People news from Strange Beast, Tool and more

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Strange Beast has signed new director Sam Mason for worldwide representation. A self-taught animator, Mason has directed two films in a trilogy called Wild Robot which reference the world of 1970s sci-fi and fantasy, using miniature sets and textural CG. He has also directed a music video for Badly Drawn Boy, and collaborated with Passion Pictures' director Pete Candeland on a series of films for the Red Bull Music Academy World Tour.

Tool has added web developer Jason Nickel to its interactive director roster. Nickel developed the 'Take This Lollipop' Facebook app with Tool director Jason Zada, which registered over 60 million views and 10 million Facebook 'Likes' in its first 30 days. He was also lead developer on projects such as the MTV VMA nominated interactive music video for Cold War Kids and interactive video experiences featuring Alton Brown (Salt 101) and J.K. Simmons ( His other work includes projects for Nike, McDonald's and AT&T.

Pixomondo has hired Steve Pugh as an executive producer to help oversee projects from its Burbank office, which is upgrading to a larger facility in March. Pugh comes to Pixomondo from Eden FX where he spent a decade as a visual effects producer. He oversaw work on TV series including Lost, Fringe, Pushing Daisies, Community, Person of Interest and Pan Am as well as working on feature films including Hellboy and Shoot 'Em Up. Pugh began his VFX career at Foundation Imaging as a systems engineer and artist.

Creative agency Bemis Balkind has appointed Elisabeth Lucas as creative director, Digital, and Adele Martin as senior project manager, Digital. Both Lucas and Martin will report to Curt Doty, Bemis Balkind's GM Digital/executive creative director. Lucas (pictured, left) was previously creative director at Lunchbox, working with clients such as Unilever, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, Marvel, Mattel, Sanrio, GSK, Wrigley and Walmart, and has also worked at agencies Genex and Ignited Minds. Martin joins from Trailer Park Interactive, and earlier, Crew Creative.

Toronto-based Township & Co has hired Amanda Lariviere as executive producer. Lariviere has spent the past ten years at School Editing where she was executive producer and VFX producer.

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