Vfx, animation and stereo conversion company, DNEG, has made a number of new hires in its VFX Animation team across the UK and North America. 


Emile Ghorayeb joins DNEG as Head of Animation for its London studio, having previously been Animation Supervisor for Weta Digital on films including ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’, for which he won an Annie Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production’. Ghorayeb has 20 years of experience as an animator across film, TV, games and feature animation, and other projects on his animation credit list include ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Transformers 2, 3 & 4’, ‘Halo 3’, ‘Shrek 2 & 3’ and the ‘Madagascar’ movies. 


Also joining the team in London is VFX veteran and Creature animation specialist, Keith Roberts, as Animation Director. Most recently, he has worked on various Marvel movies having been Animation Director on ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Ant-Man’, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and both ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films, for which he brought to life Baby Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Earlier in his career, he supervised the animation of a number of creatures in films such as ‘Garfield’, ‘The Cat in the Hat’, ‘Scooby-Doo’, ‘Aliens in the Attic’ and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel’.  


The global team also saw the recent appointment of Animation Director Spencer Cook based in Montréal. His 30 year career spans stop-motion animation for TV commercials through to digital animation on Hollywood blockbusters, including ‘Alien: Covenant’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Men in Black 3’, ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘Revolutions’, and ‘Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3’. He joined DNEG after completing work on ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ as Animation Director. He was a key member of the Sony Pictures Imageworks character animation department in Los Angeles for 14 years, and was nominated for a BAFTA Award, a Saturn Award and two VES Awards for his work as Animation Director on ‘Spider-Man 3’. 


Other recent hires include Aaron Gilman, who was recently promoted to Head of Animation for DNEG’s Vancouver studio.


DNEG’s Global Head of Animation, Robyn Luckham, said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for the VFX Animation team here at DNEG, and I am particularly pleased to announce the appointments of Emile and Keith in London, and Spencer in Montréal. Their decades of experience in VFX will be of huge benefit to the team as we continue to grow, taking on bigger and more challenging projects. 


“Aaron’s promotion is fully deserved and is testament to his hard work and dedication. He is an exceptional Animation Director who exudes positive energy and enthusiasm, and his contribution to the team over the last three years has been immense. Together, we are building an unbelievable force of VFX creatives who are all capable of driving DNEG’s ambition to become the leading studio in Creature and Character Animation globally.”


Staff Reporter

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