San Francisco-based animation and production studio W!LDBRAIN announced that Michael Polis will be the new chief marketing officer for the company, the first in the studio's history. Polis will focus on building up brands for the company, such as the YO GABBA GABBA series for Nick Jr., while also focusing on management of the overall W!LDBRAIN corporate identity.
Digital media and children's television exec Lisa Judson has been named president, Warner Bros. Animation, succeeding Sander Schwartz, who recently departed to concentrate on broadband and new media animation with the studio as a producer.
Handcranked, otherwise known as the veteran animation director team of Bryan Papciak and Jeff Sias, will join Global Mechanic to be represented for commercial production worldwide, it was announced by Global Mechanic exec producer Matthew Charde. Global Mechanic produces commercials, television series and films in all media, working with directors internationally and studios on both coasts of North America.
Veteran Warner Bros. Ent. business operations exec Andy Lewis has been named evp/general administrative manager at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD), overseeing all business operations, including finance, administration, planning and analysis for WBDTD, one of the leading distributors of first-run and off-network programming in the domestic television marketplace. Lewis comes to WBDTD after a decade at Warner Bros. Animation (WBA).
Visual effects studio Guava has signed seasoned animator and designer James Collins to its roster. He recently completed a spot for GMC via Lowe Worldwide with Guava. He comes from Click 3X, where he rebuilt the CG department and headed the team.
"In addition to providing an environment that is conducive to creativity, Guava offers a very talented staff," said Collins. "I am eager to contribute my skills while also learning from the experienced artists here. At Guava, I hope to help clients nurture their ideas and solve their creative needs."
HBO has a new lineup of four top corporate officers today (June 5, 2007) to replace Chris Albrecht, the ceo who resigned last month. Bill Nelson heads the group as chairman/ceo. Richard Plepler, Eric Kessler and Hal Akselrad have been elevated to the new title of co-presidents, all with specific duties at the pay cable channel and all report to Nelson. Time Warner chairman/ceo Dick Parsons and president/coo Jeff Bewkes made the announcement.
Italian-based production company Atlantyca Ent. has appointed Claudia Mazzucco ceo and Caterina Vacchi as senior manager/exec producer of the company.
Mazzucco will oversee all of the company's initiatives and reports to chairman Pietro Marietti, who established Atlantyca Ent. in September 2006 to create new business opportunities for the company's library of entertainment book properties.
Katherine Pope has been promoted from evp, NBC Ent., to president, NBC Universal Television Studio, and will head one of the country's largest and most successful television production companies, it was announced today by NBC Ent. and NBC Universal Television Studio co-chairmen Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman.
Prior to the Disney/Pixar Ratatouille presentation at WonderCon earlier this year, Andrew Farago was granted a one-on-one interview with comedian/actor/writer Patton Oswalt to discuss his starring role in the upcoming film.
Teri Meyer has been promoted to the newly created position of evp of worldwide publicity for Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing. She will be responsible for formulating and executing worldwide publicity campaigns for all live-action and animated features released under The Walt Disney Pictures (live action and animation), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures banners.
Alan Fine has been appointed to the newly created position of evp/chief marketing officer of Marvel Characters Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marvel Ent., which owns and licenses Marvel's intellectual property library. Fine will be responsible for directing and coordinating Marvel's efforts to support and strengthen its brands.
Fine, who joined Marvel in 1996, will retain his current title of ceo of Marvel's publishing and toy divisions.
LAIKA Inc. has appointed Cynthia Barton Rabe to the position of vp/cmo, entertainment division. Rabe is a 20-year marketing veteran who has held management positions with consumer product and technology companies, including Intel and Ralston Purina. She is also a business consultant, author and guest lecturer specializing in innovation and corporate strategy.
Sander Schwartz is stepping down as the president of Warner Bros. Animation. He plans to move into a production deal with the studio working on broadband and new media animation. Warner is looking for his replacement.
Japanese director Satoshi Kon sat down with Greg Singer to discuss the making of his latest animated feature, Paprika.
Universal Pictures has confirmed that, beginning in October 2007, Christian Grass will become president of the studio's new international production arm at Universal Pictures International (UPI).
Ed Adams joins Cookie Jar Ent. in the newly-created position of vp, business affairs and sales. Based in Los Angeles, Adams will support Cookie Jar's legal team on entertainment matters and the sales team for U.S. video and publishing sales.
"Throughout Ed's career, he has distinguished himself as a dynamic and success-oriented entertainment industry professional," said Cookie Jar's president/coo Taylor, who he reports to. "With his broad experience and knowledge, Ed will be a tremendous asset to Cookie Jar as the company continues to grow."
Rico Hill has been named vp of programming and acquisitions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Based in Atlanta, he will direct all aspects of programming for both Cartoon Network and classic cartoons network Boomerang, including scheduling, on-air event planning and program acquisitions.
Cynthia M. Roe has been named the new ceo of Kidrobot Inc., a creator and retailer of limited-edition art toys and apparel and a subsidiary of W!LDBRAIN. Roe is based at the company's headquarters in New York City and will report to the Kidrobot board of directors.
Tom Perlmutter has been named government film commissioner and chair of the National Film Board. Perlmutter secedes Jacques Bensimon as the head of the Canadian government funded film studio.
BabyFirstTV, America's only 24/7 commercial-free channel offering quality, innovative child development programming specifically for infants, babies, toddlers and their parents, has appointed Jeffrey Quinn as svp, of marketing. Based in the Los Angeles headquarters of BabyFirstTV, Quinn will direct the channel's industry and consumer marketing, advertising and promotional operations.
Damien Tromel joins TV-Loonland as its new head of creative affairs and development, based out of the company's Paris office. Tromel will be responsible for sourcing new projects, finding new talent and supervising all editorial matters regarding the development and production of all projects produced and co-produced by TV-Loonland.
Entertainment Rights Plc. announced the appointment of Deborah Dugan to the position of ceo/president of Entertainment Rights North America. Dugan will report directly to Mike Heap, ceo, Entertainment Rights Plc,. She will be based at the company's U.S. headquarters in New York.
Leading visual effects software developer, The Foundry, has announced the appointment of Ron Brinkmann as special advisor to its NUKE development team.
Blueprint Ent., a leading creator, producer and financier of filmed entertainment based in Canada, announced today (May 10, 2007), the formation of Blueprint Kids, a new business unit dedicated to the development, production and rights management of family and children's programming. Industry veteran Frank Saperstein will head the new venture, as svp, animation and children's programming.
Fonda Snyder has been named vp original movies responsible for supervising the development of all Disney Channel Original Movies.
She was Cookie Jar Ent.'s svp of creative development and U.S. sales, where oversaw the development of more than 50 properties for multiple platforms, selling preschool, comedy and boys action animated series to networks, including Disney Channel (for Playhouse Disney), Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network.