Our Team

Joshua Gunn


Josh started Planet Nutshell in 2007. He began his career teaching creative writing at The University of Washington. He then worked at Amazon.com as a content producer, editor, and writer.

Josh holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of Washington and he received his BA in English from The Colorado College. In his spare time, he works as a journalist, short story writer, and essayist. His work has appeared in leading publications including The Atlantic and Vox.com. He has also lectured at MIT, RISD, and VCU on digital storytelling and animation. He is available for speaking engagements via our contact page.


John McGowan

Creative Director

John specializes in animation, character design, and storyboarding. He is passionate about creating original visual stories that educate and entertain. John’s short films have made big screen appearances at the Providence Children’s Film Festival and the Glovebox Film Festival. He enjoys iced coffee, ultimate frisbee, and Ninja Turtles.

John graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2012, where he earned an MFA in Digital Media. He also holds a BA in Graphic Design and Multidisciplinary Studies from Stonehill College.


Brien Hopkins

Senior Animator

Brien is our motion graphics specialist. After watching too many cartoons growing up, he started animating his own. He’s a passionate supporter of slick motion design and amusing stories. You may recognize his work from that catchy car commercial you can’t get out of your head. Since his 10th birthday, Brien has worn the same “Brien Hopkins” embroidered baseball cap. He also enjoys aged Gouda.

Brien received his BA in English Communications in 2009 from Emmanuel College.


David Trexler


David Trexler is a Daytime Emmy Award winning television producer with over twenty years of professional animation production experience. He has supervised, produced and managed seven successful animated television series.

David spent the last ten years with Soup2Nuts animation. As Supervising Producer, David managed all day-to-day production, scheduling, budget, staffing and crew. He also sat on the studio’s development committee.

During that time, he supervised the animated series Time Warp Trio for WGBH/Discovery Kids/BBC/NBC, WordGirl for PBS Kids, Assy McGee for Adult Swim, SciGirls for TPT/PBS, original pilots for Disney XD and PBS Kids, and most recently Astroblast for Sprout/NBC Universal.