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Universal Headline News

Kennedy/Marshall Headed for Sony

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are set to leave Universal Pictures, per VARIETY, and will have a first-look deal at Columbia Pictures that starts April 1.

The frequent Steven Spielberg collaborators, who started their company in 1991, will be at Columbia for an 18-month term. Their last Universal film was THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.

Headline News

Layoffs at Sesame Workshop Announced

Sesame Workshop will cut 20 percent of its workforce, another victim of the recession, according to VARIETY.

The nonprofit producer of SESAME STREET and other educational programming will eliminate 67 of its 355 positions.

Sesame debuted the still-running SESAME STREET in 1968 and recently premiered a remake of their popular 1970s series THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.

Production Headline News

Director Steve Chase Signs with Curious Pictures

Director Steve Chase, a top talent in the U.S. ad industry who has directed commercials for some of the world's most iconic brands and major ad agencies, has signed with Curious Pictures for commercial representation. A nominee for the DGA Award for commercial directing, and with a spot in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Chase joins Curious from Go Film.

To screen Chase's work, go to

Grading Headline News

Paul Harrison Joins MPC's Color Grading Department

MPC has signed award-winning colorist Paul Harrison to their team. Complimenting the talents of Jean-Clement Soret, Mark Gethin, George K and Kenny Gibb, Harrison joins as Senior Colorist. The team sheet includes some of the most highly respected international colorists and is lead by Jean-Clement Soret who graded Danny Boyle's multiple Oscar-winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Film Headline News

Travis Knight Upped to President, CEO of LAIKA

LAIKA, the Portland-based animation studio whose first feature film, CORALINE, was released by Focus Features on February 6, has announced that Travis Knight has been named President and CEO of the company. Knight, the son of LAIKA's owner Philip H. Knight, succeeds Dale Wahl, who has held the position since 2005. Travis Knight, who sits on the LAIKA Board and has been Head of Animation since 2007, was one of the lead animators on CORALINE, the first stop-motion animated feature film to be produced in 3-D.

Headline News

WorldGaming Adds Exec Positions

Rob Segal and Kobi Ofir will join the WorldGaming as chief marketing officer and chief technology officer, respectively. Both Segal and Ofir will fill their positions immediately and join company co-founders Billy Levy, President, and Zack Zeldin, VP, as the company prepares for launch this spring.

WorldGaming will be an online destination for console gamers to network and challenge other players from around the world in tournaments for real money.

Disney Headline News

Disney U.K. SVP Leaves Company

Robert Mitchell, SVP and managing director of The Walt Disney Company's U.K. operations, has left the company, effective immediately, according to VARIETY.

Daniel Frigo will replace Mitchell and will continue his former job as exec VP and GM of Disney's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. Mitchell had been with Disney since 1991, and representatives declined comment on his departure.

Production Headline News

Tweak Software Hires Alan Trombla as Director of Product Development

Tweak Software, developers of RV, the image and sequence viewer for animation and visual effects, have hired visual effects industry veteran Alan Trombla. Trombla, who has worked at all levels of visual effects and digital animation production from writing software and managing large engineering teams to lighting shots and leading CG productions, joins Tweak Software as Director of Product Development.

Headline News

DHX Media Announces Several Management Changes

DECODE Ent. President Steven DeNure will become president and chief operating officer of DHX Media. His duties will include overseeing operations across all of the company's divisions. In addition DeNure will oversee the three kid-focused production units as well as DECODE Enterprises, the company's distribution division. His mandate will include increasing the synergies across the three entities, including the development, financing, production and support functions.

Headline News

Thibaud de Saint-Quentin to Join Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has appointed Thibaud de Saint-Quentin as SVP and managing director of European Publishing, where he will oversee the company's regional strategy and long-term growth initiatives.

Thibaud, who joins the company as of March 9, 2009, will be based out of its European headquarters in the U.K., Stockley Park office and will report to Brian Hodous, Activision Blizzard's chief customer officer.

Headline News

Headlight Lands Industry Vet Holiner as Exec Producer

Headlight, the New York-based VFX, design and animation studio, has hired Steve Holiner as its new exec producer. Holiner is an industry veteran with more than 10 years experience working on commercials for top clients, including McCann, BBDO, JWT, Ogilvy, and Saatchi Healthcare. His lengthy resume includes Super Bowl spots for GE, Pepsi, Lay's and FedEx.

Work Headline News

Trace Pictures Hires Vancouver Film School Grad

Vancouver Film School graduate Yaniv Friedman has joined the busy design and branding firm, Trace Pictures, as full time designer/animator.

"Our first intro to Yaniv's work was a short film we saw on Motionographer called A BRIEF GUIDE ABOUT BRIDESMAIDS, explains Daniel Luna, Associate Creative Director at Trace. "His work was unique -- we saw some serious talent and we wanted to work with him."

Series Headline News

Radical 3D Hires Richard Payne

Visual effects studio Radical 3D has hired of Richard "Dickie" Payne as its lead character modeler for a new series it's producing called ANIMAL ARMAGEDDON.

Payne will be in charge of modeling and texturing characters for the eight part series airing now on Animal Planet.

Headline News

Randy Lake Named Exec VP, GM for Sony Pictures Imageworks

Randy Lake has been named executive VP and general manager of Sony Pictures Imageworks. Lake, who has worked with Sony Pictures Digital Productions since 2006 in a business strategy and development role, moves into Imageworks to manage overall operations, strategy and planning.


Oscar Showcase Tour 09 Academy Screenings Gallery

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 3:02pm

One of the highlights of the tour is always the public screening at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. This year the Academy not only hosted a night highlighting the shorts, but also the animated features. Check out the pics for both events.