Leviathan Adds New Staffers, Makes Key Promotions

Leviathan Adds New Staffers, Makes Key Promotions

Chicago-based conceptual design studio Leviathan has added producer James Turek, software engineer David Braun and systems administrator Lucas Shira. The company also announced three key promotions: for senior creative director Bradon Webb (from creative director), director of R&D and engineering Adam Berg (from research engineer) and designer Alexis Copeland (from junior designer).

Over the past several years, Turek has been freelance, following more than eight years working on major film, TV and commercial projects in Hollywood. From 2012 to 2013, he was Marvel Studios' stereo coordinator, where he contributed to both "Iron Man 3" and "Thor: The Dark World," and prior to that, he spent seven years with Zoic Studios in LA, where he began as VFX coordinator and also held the position of production and stage manager. During his time with Zoic, he accumulated more than 4,000 hours of on-set experience, and his TV credits include "CSI" and "Falling Skies" among many others. His work on "CSI" helped Zoic win the 2010 Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects for A Series. Turek earned his B.A. in Film Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

"Leviathan is the embodiment of the forward thinking studio I sought to work for after my decision to relocate back to Illinois," Turek says. "We live in an evolving world where entertainment, art, and education are accelerating toward new levels of immersion and interactivity, and this company is on the summit."

A 2014 graduate of Brown University with a B.A. in Mathematics-Economics, Braun already has an impressive background in pioneering software development and high-level problem solving. He pursued a number of professional challenges throughout his studies at Brown, developing iOS apps for the Cambridge-based design studio Invivia, serving as data analyst and engineer for LA-based mobile gaming studio Scopely, and interning as a data scientist for NYC-based mobile advertising exchange and analytics company PlaceIQ. For an ambitious independent study project his senior year, he created an innovative, projection-mapped audiovisual installation that brought him to the attention of Leviathan's executive team.

"David has already made himself invaluable to our team on every project he has touched," said Chad Hutson, Leviathan's executive producer. "As a crucial part of our problem-solving process, his plate is already piled high with creative challenges."

Prior to joining Leviathan, Schira spent a year as a systems administrator for web hosting firm WiredTree, where he was a key part of the 24/7/365 support team for over 80,000 websites worldwide. Prior to that, he was an interactive designer for Chicago-based M1 Interactive. Over more than two years, he helped design and produce exhibits at the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium, and many interactive trade show installations and public events using motion tracking sensors and projection mapping. He earned his B.A. in Sound for Visual Media from Columbia College Chicago.

"In its relatively short history, Leviathan has become known for really eye-catching, attractive, future-forward projects that keep clients coming back for," said Schira. "I'm very happy to be part of this team bringing the future to life."

Chief Creative Officer Jason White addressed the promotions: "Bradon has been with us since the beginning and has creatively led so much of our best-known work, so we wanted to acknowledge his accomplishments and leadership by promoting him to senior creative director," he said. "Next, Adam has definitely earned his place as a leader of creative technology here. And for Alexis, we can't wait to see what she accomplishes next."