Cyber Group Studios, now maintaining offices in France, the United States, Italy, Singapore and England, is expanding its leadership team and strategically positioning the company for further growth in 2023 and beyond with two new appointments. and Ben ABRASS has been appointed as Head of Digital.
Michèle Massonnat has been promoted to the position of Vice-President, Sales and Acquisition. Formerly Senior Sales Manager at Cyber Group Studios, Massonnat is now managing the company’s sales in French-, German-, Spanish-, and Dutch-speaking European countries in addition to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Middle East, Africa and Canada.
Massonnat is an accomplished senior distribution professional with over 20 years of international experience in television, home entertainment sales, marketing and media rights distribution. She reports directly to EVP Raphaelle Mathieu, and together they will establish the company’s global sales strategy.
Ben Abrass brings a wealth of experience in the digital field to his new post as Head of Digital for Michèle MASSONNAT has been promoted to the position of Vice-President, Sales and Acquisition. He is overseeing Cyber Group Studios’ digital strategy, developing native content, creating new revenue streams with a focus on D2C and Web3 and finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire viewers. He reports directly to Mathieu.
Prior to joining Cyber Group Studios, Abrass was a creative strategist at Warner Bros, where he worked on innovative digital-first projects. While there, he was selected to be part of HATCH, WarnerMedia’s talent program for the launch of HBO Max.
In support of the French studio’s continued growth, MIAM! animation announces key additions to its team. The company last year released Edmond and Lucy, commissioned by France TV and KiKA (Germany), which ranked as the second-best launch of 2022 on France 5 and Okoo and has sold to an additional 28 international broadcasters from Spain to China. The studio is currently co-production Goat Girl with Daily Madness (Ireland) and Thuristar (Belgium) for Warner Bros. Discovery EMEA and KiKA.
With nearly 15 years of experience in production management, including roles at Duran Duboi, Mac Guff Ligne and as Head of Studio at Cube Creative (Xilam Animation group), Sarah
Teyssier-Miko will be leading MIAM! studio as Head of Studio. She will be in charge of consolidating the production pipeline, overseeing production management and contributing to the studio’s development and financing strategy.
Teyssier-Miko will team up with Anne Besnier, Head of Productions, who brings nearly five years of expertise honed at Blue Spirit Studio then at Shards. Besnier will be focusing on the upper preschool series The Tinies (52 x 11’ + 52 x 3’), for Canal+. The production will be starting in the spring of 2023 for a delivery early 2025.
MIAM! animation is also welcoming Amélie Mermoud as Head of Brands and Communication. Thanks to almost 10 years of experience in communication agencies, she’ll be using her digital and global strategies skills to promote the company and its productions.
Mermoud will also be in charge of managing the licensing and merchandising exploitation of studio brands such as Edmond and Lucy, Goat Girl and The Tinies as well as MIAM! distribution’s 20-plus titles, including Yeti Tales (Darjeeling & Moving Puppet) and Little Malabar (Tchack).
Creative and technology studio Preymaker — the company behind award-winning original short film BLUE, created in the cloud using Unreal Engine, and the “Liquidity Maze” VR Experience for State Street Global Advisors and McCann New York — has brought on two talented producers to its team of makers.
With over 15 years of experience, Clairellen Wallin has a vast understanding of VFX and production pipelines, having spent her career working closely with award-winning agencies and directors. Originally from London, Wallin rose up the VFX ranks at The Mill and MPC. She’s led teams on award-winning work with many top directors including MJZ’s Matthijs van Heijningen on Monster.com “Opportunity Roars,” and O Positive’s David Shane on The Atlantic x HBO “Typecast” and Jim Jenkins on Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” campaign. She worked closely with Droga5 and Wieden+Kennedy New York on the 2019 Super CLIO winner “Joust,” for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Bud Light. In 2021, Wallin led VFX teams on seven Super Bowl spots.
“I joined Preymaker because it’s important to me that I’m working on top-tier VFX work, at a company that puts creative and high standards first,” Wallin said. “I also respect that Preymaker is tech forward. With Angus [Kneale] as the creative leader, I wouldn’t expect anything less. [Co-founders Melanie Wickham and Verity Graham] are the OGs, my mentors. I learned so much from them over the years and it’s a breath of fresh air to be back by their sides.”
Also joining the crew is Mike Pullan, who has previously held senior producer and senior VFX producer roles in Chicago and New York, most recently at LVLY Studios and Leviathan, along with The Mill Chicago. He’s delivered campaigns for Samsung, T-Mobile, Maybelline, Xfinity, Mike’s Hard, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many other brands. Over the last decade, he’s become versatile producing commercials, experientials and short films, working in AR, VR, Unreal Engine and TouchDesigner, and with teams using Flame and Houdini.
On the production team at Preymaker, Pullan describes his role as “managing the day-to-day on current projects, planning for the next one and making sure the last one is in a good place so we can do it all again!” He added, “I’ve worked with quite a few members of the team at Preymaker previously, so when this opportunity came up, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough!”
Ingenuity Studios, one of Streamland Media’s visual effects divisions, announced the appointment of Juliet Tierney as Executive Producer in the Los Angeles office, with responsibility for business development nationwide.
An expert in animation, visual effects and large-budget live-action productions, Tierney has worked with world-renowned directors, artists and executives, as well as the Royal Family. Most recently, she was a producer for Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles starring Billie Eilish for Disney+ and a visual effects producer on the films Mother and I, Tonya, as well as for the series The Orville.
Originally from the U.K., Tierney lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), the Visual Effects Society (VES) and The Recording Academy. She was nominated for a Grammy for Happier Than Ever. Over the years, she has won every major advertising industry award including Cannes Lions, D&AD, AICP and more. A recognized authority in the industry, she has spoken at a variety of events, and has judged awards competitions including the Shiny Awards, and the AICP Awards.