Gnomon School of Visual Effects has announced Bringing Stranger Things to Life: An Evening with Aaron Sims Creative, hosted by Aaron Sims, Steffen Reichstadt, and Michael Pecchiathe examining the creative vision and approach from the key members who helped bring the world of Stranger Things to life. The free event will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday September 8th at 7:30PM at the Gnomon Campus.
Accompanied by Aaron Sims (Founder), Steffen Reichstadt (Creative Director), and Michael Pecchia (Executive Producer), ASC’s team of artists will provide in-depth access to their collaborative workflow, from concept art and creature design, through modeling, texturing, lighting, and rigging, to final VFX editing. Other ASC guest speakers include Daniel Edery, Eevee Saucedo, Erik Keefer, Adam Nixon, and Katerina Berezhnova.
Whether you’re a professional or aspiring artist, student, or a fan of the Netflix series, the evening promises to offer an insightful look into the many roles that contribute to making an original sci-fi drama. Additionally, the personal stories shared by the speakers will inspire and offer advice to those looking to break into the industry.
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Bringing Stranger Things to Life: An Evening with Aaron Sims Creative
9:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Q&A
Aaron Sims—Founder/Concept Artist
Aaron Sims, the mind behind some of this generation’s most unforgettable cinema creatures, began his career over two decades ago as a special FX makeup artist. His pioneering techniques in the world of VFX influenced the face of character and creature design in film, TV, games, previz, and VFX early on in their application. Aaron Sims founded ASC to bring together an impressive range of the world’s most talented concept and VFX artists, and as a result, the premiere studio has become recognized for the memorable characters, creatures, VFX, costumes, and key scenes that it produces.
Steffen Reichstadt—Creative Director
Steffen Reichstadt has worked in Los Angeles since 2008 as Creative Director and Concept Artist for Aaron Sims at ASC. He has worked alongside Aaron Sims and the amazing artists at ASC on an incredible array of major releases. Between his work as a Concept Artist and Creative Director he’s worked on a host of impressive films, including but not limited to Gods of Egypt, The Last Witch Hunter, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, American Horror Story, Noah, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Michael Pecchia—Executive Producer
Michael Pecchia has been in the industry for 22 years. He started his career in NYC in editorial for commercials working on brands such as Hasbro, Kenner, Milton Bradley and Tiger Toys. During his time there he taught himself Discreet’s Flame. With this under his belt and wanting to follow his passion, he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to work in film. He hit the ground running and worked for the biggest and the best, including ILM, Weta, Digital Domain, Stan Winston Digital and many more. He later moved into management and now works as Executive Producer at ASC.
Originally from Indiana, Adam was inspired by Disney to become an Animator. After high school, he attended Ball State University for two years, then transferred to the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, graduating with a BFA in Computer Animation. After failing to find work, he took the Gnomon two-year program. Before working at ASC, he contributed to multiple studios including MPC (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), and StereoD (Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Additionally, he’s worked on Independence Day: Resurgence, Conjuring 2, and on Stranger Things.
Daniel Edery—3D Artist/Concept Designer
After earning a Bachelor’s in Fine Art from University of California, Berkeley, Dan Edery attended Gnomon, graduating in 2010. Since then he has worked on commercials and music videos for artists such as Bjork, as well as several motion pictures and television series. Currently, Dan is working as a 3D Artist and Concept Designer at ASC with credits including Lights Out, The Conjuring 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, as well as several other films. Daniel specializes in modeling and texturing with advanced knowledge of human anatomy.
Katerina Berezhnova—VFX Editor
Katerina ‘Kate’ Berezhnova was born in Russia, on the border with China. After studying art, design, and illustration in England, she moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to study at Gnomon. After taking a couple of terms of individual classes at Gnomon, Kate fell in love with 3D and graduated from the 2-year program, on the VFX Animation track, in 2014. Kate officially joined the team at Aaron Sims Creative in 2016 and has since worked on Conjuring 2, and Stranger Things. As VFX Editor, Kate is an integral link between the Editorial and VFX departments.
Like most artsy children, Eevee has been concerning her parents with the dream of becoming an Animator since she was very young. At 19, she decided to move to Hollywood to pursue those dreams, where she studied animation at Gnomon. Since graduating, Eevee has had the pleasure of seeing her work in theaters and on television, including the incredibly popular Netflix series, Stranger Things. Currently, Eevee works as an Animator at ASC. Before this, she contributed to commercial projects at Method Studios in Los Angeles.
Erik Keefer gained an interest in visual effects while attending Art Center School of Design. Once he had exhausted all of the 3D courses offered, he chose to move to Gnomon to further his passion and his studies. After graduating from Gnomon, Erik went on to work at Brain Zoo Studios, and shortly after he was hired by Aaron Sims Creative – where he has been ever since as a 3D Artist with a focus on character and creature creation and animation. Having spent his life around animation Erik is excited to have a career working in the industry he loves most.