To support the rapid growth and development, Erika Burton will join DNEG Animation arm as president. She will share both the president title and leadership responsibilities with DNEG Animation president Tom Jacomb. The announcement was made at the ongoing Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.
Burton, who was previously DNEG VFX production president, has prior animation industry experience from stints at both Disney Animation and DreamWorks. Her focus at DNEG Animation will be on production, resource management, training, and operations, working in lockstep with Jacomb, who will focus on creative, client management and outreach, and the development of IP and original content.
“I am delighted to welcome Erika to the team as we continue to establish DNEG Animation as the best place in the industry to build your career. We have more exciting projects, more growth and expansion, and more original content and co-productions on the horizon, and Erika will be absolutely instrumental in helping to ensure that we have a rock-solid foundation upon which to continue building. I’m also delighted that she will be contributing her compassion, warmth, and experience to the amazing work that our teams are already doing in putting equality, diversity and inclusivity at the heart of everything that we do here at DNEG Animation,” said Jacomb.
“I feel excited and honored to be joining Tom and the DNEG Animation team. I have been fortunate enough to work with some immensely talented VFX and animation teams during the course of my career, and I love both disciplines equally. There is something really compelling and challenging about animated filmmaking that keeps drawing me back and this is just a tremendous new opportunity,” said Burton.
She further said, “Working with DNEG’s VFX teams over the last year has been a career highlight for me, but when the invitation came to join Tom, David [Prescott, creativeSVP], Crosby [Clyse, production head] and all of the other talented folks on the animation side of our business, it was one that I could not turn down. We have some truly amazing projects in the pipeline at DNEG Animation, as well as some exciting opportunities to push the creative and technical boundaries of animated content production to their limits.”
In recent years, DNEG Animation has grown from a small team in London to become a global team of approximately 850 employees working across studios in London, Montreal, Mumbai, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Toronto. The company’s first full-length animated feature, Locksmith Animation’s Ron’s Gone Wrong, received a theatrical release in October 2021, subsequently garnering multiple Annie Award nominations and winning ‘Best Feature’ at the 2022 British Animation Awards.
DNEG Animation is currently in production on Nimona (Annapurna Pictures/Netflix), Garfield (Alcon Entertainment/Sony), That Christmas (Locksmith Animation) and an unannounced episodic animated series for a major streamer.
Burton and the DNEG Animation team are at the Annecy Film Festival with two presentation sessions on Thursday, 16 June, 2022:
Pathways to DNEG (11:30 am)- A tour of the roles, locations, and projects at DNEG Animation, and the pathways you can take to join the team.
DNEG Animation: A Proper Hello (2 pm)- The leadership team will share how they built a startup animation studio within an established, award-winning visual effects company and how it is staying true to the history, art and craft of animation while leveraging technology for the future.
On 25 January 2022, DNEG announced its entry into a definitive business combination agreement with Sports Ventures Acquisition Corp. Upon the closing of the business combination, which is expected in the first half of 2022, the combined public company will be named DNEG.