RSP phil barrenger

Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) has announced the appointment of Phil Barrenger to the new role of Head of Operations. This new position will oversee the artist and technological aspects of the business and will report to RSP President, Jennie Zeiher

Phil’s appointment follows almost 13 years at Weta Digital, now WetaFX, where he performed roles including CG Supervisor, Head of Department (Lighting) and Senior Head of Department (Shots).  Phil most recently contributed to work on the movie ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’.  He will be located at RSP Headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia. 

This is Phil’s second stint with RSP, having first started in 2005 as a pre-visualisation artist on Superman Returns before working as CG Supervisor on projects including Charlotte’s Web and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

“Phil is a unique individual. He epitomises empathy, understanding and kindness. This, combined with his exceptional intellect, will be key to helping drive RSP forward,” Jennie said. “It is an absolute privilege to have Phil back on the team.”

“Returning to RSP holds a special significance for me, as the company gave me my first break in the film industry and played a pivotal role in my personal and professional development,” Phil said. “I am thrilled to be joining the Executive team in a role in which I can make a positive difference. I'm excited to learn, lead, serve and leverage my experience to help RSP continue to strive for excellence and push the boundaries of what is possible.”  

As part of the newly formed Pitch Black Company (see below), RSP remains committed to growing and expanding its services. In April 2022, RSP launched its Brisbane studio which now has hit a peak of 60 crew, while its Adelaide studio continues to expand, doubling in revenue over the past two years. 

“We have ambitious plans ahead for RSP inside of the Pitch Black company, and it is my firm belief that Phil alongside our executive and management teams, will take us there. RSP has a reputation as a much-trusted partner to our clients and staff, and as a result we are in demand globally,” said Jennie. “Phil will join our work family in early 2023 and will be instrumental in helping RSP provide the best client and staff experiences in the industry.”

Pitch Black Company

The Pitch Black Company, formerly the Fuse Group, unveiled its new corporate identity and branding in January 2023. Pitch Black will continue to serve as the parent company for leading visual effects brands FuseFX, FOLKS, Rising Sun Pictures and El Ranchito, all of which will continue to operate under their existing brands and markets. The new branding and corporate architecture will better allow Pitch Black to serve its strategic mission of operating as a global network of premium visual effects studios that supports its clients worldwide.

RSP Pitch Black Company

Pitch Black CEO Sébastien Bergeron said, “We’re proud to introduce Pitch Black, which will connect our current and future studios by providing scale, a global footprint, and access to the entire organization’s talent, technology, and resources. Together, we will expand, innovate, and support each brand’s unique strengths and relationships as we continue to provide a tailored experience for our clients. Our goal is for Pitch Black to become synonymous with creative excellence: a group of premier brands that empower, embolden, and excite filmmakers and storytellers around the world. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us, and Pitch Black is perfectly positioned to capture it.”

FuseFX Founder and Pitch Black Chairman David Altenau stated, "The creation of Pitch Black as an over-arching structure will provide a space to continue to build the connective tissue between our individual brands. It represents the evolution of the original vision to bring together the most excellent and established visual effects studios from across the globe and allow each to maintain their identities, cultures, and strengths. I am thrilled with the team's commitment to create the next generation global visual effects studio, and I look forward to the next chapter of the organization."

The company employs over 1,400 personnel across 13 worldwide studio locations led by an executive leadership team across the visual effects brands, including Sébastien Bergeron (Chief Executive Officer, Pitch Black), David Altenau (Chairman, Pitch Black), John Pietrolungo (Chief Financial Officer, Pitch Black), Johnny Fisk (President, FuseFX), Amélie Poitras (President, FOLKS), Jennie Zeiher (President, Rising Sun Pictures), Tony Clark (Co-Founder and Managing Director, Rising Sun Pictures) and Félix Berges Muñoz (Co-Founder and Managing Director, El Ranchito).

Pitch Black saw substantial growth in 2022, including the acquisition of El Ranchito, the expansion of Rising Sun Pictures and FOLKS into Brisbane and Mumbai, and continued strong performance from FuseFX’s four locations across the U.S. and Canada.

Pitch Black companies were recently nominated for three 2023 VES Awards, which when combined with previous nominations, brings its total award nominations to 117 and 53 wins, a testament to the creative excellence of all Pitch Black brands.