Ivan Dunleavy, the former longtime CEO of Pinewood Group, has joined Oscar-winning VFX firm Milk as non-executive chairman. Dunleavy, who stepped down after 17 years at Pinewood in April, has been hired to manage the growth of Milk, a company that has worked on projects such as Sherlock and Doctor Who.
The news comes as the VFX company, which was established in 2013, has received an investment of £2M ($2.5M) from private SME-backer Business Growth Fund (BGF) to expand its studios, including investments in new technical equipment, R&D as well as increasing staff numbers. BGF was established in 2011 and is funded by five of the UK’s major banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered.
Milk has recently worked on feature titles such as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire and Alex Garland’s Ex-Machina as well as high-end television such as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It is currently working on productions such as Garland’s Annihilation, Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman 2 and TV anthology Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.
“Our new partnership with BGF and the appointment of Ivan Dunleavy as chairman will help us to deliver the most challenging and creative visual effects work for the global feature film, high-end television and emerging digital content markets,” said Milk CEO Will Cohen.
Dunleavy added: “The team at Milk, led by Will Cohen, has done a fantastic job at building the business and establishing its credentials in the globally competitive VFX marketplace. I look forward to working with them and BGF in realizing the next stage of our exciting plan to develop the Milk brand even further at a time when audiences on all channels and platforms expect quality creative content.”
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