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Studio Headline News

guru studio Hires Producers Susan Ma and Skye Bjarnason

guru studio announces the addition of two producers to its team, Susan Ma and Skye Bjarnason. Both bring extensive experience in commercials, episodic television, feature and short animated films to the company. Ma will oversee TV and longform projects for the studio, while Bjarnason will produce broadcast and commercials.

Headline News

VFX Supervisor Ed Kramer Joins !mpossible Pictures

Award-winning vfx supervisor Ed Kramer (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST), a 12-year vet of ILM, has joined !mpossible Pictures. Other nominations and features that include his work are STAR WARS I, II and III, VAN HELSING and HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. Kramer's television work includes design packages for CBS Evening News, ABC Sports, HBO, Cinemax, Coca-Cola and CNN.

Studio Headline News

Studio B Staffs Up in Marketing & Production

Studio B Prods. Inc. has brought aboard Anthony Jiwa as the Vancouver animation house's new director of marketing and Kirsten Newlands has been named as head of production.

Jiwa was director of marketing at VIZ Media where he led marketing efforts for the company's publishing and home entertainment divisions, including such properties as POKÉMON, NARUTO and INUYASHA.

Stardust Headline News

Stardust Studios Promotes Two in Production

Stardust Studios has brought onboard Corey Cirillo as exec producer, and promoted senior producer Amy Kaufman Levy to the newly created position of head of production. Both execs will be based in the company's Santa Monica, California, studio.

Animation Headline News

HIT Hires Copley to Head HOT Animation

HIT Ent. has brought onboard Andi Copley as md/exec producer of its award-winning animation studio, HOT Animation. The Los Angeles-based studio exec will relocate to Manchester in the U.K. this month and will assume responsibility for the operational management of HOTs production slate, including PINGU and BOB THE BUILDER, as well as growing and expanding the studios third-party work.

Studios Headline News

Ackerman New CEO of L.A. Studios/Margarita Mix

Aric Ackerman joins The L.A. Studios Inc. as ceo and will be responsible for the overall management and growth of the company's LA Studios and Margarita Mix audio post-production facilities. Based in the company's studios in Universal City, he will also oversee the Hollywood and Santa Monica-based studios. Former ceo, Jesse Meli, continues with the company as president emeritus, consulting on business development opportunities.

Effects Headline News

Dennis Hoffman to Head Production at Rainmaker Visual Effects

Dennis Hoffman has joined Rainmaker Visual Effects as head of production, a comparable position he most recently held at Digital Domain. Hoffman will report to Brian Moylan, managing director, Rainmaker Visual Effects.

"As Vancouver increasingly becomes a destination for high end visual effects, Rainmaker is pleased to have someone of Dennis caliber and experience join us as we move into more demanding and challenging projects, stated Warren Franklin, ceo of Rainmaker Ent. Inc.

Production Headline News

Nat Geo Kids Ent. Names Production VP & Franchise Marketing Director

To meet the demands of National Geographic Kids Ent.'s (NGKE) rapidly expanding production slate, Melanie Grisanti joins as of production while Darren Metzger takes on the newly created position franchise marketing director.

Grisanti will oversee the flow of all production for the kids' programming production unit and supervise series set up, budgeting, scheduling and studio management domestically and abroad to ensure creative integrity and production quality. She reports to NGKE president Donna Friedman Meir.

Headline News

Samantha Ryan to Helm Warner Bros. Interactive Ent.

Samantha Ryan moves up to svp, development & production, Warner Bros. Interactive Ent., while Jason Hall, who has served as svp, WBIE since its founding in 2004, will segue into a first-look videogame and feature film development deal through his wholly owned production company, HDFilms Inc.

Animation Headline News

Finkelman Cox Ankles Sony Pictures Animation Exec Post

Penney Finkelman Cox, who launched Sony Pictures Animation with her longtime business partner Sandra Rabins, is ankling her evp post to become a producer for the division.

She has one release under her belt, OPEN SEASON, and co-developed a busy slate with Rabins. Finkelman Cox moves into active development on several of the 10 projects she has shepherded at SPA, including DISENCHANTED FOREST and BIG NASTY.

Cartoon Headline News

Cartoon Network GM Samples Resigns Over Aqua Teen Scare

Cartoon Network GM Samples Resigns Over Aqua Teen Scare

Jim Samples, Cartoon Network's evp/gm, has stepped down as a result of the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE marketing disaster, which caused a bomb scare in Boston, resulting in Turner Broadcasting System owing the city and homeland security $2 million. On a temporary basis, all CN execs will report to Turner Ent. Group president Mark Lazarus.

Animation Headline News

NaturalMotion Hires Andy Payne to Expand European Sales

NaturalMotion Ltd. has hired Andy Payne as vp of sales, Europe. Payne joins NaturalMotion from Autodesk, where he served as strategic accounts manager responsible for Maya and 3ds Max sales to companies such as Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft, Moving Picture Co. and Framestore CFC.

Comedy Headline News

Redlitz & Arabia Move to DotComedy Broadband Channel

Sean Redlitz has been appointed md, DotComedy while C.J. Arabia has been named editorial manager, DotComedy, which is NBC Universal's new comedy broadband channel, an online home for edgy, original content, as well as having a wide variety of comedic video on the Web.

Square Headline News

Dave Child Joins Golden Square

Dave Child, one of the industry's top vfx artists, has recently hooked up with leading post-production boutique Golden Square, having run the 3D department at One Post for three years and before that, senior animator at Rushes.

Child joins the recently expanded 3D department of six full-time animators plus permanent freelancers. Golden Square has recently refurbished a stylish and comfortable new space at no. 4 (Golden Square) to accommodate the ever-increasing workload and staff. No. 4 will also accommodate two new suites, Disqo and the design department.

Production Headline News

Parker & Morrison to Steer Fox Animation as Part of Studio Restructuring

Fox Filmed Ent. launched a series of promotions in the wake of the studio's record $2 billion-plus global box office last year and the sudden departure two weeks ago of Fox Animation president Chris Meledandri to Universal.

Hutch Parker has been elevated to vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, which includes oversight of both Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Animation. Parker has been president of TCF since 2005. He joined Fox in 1995 as svp, production. He was named president of production in 1999.

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