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    • SAM NICHOLSON, ASC - CEO and founder



    • Sam Nicholson, ASC, is CEO and founder of Stargate Studios, a state-of-the-art visual effects production company founded in 1989, with studios in South Pasadena, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. As Stargate's CEO, principal director and cinematographer, Sam draws from his thirty years of expertise in film, television and visual effects production to lead his company of over 125 talented artists and technicians.

      A graduate of the UCLA graduate school of Fine Arts, Sam has been involved in film and television production for over thirty years. From his first experience as on-set visual effect supervisor on 'Star Trek I' and the groundbreaking 'Max Headroom', to his recent Emmy Awards for best Visual Effects for TNT's "Battlegound" and NBC's "Heroes", Sam Nicholson has led his company, Stargate Studios, to become a leader in digital imaging for high concept television and feature films.


    • Darren Frankel - President



    • Darren Frankel joined Stargate Studios in 2001 and oversees business and financial operations for the company. During his tenure, Stargate Studios has expanded to more than 150 employees with offices on four continents.

      Prior to joining Stargate, Darren was the head of Post Production at ABC Pictures, an Associate Producer and Post Production Supervisor on several high profile movies, the Manager of the Post Production department at NBC Studios, and the Producer on many of the Danielle Steel movies and mini-series with producer Douglas Cramer.

      He also produced a number of notable films and television shows including, "Gotti" (which won awards for best sound and film editing); Danielle Steel's "Zoya", "Once in a Lifetime", "Fine Things"; Joel Schumacher's "2000 Mailbu Road"; Aaron Spelling's "Dynasty", "The Love Boat", RIch Men Single Women"; and "Captain EO" with Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Darren studied at Northwestern University in Illinois, and earned his B.A. from UCLA.



    • James Riley - EVP Development



    • James Riley began working at Stargate Studios in 1994 and oversees Stargate's new projects, sales and marketing, original programming and content development. He is also a Senior VFX Supervisor/Producer at Stargate, having supervised the visual effects for numerous shows including "24", "CSI:Miami", "Las Vegas", "ER", "Twilight Zone", "Episodes", "Crossing Jordan", and "Close to Home".

      Riley's 30 year career in the entertainment industry includes writing, producing, and directing film and television shows for NBC/Universal, CBS, Disney, Paramount, and Sony Pictures Entertainment including "Hopper", "Switch", "Wirehead", "Surgical Strike", "Night Trap", "Avalanche", and "From Time to Time". A graduate of UCLA, Riley was previously the VP of Development and Production for Digital Pictures, Crest Films and Apogee (formerly ILM).




    • Reid Paul - General Manager



    • Reid Paul joined Stargate Studios in 2007 as a Visual Effects Producer and Supervisor. In his new role as General Manager, he brings extensive producer, supervisor and artistic experience to Stargate Studios with over thirty years of creating visual effects for feature film, broadcast and special venue production and post production.

      Reid began his career as a motion control camera operator and animator in New York City with numerous commercial credits including the long running network ID, "HBO's City." He also served as the visual effects Director of Photography for the first season of Pee Wee's Playhouse. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1989, Reid has been responsible for the completion of visual effects in over 100 feature films and broadcast programs including this year's Matt Leblanc showcase, "Episodes" for Showtime and the BBC.

      An active leader in the visual effects community, Reid is a long-time member of the Visual Effects Society and VES Awards Committee. He is also a member of the International Photographers Guild and Directors Guild of America. Reid is a native of Chicago.



    • Adam Ealovega - VP Technology



    • Joining Stargate in 1995, Adam Ealovega combines a strong artistic and creative background with in-depth hands on expertise in digital imaging technologies. Among his many responsibilities, Mr. Ealovega oversees Stargate's development and application of digital technologies throughout the Company, including storage, networking and distributed rendering under the umbrella of Stargate's proprietary Visual Operating System (V.O.S.).

      As the principal architect of V.O.S., Mr. Ealovega continues to refine and expand Stargate's proprietary technology to improve overall productivity from creative process to financial tracking. The emphasis of these efforts is to allow the staff to focus on their core talents with
      as little time spent redundantly.

      Mr. Ealovega is also considered one of the leading creative visionaries of the Company. As head of the compositing group at Stargate, Adam has trained and guided most of the Company's Leading artists.



    • Mark Spatny - VP Digital Effects



    • As Vice President of Digital Effects for Stargate Studios, Mark Spatny oversees many of the company's most complex productions, and acts as a mentor for junior production staff.

      Mark began his career in live theater, where he worked as a set and lighting designer. His experience designing scenery with 3D animation tools led to creating computer games for such companies as Disney Interactive and Knowledge Adventure, and finally to managing visual effects for film and television. He has supervised and produced effects for more than 50 productions in his 13 year career, including over 200 hours of television. His feature credits include Atlas Shrugged, I, Robot, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, What Dreams May Come, and High School Musical 3. His television credits include Heroes, Private Practice, The Lost Room, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Commander-in-Chief, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

      Mark is a recognized leader in the visual effects industry. He helped create The Visual Effects Society Awards, and has served 3 years as its co-chair. He is currently a Governor for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His work has been honored with two Emmys and one VES Award. Outside our industry, Mark is active in his community as a Red Cross disaster volunteer, managing relief shelters during local brush fires and floods.



    • Jason Sperling - Head of Post Production



    • Jason Sperling is the Head of Post Production for Stargate Studios. Since joining the Stargate team in 2003, Jason has held numerous positions including DS Operator, Editorial Supervisor and VFX Supervisor. With over ten years of experience in various aspects of post production, Jason is uniquely positioned to assist with client relations as well as manage Stargate's internal workflow. 

      A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film Studies, Jason was recently nominated by the Visual Effects Society (VES) for his work on AMC's "The Walking Dead." His previous work includes the Emmy Award winning "Heroes," "NCIS," "Saving Grace" and "In Plain Sight."







    • Dr. Joseph Meier - Chief Technology Officer



    • Dr. Meier joined Stargate in early 2002.  His skill sets in computer networking and instrument design were honed during his graduate student days at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  After acquiring his doctorate in molecular genetics, he continued to pursue his interests: working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cedars-Sinai Transgenic Animal Facility, completing a patent on a novel DNA sequencing methodology [US Patent #6,592,735], while simultaneously training for his Microsoft MCSE.  His SQL Server DBA skills were invaluable when he started the database project that is the basis for Stargate's proprietary Visual Operating System (V.O.S.).

      Dr. Meier's computer and networking skills have been a perfect compliment to the programming expertise of other Stargate team members.  He has designed, built and maintained most of the high performance, proprietary computer systems that enable Stargate to continue as a leader in the visual effects industry.