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Factory Fifteen Co-Founder Jonathan Gales Tragically Killed at 36

The BAFTA award-winning animation and visual effects director, who was expecting a second child with wife Claire Pepper, was struck by a drunk driver while visiting Los Angeles on business.

It was recently revealed that Johnathan Gales, the Animation / VFX Director and Co-founder of animation studio Factory Fifteen, has died tragically after being struck by a drunk driver on November 19, 2022.

Factory Fifteen announced the sad news in a heartfelt Instagram post. The company statement reads, “Jonathan (36) was tragically killed whilst using a pedestrian crossing in LA, by a drunk driver driving at speed in the wrong direction, leaving behind his wife Claire Pepper, who is expecting their second child, and his 23-month-old son Finley Pepper Gales.” He is described as approaching, “his job and his hobbies with unbounded curiosity, enjoying the research, the process and the mastery as much as the completed project. Working proactively and without ego, he provided a steadfast creative partner.”

Gales earned his BAFTA for his work on the BBC’s Tokyo Olympics 2020 mixed-media commercial, directed by Factory Fifteen and animated by Nexus Studios (with VFX provided by The Mill). The video took audiences on a whistle-stop tour through the idiosyncratic and exciting megacity by reimagining Tokyo with Olympic athletes and events embedded into its fabric and culture. He is also known for The Bug: Function/Void (2014), Diseñando para Guanabacoa (2010) and Gamma (2012).

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.