Rising Sun Pictures names Phil Barrenger head of operations

Phil Barrenger.

Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) has appointed Phil Barrenger as head of operations.

He joins the company after 13 years at Weta Digital (now WetaFX), where he spent time as CG supervisor, head of department (lighting), and senior head of department (shots), while also contributing to Avatar: The Way of Water in a contract role during the last half of 2022.

In his newly-created position, Barrenger will oversee the artist and technological aspects of the business from RSP Headquarters in Adelaide and report to RSP president, Jennie Zeiher.

It marks a return to the company for the VFX professional, who previously spent more than three years there in the late 2000s, working as technical director, supervising technical director, and CG supervisor, a role in which he contributed to projects such as Charlotte’s Web and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

“Returning to RSP holds a special significance for me, as the company gave me my first break in the film industry and played a pivotal role in my personal and professional development,” he said.

“I am thrilled to be joining the executive team in a role in which I can make a positive difference. I’m excited to learn, lead, serve, and leverage my experience to help RSP continue to strive for excellence and push the boundaries of what is possible.”

Zeiher described Barrenger as “a unique individual” who “epitomises empathy, understanding, and kindness”.

“It is an absolute privilege to have Phil back on the team,” she said.

Now part of Pitch Black (formerly Fuse Group), RSP expanded to Brisbane last April with a new office that employs 60 crew. It’s also continuing to expand its Adelaide studio, which has doubled in revenue over the past two years.

“We have ambitious plans ahead for RSP inside of the Pitch Black company, and it is my firm belief that Phil alongside our executive and management teams, will take us there,” Zeiher said.

“RSP has a reputation as a much-trusted partner to our clients and staff, and as a result, we are in demand globally. Phil will join our work family in early 2023 and will be instrumental in helping RSP provide the best client and staff experiences in the industry.”