Award-winning visual effects company Zoic Studios has announced that Elexis Stearn has been promoted to executive producer from head of sales for commercials. Stearn has been with the company since its inception five years ago, and has worked closely with co-founder Steve (Scof) Schofield to shape the company's successful commercial division.
Flying Bark Productions PTY. Ltd., a 100 percent subsidiary of Munich-based EM.Entertainment GmbH, has extended the contract of Managing Director Michael Hefferon. Originally hired as provisional managing director for a six-month term, Hefferon succeeded in pushing forward both the support of Australian creative talent and the production of Australian programming for both local and international audiences.
Imagi Animation Studios has appointed Ken Tsumura to the newly created position of EVP of Production, Hong Kong. Tsumura will assume oversight of all production and studio operations at Imagi headquarters in Chai Wan (Hong Kong) and will report jointly to Francis Kao, Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer and Douglas Glen, Co-CEO.
Adam Stotsky has been promoted to the role of EVP, Global Brand Strategy and Market Development, the SCI FI Channel has announced. Under Stotsky, SCI FI has become widely regarded as one of the best-branded and best-marketed channels on television and has successfully grown into a top-tier basic cable channel.
Cartoon Network has promoted Jennifer Davidson to senior VP of programming and scheduling, reports VARIETY. Davidson will be responsible for supervising all on-air content for CN and Boomerang, as well as on-air promotion for Adult Swim.
Formerly VP of marketing, ad trade, consumer-products trade and strategic operations for CN and Adult Swim, Davidson was part of the team that launched the 11:00 pm to 6:00 am block targeted at adults.
DIC Ent.'s longtime president of worldwide consumer products Nancy Fowler has departed the L.A.-based company to work full-time with The Licensing Shop, reports KIDSCREEN. She'll join founder (and husband) Steve Fowler at the startup brand management outfit, where she'll help to build the client base and increase the company's presence in the Canadian licensing industry. The firm is also looking for employees to fill creative and administrative roles.
MTV Networks International has announced three new emerging markets appointments across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Russia, reports C21 MEDIA.
Terry Clotiaux has been named exec producer of Digital Domain's feature film division, where he will oversee the films currently in production and report to Mark Miller, Digital Domain's President.
"Terry's background on the production side of the industry is substantial," said Miller, "having managed visual effects for some of the most successful blockbusters of the past decade. We're thrilled to have Terry on board."
Canadian animation production company guru studio has appointed former Disney exec Mary Bredin as head of development and acquisitions. Bredin will be responsible for developing new properties for film, TV and the Internet, as well as managing acquisitions. Most recently, Bredin headed up the acquisitions team for Sweden's Viasat and, before that, she handled programming and acquisitions for the international Disney Channels.
Veteran Nickelodeon executive Paula Kaplan has been promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Talent and West Coast General Manager, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. In her new role, Kaplan will continue to oversee talent and casting for the many businesses of Nickelodeon, including television, digital and consumer products, as well as MTVN Kids and Family Group brands The N, Nick at Nite, and Noggin, while expanding to include talent development and music.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced the election of Tom Freston to its Board of Directors.
Freston most recently served as President/CEO of Viacom, from January to September 2006. Prior to assuming this position, Freston was Co-President/Co-COO of Viacom and, previously, Chairman/CEO of MTV Networks. Under his leadership, MTV Networks grew to reach more 400 million households in 164 countries.
PorchLight Ent. has named Brenda Bisner, Vice President, Acquisitions, Children's Programming. In her new position, Bisner will be responsible for the acquisition of children's animated and live-action programming worldwide for PorchLight's international distribution division, as well as the newly formed home entertainment and digital media divisions.
Classic Media announced that it has appointed Lara Dalch, formerly Director of Promotions Marketing for Cartoon Network & Adult Swim, to the position of Senior Director, Brand Development & Promotions for its operations in North America, effective immediately. Based at the company's North American headquarters in New York, the position reports to Nicole Blake, SVP, Marketing.
Dalch will represent Classic Media at the L.A. Office Roadshow, Sept. 18-20, 2007.
Italy-based publishing and production company Atlantyca Ent. has appointed entertainment production and development exec Karen K. Miller to oversee its U.S.-based animation production operations. Based in Los Angeles, Miller will work with Italy based executives, Chairman Pietro Marietti and Senior Manager/Exec Producer Caterina Vacchi.
Former Cartoon Network chief Jim Samples, who resigned over a publicity stunt that led to a terrorism scare in Boston, is now working as the head of Scripps Networks' HGTV.
Samples stepped down in February as GM and exec VP of CN following a promotional campaign in which dozens of blinking circuit boards featuring a cartoon character giving the finger appeared in 10 cities. In some cases, police closed roads and sent in bomb squads. Samples had been at CN since 2001.
Riot of Santa Monica has made several senior level additions to its Feature Visual Effects team as it moves forward on a series of new film projects. Visual Effects Supervisor David Jones, best known for his work on BLACK HAWK DOWN, BAD BOYS II and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, now heads the studio's creative team and oversees work on all of its feature-related projects.
Additionally, Riot has brought on Digital Effects Supervisor Jamie Hallett, formerly with Intelligent Creatures, and Visual Effects Producers Ben Seymour and Erika McKee, both formerly of Rhythm & Hues.
LAIKA Inc. has made two new appointments to its management team. Former Lucasfilm and Hanna-Barbera exec Alan Keith has joined the studio as VP, Business Operations/CFO and Travis Knight has been promoted to VP, Animation.
Keith, who has more than 20 years of finance experience in both corporate and movie studio settings, will be responsible for leading the expansion of LAIKA's business operations as LAIKA continues to grow its pipeline of animated feature films, television commercials, music videos, broadcast graphics and short films.
DreamWorks Animation SKG has announced that Philip Cross, who has been serving as a consultant to the company, has been named Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Cross will be responsible for managing the company's accounting functions and will report to Lew Coleman, DreamWorks Animation's President and Chief Financial Officer.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group announced the promotion of digital executive Jason Root to SVP, Digital, Nick.com and Nickatnite.com. The announcement was made by Steve Youngwood, Executive Vice President, Digital Media for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to whom Mr. Root will continue to report.
Riot/New York has added Christopher "Pink" Bonnstetter as the company's new CG Supervisor, the studio announced today. Pink will be responsible for expanding the New York CG/visual effects operations of the company.
Imagi Animation Studios today announced the appointment of Yan Chen as Lead CG Supervisor on the feature film ASTRO BOY. Chen comes to Imagi with over ten years of experience at Hollywood studios, including Disney and DreamWorks Animation, and a list of credits that includes DINOSAUR, TREASURE PLANET, THE MATRIX, RELOADED, SHARK TALE and EVERYONE'S HERO.
4Kids Ent. Inc. has appointed Jennifer Askin to the position of Manager, International Broadcast and Digital Sales, in which capacity she will oversee the marketing of worldwide new-media platforms for 4Kids Ent.'s extensive program catalogue. In addition, she will be responsible for securing traditional media sales for television in the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Poland, the Ukraine, Belarus, all countries in Central Asia, South Africa and Africa.
da Vinci Systems has made visual effects supervisor and DI expert Dean Lyon director of marketing. Lyon has more than 20 years of experience in film and commercial production, and will be a key member of the da Vinci management team led by general manager Bill Robertson. Lyon's duties include brand and product management and direction, advertising and marketing and internal and external communications.
Universal Pictures International Ent., the international home entertainment division of NBC Universal, today announced key new appointments in its London-based management team.
Dorinda Marticorena, VP, Kids & Sports Marketing, has been promoted to SVP, Worldwide High Definition, at Warner Home Video, replacing Steve Nickerson, who announced plans to leave WHV at the end of September.
In her new role, Marticorena will report directly to Mark Horak, EVP & GM, Worldwide Operations & New Packaged Media, and will lead the company's efforts to promote mainstream adoption of the high definition DVD formats.