Rick DeMott interviews three agency creative directors to find out how they go about deciding when to use animation as well as what talent for a commercial spot.
Comic-Con veterans Jerry Beck, Kellie-Bea Cooper, Mark Evanier, Fred Patten, Sander Schwartz, David Silverman and Linda Simensky share their take on the annual convention in San Diego.
Creative editorial company Cutting Room and motion graphic design studio r OO M welcome two new members to its team: editor Dean Gonzalez and producer Jon Jacobsen.
Gonzalez joins Cutting Room after a six-year tenure at Avenue Edit. His commercial credits include spots for Chevy, Kawasaki and Sears, and music videos for Zwan, Trail of the Dead and Guster.
In the aftermath of Haim Saban's takeover of ProSiebenSat 1, the German broadcast group is getting a new supervisory board. The board will consist of Saban, his brother Arieh Saban, also a media businessman; Adam Chesnoff, coo of the Saban Capital Group; former head/architect of Fox Kids Europe and Saban Capital director Ynon Kreiz; Wolfgang Hartmann, an exec at Germany's Commerzbank; and Ron Kenan, Sabans music chief and now media consultant.
Universal Studios licensing exec Tim Rothwell is headed over to Marvel Enterprises to be president of its worldwide consumer products group. Rothwell will be overseeing Marvels core licensing and merchandising division, the companys principal source of profit and cash flow. His immediate directives from Marvel ceo Allen Lipson are to develop Marvels international licensing business and strengthen retailer relationships, which Marvel sees as underdeveloped areas with huge growth potential for the company.
Warner Independent Pictures, the recently formed specialty film division of Warner Bros. Entertainment Group, has hired Michael Andreen as exec vp production and Laura Kim as exec vp marketing and publicity, the studio announced. They join Paul Federbush and Tracey Bing, who joined WIP last week as svp production and acquisitions and vp production and acquisitions, respectively.
With the debut of The Alan Brady Show, VFXWorlds Bill Desowitz took the opportunity to talk with Hollywood legend Carl Reiner about his upcoming ventures into animation and his otherwise animated life.
Pamela Blum has segued from Universal Pictures to Universal Studios Home Video as svp of marketing services, responsible for overseeing the development of all DVD value added content, and will supervise all Internet and research activities. Her role also includes maximizing opportunities between USHV and all studio cross-divisional departments including theatrical, consumer products, music, television and recreation, according to Ken Graffeo, evp of marketing for Universal Studios Home Video.
Former Disney licensing exec Vincent Marchica is onboard as vp of creative, it was announced by Nancy Bassett, svp for DICs worldwide consumer products. Kathy DeGennero has been appointed senior designer and Heather Fuscellero will serve as director of retail.
Additionally, DIC has promoted Cindy Davis from director to vp of domestic licensing and Ryan Gagerman to exec director of international licensing.
Academy award-winning writer Frank Pierson has been re-elected to his third term as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by its board of governors. Producer/director/studio chief Joe Roth has been tapped to produce the 76th Annual Academy Awards telecast on February 29, 20-04 live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on ABC-TV.
Roth, who headed three studios before forming Revolution Studios in May 2000, has produced nearly 40 films over the past 25 years. This will be his first time to produce the Oscarcast.
Jenny Burbage has been appointed Fox Kids Europes new head of press and public relations, reporting to Shari Donnenfeld, FKEs exec director of research and marketing. Burbage is responsible for developing and coordinating the companys corporate communications and pr strategy for all FKE divisions (consumer products, channels, online and interactive) throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Discovery Kids has appointed Jim Rapsas from director to vp of kids program development to develop and maintain programming for all of the Discovery Kids outlets, including the Disco Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Kids Saturday morning block on NBC and the sponsor-free and commercial-free Ready Set Learn preschool block on TLC.
The six-year Discovery veteran has been responsible for such shows as TRADING SPACES: BOYS VS GIRLS, SCOUT'S SAFARI and ADVENTURE CAMP. Rapas created and exec produced STRANGE DAYS AT BLAKE HOLSEY HIGH.
Finn Arnesen has been promoted from programming development chief of Cartoon Network Europe to head program production for Cartoon Network International with responsibility for all areas outside the U.S. The CN exec will be kept exceptionally busy with Cartoon Networks recent commitment of more than $500 million over five years (2003-2007) to produce original animated programming.
John S. Friend has been named svp of the newly created Cartoon Network Enterprises. In his new role, he will supervise the domestic and international sales and marketing teams. His duties also will include support to AOL Time Warner companies that represent Cartoon Network business interests, including Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Warner Home Video, Warner Bros. International Television and Warner Music Group. Moreover, he will work closely with the network's ad sales division to maximize promotional licensing opportunities.
In the second installment of a two-part interview, Joe Strike talks to Fred Seibert about animated life after Hanna-Barbera, the creation of Frederator Studios and his new series on Nickelodeon and upcoming projects.
Christopher Keenan has been promoted from vp to svp of creative affairs for Warner Bros. Animation, it was announced by Sander Schwartz, president of WBA. Keenan will be responsible for developing new animated television series, made-for-video projects, animated specials and cartoon shorts, as well as supervising production of television series. He will continue to report directly to Schwartz.
Asbury Communications, a boutique public relations, marketing and promotions firm, has named Melissa Kellogg to the new position of director of marketing. She will be responsible for heading up the agencys newly formed marketing services division, which includes supervising publicity, promotion, advertising and live events production for Asbury's clientele.
Anne Gorfinkel has been promoted to the newly created position of vp/exec director of Educational Outreach, for the nonprofit educational organization Sesame Workshop. She will be responsible for creating and delivering needs-driven public service initiatives that reach beyond television, and into local communities, schools, health and childcare settings in the U.S. and around the world.
Chris Robinson chats with French animation writer, teacher and director Olivier Cotte to figure out how he gets so much done in the same 24-hour day that we all live in.
Visual effects compositor John Scheer has joined Company 3 Los Angeles, which has stepped up its involvement in high-def TV commercials and VFX production for feature films. Prior to taking this staff position, Scheer freelanced under the name Scheer FX. His credits include spots for DirectTV (Deutsch, Los Angeles) and Miller Lite (Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago). Scheer was previously on staff at 525 Studios, where he worked on music videos for Destiny's Child, Elton John, Sisqó and Leann Rimes.
Cosgrove Hall co-founder Mark Hall has followed in his partner s (Brian Cosgrove) footsteps, announcing his official retirement, July 17, 2003, from the company he started 27 years ago in Manchester, England. He helped make the company into one of the most prolific animation studios in the world and a winner of numerous international and national awards including six BAFTAs and three International Emmys.
Award-winning Illustrator/animator Jeff Drew joins DUCKs roster of directors available for commercial work. Drew is known for numerous animated television spots that have appeared in the New Mexico area, giving the local market a funky twist, as well for several "in-house" animations for Marshall Field's in Chicago. His illustrations have appeared in a number of American magazines, and he recently created a series of posters for the Target Corp., promoting literacy for kids.