The Walt Disney Co. board of directors today (June 28, 2006) elected independent Disney director and former Procter & Gamble chairman/ceo John E. Pepper, Jr., to serve as non-executive chairman of the board, effective Jan. 1, 2007. Pepper succeeds Senator George J. Mitchell, who has served as Disney chairman since March 2004.
Larry Birstock returns to Hollywood-based Post Logic Studios as ceo. He replaces Steve Hendricks, who served as ceo from 2005 to the present, revitalizing Post Logic as an independent post-production and digital intermediate facility. Birstock previously served as evp from 2000 to 2005.
Leading post-production sound facility Pacific Soundwaves announced that animation sound specialist Michael Geisler has joined the company as supervising sound editor. Bringing the award-winning sound designer/editor on staff enables Pacific Soundwaves to better address the very specific needs of animated film, television, gaming and interactive projects. A highly-regarded audio pro and founder of sound postproduction company BadaBing BadaBoom, Geisler is now serving his extensive base of animation clients as a member of Pacific Soundwaves team, at its top-of-the-line Burbank facility.
Mark Caplan has been promoted from exec director of interactive to vp, hardlines for Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP). Caplan represents the SPCP catalog of merchandising properties, whose key theatrical assets include OPEN SEASON and SURFS UP; television properties, including the animated series, ITS A BIG BIG WORLD and syndicated game shows WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY.
RAI has upped Claudio Cappon, to the Italian pubcaster's top position, director general, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Cappon, 53, held the same top operative post at RAI from February 2001 to March 2002. Most recently, Cappon had been president of Italy's TV producers' association, ATP.
Alexander Coridass, president/ceo of ZDF Enterprises, will remain in charge of the ZDF licensing subsidiary for another five years, according to Markus Schächter, gm of the German pubcaster ZDF, who said Coridass' contract has been renewed. The 51-year-old media manager has been in charge of the ZDF subsidiary since 1998.
PipelineFX, makers of Qube!, a leading render farm management system for film production and game development, has hired Scot Brew, former technical art director for LucasArts, as senior pipeline consultant. Brew will assist with film and game studios on pipeline workflow and tools issues and the deployment of Qube! for render farm management and distributed game build functions. Brew will also lead product development and user interface design for Qubic, the GUI by which artists submit jobs into Qube!.
Post Logic N.Y. has signed well-known commercial colorist Milan Boncich. Boncich has worked with some of the most prominent directors and dps in the worlds of advertising, film and visual effects. He was the longtime senior colorist at Tape House Editorial until 2002 when he joined Moving Images.
The addition of Boncich to Post Logic N.Y.s talent roster reinforces the companys ongoing commitment to the commercial market and its intention to compete for that business at the highest levels.
During their recent trip to the U.S., Taylor Jessen sat down with Stephen and Timothy Quay, whose work has influenced nearly every stop-motion animator, to uncover the secrets of the brothers surreal sensations.
Louise OToole has signed on as md, U.K. at Taffy Ent.s new London office. OToole reports to Taffy Ent. joint ceos Mike Young and Bill Schultz, as well as president Liz Young. Her colleagues at Taffy Merchandising and Distribution include evp Regis Brown and vp of U.S. licensing Eric Stein.
Kim Fleary has been named evp, comedy development, The CW. Fleary, who will oversee the development of all scripted comedy series for The CW reports to Dawn Ostroff, president, entertainment, The CW.
"Kim's breadth of experience and vision have helped create many hit comedies in her career and we're confident she will repeat her success at The CW," said Ostroff. "She has keen creative and comedic instincts and is a wonderful collaborator on every level."
Framestore CFC has welcomed back Andy Lomas to the newly expanded post of head of CG, which will encompass features, commercials and longform TV.
Lomas returns at a significant time for Framestore CFC, with the recent announcement of the company's move into feature animation production (THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX) and the need to optimize CG work.
Jeffrey Edell has been appointed president/coo of DIC Ent., replacing Brad Brooks, who returns to investment banking with a position he accepted at Imperial Capital. Brooks was asked to continue as a consultant to DICs senior management in finance and strategy assessment. Edell will manage DICs operating units worldwide, including consumer products, television and home entertainment. The companys creative division will continue to report directly to Andy Heyward, DIC chairman/ceo.
Veteran FOX spokesperson Scott Grogin has been promoted to svp, corporate communications for the Fox Broadcasting Co., responsible for developing and executing business and tactical communications strategies on behalf of the network as well as serving as primary liaison to the daily trade, financial and business media.
This month, Dr. Toon gets animated with historian, film preservationist, producer, promoter of animation festivals and events, and rather prolific author Jerry Beck.
Michael Pardee joins Sway Studio as exec producer after serving as head of production for commercials at Digital Domain since 2003.
This is a key development for Sway, said company founder and former Digital Domain exec Mark Glaser. Ive known Mike for more than 10 years and hes the perfect person to oversee all of our production in a seamless, cohesive and streamlined manner. Pardee will work alongside executive producer Shira Boardman.
There's an influx of new talent at game developer Trilogy Studios. Animator Chad Schoonover recently left Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he created 3D facial and body animation for characters in the upcoming animated feature film, MONSTER HOUSE. He is now leading the animation team at Trilogy. He previously worked for five years as an animator on the UNREAL franchise, the demos for Epic's highly vaunted UNREAL 3 tech, as well as three years at Midway Games, where he pioneered the use of motion capture in the Sports division.
General secretary/deputy program director in charge of drama production at M6, Nicolas Coppermann, will soon take over as head of Télé Images. Coppermann will team with Pascal Breton (Marathon), Vincent Chalvon Demersay (Marathon Media) and Denis Mermet (Adventure Line Prods.), who joined forces in January 2006 with the fusion of the temporarily named Finhera group, currently presided over by Pascal Breton.
Roland Gauthier will now serve as CG manager for LAIKA/house division. He will oversee LAIKA/houses CG animation group for all LAIKA/house commercial projects. The CG department has successfully created memorable commercials for various commercial clients.
Roland brings great expertise and enthusiasm to this key role, remarked Lourri Hammack, president/exec producer LAIKA/house. We are very excited for him to lead our phenomenally talented CG team.
Marvel Ent. Inc. has entered into a new arrangement with Avi Arad to independently produce films for Marvel under his own production company banner, Avi Arad Prods. Arad will remain actively involved in Marvel's upcoming film slate, including IRON MAN and HULK, the first two films anticipated to be financed and produced by Marvel under its new film financing slate.
Thirty-year entertainment industry vet Lenora Hume exits DisneyToon Studios to join HIT Ent. in London as evp, production and programming. Hume will assume the position early June and will be responsible for refreshing the existing slate of HITs classic pre-school entertainment, including BOB THE BUILDER, THOMAS & FRIENDS, BARNEY, PINGU and ANGELINA BALLERINA, as well as building new brands through content development and acquisitions. Based in the companys London office, she will report to HIT Ent. ceo Bruce Steinberg.
On the heels of the successful unveiling of the new Wii console, Nintendo of America Inc. announced three key executive promotions. Current president Tatsumi Kimishima takes on the new role of chairman of the board/ceo while Reggie Fils-Aime is promoted from evp of sales & marketing to president/coo. Additionally, Mike Fukuda is being promoted from svp of business development to evp of business development.
Molly Hansen has added the title of vp to her existing portfolio as the general counsel and head of business affairs of Digital Domain, the Academy Award-winning full-service digital studio and production company that was acquired last week by South Florida-based Wyndcrest Holdings Llc. Director Michael Bay is one of the principals and co-chairs the Digital Domain board with John Textor.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has promoted Tom Davidson to vp, International Networks, where he will play a key role in developing SPTI's television networks business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with a focus on increasing distribution for its global channel brands AXN, Animax and Sony Ent. Television on both traditional pay-tv platforms and increasingly into the broadband and mobile worlds.
BKN International AG has appointed Benoit Runel md of the companys largest operating subsidiary, BKN New Media Ltd. in Great Britain. Runel will oversee all sales and marketing for the BKN in the U.K., Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia, North America and emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He will also oversee all development and pre-production activities in the London-based studio, as well as secure and manage all co-productions with international partners.