Visual effects boutique Artjail has tapped VFX veteran Elizabeth Thuvanuti Keating to serve as head of production, based in its New York City office.
Keating was most recently at the New York office of Alkemy X, where she held the title of sr. VFX producer. Prior to that, she was with the New York office of the global effects house MPC. A graduate of Boston College, she began her career at Spontaneous, part of the LVLY group.
“With the growth of Artjail over the past few years, we wanted someone who had experience in the larger, fast-paced studios where you’d typically find multiple departments, big pipelines and big expectations,” said Artjail founder and creative director Steve Mottershead. “Elizabeth’s track record for success speaks for itself, and having an extra voice on how to grow and continue to improve Artjail is exciting for all of us at the studio.”
Keating said, “There’s something special about Artjail. It’s smaller, and there’s a real family feel to the place. And we’re able to collaborate very closely with directors and clients.” Her goal is to bring a level of organizational structure to the studio, she added, “so that we all have a roadmap to working efficiently and smoothly. That impacts everything from the budget to the creative.”
Among the brands and agencies Keating has collaborated with recently are IHOP and Droga5 (for “IHOb,” produced by PRETTYBIRD and directed by Eric Wareheim); Sprint, again with Droga5 (for “Evelyn,” a Super Bowl spot produced by MJZ and directed by Nick Ball); and with State Farm and DDB (for “Don’t You,” produced by Somesuch and directed by Aoife McArdle).
Keating was brought to Artjail’s attention a few years ago, when John Skeffington, now executive producer and managing director, held the head of production post. “Finding the right talent can be one of the most challenging parts of growing a company,” he said. “Each studio has a different approach to producing, how it responds to clients, how it meets expectations and how it works with its artists. Elizabeth was always in the back of my mind as someone I’d like to discuss a future position with. When we were ready to interview for the HOP role, she was the first person I called.”
Skeffington said of Keating, “She’s got a relaxed, approachable attitude, which is what we want at Artjail. Elizabeth has worked with great studios and top-tier talent, and has all the qualities you’d want in a department head, and then some.
“She’s also a strong leader and teacher, and is already taking the junior staff under her wings,” he continued. “As a boutique studio, we still prioritize having our heads on jobs, so she will line produce the occasional project while also ensuring that the production team is supported, and all jobs are on track for success.”
With recent work for such brands as Doritos (directed by Henry Scholfield of Reset Content), IBM (directed by Terri Timely of Park Pictures), and the Illinois Lottery (directed by Matt Smukler of Rakish), Artjail has been handling a wide range of projects for agencies in both the US and Canada. It’s particularly known for its automotive work, having created VFX shots for Lexus, Volvo, Honda, Ford, Toyota and Lincoln spots.