As a part of its rapidly growing West Coast VFX team, Alkemy X has tapped Emmy-nominated VFX veteran Michael Porterfield as the company’s Head of 2D, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
With over 30 years of experience in visual effects, Porterfield will leverage his expertise in leading teams, with a keen eye toward cultivating creativity and maximizing efficiency. His diverse VFX background spans feature film, episodic and commercial projects, with top credits including work on some of the industry’s most advanced effects-driven films franchises like Apple TV's Lisey's Story; Netflix’s Don't Look Up; Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Roland Emmerich's Midway; and HBO’s cult fantasy drama hit Game of Thrones. The hire exemplifies Alkemy X’s continued rapid expansion into crucial markets to facilitate growth and embrace a globalised talent market, with Vancouver being added to the global expansion in Toronto and Singapore announced earlier this year.
The move to Alkemy X marks a reunion for Porterfield and Alkemy X Creative Director/VFX Supervisor Jep Hill, with the two having previously collaborated during Porterfield’s nine-year tenure at ScanlineVFX. Notes Porterfield, “Jep and I immediately aligned on our obsession with constant optimisation and I’m really excited to build upon the shorthand that we developed initially working together. People are the core of the VFX team at Alkemy X and our best results come from a human approach to digital collaboration, which is a driving force to my approach to leading teams.”
Adds Alkemy X President & CEO Justin Wineburgh, “Michael has a tremendous wealth of experience working on some of the most respected entertainment franchises, bringing not only a deep understanding of the complex needs of projects of that scope and magnitude, but also how to execute on time and budget. As our VFX team continues to expand, having a rockstar like Michael leading our 2D team will allow us to continue to respond to market shifts and provide the kind of creative solutions that studios are looking for today.”
Initially drawn to storytelling through the written word, Green Bay, WI-born Porterfield studied English Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the Big Ten Conference, before shifting to filmmaking. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature with a Minor in Film Production. Porterfield started his career in commercials, learning the art and technique of visual effects hands-on while simultaneously refining an optimal matrix of creativity and efficiency. He transitioned into episodic and feature film work, landing in Vancouver, BC as the VFX industry in “Hollywood North” was beginning to flourish in the early 2000s. Porterfield has worked across a wide cross-section of the visual effects industry, operating on the studio side with Sony Pictures Imageworks, with stints at ScanlineVFX, AsylumFX in Santa Monica and Rainmaker in Vancouver, among numerous others. He started as a Flame Artist but found his stride in compositing, eventually landing as a Compositing Supervisor where he managed teams with his talent for building talented collaborators across more than seven years of non-stop production.