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Production Headline News

New GMs For Disney, Pixar Animation Studios

Disney animation exec Andrew Millstein has been named general manager for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and industry effects production veteran Jim Morris will take on a parallel role as general manager for Pixar Animation Studios

Both executives will be responsible for guiding overall operations of their respective studios, and will continue to oversee all aspects of production related to animated features, short films and special animated projects. They will report directly to Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

Visual Headline News

LAIKA/house Appoints New Visual Effects Supervisor

LAIKA/house President/Executive Producer Lourri Hammack has hired Ben Fischler as Visual Effects Supervisor for LAIKA/house.

In his new position, Fischler will drive the look and push the visual quality of projects within the LAIKA/house CG Department.

Fischler joined LAIKA/house after leaving DreamWorks Animation, where he worked as a Production Lighter on projects including: MADAGASCAR, MADAGASCAR 2: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA, BEE MOVIE, SHREK 2, SHREK THE THIRD, and OVER THE HEDGE.

Licensing Headline News

BabyTV Hires Exec To Head L&M

Baby Networks have expanded their London-based executive team by hiring Ralf Kies as Director, Licensing & Merchandising. In this role Kies will be overseeing the off-air strategic commercial development of the BabyTV brand across home entertainment, licensing and merchandising, FMCG promotions and retail partnerships on a worldwide basis.

Additionally Kies responsibilities include developing broadcast partnerships for Baby Networks Ltd. portfolio of audiovisual content through syndication of programming to international TV channels.

Blogs

Totoro Forest Project Gallery

By Dan Sarto | Monday, September 8, 2008 at 10:27pm

Word coming from the Bay Area is that the Totoro Forest Project auction at Pixar was a stellar success. The world's top film animators, comic book artists and illustrators came together after creating original works of art inspired by the iconic animated film My Neighbor Totoro for an auction to benefit the Totoro No Furusato (Totoro's Homeland) National Fund

Entertainment Headline News

DECODE Promotes Josh Scherba To VP Distribution

DECODE Enterprises, the distribution subsidiary of DHX Media, has promoted Josh Scherba from Director of Sales to VP, Distribution.

In his new role, he will continue to head the sales team for DECODE Enterprises' distribution catalogue which includes programming from DHX's production subsidiary's DECODE Entertainment, Halifax Film and Studio B Productions as well as acquired third party series.

Animation Headline News

W!LDBRAIN Hires Marge Dean To Lead Its Animation Studio

Entertainment and development company W!LDBRAIN has hired Marge Dean as general manager of W!LDBRAIN Animation Studios. Dean will replace Andrea Mansour, who will be leaving the company this fall to relocate to Atlanta with her family. Dean will report to Charles Rivkin, President and CEO, and will work out of the San Francisco office beginning September 8.

Animation Headline News

W!LDBRAIN Signs Deal With Ed, Edd n Eddy Creator

W!LDBRAIN has inked an overall exclusive deal with animation veteran Danny Antonucci, creator of ED, EDD N EDDY, one of the highest-rated and longest-running original cartoons on Cartoon Network. Under the exclusive pact, Antonucci will develop original television series, feature film and new media projects for W!LDBRAIN. The development slate reflects a variety of projects that appeal to kids and adults.

Headline News

Steve Rezayat To Ascend As SPJA CFO

Steve M. Rezayat is joining the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation as Chief Financial Officer.

Rezayat will be joining former Chief Financial Officer and current Chief Executive Officer Trulee Karahashi in the guidance of the organization that runs the nation's largest anime and manga convention, Anime Expo.

Rezayat is a seasoned financial management executive with 36 years of experience and holds a Master's degree in Management and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting.

Information: www.spja.org.

Headline News

Richard Shackleton Appointed Nuke Product Manager At The Foundry

VFX software developer The Foundry has appointed Richard Shackleton as the new product manager for Nuke, its compositing system. Shackleton has more than 15 years experience of product development in the visual effects/editing markets, having previously worked in similar roles with well-known manufacturers, including The Foundry. He takes over from Matt Plec, who has become Nuke product designer.

Japan Headline News

Masato Oda Appointed Deputy President and GM, Animax Broadcast Japan

Animax Broadcast Japan, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Ent. Japan and four major Japanese animation studios -- Toei Animation, Sunrise, TMS Ent. and Nihon Ad Systems -- announced that Masato (Mark) Oda has been appointed deputy president and general manager of the Japanese anime channel.

Media Headline News

Stephen Moore Joins Abbey Home Media

British independent distributor, rights owner and producer of programming for children, Abbey Home Media, has appointed Stephen Moore as a partner and shareholder.

Set up in 1989 by Anne and Ian Miles, Abbey Home Media specializes in distributing programming for preschool franchises. These franchises currently include HORRID HENRY from Novel, SESAME STREET from Sesame Workshop, THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT from Pathe, SPOT from Penguin and PADDINGTON BEAR and THE WOMBLES from Cookie Jar's FilmFair Catalogue.

Imax Headline News

3D Entertainment Hires Former National Geographic IMAX Film Sales Director

IMAX industry veteran Patricia Brandino has joined 3D Entertainment Distribution in the newly created position of VP, Film Sales. Effective September 7, Brandino will be responsible for theatrical sales of the company's current and future film catalogue in North America, including Jean-Michel Cousteau's DOLPHINS AND WHALES 3D released domestically at IMAX 3-D theatres earlier this year. She will report directly to Francois Mantello, the chairman of 3D Entertainment and its distribution unit.

Game Headline News

Keighley Named Video Game Publisher Relations Exec For Spike TV

Video game industry veteran Geoff Keighley has been named executive in charge of video game publisher relations for Spike TV. In his new position, Keighley will spearhead the network's year-round video game programming strategy, as well as manage Spike's editorial relationships with game publishers.

Nickelodeon Headline News

Jane Gould Named VP, Consumer Insights At Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has named Jane Gould to the position of VP, Consumer Insights. The announcement was made by Ron Geraci, SVP, Research and Planning, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to whom Gould will report in New York.

Series Headline News

Jack Olesker Named President Of KEN Creative Studio

Producer/director/writer Jack Olesker, creator of the MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS television series, has been named President of KEN Creative Studio, the India/U.S. production arm of KEN Group, the Bangalore, India-based multinational conglomerate.

Olesker's immediate task will be to develop a slate of original animated feature films and television series for distribution in the U.S. and internationally, and to be produced jointly in the U.S. and India.

Work Headline News

Smoke & Mirrors Adds VFX Specialist Nicholas Seresin

Smoke & Mirrors New York has added award-winning VFX Supervisor/Flame Artist Nicholas Seresin to its growing roster of talented artists. Most recently, Seresin was a vfx supervisor/Flame and Inferno artist at London-based The Moving Picture Company. Prior to MPC, Seresin operated the flame for film, TV and commercials projects at The Mill.

International Headline News

Jim Henson Co. Brings Latest Preschool Property To International Market

The Jim Henson Company has appointed children's television industry veteran Sam Ewing to handle the international sales of its newest property SID THE SCIENCE KID.

In his new position, Ewing will be responsible for overseeing the international sales effort of the acclaimed 3D animated pre-school series, SID THE SCIENCE KID, debuting in the U.S. on September 1, as part of the popular PBS KIDS preschool destination, the hosted two-hour morning block and online destination at pbskids.org.

Disney Headline News

Ignition Ent. Taps Two Industry Vets

Videogame developer and publisher Ignition Ent. has added two executives to its U.S. team -- Susan Hale as Executive Director of Public Relations and Melody Khanbeigi as Product Marketing Manager.

Hale comes to Ignition with more than 25 years of public relations expertise with posts at Disney, Universal and Tokyopop. Khanbeigi's background includes roles at THQ, Disney and Experian.

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