Happy Feet exec producer joins Rainmaker


MUMBAI: Oscar-winning film Happy Feet’s executive producer Ed Jones has joined Rainmaker Animation to produce Escape from Planet Earth.

Steve Nichols, lead animator on the last two Pirates of the Caribbean films has joined on as animation director. The film marks the first theatrical animated feature for Rainmaker. The Weinstein Co. is financing the animated comedy and will handle worldwide distribution.

Escape from Planet Earth is a CG feature directed by Tony Leech and written by Leech and Cory Edwards, who, along with Todd Edwards, are responsible for The Weinstein Co.’s first CG hit Hoodwinked. Jones joins Hoodwinked producer Preston Stutzman of Blue Yonder Films, Jonathan Shestack of Jon Shestack Prods, Brian Inerfeld of Protocol and Gregory R Little of Rainmaker Animation. Rick Mischel is exec producer and Jeremy Stein will co-produce. Michael Cole, co-president of production for The Weinstein Co, and Eric Robinson, vice president of production and development, are overseeing the project on behalf of TWC.

Jones will produce the film at the Rainmaker Vancouver facility.

Prior to joining Rainmaker, Jones was the former ceo of ESC Entertainment, a Time Warner subsidiary founded to create the signature visual effects for Warner Bros. He was also the CEO/president and senior visual effects supervisor at Cinesite, which he founded for the Eastman Kodak Co and launched facilities in Hollywood and London.

Escape from Planet Earth is about an alien prison break from Area 51, the legendary government facility rumoured to imprison aliens from every corner of the universe, from which no one ever returns. Gary, an alien every-man, must overcome his fears and self-doubt to lead a daring escape, rescuing not just himself and the other inmates, but also his wife and young daughter, not only from Area 51, but from the Earth, long considered the Bermuda Triangle of the Universe.

Rainmaker, headquartered in Vancouver, is a 3D animation and post-production company with a 28-year history in feature films, television, games and commercials. Rainmaker also maintains an office in Los Angeles.