Canada’s Huminah Huminah Animation has hired animation veteran Steve Cooke as its new Head of Production. He will manage a growing slate of new shows and overseeing all of HHA’s operations out of Halifax. Cooke’s hire follows the addition of Lynn Chadwick (VP Content & Sales) and Claudina Rowe (Financial Controller); a new CCO is soon to be announced. The company has also just set up a new 90-person studio facility in Dartmouth, NS.
Cooke worked at IOM as Studio General Manager from 2020 to 2021, with a previous stint from 2004 to 2019 at DHX, where he was Supervisor of CG on Rev and Roll, Inspector Gadget, Doozers, Fireman Sam, SuperWhy, Wishenpoof and Little People. Previously, he was an art director on Bo on the Go, Monster Math Squad, Animal Mechanicals and before that a stop-motion animator on Lunar Jim.
Cooke’s animation career began in 1998 at Cage Digital, where he served as a senior animator on Salter Street’s series Lexx. He has also worked as a lead artist at several other Canadian companies over the years, including Elliot Animation.
DNEG announced the hiring of Philippe Gluckman as Creative Director – India for DNEG Animation. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the animation industry to DNEG and will be based out of the Mumbai studio. Gluckman will oversee the creative output of the local division, working closely with the global management team to ensure top quality work. Additionally, he will focus on the artist experience, facilitating collaboration, communication, and innovation, while maintaining and enhancing the supportive environment the studio has created for its artists in India.
Gluckman spent almost 15 years at DreamWorks Animation in California, as a VFX supervisor on projects such as Antz, Shrek, Madagascar and many others, before relocating to India in 2008 as Creative Director of DreamWorks Dedicated Unit in Bangalore. In this role, Gluckman oversaw the creative and technical execution of animated movies such as Penguins of Madagascar, Puss in Boots, Trolls and Boss Baby, taking responsibility for the visual quality and execution of the work produced by the studio whilst growing, managing and mentoring its team of animation artists.
DNEG Animation has also recently tapped Disney Television Animation executive Angi Dyste as its new SVP – Episodic, and promoted two members of its senior creative team into leadership roles, with Archie Donato (DNEG Animation’s VFX supervisor on Entergalactic and Nimona) promoted to Head of VFX, and Eoin Murphy (TD supervisor on Entergalactic and Nimona) upped to Head of CG. The studio is in producitno on Nimona for Annapurna Pictures and Netflix, Garfield with Alcon Entertainment for Sony Pictures and That Christmas for Locksmith Animation, among other projects.
This follows DNEG Canada’s appointment of Adriano Rinaldi as General Manager of the company’s VFX and animation studio in Vancouver, BC. He will oversee the team of more than 600 employees as the company further strengthens its focus on its Vancouver studio, which led DNEG’s recent Oscar and BAFTA-winning work on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Rinaldi will assume
responsibility for the day-to-day operations in Vancouver and will collaborate closely with DNEG’s other general managers, local heads of department, and the company’s global senior management team on wider initiatives.
Rinaldi brings more than 16 years of industry experience to the role, both as a senior manager and as a creative supervisor with extensive international experience. He most recently served as additional VFX supervisor for Scanline on Marvel’s Eternals, and prior to this worked closely with noted director Dante Lam as VFX supervisor on The Rescue, for which he also oversaw the shoot as on set VFX supervisor in Mexico’s Baja Studios, and on location in L.A. and China.
Prior to working with Scanline, Rinaldi was Head of Creative Operations for MPC Vancouver. As a senior creative leader, he helped build the company’s Vancouver presence and contributed to the design and development of workflow improvements, company processes and procedures, and raising standards for creative excellence.
Aardman has appointed Laura Taylor-Williams to the newly-created role of Head of Digital and Strategic Development. She will lead the strategic direction of digital monetization at Aardman across AVOD, FAST and EST, and oversee a team that covers both commercial and creative strategy in the digital publishing space, ensuring the company continues to be a best-in-class distributor. She reports to Director of Distribution Alison Taylor, and works closely with Head of Acquisitions Robin Gladman.
Taylor-Williams joins Aardman with over 15 years’ distribution experience, having led successful relationships with digital platform partners for globally recognised studios NBCUniversal & Warner Bros. Prior to the creation of this new role, she was covering a Senior Sales Manager role at Aardman, during which time she was responsible for broadcast, streaming and VOD deals across Northern Europe and Canada.
The appointment follows a successful period for Aardman’s sales team, as six out of the 15 most-screened productions at MIP Junior were properties either owned or distributed by Aardman: Interstellar Ella, Monster Doctor, Happy the Hoglet, Pop Paper City and Colourblocks, with Aardman’s own Lloyd of the Flies taking the top spot. The company also made the top 10 in four out of five categories of Kidscreen’s Hot 50, ranking at #2 in Production and #4 in Distribution as well as making the list for Licensing and Digital – a success spurred by the growth of classic brands alongside new Aardman IP including The Very Small Creatures together with its distribution roster of third-party shows.
More executive & artist moves:
- Arnaud Réguillet appointed Director of Ellipse Studio Angouleme.
- Phil Barrenger has joined Rising Sun Pictures as new Head of Operations.
- Sophie “Kido” Prigent appointed as Head of Sales for Grizzy & the Lemmings studio HARI.
- Adela Hassan (AdELA) named CEO & Managing Partner of preschool music and edutainment brand All Star Kid.
- Framestore‘s Immersive division promoted Karl Woolley to Head of Immersive and welcomed Mandy Agderian as Executive Producer.
- BAFTA-winning VFX studio Lola Post Production has appointed Annie Gordon as Executive Producer (Factual & Drama) and Lizzie Hill as Senior Producer.
- Veteran Animation Director Chris “Gru” Gruska has joined the roster of Janimation.
- VFX Supervisor Laurent Taillefer has signed on at Rodeo FX.
- Alex Snookes relocated from London to Los Angeles as Jamm‘s new VFX Supervisor & Compositor.
- Jennifer Oppenheimer has been appointed International Sales & Licensing Manager for Guru Studio (True and the Rainbow Kingdom).
- Lizzy Gray has joined Banijay Kids and Family in the new role of Brands and Marketing Director.