Exec to oversee f/x for pix, spots

Fresh off of the success of “Antz,” digital effects house Pacific Data Images and partner DreamWorks have tapped former ILM exec Kevin Townsend to help the company create a digital studio to produce original content, including digital films, TV shows, commercials and new media.

Townsend will serve as PDI’s general manager of commercial and feature film effects for the Palo Alto, Calif., based company which produces high-end animation and digital effects for the film, television and commercials industries.

Prior to joining PDI, Townsend was head of George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic and Lucas Digital’s commercial productions division.

While still the main supplier of computer-generated animation for DreamWorks, the addition of Townsend signals PDI’s intent to expand beyond its present size and scope, says PDI prexy Carl Rosendahl.

Townsend said the new studio venture is still in its initial stages, and no projects have yet been skedded for development.

“Antz,” released Oct. 2, marked PDI’s first of several planned full-length animated pics, co-produced with DreamWorks. The company is in production on “Shrek,” its second.

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