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The Mitchells vs. The Machines Creative Team

May 14
Online | Free | 6.00pm - 7.00pm

The Mitchells vs. The Machines Creative Team

Friday, May 14th (10am PST / 6pm UK / 7pm CET) Steven Gaydos of Variety speaks w/ Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe, Lindsay Olivares, Guillermo Martinez, and Mike Lasker

IEW Conference presents — in cooperation with OGR, Sony Pictures Animation, and Netflix — an online conversation with:

The Mitchells vs. The Machines Creative Team

Friday, 14th May, 10:00am PDT / 6:00 pm UK / 19:00 CET

Register for free at: http://viewconference.it/pages/mitchells


  • Mike Rianda, Director and writer
  • Jeff Rowe, Co-Director and writer
  • Lindsey Olivares, Production Designer
  • Guillermo Martinez, Head of Story
  • Mike Lasker, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Alan Hawkins, Head of Character Animation

Moderator: Steven Gaydos, Senior VP Global Content/Executive Editor Variety

Mike Rianda, Director

Michael Rianda is the writer and director of Sony Pictures Animation’s original feature comedy “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” a very personal project inspired by his own delightfully crazy family, and a childhood infatuation with robots.

Rianda was born in Salinas, California in 1984. He faced a hard truth when he was 11 years old: he was a loser that wore sweatpants every day. To try to escape the mockery of his classmates, he began trying to exploit his only two marginal skills: making bad jokes and drawing. The other children still found him to be a loser, but one that drew and said amusing things, and was thus deemed acceptable. This path led him to the California Institute of the Arts where he studied character animation from 2007-2010 and made the short films, “Everybody Dies in 90 Seconds” and “Work.” He has since been employed by Pixar Animation Studios and JibJab, taught at CalArts, and worked at Disney Television Animation where he served as a writer and creative director for the Annie Award-winning TV show, “Gravity Falls.”

He loves cartoons more than any grown man should.

Jeff Rowe, Co-director

Jeff Rowe is the writer and co-director of Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming feature comedy “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” with Michael Rianda.

Rowe graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2011. He was employed by animation studios Film Roman, Bento Box Entertainment, and Rubicon Holding Group before serving as a writer for Disney Television Animation’s, “Gravity Falls,” for which he was nominated for two Annie Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production. Rowe also wrote for the Matt Groening Netflix series, “Disenchantment.”

Rowe grew up in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and an amazing cat.

Lindsey Olivares, Production Designer

Lindsey Olivares is the production designer and lead character designer on Sony Pictures Animation’s original feature comedy “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.”

Before joining Sony Pictures Animation, Olivares worked as a freelance visual development artist and illustrator with a focus on character design and caricature. Her freelance clients have included Disney Television Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Locksmith Animation, Nickelodeon, Google, Furry Puppet Studio, Titmouse, Hornet Inc, Psyop, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Her film credits include DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “Penguins of Madagascar,” and “Trolls,” as well as Sony Pictures Animation’s “The Emoji Movie” and “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.”

Guillermo Martinez, Head of Story

Guillermo Martinez is the head of story on Sony Pictures Animation’s original feature comedy “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.” Martinez currently has a project in development which he will be directing for Sony Pictures Animation.

Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation, Martinez served as a story artist at Laika Studios on “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Missing Link.” Martinez’s additional credits include storyboard artist and writer on the Cartoon Network series “We Bare Bears.” Also at Cartoon Network, he developed a short film for the show “Clarence.”

Martinez was born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and earned his bachelors in design at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan, Puerto Rico before attending Academy of Art University for his masters. He currently lives in Culver City with his wife, daughter and two plants.

Mike Lasker, VFX Supervisor

Michael Lasker is a VFX supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. His recent credits include “The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” from director Mike Rianda and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and the Academy Award®-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Valuing team work and collaboration, Lasker previously served as a computer graphics supervisor on: “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” and “Hotel Transylvania.”

He began his computer graphics career in New York City working on commercials for leading advertising agencies.

Lasker received a BFA in computer graphics from Syracuse University.

Alan Hawkins, Animation Supervisor

Alan Hawkins is an Animation Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, most recently completing work on Sony Pictures Animation’s “The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” from director Mike Rianda and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Hawkins recently served as animation supervisor on Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” and “Hotel Transylvania 2.”

Hawkins previously served as animation supervisor on the “Popeye” animation test and as a lead animator on “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” and “Arthur Christmas.”

His other credits include the Academy Award®-nominated “Surf’s Up,” Robert Zemeckis’ “Beowulf” and the original “Hotel Transylvania.” Alan joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in 2004 to work on Sony Pictures Animation’s first feature film, “Open Season.”

Hawkins is a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, and grew up in Littleton, Colorado.

Steven Gaydos, Executive VP of Content, Variety

Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos is responsible for over 250 reports a year in both Daily and Weekly Variety, producing territorial surveys, film and TV market reports, genre studies as well as business-oriented personality and corporate profiles.

An editor with Variety since 1994, Gaydos also created and directs the “10 to Watch” program for Variety, spotlighting emerging talent from around the world in the fields of directing, screenwriting, cinematography, producing and acting. In 2005 Gaydos created the “Variety Impact Report” series which spotlights breakthrough international achievements in youth entertainment, comedy, music, dealmaking, etc.

Gaydos created and continues to oversee the “Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now” official sidebar at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. This section, in partnership with European Film Promotion, is now in its 14th year and focuses on presenting the best in new European cinema at one of Europe’s oldest and most distinguished film festivals.

Gaydos is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the European Film Academy. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Gaydos has also worked in Hollywood and Europe as a screenwriter. His produced films include director Monte Hellman’s “Better Watch Out,” “Iguana,” and Hellman’s 2010 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning, “Road to Nowhere,” “All Men are Mortal” for director Ate de Jong and director Nouchka Van Brakel’s “One Month Later.”

A regular contributor to entertainment business programs and reports, Gaydos frequently appears as a guest on BBC radio and television, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, etc. as well as in the Times of London, the Guardian, the Telegraph and other international publications.

Gaydos is editor of “The Variety Guide to Film Festivals,” (Variety/Putnam) and is also coeditor of “Movie Talk from the Frontlines” (McFarland) and “Cannes: 50 Years of Sun, Sex and Celluloid.” (Miramax/Hyperion).