Visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company DNEG has appointed industry Andrew Gordon as head of character animation for its feature animation team, at the shop’s headquarters in London.
Gordon joins managing director of feature animation Tom Jacomb, animation director Troy Saliba and VFX supervisor Philippe Denis in leading DNEG’s rapidly growing feature animation team.
With more than 20 years’ experience in feature animation at Pixar and Warner Bros., Gordon has an impressive credit list that includes many blockbuster animated franchises such as Ratatouille, Monsters University, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars and The Incredibles 1 & 2.
Throughout his career, Gordon has received global recognition for bringing to life iconic characters such as Mike Wazowski--the green, one-eyed star of the hugely successful Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University films, for which he was animator/character designer and directing animator, respectively; and Marlin in Finding Nemo, for which he won a VES Award for Outstanding Character Animation in an Animated Motion Picture.
Jacomb said of Gordon, “His natural and inspirational leadership style, combined with his knowledge and creativity, particularly when it comes to creating characters that audiences really connect with, are invaluable assets that will strengthen our capabilities and play a crucial role in the future growth of the team.
“DNEG has a global reputation for helping storytellers capture audiences’ imaginations through our combination of industry leading technology and an internal philosophy focused on creativity, which has helped us to win four Oscars in the last five years. Now, we want to emulate this success for feature animation. Andrew is joining us at the perfect time, and alongside Troy and Philippe he will play a crucial role in elevating DNEG’s feature animation capabilities on the global stage.”
(The alluded to four Best Visual Effects Oscars in the past five years were for First Man, Blade Runner 2049, Ex Machina and Interstellar.)
In his new role, Gordon will help to foster a culture of creativity that allows animators to thrive by actively promoting and encouraging the sharing of ideas and new ways of thinking. Well known among industry peers for creating the “Lucky 7 Lounge” at Pixar, a secret room accessible through a small hatch in his office frequented by the likes of Steve Jobs, Gordon will focus on harnessing the team’s diverse experience and talents to develop a bespoke look and feel for each feature.
Gordon said, “I am delighted to be joining such a dedicated and hardworking team, led by the amazing Tom Jacomb, at an exciting stage in its journey. Together we are creating a working environment where each film is not just treated as a task, but rather as a collaboration--a chance for everyone to input their individual creativity and character.
“I’m excited to be here in London, which is one of the most diverse capital cities in the world. I believe that London’s rich history provides the perfect environment for our team--a melting pot of creativity that lends itself perfectly to feature animation.“
Gordon will be delivering a masterclass entitled “Acting and Gesture in Animation” at Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 11.