Brian Henson, who led the Henson familys recent acquisition of Jim Henson Co. from EM.TV & Merchandising AG, and his sister Lisa Henson, two of the late Jim Hensons five children, have been named co-chairs and co-ceos of the company. Peter Schube, formerly evp of business and legal affairs, has been named president/coo. In their new roles, Brian and Lisa Henson and Schube have assumed responsibilities previously held by Charles H.
In an effort to develop the international side of its business, Marvel Enterprises announced the creation of Marvel International and has appointed Bruno Maglione as president. He will be based in London and report to Allen Lipson, Marvel's ceo for all activities other than consumer products where Maglione will report to Tim Rothwell, Marvel's president of worldwide consumer products.
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has promoted Haydn Arndt, based in BVITVs London office, to director, sales, U.K. & Ireland, and Rory Buckley, also in London, has been promoted to senior sales executive, Central & Eastern Europe.
Anne Loi has been promoted from vp to svp of finance and operations for DECODE Entertainment, based in Toronto, reporting to DECODE partner Steven DeNure.
Lois role has evolved to include a number of other responsibilities, including operations, human resources, office management, IT and business affairs. Her duties also include development of long term forecasts, assisting in acquiring financing for various productions and exploring growth opportunities.
Visual effects vet Hael Kobayashi has joined Animal Logic, the Sydney-based visual effects house as digital artists manager to oversee recruiting, training and career development of the studios expanding ranks of digital artists.
Award-winning animator Patricia Beckmann has been named chair of the animation department in the School of Film and Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
She is overseeing the departments new major in animation, which launched in fall 2003 along with majors in broadcast design, interactive design and game development and visual as well as an undergraduate degree program in sound design.
Sesame Workshop has promoted Valerie Mitchell-Johnston from sr. counsel to vp of legal and business affairs, responsible for advising, counseling and closing contracts for the Workshop in all content development and production activities. Mitchell-Johnston oversees issues for the domestic production of SESAME STREET and international co-productions such as OUT THERE and TAKALANI SESAME in South Africa.
Visual effects producer Leighton Greer has joined the staff of Entity FX in Santa Monica, California. Previously she was visual effects producer at A52 where she produced spots for Nike, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, Cadillac, Volvo and Sony PlayStation. Prior to A52, Greer worked at Rhythm & Hues, Pinnacle Studios and Pacific Ocean Post.
Greer recently produced the award-winning Nike MOVE, directed by Jake Scott of RSA and Sony PlayStations SIGNS, directed by Dante Ariola of MJZ.
Silvia Orellana is the new production manager of Tridente Animation (part of Tridente&Monigotes), in charge of its business development, worldwide branding positioning, new marketing strategies implementation and closing new deals as well as looking after the needs of its clients. Madrid-based Tridente&Monigotes offers animation services and is moving into original content production and co-productions.
Roland Poindexter has been named to the new position of svp of action-adventure properties for Warner Bros. Animation, responsible for developing this programming for broadcast, cable and made-for-video outlets. Poindexter will also be responsible for supervising creative direction of selected current series in all genres and developing animated specials for kids, as well as adults.
3 Ring Circus, a full-service creative branding firm based in Los Angeles, has a new creative team on board, which has just finished a string of projects. Maziar Majd leads the team as creative director.
Kevin ODonnell joins DIC Entertainment in the newly created position of svp of creative affairs at DIC Entertainment. ODonnell, co-founder of Poets Road, a high-end development and multimedia production outfit, has moved his company to DIC headquarters in Burbank, California, and has been charged with overseeing concept and script development for all television programming. He will develop original properties for the U.S.
Maureen Taxter moves up to svp, retail and new business development, and Steve Youngwood becomes svp, media products.
Gearing up for more DVD/video premieres and theatrical releases, DisneyToon Studios has promoted Ellen Gurney to svp, creative affairs; Karen Malach to the newly created position of 3D development producer; Jennifer Blohm to director, digital production; and Sheila Kelly to manager, production.
The filmmaking trio responsible for guiding Disney's new animated feature, BROTHER BEAR -- directors Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, and producer Chuck Williams -- have signed an exclusive deal to make their next feature for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Under the terms of the arrangement, Williams will produce, and Blaise and Walker will direct an unspecified animated feature for the studio.
Theresa Plummer-Andrews, the development exec who has launched scores of animated and live-action kids shows, and helped champion European produced animated content, is stepping down as head of acquisitions for CBBC, the childrens channel of the BBC. Former BBC executive and Create TV co-founder Michael Carrington has been appointed the new acquisitions chief, according to CBBC controller Dorothy Prior.
Children's programming veteran Linda Simensky has been named sr. director of children's programming for PBS, as of Nov. 3, 2003, based at PBS corporate headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. AWN reported on Oct. 9 that she was leaving her post at Cartoon Network to join PBS.
Simensky will manage the award-winning PBS KIDS programming block, work with producers, co-production partners and distributors throughout development, production, post-production and broadcast.
Donna Chandler has been promoted from asst vp to vp of Global Outreach for Sesame Workshop, responsible for managing Sesame Workshops Outreach Initiatives in the U.S., South Africa and Egypt. Chandler will also oversee the creation and management of an outreach program for Bangladesh and Brazil.
Leigh Anne Brodsky, has been promoted from svp to evp of Consumer Products at Nickelodeon, reporting to Jeffrey D. Dunn, President of Nickelodeon Enterprises.
Since joining Nickelodeon in 1998, Leigh Anne Brodsky has grown Nickelodeons consumer products department from two properties to a dozen with over 15,000 different products, said Dunn. She clearly understands what the Nick brand means to kids and demonstrates it with products that are must haves by anyone who loves our shows and characters, he said.
Tom Atkin told VFXWorld that he will be stepping down as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) because he's come to the realization that "the goal is accomplished and there is nothing more that I can do at this level. Now that I've built this organization, it's time to turn it over to the membership to dictate future policies, goals and business plans."
Tom Atkin has decided to step aside as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) at the end of his current contract on July 31, 2004. Atkin said he is returning to his entrepreneurial roots. He founded VES in 1993 and helped guide its growth to its current 900 global members, nine festivals worldwide and an annual awards show. The VES will begin the search for a successor. "I have been so honored to be a part of the Visual Effects Society for the past 10 years," Atkin said. "My passion for this organization is equivalent to the child I never had.
Meridith Brown has joined Curious Pictures in New York City as exec producer, head of production to supervise all aspects of production at the TV series and commercial production company, reporting to the four partners. She will oversee all aspects of live action, animation and post-production.
Warner Bros. Online has officially launched its wireless initiative with the appointment of industry veteran Doug Dyer to the post of vp, wireless, Warner Bros. Online. Under Dyer's direction, Warner Bros. Online will expand its wireless business beyond licensing into developing, producing, publishing and marketing its own content to mobile operators and handset manufacturers. Dyers newly formed team includes U.K.-based Justin Richardson and Tokyo-based Tomomasa Iwanade.
Responding to the rapid growth in its visual effects and high definition divisions, R!OT Manhattan has boosted its staff through several key personnel moves. Luis Ribeiro has been promoted to the newly created post of exec producer, and Susan Giattino to business manager. Ribeiro previously held the title of sr producer; Giattino was production manager. Additionally, the company has hired Angela Botta as sales representative and Colleen Garvey as producer.
Carmine Russo has been promoted to svp of International Sales JAKKS Pacific Inc., a leading multi-brand company that designs and markets a broad range of toys and leisure products.
Russo, formerly coo of Toymax International Inc., joined JAKKS Pacific as svp of research and development, following the acquisition of Toymax by JAKKS in 2002. At JAKKS, Russo has worked to integrate Toymax's toy and seasonal lines into JAKKS' operations. In addition, Russo has been actively working to expand JAKKS' TV games line and to develop JAKKS' NASCAR-branded radio control vehicles.