Creative post studio Spontaneous has significantly upped its CG game by bringing respected VFX artist Ed Manning on board as CG Supervisor to oversee the increasingly complex CG projects coming through the New York office.
A Harvard grad, Manning has held key executive positions at digital agency R/GA and worked as a VFX supervisor and technical director across a variety of disciplines – from feature films and commercials to software development – with the industry’s most prestigious animation and design shops, including Method Studios and Psyop. This new role was a chance for him to take on a more meaningful stake in enhancing and shaping the technical and creative skill set at a vibrant, evolving studio.
"Ed's technical expertise and innovative approach to jobs will augment our existing CG capabilities as clients look to us to produce more sophisticated projects,” says Cara Cutrone, Spontaneous Vice-President and Managing Director. “His participation in the further development of the department will help shape Spon's ever growing presence in the community."
“Spontaneous has a solid creative core of artists across all post disciplines. I’m looking forward to undertaking more complex projects, and building on their already substantial body of knowledge, best practices, and technical resources for the department,” he says. “I am also excited about tapping into their foundation in commercial production as a basis for growth into other rich-media areas, like experience design, interactive multimedia, and casual gaming. Finally, the position also affords me the opportunity to take on a leadership role in more personally rewarding areas, like mentoring artists.”
One of the industry’s most-respected design, CG and visual effects studios, Spontaneous is headed by Creative Director John Leamy and team leaders Lawrence Nimrichter, Director of Animation/Associate Creative Director and Andy Milkis, Director of VXF. Since its inception in 1996, the sheer breadth and caliber of Spontaneous’ work for the world’s leading ad agencies and brands, recording artists and feature film directors has grown exponentially, creating a need for more sophisticated CG capabilities.
Manning and Leamy had known each other for years and have worked together on numerous occasions so the opportunity to collaborate on a more permanent basis was a natural step. “The infusion of new talent is vital to any company,” says Leamy. “Ed’s commitment to excellence, and his broad and deeper experience, will only enhance our offerings to our clients.”
“Spontaneous has always had a dedicated core group of artists who are passionate about what they do,” adds Lawrence Nimrichter. “Adding a high caliber artist like Ed Manning to our studio is going to add to our already great synergy. His knowledge and experience combined with his sharp eye for beautiful work will be an invaluable combination for all our future endeavors."
About Ed Manning:
Ed Manning creates images and solves problems at the intersection of visual technology, art and commerce. His adolescence was filled with model rocketry, a chemistry set, ham radio, science fiction, A/V club, scale models, amateur pyrotechnics, Super-8 filmmaking, and computer programming. While attending Harvard, he studied physics, applied math and then design and animated filmmaking. His extracurricular time was consumed in technical design and production for student theatre.
His career began in proto-digital Hollywood, working in a variety of journeyman VFX positions on feature films, commercials and in broadcast design. Manning then went to R/Greenberg Associates in New York, becoming Visual Effects Supervisor of a group that helped to lead the digital transformation of not only VFX, animation and filmmaking, but of advertising, graphic and industrial design, photography and games as well.
As a freelance VFX Supervisor and Technical Director and occasionally as a director, he developed expertise in large-scale media – screens as architecture – as both technical and content designer. During this time he also consulted for an ambitious software startup called Synapix, culminating in the creation of an automated image-based 3D modeler, which never made it to market. In 2005 he launched his own company, Special Branch, providing VFX and CG services to design and postproduction companies, agencies and direct-to-client. Previous to joining Spontaneous, Manning continued to freelance, primarily focused on VFX and 3D look development for high-end commercials, and as a technical consultant.