Creative Director, CBS Digital
The founder and executive creative director of CBS Digital, Craig Weiss has been a recognized leader in the visual-effects industry for more than 23 years, and has built the division from the ground up. CBS Digital has become one of the most widely acclaimed and creative producers of visual effects and post-production services in the entertainment industry. Nominated for five Emmy™ Awards and multiple Visual Effects Society Awards, Craig continues to demonstrate measurable results with innovative excellence. He recently led the development of new virtual-set technology called Parallax, as well as CBS Digital’s VR platform, both of which have been rapidly adopted by such entertainment industry leaders as ABC, Disney, Fox and Netflix. Craig serves on the Science and Technical committee for the Emmy Awards and was a founding alternate board member of The Visual Effects Society, while continuing to oversee all work at CBS Digital. As a visual-effects supervisor, he has led visual-effects teams for such high-profile TV projects as Transparent, Daredevil, This Is Us, Last Man on Earth and Galavant.
Executive Producer, CBS Digital
George Bloom and his CBS Digital visual effects team are responsible for creating VFX for movies and television series – and developing innovative, disruptive tools for television production, as well as custom virtual reality content for CBS Digital’s VR Lab, which George oversees. He is a strategic creative executive with global experience and responsibility for vertical strategy, critical creative ideation, original shoots, and project execution for all media platforms. Prior to joining CBS Digital, George was vice president of creative content at Walt Disney Pictures and vice president of special ops at 20th Century Fox Film Studios. George built strategic marketing plans for all media platforms, and produced original animation for such films as Ratatouille, Wall*E, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Alice in Wonderland, Cars 2, Tron, Ice Age 2, X-Men 3 and Reel Steel. In 2005, he sold an original screenplay thriller, The Savior, to The Weinstein Company. Before becoming an executive, George spent 14 years as a director of music videos, commercials, movie trailers and episodic television. An avid astrophotographer, George attended Pepperdie University, Brooks Institute of Photography and the University of Southern California, and is a member of the Visual Effects Society, Writer’s Guild of America and Producers Guild of America.
NIEL R. WRAY
Visual Effects Supervisor, CBS Digital
Niel R. Wray’s love of filmmaking began with the gift of a Super 8 movie camera. Then came Star Wars, and with it a new, exciitng world of visual effects that further ignited his passion for the artform. After graduating from the Art Center College of Design, Niel worked in the automotive industry, flexing his creative muscles designing concept cars. Following his passion for film and visual effects, he joined CBS Digital in 1996 as a 3-D artist, transitioning to the head of the 3D department before becoming visual effects supervisor. In his 20-year career, Niel has been nominated for three Emmy® Awards and a Visual Effects Society Award. His notable work includes Into the West, Star Trek – The Original Series Remastered and Code Black.
Head of Production, CBS Digital
Chris Tezber supervises the workflow of the creative team, which includes management of compositing, 3-D modeling, texturing, lighting, color correction and asset rendering. He has worked on more than 50 television, commercial and feature-fllm projects, and has worked with all major broadcast networks, as well as Marvel, Netflix and Amazon. Chris has a background in traditional art and received his bachelor’s degree in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Head of Technology, CBS Digital
Andrew Britton began his computer-graphics career in video games, working as as a texture and environmental artist for EA Sports on such titles as NCAA College Football, NASCAR Thunder and Madden Football. He also taught computer graphics and animation for the Digital Animation and Visual Effects School, Purdue University, and CDIA at Boston University. His graduate thesis work on writing a CUDA-based ray-tracer, has more than 5,000 downloads. Andrew holds a bachelor of fine arts in fine-arts painting from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s of science in computer graphics technolgoy from Purdue Univerity. He holds additional certifications from Alias and Autodesk as a certified instructor of Maya, and is a member of Epsilon Pi Tau, an international honor society for technology. Having founded CBS Digital’s software development department, the initiatives he has overseen include research and development in a number of fields: real-time virtual set pre-production technology; automated re-conforming software; Shotgun-Flame pipeline integration; color-management pipeline; motion capture and camera tracking; third-party vendor technology testing; and plug-in support for popular visual-effects packages, including Flame, Shotgune, Nuke and Maya. He is currently working on integrating Flame and Shotgun and directing the production of custom software.
Producer, CBS Digital
As the visual-effects producer at CBS Digital, Sarah Paul is responsible for bringing in all visual-effects projects on budget and on schedule, including preparing schedules and assigning artists, and monitoring budgets and resources through the course of production. A 1996 graduate of the Savanah College of Art with a bachelor’s of fine arts, Sarah’s career has included work on Mike Nichols’ Charlie Wilson’s War, Paramount’s Failure to Launch, and EA’s Command and Conquer – Red Alert. Most recently, she has been involved with such projects as CBS Digital’s Stranger Things VR experience for Netflix, as well as Code Black, Last Man on Earth, American Housewife, The Late Late Show With James Corden and The Bold and the Beautiful. Sarah is a member of the Visual Effects Society and the Art Director’s Guild.
Head of Virtual Production, CBS Digital
Jim Berndt began his career as a visual effects animator after graduating from Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles. Jim was a technical consultant for IBM before joining CBS Digital in 2006, where his work began with the restoration of all 186 episodes of the original Star Trek series. At CBS Digtial, he was nominated for a VES award for his work on ABC’s Pushing Dasies. Recently, Jim has technically supervised CBS Digital’s Virtual Sets platform for FOX’s Last Man on Earth. He made his first foray into virtual reality as the technical lead on CBS Digital’s acclaimed VR experience for Netflix’s Stranger Things. His expertise in software tools and crafting his own original processes and techniques has been instrumental in allowing CBS Digital to build unique VR experiences.