Join us on Thursday, January 13th for an evening with the creative team behind The Mitchells vs. the Machines! We're honored to have producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller kick off the livestream event with an introduction about the hit film. The Mitchells vs. the Machines tells the story of an old school father and his plugged-in, filmmaker daughter’s struggle to relate as their family embarks on a road trip to her new college. Their drive is interrupted by a machine apocalypse that threatens to tear these unlikely heroes apart unless they can find a way to join forces and save humanity!

Viewers will get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film from Director/Co-Writer Mike Rianda, Producer Kurt Albrecht, Head of Story Guillermo Martinez, VFX Supervisor Mike Lasker, and Head of Character Animation Alan Hawkins. They will share early concept art, break down the robot character designs, discuss software tools and pitch through the storyboarding process, and share some fun, early scenes that didn't make it to the final cut of the movie! The team will also open up a Q&A segment at the end of their presentation, so get those questions ready.

Head over to Netflix to watch The Mitchells vs. the Machines before our livestream event! And be sure to subscribe to our Twitch and YouTube channels to get a notification when we go live on Thursday, January 13th at 7:30pm PST.

Events with closed captioning are available via Gnomon Facebook Page.

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Guest Speakers

Phil Lord and Chris MillerProducers

Academy Award winning filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are the Academy Award winning, multi-hyphenate duo behind some of today’s most successful films including SpiderMan: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie, Mitchells vs. The Machines, 21 & 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Known for their unique sensibilities and maverick mindset as writer-producer-directors, Lord and Miller have spent their careers pushing the boundaries of creativity to deliver a fresh, unexpected perspective with each of their projects. Immensely talented and endlessly innovative, the pair’s projects have successfully drawn in audiences of all demographics time and time again, collectively earning over $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office.

On the features side, Lord and Miller most recently produced the Netflix animated feature, The Mitchells Vs. The Machines which premiered in April 2021 and went on to become the platform’s biggest animated film to date.

In 2018, the duo won the Academy Award for the animated feature Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse. The film, which Lord co-wrote and the pair produced, offers a fresh take on the SpiderMan Universe by shifting the focus of the story to the lesser-known man behind the mask, Miles Morales. It opened to an unheard-of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and was praised by critics for its groundbreaking visuals that brought comic book illustrations to life in an unprecedented way. The film won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for “Best Animated Feature," along with a BAFTA Award, seven Annie Awards and 20+ Best Animated Feature awards by various critics’ groups including the coveted Broadcast Film Critics Association and Los Angeles and New York critic groups.

The pair is also behind the hugely successful Lego Movie franchise. In 2014, Lord and Miller wrote and directed The Lego Movie, which debuted at #1 and remained on top of the box office for four straight weeks. The film earned over $469 million worldwide and was the 5th highestgrossing domestic feature of 2014. It earned Lord and Miller rave reviews for their imaginative and unique sensibilities, as well as the BAFTA, PGA, and BFCA Critics Choice Awards for “Best Animated Feature,” the National Board of Review Award for “Best Original Screenplay,” and The Annie Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Writing for an Animated Feature.” 'The Lego Movie' was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for “Best Animated Film” and was named one of the top ten films of 2014 on over 75 critics’ lists. The film inspired two spinoffs, The Lego Ninjago Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, which each opened in 2017 to rave reviews, and great box office and critic success. In 2018, the pair wrote and produced the sequel to the massively successful franchise, The Lego Movie 2.

Lord and Miller also directed 21 and 22 Jump Street, which earned a combined $531 million at the worldwide box office and earned the pair praise for their innate ability to transform unlikely material into cinematic brilliance. The duo’s first feature was 2009’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which they wrote and directed. The film was loosely based on the beloved children’s book of the same name and earned Lord and Miller a Golden Globe and Critics Choice nomination for “Best Animated Feature” along with four Annie Award nominations for excellence in animation, including “Best Direction” and “Best Screenplay.”

Next up on the features side, Lord and Miller have several projects in various stages of development including the live-action feature tent-pole The Last Human for Sony, Fox’s Artemis based on the novel by Andy Weir and Project Hail Mary, an adaptation of Weir’s forthcoming novel, starring Ryan Gosling for MGM. They are currently in production on Cocaine Bear a unique character-driven thriller written by Jimmy Warden with Elizabeth Banks directing and the adult comedy Strays, a sci-fi adventure feature based on an original idea by Weir for Universal. Other projects in development for Lord Miller include a feature adaptation of Michael Lewis’ best selling novel The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, Everyday Parenting Tips starring Ryan Reynolds which is based on Simon Rich’s New Yorker short story, and 48 Hours in Vegas about Dennis Rodman’s legendary trip to Las Vegas during the Chicago Bull’s 1998 NBA finals. Additionally, they'll reteam with 21 Jump Street star Channing Tatum to produce a monster movie for Universal and they are behind the upcoming Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 which is set for release in 2022.

On the television side, Lord and Miller are behind the Apple TV series The Afterparty which Miller also created and serves as showrunner on. The series centers on a murder mystery at a high school reunion, with each episode featuring a different character’s perspective on the same story along with a unique visual style. It was recently announced that the pair will executive produce a modern refresh of their critically-acclaimed animated comedy series Clone High for HBO Max and they continue to develop a slate of live-action and animated series in both comedy and drama, including a suite of television series based on Sony’s Marvel Characters. Lord and Miller recently served as executive producers on FOX’s animated comedy series Bless the Harts from creator Emily Spivey and were also behind the successful Fox comedy series The Last Man on Earth from actor and creator Will Forte. Lord & Miller directed the first two episodes of The Last Man on Earth, for which they received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. The pair also directed the pilot episode of the breakout hit Brooklyn NineNine and served as co-executive producers on the successful CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

Lord and Miller’s collaboration began when the pair met as students at Dartmouth College. The two contend it was a mistake that landed them a job developing Saturday morning cartoons for the Walt Disney Company, which led to their stint developing primetime animated shows for Touchstone Television. In 2002, they executive produced, wrote, and directed the original Clone High, which was short-lived but highly buzzed-about. The series was critically-acclaimed for its well-developed and unique personalities as well as for its witty, fast-paced dialogue, but was probably best known for causing a hunger strike in India and being quickly cancelled. Miller voiced the characters of John F. Kennedy and Mr. Butlertron, and Lord voiced the characters of Principal Scudworth, Genghis Khan, and Geldhemoor, the Humkeycorn.

Lord graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in Art History. His college animated short Man Bites Breakfast won “Best Animation” at the 1998 New England Film and Video Festival and was also included in several other festivals, including ASIFA East and ASIFA San Francisco. He is a native of Coconut Grove, Florida, and likes bikes. Miller is a native of Lake Stevens, Washington. He left there to attend Dartmouth College, where he found a lifelong friend in Phil Lord while obtaining a degree in government and studio art: three achievements, two of which are useful to his career.

Mike RiandaDirector/Co-Writer

Michael Rianda is the writer and director of Sony Pictures Animation’s original feature comedy "The Mitchells vs. The Machines," available now only on Netflix. The film is a very personal project inspired by Rianda’s own delightfully crazy family, and a childhood infatuation with robots.

Rianda was born in Salinas, California in 1984. He faced a hard truth when he was 11 years old: he was a loser that wore sweatpants every day. To try to escape the mockery of his classmates, he began trying to exploit his only two marginal skills: making bad jokes and drawing. The other children still found him to be a loser, but one that drew and said amusing things, and was thus deemed acceptable. This path led him to the California Institute of the Arts where he studied character animation from 2007-2010 and made the short films, “Everybody Dies in 90 Seconds” and “Work.” He has since been employed by Pixar Animation Studios and JibJab, taught at CalArts, and worked at Disney Television Animation where he served as a writer and creative director for the Annie Award-winning TV show, “Gravity Falls.” He loves cartoons more than any grown man should.

Kurt AlbrechtProducer

Kurt Albrecht is the producer of Sony Pictures Animation’s action comedy “ Mitchells vs. The Machines,” available now only on Netflix.

Previously, Albrecht served as the vice president of physical production, where he worked on the planning, budgeting and supervision of all projects in development at the studio. He also produced the studio’s mini movie, “The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol.”

Before joining Sony, Albrecht was the vice president of physical production at Paramount Animation. His additional credits include line producer on Warner Animation’s “Lego Ninjago” and at Imagi Studios’ animated feature “Gatchaman.” Prior to that he produced the home entertainment release “Disney Princess Enchanted Tales” for DisneyToon Studios.

Albrecht began his career at Hyperion Studio, starting as an assistant and rising to senior vice president of production. Over the course of his ten years there he either produced or oversaw the production of 7 feature length productions and 6 television series both animated and live-action.

Albrecht is a native of Seattle, Washington and now lives in Silver Lake with his wife and two children.

Guillermo MartinezHead of Story

Guillermo Martinez is the head of story on Sony Pictures Animation’s original feature comedy “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” streaming now on Netflix. Martinez currently has a project in development which he will be directing for Sony Pictures Animation.

Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation, Martinez served as a story artist at Laika Studios on “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Missing Link.” Martinez’s additional credits include storyboard artist and writer on the Cartoon Network series “We Bare Bears.” Also at Cartoon Network, he developed a short film for the show “Clarence."

Martinez was born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and earned his bachelors in design at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan, Puerto Rico before attending Academy of Art University for his masters. He currently lives in Culver City with his wife, daughter and two plants.

Mike LaskerVFX Supervisor

Michael Lasker is a VFX supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks with over two decades of experience working on live-action and animated features. His recent credits include “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” from director Mike Rianda and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and the Academy Award®-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Lasker is currently working on the muchanticipated sequel to “Spider-Verse,” coming to theaters in October 2022.

Valuing teamwork and collaboration, Lasker previously served as a computer graphics supervisor on: “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Cloud With a Chance of Meatballs,” and “Hotel Transylvania.”

He began his computer graphics career in New York City working on commercials for leading advertising agencies. Lasker received a BFA in computer graphics from Syracuse University.

Alan HawkinsHead of Character Animation

Alan Hawkins is a Head of Character Animation at Sony Pictures Imageworks, most recently completing work in his role on Sony Pictures Animation’s “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” and “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania,” for which he also serves as Associate Producer.

Hawkins most recently served as animation supervisor on Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” and “Hotel Transylvania 2.”

Hawkins previously served as animation supervisor on the “Popeye” animation test and as a lead animator on “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” “Cloud With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” and “Arthur Christmas.”

His other credits include the Academy Award®-nominated “Surf’s Up,” Robert Zemeckis' “Beowulf” and the original “Hotel Transylvania.” Alan joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in 2004 to work on Sony Pictures Animation's first feature film, “Open Season.”

Hawkins is a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, and grew up in Littleton, Colorado.


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