Sarah Finn has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Production, Disney Television Animation, a flourishing creative environment of award-winning animation experts and emerging talent. In her new role, Finn is responsible for leading all of the physical production for the Disney Television Animation studio’s content presented on Disney+, Disney Junior and Disney Channel. She works closely with creative teams around the world. She reports to Meredith Roberts,SVP/General Manager, Television Animation, Disney Branded Television.
Ayo Davis, President of DBT, said, “Sarah has a comprehensive knowledge of animation production, keen attention to artistic and practical details and strong people management skills. Now, as Meredith’s second-in-command, our entire team gets the benefit of their talent and dedication to upholding the most revered animation legacy in the world.”
Disney series under Finn’s new remit include the upcoming Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Alice’s Wonderland Bakery, Pupstruction and Firebuds; as well as current titles Spidey and His Amazing Friends, Puppy Dog Pals, Minnie’s Bow-Toons, the critically acclaimed Mira, Royal Detective, the Daytime Emmy-winning / Annie-nominated comedy Big City Greens, Annie-nominated The Ghost and Molly McGee and Peabody Award-winning The Owl House.
Finn joined Disney in 2013. She was most recently VP Production (2020- 22), previously Executive Director, Disney Television Animation (2018-19). She was responsible for overseeing production across all Disney Junior original animated series including Fancy Nancy and Elena of Avalor and Mickey Mouse Funhouse. Prior to joining DTA, Finn worked in Disney’s Interactive division developing and producing entertainment to support the online game Club Penguin, Disney Junior’s Muppet Babies and The Legend of the Three Caballeros, as well as AR/VR short-form projects.
Finin was previously VP, Development & Production, American Greetings, and VP, Animation Production, Sony Pictures Television. Finn is the creator of PBS Sprout’s Chloe’s Closet, inspired by the birth of her first daughter. The series (2010-17 in the U.S. and in major territories around the world) is available on several streaming platforms. She is a graduate of University of Exeter with a B.A. Honors in American and Commonwealth Arts.
Since the start of the pandemic, the VFX and animation industries have seen major operational shifts with most studios offering hybrid work-from-home models. In a game-changing decision, Cinesite (cinesite.com) has decided to embrace and facilitate remote working permanently. It’s London, Montreal & Vancouver studios will provide an optimal remote work set up while making the office easily accessible to employees wishing to make use of it. The decision was based on employee feedback and the studio’s ability to set up secure remote and cloud-based technologies.
“Recent experience has shown that our artists and staff can thrive in a remote work environment. Offering our teams the choice to work in the studio, at home or a mix of both is a reflection of the trust we place in our staff, and an example of Cinesite’s commitment to work-life balance,” said Cinesite Montreal COO, Graham Peddie. “We’re building something very special, and I encourage everyone to check us out!”
As the company transitions to a new age of working, Cinesite Montreal has also welcomed six senior hires with a combined 80+ years of experience and past credits such as Tarzan, Monster Hunter, 1917, Godzilla vs. Kong, Adaptation, Seabiscuit, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Tangled, The Midnight Sky, Zootopia and Moana:
- Shaun Brown as Producer- VFX
- David Crawford as Supervisor- VFX
- Tom Clary as Executive Producer- VFX
- Sherwin Shahidi as Head of Production Technology- VFX & Animation
- Jason Edwardh as Head of Performance- VFX
- Chris Springfield as Head of Lighting- Animation
ACM SIGGRAPH (s2022.siggraph.org) has named Andres Burbano as the Chair of its 51st Conference (2024). Burbano is a native of Pasto, Colombia and an associate professor in Universidad de los Andes’s School of Architecture and Design, where he has been on faculty since 2013. As a contributor to the conference, Burbano has presented research within the Art Papers program (in 2017), and as a volunteer, has served on the SIGGRAPH 2018, 2020 and 2021 conference committees. Most recently, he served as the first-ever chair of the Retrospective Program in 2021, which honored the history of computer graphics and interactive techniques.
“Designing a first-of-its-kind program for the conference in 2021 was thrilling and I cannot wait to take that energy into building the 51st SIGGRAPH,” shared Burbano. “I look forward to discovering new ways to celebrate the richness and complexity of our community as we shape the technological future worldwide.” The Montreal studio opened in Montreal and now boasts the capacity for 700+ employees; current productions include Matilda (Netflix), Peter Pan and Wendy (Disney+), Berkeley Breathed’s HitPig (Aniventure) and Iwájú (Disney+).
Alpha Group (alphagroupanimation.com) announced two key appointment to its media and licensing teams:
Alice Beylot is named International Marketing Manager, responsible for developing the marketing strategies for Alpha brands. Bringing a skillset in communication and prospection to the Media & Licensing team and Alpha’s partners, she will handle the production and optimization of strategic plans for properties such as Super Wings, Legends of Spark, Petronix, Infinity Nado and Katuri.
Minh-Vi Phan has been appointed International Senior Licensing Manager, charged with developing and implementing licensing strategy for Alpha brands across Europe and internationally. Joining Alpha after five years at Crunchyroll in its licensing department, Phan brings strong credentials to her new roles, where she will oversee all licensing categories worldwide for Super Wings, Legends of Sparks, Petronix and more.
More exec and talent moves:
- Conductor Technologies tapped VFX/animation industry veteran Julie McDonald (formerly VFX Executive at Netflix, biz dev for Nimble Collective) as Head of Business Development to help studios and artists gain cloud-based pop-up render capacity quickly and easily.
- Cutters Studios’ Flavor welcomes seasons VFX artist and 2D/3D animator Matt Trudell to its global staff ranks as a Motion Designer. The New Jersey native joins Flavor after two successful freelance years, contributing to commercials, TV and museum installations.
- Fred Rogers Productions (Alma’s Way, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) has named Aleya Crable Jennings its new Director of Corporate Sponsorships and Individual Giving, reporting to President & CEO Paul Siefken.
- Creative editorial company Nomad continues to grow with the promotion of asst. editor Kallie Billadeau (RESIST, Under Armour’s ’21 Pride Collection) to Editor.