Shuffle Inc., an international television commercial production company with offices in Venice, California, and Tokyo, Japan, has launched Shuffle USA as a new operating unit.
Ann Mather will step down as evp and cfo of Pixar Animation Studios in May to devote more time to her family. She will be replaced by Simon Bax, 45, who has more than 20 years of financial operations experience, including more than seven years as cfo of Fox Filmed Ent.
Lianne Siegel Shattuck was recently promoted to vp, current programming and Gary Hall was recently named vp, post-production at Twentieth Century Fox TV.
Siegel Shattuck rose through the ranks of the studio's comedy department, working on most of Twentieth's successful animated comedies including, KING OF THE HILL, THE SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY and FUTURAMA. She also served as the creative exec on Titus and AUSA.
Miramax Home Entertainment adds 24-year industry sales and marketing veteran Jeffrey Fink as sevp of the division, reporting to Miramax Films chief coo Rick Sands and co-president of production Bob Osher, who jointly run the home entertainment division.
Nearly a decade after his first stint at Comedy Central began, programming and network-branding guru Doug Herzog rejoins the all-comedy channel as president, replacing Larry Divney, who will retire. Herzog will be based in the network's Los Angeles office, as of early May 2004.
Josh Sabarra joins New Line Home Entertainment (NLHE) as vp of publicity, based in Los Angeles. In his new post, Sabarra will work closely with the divisions marketing team to publicize home entertainment releases and will liaise with New Line Cinemas theatrical department to integrate public relations activities, as well as, handle corporate communications for the home entertainment unit.
The announcement was made today by New Line Home Entertainment senior vice president of marketing Matt Lasorsa.
Flame artist Toni DiMauro has joined Click 3x. DiMauro is skilled in compositing, beauty work and design with diverse credits in commercial and broadcast media. She joins Click 3x from the freelance ranks and has recently worked with the studio in that capacity on projects for Road Runner High Speed Online and ESPN.
MGM Pictures, a division of MGM Studios Inc., has promoted Bruce Markoe to evp, feature post-production. He will report to Andy Davis, the evp of physical production.
"Bruce has become a vital part of MGM since he joined the company, and has been a great supporter of filmmakers here," said Davis. "This promotion is extremely well deserved."
Stan Szymanski has been promoted to svp of digital production at Sony Pictures Imageworks, effective immediately. For the past eight years, Szymanski has served as vp of digital production at Imageworks, where he supervised the overall direction and day-to-day operations.
Mark Lebowitz joins TOKYOPOP Inc. as cfo, with more than 15 years of proven financial and operational experience in the entertainment, distribution, media, international and manufacturing sectors. The former Sony Pictures Entertainment pro will use his strong analytical, leadership and business development expertise to champion the company's financial and operating performance and build upon the phenomenal success TOKYOPOP has seen in the past several years.
FOX Broadcasting Co. upped creative marketing exec Rafe Oller to svp, creative marketing and branding, while Brian Dollenmayer and Scott Lauritzen have both been promoted to svp, On-Air Promotion.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has promoted Carolyn Stalins to svp, international television distribution, overseeing distribution in the important French and U.K. markets for MGM's features and TV series and NBC Studios' TV series, as well as the catalogues of MGM/UA, Orion, Polygram and NBC.
Hari Varma joins Toonz Animation India as director of computer graphics and visual effects. He was the vfx animation director of BOYS, the hit Tamil feature film, which won the Seagate Award for Excellence in Animation for Films, and the vfx animation supervisor for the award-winning Hindi feature, KOI...MIL GAYA.
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.