Growing its content development efforts, Fox-owned animation studio Bento Box Entertainment has bolstered its team with two new hires.
The LA-based prodco behind Bob’s Burgers has tapped former Disney director of animation talent development Brooke Keesling (pictured, left) as its first head of animation talent development. Meanwhile, Caitlin Winiarski (pictured, right), previously a creative executive at Gary Sanchez Productions, joins as the creative executive for the studio.
With the two new hires, Bento Box aims to grow its output across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms, and to attract more animation talent to the studio, according to CEO Scott Greenberg in a release.
Keesling, who joined the company in November, reports to Bento Box’s COO Brett Coker and Greenberg. In her new job, she’s responsible for building the prodco’s talent acquisition and internal artist relations. She will also scout talent, and make connections with animation schools. Before joining Bento Box, Keesling recruited animation talent for Disney. Prior to that she was the manager of animation talent development for Cartoon Network. She’s also held roles as the director of development at New Deal Studio, and most recently was an instructor in the character animation department at the California Institute of the Arts.
Bento Box is bringing Keesling at the same time as a lot of animation companies are building up their talent acquisition and retention efforts, including launching an Emerging Animation Talent program just last week and Nickelodeon hiring Camille Eden as VP of talent and recruitment in January to build back up that department for the kidcaster’s studio.
Meanwhile, reporting to the company’s creative director Ben Jones, Winiarski, will seek out new IP and assess pilot proposals, scripts and pitches. Previously, she worked at Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions where she developed projects from emerging and diverse comedic voices.
Bento Box has been busy capitalizing on the streaming boom and has created Central Park for Apple TV+ and is working on upcoming HBO Max series The Prince. It continues to work for multiple broadcasters and outlets, despite being acquired by Fox Entertainment a year ago.