Exclusive: UK animation indie Lupus Films appoints training & development producer

The Snowman And The Snowdog

Lupus Films, the London-based animation studio behind The Snowman And The Snowdog and The Tiger Who Came To Tea, has appointed Abigail Addison to the newly created role of training and development producer.

Effective immediately, Addison will be responsible for recruitment, skills training, course development and diversity monitoring at the UK indie.

She will oversee the personal development and well-being of existing Lupus Films staff and crew and will be responsible for representing Lupus Films at industry events and conferences, beginning with next month’s Children’s Media Conference 2022.

Abigail Addison

Talking to TBI at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France earlier this month, Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding revealed that Lupus Films was looking to expand its core team due to the content boom of the past few years.

“One of the areas we really wanted to look at was training, because with a boom there’s a lack of crew and you have to make sure that the graduates coming out of the courses are job-ready,” said Deakin.

Fielding explained that Addison will ensure that staff are “happy in their roles, they have career progression and opportunities within the company.”

Deakin added: “The other thing that Abigail is going to do, in terms of diversity, is both monitoring and encouraging recruitment to make our crews more diverse.

“It’s the after-care as well, talking to people during and after productions, making sure everybody is looked after in terms of mental health and giving people someone to talk to in the company who is specifically there to think about their needs.”

The Storm Whale

Seeking ‘Storm Whale’ financing

Addison has worked with Lupus Films on several training and resource development projects since 2014 and was previously the animation production liaison executive for ScreenSkills, overseeing the delivery of skills development initiatives for the UK animation industry.

Aside from her work at Lupus Films, Addison is a producer at UK indie Animate Projects, which was behind the BAFTA-nominated I’m OK.

“We really like Abigail and we’ve really enjoyed working with her and we thought let’s formalise it and make her part of the wider Lupus Films family,” said Deakin.

During the Annecy festival, Lupus Films announced that it is adapting Benji Davies’ Storm Whale children’s books as a trio of animated specials.

The execs told TBI while in Annecy that they “instantly fell in love” with the books, which follow the adventures of Noi, a young boy who lives on a slip of land surrounded by sea.

“We’ve had two years where we’ve had time to develop this beautiful jewel and now we’re looking for financing for it – we’re pitching to the market to see if there’s interest,” revealed Fielding, who added: “We’ve never made a trilogy. The half-hour format allows you to get quite emotionally invested in the story and the books demand that, because Noi is such a beautiful character.”

Aside from the Storm Whale trilogy, other Lupus Films projects currently in development and production include an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom and Las Dos Fridas, a feature film about the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

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