Outpost VFX (RenfieldThe Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Star Trek: Picard) has added Creature Supervisor Dan Zelcs and Animation Supervisor Oliver Dale to its UK team.

Zelcs has been working in character design and animation since 2005. Zelcs was behind Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance capture for Terminator: Genisys and was key to the delivery of the ghost of Spengler in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Zelcs’ other high-profile work includes animating the titular character in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, working alongside Ridley Scott on creature sequences for Alien: Covenant and the rapid redesign and delivery of the hero characters in Sonic the Hedgehog.

Zelcs said: “I’m excited to be joining a seasoned team of VFX pros, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with in the past. It’s a joy to reconnect with such a friendly, generous and experienced bunch. I’m looking forward to contributing to the tools and workflows that the team have been building and helping to deliver creature work to the highest possible standard.”

Best known for his work animating Rocket Raccoon and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Dale was part of the Academy Award winning team that delivered Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, helping to bring iconic characters including Shere Khan to life. He recently served as Animation Supervisor on the Favreau-produced dinosaur series, Prehistoric Planet.

Said Dale: “What excites me most about joining Outpost is both the people and the potential. It’s exciting to be working somewhere that is pushing into much more complex creature and character animation, and assembling a great team to build everything that requires. I see lots of skilled people with fresh ideas and enthusiasm all coming together to make something great.”

Rachel Matchett, UK Managing Director, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Dan and Oliver to the Outpost team at a very exciting time. I’ve known them both for a while now and knew they’d bring vast amounts of expertise to the team as we continue to create ever more ambitious CG characters for film and episodic.

“It’s extremely important at Outpost that any senior hires are a good cultural fit, and Oliver and Dan completely meet that brief. Their knowledge of complex character work has already been felt across Outpost and added further Oscar-winning pedigree to our team.”

The news follows the late 2022 launch of Outpost VFX’s London studio, which is its fifth globally alongside Bournemouth, Montreal, Mumbai and Los Angeles.

Outpost VFX is currently in production on The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesFast XTrue Love and more, having recently completed VFX for RenfieldSilo and the third season of Star Trek: Picard. The studio received two Primetime Emmy nominations in 2022 for its work on Foundation and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Jon Creamer

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