'Normal People' Production Banner Hires Pulse Films' Chief Creative Officer Lucas Ochoa

Lucas Ochoa - H 2020
Element Pictures

Lucas Ochoa

Element Pictures, the Oscar-winning Irish company behind 'The Favourite,' has also tapped U.K. TV veteran Michael Dawson, with both joining as executive producers.

Element Pictures, the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production banner behind Normal People, The Favourite, Lobster and Room, has bolstered its creative team with the hire of two executive producers working primarily in TV.

Lucas Ochoa joins from Pulse Films, where he was the chief creative officer of the scripted division. He most recently exec produced, alongside Pulse CEO Thomas Benski, Gareth Evans' crime drama Gangs of London for Sky Atlantic and AMC, which became the Sky's biggest original drama of the last five years.

Ochoa's other credits include Andrea Arnold's Cannes jury prize winning American Honey, the Emmy-nominated doc XY Chelsea, the Emmy-winning Trophy for CNN Films and Rob Eggers’ horror/thriller The Witch.

"I am delighted to be joining Element at such an exciting time in the company’s journey," said Ochoa. "I’ve long admired their incredible track record in film and television and am very much looking forward to being part of the company’s future."

Michael Dawson, meanwhile, joins Element from Silverprint Pictures, having previously been the script executive and executive producer on four series of ratings hit Vera starring Brenda Blethyn, and Chris Lang’s Dark Heart; both for ITV. Dawson previously spent eight years in BBC Drama where he worked as producer, story producer and series editor on over two hundred hours of television including BAFTA-winning periods for Holby City and Eastenders.

"Joining Ed and Andrew at Element is an undeniable opportunity to be part of an innovative and world class creative team as they expand their TV output," said Dawson. "I am also very excited to be growing their footprint in Northern Ireland. I cannot wait to get started."

Both Ochoa and Dawson are set to take up their new roles from early October, will be based in the the London office and will develop new projects as well as work across the existing slate. Dawson will also oversee Element’s Belfast office with a particular focus on growing the company's profile and projects in Northern Ireland. Both will report directly into Element co-founder Ed Guiney, as the lead on development and production, while Guiney's co-founder Andrew Lowe will remain across all key decisions from a business affairs and commercial standpoint.

"Both Lucas and Michael are terrific producers with incredible taste and experience and we feel very lucky indeed to be welcoming them to join the amazing team at Element," said Guiney. "We look forward to building on our track record, working with the best film-makers, writers and creators as we continue to grow our capacity in television drama."

Normal People, based on Sally Rooney's bestselling novel and produced for the BBC and Hulu, is currently nominated for four Emmys. Meanwhile, Element is in pre-production on Rooney's first published novel, Conversations With Friends.