Conference The Art of Animation N.E.W.S.
ONLINE Bertha-Benz-Saal Friday, April 26, 17:00

ORION & THE DARK Global Collaboration

Video on demand

Join us for a 45-minute Mikros Animation conference followed by a 15-minute Q&A session, as part of the N.E.W.S conferences focusing on the theme of multi-location and multi-culture at Mikros. Speaker Julien Meesters will provide insights into the diverse world of Mikros Animation, with a specific case study on 'Orion and The Dark' presented by Rusty Tracy. Explore the collaborative process and behind-the-scenes aspects of working in a multi-cultural and multi-location studio setting at Mikros Animation.

Julien Meesters, SVP, Head of Creative, Mikros Animation

Julien Meesters, with over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry, currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Head of Creative at Mikros Animation. His career began in 1993 as a freelance Flame operator, and he joined Mikros Image in 1997, contributing to acclaimed projects in advertising, music videos, and feature films. Throughout the years, he held various roles, including VFX Creative Director and Studio Manager, leading Mikros Image's focus on animation.

In 2010, after the success of the Oscar-winning animated short film Logorama, Meesters played a key role in establishing Mikros Animation studio in 2012. He contributed to significant projects such as Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods, The Little Prince, and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. In 2014, he became Deputy CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Mikros Image, overseeing international development.

Appointed Deputy CEO and Chief Creative Officer in 2014, Julien managed the group's activities and international expansion.

In 2021, as Technicolor redefined its brands, Mikros Animation focused on animation. Julien then assumed his current role, overseeing global creative activities, including projects like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and The Tiger's Apprentice.

Russell Tracy Jr., VP, Creative Operations, Mikros Animation

Rusty Tracy, currently based in London, England, is the VP Creative Operations at Mikros Animation. He holds a BFA in Entertainment Art from California State University, Fullerton. Rusty's journey in the entertainment industry began at Nickelodeon Animation, where he served as a CG Artist and eventually became the Lead CG Artist and CG Supervisor on projects like "Tak & the Power of Juju" and "The Penguins of Madagascar." His role expanded as he became the Creative Director for "Kung Fu Panda", “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, and additional series from October 2010 to August 2014.

Transitioning to Wind Dancer Films, Rusty worked as an Executive Producer from 2014 to 2020, contributing to projects like "Ready Jet Go!" on PBS Kids. During this time, he also held the position of VP Animation from 2016 to 2020. His journey continued at Technicolor Creative Studios, where he served as the Studio Creative Director in 2020 and then moved to Mikros Animation as the Head of Creative Operations from 2021 to 2022.

Since 2022, Rusty Tracy has been the VP Creative Operations, overseeing projects like "Star Trek Prodigy" and the feature animated film "Ozi, Voice of The Forest," directed by Tim Hill. In an interview, Rusty expresses excitement about Mikros Animation's culture, collaborative spirit with sister studios, and the industry's shift towards long-form episodic content. He highlights the industry trends influenced by the pandemic, emphasizing the increased maturity of the audience and the elevated creativity and quality produced by artists. Rusty's career path, initially unforeseen, reflects his dedication and passion for animation, evolving from an artist to the Head of Operations at Mikros Animation.