Digital Artists Agency (DAA) has hired Jenn Heusser as client liaison and marketing assistant. Heusser's day-to-day involvement in the company will increase DAA's capacity for new clients while greatly extending its ability to identify and act on new opportunities for all DAA clients. The newly created role also represents a commitment to the infrastructure of the company as it expands and prepares to bring on additional talent agents and managers.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS director Henry Selick has joined Vinton Studios as supervising director. Selick will be charged with heading up the studios transition into features. He has begun production on the studio's first high-budget CG short, MOONGIRL.
Selick is wrapping up his duties as animation director on Wes Anderson's THE LIFE AQUATIC. He also adapted and will direct Neil Gaiman's CORALINE for Bill Mechanic's Pandemonium.
Rushes Postproduction Ltd. has promoted Paul Hannaford to head of visual effects.
In his new role, Hannaford will be responsible for the visual effects department, encompassing Flame, Inferno, Fire, Combustion and Backdraft. He will also continue to work as an effects artist and vfx shoot supervisor.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of The Cookie Jar Group, continues its management team growth with the appointment of former Nelvana executive Jim Weatherford as head of Asian Operations, and Michael Wrenn to the newly created post of creative executive. Based in Tokyo, the two new appointments mark Cookie Jars foray into the Asian Pacific market.
The exodus continues at Viacom, Inc. as Jonathan Dolgen, chairman of the Viacom Entertainment Group, is resigning, effective July 15, 2004. His ankling came on the heels the abrupt announcement that Viacom coo Mel Karmazin had stepped down and that Karmazin's role overseeing all Viacom divisions was being split between CBS chief Leslie Moonves and MTV Networks head Tom Freston. With the company's film operations reporting to Freston and its TV divisions reporting to Moonves, Dolgen's role was noticeably diminished.
Tom Freston and Leslie Moonves have been appointed co-presidents and co-coos of Viacom Inc., effective immediately, after the unexpected resignation of Mel Karmazin as chairman/ceo. Freston and Moonves will jointly oversee all of the operations of Viacom, as directed by Sumner M. Redstone, Viacom chairman/ceo. The companys corporate staff will report directly to Redstone.
Jan Cilliers, a South African-born visual effects artist skilled in Discreet Flame and many other software tools, has joined the team at Click 3x. Cilliers most recently taught digital compositing at Escape Studios' School of Visual Effects in London. Previously, he spent eight months with the New York visual effects house Guava, where he worked on SINATRA: HIS VOICE. HIS WORLD. HIS WAY, a unique theatrical presentation that appeared at Radio City Music Hall last year.
Award-winning animation writer Paul Dini has departed Warner Bros. Animation after 15 years of writing hit animated TV series, including the BATMAN BEYOND, DUCK DODGERS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, TINY TOON ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Dini made the announcement on his Deanspeak Website May 25, 2004.
Helen Howells joins Target Entertainment Ltd. as its new director of International Licensing, to manage the licensing of Targets existing properties and identify opportunities for newly acquired properties across various genres, in particular, the international pre-school market. Targets licensing portfolio features key properties including MEG AND MOG, FUNKY VALLEY, THE JELLIES and ANIMAL ANTICS.
Howells was commercial director at 4Kids Entertainment, where she worked on leading brands such as POKEMON, YU-GI-OH! and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.
Continuing its recent growth, Steele VFX has appointed Monique Eissing to the post of Henry artist. Eissing, who has been with the visual effects and finishing studio since 2001, previously served as Mac artist and assistant Henry artist.
"Monique is technically fluent in the art of visual effects," said Steele VFX ceo Jo Steele. "Her progress here has been astounding. Our clients love her subtle attitude, knowledge and willingness to take on any challenge."
Animator Emily Hubley has been selected by the Sundance Institute as one of the five filmmakers of the first "class" of Annenberg Film Fellows. As the first participants in the newly established Annenberg Film Fellows Program, the filmmakers will receive extended support over a two-year period to facilitate the creation of their current projects. The other fellows include Aditya Assarat, Sterlin Harjo, Kazuo Ohno and Alex Rivera.
A52 announced that Mark Tobin, formerly a producer for Santa Monica-based visual effects studio Method, has joined its team in the position of md/exec producer, effective immediately.
DIC Ent. (DIC) has hired top fashion consultant Estevan Ramos to stylize the all-new "tween" brand TROLLZ. As a consultant for DIC, Ramos will be responsible for creating the overall style guidelines of the TROLLZ brand and forecasting the trends of young teens. Ramos will collaborate with DIC's creative team, spearheaded by Mike Maliani, DIC evp of production creative and Vincent Marchica, DIC's vp of creative in the Consumer Products division.
Eovia Corp., developer and publisher of leading 3D software, today announced that Philippe Richard has joined Eovia Corp., developer and publisher of leading 3D software, as ceo. Richard replaces Antoine Clappier, a founder of the company, who chose to step down to pursue other opportunities.
Jonathan Treisman has joined Walt Disney Feature Animation as vp of development, responsible for finding and developing new projects as well as furthering development on existing projects.
Khaki Jones has been promoted to vp original series, for Cartoon Network, responsible for overseeing the creative direction of more than 12 of the network's newest original animated series. She also will serve as the network liaison and provide creative guidance to the creators of existing original programs as well as represent each show to the network's internal marketing, online, public relations and creative services departments.
Visual effects shop Eden FX has expanded its production team by naming Andrea D'Amico as exec producer. In her new post, D'Amico will specialize in the production of feature film visual effects. Regarding her new position, she says, "Eden FX has an excellent track record in long-form television visual effects and recently made an impressive entrée into the feature world by providing over 200 fx shots for HELLBOY, and a beautiful fx shot for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.
TOKYOPOP Inc., one the leading U.S. publishers of Japanese-inspired graphic novels has enlisted former Craven-Maddalena president of production René M. García as vp, film & television. This move is a natural progression for the company as it plans to produce and package the fresh narrative energy of manga for Hollywood. García, along with exec director of development Steve Galloway, will help lead that charge.
The first-ever elected board of UK Post has been announced, the brand new association representing the film and broadcast post-production and effects industry.
All 10 of the largest companies in the sector as well as 70% of the top 50 companies, including the BBC, ITV and a number of emerging companies have already signed up as members.
Steven T. Shikiya as been promoted to svp of marketing and distribution at MGM Studios, a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Shikiya will oversee all finance, planning and operational support for the domestic theatrical marketing and distribution groups for MGM Studios and United Artists, MGM's specialty film label.
Doug Miller has been appointed evp/md of Walt Disney International (Asia-Pacific), as well as svp/md of Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific), overseeing all Disney television activities in the region. Miller will continue to lead television development for the company in Asia and is based in Hong Kong.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of The Cookie Jar Group (formerly Cinar), has appointed former Storyopolis co-founder/president of Storyopolis Prods., Fonda Snyder to the newly created position of svp creative development. Snyder will be responsible for identifying, packaging and producing high quality family entertainment properties for the company.
As part of its current expansion drive, KromA has promoted Adam Fisher to visual effects artist. He had been an assistant artist with the studio for two years. Fisher recently served as lead artist on three music video projects for director Benny Boom, including WHAT IF? from AMERICAN IDOL winner Rubin Studdard. He was also part of a team of artists who performed compositing work for the Britney Spears' TOXIC video and the Busta Rhymes video LIGHT YOUR ASS ON FIRE, both directed by Joseph Kahn, as well as the Exies video MY GODDESS directed by Diane Martel.
Saban Capital Group Inc. (SCG), the private investment firm of Haim Saban, has named Joel Andryc chief creative officer of a new entertainment division, Saban Entertainment Group. Andryc will heading the creative component of Saban's entertainment investment portfolio, Andryc will lead the company's creative evaluation of new strategic opportunities, including the creation, development and acquisition of start-up ventures.