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Mindshow Raises $10 Million, Names Sharon Bordas President

CG animation production company announces new round of funding, new executive hires as it expands its development in proprietary animation technology and production.

CG animation production company Mindshow has announced they’ve raised $10 million in funding, as well as named Sharon Bordas their president. Led by SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, the financing round will be used to further invest in the company’s CG animation technology, expand its content pipeline, and bring animation projects to market much more quickly.  Sugar23, the emerging management production and creative platform founded in 2017 by Academy Award-winning manager-producer Michael Sugar, also participated in the funding round.  Mindshow has now raised over $25M in funding for development of the company’s proprietary animation technology that merges cutting edge video game technology, visual effects, and machine learning. 

The company’s most recent project was a 30-episode season for Mattel’s Enchantimals toy line, available on YouTube; they delivered final content in just four months, all while working remotely during the pandemic. 

“We are thrilled at what the team at Mindshow has accomplished over the past year, even more so in light of the challenges 2020 brought to all of us,” said Fred Schaufeld, the SWaN & Legend co-founder who is also an owner of the Washington Capitals, Washington Nationals, and Washington Wizards. “We couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come in this next chapter of the company’s growth.”

Mindshow CEO Gil Baron said, "Over the last year with Sharon at the helm we've been building a world class content team and using our tech to bring more fun, creativity and mind-melting amazingness to the 3D animation space. Working with world class partners to help define the future and shape what content gets made is a dream come true."

Baron also announced the promotion of Bordas from Mindshow’s head of studio to president, as well as several key hires, including Jason Reisig as global director of animation, Michael McGahey as head of creative development, and Grace Buehler as chief of staff.

Bordas brings more than 20 years of experience working in the entertainment industry as a writer, producer, executive, and entrepreneur.  She is a long-time champion of female directors and diversity in content and was most recently VP of programming for scripted series at Lifetime Television, and before that, a founder/EVP at VC-backed film and TV studio Mar Vista Entertainment.

Reisig brings over 25 years of animation experience to Mindshow. He was formerly co-director at Warner Bros Animation, as well as a head of character animation and department chair at DreamWorks Animation where he headed animation productions for Shrek Forever After and Home, and supervised for Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls among others. He received a SciTech Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences as he led the interaction design of Premo, DreamWork’s proprietary animation software. He's animated on Academy Award winning features Shrek and Spider-Man 2; on the former, he was nominated for an individual Annie Award. Reisig is also a tenured professor of Animation at USC.

McGahey’s expertise comprises series, TV movies, feature film, and animation. As an executive at Deep River Productions, he began the campaign to get Little Miss Sunshine into production, and helped develop the Big Momma’s House franchise. At Disney, he developed Lab Rats, Kickin’ It, Wander Over Yonder, the Emmy Award winning Mickey Mouse shorts, and Star vs. the Forces of Evil among other series and movies. He was EP on Rebel for BET with legendary director, John Singleton, and was an EP on movies and series for Nickelodeon and Netflix respectively.

Buehler spent six and a half years working in stage and backlot operations at NBCUniversal as the operations representative on NBC productions including Champions, Law & Order: True Crime and The Good Place. Buehler moved to Magnopus and then Netflix, where she managed operations for Netflix productions at three of the streamer’s Los Angeles studios, serving on productions including Ryan Murphy's Hollywood, Boys in the Band and numerous Netflix Kids and Family productions. 

Source: Mindshow