Toronto-based distribution company, Breakthrough Ent. has promoted Nat Abraham as its Head of Distribution. Abraham will oversee daily operations including worldwide sales, pre-sales and co-production opportunities.
Jay Fukuto has been promoted to the position of head of studio for Film Roman at a time when the animation studio is working at near-full capacity with proprietary projects, as well as those produced for other companies. The announcement is effective immediately.
Image Metrics, a provider of facial animation solutions for the entertainment industry, is aligning its operations into Video Game and Film & TV divisions to address the growing demand for its services in the two industries.
Image Metrics' Kelvin Duckett has been promoted to GM of the film group. Former Havok sales exec Brian Waddle is joining Image Metrics as GM of the games organization. In these newly-created positions, Duckett and Waddle will work directly with CEO Mike Starkenburg to expand business operations in their respective markets.
Academy Award nominee Les Ekker has joined Zoic Studios as Creative Director of the commercial division. This position includes directing, on and off set visual effects supervision, visual effects design and mentoring.
Ekker, who went freelance to pursue a multi-faceted experience after his 13-year tenure at Digital Domain, was thrilled to have this ideal role specially designed for him at Zoic.
In this month's column, Martin Goodman gets a head start on Christmas by analyzing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town in mythic terms that would make Joseph Campbell proud.
Hornet has signed a new directing team, Santa Maria, comprised of Josh Goodrich and David Hill. Santa Maria will be represented by Passion Pictures in Europe through Hornet's ongoing collaboration with the European production company.
Lucien Harrington has been appointed to the newly created position of VP, Branding & Communications -- Turner Entertainment Networks Asia (TENA).
Crawford Post Production, a service area of Crawford Communications, Inc. and largest post production operation in the southeast U.S., hires Carol Ashley as senior vfx designer. Ashley came to Crawford from Los Angeles, where she was involved with the creative process on feature films and TV for nearly 20 years.
She has worked with DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks and most recently for Technicolor Interactive as art director. Her career began with the California Raisin commercials as animator and character designer on the award-winning campaign.
Guerilla FX continues its expansion with the addition of Creative Director/Effects Supervisor/Director John Bair and Executive Producer Vivian Connolly.
Bair and Connolly come to GFX from Edgeworx (New York, NY), where they worked as a team, and will be concentrating their energies primarily on feature film effects and titles, medium and long format broadcast effects and titles, and broadcast design.
Alasdair MacCuish has been promoted to the position of Managing Director at LipSync Post, after five years as Head of Digital Film at the company.
Jon Diamond, Managing Director of The LipSync Group, said, "I am confident that Alasdair will bring a lot to this role. He has plenty of ideas and enthusiasm to contribute to our future, and help make the services we offer even better in terms of technical excellence and customer service."
Digital entertainment services company RealNetworks has appointed John Barbour as President of its games division. Barbour joins Real after more than 20 years of success in consumer entertainment businesses, particularly in toys and games.
Eric Berger, SVP, digital networks, will take over the reins of Crackle, Sony Pictures Entertainment's online video network.
In this role, Berger will oversee content development and programming, marketing and distribution for Crackle.
"Eric has a clear vision for the future of Crackle," said Sean Carey, senior exec VP, Sony Pictures Television. "one that takes advantage of the studio's current relationships and assets as well as looking for breakout talent. His passion for the space and for Crackle's potential are certain to take it to the next level."
Bill Desowitz gets under the hood of the new Pixar interstitial series with co-directors Rob Gibbs and Victor Navone.
Visual effects veteran Steve Dellerson has joined LOOK Effects Inc. Hollywood as Exec Producer for feature film production. At LOOK, Dellerson will promote additional growth and provide guidance to the company's creation of motion picture visual effects. Dellerson's experience in vfx production, from shooting through digital post processes, will enhance client communications and support production efficiency across LOOK's simultaneous productions.
VFXWorld goes deeper into Autodesk's surprising acquisition of 3D rival Softimage with Autodesk Media & Ent. SVP Marc Petit and Softimage General Manager Marc Stevens.
Tanya Van Court, who has led Nickelodeon's preschool and parents online businesses, will now expand her position in the company as SVP and GM of NOGGIN, ParentsConnect and Nick Jr.com. Van Court will report to Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group's Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Kirshbaum Levy for TV; and Exec VP, Digital Media, Steve Youngwood for digital.
Academy Award-winning digital production studio Digital Domain has named Cliff Plumer CEO. The company also promoted Kevin Weston to Chief Financial Officer. Former CEO Mark Miller remains the company's President.
The appointments reflect Digital Domain's focus on its core business -- visual effects for feature films and commercial production -- and strategic development of its efforts in games and animation.
Digital production company Zoic Studios, known for its award-winning work in commercials, episodic television and feature film, has signed producer Lisa Pierce and promoted staffer Steve Meyer.
In this edition of her bimonthly column, Nancy Cartwright interviews top-ranked voice-over actor Jess Harnell.
Dan Smiczek has joined Ring of Fire as Head of CGI/Visual Effects Supervisor. He will be working in collaboration with owners and partners Creative Director Jerry Spivack, Executive Producer John Myers and their producing team, overseeing and supervising 3D, animation and visual effects.
Image Metrics, the provider of facial animation for the entertainment industry, continues to expand its executive management team with the appointment of industry veterans Stephen Peacock and Eric Schumacher to the roles of VP of product marketing, and VP of marketing, respectively. Peacock and Schumacher will work closely together on industry marketing efforts.
Lionsgate Co-Chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer has signed a new long-term agreement with Lionsgate extending his tenure until March 2014. His previous contract ended March 2011.
Separately, Michael Burns has also reached agreement to extend his contract as Vice Chairman until September 2011. Feltheimer and Burns now will have 25 years' combined experience at the helm of Lionsgate by the end of their respective contracts, reflecting exceptional long-term stability.