Chicago’s loss is Richmond’s gain. Today, Richmond-based Hue&Cry announces it is bolstering its management team with the appointment of Matt Darnall as Creative Director. Adding his creative leadership and ingenuity, in his new role he will oversee creative direction, innovation, and strategy for the animation and design house
Having spent nearly seven years at The Mill, Darnall relocates from Chicago to join the award-winning Richmond based studio where he will propel and drive creative development and steer Hue&Cry’s talented and increasing group of designers and animators.
“I’m absolutely delighted and honored to join the team down in Richmond. Hue&Cry already has such a strong identity and presence in the industry – I am just so excited to join the team and help contribute to the Hue&Cry legacy, and help push the creative to new heights with the talented staff,” shares Darnall. “My family and I haven’t lived in Virginia before, but we heard it’s for lovers – so it sounds like our kind of place.”
Boasting 10+ years of a diverse, rich background in the animation and design field, Darnall has climbed the industry ranks, holding posts from illustrator, animator, and designer to creative director and animation director.
Working and shepherding both large and small teams, Darnall’s projects have spanned from broadcast television to film and entertainment and run the gamut of traditional animation, film title sequences to CG character pieces, VFX driven creative, and motion graphics.
Darnall cut his teeth freelancing in studios such as Digital Kitchen, Filmograph, Vitamin, Daily Planet, Sarofsky, and Radar for several years before taking a full-time design post at the expanding Mill office in Chicago in 2014.
He was the first hire for the design department, and quickly emerged as a key player where he began to lead jobs and art direct as the studio exploded from 15 staffers to 65+, becoming the go-to Animation Director for The Mill Group.
Known for his animation prowess, appealing character work, whimsical storytelling, and attractive visuals, Darnall has designed and developed identity for an array of leading clients and entities including Sony Playstation, Jack Daniels, Coors Light, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, McDonald’s, Extra Gum, Nike, State Farm, VISA, Tag Heuer, Chicago Bulls, HBO, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
Notable TV and film properties he has had a hand in creating visuals for include HBO’s True Blood, Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring, Sony Pictures Screen Gems’ Deliver Us From Evil, and Summit Entertainment’s Snitch starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Of late, Darnall has also been a leading creative voice for the Wholly Guacamole and Dairy Queen accounts with BBDO San Francisco and Barkley where he’s been directing fully CG character driven spots. His Wholly Guacamole and Visa spots were recently shortlisted at the AICP Awards.
“From my very first call with Matt I could tell he was a great fit, both creatively and culturally,” says Hue&Cry Executive Producer Scott Friske. “When we started Hue&Cry almost 7 years ago, Magnus and I surrounded ourselves with homegrown talent and people who just wanted to be a part of someplace special. Matt brings the same attitude and enthusiasm of that original crew. I’m really looking forward to having Matt’s talent and creative leadership at the helm of our roster.”
Magnus Hierta, Hue&Cry Founder & Executive Creative Director adds, “We’re incredibly excited to add a new creative leader to our team. Matt Darnall is the type of creative director who never stops learning and exploring new techniques, which is exactly the kind of energy we love at Hue&Cry. His experience with leading teams, big clients, and his love of craft is going to help lead our studio to continued success.”
Reel 360 wishes Matt the best of luck on his move.