Jim Hillin is today one of the most well-known Digital Effects artists in Hollywood. Texas born Hillin had come to southern California to seek a career as a studio musician and composer. In 1981, he had composed a soundtrack for a film in Austin, Texas for a friend, who had moved to California and was working on the editing team for “KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN.” She recommended Jim to the owner of the CG start-up. These first years were spent on illustration and animation for corporate “industrial” videos.
In January 1987, Jim took a job with Filmation Studios, working on developing a CG pipeline for printing out plotter art for 65 episodes of a new syndicated series, titled “BRAVESTARR.” He and another traditional animator, Ken Cope, modeled, animated and printed out animation of all the vehicles and some sets for the series, creating a library of standardized moves that the directors could plug into their stories.
After working as a Computer Animator and Technical Director at Homer and Associates, creating a Siggraph Film Short “FLYING LOGOS INC.,” Jim went to work for Brad deGraf and Michael Wahrman’s company in a small house in Laurel Canyon in late 1987. There, he worked on his first motion picture’s “ROBO COP 2” and “JETSONS: THE MOVIE.” He also did an animation test for Jim Cameron of the “pseudopod” for the film “THE ABYSS.”
In 1989 Jim became the Head of the Computer Graphics Dept. at Walt Disney Feature Animation. There he oversaw the creation of the famous turning ballroom sequences in the classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. He worked on ALADDIN, and DINOSAURS.
Jim Hillin later became Digital Domain’s first Director of Digital Production as well as a Digital Effect Supervisor at the new studio in 1993. There, he worked on COLOR OF NIGHT, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, TRUE LIES, APOLLO 13, STRANGE DAYS along with several commercials. Other films he has contributed to at different studios include LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, SPIDERMAN II, GHOSTRIDER, I AM LEGEND, BEOWULF, SPEEDRACER , 2012 and PRIEST.
Jim is also a member of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Visual Effects Society and The Animation Guild.