Vinton Studios Commercial Division will be known as LAIKA/house, effective immediately, a change to complete the transition started in July of this year after LAIKA absorbing Vinton Studios, a leading producer of character animation in all formats for over 30 years in Portland, Oregon.
Lourri Hammack is now president of LAIKA/house, replacing Paul Golden, who left the studio recently to pursue other interests. A veteran animation production exec and award-winning animation producer, Hammack had been head of production at Vinton Studios since 2002, supervising all artists and creative operations for the commercial division.
LAIKA/house is one of the top animation companies creating computer animation, cel animation, stop-motion animation, and mixed media for its advertising client roster, which includes M&Ms, Samsung Korea, Coca-Cola, Honda, Esure UK, Trident, Arby's, Starbucks, and Wrigleys.
"LAIKA/house has an unparalleled lineup of animated commercial production talent and a proven record of innovative, award-winning campaigns," said Philip H. Knight, owner/chairman of the board of LAIKA. "Lourri Hammack is the kind of leader who, through her impeccable artistic instincts and taste, will inspire her colleagues to build upon that history of excellence to achieve even greater success."
Hammack joined Vinton Studios in 1999 to work on the stop-motion television series GARY & MIKE and then moved into the commercial division as a senior producer. Personally experienced with a broad range of animation techniques, Hammack spearheaded the creation of numerous national and international television commercials that drew worldwide praise and numerous awards.
She also shepherded production of studio short films, most notably the acclaimed ANANDA, directed by Mike Smith, and JOE BLOW, directed by Mark Gustafson.
Hammack honed her production skills with Michael Curry Design Inc., creators of live-performance characters for Cirque du Soleil, Disney Theatrical Productions, the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway's THE LION KING.
She earned her animation stripes as a producer for innovator Jim Blashfield, whose experimental music videos for Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Michael Jackson won international acclaim in the 1980s and 1990s.
LAIKA/house is a creative village of dedicated filmmakers, said Hammack. "As we embark on our new journey, we're enriched by 30 years of unparalleled experience, excited by the heightened desire for animation in the marketplace, and proud of our roster of directors, producers, animators, and designers, who distinguish themselves with each project."
Formerly as Vinton Studios and now as LAIKA, the brand new, 30-year-old company has become synonymous with innovation, achieving many industry firsts, from the groundbreaking and award-winning Claymation(tm) (a technique the studio created) television specials starring the enormously popular California Raisins, to the multiple Emmy Award-winning series THE PJS, co-produced with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Ent. and Eddie Murphy Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television, the first ever stop-motion animation series on primetime television, to its current award-winning commercial campaigns.
Throughout its history, the company has won 11 Clio Awards, three London International Advertising & Design Awards, five Mobius Advertising Awards, two Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival awards, two Academy Awards out of five nominations, 11 Prime time Emmy Awards, and honors from the New York International Film & TV Festival, Annecy Awards, Annie Awards, and the World Animation Celebration Festival.
LAIKA/house joins LAIKA Ent. (www.laika.com), the recently announced entertainment division of the company, which has a full slate of animated feature films in various stages of development and production.