Tag Archives: Reel FX

Trio from Reel FX and Shilo team on VFX/live-action studio

The commercial division of digital studio Reel FX has teamed up with Shilo founder/executive creative director Jose Sebastian Gomez to launch strategic creative group ATK PLN. Emmy Award-winner Gomez will lead the creative vision for the studio, joined by former Digital Domain HOP Jim Riche as executive producer, with overall strategy led by Reel FX’s David Bates as managing director. The trio will draw from their combined expertise across VFX, design, production, interactive media, branding and marketing to offer in-house services from concept to final delivery.

ATK PLN will work across design, animation and live action. The team has already created work for AT&T, Fox Racing and MADD — all a fusion of live action and VFX. ATK PLN creatives will work between its new Hollywood studio, Montreal and Dallas locations. ATK PLN will also partner with sister companies Flight School and Reel FX Animation.


In terms of tools, the company uses a lot of the traditional apps like Flame, Maya, Nuke and Houdini. “Our biggest push at the moment is into GPU rendering,” reports Riche. “We have had great success with Octane from Otoy, and it is a second pipeline in our systems working alongside Arnold. Octane is a faster render system and is fantastic on hard surface models.”

Riche continues, “When I joined David Bates at Reel FX almost two years ago we created a vision to elevate the company to the next level, challenging the status quo of the advertising community to offer a new, unique approach to creative problem solving. Bringing on Jose Gomez and his creative vision to our team at ATK PLN is allowing us to turn our ideas into reality. I am excited about how this forward-thinking team will continue to evolve with the changing market.”

Reel FX hires Chad Mosley as senior designer

Chad Moseley has joined Reel FX as senior designer. Moseley brings with him nearly a decade of experience in motion graphics and design, spanning television, advertising and broadcast promos.

He comes to Reel FX, which has offices in Dallas and Santa Monica, from Starz Entertainment, where he spent two years as a broadcast designer, concepting and executing promotions for original programming on series such as Outlander, Da Vinci’s Demons and Flesh and Bone, including teasers, spots and graphics packages. His work for brands such as Enterprise, Nestle, Purina and Busch Gardens has earned him a Gold American Advertising Award (AAA), a Gold Addy Award and an AAF Best of Digital Award.

Texas native Moseley studied graphic design and 3D animation in Denver. He developed his career at a Texas news channel, handling the video and graphics for the channel’s website. While there he learned post production. He then worked as a video editor/animator at Denver-based ORCC, later relocating to St. Louis to take a position as senior motion graphics/VFX artist at 90 Degrees West. While there, he contributed to post projects from concept through completion for national brands including Anheuser Busch, Enterprise and UPS, among others. An opportunity as an in-house broadcast designer at Starz Entertainment led Moseley back to Denver in 2014, before once again returning to Dallas once again to join the Reel FX team.

Behind the Title: Reel FX editor Chris Collins

NAME: Chris Collins
COMPANY: Reel FX (@wearereelfx) in Dallas
Reel FX is made up of directors, editors, animators, VFX artists, audio engineers and more. We work on everything feature length projects to commercials to VR/360 experiences.


What it means to be an editor depends on what kind of editor you ask. If you ask me, the editor is the final director — the person responsible for compiling and composing the hard work of production into a finalized coherent piece of media. Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes there is a lot of creative problem-solving. Sometimes you only cut footage, sometimes you dive into Photoshop, After Effects and other programs to execute a vision. Sometimes there is only one way to make a video work, and sometimes there are infinite ways a piece can be cut. It all depends on the concept and production.

Now with VR, a whole new aspect of editing has opened up by being able to put on a headset and be transported into your footage. I couldn’t be more excited to see the new places that VR can take editing.

I think people look at editors and think the job is easy because they sit in a cozy office on the computer… and sometimes, they’re not wrong. But there is a lot of hidden stress, problem-solving and creativity that is invisible within a finished piece of media. They may watch a final cut and never notice all the things an editor did or fixed — and that’s what makes a good editor.

I cut on Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere but I also use Adobe’s After Effects and Photoshop in my work.

Right now it would have to be Mettle’s Skybox VR Player because it allows me to edit and view my cut of 360 footage within the Oculus headset — so ridiculously cool!

Screening a cut to someone for the first time and watching their reaction.

The fact that the majority of people will never see or know all the unused footage and options that didn’t make the cut.

I’d have to say those first few hours in the morning with my coffee and late at night after hours because that is when I am the most creative.


I’ve been shooting and editing videos since I was a little kid. It carried on into high school and then into college, since that’s really what my hobby and passion was. It was one of the only things I was good at besides video games so it seemed like a no-brainer.

TGI Fridays Countdown, Ram Division of Labor, Jeep Renegade campaign, Tostitos Recipe Videos and Texas Health Resources.

A video I cut called Jeep Legendary Lives. It started out as a personal project of mine that I was cutting after hours, and eventually became part of a presentation video that opened the Detroit Auto Show. It’s also one of the first things that got my foot in the door as an editor.

Phone. Computer. Camera.

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter.

Only if the footage does not have audio and I am in the organization and melting phase. It’s usually some sort of chill electronic — typically instrumental.

Playing video games or taking photos really helps to distract my brain, but typically all I have to do is remind myself that I am getting paid doing something I love and something that I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid. With that thought, it’s hard not to be anything but grateful.

Quick Chat: Reel FX’s EP/head of production Jim Riche

By Randi Altman

Industry veteran Jim Riche has witnessed the evolution of visual effects in his over 30 years in the business. He has seen the march from film to digital, many large VFX houses fall by the wayside, work leave the country, a crop of smaller VFX boutiques pop up and VFX houses diversifying with other services. The latter category fits Santa Monica- and Dallas-based Reel FX, where Riche recently has hung his hat as head of production for the studio’s commercial division. He brings with him experience in production management and consulting for feature films, commercials, visual effects, live action, dark ride production and design/graphics.

He comes to Reel FX from Blur Studio in Los Angeles, where he came up with a well-used and well-thought-of a bidding, cost-tracking and accounting structure. He also consulted on some big-name projects, including the VFX for Deadpool. Prior to that, he was working as a freelance VFX supervisor, VFX producer and VFX consultant for a number of post studios, handling top projects and strategies.

We reached out to Riche, who will be based in the company’s Dallas office, to find out more.

Reel FX Dallas

Why Reel FX, and why now?
I have known of Reel FX for many years and have always admired their work. The company is unique in today’s market in that it offers a full-service studio. Reel FX can work in commercials, features, interactive, live action and virtual reality. I have CG designers, designers, editors, Flame suites and audio suites, as well as a full team of development, interactive and virtual reality artists. I am intrigued with the possibilities of combining these disciplines to offer clients a complete media solution.

The days of the big VFX/animation companies in LA have slowly gone away. We have lost a number of the big shops to bankruptcy and to offshore tax incentives. Reel FX offers me all of the advantages of a big company and in a city where life and production is so much more affordable. I have been in this business for a long time, and Reel FX has put me in a position that will take advantage of my skill set.

What are some things you hope to accomplish in your new role?
My goals here are to grow the commercial division and to bring in clients from NY and LA. I have a wealth of talent here and I plan on attracting more creative leaders from the coasts. The addition of Colin McGreal from New York has shown the desire to grow this division. I feel I am the piece that has been missing. I’m the veteran that can bring this all together.

The offices at Reel FX Dallas

You have a pretty rich history in VFX. How have you seen the industry change over the years?
I got into this business well before digital technology came into the field. I started doing VFX when we did it all on film. So, you can say I have seen the complete evolution from film to CG and digital technology. I pride myself on the fact that I was interested in the latest technology and able to keep up with it. And I still do to this day.

Not only has the technology changed, but the commercial production industry has changed as well. Commercials are no longer a 30-second spot to run only on TV. They encompass all media— social media, interactive, user experience and much more. At Reel FX we are able to address all of the new platforms and take advantage of our capabilities to fulfill all of our clients needs. That is the biggest way I have seen the industry change. It’s all in the breadth of what commercial advertising means.

I know you’ve been involved with adjusting bidding practices. Do you intend to implement that at Reel FX as well?
Reel FX has a very strong system and certainly has a lot of experience and a strong support staff in this area. I will be bringing my experience to this team and together we will be making some changes in the process. There is always room for improvement that will benefit both Reel FX and our clients.

Hilton Barbados

Hilton Barbados

What projects are in the pipeline?
We’ve got lots of great projects wrapping up in the next few weeks, including Gold Bond (31,000 ft), Western Union (McGarry Bowen), Shinola (direct) and content for the Cleveland Cavaliers. On the VR front, we recently delivered a really cool experience for Hilton (GSD&M).

Finally, how was the move from LA to Dallas? I’m assuming Dallas is more laid back, in work and in life?
The move has been good. Dallas has a very large arts community, and that is very important to us. The city has the vitality of a large city and the demeanor and feel of a smaller town. Even in a city as large as Dallas, is it is much easier to exist than in LA or NYC. The highways are far less congested and the people are much more relaxed. The tempo is not that much different — it’s the personality of the people that takes the edge off and makes them appear less crazy.

Reel FX beefs up VR division with GM Steve Nix

Dallas/Santa Monica’s Reel FX has added Steve Nix as general manager of its VR division. Nix will oversee all aspects of development, strategy and technology for the division, which has been working in the VR and AR content space. He joins David Bates, who was recently named GM of the studio’s commercial division. Nix has spent nearly two decades embracing new technology.

Prior to joining Reel FX, Nix was CEO/co-founder of Yvolver, a mobile gaming technology developer, acquired by Opera Mediaworks in 2015. His extensive experience in the gaming industry spans digital distribution and game development for companies such as id Software, Ritual Entertainment and GameStop.

“Reel FX has shown foresight establishing itself as an early leader in the rapidly emerging VR content space,” says Nix. “This foundation, combined with the studio’s resources, will allow us to aggressively expand our VR content offering — combining storytelling and visual and technical expertise in a medium that I firmly believe will change the human experience.”

Nix graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University with a BBA in finance, later earning his MBA at SMU where he was an Armentrout Scholar. He got his start in the gaming industry as CEO of independent game developer, Ritual Entertainment, an early pioneer in action games and digitally distributed PC games. Ritual developed and co-developed many titles including Counter-Strike (Xbox), Counter Strike: Condition Zero, Star Trek: Elite Force II, Delta Force Black Hawk Down, Team Sabre and 007: Agent Under Fire.

He moved on to join id Software as director of business development, prior to its acquisition by ZenMax Media, transitioning to the position of director of digital platforms at the company. There he led digital distribution and mobile game development for some of the biggest brands in gaming, including Doom, Rage, Quake and Wolfenstein.

In 2011, Nix joined GameStop as GM of digital distribution.

Animation house Reel FX dives into VR with new division

With a groundswell moving toward more immersive content, animation studio Reel FX, with offices in Santa Monica and Dallas, has opened a virtual reality division, Reel FX VR. This new entity will create content for virtual reality platforms, including the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. The VR division is based in the studio’s Dallas office.

The division is focused on client work for major studios and commercial agencies. The idea for Reel FX VR was born after the release of multiple high-profile VR projects in early 2014 ranging from content for Chuck E. Cheese to a piece for Legendary Picture’s Pacific Rim, which debuted at 2014 ComicCon. More content debuted at IFA in Berlin in early September, including a mobile version of the Pacific Rim Jaeger Pilot experience and a stereo trailer for Reel FX’s own The Book of Life.

Reel FX’s history and relationship with Oculus Rift dates back to Oculus’ 2012 Kickstarter campaign. Founder and ECD Dale Carman was an early adopter of the technology and one of the first to begin developing for the platform.

“As a studio, we are passionate about finding, using, and pushing technology,” said Dale Carman, founder/executive creative director of Reel FX. “I knew the moment I encountered Oculus [Rift technology] on Kickstarter that it was magic. Creating these experiences for clients like Legendary and our own films and working closely with Samsung and Oculus has been a great journey so far, and we are excited about the future.”


The relationship with Oculus and expertise in the technology has made Reel FX VR one of Oculus Rift’s top developers. “Legendary is always seeking out new entertainment frontiers and technology that can offer our fans a greater level of immersion,” added Emily Castel, chief marketing officer for Legendary Pictures. “Reel FX was a fantastic partner and their VR team did a terrific job at bringing the transportive universe of Pacific Rim to life.”

In preparation of the Reel FX VR launch, Reel FX has brought on multiple team members over the past year that will focus on and grow the VR business. Reel FX VR will be overseen by Carman, GM Keith McCabe and executive producer Gary Banks. Veteran interactive executive Dan Ferguson joined the team in late 2013 as director of digital interactive. Rounding out the unit is interactive account manager Tina Ghezzi. Artists from Reel FX’s feature and commercial crews will lead the creative teams.

Main Image:  Guillermo del Toro takes in Pacific Rim’s Oculus experience at Comic Con.