Published 18th March 2024

Studio Spotlight: Gabrielle Ruffle - Royalties & Revenue Executive

This week, we're shining the spotlight on Royalties & Revenue Executive, Gabrielle Ruffle, who shares an insight into her role within Aardman's Sales & Marketing department.

Tell us about your role at Aardman – describe a typical day:

As Royalties & Revenue Executive I work across the Sales, Licensing and Live Events teams to ensure we have received all income owed to Aardman. In return for the rights to use our brands or broadcast our content our licensees can pay a fee or a combination of advances and royalties.

My day will start checking royalty reports and invoicing everything due to us, and I’ll also make a record of any income due to come later in the year against our budgets. We have a huge number of licensees all around the world making and selling Aardman products and broadcasting our content to fans so I deal with multi income streams. Another part of my role is licensing content for screenings to independent cinemas, film festivals, TV production companies, airlines and kids clubs. It’s great to know our films are so popular outside of the usual main broadcast channels.

How did you get into the industry?

I started in music copyright at Future Publishing, I learnt about copyright and seeking permission to use IP, from there I worked at Penguin in the Rights department, then on to BBC Music Copyright where I cleared permission from record companies for their music to be included in BBC DVD releases. By the time I joined Aardman I had a working knowledge of rights and licensing, but it’s been a huge learning experience and I have needed to learn on the job.

What’s your all-time favourite project that you’ve been involved with and why?

I love working on supplying our clips to TV or Film production companies. You never know what’s coming next and it's really nice they want to use Aardman content. I’m a big Shane Meadows fan and so when they asked to use a clip from Shaun the Sheep in the series The Virtues I was happy to help. Another exciting opportunity was when I worked on permission for the Creature Comforts short film to be streamed within Fortnite. People came together to watch shorts at a live film festival called Short Nite in a virtual cinema alongside other award winning shorts.

To date, what has been your biggest professional achievement?

Creating the process of tracking all our income so we can easily share up to date information.  

What are your tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

Take regular days off.  It’s easy to power through and then realise you haven’t had a day off in months.

Organise nights out with colleagues, its so good to meet outside the office and chat about non-work-related stuff.

Name three people who inspire you and why:
  • Chitra Merchant – a local printmaker, her work is gorgeous, I love the colours and subject matter and I try to use similar colours and themes in my artwork.
  • A photographer called Simon Buckley from Manchester, he has a project called Not Quite Light, all about the light in the city at dawn and dusk. His work is beautiful and a definite influence on the subjects I want to paint. I’m saving up for the A0 size print of his well known photo called ‘Rainstorm’.
  • My colleagues at Aardman. I’ve learnt on them a lot from them and I am really grateful.
Who is your favourite Aardman character and why?

Feathers McGraw! He’s a great combination of evil and cool.