The best and brightest
Sean is a fifteen year veteran of the film industry. His responsibilities at Cantina include overseeing the creative vision of projects, working closely with visual effects artists and collaborating with both feature film and commercial directors. Cushing has guided Cantina toward continued growth within he visual effects industry, including creating and delivering work for such studios as Marvel, DreamWorks, and Disney and for commercial clients such as BMW, Mattel and Lexus.
Prior to the formation of Cantina Creative in 2010, Sean served as Executive Producer for Pixel Liberation Front, a visual effects company in Venice, CA. He is credited on numerous blockbuster features including Avatar, Iron Man, Iron Man II, Terminator Salvation, Matrix Revolutions and Superman Returns. In addition, Sean has worked on an array of television commercials and other long form content.
In 1999, Sean entered the entertainment industry when he joined Reel Efx, a special effects company. Prior to Reel Efx Sean applied his skills in product design and computer aided modeling to help create fountain structures around the world (including the now famous Bellagio feature) for renowned architectural firm WET.
Sean actively writes and produces original content and has numerous feature films and television series currently in development.
Stephen Lawes is an animation and visual effects veteran who has worked on a wide array of high profile commercial and feature film projects. Before opening Cantina Creative, Lawes spent two years as Creative Director at Pixel Liberation Front where he supervised a team of artists on Academy Award-winning films.
The work on these films encompassed HUD design and animation as well assembles visual effects shots and set extension composites. Prior to PLF, Lawes worked in a variety of senior creative roles on such notable films as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Superman Returns, The Departed, Speed Racer and Shutter Island.
Lawes started as a commercial director at Duck Soup Productions in Santa Monica, where he utilized his animation skills for commercial clients like Hasbro, Disney and Coca-Cola. After which he joined The Picture Mill and segued into designing main titles for both feature films and television shows, including The Sixth Sense, Chicken Run, Judging Amy and Bones.
TONY LUPOIVFX SUPERVISOR
As a kid, I would spend hours editing my Tahoe snowboarding adventures and short films with my friends. Sitting in my mother’s kitchen, using the neighbors’ VHS decks all webbed together with RCA cables and duct tape. I loved telling the story through this visual medium of filmmaking. It was during these formative years that I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to make movies.
Decades later I still get to do what I love and I have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented artists. Cantina Creative has enabled me to grow, lead and strive for excellence. The dynamic duo behind Cantina Creative, Sean Cushing and Stephen Lawes, have cultivated an innovative environment, which has creatively inspired me and sparked my imagination. Years later, I still feel like that same kid, making movies!
Favorite movies: “Predator” (1987) - (Fall Line Films – “Riders on the Storm” 1992)
Hobbies: Aerial photography, slow-motion, fishing, filmmaking.
IMDB: Anthony Lupoi aka Tony Lupoi
Up and Coming Directors to watch for: Kubrick, Clint Eastwood, Wes Anderson, Ron Howard, and the Coen Brothers.
AARON EATONVFX ARTIST
Like a migrating bird, Aaron has been flying South. He began his life in Canada, then soon moved to Washington state. Throughout his younger years, he always had a strong passion for visual storytelling and was intrigued by films. As winter approached, Aaron travelled further down the best coast to study filmmaking at California Lutheran University, where he fell in love with the technical beauty of visual effects. After graduating in 2012, he immediately began work with Cantina Creative, where he has had the honor of contributing his artistry on numerous film and commercial projects, including The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3, Hunger Games, and Need For Speed. Not only does Aaron enjoy life behind the computer, but also behind the lens, as he expands his creativity with cinematography and nature photography.
CARLY CERQUONEVFX ARTIST
Carly discovered her passion for art and thirst for knowledge at an early age. Through her years of education she strived to develop her creative and technical abilities equally, and graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2015 with a bachelors degree in Motion Picture Science. Before her graduation she held jobs as a motion designer, live sports graphics operator, and a student leader. A two time summer intern, Carly officially joined the Cantina team in August of 2015. Her credits include Need for Speed.
ALAN TORRESDESIGNER/VFX SUPERVISOR
Through his imagination, Alan found a passion for the creative process at a young age. After graduating from Otis College of Art and Design in 2008, his sights were set on the land of digital art and storytelling. Starting out as a freelance cg artist, his creative focus segued into design and animation, applying his skills in collaboration with the motion graphics and vfx industries finest talents.
With 7 years experience, Alan is credited for his contributions on numerous commercial and film projects including The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7, Hunger Games, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Need For Speed and The Avengers.
In 2014, Alan joined forces with Cantina Creative in Culver City, CA where he continues to refine his craft as an artist and supervisor.
MATT EATONVFX ARTIST
Growing up in Washington State, Matt loved two things: being outdoors and making short films. He never thought it was possible to move to the mystical land of Los Angeles and pursue a career in the film industry. It wasn't until he took an After Effects class at California Lutheran University that he discovered his new passion; Visual Effects. Upon graduation in 2012, Matt began working at Cantina Creative and has been credited in many film projects including Hunger Games, Iron Man 3 and Need for Speed.
JULIANNE DOMEVFX ARTIST
Movies are and have always been an important source of inspiration and entertainment in Julianne's life. When she graduated from the USC School of Architecture with a minor in Cinematic Arts in 2012, she couldn't be happier to have landed herself in "the industry" later on that same year. Shifting gears from architecture to VFX provided her with an intensive study of real world 3d design and visualization, a unique foundation upon which her visual effects learning is built. Since joining Cantina, Julianne has been fortunate to contribute her talents to projects such as Need For Speed, Guardians of the Galaxy and Hunger Games.
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