Discreet Arts, an animation studio headquartered in India, has opened a U.S. office in Burbank, Calif., with animation industry creative veteran Steven Wendland as president. The announcement was made by Srikanth Pottekula, founder and chief executive officer, Discreet Arts.
Under Wendland’s leadership, Discreet Arts USA will focus on the expansion of the company’s 2D and CGI-animated work-for-hire services for children’s and family content, including film, television, gaming, apps for Android and iOS, and interactive publishing. Wendland is also tasked to develop and produce original content, drawing both on current Discreet Arts-owned properties, as well as building a new IP slate.
Discreet Arts’ clients over the years include Technicolor, Anima Estudios, Titmouse, MEG Toys, Studio 100, 6 Point Harness, Telegael, WildBrain Studios, Byju’s, and Bento Box Entertainment. Discreet Arts has produced dozens of series and films over the past 10 years, and has invested in several of these, adding to its library of original content. Feature films include “Top Cat Begins,” “Top Cat: The Movie,” “Ana and Bruno,” “Monster Island,” “Guardians of Oz,” “Norm of the North” and “Captain Morten and the Spider Queen.” Some of the CG and 2D animated series include “Wissper,” “Marco Polo,” “Tashi,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Lalaloopsy,” “Tarzan and Jane” and “Puppy in My Pocket.”
“We are extremely proud of the reputation we have built over the years of delivering consistent first-class animation for our clients, and now is the opportune time to further expand our operations by establishing a U.S. presence to build upon our strong relationships and attract new business,” says Pottekula. “Steven brings years of solid expertise in animation production and creative and possesses all of the tools to drive our growth in our original IP and work-for-hire businesses. We look forward to furthering our commitment to provide creative innovation as we expand to offer U.S. clients a broad range of services.”
“Discreet Arts is known for its focus on substance and reliability, consistently delivering quality animation that has propelled the company’s growth over the past 10 years,” says Wendland. “I’m thrilled to join with Srikanth in our new U.S. operation, where we will continue to expand the work-for-hire business by establishing new direct relationships with studios, animation production companies, broadcasters and streamers, and provide a front-end office link to the India studio. And I look forward to building the company’s library of properties with even more ideas and stories of universal appeal.”
Steven Wendland was vice president, animation and head of creative development, Technicolor, until 2020. He was responsible for developing and overseeing new properties for the company, while working with a development team located in Los Angeles and London. Among the projects developed and produced under his guidance were Mark Drop and Jerry Leibowitz’s “Atomic Puppet,” as well as Tom Taylor and James Brouwer’s “The Deep.” He helped develop “The Deep” toyline with Simba Toys, as well as story editing a series of four chapter books of The Deep, published by Bloomsbury.
Prior to joining Technicolor, Wendland worked at Canada’s Mainframe Entertainment (later Rainmaker Entertainment). While at Mainframe, Wendland produced many projects, including direct-to-video movies and many animated television series, including “Spider-Man – The New Animated Series” for Sony and MTV.
Wendland originally specialized in cinematography during his film studies, winning a Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award. He shifted his interest to visual effects and joined the first season of “Stargate SG-1” in 1996, and then again to CG animation when he joined Mainframe in 1998, before finally joining Technicolor in 2008. He has been nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy for his producing and directing efforts.