Jessica Samet has been promoted from vp to the newly-created position of svp of original programming and series development for MTV in Los Angeles, responsible for developing and overseeing original long-form original programming, working closely with scheduling, marketing, communications, and advertising teams at the network.
THE INCREDIBLES director/writer Brad Bird has gain new representation at the William Morris Agency, reports VARIETY. This year, Bird garnered two Oscar nominations for original screenplay and animated feature. Previously, Bird directed the animated classic IRON GIANT and served as a writer on THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL and the Steven Spielberg-produced AMAZING STORIES. Bird was previously repped at CAA.
Bill Desowitz talks with visual effects supervisors from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I, Robot and Spider-Man 2 about each others work.
Butch Hartman, the award-winning creator and exec producer of THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS and DANNY PHANTOM, has signed a multi-year deal with Nickelodeon Networks to create original animated and live-action programming for Nickelodeon and Noggin.
Award-winning editorial, visual effects and design company Version2 has promoted editor Tina Mintus to partner. Mintus, who has been with owner/editor Vito DeSario for eight years, will head the company with DeSario and be responsible for new recruitment.
Digital-Tutors has added Joe Turner and Sunder Iyer to its growing team. Joe brings a background in concept illustration, 3D imaging, cartooning and more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of artistic fields. As sr. art director, Turner will lead the creative direction of Digital-Tutors and visualization of its expanding lines. Iyer brings a background as a technical 3D artist with expertise in rigging, dynamics and game development. As the sr. 3D curriculum developer, Iyer will design curriculum and interactive solutions for Digital-Tutors.
MGM Home Entertainment Group, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has promoted Ian Sutherland from svp to evp, international theatrical distribution and marketing.
"Ian has done important work overseeing our overseas distribution and marketing efforts in conjunction with our partner, Twentieth Century Fox Intl," said David Bishop, president of the group. "This well deserved promotion recognizes that work."
Brenda Freeman joins VH1 as vp of consumer marketing, overseeing all off-channel marketing for the company. She will work closely with many facets of VH1 including the integrated marketing, ad sales, research and press groups to maximize consumer awareness of VH1's networks, platforms and initiatives.
Bob Picunko has been promoted to director, business development and production for Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Co.
Reporting to Michael Ryder, vp of worldwide production for BVG, Picunko will be responsible for strengthening relationships with videogame developers and content creators as well as focus on assessing new game concepts for the company and drive the process of identifying, developing and growing new strategic business relationships with independent developers.
Daniel Taylor has been appointed president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., following completion of the sale of MGM to the consortium now acquiring the film/TV studio and its library. The investor group consists of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, DLJ Merchant Banking, Sony Corp. of America and Comcast Corp.
Nancy Fowler (formerly Bassett) moves up from svp to the newly created position of president, Worldwide Consumer Products at DIC. She will expand her role to include actively participating in the acquisition of new childrens properties for the purpose of developing licensing and merchandising programs for DIC.
Former Lucas Digital president Jim Morris wont be moving to Southern California after all to pursue a producing career in computer-animated features. After an 11-year stint as the Lucas Digital head and another 13 years as gm of Industrial Light & Magic, Morris will be producing at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. According to a Pixar spokesperson, Morris begins at Pixar on Feb. 14, 2005, to work on an upcoming feature film project. We think Jim will be a very good fit, considering his visual effects background at ILM.
Janet Hetherington chats with Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, who along with Seth MacFarlane, are the co-creators of FOXs newest cheeky animated series, American Dad.
Commercial film and design company Hornet Inc. welcomed Peter Sluszka for exclusive representation, the renowned stop-motion artist that recently collaborated with director Michel Gondry on a music video for Steriograms single Walkie Talkie Man (from the debut album SCHMACK!). The music video is nominated for Best Short Form Music Video of the year by the 47th Grammy Awards (taking place Feb.13).
Doug Herzog replaces Albie Hecht as president, Spike TV, adding the responsibility of overseeing the first network for men to his existing role as president, Comedy Central. Comedy Central and Spike TV will form a new unit, within MTV Networks, under Herzog. Herzog will report to Herb Scannell, MTV Networks Group president on Spike TV, and will continue to report to Judy McGrath, chairman, MTV Networks, on Comedy Central. Herzog will continue to be based in Los Angeles.
Steve Hendricks has joined leading post-production boutique Post Logic Studios as president/ceo. With state-of-the-art facilities in Hollywood and New York, Post Logic has distinguished itself as a leader in digital intermediate and feature film restoration, and continues to expand into new and emerging arenas within the post-production realm. Hendricks brings a wealth of domestic and international experience into the company, and will oversee day-to-day business operations as well as expansion opportunities.
Albie Hecht, president of Spike TV, announced his resignation today (Jan. 31, 2005) due to creative differences.
Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, has created two new positions and added new responsibilities for several executives to increase her divisions global presence.
Jim Davey has been named svp, Global Consumer Products Marketing and Planning while Tanya Haider becomes vp, Nickelodeon & Viacom International Consumer Products. The positions were created to bring global planning and execution to key franchises for Nickelodeon and Viacom.
Lions Gate Entertainment Toronto is restructuring its family entertainment division, including a name change from Family Home Entertainment to Family Entertainment to reflect the division's broadened scope and vision. In this effort, Anne Parducci has been promoted to the newly created position of evp in charge of family entertainment and marketing while evp Ken Katsumoto sees expanded responsibilities. Additionally, Lions Gate has promoted director of marketing Michael Rathauser to vp, Family Entertainment. And industry vet Glenn Ross is departing to pursue other ventures.
Jason Donati has been named as department chair of Media Arts & Animation at The New England Institute of Art (NEiA).
TV-Loonland head Peter Voelkle has left the company as shadows of tax evasion charges loom over him from the Munich district attorney's office, reports VARIETY. However, Voelkle will remain as a strategic and planning consultant. Head of finance and controller Selma Behlueloglu will take Voelkles place.
Corus Entertainment is shuffling around its television division, as Peter Moss, evp of programming takes on the role of creative consultant; Joanna Webb becomes vp, programming, W Network; and Phil Piazza joins Corus as vp, programming, childrens television.
Moss will now help guide Corus original productions and advise the senior programming team on scheduling and buying strategies, while he spends more time on directing and producing.