Thirty-year animation veteran Ellen Besen is the new creative director of the Kalamazoo Animation Festival International (KAFI) to be held May 17-20, 2007, in downtown Kalamazoo. Michigan. She will oversee the competitions, screenings, professional development and networking interaction between todays and tomorrows animators booked for the four-day festival in the southwest Michigan community.
Dale Hendrickson, who worked on the original She-Ra and He-Man series, chats with veteran producer Lou Scheimer about his work on the two series, as well as his overall career in animation.
Jeff Small exits Revolution as its coo to join DreamWorks Studios as coo.
"We are excited about Jeff joining DreamWorks," said Stacey Snider, co-chairman/ceo. "I know Steven Spielberg and all of us here look forward to having this talented executive on our team. His range of experience at all levels of a studio which I recognized firsthand when we were both at Universal will be an asset throughout the company."
Small oversaw Revolution's business and legal affairs, finance, physical production and administration.
Carl D. Folta has been upped to Viacom evp, corporate communications, and will serve as the company's chief communications strategist and spokesperson. Folta was evp, office of the chairman.
Mika Salmi has been named to the newly created position president of global digital media for MTVN. Salmi will work across MTVN's growing portfolio of multiplatform brands to further develop and implement the company's strategy of building an engaging universe of music, games, entertainment, networking and interactivity for its communities of targeted audiences. Salmi was ceo of Atom Ent., the company he founded and was acquired by MTVN in August 2006.
Scott Guthrie has been promoted to svp, North American sales and distribution, for THQ. He will manage the company's North American sales, retail marketing, sales planning and operations teams, which directly serve retailers throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Adrian Pennington chats with Peter Lord, Aardman co-founder and producer Flushed Away, on the companys adventures in CG.
Kristin Lowe has been promoted to vp, production, Universal Pictures, overseeing the day-to-day production activities for many of the studio's most anticipated films, including CHILDREN OF MEN, THE KINGDOM and BREACH.
Lowe joined Universal Pictures in 2004 as director of development, following a stint as director of development at Warner Bros. Pictures, She joined WB in 2002 as a creative exec after posts both at MGM and Michael Bay Films.
Jillianne K. Reinseth joins Studio B Prods. as director of development. She will head up Studio Bs new in-house content creation division, called the B-HIVE, and develop projects from external pitches as well.
Reinseth was a development producer with broadcaster Jetix Europe; senior manager, creative affairs at Walt Disney TV Animation; and also was manager, original series for ABC Cable Networks Group (Disney Channel).
In this months Digital Eye, Scott Dougherty, the co-founder/head of production at Furious FX, discusses the rise and resilience of smaller facilities in the visual effects community.
Veteran Hollywood entertainment attorney/litigator David Graber joins Wild Brain Inc. as general counsel and head of business affairs, where he will oversee all business and legal affairs for the studio corporate, film, television, interactive and home video.
Section Rouge Média Inc. has appointed Yves J. Beauchesne CFO while Martyne Simard expands her management responsibilities to become the companys new director, financial and administrative services.
Peter Dougherty joins Cartoon Network in the newly created position of svp, branding, responsible for the creative execution and communication of the Cartoon Network brand and its multiple properties to target audiences in the U.S. The includes overseeing the network's on-air environment and franchise presentations; in-house creative services responsible for print, electronic and outdoor advertising and collateral; execution of sponsored promotions, sweepstakes and contests; and creative development for Cartoon Network Enterprises' growing licensing and merchandising business.
Citing a shared desire to push the limits of visual effects storytelling, visual effects supervisor Jim Lima has joined the team at Zoic Studios. Lima is known for a unique approach, combining art direction and visual effects to create innovative visual storytelling.
Lynn Chadwick has been promoted from vp, European sales and distribution to vp, worldwide sales and distribution for Nelvana Enterprises, responsible for overseeing sales activities around the globe. She has moved from the London office to company headquarters in Toronto with all international sales execs reporting directly to her. Chadwick reports to Doug Murphy, president, Nelvana Enter.
HIT Ent., one of the worlds leading pre-school childrens entertainment producers and rights owners, has stepped up the companys licensing activities into new and existing territories across Europe, with new deals in Scandinavia.
When Aardman Animations received copies of Lewi Firth Boltons stop-motion film, they were so impressed they offered him a job, however, what the Oscar-winning studio didnt know was that Bolton is only 14 years old. BBC NEWS recently reported the story of the talent young filmmaker from Bridlington, U.K., who took up stop-motion animation three years ago after seeing Aardmans WALLACE AND GROMIT shorts.
Arthur Hair has been named cto/svp for The Walt Disney Studios. He will report to president Alan Bergman and will be responsible for the studios technology strategies. He will work closely with the studios business units to identify opportunities for leveraging technology to take advantage of the rapidly evolving marketplace.
Yanick Dusseault, one of the most accomplished visual effects digital matte artists working today, has joined ElementFX as its art director. ElementFX is a digital post-production studio.
In naming Dusseault to the new post, Marjolaine Tremblay, the company's ceo/animation director, said, "Luring Yanick to our studio is a real coup for ElementFX. His expertise and wonderful reputation allow him to be very selective. The fact that he was drawn to our company's philosophy of client and artist collaboration is indicative of who we are and where we are heading."
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) announced several key promotions within its European distribution team and the expansion of its new digital initiatives group in response to the growth of digital content distribution in Europe. Stuart Baxter has been promoted to evp, European distribution. Danny Goldman has been named svp, sales, and Nina Pustilnik joins the company as vp, digital initiatives.
Award-winning vfx operator Adam Watson, whose CV includes stints on Oscar-nominated feature films MOULIN ROUGE and THE MATRIX, is joining Rushes expanding VFX department.
Watson joins the team headed up by Paul Hannaford. Further, he joins at an opportune time for Rushes, following its recent multi-million pound investment on new kit, suites and talent.
Animation production vet Ken Tsumura joins Mainframe Ent. as svp, production and technology.
Tsumura was a producer and production manager for multiple high-profile animated series and feature films, including CURIOUS GEORGE for Universal, ADAM SANDLERS EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS for Columbia Pictures, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, JOSEPH KING OF DREAMS and FATHER OF THE PRIDE for DreamWorks Animation, THE SIMPSONS for Gracie Films and numerous series for Disney Animation.
Andre Caraco and Gigi Semone were named evps of publicity for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.
SCI FI Channel has launch a new Visions for Tomorrow public affairs initiative set to champion a bold, optimistic view of the future and is predicated on the belief that individuals can have a positive impact on the human condition. What began as a two-day SCI FI Channel management off-site in the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California in May 2004 has become the inspiration for SCI FIs ambitious new public affairs campaign, which is comprised of public service announcements, educational outreach, nonprofit advocacy efforts and an illustrious advisory board.
Jonathan Friedland joins The Walt Disney Co. as vp, corporate communications, where he will participate in developing and executing the communications strategies for various issues and initiatives, including financial reporting, legislative and regulatory issues, corporate reputation management and executive communications. He also will work closely with Disney's businesses, including Parks and Resorts, Media Networks, Consumer Products and Studio Ent.