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Applications open for placements on Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Screen Australia’s Enterprise People program presents an opportunity for two specialist creatives to undertake a six month placement with Wooden Boy Productions in Portland, Oregon, USA working on Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

Screen Australia will support one puppet fabricator and one animator for a six month placement in Portland. Through this rare opportunity, the successful applicants will gain invaluable professional experience which will help to develop their careers and bring wider benefits to the Australian screen industry upon their return.

The candidate chosen to work in puppet fabrication will work alongside the Puppet Creative Supervisor, Georgina Hayns (Kubo and the Two Strings). They will gain a complete overview of the Puppet production process including; character designs, creation of puppet armatures, mould-making, rapid prototyping, facial animation and puppet wrangling on shooting stages.

The candidate chosen to work in animation will work alongside the Animation Supervisor, Brian Leif Hansen (Fantastic Mr. Fox), and the team of animators and riggers. They will be provided with a comprehensive insight into stop motion at the highest level.

Australian producer Melanie Coombs (Mary and Max) is the Production Supervisor and will be reviewing candidates alongside Hayns and Hansen.

Coombs noted; “I’m delighted to be able to facilitate this opportunity for the Australian stop motion animation community. Screen Australia funded opportunities for me to build my skills over the years, so I am thrilled to be able to assist Australian artists by returning the favour. The team here at Wooden Boy are tremendously skilled and wonderfully generous so if you win the 'golden ticket’, I’m sure you’ll build skills and relationships that will enhance and inform your work for years to come.”

Up to AUD $50,000 is available per applicant to cover costs such as USA Visa requirements, travel, accommodation, transport and other living expenses.

Applicants must be available to start the placement in January 2020 for a full six months and be able to qualify for an appropriate USA Visa. Applicants will also need to meet Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade.

Applications close Friday, 23 August 2019 and can be made through the Enterprise People program.

For assessment criteria and how to apply view the guidelines here  

Applicants will need to select the "Career Placements" option, followed by "Targeted Placement Initiative".

Successful applicants will be notified in October 2019.


Pinocchio is the animated feature film directorial debut of Academy Award® winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Pinocchio is his lifelong passion project, which he will also write and produce as a stop motion musical. Del Toro has set his retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio in Italy during the 1930s.  

Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and ShadowMachine (Bojack Horseman), which will house the stop-motion animation production. Alongside del Toro, Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce.  Blanca Lista will co-produce. Also alongside del Toro, Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall) will co-write the script, Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) will co-direct, and Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration from Gris Grimly’s original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride).  

A Netflix Original Film.