Melissa Taylor, Siobhan Bentley and Tamara Boutcher will oversee feature animation and VFX services in London and Montreal studios.
LONDON – Cinesite CEO Antony Hunt has announced three new hires at its Montreal facility and the studio's London headquarters: Melissa Taylor - general manager (London); Siobhan Bentley - head of production VFX (London); and Tamara Boutcher - global head of production for feature animation.
“Melissa, Siobhan and Tamara are proven talented executives with deep knowledge of the visual effects and feature animation industries,” commented Hunt. “In joining our global leadership team they’ll bring a broader range of ideas and approaches to further strengthen Cinesite’s position in the market.”
Cinesite has previously expressed its commitment to achieving diversity across all companies in the group.
“Working towards equal representation in an industry which is statistically male-dominated is very important to us all and we’re working hard to improve the balance,” added Hunt. “Cinesite is driven by talented people, whatever their gender, race or orientation. We have a collective philosophy on diversity and inclusion which is embodied in our wider approach of encouraging everyone on the team.”
Taylor will oversee Cinesite’s London visual effects studio while working closely with Montreal colleagues and group VFX brands, Image Engine and TRIXTER. She brings over 30 years’ industry knowledge and relationship-building experience coming from VFX studio, Framestore, where she served as global head of business development and was involved with projects including Spider-Man: Far From Home, Wonder Woman 1984, Lady & The Tramp, Tom and Jerry and Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw. Prior to Framestore, Taylor was EP at DNEG.
As head of production for VFX, Bentley will be based out of the London headquarters. There she will be tasked with leading, developing and motivating the production teams to drive efficiency and continuous improvement throughout a show’s lifecycle. Previously, Bentley worked at MPC overseeing production teams on multiple films including The Lion King, Roma, The Jungle Book, and The Martian & Guardians of the Galaxy. She will work closely with crewing and producers to ensure projects are progressing through departments effectively and deadlines are being met.
Based at Cinesite’s Montreal studio, Boutcher has been promoted to global head of production for feature animation. In this expanded position she will be responsible for the production and day to day operations of the studio’s growing feature animation service slates. With 20+ years of experience, Boutchers began her career in animation at The Walt Disney Company. As the studio transitioned from 2D features to 3D features, she worked as the director of production, guiding the teams, and developing the necessary practices and technologies for pioneering Disney's unique blend of traditional and CGI practices. Her work is featured in The Addams Family 1 & 2, The Star, Dinosaur, The Angry Birds Movie and We Are Not Princesses.
Cinesite’s London head office originally opened in 1994 as a service bureau for the Cineon digital film system. In recent years, the studio experienced steady growth, being placed in the annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks the UK’s highest performing private companies by international growth. Recently Cinesite delivered visual effects for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, the 25th Bond film No Time to Die for MGM, the fantasy series The Witcher for Netflix and its first theme park attraction, The Bourne Stuntacular for Universal Orlando. The London crew is currently working on Fate: The Winx Saga for Netflix and The Wheel of Time for Amazon.
Since 2014 Cinesite’s feature animation studios have grown with large established and experienced crews working in the Montreal and Vancouver facilities. There they offer in-house pre-production capabilities including editorial, story, and design allowing projects to be developed from concept to final rendered frames. Feature animation consolidates as one sector that may under exceptional circumstances meet some or all the sanitary challenges posed by coronavirus.
Both Canadian studios are currently hiring for several features including Respect and the untitled Addams Family sequel for MGM, Blazing Samurai for Aniventure & GFM Films, and an animated comedy based on Mel Brookes’ classic film Blazing Saddles. The crews are currently putting the finishing touches to Riverdance, an animated musical comedy inspired by the stage show featuring Bill Whelan’s award-winning music and MILA a female directed CG animated short about a little girl whose life takes an unexpected turn during WWII.