Digital Domain announces new executive appointments
Seeking to assuage concerns about management stability at Digital Domain, the new owners of the struggling visual effects company announced promotions of two veteran executives.
Following the recent resignation of the respected Ed Ulbrich as chief executive officer, the Venice-based studio, which now goes by the name Digital Domain 3.0, said Monday it has promoted Terry Clotiaux to president of its feature film production division and Rich Flier to president of its advertising and games division.
Both men will report to Digital Domain’s new chief executive, Daniel Seah, a Chinese investor who stunned Hollywood’s tight-knit visual effects community last month when his company took over the studio co-founded by director James Cameron in 1993.
Seah heads a publicly-traded Hong Kong company called Sun Innovation, which trades copper and plastics and owns various car parks but has no prior experience in the media sector.
Sun Innovation acquired a 70% stake in Digital Domain from China’s Galloping Horse for $50 million. India-owned Reliance MediaWorks continues to own a 30% stake in the company. Reliance and Galloping Horse acquired Digital Domain in bankruptcy auction last year.
The management changes come as Digital Domain plans to shift a growing amount of work from its Los Angeles operation to a studio in Vancouver to take advantage of film subsidies offered in British Columbia. About 420 people work at the studios, 300 of them in California. To cut costs, Digital Domain also will move from its Venice headquarters to a Playa Vista facility by year’s end.
“We’re engaged at every level to improve efficiency, re-shape our internal show models and build greater transparency with our clients,” Clotiaux said in a statement. “At the same time we are growing the expertise and capacity in our Vancouver studio. This, together with our new ownership, our recent great work for Warner Bros., our recently completed ‘Enders Game’ co-production, as well as our in-production features for Fox and Disney, and we’re on a solid path moving forward.”
Clotiaux, a veteran VFX executive credited on more than 35 feature films in a 25-year career, oversees all visual effects feature film production at Digital Domain’s California and Vancouver studios. He was executive producer of Digital Domain’s feature film division from 2007 to 2009 and rejoined the company as vice president of the division in March.
Flier oversees all advertising and video-game visual effects and production at Digital Domain. A 20-year veteran brand strategist and marketer, Flier joined the company in 2011 as Executive Producer. He was instrumental in building the division’s client base and expertise in the creative development and production of video-game content for Activision, Electronic Arts, 2K Games, Microsoft and other top publishers, developers and ad agencies. He was elevated to vice president in 2012.
“It’s been fantastic taking Digital Domain’s legendary brand and creativity into the games space and building a new base of loyal clients,” Flier said. “I’m privileged to have the opportunity to bring a fresh approach to the broader platform of the advertising industry – to offer production companies, agencies and brands all of the quality and pedigree they expect from DD, the best talent in the business and a great client experience.”
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