Long-time Pulse Films executive Lucas Ochoa (pictured, left) has left the “Gangs of London” producer to join “Normal People” outfit Element Pictures as an executive producer. Also joining the production company is Silverprint Pictures’ Michael Dawson (right).
Ochoa’s hire is a major coup for Element Pictures, and comes as a surprise given his years at Pulse Films, where he worked closely with co-founder and creative partner Thomas Benski. Ochoa was most recently chief creative officer of Pulse’s scripted division, executive producing Sky Atlantic and AMC’s “Gangs of London.” He joined the company in 2008, just three years after it was founded by Benski and Marisa Clifford.
Ochoa and Dawson will serve as executive producers working in television drama, and are to start in early October, based out of London.
Based across Dublin, Belfast and London, Element Pictures was founded by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe in 2001 and has built up an impressive film and TV portfolio in recent years, with the likes of Golden Globe and BAFTA winner “The Favourite,” Oscar winner “Room” and, most recently, the Emmy-nominated “Normal People.” Element is currently in pre-production on the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s “Conversations With Friends.”
Ochoa and Dawson will develop new projects and work across the existing slate. Dawson will also oversee Element’s Belfast office with a focus on growing the company’s profile and projects in Northern Ireland. Both executives will report directly into Guiney, as the lead on development and production, while Lowe will remain across all key decisions from a business affairs and commercial standpoint.
At Pulse, Ochoa produced Andrea Arnold’s indie drama “American Honey” and the Emmy-nominated documentary “XY Chelsea.” Other executive producer credits include “Trophy” for CNN Films and Robert Eggers’ horror “The Witch.”
“I am delighted to be joining Element at such an exciting time in the company’s journey,” said Ochoa. “I’ve long admired their incredible track record in film and television and am very much looking forward to being part of the company’s future.”
Meanwhile, Dawson joins Element from Silverprint Pictures, where he was scripted executive and executive producer on four seasons of “Vera,” starring Brenda Blethyn, and Chris Lang’s “Dark Heart,” both for ITV, as well as working on a raft of development projects for various broadcasters. Dawson started his career in Belfast working in factual entertainment for BBC Northern Ireland, ITV and Channel 5. He later spent eight years with BBC Drama where he worked as producer, story producer and series editor on over 200 hours of television including BAFTA-winning periods for “Holby City” and “EastEnders.”
Dawson said: “Joining Ed and Andrew at Element is an undeniable opportunity to be part of an innovative and world-class creative team as they expand their TV output. I am also very excited to be growing their footprint in Northern Ireland. I cannot wait to get started.”
Guiney, co-founder of Element Pictures, said: “Both Lucas and Michael are terrific producers with incredible taste and experience and we feel very lucky indeed to be welcoming them to join the amazing team at Element. We look forward to building on our track record, working with the best filmmakers, writers and creators as we continue to grow our capacity in television drama.”