Santa Monica, CA, March 16, 2021 — AFX Creative, an independent studio that specializes in VFX, design/motion, color and editorial services for the advertising and entertainment industries, has expanded its leadership team and concurrently has hired seasoned systems engineer and administrator Toby Gallo to serve as its new Director of Technology.
AFX Creative also announced today the promotions of Esther Minitser to Head of Production, Jessica Amburgey to Senior Color Producer, and Stefan Kim to Production Coordinator.
The announcements were made by Mark Leiss, AFX Creative Founder and Managing Director. “We’re proud to hire the best in the industry while also growing and developing talent from within our company,” Leiss said.
With more than 25 years of technology experience in network design, implementation and support, Toby Gallo most recently worked at Shed, where he oversaw systems and network administration, and periphery management. Previously, he’s also worked for companies such as Technicolor, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Digi-scope, Nickelodeon, Gradient Effects, and World Wide Broadcasting. Gallo is well known for his work on ground-breaking pipelines and render farm solutions in the long-form episodic world.
“Toby brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and a unique strategic vision to AFX Creative that will carry us forward as we continue to adapt to an ever-changing landscape,” Leiss said.
“AFX is a technology forward company,” Gallo adds. “We plan on taking it to the next level, implementing the latest in virtualized technologies and remote workflows, ultimately allowing AFX to service our clients’ needs and beyond.”
Esther Minitser has been named AFX Creative’s Head of Production. She was promoted from within the company and most recently served as VFX Producer for the past three years. Minitser has been with AFX Creative since 2015. A recent graduate from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in California, she applies that knowledge to her day-to-day work.
Jessica Amburgey has been named Senior Color Producer. She joined AFX Creative in October 2020 as a Color Producer. Previously, she served in a similar capacity at The Mill in Culver City, CA.
Stefan Kim has been named Production Coordinator. He first joined in June 2018 and had been Head of Client Services.
“I’m proud to promote Esther, Jessica and Stefan to their new roles,” Mark Leiss concludes. “They each possess a unique set of skills, and I look forward to their continued contributions and insights.”
In related AFX Creative news: As a reaction to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, AFX Creative has set up new technology by which the company is now able to provide Creative Remote Sessions to its commercial director, photographer and creative clients who need to evaluate color-accuracy and image fidelity as if they were “in the same room.” AFX Creative Remote provides a broadcast-grade, high-bandwidth signal beamed to a color-calibrated viewing environment — either at one of the company’s remote locations, or at one of its clients’ locations, anywhere in the world. This end-to-end calibration ensures that what the company’s clients see on their remote monitors is what the AFX Creative team sees on theirs.
The AFX Creative stream technology broadcasts each client session feed as a review quality, low-latency, real-time signal to a password protected website, viewable on computers and tablets. The stream can be accessed by dozens of people viewing it at the same time. The AFX Creative Mobile platform, currently under development, will allow for connecting viewers to the stream via iOS native iPhone and iPad apps. The launch of this Mobile platform will be announced in the very near future.
Toby Gallo says he is looking forward to optimizing AFX Creative’s existing infrastructure, and focusing on taking its CGI and finishing to the next level.
“I’m excited to introduce more automation and cloud-based services, and explore and deploy more virtualized production technologies, whether it’s building custom LED walls or implementing the latest real-time render engines,” Gallo said. “AFX will contin-ue to be a leader in the industry, demonstrating the ability and willingness to adapt and utilize the latest technologies.”
AFX Creative’s recent credits include various projects for General Motors, SONY, Net-flix, Hyundai, Vans and Webtoons.
About AFX Creative:
AFX Creative is a multidisciplinary post-production studio based in Santa Monica, CA. Specializing in visual effects, color and creative ideation, AFX Creative tailors custom, one-of-a-kind solutions for the commercial and entertainment industries. The company was founded by Mark Leiss in 2008 as Arsenal FX (which did business as Arsenal Creative).
With locations in Santa Monica and San Francisco, and remote services around the country, the company has managed VFX, design, color, and post-production services for hundreds of national commercials as well as some of the best design work in the advertising business.
Historically, the company’s clients have included Chevrolet, Hyundai, Lexus, Toyota, Reebok, Clorox, Dr. Pepper, Amazon Music, Beats Studio, Vans, Travelocity, HomeAdvisor, the Tennis Channel, and dozens more.
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