Jan Rogowski, co-founder of UK animation studio Red Star, died last week aged 41.
Rogowski passed away suddenly on 6 April. He co-founded Red Star, which is behind the upcoming animated movie The Amazing Maurice, in 2004, and grew the company into a leading producer of animation content for visitor attractions such as theme parks and museums.
Red Star’s library of 4D films includes The Lost World and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which have been shown in hundreds of venues around the world.
In 2019 Rogowski co-produced Red Star’s first feature film Stardog And Turbocat, featuring the voices of Luke Evans, Nick Frost, Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy.
The film was released in 16 international territories and led to Red Star being selected as the UK studio for The Amazing Maurice, a Sky Original film based on the novel by Sir Terry Pratchett.
As a life-long fan of Pratchett’s novels, Rogowski strove to bring part of the production to the UK and worked to ensure this animated depiction of the author’s acclaimed Discworld novels lived up both to Pratchett’s vision and his own deep affection for the source material. The film will be released on Sky Cinema later in 2022 and will be dedicated to his memory.
Andrew Baker and Robert Chandler, UK producers of The Amazing Maurice, commented: “We’d both known and worked with Jan for many years so when we were looking for a UK studio it felt like Red Star were the perfect choice. We knew Jan would make sure the studio delivered a fantastic film, but he showed us time and again that his passion and technical knowledge were unsurpassed. Jan’s unflagging dedication and enthusiasm where a huge part of what has made this film very special, and he was rightly proud of the final result.”
Ben Smith, who co-founded Red Star alongside Rogowski, said “Twenty years ago I hired Jan straight from university, beginning a partnership and friendship that has defined both our lives. He leaves a massive gap in our lives, but the notes of condolence, and the offers of support that have flooded in are overwhelming testament to the respect and admiration he was held in by everyone who worked with him.”
Red Star has temporarily named CG supervisor Haris Ahmed as head of production, whilst Ben Smith assumes the role of company director.