Dave Howe, erstwhile General Manager of SCI FI Channel, has been appointed president of the network, it was announced today. Howe will oversee Original Development, Programming and Marketing, Global Brand Strategy and Market Development, Strategic Planning, SCI FI Digital (SCIFI.COM, SCI FI Pulse, DVICE.com), SCI FI MAGAZINE, Media Relations and SCI FI's recently launched public affairs initiative, Visions for Tomorrow.
Pacific Title & Art Studio has drafted Crystal Dowd to lead the expansion of its burgeoning Visual Effects division. As exec producer of Visual Effects, Dowd will oversee all aspects of Pacific Title's vfx services from concept through delivery.
Disney Interactive Studios today announced the addition of Jean-Marcel Nicolai to its executive team as SVP, global production. He will oversee Disney's worldwide video game production, including the company's five internal development studios, externally developed projects and future studio expansion. Nicolai will be based at headquarters in Glendale, Calif., reporting to Graham Hopper, exec VP and general manager.
Canadian-based production and animation studio 9 Story Ent. heads into 2008 with the addition of two new senior executives. Jill Fraser has been named VP, Business Affairs and Krista Barron, Manager Production Finance. The two will report directly to Steve Jarosz, VP and COO, 9 Story Ent.
As VP, Business Affairs, Fraser will be responsible for legal and business affairs matters for all areas of 9 Story's operations. Barron will be responsible for administration and certifications relating to tax credits, film agency and other domestic funding on all 9 Story productions.
Leading kids and family entertainment producer DECODE Ent., a subsidiary of DHX Media, has promoted senior executive Janice Walker to VP of Animation Production from her previous role of producer.
In her new positon, Walker will be charged with overseeing production on all animated series at DECODE and will report to Beth Stevenson, Exec VP, Production and Development.
Mark Lazarus has vacated the position of president of the Turner Ent. Group, reports VARIETY. Three high-ranking Turner execs -- Steve Koonin, Stuart Snyder and David Levy -- will assume new duties in the new corporate structure. The three, who previously reported to Lazarus, will now report to Phil Kent, Turner Broadcasting chairman and CEO.
Marketing executive Sue Kroll has been named to the newly created position of President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures, it was announced today.
Motion Theory has hired Angie Jones as animation supervisor. With more than 14 years of experience in creature and character animation for blockbuster films, TV, commercials and videogames, Jones is charged with strengthening the studio's animation department, pushing the ideals of how computer animated characters look and move and overseeing animation teams for all 3D and 2D project work.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) has chosen a new board of directors for 2008, with Jeff Barnes, co-founder and CEO of ComputerCafe Group, as chair. Barnes replaces the previous chair, Jeff Okun, who has reached his term limit.
Industry trade group Cartoon Italia has announced the appointment of Francesco Manfio, General Manager of Gruppo Alcuni, as its new president. Manfio was elected unanimously by the members of the executive board during the association's recent assembly.
Decode Ent.'s longtime head of distribution Dominique Bazay is leaving the company to join Astral Media's Quebec-based kids channel Vrak.TV as VP of programming, reports C21 MEDIA.
Decode partner Neil Court was philosophical about the loss. "If you have to lose an employee, it makes it a little easier if they are going to a broadcaster. We're losing an incredible executive, but we're gaining a client," he said.
Decode's international sales team will take over for Bazay in the short term, with a new appointment likely soon.
Veteran brand marketing and promotion executive Brenda Freeman has been named to the newly created position of chief marketing officer for Turner Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media. In her new role, Freeman will provide overall vision and leadership to all areas of marketing, on-air and trade creative services that support the cable television networks Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, along with their online businesses, and the digital enterprises GameTap and Super Deluxe.
Richard Kerris has left Apple to become the new CTO of Lucasfilm, filling the post vacated by Cliff Plumer, who's now with Digital Domain.
As CTO, Kerris will oversee the technical operations and help develop and execute the company's technology strategy for Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, LucasArts, Lucasfilm Animation, Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Lucas Online.
Cardiff-based Calon, one of Britain's largest independent animation companies, has announced the hiring of Rolant Tomos as development executive, working directly with head of development Andrew Offiler. He will also be working alongside children's live-action producer Peter Murphy on Calon's live-action projects.
Christopher J. Cookson has been named President of Sony Pictures Technologies. He will oversee the development and implementation of the studio's technology policy and processes. He will also serve as Sony Pictures' chief liaison with other Sony Corp. businesses in the area of technology. The position is a new one at Sony Pictures, and Cookson will report to Michael Lynton, CEO and chairman of Sony Pictures Ent., and Amy Pascal, co-chairman.
John P. Quinn has been named EVP, Worldwide Operations, Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.
In his new post, Quinn will oversee global sales and distribution for Warner Bros. Interactive Ent., leveraging the existing supply chain infrastructure he previously managed at Warner Home Video with the game-publishing and development capabilities of Warner Bros. Interactive.
Laurent Taieb has been promoted to VP, Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP), France as part of the company's strategic commitment to expand and further deepen its licensing and merchandising operations in the market. Taieb has managed NVCP's strategy in France since January 2006, including the direct oversight of DORA THE EXPLORER, which under his leadership became the fastest-growing toy license ever for Fisher Price and has spent the last 22 consecutive months as the territory's number-one licensed property.
In this edition of her bimonthly column, Nancy Cartwright interviews Charlie Adler, veteran voice actor and voice director, who has worked on classic cartoon series such as The Rugrats, as well as the recent live-action blockbuster Transformers.
The SCI FI Channel has promoted two of its original programming executives -- Erik Storey and Tony Optican -- to SVP and has added Chris Sanagustin to the team as the Channel's new VP of Development. All three are based in Los Angeles and will continue to develop the channel's award-winning slate of original series and long-form projects.
Paul O'Shea has departed The Moving Picture Co. to become Asylum's newest vfx supervisor.
After having met Asylum Co-Founder/Creative Director Nathan McGuinness, O'Shea was persuaded to join the team. "Nathan's vision for the future of Asylum, the quality of visual effects, and the opportunity to work with the amazing talent here was a deciding factor for me. This, coupled with the chance to bring my daughter up by the beach, convinced me to swap Soho for Santa Monica," said O'Shea.
Managing Director Victor M. Lopez has announced that he is leaving Madrid-based Zinkia Entertainment after six years of "the most wonderful business experience" of his professional life.
In a farewell letter, Lopez stated: "Zinkia represents many things for me, some of my childhood dreams like making TV animated series,' but even more important, giving my daughter her first reason to be proud at school... my father did POCOYÓ!'"
With The Simpsons Movie hitting DVD, Russell Bekins took an opportunity to chat with director David Silverman about his long history with the TV series, as well as its huge jump to the big screen.
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri (THE LORD OF THE RINGS sequels, KING KONG and the upcoming AVATAR) has joined Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk as an equal partner in Wellington, New Zealand-based Weta Digital Ltd.
At Weta Digital since 2001, Letteri is not only being elevated as a result of the bar-raising, Oscar-winning vfx work that he has supervised, but also for playing a key role in attracting new productions to New Zealand, including James Cameron's highly anticipated AVATAR.
4Kids Ent., Inc. announced today that it has appointed Barry Stagg as SVP, Corporate Communications. In his new position, Stagg will be responsible for implementing a global communications program to expand the awareness of 4Kids' current properties and operations, as well as new brands and business ventures.
Molly Chase has been named VP and exec producer for Cartoon Network New Media. In her new role, Chase will oversee several Cartoon Network New Media departments including the design studio, technology group, game studio and the production team, and will be responsible for directing all aspects of production for CartoonNetwork.com, Awesomehouseparty.com and ToonamiJetstream.com.