Creative executive Claire Finn (pictured) has been brought in as managing director of Kilkenny-based Lighthouse Studios, the new joint-venture prodco formed by Canada’s Mercury Filmworks and Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon to focus on 2D animation.
In her new role, the former Firecracker Films content head plans to bolster the studio’s growing development and production pipeline for children’s and family content, and seek out new global production partners. Finn joins Lighthouse just as the prodco is wrapping up Bug Diaries, an original preschool comedy for Amazon based on children’s books by bestselling author Doreen Cronin, and starting preliminary animation on season two of Emmy-nominated Give A Mouse A Cookie, another Amazon original.
Finn most recently served as head of content and executive producer of branded entertainment for London-based Firecracker Films, where she oversaw new business strategies and creative development for global brands including Nike, Vodafone and Johnny Walker. She previously worked as head of content production for Channel 4′s in-house agency 4Creative, and also served as executive producer for UK agency R/GA London.
Canadian producer Mercury Filmworks (Hilda, Tangled) and Cartoon Saloon (The Breadwinner, Puffin Rock) launched Lighthouse in February 2017 in a move to enhance Ireland’s animation sector. The studio offers end-to-end production services from scriptwriting, design and storyboarding, to animation, compositing and post-production.
At launch, the company announced that Lighthouse would create more than 140 jobs over three years with support from Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland. The studio works independently from Cartoon Saloon and Mercury Filmworks, with its own management team reporting to a board of directors consisting of execs from both parent companies, including Mercury Filmworks CEO Clint Eland and Cartoon Saloon CEO Paul Young.