Independent visual effects and animation studio Cinesite has made three key hires spanning its London headquarters as well as its Montreal facility: Melissa Taylor, general manager (London), Siobhan Bentley, head of production VFX (London) and Tamara Boutcher, global head of production for feature animation (Montreal).
Taylor will oversee Cinesite London’s visual effects studio while working closely with Montreal colleagues and group VFX brands Image Engine and TRIXTER. Taylor brings over 30 years’ industry knowledge and relationship-building experience. She joins Cinesite from visual effects studio Framestore, where she served as global head of business development, where she was involved with projects such as Spider-Man: Far From Home, Wonder Woman 1984, Lady & The Tramp, Tom and Jerry and Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw. Prior to Framestore, Taylor was EP at DNEG.
Bentley is tasked with leading, developing and motivating the production teams to drive efficiency and continuous improvement throughout a show’s lifecycle. Bentley joins Cinesite from MPC where she oversaw the production teams on many acclaimed films such as The Lion King, Roma, The Jungle Book, The Martian and Guardians of the Galaxy. Bentley will work closely with crewing and producers to ensure projects are progressing through departments effectively and deadlines are being met.
Boutcher will be responsible for the production and day to day operations of Cinesite’s growing feature animation service slate, developed and produced out of the Montreal and Vancouver studios. With 20+ years of experience Boutcher made her first dive into animation at The Walt Disney Company. As the studio transitioned from 2D features to 3D features, Boutcher worked as the director of production, helping to guide the teams and develop the necessary practices and technologies for pioneering Disney’s unique blend of traditional and CGI practices. Boutcher’s work is featured in The Addams Family 1 & 2, The Star, Dinosaur, The Angry Birds Movie and We Are Not Princesses.
Cinesite CEO Antony Hunt said, “Melissa, Siobhan and Tamara are proven talented executives with deep knowledge of the visual effects and feature animation industries. In joining our global leadership team they’ll bring a broader range of ideas and approaches to further strengthen Cinesite’s position in the market.”
Cinesite has previously expressed its commitment to achieving diversity across all companies in the group. Hunt asserted, “Working towards equal representation in an industry which is statistically male-dominated is very important to us all and we’re working hard to improve the balance. Cinesite is driven by talented people, whatever their gender, race or orientation. We have a collective philosophy on diversity and inclusion which is embodied in our wider approach of encouraging everyone on the team.”
Dedicated to creating the highest quality visual effects, Cinesite’s London head office opened for business in 1994 originally as a service bureau for the Cineon digital film system. In recent years Cinesite has sustained a period of steady growth, being placed in the annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks the UK’s highest performing private companies by international growth. The studio has recently delivered high-end visual effects for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, the 25th Bond film No Time To Die for MGM, the fantasy series The Witcher for Netflix and its first theme park attraction, The Bourne Stuntacular for Universal Orlando. The London crew is currently working hard on Fate: The Winx Saga for Netflix and The Wheel of Time for Amazon.
Cinesite’s feature animation studios have rapidly grown since 2014, with large established and experienced crews working in the Montreal and Vancouver facilities offering in-house pre-production capabilities including editorial, story, and design allowing projects to be developed from concept all the way to final rendered frames.
Both Canadian studios are currently hiring for a number of high-quality features including the untitled Addams Family Sequel for MGM, Blazing Samurai for Aniventure and GFM Films, an animated comedy based on Mel Brooks’ classic film Blazing Saddles. The crews are currently putting the finishing touches to Riverdance, an animated musical comedy inspired by the stage show featuring Bill Whelan’s multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning music, and MILA a female directed CG animated short about a little girl whose life takes an unexpected turn during WWII.