Who We Are

Happy Mushroom

Happy Mushroom is a revolutionary studio that prides itself in being the world’s leading Virtual Art Department (VAD) Studio. Our teams are composed of friendly supportive artists and skilled technicians with a mission to empower creatives to tell their stories through innovative, real-time workflows.

Offering pre-production and production services, we provide a fully tailored experience for each and every project. Our adaptability has allowed us to work on a full range of projects across Film, TV, Games, and Interactive Experiences.

We love challenges, and we love to have fun. If you’d like to learn more about our process, please reach out!

Creative & Tech Leads

View Bio

Felix Jorge

(he/him/his)

CEO + Co-Founder + Creative VP Supervisor

View Bio

Safari Sosebee

(he/him/his)

VAD Sr Art Director + Co-Founder

View Bio

ANDREW MACLUSKY

(he/him/his)

CTO

View Bio

JASON MONROE

(he/him/his)

Creative Director

View Bio

MEATS MEIER

(he/him/his)

VAD Art Director

View Bio

DAVID OLSON

(he/him/his)

VAD Supervisor

View Bio

BRIAN LEE

(he/him/his)

VAD Supervisor

View Bio

ERIK WALKER

(he/him/his)

VAD Supervisor

View Bio

MATAN ABEL

(he/him/his)

VAD Art Director

View Bio

STEVEN HENSLEY

(he/him/his)

Lighting Lead

Management

View Bio

Chris Harlowe

(he/him/his)

Head of Production

Rebekah Bukhbinder

(she/her/hers)

Production Designer (Advisor)

LEYSAN KHABIBULLINA

(she/her/hers)

Associate Producer

View Bio

HANNAH SAWICKI

(she/her/hers)

Production Manager

View Bio

ALISSA STEINERT

(she/her/hers)

Project Manager

View Bio

ANDY HALSETH

(he/him/his)

IT Manager

KRISTIE YORK

(she/her/hers)

Head of HR

SCHEHEREZADE DAFTARY

(she/her/hers)

Director of Finance

ANDREW AMATO

(he/him/his)

Account Manager

SAMI BORHANPOUR

(she/her/hers)

Creative Producer

Newsletter Signup

Stay in the loop and receive occasional announcements from our studio.

    Andy Halseth
    IT Manager

    Bio

    As a classically trained musician who built his first computer in middle school, Andy Halseth is a firm believer that technology should enhance the creative process rather than distract from it. This belief has taken him from tentpoles to indies, miniatures to mocap , camera to costumes, and practically everything in between. As the IT Manager for Happy Mushroom, Andy enjoys the opportunity to use his knowledge to improve the creative experience for the team and the clients.

    Alissa Steinert
    Project Manager

    Bio

    As a Project Manager at Happy Mushroom, Alissa Steinert has helped manage and coordinate some of Happy Mushroom’s major projects. Alissa utilizes her previous professional experience as a 3D artist to better understand and assist the team. Alissa’s experience along with her problem solving abilities as well as her organizational and team building skills help provide a creative environment. Alissa believes in building a strong relationship with the clients and especially her teams.

    Hannah Sawicki
    Production Manager

    Bio

    Hannah Sawicki is a skilled virtual production manager with experience leading large scale projects which include clients such as Lucasfilm and Netflix. She comes from a theater background where she has produced, directed, acted in and created work in Chicago and Cincinnati. In the film world, she has co-produced shorts and web series as well as extra cast for feature films. She is a creative thinker and problem-solver. Her goal on every project is to make the process as fun, successful, and collaborative as possible.

    Chris Harlow
    Head of Production

    Bio

    My first real job was at Blockbuster Video. I was a high school drama nerd by day and hard core student of Kurosawa and Coppola by night. Making my way to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, I discovered I love helping creative people realize their vision. And so, for the past 25 years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work alongside some of the most inspired, clever and hardworking folks in the LA production and VFX industry to make pretty pictures. Now my passion is fixed on helping creative minds utilize a wide range of emerging technology to tell new and amazing stories. My good fortune continues as I join the talented and forward thinking team at Happy Mushroom. Holy smokes, I love my job.

    STEVEN HENSLEY
    Lighting Lead

    Bio

    Steven Hensley is a well-versed VAD Supervisor that has worked on triple A title games, commercials, shorts and blockbuster productions such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian Season 2, Oblivion, Thor 2: The Dark World, 300: Rise of an Empire, Maleficent, and more. Always striving to become a better artist, Steven Hensley is a creative, enthusiastic professional. With an excellent grasp of the latest creative tools, and proven problem-solving skills, he is an achievement-driven, responsible, individual who is committed whole-heartedly to his passion.

    Career Highlights

    • Lucasfilm: Obi-Wan Kenobi – Lead Artist/ Lead Lighter
    • Warner Bros: Upcoming Project – Lead Artist/ Lead Lighter
    • Lucasfilm: The Book of Boba Fett (2021) – Lead Artist/ Lead Lighter
    • Lucasfilm: The Mandalorian Season 2 (2020) – Lead Artist/ Lead Lighter
    • Disney: Jungle Book (2016) – Senior Virtual Art Department Artist
    • Film Afrika Worldwide: Black Sails, Season 1 (2014) – Lead Texture Artist/ Lead Lighter
    • Universal Pictures: Oblivion (2013) – Texture Artist

    ANDREW MACLUSKY
    CTO

    Bio

    For over fifteen years, Andrew has built entertainment software and platforms that define how modern design is made and consumed. A pioneer in AR and VR, Andrew has been instrumental in bringing immersive entertainment to the mass market including the release of over 30 video games and aiding the launch of Oculus Quest during his time at Facebook. As CTO of Happy Mushroom, he has architected and built a next-generation platform of tools that seamlessly bring real-time 3D into all stages of the filmmaking process.

    Career Highlights

    • The Virtual Reality Company: Jurassic World VR Expedition (2018) – Director of Engineering
    • Gameloft S.E.: Disney Magic Kingdoms (2016) – iOS, Android, Windows – Technical Manager
    • LucasArts: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) – Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC – Behavior Engineer
    • NaturalMotion Games Ltd.: Clumsy Ninja (2013) – iOS, Android – Head of Support
    • NaturalMotion Games Ltd.: My Horse (2011) – iOS, Android – Head of Support
    • 505 Games, Inc.: Backbreaker (2010) – Xbox 360, Playstation 3 – Senior Developer Support Engineer
    • NaturalMotion Games Ltd.: Backbreaker Football (2009) – iOS, Android – Senior Developer Support Engineer

     

    Game Systems Development:

    • Red 5 Studios Inc.: Firefall (2014) – PC
    • 2K Games, Inc.: Bioshock Infinite (2013) – PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 4
    • Sony Online Entertainment Inc.: Planetside 2 (2013) – PC, Playstation 4
    • Ninja Theory Ltd.: DMC: Devil May Cry (2013) – PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4
    • Square Enix, Inc.: Hitman: Absolution (2012) – PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
    • Ignition Entertainment Ltd.: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (2011) – PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
    • BioWare Austin, LLC.: Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)- PC
    • Ninja Theory Ltd.: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010) – PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
    • Rockstar North Ltd.: Grand Theft Auto 4 (2008) – Xbox 360, Playstation 3

    MATAN ABEL
    VAD Art Director

    Bio

    Matan’s VFX background spans commercials, video games, film, and television. His experience in varied workflows and pipelines drew him to virtual production. As a Happy Mushroom Virtual Art Department Supervisor, Matan continues to develop new methodologies with clients such as CBS, and Lucasfilm.

    Career Highlights

    • Lucasfilm: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • CBS Television: Why Women Kill, Season 2 (2021) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • Lionsgate: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) – Look Development Artist
    • Marvel Studios: Agents of Shield, Season 6 (2019) – Lighting Technical Director
    • Golden Harvest Company: Mojin: The Lost Legend (2015) – CG Supervisor
    • 20th Century Fox Television: Sleepy Hollow, Season 2 (2014) – CG Supervisor

    ERIK WALKER
    VAD Supervisor

    Bio

    Erik Walker has worked as a Lead VAD Artist with Happy Mushroom for two years. His strengths lie in layout art and direction, with an ability to quickly and accurately iterate ideas and concepts. While his main focus is in layouts, he also dabbles in rigging, animation, lighting, and VFX. Erik’s diverse skill set is invaluable to the successful delivery of cohesive creative environments.

    Career Highlights

    • Lucasfilm: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) – Virtual Art Department Artist Lead
    • FilmNation Entertainment: Reminiscence (2021) – Previs Artist
    • DC Entertainment: The Suicide Squad (2021) – Shot Creator
    • New Line Cinema: Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) – Environment Artist
    • Sony Pictures Entertainment: Greyhound (2020) – Previs Artist
    • Marvel Studios: Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Previs Artist

    Brian Lee
    VAD Supervisor

    Bio

    With over 12 years of experience in computer graphics, Briand Lee’s career spans virtual production, film, commercials, TV, video games, mobile advertising, and print graphics. His recent work includes being the Virtual Art Department Supervisor on an upcoming Lucasfilm series, and on-set CG Supervisor for commercials for Geico and the U.S. Army.

    Career Highlights

    • Lucasfilm: Upcoming Project – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • Lucasfilm: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) – Virtual Art Department Lead Environment Artist
    • Film Afrika Worldwide: Raised by Wolves, Season 1 (2020) – CG Supervisor (Shade VFX)
    • The Mill: US Army – What’s Your Warrior? (2019) – On-set VFX Supervisor, Lead CG Artist
    • The Mill: Various Geico Commercials (2017-2020) – On-set VFX Supervisor, Lead CG Artist
    • Sony Pictures Animation: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) – Lighting and Compositing Artist
    • Sony Pictures Animation: Hotel Transylvania (2012) – Lighting and Compositing Artist

    DAVID OLSON
    VAD Supervisor

    Bio

    David Olson has over ten years experience working in the film and gaming industry. He studied at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his BFA. David has worked on major productions including Black Adam, The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian Season 2 and an upcoming Marvel blockbuster.

    Career Highlights

    • Marvel Studios: Upcoming Project – Virtual Art Department Lead
    • DC Entertainment: Black Adam (2022) – Senior Environment Artist
    • Lucasfilm: The Book of Boba Fett (2021) – Senior Environment Artist
    • Lucasfilm: The Mandalorian, Season 2 (2020) – Senior Environment Artist
    • Warner Bros: Ready Player One (2018) – Look-Development Artist

    MEATS MEIER
    VAD Art Director

    Bio

    Meats Meier is one of Happy Mushroom’s leading Virtual Art Department Supervisors. With over 20 years experience in VFX, Meats offers a unique and highly detailed perspective to the world of virtual production. Meats just completed VAD supervising the new Lucasfilm series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a major upcoming Netflix series.

    Career Highlights

    • Netflix: Upcoming Project – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • Lucasfilm: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)t – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • Rue 21 Productions: Roger Waters: The Wall (2014) – 3D Animation (Tour)
    • Revolution Studios: Hellboy (2004) – Technical Director
    • Paramount Pictures: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) – Technical Director

    JASON MONROE
    Creative Director

    Bio

    Jason has been creating images in the visual effects industry for over 20 years. During that time he has worked in video games, episodic television, and most recently commercials. Most recently Jason held the position of Deputy Head of CG at The Mill LA, and it is his knowledge of post visual effects that he is bringing to Happy Mushroom. “The marriage of real-time production with post VFX is a natural evolution within our industry and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of that process at Happy Mushroom.”

    Career Highlights

    • The Mill: Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, Cinematic Trailer (2021) – 3D Lead Artist, Asset Lead
    • MJZ: Chobani: Food Fight (2018) – 3D Lead Artist
    • MJZ: Kia: Feel Something Again, Super Bowl 2018 (2018) – Shoot Supervisor, 3D Lead Artist
    • Hungry Man: League of Legends – Born to Spin (2018) – Shoot Supervisor, 3D Lead Artist
    • Hungry Man: Intel: Brady Everyday, Super Bowl 2017 (2017) – 3D Lead Artist
    • Brother Productions: Intel: Outdated Equipment (2017) – 3D Lead Artist
    • Mill+: Energizer: Fluffy Tail (2016) – 3D Lead Artist

    Safari Sosebee
    VAD Sr Art Director + Co-Founder

    Bio

    With over twelve years of experience working on blockbuster films, award-winning series, and boundary-pushing virtual projects, Safari Sosebee is one of the most-sought after creatives in the VFX and Virtual Production spaces. As Co-Founder and Lighting Director of Happy Mushroom, Safari led the virtual art department on Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian, which secured Emmys two years in a row for ‘Outstanding Visual Effects’ 2020-2021. In addition to his accomplishments in virtual production, Safari is highly regarded for his experience in 3D character design and asset modeling, compositing, lighting, and post-visualization enhancement.

    Career Highlights

    • Lucasfilm: Upcoming Project – Virtual Art Department Consultant
    • Lucasfilm: The Book of Boba Fett (2021) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • Lucasfilm: The Mandalorian Season 1 (2019) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
    • The Virtual Reality Company: Jurassic World VR Expedition (2018) – Senior Lighting Artist
    • Marvel Studios: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Model/Texture Artist
    • Marvel Studios: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Modeling/Texture Artist
    • Lakeshore Entertainment: Underworld: Awakening (2012) – Model/Texture Artist
    • Marvel Studios: Thor (2011) – Model/Texture Artist
    • Fox 200 Pictures: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) – Texture/Model Artist

    FELIX JORGE
    CEO + Virtual Production Supervisor + Co-Founder

    Bio

    As the CEO and Co-Founder of Happy Mushroom, Felix Jorge is a vibrant creative with a genuine passion for creating interactive, story-driven content. His extensive career leading Virtual Art Department teams and developing pipelines for projects such as The Mandalorian and Jungle Book, has placed him as a pioneer in the Virtual Production landscape. His “Filmmaker First” approach has initiated a collaborative and customizable process for creative and executive leads to discover their story in an intuitive way.

    Career Highlights

      • Marvel Studios: Upcoming Project – Virtual Production Supervisor
      • DC Entertainment : Black Adam (2022) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
      • New Line Cinema: Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
      • 20th Century Studios: Call of the Wild (2020) – Fox VFX Labs Virtual Art Department Pipeline Consultant + Senior Env Artist
      • Lucasfilm: The Mandalorian Season 01 (2019) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
      • The Virtual Reality Company: Jurassic World VR Expedition (2018) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
      • Disney: Jungle Book (2016) – Virtual Art Department Supervisor
      • Virtual Art Department – Env Artist 2008 – 2015
        • Blizzard – StarCraft Cinematics Pre-vis
        • Blizzard – Diablo 3 Cinematic Pre-vis
        • Jon Favreau – Iron Man 2
        • Final Destination 4
        • Raja Gosnell – The Smurfs
        • Tarsem Singh – Immortals
        • Len Wiseman – Total Recall
        • Thor: The Dark World
        • 300: Rise of the Empire 
        • Godzilla
        • Oblivion
        • X-men: Days of Future Past
        • Dwayne Johnson’s – Hercules