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Business Headline News

Porchlight Names New CFO, Senior VP

PorchLight Ent. has appointed Courtney Colman to the company post of CFO and Don Mirisch as SVP.

As the chief financial officer, Colman will be responsible for overseeing PorchLight's finance, accounting, human resources and IT departments. Prior to joining PorchLight, Colman was exec VP of finance at First Look Studios, where she oversaw the finance, accounting and participation departments. Before First Look Studios, Colman held the position of CFO of Lieberman Research Worldwide, a market research company specializing in the entertainment sector.

Headline News

Nexus Sign Up Brazilian Director CISMA

Production company Nexus have signed Brazilian director, CISMA.

Otherwise known as Denis Kamioka, CISMA, which is Portuguese for a "strong and irrational conviction", has lived up to his adopted name and has a reputation for pushing creative boundaries to their limits. Effortlessly combining what would seem to be polar opposite visual styles, CISMA's creative work speaks a universal language.

Headline News

Brandissimo! Promotes Top Management Team

Brandissimo! promoted of two executives to better manage the company's continued growth in its online games and virtual worlds business.

Executive Vice President and General Manager Andy Babb was named president. Vice President Josh Fisher was promoted to executive producer and senior vice president of content. Additional promotions and new staff members will be announced in the next few weeks.

Parks Headline News

Disney Cuts 11 Percent of Theme Park Staff, Mostly Managers

The Walt Disney Company announced Friday it will cut 1,900 jobs at its Anaheim, Calif. and Orlando, Fla.-based theme parks, per VARIETY.

Some were direct layoffs and some were positions that will not be filled, affecting mostly managers and salaried employees, not workers in the parks. Among the cuts were 50 executives who accepted a voluntary buyout offered to about 600 people.

Technology Headline News

Sebastian Sylwan Weta Bound

Sebastian Sylwan has left Autodesk to join Weta Digital as head of R&D. Sylwan served as Autodesk Media & Ent.'s senior film industry manager since 2007, with particular emphasis in stereoscopic technology. In fact, he wrote the final "Digital Eye" column for VFXWORLD in February: "Stereoscopic 3-D and the Future of Visual Storytelling".

International Headline News

Simon Guild Appointed to the Board of Bigpoint

As part of its international expansion,, a provider of browser-based online games and one of the top gaming portals, is expanding its management team. In Simon Guild, the Hamburg-based company has hired someone with wide international experience in the media industry.

Animation Headline News

DUCK Signs Paris-Based Directorial Collective nObrain

Los Angeles-based creative production and post studio DUCK is bringing the dynamic four-man directing team of nObrain onboard to complement their existing roster of talent. The Paris-based collective, composed of Directors Sebastien Fourcault, Nicolas Pasquet, Charles Keramoal, and Sylvain Lefebvre, is known for boundless creativity in merging high-energy animation with live-action footage for TV, music videos, and spot work.

Exec Headline News

Spin Master Entertainment Appoints Bakugan Exec Producer

Spin Master Ent., the new entertainment division of Spin Master Ltd., has appointed Jennifer Picherack in the role of exec producer for BAKUGAN BATTLE BRAWLERS.

Based out of Spin Master's Toronto headquarters, Picherack will work with EP Matt Wexler to develop and produce original content for the division. The pair are charged with the company's television and feature film development, production and acquisition activities.

Headline News

Portland Animation Company Adds Marketing Veteran

ADi, a Portland-based computer animation company, has added Nancy Hoffman as client relationship lead.

With more than 15 years building and nurturing client relationships for companies such as Creative Media Development and Waggener Edstrom, Hoffman will be charged with bringing ADi’s animation expertise to new clients in high-tech, consumer electronics, medical, consumer packaged goods, and education.

Headline News

Image Metrics Expands Team

Image Metrics came to GDC to show off its facial animation solutions (with new rigging) and to host a tech talk on its services titled "End Helmet Tyranny" tomorrow from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in room 2000. However, it's also assembled a new team of industry professionals with extensive experience bringing videogames and its technology to market.

Fund Headline News

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Names New Board

At this weekend's ComicsPRO Annual Meeting, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced changes to its Board of Directors. After five years of service as President and seven years on the Board, Chris Staros has stepped down from the organization to devote more time to the growth of Top Shelf Prods. Chris Powell, General Manager of Lone Star Comics, and President Pro-Tem of ComicsPRO, will take over the presidency.

Licensing Headline News

Studio100 Media Appoints Head of Marketing, Merchandising & Licensing

Studio100 Media, a subsidiary of Belgium's family entertainment group Studio100, has appointed Peter Kleinschmidt as Director Marketing, Licensing & Merchandising as of March 2009. Most recently he served as Managing Director for CTM Concept -- TV & Merchandising based in Munich.

Team Headline News

Original Fallout Designer Jason Anderson to Join inXile Team

Jason Anderson, one of the original FALLOUT design team members, has joined the inXile Entertainment as creative director for a new, unannounced role-playing game (RPG) from inXile. Anderson recently left Interplay, where in his second tenure there served as creative director working on the next generation MMO Project: V13.

Animation Headline News

Tim Sarnoff Joins Technicolor

Thomson has appointed Tim Sarnoff as president of its Technicolor Digital Productions division. This new division, within the Technicolor Business Group, will focus on the company's expertise in animation, games and visual effects. Its mission will be to develop Technicolor's animation operations in Bangalore and VFX operations in Beijing, as well as under the MPC brand in London, Los Angeles and Vancouver, into centers of excellence and growth.

Disney Headline News

Disney Channel EMEA Gets New Exec VP; Hardie Out

Giorgio Stock has been promoted to exec VP and managing director, Disney Channels, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and will lead The Walt Disney Company's portfolio of kid-focused, family inclusive television channels including Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, Disney XD and Cinemagic, in the territory. He will also serve as a Disney representative on the board of SRTL, Disney's joint venture with RTL Group.

Production Headline News

Cookie Jar Ups Jamie Waese to Head of Current Programming

Cookie Jar Ent. has named Jamie Waese Head of Current Programming. Reporting to Pam Slavin, VP, Head of Production, he will handle all creative elements of the company's prolific production slate.

For the past four years, Waese has worked as a writer, producer and director for Cookie Jar Entertainment. He wrote, produced and directed three seasons of THE DOODLEBOPS, wrote and co-directed Doodlebops Live!, and produced and co-directed GOTTA CATCH SANTA CLAUS, Cookie Jar's first Christmas special starring William Shatner as the voice of Santa Claus.

Universal Headline News

Kennedy/Marshall Headed for Sony

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are set to leave Universal Pictures, per VARIETY, and will have a first-look deal at Columbia Pictures that starts April 1.

The frequent Steven Spielberg collaborators, who started their company in 1991, will be at Columbia for an 18-month term. Their last Universal film was THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.

Headline News

Layoffs at Sesame Workshop Announced

Sesame Workshop will cut 20 percent of its workforce, another victim of the recession, according to VARIETY.

The nonprofit producer of SESAME STREET and other educational programming will eliminate 67 of its 355 positions.

Sesame debuted the still-running SESAME STREET in 1968 and recently premiered a remake of their popular 1970s series THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.