Emmy and Annie award-winning visual effects and animation company Jellyfish Pictures has announced a restructure of its leadership team and new key appointments supporting the company’s ambitious plans for further growth across existing and new sectors. The announcement follows Key Capital Partners’ minority investment in the company earlier in the year and the ongoing global expansion of the company’s operations powered by its virtual studio infrastructure.
The defiantly independent film festival and Los Angeles favorite, Dances with Films, is celebrating 26 years by expanding to New York City. The festival champions innovation, talent, and creativity by spotlighting important, diverse, quality films and developing lasting relationships with filmmakers.
Access:VFX an industry-led non-profit coalition of leading visual effects, animation and games studios, has launched its European chapter. With the help of new sponsorship from Netflix, the organization is building upon its mission to promote diversity within the VFX industry by expanding into Europe. The aim of the new chapter is to provide practical tools for up-and-coming creators across Europe that are essential to succeed in the industry, including mock interviews, reel reviews, virtual events, and e-mentorships.
Mary Coleman has been named chief creative officer of the London computer-generation animation studio Locksmith Animation. Coleman joins LSA from Pixar Animation Studios, where she was head of creative development. Locksmith CEO Natalie Fischer announced the news today and confirmed that Coleman officially will join the studio in July.
Animate BootCamp, a creative innovation company, has launched in Syracuse with a mission to provide education and workforce development initiatives, offering professional level training in animation and visual effects. Co-founder and key mentor Dean Lyon has relocated to Syracuse to lead the program.
Laika, the studio known for the Academy Award-nominated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link, has announced The Night Gardener, a new project in conjunction with Bill Dubuque, creator of Netflix’s hit series Ozark. Laika’s CEO and president Travis Knight, who directed Kubo and the Two Strings and Paramount’s Bumblebee, will direct from Dubuque’s original screenplay.
Nice Shoes has hired John Koltai creative director with a focus on innovative motion graphic design for film, television, advertising, and other media. Koltai is a multidisciplinary creative director, designer and animator with experience spanning virtually all forms of visual media. He is also a specialist in future user interfaces and other future tech graphics for film, with credits including Spider-Man: Far from Home, Spies in Disguise, Thor: Ragnarok and Iron Man 2 & 3.
The winners of this year’s Young Animator of the Year UK award have been announced by Access:VFX, the ScreenSkills Animation Fund and #Dami. Through its awards program, YAY UK aims to provide aspiring animators from a range of backgrounds with access to and advice from professionals and studios in the animation, games and visual effects industry. The winning work will premiere at the Manchester Animation Festival, which runs November 14-19.
Laika, whose five films (Missing Link, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline) have all received Oscar nominations for Best Animated Film, will partner with the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry for multiple screenings of all its films as well as filmmaker discussions and a display of puppets and sets this October.
Laika’s next animated feature film is Wildwood, based on the bestselling novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis. The announcement was made by Travis Knight, president & CEO of the award-winning animation studio, who will direct the film. Wildwood is currently in production at Laika’s facility outside Portland, Oregon.