In his new role at Deluxe, Ulbrich will lead efforts to align Deluxe’s visual effects companies Method Studios and Iloura.He will also drive and grow Deluxe VR, a unit leading the creation of virtual and mixed reality experiences for entertainment, communications and commerce. (Deluxe vfx companies also include Encore Post, and Rushes, but those companies will remain under separate leadership.)
“We’re trying to kick things up a notch,” Ulbrich told Variety, saying the opportunity to unify and align Deluxe’s diverse visual effects companies was one of the things that excited him about the post. “There is just so much depth and capability,” he said. “To me, it was obvious. … Imagine if you took all these pieces and parts and they could function collectively as one. That is a pretty formidble offering in the marketplace.”
Ulbrich served as a long-time executive of Digital Domain for over two decades, holding titles ranging from EVP of Production to CEO during his tenure. He will report to Deluxe CEO John Wallace, who joined Deluxe from NBC less than a year ago. “You’ve got somebody coming in who’s relatively new to the [vfx] business,” said Ulbrich, “and we were finishing each other’s sentences. We’re on the exact same page.”
He said that it is too soon to know whether there will be any rebranding of Deluxe’s vfx units, but “it’s not a consolidation, it’s an alignment.” Method Studios has facilities in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, London, Sydney and Melbourne. Iloura is also in Sydney and Melbourne.
The opportunity, says Ulbrich, is to have artists be able to work on different kinds of projects, rather than being sorted by film/commercials/TV, or by geography.
As a producer, Ulbrich has amassed credits on Lionsgate/Summit’s 2013 feature “Ender’s Game” and the Tupac Shakur “hologram” for Dr. Dre’s and Snoop Dogg’s 2012 Coachella performance. He also executive produced the Academy Award-winning visual effects for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Titanic,” and “What Dreams May Come.”
His other credits include music videos for Lady Gaga, Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson.