Paul Levitz, DC Comics president/publisher, has promoted Dan Didio to vp -- exec editor, DC Universe, reports ICv2. Didio will continue to report directly to Levitz. Prior to joining DC in Hanuary 2002, Didio had a vast background in television and animation. He is responsible for signing dozens of creators to exclusive contracts and led the revival of Superman as well as Teen Titans and Outsiders. WIZARD MAGAZINE named Didio its first ever "Man of the Year" in 2003.
Following the recent integration of Paramount Parks and Viacom Consumer Products under the leadership of Nickelodeon Networks president Herb Scannell, Leigh Anne Brodsky and Al Weber have been promoted to new positions, consolidating the leadership of the licensing and recreation businesses under Nickelodeon Enterprises, the ancillary business unit of Nickelodeon Networks. Brodsky has been named president, Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, and Weber has been named president, Viacom Recreation.
Jo Sweby joined the Contender Entertainment Group (CEG) in the newly created post of international acquisitions manager, responsible for growing CEGs catalog of intellectual properties across the television, video and merchandising divisions by acquiring and expanding both third-party and wholly owned general entertainment and childrens titles internationally.
Sara Mullock has been appointed the new producer for the Channel 4/NMPFT Animator in Residence Scheme.
The scheme offers emerging animators the chance to develop their own original idea for a short film in the specially designed booth in the animation gallery at the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. Their proposal will be presented to Channel 4, which will consider a full commission of the final production. Mullock will support each animator and help them develop their work.
Fortitude Films has bought a studio in Burbank, California, and tapped legendary animator/director/producer to turn it into a full-service animation division, overseeing development of 2D and 3D features and series projects.
Lisa Maria Butkiewicz, the creative head for Fortitutde Films, said, "Phil Roman brings a wealth of experience in business, coupled with creative talent that is second to none. He has worked on some of the biggest animation success stories of all time."
Bill Desowitz speaks with ILMs Paul Hill and Henry Preston about the new vfx for the George Lucas directors cut of his seminal THX 1138.
Wicked RGB has extended its impressive stable of artists with the addition of Ira Shain, Micah Henrie, Pascal Blanché and Raphael Lacoste.
"We are here to push projects to the maximum level of graphical quality -- and we are here to stay," said founder/president Michael Christensen.
In this second installment, Greg Singer speaks with animation directors of the Green Screen Show to learn how they are integrating animation with the show's live-action improv.
Vinton Studios has signed Oxford-based publisher Fiona Kenshole research the international book market for potential film properties, reports VARIETY. Previously, Kenshole was publishing director of Oxford University Press Children's Books, where she launched the Oxford University Press paperback and Modern Classics lists and oversaw a rebranding of its children's dictionaries.
Award-winning writer/producer Phil Lollar has become director of development for Renegade Animation. Lollar will develop episodic television, feature film, DVD and other entertainment projects for the animation studio. Renegade currently produces the Cartoon Network series HI HI PUFFY AMI YUMI debuting this fall.
Los Angeles visual effects and animation studio KromA has hired producer Bob Yukich to head vfx production. He is a former freelancer with broad experience in commercials, music videos, feature films and episodic television and will oversee production, day-to-day operations and sales. He will also seek to expand the company beyond its base in commercial and music videos into effects work for film and television.
The Animation Guild Local 839 IATSE elected officers on Sept. 27, 2004, to serve a three-year term through 2007. Re-elected incumbents included president Kevin Koch, business representative Steve Hulett, recording secretary Jeff Massie and sergeant-at-arms Jan Browning. Executive board member Earl Kress was elected to replace retiring vp Kathleen O_Mara-Svetlik.
Lumina Films has named Samantha Horley head of sales. She will be based in London. Previously, Horley was svp of distribution at Myriad Pictures and before that worked for Summit Ent. and Polygram Film Intl.
"I am looking forward to continue building Lumina into a feisty sale company," Horley said. "Lumina has some strong new English-language projects in the pipeline."
Lumina's slate includes MIDSUMMER DREAM, a Spanish-produced, CGI-animated version of Shakespeare's play.
Amy Jackson joins TV-Loonland as vp, creative affairs. Based in TV-Loonland's New York office, Jackson will be responsible for overseeing creative programming output as well as overseeing the creative development and production while maintaining and building production and strategic relationships with U.S. broadcasters, publishers, creators, rights owners and other potential partners.
Three new members have joined the Radium team vp/head of production Carey Crosby, producer Julie Goldberg and compositor Todd Hemsley. Crosby will be based in the San Francisco office, but will manage all producers and production in both locations.
Cartoon Network Studios has promoted Jennifer Pelphrey from director to vp of production. In her expanded role, Pelphrey will oversee day-to-day production of all the studios original series, maintaining responsibilities for scheduling, budgeting and administrative management.
Oregon animation guru Will Vinton has joined The Art Institute of Portland as Artist-in-Residence. Winner of Oscar, Emmy and Clio awards, Vinton is well known his pioneering work in Claymation and stop-motion animation. The Artist-in-Residence position helps further the mission of the College to support the creative community in Portland said Steve Goldman, president of the College. It is an honor to forge this new partnership with an artist of Will Vintons stature and accomplishment.
Amy Kuessner has joined the Starz Encore Group Llc. (Starz) marketing team in the newly created position as senior director, program marketing at its Englewood, Colorado headquarters.
"This is a very exciting time for Starz and we want the best and brightest on our team," said Bill Brovsky, vp of tactical marketing, to whom Kuessner reports. "We are thrilled to add Amy with her incredible creative energy and enthusiasm, and look forward to her contributions."
The Disney-ABC Television Group has instituted a new communications structure by promoting two key execs Sue Binford, who will now oversee all corporate communications and Kevin Brockman, who will now oversee all entertainment communications.
Former Paramount TV exec Robert Friedman has joined Spike TV as svp, programming, and will be responsible for all program planning, strategic acquisitions, media initiatives and original series launch projects for Spike TV.
Andy Lewis has been promoted from svp/gm to evp/gm,Warner Bros. Animation. Lewis, who joined Warner Bros. Animation in 1997 in his previous position, will continue to oversee general management of the animation studio, including the day-to-day studio operations, business affairs, finance and administrative matters, as well as his involvement in business planning.
Veteran advertising and production exec Stephen Axthelm joins ANIMAX as director of marketing, the digital animation, interactive and brand entertainment studio based in Los Angeles.
As exec producer of hundreds of advertising and promotional campaigns and author of strategic, creative and integrated marketing plans for many more, he brings a broad skill set to ANIMAXs work in a range of categories and genres.
The Video Lab Johannesburg has two announcements: not only has renowned international colorist Catherine Pantazopoulos joined the group, but they have secured the latest in grading wizardry: Discreets lustre 2.5, the only one in South Africa.
Joining luminaries such as Pixar Animation Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Video Lab plans to have the lustre up and running by mid-October in a custom, designed, world-class grading room.
Marvel Enterprises has announced that Alan Fine, president/ceo of Marvel's Toy Biz division, will take on the additional role of president/ceo of Marvel Publishing. Fine is replacing Gui Karyo, who left his post as Marvel Publishings president/cio to pursue new business opportunities.
Nine new members have been appointed by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Frank Pierson to the organization's year-old Science and Technology Council, bringing the number of members to 23.
The new members are Peter W. Anderson, visual effects branch; Clay M. Davis Jr., sound; David W. Gray, sound; Richard Hollander, visual effects; Brad Hunt, associates; George Joblove, visual effects; Takuo Miyagishima, members at large; Daryn Okada, cinematographers; and Richard Patterson, visual effects.