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Following Films Podcast: Michael Surrey and Shawn Krause on SPIRE


Spire Animation Studios

The newly formed animation company, Spire Animation Studios has created a new way to produce animated movies that is game-changing for filmmaking. Most recently, they have announced two new films in development, Century Goddess and Trouble with Danny McBride.

Spire Animation has created a team of elite industry leaders to form their own ‘creative cadre’ to bring a new wave in animation. Together, animation pioneers including Michael Surrey (Creative Director of Story and Animation), Shawn Krause (Creative Director of Story and Animation), Ted Mathot (Creative Director of Development), Karen Disher (Creative Director of Development), Ricky Nierva (Production Designer) and Michal Makarewicz (Head of Character Animation) combine their decades of work from leading films including The Lion King,  Toy Story, The Incredibles, Up, Inside Out, Soul, Onward, and more to spearhead a new era of original and culturally relevant stories that resonate with audiences worldwide, rather than offer reboots.

Today I'm joined by Michael Surrey and Shawn Krause to discuss SPIRE. 

About Michael Surrey- Creative Director (Story and Animation)

Michael Surrey serves as creative director, story and animation, at Spire Animation Studios. An award-nominated animator, Surrey has more than two decades of experience in animation working on acclaimed films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, and also spent ten-plus years as a storyboard artist. In 1995, he was nominated for an Annie Award for his work in animation on The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

About Shawn Krause- Creative Director (Story and Animation)

Shawn Krause serves as creative director, animation, and story, at Spire Animation Studios. He joined Spire after 26 years at Pixar Animation Studios, where he led animation for the films Up, Cars 2, and Inside Out. Shawn holds a strong blend of technological fluency and effective storytelling skills needed to lead feature animation teams.


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