Speaker Birk Rawlings
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Head of Dreamworkstv
A development executive/producer with over fifteen years of industry experience, Birk Rawlings has shepherded nearly 100 projects through the creative process for or with some of the most acclaimed studios in the industry including The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation.
As Head of Animation for DreamWorksTV, Rawlings’ primary responsibility is to identify new projects for the platform and oversee the production and creative process from first pitch to final airdate. While the high volume – over 1000 episodes of content per year – and tight budgets create a challenge, Rawlings relishes the opportunity to create a space of nearly unprecedented creative freedom that incubates characters and stories for parent company DreamWorks Animation.
Before joining DreamWorksTV, Rawlings worked for a few years as an independent producer and consultant helping put together and sell feature, television and digital projects for talented folks, including Doug Lawrence (Sponge Bob Square Pants), Paul Rugg (Animaniacs, The Penguins of Madagascar), Mark Koops (The Biggest Loser) and Giancarlo Volpe (Avatar: The Last Airbender).
Prior to that, Rawlings was Vice President of Animation Development at Nickelodeon where he headed up the series development department, working directly under President of Animation Brown Johnson. The position gave him the opportunity to work with many of the most talented writers, artists and directors in the business including Jeff Ventimillia & Josh Sternin (Rio, That 70s Show), Chris Williams (Bolt, The Emperor’s New Groove) and Chris Savino (Kick Buttowski, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Lab). During his tenure at Nickelodeon, Birk oversaw the production of nearly 30 original shorts and a dozen pilots. From devising completely original projects to invigorating classic toys to reinventing big screen favorites, Rawlings led five pilots to series pick-up: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens, Robot & Monster and Sanjay & Craig.
After Viacom purchased Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in late 2009, Rawlings was tasked with reinventing this classic 80s property for a new generation of kids. As part of this project, he worked closely with Playmates (master toy license) and Nickelodeon’s internal consumer products department to ensure the greatest possible symmetry between creative and business needs. The series launched in the fall of 2012 to ratings success and was nominated for three Annie Awards.
During his tenure as Director of Creative Affairs at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Rawlings set up more than a dozen original projects and shepherded a full slate through the feature development process. He also provided story notes and research support for nearly every film in the animation studio’s pipeline during his time at Disney including Tangled, The Princess & The Frog, Chicken Little, Brother Bear and Meet the Robinsons.
Before joining Disney, Birk worked in live-action development at Spyglass Entertainment and Fresco Pictures.
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