Laura Grieve

From Helensburgh to Madagascar via Shrek! A true Artist of the Digital Age

Laura Grieve was born in Glasgow on August 5th 1969, but spent 16 formative years of her life in Helensburgh. Laura was a pupil at Hermitage, sharing a class at the Academy with future Film Director, Tom Vaughan.

On leaving the Academy, Laura continued her education at Oxford Brookes University, where she studied Fine Art & Anthropology, also managing to spend time at the University of the Aegean, on an Erasmus Scholarship and the University of Northern Colorado.

After graduation, Laura moved to Liverpool and joined the video game development company, SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment) Studio Liverpool, which at the time was called Psygnosis. Studio Liverpool is the oldest and second largest development house within Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's stable of developers, and is best known for the WipeOut series of futuristic racing games, on which Laura was involved with the 3D Graphics. WipeOut was the first instalment released for the original PlayStation in 1995 and it went on to win a number of awards including the Imagina Prix Pixel 1996 for animation in Gaming. SCE Liverpool is also associated with the Formula One series of licensed racing games, and the Colony Wars series released on the original PlayStation.

In 1997 Laura left Liverpool and moved to San Francisco in the US, and after a short while founded a video game company called Shaba Games with six friends. From its humble beginnings on Shotwell Street in San Francisco, Shaba Games weathered storms and celebrated triumphs in becoming one of the world’s most innovative games producers. Its members have worked on such critically acclaimed, high selling games as Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, Wakeboarding Unleashed, Spider Man: Web of shadows, and Shrek Super Slam. Shaba shared its games with millions of people around the world. The company was eventually sold to the larger Activision in 2002, where it survived as a standalone games studio until its closure in October 2009.

After leaving the games industry Laura was invited to add her considerable creative skills to an animated film that was being developed by DreamWorks’ studio. The film was about an unlikely Hero in the form of a big green ogre – the film was Shrek.

The film was extremely successful on release in 2001 and it helped establish DreamWorks as a major player in the field of feature film animation, particularly in computer animation. Shrek was the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a category introduced in 2001.

Since the release of Shrek, Laura has worked on all of the Shrek sequels, Madagascar movies and also a number of shorts and commercials. Laura is now a Computer Graphics Supervisor for DreamWorks, and in her own words is enjoying ‘working with an amazingly talented and incredibly lovely bunch of geeks and artists’, as she prepares the visual development of a new film scheduled for release in 2010.