Simone Pillinger has been promoted to executive producer at Spontaneous Combustion, the digital studio specializing in design, visual effects and animation for the advertising, broadcast and film industries. Since February 2000, she has served as Spontaneous' senior producer. From 1997 to 2000, she freelanced for a number of firms including Electra Records and ATTIK. Pillinger's commercial credits include AT&T (Young & Rubicam/New York, NY), NFL (NFL Properties Advertising and Design Department/New York, NY), Tropicana (FCB/New York, NY), T.J.
Dan Lombardo has been named senior producer at Cinesite Hollywood. He will oversee daily operations of the 2D and 3D departments. He previously worked as an executive producer and vice president of production at Computer Film Company (CFC) and Manex Visual Effects. His credits include MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, ROMEO MUST DIE, ARMAGEDDON, DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, THE FIFTH ELEMENT and THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. He also led the team that earned an Emmy for Best Visual Effects for the pilot episode of EARTH 2.
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. has appointed Lou Novak as chief executive officer. In his new role, Novak will provide strategic direction as well as oversee all business and operational aspects of Mainframe. Prior to joining Mainframe, Novak served as president and CEO of Videosnap, a streaming media application service provider based in New York. Novak has held senior management positions at Galoob, Mattel and Coleco. In addition, Mainframe's former CEO Ian Pearson will assume the newly created position of chief creative officer.
Bob Miller has been named creative director of Glendale-based Cornerstone Animation Inc. He is currently working with Cornerstone on the production of the animated portions of a 48 volume direct-to-video series, YOUR CHILD, for Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family. Miller's credits include work on THE SIMPSONS, COURAGE, THE COWARDLY DOG and Hanna-Barberas upcoming direct-to-video movie, SCOOBY-DOO AND THE CYBER-CHASE. Over the last 12 years, he has worked on a wide variety of projects for studios including MGM Animation, Warner Bros. Classic Animation, Warner Bros.
Ring of Fire announced they have named Casey Dame as their new lead character animator. Dame started his career as a 3D animator on THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST. His credits include feature films DR. DOLITTLE 2, RED PLANET, MYSTERY MEN and ARMAGEDDON. His television credits include BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and CINDERELLA. His commercials include spots for Ritz Crackers, AT&T, 7-Up, Universal Studios, Snickers and Sony. "We have been aware of Casey Dame's work for some time and we are great admirers of his talent," said Ring of Fire executive producer/co-founder John Myers.
Betty Cohen announced on June 15, 2001 that she will be stepping down from her post as president of Cartoon Network Worldwide effective July 16, 2001. Cohen, a 13-year veteran of Turner Broadcasting, will stay within the ever-expanding world of AOL Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting however, as she moves over to AOL in order to develop multi-platform programs and services for a target audience of young adults and teens. Cohen said, "I am an entrepreneurial builder, and Jamie Kellner [Chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc.] has afforded me the opportunity to pursue a dream of mine.
Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., a worldwide interactive entertainment company, announced that it has promoted Evan Stein to the position of VP of brand. In the new role, Stein will head up the company's brand management including product delivery, forecasting and budgeting, as well as Acclaim's marketing and public relations departments and two advertising agencies. Previously, he was the director of brand management for the action/adventure, racing, and club Acclaim product lines.
TBS Latin America has named Darlene Cordero creative director of print and design for Cartoon Network Latin America. Cordero will be responsible for Cartoon Network Latin America's off-channel creative image and communication, developing print creative for Marketing, Public Relations and Ad Sales in the Latin American market. In addition, shell team with the on-air and Web production teams to strengthen the link between on-air, Web and print promotions. She will be based out of Atlanta.
On May 24, 2001, Fox Interactive announced the appointment of Michael R. Heilemann as director of technology. Heilemann will report to Michael Pole, senior vice president of product development, and will direct Fox Interactive's software development efforts and technical research and development. Additionally, Heilemann will oversee the company's relationships with its hardware partners Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. Heilemann comes to Fox Interactive from Electronic Arts Canada, where he was a senior software engineer.
Further strengthening the company's conceptualization and implementation of brand development and expression, head of creative services Elaine Cantwell announced the addition of three members to 3 Ring Circus' creative team. Enhancing the well-established creative capabilities of 3 Ring Circus, the addition of designer Dan Garcia and animators Josh Graham and Steven Dudeck will provide the company with greater flexibility and a broader perspective within the constantly evolving world of brand development.
Gerry Legros has been appointed vice-president / head of production at Calibre Digital Pictures. After earning a television broadcasting degree from Mohawk College, Gerry became floor director and cameraman for CityTV's weekend news team. He juggled this dual role with a position at Magnetic North as a videotape operator for two years before a brief stint at Command Post. He then spent six years at Dome Productions as supervisor of the central equipment room, wrangling gear for a variety of departments.
Sideshow Post announced that award-winning computer graphics artist Jonathan Herbert has joined the company's Sideshow Motion Design division as creative director. Herbert comes on board after seven years at the helm of Zero Degrees Kelvin, his well-known New York City production boutique that specialized in 3D animation for TV commercials, product and science demos. Herbert has seventeen years experience in directing and managing 3D and special effects projects.
IMAX announced the appointment of Francis (Frank) T. Joyce as chief financial officer effective May 14, 2001. Joyce will report to IMAX co-CEOs and co-chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. Joyce comes to IMAX from theglobe.com where he was vice president, CFO and treasurer. He has more than 20 years of experience in finance, primarily in the advertising, film, publishing and Internet industries, and has worked for a number of large multi-national companies including CBS, Paramount Pictures, Ted Bates Worldwide and KPMG.
Markus Manninen has been promoted to Deputy Head of FrameStores 3D department. Manninen joined FrameStore in 2000 from Film Tecknarna in Sweden and has since worked on numerous commercials, including British Gas Mexican, BT Cellnets Animation, Shells Whale and Fiats Volcano. He also recently directed campaigns for Cingular Wireless and Richard Burbidge. The company also announced that Paul O'Brien has recently joined FrameStore's Henry team.
Wild Brain, Inc., in conjunction with The Irv Schechter Talent Agency, announced their representation for commercial work of animator and director David Feiss. As creator, director and animator, Feiss just completed his first Wild Brain campaign for BBDO/NY, a Frito-Lay Cheetos Whirlz spot titled Cool Cat, currently airing, and a Cheetos Mystery Colorz Snacks PSA, which aired on May 7, 2001. Feiss may best be known as creator and director of his own TV series, the overwhelmingly popular COW & CHICKEN for Cartoon Network.
Sierra On-Line, Inc., a division of Vivendi Universal Publishing, recently announced the addition of two seasoned executives to its management team. Thomas K. Hernquist, takes the reigns as president & CEO, and Michael A. Ryder steps in as COO and senior vice president of product development. Hernquist will be reporting to Vivendi Universal Games CEO Hubert Joly.
Edgewater, New Jerseys RefacDesign, a design firm specializing in product and graphic design, named Stephen Russak vice president in charge of design operations. Russak joins RefacDesign from Smart Design, a nationally prominent design firm where he was a partner and served as vice president, design and operations for 16 years.
London, UKs Egmont Imagination has appointed Caroline Stephenson as their new territory manager for Southern Europe and Latin American markets, announced Tatiana Kober, managing director for Egmont Imagination UK Ltd. After starting her career as part of the international sales team at Hearst Entertainment, Stephenson joined Team Dandelion as manager of European broadcast sales.
NewTek has named Jim Plant to the newly created position of executive vice president of business and strategic development. NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, animation and special effects tools. The company's products are used worldwide on projects ranging from home video, broadcast television and feature films (CHARLIE'S ANGELS, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-MEN). "Jim is a proven executive who is very familiar with the video and 3D marketplace," said Tim Jenison, CEO and founder of NewTek.
Attracted by his passion for film and food, and a design aesthetic beyond his years, Black Logic has signed Alessandro Swainston as a designer/director, announced vice president and executive producer Karen Stewart. Black Logic is a comprehensive, creative collaboration company offering full-service visual effects, graphic design, high-end compositing, 2D and 3D animation, and complete live-action production.
Continuing the vigorous expansion of its presence in New York, the Click 3x Group has hired Michael Porte, the co-founder of Mad River Post, to serve as managing director of its digital studio. The move to Click 3x heralds a return to visual effects for Porte, who previously was a producer at Intercom, CPC and Coast Effects. Porte will supervise all day-to-day activities at Click 3x, New York, with particular emphasis on growing the studio and reinventing its role to suit the future needs of the advertising and broadcast industries.
Stephen Lynch interviews Robbert Smit, one of Australia's most experienced directors, on Energee Entertainment's latest feature and the trials and rewards of making a film in Oz.
David Forbes, former executive vice president of Orion Pictures Corp. and president of MGM/UA Distribution Company, has been named CEO of Global Animation Holdings, whose family of companies includes Los Angeles-based Spectrum Studios and Manila, Philippines-based ImagineAsia and VirtualMagic Asia. Forbes assumes the new post immediately.
Michael Garner and Laura Lockwood have been named producers at PDI/DreamWorks commercial division, transitioning from the companys feature animation division after their completion of work on SHREK. Immediately following his work as production supervisor for the SHREK character development department, Garner began work for the commercial division, jumping directly onto the production of a Kool-Aid spot shooting in Australia.