Liz Ralston, President
Liz Ralston has 23 years film production experience, with the last 16 years directly supervising the creation of visual effects for motion pictures produced by Disney, 20th Century Fox, Universal and HBO Films. These films have required international travel, relationship management, and project management with entities in Europe, Asia and Australia as well as multiple domestic locations.
Over the course of her career, she has worked in the capacity of Director of Production or VFX Producer on highly acclaimed projects such as the Academy Award winning - “Babe”, Academy Award nominated “Mighty Joe Young” and “Armageddon”, as well as “Flubber”, “Inspector Gadget”, “102 Dalmatians”, and “Behind Enemy Lines”. Working with HBO Films, Ms. Ralston collaborated with Mike Nichols on the Emmy Award winning “Angels in America”. She worked with Outkast’s award winning music video director Bryan Barber, creating “Idlewild”, a musical for HBO Films and Universal Studios, released August, 2006. After that, Ms. Ralston worked with Mike Nichols again, on the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts “Charlie Wilson’s War”, released holiday season 2007. Today Liz just finished working with Will Ferrell, VFX producing “Land of the Lost”.
At her first computer graphics job in 1989, Ms. Ralston served as Operations Manager for a boutique facility creating the first computer-generated, theme park ride-films, one for Universal Studios Florida, and another for Puroland, Japan. In 1991 Ms. Ralston joined Rhythm & Hues as a producer, where she managed the delivery of three groundbreaking Coca-Cola Polar Bear commercials before she took on the first ever photo-realistic portrayal of talking animals. With “Babe” being the first feature film to rely on the Internet to supply daily animation tests to the director in Australia, Ms. Ralston and her team quickly found out how critical the internet would become.
At Disney, Ms. Ralston supervised the transition of five departments of a privately owned, multiple Academy Award winning facility into the Disney Corporation. Once assimilated, Ms. Ralston returned to VFX Producing. In this role, she supervised the merging of two production pipelines, as the acquired boutique physically moved into the Disney facility.
Ms. Ralston started out as an effects animator in 1986, after graduating with a BA in Cinematography from Southern Illinois University. Today, she works directly with the studios and production companies, supervising the multi-million dollar budgets and schedules, across multiple VFX boutiques for major event feature films.
Todd Shifflett, CTO
Todd Shifflett has worked for Rhythm & Hues Studios since shortly after graduating from New York University in 1992, majoring in Film and Television as well as a minor in Computer Science. During his 14 year career, he has held multiple film production roles from digital artist to Visual Effects Supervisor. He currently supervises large-scale productions for feature films and commercials in the capacity of both Visual and Digital Effects Supervisor. His achievements in different supervisory roles include “Scooby Doo”, “Scooby Doo Two”, “Summer of Sam”, “The Sixth Day”, “Babe 2: Pig in the City”, “Mystery Men”, “Water World”, “Speed 2: Cruise Control”, “Mousehunt”, “Kazaam”, “Babe” as well as the major releases “Charlotte’s Web”, “Happy Feet” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, where Todd was the Visual Effects Supervisor.
Examples of some of Mr. Shifflett’s accomplishments include creating the visual effects production pipeline used by all digital artists for the Visual Effects Oscar® award winning feature film “Babe”, which became the standard talking animal production pipeline for all animal face replacement work performed by Rhythm & Hues Studios. Other productions that directly used this pipeline include “Babe 2: Pig in the City”, “Summer of Sam”, “Cats & Dogs”, “Dr. Dolittle 1 & 2”, “Men In Black” and “Ice Princess”. Furthermore, variations of this pipeline are now integrated into many other aspects of the larger capabilities of the studio.
In addition to Mr. Shifflett’s technical capabilities, his project management capabilities have proved quite valuable in coordinating the efforts of the 200 to 300 person digital artist teams under his direct supervision. Likewise, he actively participates in the budgetary concerns of these multi-million dollar productions, navigating direct relationships with studio executives and film directors.
Miles Lightwood, CIO
Miles Lightwood is a veteran interactive developer currently working as a Technical Producer for Walt Disney Internet Group’s International division. He began his career in 1993 at Rhythm & Hues Studios as one of the first hires for their Interactive/Games division. Mr. Lightwood went on to become a founding partner of the PixelWurld design team, an award-winning Los Angeles based interactive development boutique, and an early pioneer of online viral marketing. An example of this vanguard marketing is the “Supreme Beings of Leisure” pop band promotional campaign, which included a fully dynamic web site, a Flash music video series designed for both online and broadcast distribution and the “Leisure Vision Live” online talk show and live performance. The resounding success of the “Supreme Beings of Leisure” campaign resulted in Details magazine declaring SBL “the first band to break on the Internet,” followed by many awards and citations in books and periodicals.
In response to clients’ needs for a hosting company with highly personalized services, in 2002 he restructured another of his companies, CodeWurld, and began offering concierge level web site hosting and maintenance services. Clients include Cher, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Tricky, The Bruce Lee Foundation, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Warner Bros., Palm Pictures, and Epitaph Records. Under the CodeWurld banner, repeat clients, award recognitions, and multiple productions being selected as the “web site of the day” by Macromedia and Shockwave have maintained Mr. Lightwood’s position in the forefront of online innovators.
In addition to Mr. Lightwood’s professional efforts, he is also active in the Los Angeles arts and design community, including collaborations with Todd Rundgren, Raymond Pettibon, Jason Rhoades and Henry Vincent.