Erin Reynolds is the Founder, President, and Creative Director of Flying Mollusk. She has a diverse background spanning the past 10 years in game development within a variety of different environments, including as a developer (handheld, social, and mobile), publisher, academic, and now indie. Erin is passionate about the potential games have to empower, educate, and inspire players of all kinds and to make the world a better, more playful place.
To this end, she took a sabbatical from her career in Game Development in 2009 to pursue her MFA through the prestigious Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. There, Erin led projects such as Trainer, (winning the two top awards for Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids competition at the White House) and the critically acclaimed academic version of Nevermind.
As Chief Mollusk of Flying Mollusk, Erin is dedicated to continuing to create edgy games and interactive art that leave a lasting positive impact on the user and world.
Michael has worked as a designer and producer with, among others, Wemo Labs/WEVR (designer on the Proto Award-winning theBlu VR for Samsung Gear VR), Walt Disney Imagineering, The Annenberg Innovation Lab, The Alchemists, and Mirada Studios. For Flying Mollusk, in addition to leading the VR design of Nevermind, he coordinates the connections and collaborations between academic/clinical researchers and the studio, overseeing the adaptation of games like Nevermind into potential therapeutic tools for health.
He is a former member of the steering committee of TransmediaLA (now StoryForwardLA) and is currently a Consulting Advisor for The Lavender Effect, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization committed to advancing the future of LGBTQ history and culture. Michael also teaches at the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media and Games Division. He has presented on games, transmedia, and virtual reality at PAX Prime, San Diego Comic-Con, Storyworld, NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education), VR Long Beach and Bent-Con.
Michael holds an MFA from USC’s renowned Interactive Media division (where he was the first-ever recipient of the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association’s NOGLSTP (National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals) Scholarship in Innovation).
Michael shifted into games after a long and diverse career as a performer, singer, director, and producer for stage and film. He has worked extensively in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. When prompted, he can (and will) still perform a Shakespearean monologue or 16 bars of a ballad and uptempo.
Jesse, a Wyoming native, was a member of the original Nevermind team back when it was just an academic project at the University of Southern California. He was the team’s Unity expert and producer, and helped guide the construction of the original, award winning prototype over its two semesters of development. After that Jesse graduated from USC with a Master degree in Computer Science, and went on to work as a programming contractor for a few different projects related to companies like Marvel, Innovative Leisure, and Google.
When Flying Mollusk was formed to begin work on Nevermind in earnest, Jesse returned to be the sole engineer on the project. Jesse knows every dark corner of Nevermind’s inner workings and takes on even the most complex challenges around experimental technology on a daily basis to bring vision of the game to life. Though he is currently the youngest member of the core team, he keeps the game running and works hard to make the ambitions of Flying Mollusk a technically feasible reality.
Just don’t be surprised if he drops to his knees to celebrate the defeat of a particular nasty bug.
Brian Watson has been working as an Environment Artist for 15 years. After initially working on visual effects for film (namely the critically acclaimed film Barney’s Great Adventure) he transitioned to video games. In the past, he’s worked at Spark Unlimited and Insomniac Games, where he contributed to the Resistance franchise.
Brian’s career as an Environment Artist can be traced back to his fascination with architecture in high school. With a heavy dose of gumption, he enrolled in Introduction to Architecture, taught by Mr. Planet, a teacher as cool as his name. The idea of creating giant works of art appealed to Brian. However, the math that was involved, did not. Defeated, he tucked away his compass and ruler, never to be seen again (they were property of the school’s anyway, so Brian had to leave them there, he’s no thief!)
After graduating high school, Brian took 2D and 3D courses at the Technology Development Center in Ventura, Ca. Since there was no math involved, Brian excelled and completed both courses in half the time allotted. After obtaining a position at Cinemotion Pictures, he quit his job delivering pizzas and never looked back! Well, except that one time when he was unemployed for a while and hit some hard times and was thinking of working at that pizza place his friend Marty works at, but luckily he didn’t have to because a friend of his introduced him to Greg Hillegas of Flying Mollusk, and the rest is history!
Derek Baird has composed for film, TV, stage, and games. After studying music composition at the conservatory of North Carolina School of the Arts, Derek moved to New York City, developing as an artist and composer while studying composition at Juilliard’s evening division and working as assistant for Douglas Cuomo (Sex and the City, Homicide: Life in the Street). He continued with graduate studies at USC’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program, studying with film composing legends Bruce Broughton and Christopher Young. Derek has composed for PBS, Independent Film Channel, Robert Redford’s climate change ads, and many documentaries.
Derek enjoys working with a wide range of medium and genres, with a specific focus on projects that aim to make the world a better place.
Charley supports Flying Mollusk as a Business Development advisor, helping to both establish and manage external partnerships.
Charley is also the Co-Founder / Creative Director of Hidden Variable Studios – an award-winning mobile game studio. More information can be found at www.hiddenvariable.com.