MAY 9, 2012: LAIKA has named Mary Sandell Head of Production. The appointment was announced today by Travis Knight.Â A producer on Coraline, Ms. Sandell is a production executive and producer with over twenty years of experience managing high-profile commercials, feature films and television series.Â She joined LAIKA in 2005, after spending two years as producer of DreamWorks’ primetime animated series for NBC, Father of the Pride.
“Mary is an exceptional leader.Â I’ve known her virtually my entire professional career and continue to be amazed by the depth of her talents,” said Mr. Knight.Â “Both a standard-bearer for business and a champion of artists, Mary is that rare creative executive who fully earns the title. Her ferocious intellect, tireless work ethic and intense passion for animation make Mary Sandell the perfect partner to move LAIKA’s film slate from shadowy notions to fully realized works of art.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to head up production as LAIKA moves toward expanding its film release schedule,” said Sandell. “The studio’s dedication to innovation in the art of animated filmmaking and its commitment to telling bold, distinctive and enduring stories is truly inspiring. I look forward to working with LAIKA’s team of world class artists, technicians, andÂ visionaries as we take on the production challenges associated with cutting edge animation entertainment.”
Earlier in her career Ms. Sandell worked with Vinton Studios, the predecessor to LAIKA, in a variety of production roles including Executive Vice President of Production overseeing all commercial and entertainment production.Â During this time, she managed the start-up and produced the first two seasons of The PJs, the EmmyÂ® Award winning, first-ever, stop-motion primetime series for television, produced in conjunction with Eddie Murphy Productions and Imagine Entertainment.
Also at Vinton, Ms. Sandell was a senior producer in charge of managing CG and stop-motion commercial campaigns and entertainment projects. Her work included the launch and production of the M&M’SÂ® campaign; management of high-profile commercial campaigns for national and international brands and production of fifty animated short stories for the Disney Channel’s Adventures in Wonderland.Â A native Californian, Mary holds a B.A. in political science from Lewis and Clark College in Portland and a J.D. from the University of Oregon, School of Law.