Oscar-Winning 'Life of Pi' VFX Pro Erik-Jan de Boer Joins Method Studios

The company also adds veterans James Jacobs and Keith Roberts to its roster.
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Erik-Jan de Boer

Erik-Jan de Boer, a recipient of this year’s Academy Award for visual effects for his work on Life of Pi, has joined Deluxe-owned VFX company Method Studios.

De Boer will work at Method’s Vancouver office as animation director. Also recently joining the Vancouver office is creature supervisor James Jacobs, who received a Scientific and Engineering Award this year as part of the development team on Weta Digital’s Tissue character simulation framework. Additionally, animation supervisor Keith Roberts, who, as with De Boer, comes from Rhythm & Hues, was hired to work at Method’s Los Angeles office.

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R&H generated a lot of attention this year not just for its Oscar-winning work on Life of Pi but for filing for bankruptcy during Oscar season, underscoring the troubled state of the VFX business. More recently, the company was acquired by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prana Studios.

De Boer has been creating animation and visual effects for nearly a quarter of a century and had been with Rhythm & Hues since 1996. In addition to Life of Pi, his credits include Oscar winner The Golden Compass, as well as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Night at the Museum. He was born in Amsterdam and earlier worked at UK-based VFX houses including MPC.

Roberts was also a longtime member of the team at R&H, and oversaw the company’s recently completed work on Universal’s R.I.P.D. He also worked on projects including The Chronicles of Narnia, The Cabin in the Woods and The Incredible Hulk.

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Jacobs comes from Weta Digital, where his recently work included the Goblin King in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Additional credits include Prometheus, The Adventures of Tintin and Peter Jackson’s King Kong. In Vancouver, Jacobs is currently working on Wes Ball’s thriller The Maze Runner.

Method maintains bases in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, London, Sydney and Melbourne. Said Method president Christian Kubsch in a released statement: “Method Studios is in the process of expanding the character animation talent across our global network.”