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Skydance Adds More DreamWorks Execs to Its Ranks

Ian Sheppard will oversee creative development of movies and series, while Lawrence Jonas will oversee production of the company’s TV slate. 

Skydance Media has hired Ian Sheppard as senior VP of development for animation and Lawrence Jonas as executive in charge of animated television.

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. -- Skydance Media has named Ian Sheppard as senior VP development for animation and Lawrence Jonas as executive in charge of animated television, effective immediately.

Sheppard will be responsible for overseeing the creative development of feature films and television series for Skydance’s rapidly expanding animation division and Jonas will oversee all aspects of production for its upcoming slate of high-end television series. Both will report to Bill Damaschke, president of animation and family entertainment.

Prior to joining Skydance, Sheppard was VP of development at DreamWorks Animation Television. In 2013, he was one of the founding members of the DreamWorks Animation Television development team, tasked with producing more than 300 hours of original content as part of the company’s groundbreaking deal with Netflix. While at DreamWorks Animation, Sheppard developed a number of key franchises into television series, including Voltron: Legendary Defender, Trolls: The Beat Goes On, Dawn of the Croods, The Boss Baby: Back in Business and The Adventures of Puss in Boots. Before DreamWorks Animation, he spent nine years at Nickelodeon where he served as executive director of development for Nickelodeon Original Movies. Sheppard holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University.

Before joining Skydance, Jonas spent six years at DreamWorks Animation Television, becoming a four-time Emmy nominated line producer on the Guillermo del Toro series Trollhunters, 3 Below and Dragons: Race to the Edge. Jonas is a 19-year veteran of the animation industry and has worked on feature films at Sony Pictures Animation, Universal Pictures and the Walt Disney Company. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami.

Launched in 2017, Skydance Media’s animation and family entertainment division is an artist-friendly studio dedicated to producing a bold and original slate of animated programming. Skydance formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios and over the past year has announced the animated feature films Luck, directed by Alessandro Carloni and written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger; Split (working title), directed by Vicky Jenson and written by Linda Woolverton; and Powerless (working title), directed by Nathan Greno.

Source: Skydance Media

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Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.