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Baobab Studios Expands its Creative Team

New hires at the multiple Emmy Award-winning studio include Oscar nominee Erick Oh and Jony Chandra as directors, Brian Tinsman and Michael McCormick as games creative directors, and Hayley Porter as director of marketing.

Nine-time Emmy Award winning Baobab Studios has named five key hires across both animation and gaming. Erick Oh and Jony Chandra have been added as directors, Brian Tinsman and Michael McCormick as games creative directors, and Hayley Porter as director of marketing.

The personnel moves signal new expansion for the studio behind the successful immersive/interactive projects Invasion!, Asteroids!, Crow: The Legend, and Baba Yaga.  The studio’s most recent release, Namoo, recently won the 2022 Annie Award for Best Special Production and 2022 Gold List Award for Best Animated Short. The film was also acquired by Warner earlier this year and is now streaming on HBO Max.

“Since our start, Baobab has been at the intersection of Silicon Valley and Hollywood with a founding team that comes from gaming, animation and film,” commented Baobab Studios CEO and co-founder Maureen Fan. “Our new talent will continue to build upon this position and accelerate us into new areas as we deliver on our mission of inspiring the world to dream.”

The new hires include:

Erick Oh - Director:

  • Oscar-nominated for Opera, Oh wrote and directed Namoo, and is currently in development on his next project. He was an animator at Pixar Animation Studios and directed the television production PIG: The Dam Keeper Poems, which won the Cristal Award at Annecy Animation Festival in 2018.

Jony Chandra - Director:

  • Chandra spent 15 years at Blue Sky Studios in creative leadership roles including head of story, director in development and story artist on films including Peanuts the Movie, the Oscar-nominated Ferdinand, and both the Ice Age and Rio film franchises.

Brian Tinsman and Michael McCormick - Games Creative Directors (The duo will accelerate game development)

  • Tinsman brings 18 years of experience as a lead game designer with credits on more than 50 shipped titles, including Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Dungeons & Dragons, as well as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Transformers, Major League Baseball, Marvel, FarmVille, and Zynga Poker. He has also spent the past five years working in the new fields of blockchain tokenomics and NFT gaming.
  • McCormick will focus on Baobab’s next multi-player game. His previous roles include creative director of Maxis, working on games including The Sims franchise and Sim City. He also led design on games such as Telltale’s Walking Dead, Minecraft, and Zynga’s Cityville.

Hayley Porter - Director of Marketing

  • With over 15 years of experience, Porter has spent most of her career running marketing and PR campaigns for animation studios, including Aardman Animations. She has international experience with teams in London, South Africa, and Los Angeles and currently serves on the PR committee for Women in Animation.

Source: Baobab Studios

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.