VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Academy Award®-winning visual effects and digital creature and character animation company, has further enhanced its Vancouver, British Columbia studio with the appointment of Jason Dowdeswell as Vice President, Production Operations and Oscar® winner Steve Nichols as Imageworks Senior Animation Supervisor, it was announced today by Randy Lake, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sony Pictures Imageworks. Dowdeswell will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations at Sony Pictures Imageworks' Vancouver-based studio. Dowdeswell most recently served as Head of Production for Digital Domain after successful turns as Head of Studio at Image Engine Designs and as Head of Digital Studio at CIS-Vancouver Deluxe (formerly Rainmaker Entertainment, where he worked in various supervisory capacities from 2000-2008). Dowdeswell also was a Lead Digital Artist at Industrial Light & Magic, working on films in the Star Wars, Men in Black, Jurassic Park and Terminator franchises. This appointment is also a return to the Sony Pictures Imageworks fold: Dowdeswell spent 1995-2000 as a Lead Digital Artist where he was involved with lighting and compositing on films such as Starship Troopers, Stuart Little and Godzilla. He officially joins Sony Pictures Imageworks Vancouver on March 1. Armed with 18 years of extensive industry experience, Steve Nichols also comes to Sony Pictures Imageworks' Vancouver-based studio from Digital Domain, where he served as Animation Supervisor for the past two years. Nichols received an Academy Award® and a Visual Effects Society Award for his work as Lead Animator on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. His resume features one other Oscar® nomination as well as an additional six VES nominations. His most recent film credits include Animation Supervisor on Neighborhood Watch and as an Animator of the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer. Previously, Nichols was an Animation Director for ReelFX in Dallas on projects including Ice Age, A Mammoth Christmas Special; Animation Supervisor for Image Engine on District 9; Animation Director for Rainmaker Animation; and an Animation Associate Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic. His varied credits include work on the latter three Star Wars movies, and two films in the Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and Men in Black franchises. Nichols has already begun working at Sony Pictures Imageworks Vancouver on Warner Bros. Pictures' sci-fi thriller All You Need Is Kill. "Sony Pictures Imageworks is very proud of the dynamic talent base within our Vancouver studio, and thrilled to add the incredible experience, expertise and gifted skills of Jason and Steve to that mix," said Randy Lake, executive vice-president and general manager, Sony Pictures Imageworks. Established in 2010 in the Yaletown area, the Sony Pictures Imageworks Vancouver studio is currently working on several upcoming productions, most notably Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful, the live-action/animated film The Smurfs 2 and the animated feature comedy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. About Sony Pictures Imageworks Now in its 21 st year, Sony Pictures Imageworks is the Academy Award® winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions known for live-action visual effects and dynamic creature and character animation, all-CG animation, and stereoscopic 3D imagery. The company is currently in production on Disney's Oz The Great and Powerful (3D), the live-action/animated film The Smurfs 2 and the animated feature comedy Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. Other recent credits include Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, the hybrid live-action/animated film The Smurfs (3D), The Green Lantern (3D), Alice in Wonderland (3D), and the animated features Hotel Transylvania (3D).