Stephen Lynch interviews Robbert Smit, one of Australia's most experienced directors, on Energee Entertainment's latest feature and the trials and rewards of making a film in Oz.
David Forbes, former executive vice president of Orion Pictures Corp. and president of MGM/UA Distribution Company, has been named CEO of Global Animation Holdings, whose family of companies includes Los Angeles-based Spectrum Studios and Manila, Philippines-based ImagineAsia and VirtualMagic Asia. Forbes assumes the new post immediately.
Michael Garner and Laura Lockwood have been named producers at PDI/DreamWorks commercial division, transitioning from the companys feature animation division after their completion of work on SHREK. Immediately following his work as production supervisor for the SHREK character development department, Garner began work for the commercial division, jumping directly onto the production of a Kool-Aid spot shooting in Australia.
Technology leader SGI announced new appointments within its senior management team, including the appointment of Hal Covert as the company's President. "Since joining SGI, Hal has had a positive impact on our operational execution and the efficiency of related business processes," said Bob Bishop, chairman and chief executive officer.
Rick Hassen has joined digital effects boutique Sea Level as executive producer. Hassen, a former senior vice president with Pacific Ocean Post, Santa Monica, will oversee in-house production and other day-to-day activities for the company. He will also work directly with Sea Level founders Jim Bond and Ben Gibbs in charting the future direction of the company and developing new markets for its services. In making the announcement, Bond cited Hassen's broad background in production and post-production.
Greg Boegner has been named senior vice president and general manager of eKids Internet, a private, secure Internet-based network designed especially for children. eKids is one of a number of such networks developed by SilverTech, Inc., creator of Private Internet Engine (P.I.E.) technology, founded in February 1997 by former telecommunications executive, El St. John. Other company vertical markets include eDistributors, eLawyer, eUniversity, eShipping, eFinance, eGovernment and eMedicine.
Michael Dudok de Wit, who won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short for his acclaimed film FATHER AND DAUGHTER, has donated to charity the high definition television he won for giving the shortest acceptance speech (18 seconds) at the Oscar awards ceremony. Dudok de Wit, who lives in London, donated the television to Hollygrove, L.A.s oldest non-sectarian residential facility for abused children. Founded in 1880 as the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society, Hollygrove has served over 15,000 orphaned, abused and neglected children.
Will Ryan asks writer David Stephen Cohen 9 1/2 pointed questions regarding opera, Courage the Cowardly Dog and how many degrees of separation there are between he and Kevin Bacon.
Alan Keith, chief administrative officer and vice president of Lucas Digital, announced that Robert Rieders has been named general counsel of Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC. Rieders will also serve as corporate secretary to the Lucas Digital board of directors "We are very pleased that Rob Rieders is joining our organization," said Keith. "Lucas Digital is looking at a future that encompasses continued growth, with projects of scope and size unlike anything in our first twenty-five years.
Sue Shakespeare, president of Creative Capers announced that Danica Zimmerman has joined the animation and design studio as vice president of development. In her new role, Zimmerman will oversee development of live-action and animated projects for both television and film. Prior to joining Creative Capers, Zimmerman most recently was vice president of development for Film Roman. While at Film Roman, Zimmerman oversaw series TV development and was instrumental in expanding Film Roman's advertising department. According to Shakespeare, "We are thrilled that Danica has joined our team.
Kaydara has announced the appointment of Jan Oosterwaal as chief operating officer. Oosterwaal brings over 25 years of business and management experience to Kaydara. Over the course of his career, he has held top-level management positions at Nortel Networks, Domtar, and most recently, founder, president and CEO of Exeltherm Inc. In these previous management roles, Jan has successfully enhanced the value of his business ventures through team-building and customer focus.
Michael Stojda has beenappointed managing director of Softimage, Avid's Montreal-basedanimation and special effects subsidiary. Stojda, who will providestrategic business and operational leadership for the company, willreport to Joe Bentivegna, vice president and general manager of AvidMedia Solutions, located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Commenting onthe announcement, Bentivegna said, "With more than 14 years ofindustry and high-tech experience, Mike has an excellent
Angus Fletcher has beenpromoted to president of the Jim Henson Television Group - Europe,the company has recently announced. Fletcher, who is based in London,will oversee all current and future television development,production and programming, and report to Charlie Rivkin, presidentand CEO of the Jim Henson Company. As executive vice president,Fletcher doubled the company's television program library.Currently, he is co-creator and executive producer on THE HOOBS, a
John B. VanBorssum has been named to the Board of Directors of character animation house Cornerstone Animation Inc. Currently the managing principal of Fiderus Strategic Security and Privacy Services, VanBorssum has more than 25 years experience in finance, technology and information systems, with such firms as First Union Securities, Arthur Andersen LLP, BankAmerica Corporation and Security Pacific Corporation. According to Larry D.
3D animator Lawrence Nimrichter has joined digital studio Spontaneous Combustion. Prior to Spontaneous, Nimrichter spent five years as an animator and technical director at Atomic Pictures in San Antonio, where he worked on commercial projects for Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Co., Corona, Sony, Televisa, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Tecate, JC Penney, and agencies including McCann Erickson (Mexico City), JWT (Mexico City), Bromley Communications (San Antonio, TX) and Alazraki y Asociados (Mexico City), among others.
George Port has joined Whamo as their new head of business development, the company recently reported. With the recent rapid expansion of Whamo, which includes the opening of an office in Spain as well as the establishment of partnerships with Canada's Cambium Entertainment and Australia's Burbank Animation Studios, company president Joseph Szew opted to bring in Port. According to Szew, "We need someone who will be able to help us manage the company's aggressive strategy and growth.
Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials, a division of Klasky Csupo, Inc., has signed 2D/3D animation director Frank Molieri to its directing roster. Frank joins the company after a stint at Warner Bros. Classic Animation, where he directed numerous spots incorporating the studio's family of characters. Molieri broke into animation on the Don Bluth animated feature ROCK A DOODLE. He later freelanced at various animation studios until he signed on at Warner. He has directed spots for Kraft, Pontiac, General Motors, Burger King, Radio Shack and MCI.
Inferno artist Jean-Luc Azzis has recently joined Sea Level, a digital effects boutique specializing in visuals for high-end television commercials. His first project with the company involves compositing and visual effects services for a Jeep spot titled, "Red Light, Green Light" out of PentaMark Worldwide, Detroit, and directed by Headquarters' David Cornell. While previously freelancing at Method Studios, Azzis' credits included a series of spots promoting Intel's Pentium III chip featuring performance artists Blue Man Group.
Richard Morris, vfx designer behind the "Jackals Forge" animators resource site (www.jackals-forge.com), has joined the BBC under a 10 month contract to design and supervise the graphics for a forthcoming science series entitled HOW TO BUILD A HUMAN. Prior to this move, Morris worked at London's Moving Picture Company (www.moving-picture.co.uk) and was designer and CG supervisor behind the recent LEAF award-winning series BODY STORY. His interest in biomedical subjects dates back to his work for Red Post Production on the BBC's THE HUMAN BODY.
IMAX Corporation appointed veteran motion picture production and marketing executive Greg Foster to the newly created position of president, Filmed Entertainment, on Tuesday, March 27. Foster will work out of the company's Santa Monica, California office, and be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's filmed entertainment activities including creative development, production and business affairs. He will also have a hands-on role in the marketing and distribution of the large-format motion pictures produced under the IMAX banner.
Production, acquisition and distribution company, Harmony Gold has promoted Alan Letz to the newly created position of executive vice president, business development, and hired Judy Gold as vice president, sales and acquisitions. Letz has been with the company since 1985 and moves from his most recent post of senior vice president, sales and acquisitions to concentrate on pioneering Harmony Gold's emergence into the business aspects of new media, Internet, e-commerce, licensing, merchandising and sponsorships tied to Harmony Gold programming.
Brooks Jewell has been named senior publicist, trade and media relations for Showtime Networks Inc. In her new position, Jewell will be responsible for securing consistent placement of Showtime Networks Inc. programming, marketing, business and new media initiatives in national cable and Hollywood trade publications as well as appropriate technology and business-related publications. Prior to joining Showtime, Jewell served as publicity director for Blue Sky Studios, a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
Heather Kenyon finds out how some of the past years' leading independent films were funded. From Flying Nansen, to On the Possibility of Love, to Rejected, to Clandestino and more, we find out how these clever filmmakers positioned themselves in the money.
Click 3X has expanded its creative staff by adding two new designer/directors Michael Wiehart and Christine Lin and a senior inferno* artist Steve Zourntos. Wiehart is one of four artists that formed Zurich-based motion-graphics design firm, Frame by Frame. He has won a Gold Lion at Cannes for his work on a spot for Pioneer. Wiehart said, "Early in my career, I tended to be involved in every aspect of my projects, from developing the idea, the concept, through production and post, and I've held onto that. I still like to do work on the machines.
R!OT has added 3D animator and visual effects artist Dominic Daigle to their animation staff. Prior to R!OT, Daigle worked at Montreal-based Ice Storm Digital, where he worked on the 22-episode series THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF JULES VERNE. His other credits include the films THE SOUND OF THE CARCERI and THE RED VIOLIN, the TV series THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST and spots for Coke, Molson Dry and Chevy's Venture. Daigle said, "My favorite projects are those where the effects are invisible.