Starting Monday, Sept. 9, Jon Desir, who had spent his entire career at Red Car Chicago, will join Optimus in the newly-created position of executive director/VFX design.
Optimus president Tom Duff, who had reached out to Desir to join the company, complimented him as “a true class act, a consummate and incredibly talented professional.”
Desir had spent nine years at Red Car, joining the company on a fall day in 2004, following graduation from Eastern Michigan University and working his way through the ranks from intern to executive prodcer.
As EP, he helped build Red Car’s graphics department, and oversaw all graphics and editorial. As such, “Jon brings us his overall experience and expertise in all phases of postproduction,” Duff said. “He will be a great fit with our team and our clients.”
Aug. 9 was officially Desir’s last day at Red Car, a departure he called “bittersweet,” since he was leaving the Red Car family and clients “but knowing they would be going onto great things.”
He had gone on a to Mexico and when he returned a week later owner Larry Bridges telephoned individual staff members telling them he was “suspending operations” by the end of the month, a few weeks hence. He gave no specific reasons for the closing.
While Desir interviewed with several companies and was weighing good offers, he said, he immediately accepted Duff’s offer. His new job consolidates effects and design projects under a single executive producer.
“I look at Tom as a friend and mentor and hold him in high regard,” Desir said. He added that he also took the longevity of the staff into account.
Being part of the Optimus team feels right, he said. “That’s one of the biggest deciding factors when people want you. I hope I fit in and make a mark there.”
The closing of Red Car in Chicago was not the company’s only major change. Its Dallas operation is expected to be sold to Red Car managing director Carrie Callaway and editors Keith James and Chris Gipson by the end of September.