While working as a background artist on Heavy Metal, Terry caught the attention of Industrial Light & Magic. The company hired him and he began work as an effects animator on both Poltergiest and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. While there, Terry worked under the wing of Richard Edlund who placed him on the effects teams for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He also served as effects animator for Ghostbusters.
When Edlund left to create Boss Films, Windell followed. It was in this time Terry began to set his sights on live-action directing. In 1989, he debuted with a four spot campaign for DHL. The impressive effects laden spots garnered numerous honors including a Silver Clio and a New York Film Festival award in the Best Campaign category. Terry went on to direct several other Clio winning campaigns while at Boss. When the company closed its commercial production division, Windell made the move to A Band Apart.
Windell has directed numerous Clio, Addy and Mobius award-winning spots for Geo Prism, Dodge, United Airlines, and a 14-spot Bud Bowl package.
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