Erika Burton Joins Method Studios as Global Head of Features

Erika Burton
Erika Burton

As Method Studios continues to build its visual effects slate, the Deluxe company announces Erika Burton has been hired to lead the films division across Method and its sister company Iloura, as Executive Vice President, Global Features VFX. Further bolstering the team is newcomer Heather Jennings, VP & EP, Features VFX Business Development; longtime studio production exec Gabby Gourrier is now steering brand-direct and special projects; and Deb Giarratana has been upped to SVP, Global Features VFX, Business Development.

Burton said, “This is a very exciting time to join Method and the incredibly talented group of people there. I really look forward to working with the teams as they continue to expand globally and achieve new creative heights.”

EVP Erika Burton will drive all aspects of global features VFX production, client relations and business development for Method and Iloura from Los Angeles, where she will work with heads of studio in Vancouver, Melbourne, Sydney and Pune. She has led VFX and animation production at world-class companies for 25 years, most recently as EVP and GM of Digital Domain. Prior to that she was a studio exec at PDI/DreamWorks Animation, and previously, Co-President of the Rhythm & Hues Film Division and an EP for the company. Burton held leadership production roles at Walt Disney Studios and ILM. At R&H, she oversaw the teams behind VFX Oscar-winning Life of Pi and VFX Oscar-nominated Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Burton was also VFX producer at The Secret Lab/DreamQuest Images and worked at Jim Henson Production and Showtime Networks. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Visual Effects Society.

As VP & EP, Heather Jennings will work with Burton and newly-promoted SVP Giarratana to bring filmmakers together with Method’s award-winning talent, where she will drive all features bidding. She comes to Method most recently from Digital Domain, where she was EP, Business Development. She spent the majority of her career at Rhythm & Hues, starting as a bidding producer and rising eventually to VP of the Film division, along the way building expertise in competitive bids and building relationships with studios and VFX talent. Jennings also has a deep understanding of film production gained in roles at The Koch Company and Gersh Agency.

Gabby Gourrier moves into a new role as EVP Brand Direct and Special Projects to drive all aspects of production, client relations and business development for brand-direct and special projects. Half of her 20+ year VFX career has been with Method, where she has been instrumental in building one of the most creative and technically advanced VFX studios, working across features and advertising, and an ongoing direct engagement with one of the world’s foremost and creatively discerning brands.

“We’ve been building to deliver the best work at global scale by integrating our worldwide production operations across Method and Iloura,” said President & GM Ed Ulbrich. “We’re excited to have Erika’s experience bringing that unified force to studios as our features slate continues to grow. At the same time, largely because of Gabby’s work, our brand direct business has taken off and we’re engaged in some exciting special projects. With her ability to scale businesses while keeping creative quality at the highest level there’s no one better to lead those efforts.”

Method Studios

Method Studios

  • Candace Jones

    Congratulations to Erika! I got to work with her at Rhythm & Hues and in my own experience found her to be an amazing manager who always supported the artists and her team. Having worked for some truly terrible executives and creative producers with huge egos in this business, I found her professionalism and attitude to be refreshing. Kudos to Method for a great hire!