Stephen Brain, a former Stan Lee Media and Fox Animation Studios exec, has been named chief operating officer at motion capture studio Spectrum Studios, which is currently creating f/x for the next two installments of “The Matrix.”
Brain, who has been working at the Marina del Rey company for the past five months as a consultant, reports to David Forbes, CEO of Global Animation Holdings, whose family of companies includes Spectrum, ImagineAsia, Neon Noodle Prods. and VirtualMagic Asia.
Spectrum’s facility and technology records the movement of humans, turning them into digital characters for use in special effects sequences such as crowd scenes for films, TV shows, musicvids, commercials and vidgames.
Besides working on the upcoming “Matrix” sequels and the accompanying vidgame, the nearly 2-year-old company has focused on demonstrating its technology, co-developed with Motion Analysis, to the f/x biz.
Brain said Spectrum is in an enviable position as production increases of photorealistic computer-animated pics such as “Shrek” and “Final Fantasy” and the need grows for digital humans to perform in live-action f/x sequences.
“The demand for motion capture is growing tremendously,” Brain said. “My goal is to say, ‘Let’s go beyond what people have done before. I don’t want to hear this is how we’ve done things before.’ ‘The Matrix’ demonstrates that.”
Most recently, Brain was exec veep of production for Netcaster Stan Lee Media, where he oversaw the production of animated Webisodic series for comicbook icon Stan Lee. Company shuttered earlier this year.
Brain said that although it’s a new company, Spectrum provided more security than the dot-com arena. “There’s a structure here that is sound,” he said. “For me, it was a comfort knowing that the company would be here a year from now.”
Before Stan Lee, Brain was senior VP-general manager of 20th Century Fox’s feature animation studio in Phoenix, which produced “Anastasia” and “Titan A.E.” before closing. He also served as exec veep for Joel Silver’s Warner Bros.-based Silver Pictures and as director of operations and administration and veep of studio operations for Stephen J. Cannell Prods. In addition, he founded film and TV production company White Tiger Prods.