Leading visual effects, animation and stereo conversion company, DNEG, has strengthened its VFX Animation team across North America and the United Kingdom, with a series of strategic appointments designed to help the company achieve its ambition of becoming the global leader in Creature and Character Animation.
Under the leadership of Global Head of Animation, Robyn Luckham, DNEG’s talented VFX Animation team has grown substantially in recent years, delivering work on projects such as ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ and the upcoming ‘Men In Black: International’. The company’s new hires will bring industry-leading talent and decades of experience to further strengthen the team across DNEG’s key locations.
Emile Ghorayeb joins DNEG as Head of Animation for its London studio, having previously been Animation Supervisor for Weta Digital on films including ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’, for which he won an Annie Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production’. Emile has 20 years of experience as an animator across film, TV, games and feature animation, and other standout projects on his animation credit list include ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Transformers 2, 3 & 4’, ‘Halo 3’, ‘Shrek 2 & 3’ and the ‘Madagascar’ movies.
Also joining the team in London is VFX veteran and Creature animation specialist, Keith Roberts, as Animation Director. Most recently, Keith has made a significant contribution to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, having been Animation Director on ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Ant-Man’, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and both ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films, for which he brought to life Baby Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Earlier in his career, Keith supervised the animation of a number of furry and feathery creatures in family favourites such as ‘Garfield’, ‘The Cat in the Hat’, ‘Scooby-Doo’, ‘Aliens in the Attic’ and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel’.
The global team also saw the recent appointment of Animation Director Spencer Cook. Based in Montréal, Spencer boasts an illustrious career spanning more than 30 years, from stop-motion animation for TV commercials through to digital animation on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including ‘Alien: Covenant’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Men in Black 3’, ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘Revolutions’, and ‘Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3’. As a life-long monster movie fan, Spencer joined DNEG after completing work on ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ as Animation Director. He was a key member of the Sony Pictures Imageworks character animation department in Los Angeles for 14 years, and was nominated for a BAFTA Award, a Saturn Award and two VES Awards for his work as Animation Director on ‘Spider-Man 3’.
The trio join an animation team already rich in experience, including Aaron Gilman, who was recently promoted to Head of Animation for DNEG’s Vancouver studio. Aaron, who is currently supervising DNEG’s animation work on the upcoming Disney true-life adventure movie ‘Togo’, was Animation Director on ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’, one of the biggest projects in DNEG’s history. Aaron’s considerable career achievements to date include several award nominations for his work on Hollywood blockbusters, culminating in an Annie Award nomination for his leadership of the animation of Azog, the fearsome King of the Orcs in ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’.
DNEG’s Global Head of Animation, Robyn Luckham, said:
“It’s a hugely exciting time for the VFX Animation team here at DNEG, and I am particularly pleased to announce the appointments of Emile and Keith in London, and Spencer in Montréal. Their decades of experience in VFX will be of huge benefit to the team as we continue to grow, taking on bigger and more challenging projects.
“Aaron’s promotion is fully deserved and is testament to his hard work and dedication. He is an exceptional Animation Director who exudes positive energy and enthusiasm, and his contribution to the team over the last three years has been immense. Together, we are building an unbelievable force of VFX creatives who are all capable of driving DNEG’s ambition to become the leading studio in Creature and Character Animation globally.”