As part of an ongoing series, we want to introduce you to a few of the people who make the magic happen here at AtmosFX. And we’ll start with the slightly older and grumpier Pete – one of the “Two Petes” who founded the company in 2005.
Pete Reichert and Pete Williams (the younger, more hirsute Pete – more on him later) have been collaborating together since their days at MTV. Reichert first worked on the landmark animated television show Beavis and Butthead, and then served as Supervising/Executive Director for MTV Development. It was in that capacity that Reichert hired Williams as an animator. There, the two worked together on several animation projects.
Along with sharing the same name, the two also discovered they shared a great love for holidays – Halloween in particular. By 2005 they both had left MTV, and they jumped into creating CG-animated ghosts, monsters and other ghastly creatures for theme parks, haunted houses, stadiums and other commercial endeavors. Soon they asked themselves the question: “Why can’t we create the same animations for the general public that can be used as decorations?” That’s the moment when AtmosFX was born.
Since then, Reichert has been using his many talents to bring innovative digital decorations to anyone who loves to celebrate the holiday – any holiday.
Q: Looking back at your days at MTV, are there things you learned from that time that are particularly helpful to you at AtmosFX?
A: Quite a few. Aside from the animation and production experience, the most important would probably be the experience of managing large, diverse teams. The toughest job for any producer is keeping all the parts moving fluidly. And MTV was a great place to learn hands-on how to get the most and best out of your team.
Q: You have many roles at AtmosFX – producer, writer, editor, director. Is there one thing you enjoy doing most?
A: Of those, it would have to be writing. Working on concepts and scripts with "Other Pete" for our decorations is my most satisfying creative role.
Q: Are there any characters/scenes that you are just dying to create, regardless of whether or not the decoration would sell well?
A: I’d like to do a series of digital decorations featuring Krampus. It’s a fascinating character who can traverse both the Halloween and Christmas landscapes.
Q: What are the frustrations associated with founding a company with someone who shares the same first name?
A: This is probably the greatest challenge I face at AtmosFX. In the past, I’ve called Pete (Williams) Pete Jr, Jr., Other Pete and a few other choice names. Lately I’ve been going with “PW.”
Q: Not including Halloween, what is your favorite holiday?
A: That’s easy…Hobbit Day celebrated on September 22. Both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were born on that day.
Q: What are your top 5 favorite horror movies?
A: Just five?! At this precise moment in time I would say my favorite ... gulp ... seven are…
Alien and Aliens - (can we count this as one?)
Trick ’r Treat
An American Werewolf in London
The Silence of the Lambs
Seven / Se7en (depending on your favorite movie poster)