Oscar-Winning 'Benjamin Button' VFX Supervisor Eric Barba Joins ILM

Eric Barba - H 2016
Courtesy of Lucas Films

Visual effects supervisor Eric Barba — who won an Academy Award and BAFTA for the groundbreaking digital human work that helped Brad Pitt appear to age in reverse in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — has been named creative director at the Vancouver studio of Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Disney subsidiary Lucasfilm.

In addition to supervising effects work, Barba will provide creative oversight across all the studio's projects. He'll work closely with ILM Vancouver's executive in charge, Randal Shore, and collaborate with ILM's global team, with bases in London, San Francisco and Singapore.

ILM projects currently include Warcraft for Duncan Jones, Luc Besson's Valerian and Dave Green's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, as well as the Gareth Edwards-helmed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VIII with director Rian Johnson.

Barba spend most of the past two decades at Digital Domain, where he's been a VFX supervisor since 1999 and chief creative officer for the past two years. During that time, he supervised visual effects on projects such as Fincher's Zodiac, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl; Joseph Kosinski's TRON: Legacy and Oblivion; plus award-winning commercials out of the company's advertising arm. He left Digital Domain in late 2015 to work on other projects, such as consulting on undisclosed feature projects for Kosinski and Ang Lee.

"I've always wanted to work for ILM," Barba said of his new role, citing "great mentors," talent, technology and its upcoming slate of projects. He also looks forward to the emerging virtual reality field, via ILM unit ILMxLab.

"I'm very excited to have Eric join the Vancouver team," said ILM's Shore. "His reputation as a consummate professional and strategic problem solver precedes him, and he's an ideal addition to the team as we continue to grow the studio and lead more projects out of Vancouver."

Members of the ILM team are currently nominated for the VFX Oscar for their work on The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which recently won the BAFTA).