Lighthouse Studios, the joint venture formed in February 2017 by Mercury Filmworks, one of Canada’s most recognised independent animation studios, and Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon, has announced the appointment of content and advertising creative executive Claire Finn as the studio’s new managing director. The announcement was made by Mercury Filmworks’ CEO Clint Eland and Cartoon Saloon’s CEO Paul Young.
Finn, who most recently served as head of content/executive Producer, branded entertainment for London-based Firecracker Films, will be responsible for growing the studio’s development commitments and expanding production projects, focusing on high quality children’s and family animated content as well as increasing the studios’ global production services clients.
The studio, which utilises the latest technologies in the production of 2D animation, also offers end-to-end production services, encompassing everything from script to post including design, storyboard and animation.
Making the announcement, Mercury Filmworks CEO Eland explained, “Claire brings a wealth of experience in content development, production, design and the management of artists, all of which will benefit Lighthouse Studios in growing its pipeline. She is a talented creative executive and producer who has demonstrated a keen acumen for strategic planning across all media platforms. We are very excited to hand her the reins of the studio. Lighthouse Studio will go forward in very capable hands.”
Finn had taken on the studio, when it was wrapping Bug Diaries, the animated comedy series for preschoolers based on the book by author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Harry Bliss for Amazon; and starting preliminary animation on the second season of the Emmy Award-nominated Give A Mouse A Cookie, the animated children’s series based on the classic by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bondm, also for Amazon.
Cartoon Saloon CEO Young added, “After taking a considerable amount of time to find the right person to lead Lighthouse, we are delighted to be able to introduce Claire to our friends and partners in the Animation industry. Lighthouse now can continue with confidence to create a truly creative studio and contribute to making Kilkenny a center of excellence in animation Production, drawing talent from all over the world.”
Finn will make her first official appearance as Lighthouse Studios’ managing director at the upcoming Kidscreen Summit in February 2019 in Miami, hoping to invite some of the nearly 2,000 attendees from 50-plus countries to work with the expanding studio.
“Lighthouse Studios is comprised of a truly high-caliber and international team who share a passion for animation, technology and creating amazing entertainment experiences, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to Ireland after 23 years away to work with Paul, Clint and the crew on expanding this global facing company,” mentioned Finn.
At Firecracker Films, Finn was responsible for overseeing the strategy, new business and creative development, including working with renowned brands such as Nike, Vodafone, Johnny Walker and more. Finn served as EP on several documentary style projects, including with the Nike basketball TV series, Nike: Rise Philippines; People Doing Amazing Things for the First Time for Vodafone; and an award-winning project for Pride Festival 2017.
During her career, Finn also served as the head of content production for U.K.’s award-winning agency 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house agency, spearheading the production of all integrated conceptual campaigns, including the multi-award-winning Meet the Superhumans for the Paralympics for which she earned Cannes Grand Prix and Black Pencil awards, as well as the launch of 4SEVEN and rebrand of MORE4. For world-renowned agency R/GA London, she also served as Executive Producer of the campaign “Meet the Pills” by Beats by Dre.