Cartoon Saloon and Mercury Filmworks to launch new venture, Lighthouse Studios

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Cartoon Saloon and Mercury Filmworks to launch new venture, Lighthouse Studios

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board welcomes the news that award-winning Irish animation company, Cartoon Saloon and Canadian firm Mercury Filmworks will  launch Lighthouse Studios—a new venture, focused on 2-D animation, that will create 140 jobs in Kilkenny over the next three years.

Supported by the IDA and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the new joint venture will be hiring designers, animators, effects artists, compositors, technical directors, 3D modelers, riggers, lighting and texture artists and IT administrators

Lighthouse Studios will operate independently from both companies with its own management team reporting to a Board of Directors comprised of executives from both Cartoon Saloon and Mercury Filmworks. The company will specialise in 2D animation with some CGI integration, using the latest technologies to deliver high-quality children’s and family animated content.

Speaking about the news, Cartoon Saloon CEO Paul Young said:

“All of us at Cartoon Saloon are delighted to be in partnership with Mercury, as we have long admired their work. And now, together, we plan to make Lighthouse Studios and Kilkenny a centre of excellence for animation.

“Ireland enjoys a number of advantages when it comes to animation. The industry is supported by a growing number of educational programs and draws talent from all over Europe due to the quality of projects being produced here. The Irish talent pool has been spilling over into other parts of Europe and North America for years and we look forward to welcoming a lot of that talent home.”

Mercury Filmworks CEO Clint Eland praised the work of Cartoon Saloon, hailing the Irish company as “one of today’s most creative and well-respected animation companies, noting that the Irish company has “goals, perspectives and philosophies that complement our own.”

Speaking about the nature of the new venture, Eland explained:

“Lighthouse Studios is neither wholly Mercury Filmworks nor Cartoon Saloon, but rather the best parts of each, transplanted in the rich Irish soil and nurtured by its own talented team of artists into a studio with its own unique and distinct creative perspective.”

Minister for Jobs, Mary Mitchell added that “this launch today shows that we have the creative talent to attract companies like Mercury Filmworks to Ireland.”

Cartoon Saloon has produced the Oscar-nominated animated films including The Secret of Kells (2010) and The Song of the Sea (2015) with forthcoming animated feature The Breadwinner scheduled for release later this year. Canada’s Mercury Filmworks is one of the country’s most prolific independent studios and has worked on a number of high-profile projects, including Disney’s Tangled animated series.