OkayStudio scales up its creative division once again with the addition of Richard ‘Stretch’ Russell as flame artist. Richard joins after successful stints at Tag Collective Arts, Big Buoy and Glassworks. Faris Hallaq has also received a promotion to junior VFX artist after joining OkayStudio in 2017.
Stretch comments: “I wasn't looking for a new job when I was first approached about joining OkayStudio, but after meeting Nikolaj and Josh for the first time that rapidly changed. I was very quickly intrigued by the size and spirit of the company. Having moved around through a few different post houses during my journey in VFX, I've come to understand that I work best when surrounded by a supportive, creative and eager team and that is exactly what OkayStudio were able to offer. Now I'm here and have worked on a couple of big projects, I am excited about the years to come.”
David Thomas, head of production of OkayStudio, comments: “It’s been fantastic welcoming Stretch to the VFX team. Tenacious talent and the nicest person to match, Stretch sets his bar high and has quickly risen to the challenge and undertaken a number of high profile campaigns. He’s got a restless relentlessness to problem solve, and is a solid addition to our VFX offering.”
He adds: “Faris is a real success story of watching talent rise through the ranks. He’s provided the blueprint for how to grow success by building your skillset from the ground up, being a sponge for knowledge and having the right attitude. With Faris’s background, he’s developed a deep understanding of our workflow and setup. It’s a pleasure to watch hard work pay off."
Josh Sanders, executive producer at OkayStudio, comments: “Stretch gives us the strength and depth we’ve been seeking to bolster our visual effects division. By nature of the briefs we’re now starting to see, it was important we cast the right talent, both creatively and culturally. Stretch is unphased by the challenges we have set him so far and he’s hit the ground running working on some high profile work for Object & Animal, Somesuch and Bjork. He very much embodies the spirit here at OkayStudio, highly skilled and driven without any sign of ego. Faris is as new school as it gets: multi-disciplined, fast, but with a keen eye for craft and detail. He is the dark horse of the company and it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a household name.’’