Focusing on production, resource management, training, and operations, she will share leadership responsibilities and title with president Tom Jacomb; she will also join the animation team on June 16 at Annecy 2022 as it presents ‘Pathways to DNEG’ and ‘DNEG Animation: A Proper Hello.’
Leading VFX and animation studio DNEG has announced that Erika Burton will join its animation arm as president. Burton, who will share both the president title and leadership responsibilities with DNEG Animation president Tom Jacomb, joins the division to support its rapid growth and development.
Most recently, Burton served as president of VFX Production at DNEG. Her animation industry experience stems from stints at Disney Animation and DreamWorks, which she brings to her new role, that will focus on production, resource management, training, and operations. In addition, Burton will work closely with Jacomb, whose focus is on creative, client management and outreach, and IP development and original content.
“I am delighted to welcome Erika to the team as we continue to establish DNEG Animation as the best place in the industry to build your career,” said Jacomb. “We have more exciting projects, more growth and expansion, and more original content and co-productions on the horizon, and Erika will be absolutely instrumental in helping to ensure that we have a rock-solid foundation upon which to continue building. I’m also delighted that she will be contributing her compassion, warmth, and experience to the amazing work that our teams are already doing in putting equality, diversity, and inclusivity at the heart of everything that we do here at DNEG Animation.”
In recent years, DNEG Animation has grown from a small team in London to a global team of approximately 850 employees working across studios in London, Montreal, Mumbai, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Toronto. The company’s first full-length animated feature, Locksmith Animation’s Ron’s Gone Wrong, received a theatrical release in October 2021, subsequently garnering multiple Annie Award nominations and winning “Best Feature” at the 2022 British Animation Awards.
“I feel excited and honored to be joining Tom and the DNEG Animation team,” noted Burton. “I have been fortunate enough to work with some immensely talented VFX and animation teams during the course of my career, and I love both disciplines equally. There is something really compelling and challenging about animated filmmaking that keeps drawing me back and this is just a tremendous new opportunity.”
“Working with DNEG’s VFX teams over the last year has been a career highlight for me, but when the invitation came to join Tom, David [Prescott, SVP Creative], Crosby [Clyse, Head of Production] and all of the other talented folks on the animation side of our business, it was one that I could not turn down,” Burton continued. “We have some truly amazing projects in the pipeline at DNEG Animation, as well as some exciting opportunities to push the creative and technical boundaries of animated content production to their limits.”
DNEG Animation is currently in production on Nimona (Annapurna Pictures/Netflix), Garfield (Alcon Entertainment/Sony), That Christmas (Locksmith Animation), and an unannounced episodic animated series for a major streamer.
Burton and the DNEG Animation team have two presentation sessions scheduled on Thursday, June 16 at the Annecy Animation Festival:
Pathways to DNEG: A tour of the roles, locations, and projects at DNEG Animation and the available paths to becoming part of the team.
DNEG Animation: A Proper Hello: The leadership team will share how they built a startup animation studio within an established, award-winning visual effects company and how it stays true to the history, art, and craft of animation while leveraging technology for the future.
On January 25, 2022, DNEG announced its entry into a definitive business combination agreement with Sports Ventures Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: AKIC). Upon the closing of the business combination, which is expected in the first half of 2022, the combined public company will be named DNEG. For more information about the transaction, please visit https://investors.dneg.com/.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.