• John Kilkenny speaking announcement

John Kilkenny: The Art of Visual Effects

Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speakers Series: JOHN KILKENNY


John Kilkenny is a President at 20th Century Fox, heading the studio's visual effects department. His division budgets, produces and oversees all the visual effects on feature films made by the studio's production units, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures and Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Most notably, Kilkenny is credited with overseeing the Academy Award-winning effects on Avatar which was written and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron (Titanic) and earned a record breaking $2.8 billion worldwide at the box office.

Kilkenny oversaw the effects on such recent blockbuster films as PrometheusRise of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: First ClassMr. Popper's Penguins and Black Swan in which Natalie Portman earned the Academy Award for Best Actress. Kilkenny also oversaw the effects for such loved films as Night at the MuseumNight at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise. Other 20th Century Fox blockbuster films that drew success under Kilkenny's watch include X-Men: The Last StandLive Free or Die Hard and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Previously, Kilkenny was an associate producer/visual effects producer on I, Robot, which earned an Academy Award nomination for best achievement in visual effects. Before that, he was a freelance visual effects producer on the films Dr. Dolittle 2DaredevilGone in 60 Seconds and Star Trek: Insurrection.

Todd Isroelit is currently a Senior Vice President of Visual Effects for 20thCentury Fox Film Studios. He is responsible for creative assessment, budget, and scheduling for all the visual-effects films he manages.

Within this division Mr. Isroelit must collaborate with the filmmakers and studio teams to create the unique visual effects work required to enhance the overall storytelling for the film. He was the VFX Executive on the Academy Award nominated visual effects for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. In addition to those films, he has been involved in many other high profile films like: X-Men: First Class and Apocalypse, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrines Home for Odd and Peculiar Children and Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express. He recently finished Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant. His upcoming Projects are the X-Men Dark Phoenix and The Kid Who Would Be King.

Prior to joining the executive ranks at Fox, Mr. Isroelit was a VFX producer in the feature film department at world-renowned visual effects house Digital Domain. There, he was the VFX Producer on Star Trek-Nemesis along with Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man and The Missing. He also VFX produced on The Day After Tomorrow, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Looney Tunes Back in Action.

Before joining Digital Domain’s feature film group, he was a Senior VFX Producer in their commercial department during which time he won two Golden Clio awards for the ground breaking VFX work on Michael Bay’s Levi’s invisible campaign and Jan de Bont’s Coca Cola Skydiver spots. He also worked on numerous other projects for such clients as Toyota, Budweiser, Chevrolet, Miller Beer and Gillette.

His entry into the Visual Effects world of film and television came when he was part of the Emmy Award winning team in the Outstanding Special/Visual Effects category on the CBS film called Miracle Landing. He was also the co-owner of a production company called Parthenon Pictures, which specialized in cel animation, stop-motion and early CGI work.

Prior to that he was a freelance producer working on various commercials and music videos.

Christina Garberson is a Senior Vice President at Twentieth Century Fox in the studio’s visual effects department.  She is responsible for the delivery of visual effects on films produced by Twentieth Century Fox, Searchlight and Fox 2000.

Christina has recently had the honor or working on the visual effects in the 2018 Academy Award®-winning film The Shape of Water. She was also in charge of the visual effects on the following 2017 releases, The Greatest Showman, The Post, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Battle of the Sexes, Snatched, Gifted, My Cousin Rachel and Wilson.

In her position, Christina is responsible for the visual effects on a film from prep to final delivery. This includes budgeting the work, hiring crews to do the work and confirming all work is delivered to the highest studio standards. 

In her 14 years at Fox Christina has had the privilege of also working on Hidden Figures, Absolutely Fabulous, Alvin & The Chipmunks 1, 2, 3 & 4, Joy, Wild, The Fault in Our Stars, The Book Thief, Hitchcock, Black Swan, Marley & Me, The Devil Wears Prada and many other interesting films.

Before joining Fox, Christina worked in the visual effects department at Warner Bros. as a VFX Production Supervisor for 8 years.  In that position she had the pleasure of working on The Matrix, A Mighty Wind, Malibu’s Most Wanted, Perfect Storm, Showtime, Cats & Dogs, Pay It Forward and Three Kings to name a few.

Prior to her career in visual effects Christina worked as a PA in commercials, films, television and award shows pretty much any job she could find to get her foot in the door. 


Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018 -- Doors open at 6:45pm
Please RSVP to  

Armer Screening Room, MZ100