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Digital Domain Media Group Hires Sony Pictures Imageworks Veteran Jim Berney to Head Florida Studio

Digital Domain Media Group (NYSE: DDMG) has named industry veteran Jim Berney Head of Studio at DDMG in Florida. Berney, an Academy Award® nominee who played a leadership role at Sony Pictures Imageworks’ New Mexico studio, will oversee the day-to-day operations of DDMG’s Florida studio, which creates visual effects for feature films, military and medical applications, sports teams and venues, and original animated feature films through Tradition Studios.

“Jim is the ideal leader for our growing Florida studio,” said DDMG CEO and Chairman John Textor. “He has overseen operations at a top visual effects studio and is highly technical. Most importantly, he has been a visual effects supervisor for many years and is recognized among the top talent in our industry. Everything in our studios is about supporting the creative. Jim understands that, and his leadership philosophy reflects that.”

Berney joins DDMG from Sony Pictures Imageworks where he spent 17 years, four of those leading teams at the company’s New Mexico studio where he played a leadership role in day-to-day studio operations. He is a long-time visual effects supervisor credited on more than 20 feature films including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which earned him an Academy Award® nomination, Green Lantern, I Am Legend, The IMAX version of The Polar Express, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions and more. Prior to Imageworks, Berney was a research technical director and software developer at MetroLight. Berney began his career working for DARPA in a software engineering consortium, and he has developed rendering tools, visual effects lighting pipelines, lighting and flocking software and other technologies. He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo and Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science and Economics from the University of California, Irvine.

“The opportunity to lead and grow this studio is incredibly exciting,” said Berney. “The emphasis on bringing education and production together, the goal to make this studio a place that people can build their careers – and their lives, around; that’s what drew me here. I’m looking forward to partnering with Digital Domain studios in California and Vancouver on big studio films, with the feature animation teams here, and helping to take the art and technology of this studio into areas beyond entertainment.”

About Digital Domain Media Group

Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG: NYSE) leverages its expertise in digital visual effects (VFX) and computer-generated (CG) animation across a group of interrelated businesses. At its foundation is Digital Domain Productions (DDPI), an award-winning digital production company founded in 1993. This leading provider of visuals has contributed to more than 90 major motion pictures, including Titanic, the Transformers series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and TRON: Legacy, hundreds of commercials, and recently created the virtual likeness of rapper Tupac Shakur for Dr. Dre’s show at the Coachella Valley Music Festival. Mothership, a DDPI subsidiary, focuses on creating advertising, entertainment and branded content from concept to completion, across multiple media platforms. DDMG, its work and its employees have been recognized with numerous awards, including seven from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The company is building on its success in VFX to participate as a co-producer in major productions and is currently co-producing the upcoming live-action sci-fi feature film Ender’s Game, as well as virtual likenesses for Elvis Presley that will be jointly owned by CORE Media Group and DDMG. DDMG also converts two-dimensional (2D) imagery to three-dimensional (3D) imagery and holds key patents in this area. The company is also applying its CG expertise to produce original, family-friendly animated feature films at its subsidiary Tradition Studios. The first movie, The Legend of Tembo, is in pre-production and two more features are in development. The company’s education subsidiary, the Digital Domain Institute, sets a new standard in digital media education through a pioneering public-private partnership with The Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. DDMG is expanding its worldwide footprint of the highest quality visual effects and animation at the lowest possible cost through global partnerships in India and China. The company has studios in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida and Vancouver and is currently establishing studios in Beijing and Abu Dhabi. http://www.ddmg.co

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