The company’s new episodic wing will be lead by BAFTA winner James Whitlam
Framestore is consolidating its film and TV divisions under a new leadership structure, which sees BAFTA winner James Whitlam (pictured above left) become managing director, Episodic.
The film and TV divisions will be brought under “one banner, one pipeline and one point of contact to a full suite of creative services that runs from concept art through to final polished pixel,” says Framestore.
Whitlam – who has worked on more than 40 features and episodic shows including two seasons of the double BAFTA-winning His Dark Materials (pictured above right) – will work alongside Michelle Martin, head of business development, Episodic, and report to Fiona Walkinshaw, Framestore’s global managing director, Film.
Whitlam and Martin will work closely with Framestore’s studios in London, Montreal, the US and India to provide clients with access to Framestore’s global talent pool, along with a wide range of national and regional tax incentives.
As part of the new focus on episodic work, Framestore has also made two key hires to its new division. VFX Supervisor Sean Mathiesen joins from Double Negative, where he oversaw the 4,000-shot production of Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
And Andy Scrase returns to Framestore as VFX Supervisor, after a stint of on-set supervision for Britannia.
Walkinshaw said: “You hear a lot about how the demand for content is changing and how the lines between film and episodic are blurring, but for us there are two key constants: great storytelling and the need for compelling, note-perfect VFX to support it. Shows like His Dark Materials are reshaping the industry in terms of scope and scale, but for us the drivers and demands remain the same - we want our work to help immerse audiences in whichever stories our clients are bringing to life.”
“James is the perfect person to drive this change forward. He has extensive experience steering ambitious, distinctive cross-site projects for Framestore including two BAFTA-winning seasons of His Dark Materials, Paddington 2 and Oscar-nominated work on Christopher Robin and Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” she continues. “We’re currently teeing up a raft of exciting, high-end episodic titles for the world’s biggest studios, and we couldn’t be happier that he’s on board to lead the way.”
Whitlam adds: “From fantasy and sci-fi to historical drama it’s no secret that we’re seeing real appetite and ambition for long-form entertainment. Framestore’s mix of craft, creativity and technical skill put us in the perfect place to deliver this work, but what really gives us the edge is our deep understanding of the storytelling process. Experiences like working side by side with award-winning showrunners or being intrinsic members of the creative team on shows like His Dark Materials mean we’re able to work in absolute lockstep with the best directors, DPs, production designers and editors out there, advising on creative approach from concept to final pixel and, ultimately, ensuring they get the absolute most from their budget when bringing their stories to life.”
Framestore’s recent episodic credits includes 1899 (Netflix), His Dark Materials (HBO / BBC / Bad Wolf); Moon Knight (Disney+); The Crown (Netflix); Ms Marvel (Disney+) and WandaVision (Disney+).