Pinewood Atlanta Studios Selects Tech Guru Frank Patterson as President

Sony's 'Passengers,' starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, shot at Pinewood Atlanta Studios

Passengers Movie 2016 Chris Pratt and
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the U.S.’s third-largest production facility, has appointed tech guru Frank Patterson as its president. Movies produced at the site, which opened in 2014, include Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” and Sony’s “Passengers,” starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Patterson is co-founder and chief creative officer of Pulse Evolution, a digital media company that produces “virtual humans” — computer-generated likenesses of real-life, albeit usually deceased, performers. In 2014, Patterson produced the Billboard Music Awards performance that featured a hyper-realistic digital human in the likeness of the late Michael Jackson.

“As new entertainment technologies like virtual reality influence the evolution of Hollywood and the film industry at large, I’m excited by the unbridled opportunity Pinewood Atlanta Studios presents,” Patterson said in a statement. “My goal is to further position Pinewood Atlanta Studios as the premier entertainment ecosystem, where companies cluster in a symbiotic atmosphere that benefits all, and helps fuel the growth of Georgia’s booming motion picture, television production, digital, music and gaming industries.”

Patterson, who also serves as dean of Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, will assume the newly created role of president at Pinewood Atlanta Studios on Jan. 1. He will report to its board of directors.

He will oversee the planned expansion of the facilities, working across film, television, music, video games and digital, as well as “leveraging the studio’s existing assets to attract emerging technologies and complementary businesses that can benefit from Pinewood Studio’s state-of-the-art facilities and technology offerings,” according to a statement from the company.

Pinewood Atlanta Studios is a full-service film and entertainment studio complex comprised of 12 purpose-built sound stages, with a further six stages scheduled to be ready in January. Set on 700 acres in Fayetteville, Georgia, it has 400,000 square foot of workshop, office and production support facilities, and back-lot areas including forests, rivers and open land.

Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Studios Group, said: “Frank is very experienced in all forms of movie production. He has a keen understanding of how emerging technologies are impacting on the future of the creative screen industries.”