Starz Media unveiled the state of the art, 45,000-square-foot home of its new offshoot Starz Animation Toronto to the Canadian TV & film industry at a rocking open house event last night. The East-end studio joins Starz’ other production and distribution operations in North America that include Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Vanguard Animation. Toon vet David Steinberg, who hails most recently from Walt Disney Feature Animation, is heading up operations as EVP & GM.
The company currently employs 150, but has room to staff up to 360, depending on the volume of projects coming through its doors. The team just wrapped animating upcoming Big Idea/Universal Pictures feature The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie and is now knee-deep in working up 9, a dark, post-apocalyptic CGI tale being produced by master of the macabre himself, Tim Burton.
Steinberg told the crowd last night that close proximity to the talent being turned out by the strong animation programs at local post-secondary schools Sheridan and Seneca Colleges was a particular draw when it came to setting up the new facility in Toronto. As for non work-for-hire toon projects, Starz is staying mum for the moment, but Steinberg did mention he was keen to start teaming up with other Canadian prodcos on original content.