Animator Joanna Priestley celebrates 20 years of innovation, imagination and squiggly lines with the recent release of her two-disc DVD anthology, Fighting Gravity and Relative Orbits.
Cathy Laughton joins London-based Celador Intl in February 2005 as head of kids programming to champion of its new kids division (Celador International Kids) and will be responsible for sales of the companys portfolio of childrens programming as well as the development of new program acquisitions.
Laughton has 15 years experience in television distribution, which includes stints with Nelvana Enterprises (U.K.) Ltd, Jim Henson Co. and HIT Entertainment Plc.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has promoted Christoph Pachler from exec director to vp, business development, in charge of strategic planning and new business initiatives for SPTI's three business lines: distribution, international networks and international production. His primary focus is on identifying new opportunities to expand SPTI's international networks portfolio, including the launches of new networks and acquisition of existing channels, as well as the acquisition of local production companies worldwide.
Laura Michalchyshyn has joined the Sundance Channel as evp, programming & marketing, responsible for all creative expressions of the Sundance Channel brand, both on and off-Channel, including original programming, film acquisition, program planning, on-air promotion and the creative strategy and implementation of all off-Channel consumer marketing.
Michalchyshyn, who will be based in New York City, will report to Sundance Channel Founder Robert Redford and Larry Aidem, president/ceo.
Northern Lights Post has added noted comedy/lifestyle editor John Laskas to its roster of talented editors and named Rich Schafler of Schafler Artist Management, New York, as its east coast commercial sales rep.
Brad Grey, chairman of Brillstein-Grey Ent., has been named chairman/ceo of Viacom's Paramount Motion Picture Group. Grey assumes the titles of chairman and ceo in a newly broadened role. In this position, he will have ultimate authority on film development and production as well as business operations, worldwide.
Pamela Kaufman has been promoted from svp, Nickleodeon marketing to evp, marketing and worldwide promotions, expanding her responsibilities to include strategic planning of worldwide programming launches as well as global partnership deals.
"Pam Kaufman is one of the most successful marketers in the entertainment industry," said Nickelodeon TV president Cyma Zarghami, to whom Kaufman will continue to report. "Her consumer marketing and property management skills have raised the creative bar for the entire industry and have turned our TV properties into gold."
Rick Sands has been named as the new president/coo of DreamWorks SKG. In his new post, Sands will primarily be responsible for overseeing the management of day-to-day operations of the private company, reporting directly to principal partner David Geffen.
Curious Pictures announced that it has joined forces with Grand Large, the Paris-based commercial production company, and will be working with Grand Larges new award-winning French director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director and writer of AMELIE and A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT.
Grand Large has a compelling group of feature directors, and I am really excited about them and their work, said David Starr, exec producer/marketing director for Curious Pictures. If there is one director that I have always wanted to work with, it is Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Marvel Comics has brought Mark Paniccia on board as a senior editor to significantly bolster the publishers presence and success in the hot teen graphic novel category. He will also recruit a new generation of comicbook writers and artists.
iO Film, a technologically advanced, full-service digital film finishing facility specializing in film and video projects, has promoted Evan Edelist from svp/development to gm/evp. Edelist will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility, overseeing production, scheduling and sales.
He will also help design the companys new 26,000-square-foot Hollywood facility, slated for a summer 2005 movie-in, working closely with iO Films cto Kevin Mullican.
Mike Hackett is on board as a staff editor at Crush Editorial, a leading post-production editorial company specializing in TV commercials, motion picture trailers, promotional content for videogames and other video programming, according to Cindy Carey, Crush Editorials exec producer.
Mike Hackett has edited more than 200 TV commercials and music videos, and assistant edited some 600 TV spots, as well as assistant edited 22 episodes of fifth season of the TV series BABYLON 5 and two related TV movies.
Vinton Studios has named Mike Cachuela director of story for feature films, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Cachuela has been a longtime collaborator with Vintons stop-motion master Henry Selick. Cachuela was storyboard artist on Wes Anderson's THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU for which Selick did the stop-motion animation.
"Having someone of Mike's caliber join our feature film division is testimony to our commitment to make Vinton Studios a major producer of full-length animated feature films for the global market," Vinton Studios ceo Jeff Farnath said.
Stanley Cheung has been named md, The Walt Disney Co. (China), responsible for driving the company's strategy, coordinating all of Disney's business efforts in China, including overseeing Disney's global brands in the market, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new business opportunities.
Disney will now have its existing businesses in China managed locally, with all business segments reporting into Cheung, as well as their respective business units. Based in Shanghai, Cheung assumes his new post on Jan. 1, 2005.
Rupert Gavin has been appointed non-executive chairman of the Contender Entertainment Group (CEG), one of the U.K.s fastest growing entertainment companies. Gavin will be assisting CEG to double its market share of the U.K. DVD market and expand its wholly owned IP base.
Robert Harper, vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox, has been promoted to vice chairman, Fox Filmed Ent. With his promotion, Harper assumes new global strategic, creative and managerial responsibilities for all of Fox Filmed Ent., concentrating particularly on interdivisional synergy.
Harper's promotion reflects the studio's success, growth and management stability. Fox has had three consecutive, record-breaking years, with over $2 billion in worldwide box office in 2004.
In the second of four installments on art direction for their book Inspired 3D Short Film Production, Jeremy Cantor and Pepe Valencia look at how color, texture and style help define characters and story.
IDT Entertainment has appointed Janet Healy to the newly created position of president of animation production. In her new post, Healy will oversee all budgets, staff and production schedules for all IDT Entertainment animation projects. In addition, she will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan that will maximize the production effectiveness of all the IDT Entertainment animation studios.
Gene Deitchs Charlottes Web starts to go south as Bill Snyder writes a letter that turns E.B. White sour on the project.
In part two of a two-part piece, Christopher Panzner gives readers a detailed guide to where financing is found throughout Asia.
Hugely successful program director Susanne Schosser is exiting Super RTL and will be moving to EM.TV on April 1, 2005 to succeed of Dr. Matthias Schulze who is leaving the company at his own request. Together with Patrick Elmendorff she will be responsible for the management of both EM.TV subsidiaries EM.Entertainment GmbH and Junior.TV GmbH & Co. KG. Schosser will be responsible for production, program acquisition and national sales.
Debbie Denise has been promoted to evp, Production Infrastructure, and exec producer at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Denise, who joined Imageworks with Ken Ralston in 1995, is a highly respected executive visual effects producer who most recently completed production on the CG feature THE POLAR EXPRESS, on which she also received credit as associate producer. It was her sixth film with director Robert Zemeckis. With this promotion, she continues in her role as an exec producer along with oversight of Imageworks production infrastructure. Together with recently appointed Jenny Fulle, the two evps lead all aspects of Imageworks production, from client relations and bidding to production management and staffing. Both continue to report to Imageworks president Tim Sarnoff.
Visual effects supervisor and ESC Ent. founder Kim Libreri has joined Industrial Light & Magic as the company prepares to move next year into its new Presidio facility in San Francisco and goes through a major shift in the way the facility structures productions and support ranks on its film projects.