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Kimball Thurston

As Chief Technology Officer, Kimball leads the strategy around future technology for VFX production at Wētā FX.

Kimball oversees the complex web of user facing tools, new research and the render software which fuels the ever-evolving VFX pipeline. His focus is on building an integrated and flexible system that has the capability to expand the volume and variety of projects that the company can work on, while retaining and enhancing the stunning visuals Wētā FX is famous for.

Key components of this are accomplished by managing external relationships with Wētā FX’s technology partners.

With the ambition of easing the future of VFX production, Kimball contributes time to the Academy Software Foundation.

He also plays a role in defining open standards and software within the industry for the interchange of data between Wētā FX and partners.

Kimball brings 25 years of VFX experience to Wētā FX, having originally joined the company in 2017 in a role that focused on our proprietary rendering software, Manuka. He then transitioned into a role that was focused on Gazebo. As a technology leader, he then moved to Head of Department of Engineering, and then Head of Architecture before taking this appointment.

Prior to Wētā, Kimball’s career in media and entertainment took him to Dolby Laboratories, Lowry Digital, Dreamworks Animation, Apple and Silicon Grail.

Although there are many career highlights, his time at Lowry Digital was particularly special as he received the Academy Scientific & Engineering Award in 2012 for the creation of a toolset to reduce noise and other artifacts in images for the filmmaking process.

During this time, Kimball worked on preserving numerous landmark films and repairing current film issues, as well as personally rewarding non-movie projects like working on the Apollo 11 moon landing footage.