John Knoll Named Chief Creative Officer of ILM

Veteran visual effects supervisor John Knoll has been promoted to the position of chief creative officer at Disney-owned Industrial Light & Magic, reports Variety.

Working directly with ILM president Lynwen Brennan, Knoll will ensure creative consistency throughout the planning and production stages of ILM projects. The move is similar to John Lasseter becoming chief creative officer at Pixar following Disney’s purchase of the company.

Knoll is held in high regard throughout the visual effects industry. He was a visual effects supervisor on the Star Wars prequels as well as the first three Pirates of the Carribean films. He has worked on countless other major projects at ILM stretching back to Willow and The Abyss, and including films in the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises. Knoll is also known as the creator of the software package Adobe Photoshop, which he developed with his brother Thomas in the late-1980s.

Besides serving as a creative voice in the production process, Knoll told Variety that he will leverage the company’s talent pool by encouraging interaction between crews working on different projects. He also said that he will remain hands-off in many instances:

“We have well-established supervisors here that certainly don’t need me to interfere with their project. Michael Bay comes because he wants to work with Scott Farrar. J.J. [Abrams] comes to ILM because he has a great relationship with Roger Guyett. These things are already working and I don’t need to interfere. [My role] is just to help from a facilities standpoint to make sure they get the resources they need, and to troubleshoot problems.”


  • white vader

    Good for him. He really is the best person for the job, as he bridges the gap between oldschool traditional effects and digital. And to me he’s a spiritual successor to Dennis Muren, and the best of the Next Generation (!).

  • ab

    So he dodged Emperor MIckey’s lighting force bolts, huh?