Former head of commercials division at Asylum launches all-new Venice-based effects house, The Mission

Respected Visual FX EP Michael Pardee, most recently head of the commercials division at Asylum, launches all-new Venice-based effects house, The Mission. Tapping elite former Asylum colleagues Rob Trent as Creative Director/Visual FX Supervisor and Piotr Karwas as Animation Director, the newly-minted post-production, VFX and animation house makes its commercial debut during Super Bowl XLV, with the Chevy :30 “Tommy” (pictured) out of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, directed by Speck/Gordon of Furlined.
The Mission officially opens its doors this month at a converted mission-style house at the intersection of Washington Way and Abbot Kinney in Venice, Calif. Additional projects in progress at the new powerhouse include spots for Hershey’s Kisses, Rexona, T-Mobile and US Bank.
“The Mission is a boutique located in the vibrant Abbot Kinney community, bringing a personal touch to even the largest jobs,” Owner/EP Pardee explains. “Boasting the talent and resources to handle the big 3D jobs as well as any of the larger studios, we will handle spots plus the occasional feature work.”
Chevy “Tommy” features a brazen father using his Chevy Silverado HD to courageously save his accident-prone son from such unlikely situations as falling down a well, being stranded in a hot air balloon, being stuck in the belly of a whale and even a tumble into the crux of an erupting volcano. The Mission produced the Super Bowl commercial’s CG whale sequence.


Rob Trent, Creative Director at The Mission, has worked on such major features as G-Force, Solaris and Minority Report. In 2008, Trent won the Visual Effects Society award for Best Compositing in a Commercial for Nike’s “Leave Nothing” out of Wieden + Kennedy, directed by Michael Mann. Recently he supervised and served as Lead Inferno artist on GMC’s all-CG spots “Build” and “Inside” out of Leo Burnett.
Animation Director Piotr Karwas has been crafting award-winning VFX for film, television and the commercial space for over a decade, under the Asylum and Digital Domain shingles. Karwas joins The Mission after leaving his mark on such high-profile features as The Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring, I, Robot and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as acclaimed spots for Hershey, GMC and Microsoft to name a few. Upcoming work for Karwas includes 3D animated spots for Hershey Kisses and the Chevy Silverado “Tommy” for the Super Bowl.
EP Michael Pardee is no stranger to high-profile campaigns, having overseen effects for some of the most iconic spots of the last decade during his stint at Asylum, and prior to that, as Head of Production at Digital Domain. His most recent work, Activision’s star-studded Call of Duty: Black Ops spot, “There’s A Soldier In All Of Us,” out of TBWA, became one of the 2010’s most talked-about ads. He also served as EP for HALO ODST “The Life” out of T.A.G., winner of a 2010 Visual Effects Society award for Best VFX in a Video Game Trailer, as well as a Visual Effects Award from the AICP.
A key consideration in building out the new facility is The Mission’s home-away-from-home environment. Continues Pardee, “This is an area in which artists like to work and agency people want to hang out. We’re creating a space where they can do that, while producing work that everyone can be proud of.”


Says Kaplan Thaler’s Managing Director of Integrated Production – Lisa Bifulco, “Not only were we thrilled to hear Michael was opening up a new shop, but so were the clients; they know him by name and love him. I’ve been working with Michael for nearly six years, and when he says it’s going to get done no matter what, you can sleep soundly at night.”
Within weeks of opening its doors, The Mission has already been signed for Midwest representation by Tracy Bernard & Robin Stevens, and is in negotiations with both West and East coast sales representatives.


  1. carol mann

    Mike Pardee was a friend and mentor many moons ago in Marin County. Felt like checking in with him today.


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