While Vinton Studios is making the leap to features with Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (Halloween 2005) and Henry Selick’s adaptation of the Neil Gaiman book Coraline, the studio is best known for animated commercials such as the California Raisin spots. The stop-motion, CG and cel animation house is showing its dedication to the ad biz with three big new hires. Joining the payroll are award-winning directors Courtney Booker, Jeff Drew and Aaron Sorenson.
Courtney Booker, an animator, video director, painter and multi-media visual artist, is currently putting the final touches on the new animated music video for the group They Might Be Giants. A Carnegie-Mellon graduate, her paintings have been exhibited at many of the country’s top galleries. Her short film, Lesson One, won the Audience Award at the New York Int’l Film & TV Festival and her feature credits include story animation and effects on Pixar’s Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
Jeff Drew is a 1996 graduate of John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. His animated short film, Walk, has been shown at numerous festivals around the world, including Sundance and the IFP West Los Angeles Film Festival, and recently won the Audience Choice Award for Best Animation at the New York Int’l Independent Film & Video Festival. Drew has completed numerous animated television spots and his illustrations have appeared in numerous magazines.
Aaron Sorenson studied character animation at San Francisco State University and was hired by Wild Brain soon after graduating in 1996. He worked as a layout artist and eventually as an animator on various television productions, as well as the direct-to-video feature Ferngully 2. Sorenson worked as an animator on Nike, Coca Cola, and KFC campaigns before becoming an animation director working with such iconic figures as the Jolly Green Giant, Bugs Bunny and Cap’n Crunch.
Vinton Studios has garnered an Oscar, four Academy Award nominations, 11 Emmys and 10 Clios. The company’s latest commercial successes include campaigns for M&Ms, the NFL on FOX and Arby’s.