider-Man films. Geeta is a recent member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

SHERRY BHARDA
Sherry is part of the India VFX management team at Netflix. Prior to this, she was at Yash Raj films and was a founder member of yFX, the visual effects division as Creative and Visual Effects Supervisor. She managed the visual effects team for several Indian Films including Sultan, Tiger Zinda Hai, Hichki, Sui Dhaaga, Uri, Bharat and War. Prior to this assignment, Sherry was Creative Supervisor at Tata Elxsi's Visual Computing Labs. She supervised iconic projects such as Gulliver's Travels, Jack the Giant Slayer and HBO's TV show Luck. She was Creative Supervisor on Roadside Romeo, India's first Full-length 3D animation feature, as well as Arjun, another 3D animated feature. Both projects were produced by Disney. Sherry is the recipient of several industry, national and international awards for Visual Effects. Her team has won the President of India (National) Award, and she has been nominated for the Visual Effects Society's award for "Outstanding Work in an animated Feature Film". She has served as a jury member on a SIGGRAPH panel and was recently elected member to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

CHIU HO KEUNG (AHDEE)
Ahdee is an Emmy Award winning VFX Supervisor with 20 years in the industry. He first received his Bachealor's Degree in Commercial Design at Chung Yuan Christian University then began his career as a compositor and later supervisor at various companies around Taiwan, Singapore and Beijing City, China including Hualong Film Digital Production Company, Digimax and Eggstory Creative Production. He spent nearly six years at Base Fx Beijing as Lead and Compositing and Visual Effects Supervisor on Looper, GI Joe 2:Retaliation and Transformers: Age of Extinction. His recent work includes the Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth, which has been a milestone in Chinese moviemaking. His film credits also include Transformers: Age of Extinction, Pacific RimWu Kong and The Monkey King. Ahdee is currently the VFX Supervisor at MORE VFX, Beijing, one of the leading and largest VFX studios in China. Between 2010 and 2015, Ahdee worked as VFX Supervisor and Compositing Supervisor at Base FX, Beijing. In 2010, Ahdee won the Primetime Emmy Award for his work as VFX Supervisor on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Ahdee is a recent member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

MODERATOR
THERESA ELLIS RYGIEL
Theresa Ellis Rygiel began her career in the early 1980's developing artists’ tools at New York Institute of Technology’s Computer Graphics Lab and from 1986-1989 honed her digital artist skills overseas in Germany and England.  She has been a very active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1997 including eight years on the Executive Committee for The Visual Effects Branch, One year on the Student Academy Awards Executive Committee,  two years a judge for the Student Academy Awards, three semesters as a mentor with Spark @ The Academy, and co-created the four part panel series called VFX Convergence at the Academy. She has been invited also to speak for the Academy at The International Film Festival India, LenFilm Studios in St. Petersburg, Russia, Film University at Babelsburg, Germany and on a panel on The Academy’s Film Summit.  In 1993, she opened her own computer animation company as digital effect supervisor on several major motion pictures including Richie Rich, Water World and Executive Decision and won a CLIO Award for her work on Miller Genuine Draft's "Neon Cowboy". Rygiel has since served as a Visual Effects Supervisor on set with several motion pictures, including for New Line’s  Nativity Story in Italy and Morocco, and Martian Child in Vancouver; Warner Bros.’ Conspiracy Theory; Stepmom in New York, and X-Men in Toronto for 20th Century Fox which she presented at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at their annual VFX Bake-off for the year’s best visual effects in a feature. While at Weta Digital in New Zealand, Rygiel advanced from Senior Compositor on THE LORD OF THE RINGS: The Fellowship Of The Ring, 3D Lead on The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, to working as Digital Effect Supervisor on the final film in the trilogy, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: The Return Of The King.  Her composite supervisor credits also include such features as Joy, Oblivion, Fast Five and Night Of The Museum: Battle At The Smithsonian.  In recent years, Rygiel has moved into the studio production offices as Post Visual Effects Supervisor and Compositing Supervisor on Guardians Of The Galaxy, Furious 7, Ben Hur, Joy, Marvel’s Dr Strange, Fast 8, A Wrinkle In Time, and The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle.