February 18, 2005


LOS ANGELES - Animation house Duck (www.duckstudios.com), formerly Duck Soup Studios, has signed directors new directors Jamie Caliri, Jorge Gutierrez, Nina Paley, James Paterson, Tod Polson, and Kathy Smith.

Caliri began his career at Acme Filmworks before forming early ties with DUCK at their subsidiary, The Front, where he directed music videos. He continued his directorial music video work at MJZ and subsequently became a freelance director and designer. In that capacity, he created the opening title sequence for "The Big Apple" TV series as a freelancer to Duck. Most recently, Caliri's animation acumen as a designer is hallmarked in the title sequence for the Jim Carrey holiday blockbuster, "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."

Gutierrez has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his penchant for Mexican culture. While studying towards both his BFA and MFA at CalArts, Gutierrez created "Carmelo," winner of the Student Emmy in animation. "Carmelo" has subsequently been screened at international festivals including Kodak's Emerging Filmmakers Program at the Cannes Film Festival. After graduating, Gutierrez worked under animation legend Maurice Noble for the art direction of Chuck Jones' "Timberwolf" for Warner Bros. Soon afterwards, he began creating "El Macho," an animated web series for Sony Pictures. His recent work as a character designer is visible on "Chalk Zone," "Mucha Lucha," and "The Buzz on Maggie."

Paley has come a long way since her early work on the alternative comic strip "Nina's Adventures," which ran in American newsweeklies from 1988 to 1995. In recent years, Nina has devoted her time to claymation and CGI. Her animated films have appeared in festivals around the world and include "Luv Is (1998)," "Cancer" (1998), and "Fetch!" (2000). Her claymation film "I Heart My Cat" won the Audience Choice Golden Oly award at the 1999 Olympia Film Festival.

British-born Paterson has attracted a hodgepodge of clients ranging from Mick Jagger to Nike through his unique synthesis of drawing and animation. With artwork that has been displayed around the world at venues including Le Centre Pompidou in Paris, the London Museum of Design, the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Israeli Art Museum, Paterson molds a distinctive flavor to today's animation. Paterson's clients have also included VH1, Nickelodeon, HP, Apple, and Target, among others.

Having worked extensively in Thailand and Taiwan, Polson brings over 15 years of experience to Duck. Most recently, Polson has served as the director at Thailand's Kantana Animation, where he was the supervising director for the feature film "Khan Kluay" while also teaching Animation Design at the Kantana Animation School. Prior to his work at Kantana, Polson co-created the "Noble Tales" film series. While at Noble Tales Productions, his short "Al Tudi Tuhak" earned an Annie Award nomination for Best Short. Polson has worked at a myriad of studios worldwide including Wild Brain, Walt Disney TV Animation, Film Roman, Hyperion, Chuck Jones Film, and Kroyer Films. Polson received his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

A graduate of Australia's Sydney College of the Arts, Kathy Smith has been actively pursuing a career in the visual arts since 1982. Smith has created and produced 11 animated films, all of which have toured internationally at festivals including Anima Mundi and Ottawa. She is the recipient of several awards including the Sydney Morning Herald Traveling Arts Scholarship and the Dyason Bequest study grant at the Studio Art Centers International in Florence. Recently, while working as an artist in residence and faculty member at the Division of Animation and Digital Arts School of Cinema-Television, Kathy created a new film, "Indefinable Moods," which was screened at SIGGRAPH 2001 and the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.