Abbe Daniel has joined Click 3x in New York City as executive producer for broadcast to oversee the studios broadcast department which provides brand development, design and production services for broadcast and cable entities. Daniel had been working with Click 3x on a freelance basis for several months, producing projects for iN DEMAND, Nickelodeon, Lifetime and Discovery. She worked for several years as coordinating producer for award-winning television journalist Bill Moyers on a series of acclaimed documentaries for PBS and helped launch NOW WITH BILL MOYERS.
Charlie Breakiron has signed on as lead animator at Serious Robots, a cutting-edge 3D broadcast animation and visual effects shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. In his new role, Breakiron will be heading up all 3D computer graphics at Serious Robots (www.seriousrobots.com). The 14-year veteran has served at leading graphics houses such as Fox Animation Studios (TITAN AE); Quiet Man in New York (AT&T, Disney); Janimation in Dallas (new Barney show, K-Mart); Metropolitan Audio-Visual (Diamondback logo effects) and more. Pixel Liberation Front (PLF) hired Breakiron for a cinematic promoting the 3D action/adventure game MEDAL OF HONOR. "Charlie is nationally ranked talent," stated Tom Waring, CEO of Trailblazer Studios, the parent company of Serious Robots. "When he first came in, his outstanding capabilities were obvious immediately. He also generated great chemistry with our team. After only several days it was clear Charlie was the caliber of artist we need. Were hoping to put together a dream team at Serious Robots, and Charlie will be an integral part of that."
Radium, with studios in San Francisco and Santa Monica, California, has hired three new people to bolster various areas of the growing visual effects company. Julie Luehrman is on board as VP marketing & sales, based in the companys San Francisco location. Executive producer Matthew McManus and technical operations manager Michael Chizzo have joined the Los Angeles office.
Create TV & Film Ltd., the newly-established independent production company formed earlier this year out of LEGO Media Internationals TV and film division, has defined its new management team and structure. Vanessa Chapman has become managing director of Create, as well as global controller, TV, film & strategy. Michael Carrington is now head of television and new media, responsible for providing creative, editorial and managerial leadership across the company's television and new media activities.
Joseph Gilland, who headed up Walt Disney Feature Animation EFX department in Florida for LILO AND STITCH and TARZAN, has joined Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, Canada to be special effects supervisor on the SILVERWING animated series. "SILVERWING is just such a fantastic story. It is one of my son's favorite books and I absolutely jumped at the chance to be part of bringing SILVERWING'S story to life!" said Gilland.
Consultant William B. Doeren has been named VP of the Kodak Entertainment Imaging division and GM of Kodak Digital Cinema Group, based in Culver City, California. He replaces Robert J. Mayson, who becomes VP/GM of Image Origination Products in the same Kodak division. Doeren worked closely with the team marketing the Kodak Digital Cinema Operating System, which includes a networked solution with unique Kodak software running on a Linux platform, supported by the 4,000-member Kodak global service organization. Doeren emphasizes that the system will be used initially for pre-show applications. "The pre-show business is evolving and growing rapidly and we foresee that continuing," he said. "That's why we are taking the long-term view, providing a Kodak solution that supports the growth of pre-show revenues today, and also protects our customers' investments by providing the 'backbone' for them to digitally project movies tomorrow." A 30-year vet in the exhibition business, Doeren has served in a broad range of senior management positions, including COO/director of AMC Entertainment, Inc., chairman/CEO of MGM International Cinema Group and CEO/vice chairman of General Cinema Theatres, Inc.
Elephant Productions has appointed Carey Weich to the newly created position of director of development and business affairs. She will be responsible for the company's development slate and to develop ideas and projects from outside parties. Weich was finance director, acquisitions and production at Universal Pictures International where she worked on film and television titles such as THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE, BRIDGET JONES DIARY and MAISY. Previously she was CFO at Universal Pictures Visual Programming (formerly Polygram Visual Programming) and has also held positions at Time Warner and KPMG. Elephant Productions was founded in 1990 by actor and writer Nigel Planer and producer, director and childrens author Jamie Rix. The London-based company is producing WWW.FATHERCHRISTMAS.COM and a second series of ANIMAL SCHOOL, both for CBBC.
Fox Kids Europe has promoted Benoit Runel from exec director of programming and acquisitions to SVP of programming. Runel will be responsible for sourcing programming not only for the FKE channels, but also for international distribution (currently serviced by Buena Vista International) and for FKE's consumer products division. FKE believes this operational expansion will also help development its online and interactive business. Runel reports to Bruce Steinberg, FKE's CEO, who is overseeing the programming strategy of FKE in coordination with majority shareholder The Walt Disney Co.
European animation television vets Justin Hatfield and Cathy Laughton are teaming with Hungarian toon studio Varga to flex its international muscle. The two will handle presales across Europe, finance and distribution for Varga, as well as seek out co-production and partnering opportunities on new projects. Varga CEO, Andras Erkel, has set them upon securing int'l pre-sales for BJORN BEAR, a Varga, Happy Life (Sweden) and WDR (Germany) co-production.
Gaspard de Chavagnac joins Fox Kids France as managing director, replacing Ronan Lunven who left the position in November. Prior to FKF, de Chavagnac worked for eight years at Canal+ Group. He also was EVP for the finance and development at Canalsatellite and project manger for Canal+ International Affairs. He reports to Paul Taylor, group managing director for Channel Europe and EVP of Fox Kids Europe.
Just in time for MIP TV 2003, international producer-distributor TV-Loonland has brought on Jamie Lynn as sales executive in its distribution division. Based in the London office, Lynn will be responsible for TV-Loonland's extensive rights portfolio of children's programming throughout Asia, Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lynn headed SSA Public Relations' London office for three years where he spearheaded several successful publicity campaigns for a wide range of high profile clients from the international television and film business and generated new business. David Ferguson, COO at TV-Loonland said," Lynn has developed vital and strong relationships with many top executives within the film, television and licensing industry. His acquired knowledge of the international television distribution business is highly valued and I look forward to working with him." TV-Loonland (www.tv-loonland.com) is an integrated media company producing and distributing internationally animation for children, youth and families. With its own development teams and production facilities in Europe, Great Britain, Asia and the U.S.A., a comprehensive rights catalog as well as a focused distribution effort for Europe, North and South America and Asia; TV-Loonland has become a world leader among the independent majors in the industry.
Emmy-winning editor and visual effects artist Les Umberger is the newest member of the R!OT Santa Monica team. Formerly with Crawford Communications in Atlanta, Georgia, Umberger brings extensive experience in commercials, promos and long-form programming. Umberger came to R!OTs attention during the course of its ongoing, nationwide search to identify emerging post-production talent said R!OT managing director Richard Cormier. "We are always interested in identifying next generation artists, inspired talent who bring a fresh approach and are driven to do great work." While at Crawford Post, Umberger was a Monitor Award finalist last year for Best Visual Effects for a CNN promo titled OUR INTERACTIVE WORLD. He won the award for Best Editing at the 48 Hour Film Project in Atlanta for the short film WHITE BITCH DOWN. Previously, Umberger worked for NBC and earned an Emmy Award for his part as an editor on the networks coverage of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He also spent four years with Turner Productions specializing in promotional work for such clients as CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS Superstation, Turner Classic Movies and The Discovery Channel. R!OT Santa Monica, R!OT Manhattan and R!OT Atlanta are subsidiaries of Ascent Media Group, Inc. For more check out www.rioting.com.
Barry Diller has resigned as co-chairman/CEO of Vivendi Universal Entertainment to end investors' concerns about him also being head of USA Interactive. USA Interactive just unveiled plans to buy control of online service Expedia.com in a deal valued at $3.3 billion. Most of Diller's investments rest with USA Interactive where he is CEO/chairman. "My executive role was never intended to be permanent," Diller said in a statement.
Jerry Offsay will step down as president of programming for Showtime Networks at the end of the year. The search has begun for his successor at the cable net owned by Viacom. Offsay commented in a statement, "Last summer I announced to Matt [Matthew Bank, chairman/CEO of Showtime] that after my 50th birthday I intended to leave Showtime." He said they decided to make the announcement now, although his birthday is in December, to facilitate naming a successor and to make an orderly transition.
Independent animation studio Mike Young Productions (MYP) is expanding with key hires in areas of development and distribution. Regis Brown joins as VP of international sales, responsible for launching a new distribution arm for the company. His sales slate includes HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE in key international territories, JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS, a co-production with PBS WLIW and Entara Ltd., and PET ALIEN, a co-production with Antefilms Production, for TF1.
Visual effects artist Steve Meyer joins Zoic studios in Culver City, California to work on the television series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and TWILIGHT ZONE as well as commercial and broadcast projects. Meyer joins Zoic from Radium, where he collaborated with Andrew Orloff, Loni Peristere, Steve Schofield and Chris Jones who launched Zoic in the fall of 2002. At Radium, Meyer did visual effects for Re/Max, McDonalds, Best Western, Chevy and Budweiser, as well as music videos for Sheryl Crow and Linkin Park. Meyer also worked on SMALLVILLE, BUFFY and HBO Films LIVE FROM BAGHDAD.
An Oscar nomination has indeed transferred into real business for Ireland's Darragh O'Connell and Cathal Gaffney of Brown Bag Films. Give Up Yer Aul Sins came out of nowhere it seemed to capture the Academy's heart last yearby this year it has transformed itself into a phenomena. Article includes QuickTime movie clips.
Veteran marketing exec Steve Sohmer has left the ABC network as its EVP of marketing, advertising and promotion according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. No replacement has been announced and the executives in each department will report for now to ABC Entertainment Group chairman Lloyd Braun. The network declined to comment on his departure. Sohmer was hired last summer to promote ABC's fall schedule, including his successful campaign for new sitcoms like 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER.
Editor Robert Pennington joins Northern Lights Post's roster of talent at the company's recently launched visual effects/design division. Pennington recently finished editing two feature length independent films, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ROBERT WILSON (working title), a documentary about the famed experimental theater director, and A TALE OF TWO PIZZAS, a romantic comedy directed by Vincent Sassone starring Vincent Pastore, Frank Vincent and Patty D'Arbanville. Pennington's recent commercial assignments include a montage-driven, two-spot image campaign for Ford Motor Co.
Jan Nagel joined the jadooWorks marketing team as a consultant it was announced by CEO Rajiv Marwah. Along with Elizabeth Koshy, North American marketing director of jadooWorks, Nagel will provide business development and marketing services in Southern California. Since 1991, Nagel has done marketing and business development for production studios including Dream Quest Images, Calico Entertainment and VirtualMagic Animation. She also is president of Women In Animation.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment veteran exec Mike Dunn is taking over as president of the unit responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of all Fox film and television programming on DVD and VHS in North America. He replaces Pat Wyatt who resigned a few months ago to produce anime DVD premiere movies. Dunn, who was EVP of sales and marketing after a 16-year career with Fox, will report directly to Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos.
Sesame Workshop adds Jaime Greenberg as VP of philanthropic development to spearhead efforts to gain support from foundations, corporations and individuals for the Workshop's programs and initiatives. Greenberg answers to Sherrie Rollins Westin, EVP of corporate affairs, education and development. Previously, Greenberg was at pubcaster Thirteen/WNET New York, where she led fundraising efforts for their national and local productions as well as education outreach projects.
Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Television in Germany since November 1998, is also now CEO of parent company and pan-European broadcaster RTL Group. He replaces Didier Bellens who departed recently to head Belgacom, a Belgian state-owned telecommunications company. Zeiler plans to run the Group headquartered in Luxembourg, and the channel in Cologne. Zeiler has been a member of the board of the Bertelsmann Foundation since September 2002 as well as on the board of M6 for the past year. Bertelsmann owns 90% of RTL, so some had speculated a Bertelsmann insider would likely take over RTL.
It's musical chairs again at Fox Kids Europe as Paul Taylor lands in Marc-Antonie d'Halluin's chair, replacing the exiting d'Halluin as new group managing director of channels and EVP. This takes effect March 17, reporting directly to Bruce Steinberg, CEO of FKE. Taylor will be responsible for local channel operations throughout Europe, working with the country managing directors to maximize opportunities for the company's integrated structure. He will also oversee pan-European advertising sales operations.
R!OT Santa Monica has promoted Diana Young from associate producer to visual effects producer for commercials and music videos. Young, a 10-year post-production vet, joined R!OT in 1999. Previously she worked at 525 Post Production, the Post Group in Hollywood and Pascal Video. Her credits at R!OT include spots for Skittles, Hamburger Helper, Suzuki and Skyy Blue and she co-produced a two-minute montage that kicked off THE X-FILES final season.