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Smoke & Mirrors Adds To The Magic With Major Appointments

Smoke & Mirrors, the creatively-led, high-end post-production house, has announced a new staff appointments that strengthen its visual effects capabilities and post-production management teams.
Joining the company is Nico Cotta, one of the UK's most sought-after flame artists and VFX supervisors, together with producer James Niklasson who brings more than a decade of experience in supervising the post-production on CG animation and visual effects in broadcast, music videos and commercials.
Cotta, who has been appointed as a senior VFX supervisor, brings skills in advanced compositing and effects supervision to Smoke & Mirrors.
He has worked regularly with leading commercials directors including Pleix, Frederic Planchon, Dougal Wilson, Frederik Bond, Guy Manwaring, Traktor, Daniel Barber, The Brothers Quay and Walter Stern, on commercials for Audi, Bacardi, Smirnoff, Motorola and Vodafone amongst many others.
His career has included stints at Hybride in Canada where he worked as a senior compositor on commercials for Budweiser, Air Canada, Coca Cola and Labatts, as well as films including Sky Skids. He won a Visuals Effects Society award in 2002 for Best Compositing In A Mini Series for Dinotopia whilst at Framestore CFC.
Cotta has joined Smoke & Mirrors from The Moving Picture Company where he was a Senior Supervisor/Flame Operator for five years.
He was nominated this year for a Visuals Effects Society Best Compositing award for Bacardi's "Sun" campaign.
James Niklasson has started at Smoke & Mirrors in the role of senior producer. He has previously supervised the post-production on commercials for AOL, Direct Line, Dove, Smirnoff and Sony. As well as idents and title sequences for BBC Bitesize, Bloomberg. Discovery Channel, Disney ITV, Top of the Pops and X Factor and promos for Kasabian and Christina Aguilera.
Niklasson was formerly an in-house producer and company director of The Hive, part of VTR plc, and most recently was a founding director of Lime Ltd, working on titles and VFX for BBC dramas including Silent Witness, Waking The Dead and The State Within, as well as cutting-edge music videos for artists such as Goldfrapp and Ash.
Speaking about the appointments, Smoke & Mirrors Chief Executive Penny Verbe said: "Smoke & Mirrors is known for delivering creativity and innovation. Nico has one of the best reels I have seen, and will be a great lead supervisor/operator on the intensive effects and animation projects we typically handle.
"Solid management is crucial on every job and in James we have found someone with enormous experience who will complement the skills of our in-house producers working on visual effects for commercials, feature films, creative broadcast graphics and music videos."
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