Wild Brain Inc. has appointed Charles Rivkin, the former head of The Jim Henson Co., as ceo. This comes on the heels of Dan Rounds becoming a producer and development head at Wild Brain to nurture 3D-animated features.
New York-based studio Version2 has added Dante Piacenza as head of production/exec producer and Lydia Holness as vfx producer of its visual effects and design division.
Tom Sito recounts his thoughts on visiting the Beijing Film Academy, giving a Western view of the education process in the East.
Stop-mo vet Mike Johnson describes what it like was co-directing the groundbreaking Corpse Bride with Tim Burton in this AWN exclusive.
Alan Gregg has been upped to vp, production and distribution, children's television, at Alliance Atlantis Communications to fill the void by Ken Faiers departure to Nerd Corps Ent. Based in Alliance Atlantis head office in Toronto, Gregg is responsible for developing and implementing the overall strategy for the companys childrens properties, including all aspects of production and distribution.
San Francisco-based animation studio Wild Brain has hired Dan Rounds as producer/head of development. He will lead the feature development efforts in acquiring and developing the companys first 3D-animated feature. (OPUS, the proposed BLOOM COUNTY 3D-animated spinoff about the wisecracking penguin, was not given the green light once Miramax split from Disney.)
Leading post-production boutique Post Logic Studios has hired noted feature film colorist Sheri Eisenberg for its Hollywood-based Digital Intermediate team. Eisenberg, who is proficient on Post Logics Grass Valley Spirit 4K, da Vinci 2K and Pogle, previously worked at Laser Pacific Media Corp.
Veteran TV publicity exec James Anderson joins Cartoon Network as vp of public relations, overseeing external and internal communications supporting the domestic Cartoon Network brand, including the flagship television network and its sister services, Adult Swim and Boomerang; and Cartoonnetwork.com.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, the entertainment arm of Cookie Jar Group, is expanding its U.S. Operations with the appointment of Lisa Tanzer to vp, U.S. marketing, and André Lake Mayer to vp, U.S. licensing.
Beth Minehart has been upped from svp, international integration and planning, to svp, international on-demand licensing for NBC Universal Television Distribution. Minehart will oversee on-demand licensing for NBC Universal's product outside of the U.S. and Canada. She will focus on driving significant revenue growth in the burgeoning on-demand arena, including pay-per-view, video-on-demand and subscription-on-demand through traditional and new platforms including cable, satellite, digital terrestrial television, Internet and mobile.
Alison Homewood has joined HIT Entertainment as evp, worldwide television distribution. Based in the companys London office, her focus will be on global TV licensing and co-production of existing brands such as BOB THE BUILDER, THOMAS & FRIENDS, PINGU, BARNEY and ANGELINA BALLERINA, as well as the development of further TV content.
Radium, the growing artist-owned visual effects house based in Santa Monica and San Francisco, recently added two new talents to its roster. Jon Townley, who will serve dual roles as artist manager and creative director, has held top positions in numerous digital studios from MetroLight to Sony Pictures ImageWorks to L-Squared. Jeff Blodgett, incoming exec producer, brings with him 15 years of invaluable post-production experience.
Patricia Wyatt has been named president, HIT North America, based in the companys New York City office where she will be responsible for expanding the existing consumer products and home entertainment businesses for HITs classic preschool brands, including Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, Barney, Pingu and Angelina Ballerina, as well as launching new content. She will also serve on HITs executive management board.
Susan Fleishman has been named evp, corporate communications, Warner Bros. Entertainment, responsible for overseeing and coordinating all corporate communications strategies and activities on a worldwide basis, including media relations (entertainment, business and general), employee communications (working with the Studios human resources team), governmental relations and executive communications. She will assumes her new post on Sept. 26, 2005.
Randy Thom has been appointed as director of sound design at Skywalker Sound. Thom, recipient of last years Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing on THE INCREDIBLES, and previously a Best Sound Oscar for THE RIGHT STUFF, began working for Lucasfilm in 1979. His film projects this year include HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, as well as additional sound design for WAR OF THE WORLDS. A highly prolific sound designer and mixer, Thom is equally at home with animation or live action, with an additional 11 Oscar nominations during his career.
Ken Faier has departed Alliance Atlantis to join Nerd Corps Entertainment as president, responsible for the overall management and administration of the company's library of existing and new intellectual properties, including arranging financing, co-production partners, distribution and licensing and merchandising deals as well as work with the management team to oversee expansion of the companys infrastructure into a full service global player in the childrens market.
WB vet Bruce Rosenblum has been named president of the newly formed Warner Bros.Television Group, to oversee and grow the entire Warner Bros. portfolio of television businesses, including worldwide production and distribution as well as broadcasting.
Gary Marsh moves up to the newly created global position of president, entertainment, Disney Channel Worldwide, responsible for overseeing development and production of Disney Channel Worldwide's entire slate of original programming - both live action and animated - leading the effort to create world-class Disney and Jetix-branded programming for kids and families around the world.
Side Effects Software, developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D software, has appointed industry veteran Garman Herigstad as production consultant. Herigstad will leverage more than 19 years of experience in 3D animation and vfx at Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks to provide on-site production and training support to studios using Houdini software.
Three vps have joined the Sony Pictures Digital Sales and Marketing team. The appointments come as svps Ira Rubenstein and Mike Arrieta establish their senior team to lead development in several emerging markets.
Animator/designer Huy Dang has joined Concrete Pictures, reporting directly to Andy Hann, vp of creative services. Dang will assist the companys creative directors and producers in making animation and design for broadcast work.
I have always wanted to be part a companys success story, Dang said. Concrete Pictures is not only an award-winning company, but a company that is enjoying rapid growth. I look forward to a long career with them.
Electronic Arts (EA) announced a series of executive changes as the company prepares for the next generation of growth. Effective immediately, Paul Lee will serve as president of EA Worldwide Studios, replacing Don Mattrick, who has chosen to seek other opportunities after 23 years of leadership at EA and Distinctive Software (acquired by EA in 1991). David Gardner will now serve as coo of EA Worldwide Studios.
Leading EA's publishing organization will be Gerhard Florin, evp of International Publishing, and Frank Gibeau, evp of North American Publishing.
The Walt Disney Studios has appointed Steve Bardwil to the newly created position of evp of legal affairs, responsible for overseeing all legal affairs for the various entertainment business units studio wide including Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Miramax Films, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Feature Animation, DisneyToon Studios and Buena Vista Theatrical Group and its publishing units.
Liza Burnett has been named evp of publicity for The Weinstein Co. and will head the domestic publicity department, including oversight of all PR staff and the company's extensive film roster and for its genre label, Dimension Films. Veteran Miramax publicity exec Dani Weinstein has been named svp of publicity and will continue to supervise The Weinstein Co.'s film slate.
An executive to supervise Dimension's film slate is forthcoming and the rest of the publicity team will be announced in the coming weeks.