Global creative company and award-winning animation studio BUCK (Netflix We the people, Love, death and robots) expands its Original Animation department. The studio has announced that Mike Rauch has joined the cutting-edge collective as head of original animation, with Mike Bertino named director, content and story. The two work closely with BUCK’s Head of Content Development, Jay Brooker. The three new recruits are based in BUCK’s studio offices in Los Angeles.
“Finding the right solution for the original animation offering was not easy; we needed people who were highly adaptable and understood the full range of possibilities that BUCK represents. “What we found in this newly formed group is a perfect blend of experience, artistry and business acumen. Everyone is a thoughtful team player with global vision and great taste – a perfect fit for BUCK and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them with us! said Jay Brooker.
Rauch said, “BUCK is not only home to some of the world’s best creative talent, but also some of the world’s greatest collaborators. This powerful blend of artistic excellence and true partnership propels us as we bring BUCK’s unique creative voice to television and film.
“BUCK is by far the most exciting indie studio in the world right now, a totally awesome playground for storytellers and creators looking to break the mould. It’s such a collaborative group, and I’m thrilled to join such a talented team,” added Bertino.
Rauch, the creator of the Peabody Award-winning animated short film series StoryBodypreviously worked for Cartoon Network for five years as a series director on shows like The Powerpuff Girls, Apple & Onionand Victor and Valentinoas well as recently advising on the development and production of Cartoon Network Latin America’s new series Lucha libre Rey Mysterio Against Darkness. Prior to that, Rauch formed and ran Rauch Bros Animation for nine years with clients including Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Animation, Sesame Workshop and Olympic Channel.
Prior to BUCK, Bertino primarily worked in adult animation, directing shows such as Shion Takeuchi’s inner work for Netflix and JG Quintel Close enough for HBO Max. Prior to that, he spent several years in the children’s animation space, scripting and writing on shows such as Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig and that of Aaron Springer B’illey Dilley Super-Duper Subterranean Summer for Disney.
Cassie Asta has joined BUCK as Animation Development Coordinator, expanding the company’s staff as it expands its operations into key growth areas. Asta got his start in the industry at talent agencies ICM and CAA before joining the Green Eggs & Ham team at Warner Bros Animation for Netflix. She then worked for Cartoon Network’s Current Series team, where she covered shows such as Victor and Valentino and The Fungi! for HBO Max. She also leads the Women in Animation Mentoring Circle, which offers guidance and support to women new to the industry.
The additions to the BUCK team follow a busy year for the studio which has overseen episodes from Chris Nee, Kenya Barris and Higher Ground Productions. We the people for Netflix. The short animated series landed an NAACP Image Award as well as two Annie Award nominations for BUCK. The team also wrote and directed the episode Night of the Dead Minisfrom volume 3 of the hit Netflix series Love, Death + Robots; Bored Ape Yacht Club’s trailer Other side; and a series of shorts to help launch HBO Max’s Cartoonito programming block.
BUCK has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Sydney and Amsterdam with approximately 400 full-time employees.