Mark Berkowitz to head-up company’s kids and family division expansion from new L.A. location.
VANCOUVER -- Thunderbird Entertainment Group is expanding its kids and family division, Atomic Cartoons, with the opening of a new Los Angeles animation studio. The studio’s first project is already in production. The L.A. studio will be led by Matthew Berkowitz, chief creative officer of Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons. Aaron Behl and Kristin Cummings, co-vice presidents, Atomic Originals, will also hold senior leadership roles.
“We are thrilled to expand our L.A. footprint with the opening of an animation studio to house our local showrunners, directors, writers, designers, storyboard artists and editorial teams,” commented Berkowitz. “Similar to our studios in Vancouver and Ottawa, we plan to provide a supportive and creative environment for these tremendously talented individuals to achieve the best work of their careers. With the ever-increasing industry demand for premium original content, the new studio is a stellar opportunity to work with the amazing animation talent base in L.A. and partner up with our award-winning creative teams in Canada.”
With established partnerships including key players like Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal, PBS, Lego and Spin Master, Atomic Cartoons is well-positioned to continue growing to meet the demand for high-quality animated content. The L.A. animation studio will house the Atomic Originals team and focus on pre-and-postproduction, including writing, directing, storyboarding, design, casting and recording, and editorial.
The L.A. Atomic Originals team has developed and produced recent high-profile projects in collaboration with the Vancouver studio, including The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier and Hello Ninja by N.D. Wilson, both now streaming on Netflix. Its upcoming slate includes an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling “Princesses Wear Pants” by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim, Eerie Elementary by Max Brallier, and a series in collaboration with tokidoki.
With three studios across North America, Thunderbird is expanding both its own IP as well as its capacity to provide service to global media partners. Their second animation studio, Atomic Ottawa, opened its doors 15 months ago with 14 animators, today it houses 90. Atomic’s roots began in 1999 with a small group of talented artists at the Vancouver studio, including Trevor Bentley, who now serves as the company’s executive vice president.
“The opening of our third animation studio is another major milestone for Thunderbird and Atomic, allowing greater access to incredible talent and the ability to continue to create premium content across the industry,” remarked Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons CEO, Jennifer Twiner McCarron. “I am so proud of Matt Berkowitz and the entire L.A. Atomic team! Our new L.A. studio will continue to build on the success of our last three years in L.A. and I am beyond thrilled about what is ahead for Thunderbird, not only at our new L.A. hub, but across the entire Company.”
With the new studio now open, Atomic has capacity for 880 crew members across its three facilities. The existing offices for Atomic Cartoons in L.A. will also be integrated into the new facility to create a full-fledged production hub.
Source: Thunderbird Entertainment Group