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Sony Animation Ups Nate Hopper

Nate Hopper has been promoted to svp of creative affairs for Sony Pictures Animation, effective immediately.

From the day we opened our doors three years ago, Nate has been instrumental in building our slate of films, especially our first two films, OPEN SEASON and SURFS UP, said Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, evps of the animation division. He has a wonderful sense of story and humor and a superb sensitivity for writers and material. Nates ability to develop quality material will ensure that we have a very robust pipeline of films for Sony Pictures Ent.

Under Hoppers leadership, the creative affairs department of Sony Pictures Animation has grown to include recently promoted director of development Paul Gerard, creative exec Pete Burns and support staff. Hopper manages the day-to-day process of developing both internal and external projects to feed the pipeline of Sony Pictures Animation.

At Sony Pictures Animation, we want to make films that are fun, edgy and have a fresh take, said Yair Landau, vice chairman, Sony Pictures Ent./president, Sony Picture Digital. Nate has done an outstanding job in nurturing our talent to help make that happen and we are pleased to be able to recognize his efforts with this promotion.

Hopper played a key role in setting up the divisions first two productions, OPEN SEASON, slated for release Sept. 29, 2006, and SURFS UP, scheduled for release in summer, 2007.

Directed by Roger Allers and Jill Culton, OPEN SEASON features the vocal talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, Gary Sinise, Billy Connolly, Jon Favreau, Patrick Warburton, Jane Krakowski, Georgia Engle and Gordon Tootoosis. Producing the film is Michelle Murdocca; Amy Jupiter serves as line-producer.

Set against the backdrop of the high-octane world of competitive penguin surfing, SURFS UP will feature Jeff Bridges, Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods, Jane Krakowski, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone, Michael McKeon and Brian Benben. The film will be directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck and produced by Chris Jenkins, with Lydia Bottegoni serving as co-producer.

Hopper joined Sony Pictures Animation as vp, creative affairs, in August, 2002, from Twentieth Century Fox, where he was vp of production. While at Fox, he supervised production and development on the feature films BIG MOMMAS HOUSE and BLACK KNIGHT starring Martin Lawrence and HIGH CRIMES, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman.

He was responsible for the development on X-MEN II, ALIENS VS PREDATOR and STUCK ON YOU. Hopper began his career as an agent trainee at United Talent Agency. He then became a creative assistant to the president of TriStar Pictures, working closely with then president Marc Platt.

From 1994 to 1996, Hopper worked as a creative executive and then director of development for TriStar Pictures, working on such films as THE MASK OF ZORRO, THE FAN, SWAT and RUDY. Prior to his stint at Fox, Hopper ran the day today operations and development for Apatow Prods., where he set up six pitches in one year at three different studios.

Hopper is a 1990 graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

Sony Pictures Digital, an operating unit of Sony Pictures Ent., consists of Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Ent., SonyPictures.com and Digital Sales and Marketing. The division produces stories, characters, images and experiences conceived, created, rendered and delivered digitally.