Toons draw septet to get creative

Lucasfilm Animation has tapped four creative execs for its U.S. operations and three key hires for its Singapore operation.

Catherine Winder has joined the company as executive producer; Dave Filoni, a supervising director; and Henry Gilroy, head writer-story editor. ILM vet Rob Coleman has been tapped animation and development director.

The four are already at work in Lucasfilm’s San Francisco HQ.

“We are starting off with ‘Star Wars’-branded property and the expansion of the ‘Clone Wars’ world,” said Gail Curry, VP-general manager of Lucasfilm Animation. “We’ve pulled together a small team of creative people, because in the larger Lucas world, we’re a little startup.”

Filoni and Gilroy have been tapped specifically to work on the half-hour “Clone Wars,” a 3-D CGI series.

Filoni most recently helmed the Nickelodeon skein “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and was an assistant director for “King of the Hill” at Film Roman.

Gilroy’s credits include “The Tick,” “Jackie Chan Adventures” and “Lilo & Stitch.” He wrote “Star Wars” comicbook stories for Dark Horse comics and authored the graphic novel adaptations of “Star Wars” episodes I and II.

Winder will work on both television and feature film projects. She is a former senior veepee at Fox Animation and producer for Colossal Pictures.Coleman, who moves to Lucasfilm Animation after 12 years at Industrial Light & Magic, will work on visual development, starting on the skein and then moving on to features. He was animation director on the recently completed “Star Wars” trilogy.

Curry said the company is not discussing a “Star Wars” animated feature and has not yet picked a story for its inaugural pic.

At Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Philip Stamp has joined the company as director of animation, Teo Chor Guan as a software engineer manager and Rossina Lim Yennyenn as controller.

Hires were announced in conjunction with today’s official opening of Lucasfilm Animation’s 40,000-square-foot Singapore studio. Facility has already hired 35 people from 19 countries, and hiring will continue through 2006.

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