SAMURAI JACK and DEXTERS LABORATORY creator Genndy Tartakovsky has joined the newly formed Orphanage Animation Studios. He will help the new studios develop a slate of five feature projects each in the $50 million-$75 million budget range. The company launches with a multi-million dollar development fund raised through private equity and is actively developing a slate of soon-to-be-announced CG feature projects. Orphanage, best known for its visual effects work, hopes to have its first animated feature ready by late 2007 or early 2008.
Other artists joining Orphanage include Craig Kellman, lead character designer on DreamWorks' MADAGASCAR; story artist Bryan Andrews; art director-background artist Justin Thompson; art director-character designer Paul Rudish; and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS storyboard artist-writer Aaron Springer.
"After 13 years of television animation I've had the good fortune to work with some of the finest talent in the industry, says Tartakovsky. Now my story team and I have an opportunity to take that experience into feature films. Bringing together The Orphanage's expertise in visual-effects and computer animation and our creative vision in storytelling and design will form a unique and fulfilling partnership."
Scott Stewart, Orphanage co-founder and the new studios chairman adds, Our friends across the Bay at Pixar have set the creative bar very high for CG features. We knew if we wanted to achieve that level of quality in our films, we needed a visionary storyteller. We found that storyteller in Genndy. Whether by stepping into George Lucas shoes to write and direct the acclaimed STAR WARS: CLONE WARS series or by establishing his trademark sense for cinematic action in SAMURAI JACK, Genndy has proven himself to be one of the most innovative and exciting voices in animation today.
Tartakovsky was a student with the Orphanage co-founder Stuart Maschwitz at CalArts.
The Orphanage ceo Carsten Sorensen will extend his role to OAS as will cfo Daniel Gloates. Stewart said OAS will be naming a cto shortly and that the new studio's pipeline will be PC-based.
Founded in 1999 by three ILM visual effects veterans, The Orphanage (www.theorphanage.com) is widely recognized as one of the leading creators of visual effects for Hollywood blockbusters (SIN CITY, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, HERO, HELLBOY) and award-winning commercials (PlayStation 2, Motorola, BMW/Sprint). The companys burgeoning Original Production Division began production on its first feature film this autumn with Ed Stones romantic-comedy GRIFFIN AND PHOENIX starring Amanda Peet and Dermot Mulroney. A pioneer in filmmaking technology development, The Orphanages award-winning Magic Bullet software is bundled with numerous popular filmmaking products from Adobe, Sony and Panasonic.