tom jacomb

DNEG’s new president plots growth

As service work demand increases following its first original animated film, the studio is expanding its team, footprint and original content slate, says newly appointed president Tom Jacomb.
September 2, 2021

UK animation studio DNEG’s new president Tom Jacomb has ambitious plans for the VFX and animation house, and is seeking to grow its international presence and produce more original content.

Based in London, Jacomb—a seven-year DNEG vet who previously served as managing director of feature animation—was promoted in August, and is focused on building the business. This growth begins in Vancouver, where Jacomb says DNEG is recruiting 100 new team members in animation roles (including animators and producers) to tap into the region’s talent and support the studio’s increased workload.

The studio has already started hiring in Vancouver, and is launching a feature animation division there to keep up with an increased demand for its service work on films and TV. It currently has three unannounced film and TV projects in the service pipeline.

Last week, DNEG also unveiled plans to launch a studio in Toronto, where it will employ around 200 people in feature animation, VFX and tech positions. This new location will join existing DNEG studios in Vancouver, Mumbai, Montreal, Bangalore and LA, and Jacomb’s remit includes branching out into other regions.

Beyond service work, this studio expansion will support the company’s push into producing more original content, says Jacomb.

DNEG’s first original animated film, Ron’s Gone Wrong, is set for an October 22 theatrical release. The family-friendly comedy is produced with Locksmith Animation and 20th Century Studios, and centers around a young boy who has to deal with shenanigans caused by his imperfect robot friend. The company also currently lining up a new co-production, and will share more details in the coming months.

DNEG’s ongoing projects include comedy musical Under the Boardwalk for Paramount Animation. About opposing groups of crabs that have to unite, it’s expected to launch in theaters next year. Short film Mr. Spam Gets A New Hat with writer William Joyce (The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore) is set to premiere at the Spark Animation Festival in October. And the studio is  also working with Joyce to develop an animated adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

“The level of demand for DNEG Animation services on the back of our first project Ron’s Gone Wrong is unprecedented, and we’re seeing lots of interest across both feature and episodic animation projects,” says Jacomb. “We’ll continue to scale Vancouver and our other locations as the work dictates.”

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