Rainmaker Ent. has promoted animation producer Jennifer Twiner-McCarron to Vice President of Production, Rainmaker Ent. Twiner-McCarron has been producer or exec producer on most of Rainmaker's films for the past eight years.
Warren Franklin, CEO of Rainmaker Ent. also announced that Kimberly Dennison has joined Rainmaker as Director of Development and Barbara Dawson has returned to the company as Director of Talent Relations and Recruiting, both newly-created positions. Tony Pelle has been promoted to Director of Technology, also a newly created post.
Paul Gertz, Exec VP of Business Development, will continue to be responsible for studio relationships, partnerships and business affairs. Gertz, Dennison, Dawson and Twiner-McCarron will report directly to CEO Franklin, with Pelle reporting to Twiner-McCarron.
"I am extremely pleased to promote Jennifer to head up our production team. She has more than proven her talent and judgment over the years and as we further position Rainmaker to develop and produce its own content, I have full confidence in Jennifer's ability to lead our team," Franklin said. "With the additions of Kimberly and Barbara, and Paul heading business development and Tony overseeing technology, our goal of producing our own projects is now more fully realized."
"After all the years watching this company grow and mature into one of the world's animation leaders, I'm very proud to have the opportunity to lead the production effort," Twiner-McCarron commented. "And with our new management team in place, I know we'll be breaking fresh ground, given our talented artists, innovative technicians and the level of projects we anticipate creating."
Twiner-McCarron, whose responsibilities will encompass the studio's overall production strategy for films, DVDs and games, began her career at Rainmaker (formerly Mainframe) in 1997 as a production assistant and animation tracker on BEAST WARS: TRANSFORMERS. She soon became production coordinator then line producer on SHADOW RAIDERS and ACTION MAN and eventually moved up to producer in 2001 with BARBIE IN THE NUTCRACKER. She went on to produce or exec produce four more films in the Mattel Barbie franchise, plus HOT WHEELS HIGHWAY 35 WORLD RACE, and a video game -- ENTER THE MATRIX. An award winner of several Leo's and an ELAN, Twiner-McCarron will serve as Exec Producer on all Mattel projects and will manage the company's operations and production technology.
Kimberly Dennison comes to Rainmaker after 13 years at The Walt Disney Company where she worked in a variety of capacities gathering experience in animation story development, production pipeline set-up, casting, voice direction and post-production supervision. Originally at DisneyToon Studios, Dennison was on the production management team responsible for their many DVDs and lower budget films. She then served as Associate Producer responsible for developing a program of animated short programs entitled Shorty McShorts' Shorts that aired on the Disney Channel. At Rainmaker, Dennison will act as the point person for pitches and potential projects.
Barbara Dawson, appointed Rainmaker's Director of Talent Relations and Recruiting, comes full circle having started her career at Mainframe 12 years ago. While there, she moved quickly from production assistant to producer on the first all-CG television series, REBOOT, and her skills led her to a production manager position at Industrial Light & Magic where she worked on such projects as AI: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, STAR WARS: EPISODE I -- THE PHANTOM MENACE, HULK, THE MUMMY, PEARL HARBOR and MEN IN BLACK II. After her return to Canada, she was hired at the Vancouver Film School to teach in their 3D Animation and Visual Effects Department. In addition to her teaching duties, she recruited for LucasArts and for Lucasfilm Animation and the new Lucasfilm Animation Singapore studio. This led to a position as studio recruiter at Vanguard Animation for their 3D animation feature SPACE CHIMPS. Dawson will oversee artist relations and training as well as managing the studio's talent requirements.
Tony Pelle began his career as a senior software developer at Mainframe in 1996. He moved to Industrial Light & Magic as a CG software engineer in 2001, returning to Vancouver with stints at Mainframe and Vanguard Animation where he served as senior tools developer/pipeline architect for the feature film SPACE CHIMPS before coming to Rainmaker as co-CG supervisor on ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH. In his new role as Director of Technology, Pelle will set the direction for technology and pipeline development within the company and work with producers, CG supervisors and production staff to plan future productions, allocate resources, address technology issues and manage the production technology staff.
Recently Rainmaker also added two new board members -- Gordon Radley, former president of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Steve Arnold, former Microsoft executive and founder of Polaris Venture Capital -- who have joined the company to bring their expertise and experience to help guide the growth of Rainmaker. Additionally, Rainmaker selected Bryant Pike as CFO several months ago. Prior to Rainmaker, Pike was at Insight Film Studios where during his tenure, production volume increased from $50M per year to nearly $110M per year.
Currently in production at Rainmaker is ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH, a theatrical feature with The Weinstein Company; and recently completed productions include an animated sequel to THE NUTTY PROFESSOR; and new installments in Mattel's Barbie and Max Steel franchises.
In April 2008, Rainmaker announced a partnership with legendary comic book creator Stan Lee and his POW! Ent. to develop and produce a new franchise entitled LEGION OF 5. Rainmaker is also in the process of developing a series of feature projects based on REBOOT. Rainmaker recently went live with new websites for both the company (www.rainmaker.com) and ReBoot (www.reboot.com).