DNEG appoints VFX doyen Kara Oropallo as VP

Award-winning VFX studio known for Inception and Interstellar, DNEG, has appointed Kara Oropallo as the vice president (VP) for training, outreach and artistic development in DNEG Animation.

In this new role, Oropallo will design, plan and implement training programmes for DNEG Animation’s global crew members, developing artistic development programs to encourage continued growth and leading outreach programs with universities and artist communities around the world, at their Los Angeles studio. 

Recently, the former VP Tom Jacomb was promoted to the position of president.The new appointment follows his promotion and further global investment in the division, including expansion of DNEG Animation into DNEG’s Vancouver studio and the associated creation of up to 100 new animation positions in Vancouver.

“I’m delighted to welcome Kara to DNEG Animation during this exciting time in our growth. Having worked together at DreamWorks, I knew someone of Kara’s immense talents and expertise would be an important addition to our senior team. Kara’s long experience of providing guidance and training to animation professionals will be vital. We will look to Kara to implement the appropriate tools and best practices to help us not only create the most innovative and exciting animated content, but also to give our teams a framework to develop as creative individuals that contribute to our open, inclusive, and development-oriented culture,” DNEG Animation president Tom Jacomb said.

The amazing list of experiences under Oropallo’s hat includes credits for animated features such as Trolls (2016), Rise of Guardians (2012) and Monsters vs. Aliens (2009). Recently, she has lectured at the school of arts, technology and emerging communications at the University of Texas in Dallas, where she educated future animation professionals as an assistant professor of practice, focusing primarily on creative and artist management. 

Oropallo has also conducted training programmes for various animation studios, including DreamWorks, Netflix, Skydance, Paramount, Reel FX and Mikros, and she runs her own podcast, You’ll Think of Something, featuring discussions on how to be a productive creative person on a team, in personal work and in life.

Expressing elation Oropallo said, “I am thrilled to be joining the DNEG Animation team. DNEG has carved out a distinguished place in the industry as a top visual effects house, and now DNEG Animation is excelling in the animation space as well. This is the perfect time for DNEG  Animation to develop its training and outreach programs, as the company is experiencing  unprecedented growth and expansion. The DNEG Animation team is unbelievably talented, and  I cannot wait to see our vision come to fruition in the months and years to come.”

Oropallo will be a guest speaker at upcoming digital and entertainment industry event Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn, which runs from 20-25 September in Tróia, Portugal. In addition to  her solo talk Managing Your Creative Career… Creatively, she will also be giving a joint presentation with DNEG Animation’s senior vice president of creative production David Prescott titled Production vs. Creative – A Conversation about Time, Money and Quality.