Eileen Moran, Weta Digital effects executive producer, dies

Key lieutenant to Peter Jackson also contributed to look of 'Avatar'

Eileen Moran, a visual effects executive producer and a key lieutenant for Peter Jackson at fx house Weta Digital, died Tuesday in New Zealand of cancer. She appeared to be in her 50s.

Moran led one of the effects teams that contributed to “Avatar’s” Oscar win for best visual effects and shared a number of VES Awards from 2006 to 2010, including for her work on Jackson’s “King Kong” and “Avatar.” She was credited as a co-producer on “King Kong.”

Moran most recently worked on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Her other credits also included the “Lord of the Rings” films, “I Robot,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Eragon,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “30 Days of Night,” “The Water Horse,” “Jumper,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “District 9,” The Lovely Bones,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Prometheus” and “The Adventures of Tintin.”

In a note to the staff of Weta Digital, Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Joe Letteri said Moran “had great respect for all the artists she worked with. Eileen was so proud of Weta and the work all of you have done over the years. She was fiercely loyal to the company, and to Fran and I personally, and we will always be grateful for her friendship.”

Moran joined the company from Digital Domain in 2001.

James Cameron said, “Eileen was an integral part of building Weta Digital into the most powerful engine for imaginative imagery that ever existed, and she shepherded some of the milestone films of her generation to completion.”

She is survived by a son and a daughter.