CEO Synthespian Studios
Jeff Kleiser is President and Cofounder of Kleiser-Walczak Studios. In 2001, Kleiser-Walczak collaborated with Ray Kurzweil on an interactive project that required the studio to create two virtual models for Kurzweil’s performance at the TED11 Conference. The company’s Ramona model enabled Kurzweil to transform into his female alter ego, the virtual performer Ramona, who performed Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and spoke about the future of computing. He later authored Synthespianism for KurzweilAI.net.
His pioneering work in computer animation has spanned the history of the medium. He has contributed to films with groundbreaking visual effects including Tron, Stargate, Judge Dredd, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, X-Men, and X2. He served as senior visual effects supervisor on The One, a film in which martial arts master Jet Li battles his evil doppelganger that required the development of innovative face replacement techniques.
With Diana Walczak, Jeff has directed ambitious CG-animated stereoscopic films for projects such as the Thea and EDDY Award-winning Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man thrill ride for Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida, the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson digital opera, Monsters of Grace, and Santa Lights Up New York for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
In June 2001, Kleiser and Walczak completed Little Miss Spider: Lost and Found, a CG-animated short film based on David Kirk’s best-selling storybook. In March 2002, Little Miss Spider: Lost and Found was honored as the best of the shorts for tots screened at The New York International Children’s Film Festival. The film has screened at the Guggenheim in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and was included in the Electronic Theater program at SIGGRAPH 2001. It has been invited by the Project for Afghan Children’s Television to screen as part of special broadcasts for children in Afghanistan.
Jeff has presented papers at many international events including the London Effects and Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH, INA Imagina, NAB, Opera Totale and the Virtual Humans Conference. He has served as an industry expert in interviews with The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings. He serves on the board of trustees of The Norman Rockwell Museum. He is a trustee of the Williamstown Film Festival and also serves on the board of directors of the Visual Effects Society.