With an eye on a robust slate of current and future client activity, rapidly expanding Blitz Digital Studios (DS), a leading interactive marketing agency based in North Hollywood, California, has elevated three staff members and brought on board two creatives.
Corus Entertainment has promoted Joanna Webb to vp, programming, responsible for YTV, Treehouse TV and Discovery Kids Canada. Webb will continue to be responsible for driving ratings on YTV, Treehouse and Discovery Kids through strategic approaches to program development, acquisitions and partnerships. She will also remain acting director of programming on W Network, Corus specialty network for women.
Paul Gerard has been named creative exec at Sony Pictures Animation. In conjunction with vp of development Nate Hopper, he will oversee all development efforts at the company. Gerard will also be in charge of acquiring new CG features ideas.
"Paul has been an integral part of our inaugural year and shows great passion and enthusiasm for the medium of animation," said Sony Picture Animation exec vps Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox.
Digital Artist Agency (DAA) has signed THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST visual effects supervisor Ted Rae to feature, television and commercial projects.
In addition to his work in Italy on the Mel Gibson religious epic that raked in a heavenly $125M in its first five days, Rae also served as the film's second unit director and second unit dp. Rae was additionally responsible for vfx design, realtime motion control, miniature photography, CGI and digital compositing.
Veteran production and development exec Marjorie Cohn has been promoted to the newly created position of evp, development and original programming, at Nickelodeon. Based in New York, Cohn will oversee all of Nickelodeon's ongoing program development and current series production activities in New York, Los Angeles and Canada
Steven B. Cohen, a pioneer in digital technologies used to edit and screen feature films, has joined Ascent Media Creative Services in the newly created post of vp of feature film services. In his new role, Cohen will develop leading edge digital services for use in film production; including digital dailies, location and studio screening rooms, digital cinema previews and the digital intermediate process.
Steve Siskind replaces Tom Campanella as evp, worldwide marketing and advertising, of the marketing division of the Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures, according to Rob Friedman, coo, Paramount Pictures and vice chairman, Motion Picture Group.
Campanella, who after a career of more than 40 years at Paramount, will change his status to a senior advisor for the company.
Universal Pictures Marketing Creative Operations has brought in Scott Abraham and Jeff Hutchinson as vps while upping Jonathan Q. Kern and Stan Scoggins to vp positions as well.
Jamie Weissenborn has been named to the newly created position of vp, global advertising sales, international networks, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI). Based at SPTI's headquarters in Culver City, California. Weissenborn will manage advertising sales for SPTI's multi-territory programs airing across AXN and Sony Entertainment Television (SET), part of SPTI's International Networks portfolio.
Director Lisa Yu, a rising talent with a unique sensibility for stop motion animation, is the latest addition to Portland-based animation/live action production studio Bent Image Lab's stable of directors. While stop motion animation is most often used in comedy or lighthearted applications, Yu's 2002 independent short, VESSEL WRESTLING, applied the technique to make a dramatic and thought-provoking film about passion and sex. The short's arresting imagery won her numerous accolades and awards, as well as the attention of the partners at Bent.
Hollywood-based Troika Design Group has named Sonia Lamba as creative director. "We have always had great respect for Sonia's work and her reputation as an innovator in our field, and we are excited to have her aboard as a creative director," said Troika co-founder and exec producer Chuck Carey.
Jean Réveillon is now secretary general of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) replacing Jean Stock, who had held the position since October 2001 and who will now be working as special consultant to the president until Dec. 31, 2004.
Arne Wessberg, the EBU President, said he was confident that, "the personal and professional qualities of this extremely experienced professional [Réveillon] will enable him to meet on behalf of the EBU and its members all the challenges facing broadcasters in an ever-changing environment."
Reginald Fils-Aime has been named evp, sales and marketing, for Nintendo of America Inc.'s operations in both North America and Latin America.
A senior consumer marketing exec with a proven track record, Fils-Aime most recently was svp of marketing at VH1, part of the MTV networks, and previously was chief marketing officer for Derby Cycle Corp., and U.S. marketing chief for Guinness Import Co.
Hidemi Fukuhara joins VIZ LLC as the new vice chairman/cfo, replacing Satoru Fujii, who is retiring from day-to-day operations, but will remain on the VIZ board of directors.
Home Box Office has elevated Carolyn Strauss and Sheila Nevins to the titles of president, HBO Entertainment and president, HBO Documentary and Family, respectively.
In making the announcement, HBO chairman/ceo Chris Albrecht said, Carolyn and Sheila have made extraordinary contributions to our programming over many years. Their creative instincts have been instrumental to our success and I wanted to acknowledge that with these promotions.
Merger vet Nadine Nohr now heads the integrated Granada International and Carlton International companies as md of Granada International, it was announced by John Cresswell, coo of Granada, a division of ITV plc in the U.K. Granada International will create the largest commercial distribution company in Europe, delivering co-production, acquisition, format licensing and international video and DVD sales.
Ronnie Cook has been named md of Fox Kids Europes consumer products division, Active Licensing Europe where he will co-ordinate all of FKE's pan-European consumer products activities, including home video, working closely with Fox Kids' local mds.
Cartoon Network lost a kids programming vp when Linda Simensky migrated to PBS late in 2003, and has since gained a former PBS kids programming alum. Alice Cahn has been named vp of development for Cartoon Network's kids businesses, focusing on original entertainment programming for children ages 4-7, and will work with the company's online, marketing, ad sales and licensing teams to expand Cartoon Network's youth-targeted business off-air.
3 Ring Circus, a leading creative branding firm offering services in strategy, design, image and production, continues its expansion, naming Andrew Hoeveler as designer.
Radium recently welcomed five new members to its team: head of production Dennis Hoffman, CG supervisor Kirk Cadrette, Inferno artist Jon Wank, digital effects artist Chris Biggs and CG artist/matte painter Darin Hilton.
Tom Ascheim takes on the newly created position of evp/gm, Nickelodeon Digital Television, overseeing all four of Nick's premiere digital television channels, which include Noggin, The N, Nickelodeon Games and Sports (GAS) and Nicktoons, as well as Nickelodeon Video on Demand (VOD) offerings.
Extending its capabilities in feature film post-production, Santa Monica-based Company 3 has hired visual effects editor and artist Rob Doolittle. Doolittle, who previously collaborated with Company 3 on BAD BOYS II, has broad experience in designing and executing VFX for features. Formerly an applications specialist with visual effects hardware manufacturer Quantel, Doolittle also is a leading expert in that company's Generation Q projects used in on-lining for film and high resolution video projects.
Strengthening its Latin American management team in Miami, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has appointed Angel Orengo to vp, distribution, Latin America and the Caribbean. Orengo will oversee all SPTI program distribution to free, basic and pay TV services and platforms in Latin America and the Caribbean, working closely with SPTI's worldwide distribution, sales planning and finance teams in Los Angeles. He will also be responsible for continuing to develop SPTI's new media opportunities in the region with cable and satellite operators and new entrants in the digital space.
Marvel is getting more aggressive in the videogame business, appointing Ames Kirshen to the new position of manager of game development. Kirshen, with more than six years of experience in the production and management of videogame projects, will lead a small group to oversee the development of all licensed videogames based on Marvel characters, including the creative content, along with other members of Marvel's Publishing division.