UA Alumnus Promoted to Visual Effects President at Twentieth Century Fox

Vicky Westover
Oct. 10, 2012

UA alumnus John Kilkenny was recently promoted to president of visual effects at Twentieth Century Fox.

Kilkenny joined Fox in 2005 as senior vice president of visual effects and was made executive vice president in 2008. Before Fox, he worked as an associate producer and one of the visual effects producers for movies including "Garfield" and "I, Robot."

This year, he was also accepted as a member into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Kilkenny was among 176 individuals invited by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to join the organization for having distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.

Kilkenny, who oversaw the Academy-award winning effects for "Avatar" also worked on "Night at the Museum," "X-Men: First Class," Baz Luhrmann’s "Australia," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and also "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

Kilkenny most recently worked on Ridley Scott’s box office hit "Prometheus." Currently, he is heading the effects for Ang Lee’s "Life of Pi," which is scheduled for release in November. Also coming up is "The Wolverine" and another sequel to the "Die Hard" franchise.

In 2006, John Kilkenny became a member of the UA College of Fine Arts Hanson Film Institute industry council and began providing internships to students in what was then called the UA media arts department, now the film and television program in the University's School of Theatre, Film and Television. Several students have completed internships on the Fox lot and some were subsequently employed by the company.

“John is one of the hardest working film professionals, and we in the College of Fine Arts are delighted for him that he has been both promoted at Twentieth Century Fox and is now a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences," said Vicky Westover, who directs the Hanson Film Institute.

"We are fortunate to have his support for the Film and Television Program. He has helped a number of young graduates get their start in the industry," Westover said.

In 2009, Kilkenny received an Honorary Doctorate from the UA College of Fine Arts and served as a College of Fine Arts commencement speaker in 2009. He also consulted with Mary Beth Haralovich, a UA professor in the film and television program on the development of the course, "Visual Effects from Melies to Avatar." 

Kilkenny grew up in Tempe, Ariz. and studied radio and television at the UA. He also was a sports producer at the local ABC station. While a student, he headed the Associated Students of the University of Arizona's concert division.

Photo courtesy of the UA College of Fine Arts Hanson Film Institute


Resources for the media