PDI/DreamWorks has named Michael Garner and Laura Lockwood producers at the company's commercials division. Both have just finished their duties as production supervisors on PDI's 3D animated feature SHREK. Previously, Garner worked as production coordinator on PDI's first feature ANTZ. Prior to PDI, he worked at Digital Domain, where his credits include TITANIC, DANTE'S PEAK and THE FIFTH ELEMENT. "I've always gravitated towards the more technical, multi-tasking types of production," Garner said.
Pixar executive vice president and two-time Oscar-winning director John Lasseter has signed a ten year contract to provide his services exclusively to the studio. "John Lasseter, more than anyone else, has shaped Pixar into the world-class animation studio it is today. With John leading our creative team for the next decade, our dream of nurturing a golden age of animation at Pixar may come true," said Pixar CEO Steve Jobs.
Alliance Atlantis has promoted Jennifer Bennett to vice president, merchandising and licensing. Bennett will oversee the licensing of all Alliance Atlantis' television properties, including children's label, AAC KIDSTM. She has been with the company for the past seven years, most recently as director, merchandising and licensing. "Jennifer has been invaluable to Alliance Atlantis' merchandising and licensing initiatives over the past three years since joining the M&L team," said Ted Riley, president, Alliance Atlantis Television Distribution.
Blur Studio has hired Tim Brown as their new co-creative director of the design division. Prior to Blur, Brown served as creative director of the design and animation house, RezN8. Brown's work on CBS's coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics helped the project earn two Sports Emmy Awards for graphic design and technical innovation. Brown said, "Here, we have a design engine that is integrated with a production engine. Very few design firms have direct access to 3D animation and visual effects production, or to artists of the caliber we have at Blur.
Warner Bros. Animation has announced that Jean MacCurdy has stepped down from her post as president and will be replaced by former Sony Family Entertainment Group president Sander Schwartz. MacCardy will become a creative consultant for the studio, working on developing animated and live-action children's productions. In 1979, she joined Warner Bros. Cartoons as director of animation programming and in 1982, was promoted to VP and general manager.
ATTIK has named Dana Zipser the new business development manager for the San Francisco office. In her new post, Zipser will be responsible for the development of current and potential clients. She comes to ATTIK from San Francisco branding consultancy company Sterling Group where, from November 1999 to February 2001, as Marketing Director, she grew new business in industries ranging from entertainment to fashion to technology. "We're all incredibly excited about Dana joining the business development team. Her passion and energy marry perfectly with ATTIK culture.
Walt Disney Co. Latin America has hired Marcos Rosset as managing director, Brazil. He will head all of the company's businesses in the territory, including the Portuguese language Disney Channel that debuts on April 5, 2001. For the past 15 years, Rosset served as managing director of CIC Video, a co-venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. There he oversaw all retail businesses, including interactive consumer products and rental/sell-through video.
German children's entertainment producer TV-Loonland AG has appointed Celia Holman to the newly created role of head of development for the London office. Holman will be responsible for the development of all TV-Loonland's European-based programming and the maintaining and developing of contacts with independent producers, children's publishers and rights holders. Prior to TV-Loonland, she worked as project development manager for Network of the World (NOW), where she worked with potential children's content partners for a fully converged TV/Web environment.
Susan Armstrong has joined EyeballNYC as a designer. Previously, she served as an inferno* artist and 3D animator for Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog. There she worked on commercials for Coca-Cola, Tylenol, Sega Playdium, as well as music videos for David Bowie, Bare Naked Ladies and Sheryl Crow, among others. In addition, Armstrong worked on such feature films as THE SWEET HEREAFTER and HARRIET THE SPY.
Simona Fabbri has joined Cartoon Network Italy in the newly created position of director of content. Fabbri will be responsible for the programming schedule and acquiring Italian shows, in addition to coordinating the network's and Website's content. She will also oversee the promos and on-air look of the channel. Previously, Simona worked at the Italian Disney channel where she started as acquisitions manager, moving to asset manager.
Scott Dougherty has been appointed executive producer of visual effects for Cinesite, Inc. Dougherty will be responsible for managing the creative and technological resources needed to complete visual effects projects. After freelancing as an art department assistant and production manager, Dougherty joined Cinesite in 1993 and has played various roles including visual effects coordinator, associate producer and producer. His filmography includes RED PLANET, AIR FORCE ONE, DEEP BLUE SEA, PRACTICAL MAGIC, SPACE JAM, OUTBREAK and dozens of other projects.
Nickelodeon has promoted senior VP Andra Shapiro to executive VP of business affairs and general counsel. Shapiro will head all business and legal affairs for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, TV Land, TNN: The National Network, Nickelodeon Games & Sports and Noggin. Before joining MTV Networks, she was an attorney at New York law firm Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, where she handled copyright and trademark issues.
Visual effects/live-action director Simon D. Holden has signed with The Flux Group, a motion graphics, visual effects and live-action production house. Holden will focus on commercial work for Flux. His previous commercial work includes spots for Dodge, Pontiac, Bally Total Fitness and Warner Bros. Home Video. Recently, Holden has done F/X work on film and TV projects such as MOULIN ROUGE, CONTACT, DANTE'S PEAK, FACE/OFF, THE X-FILES and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. Flux president Maggie Magee said, "Simon is an exceptional effects director and supervisor.
ATTIK, a leading all-media creative solutions firm, has named Monica Perez their new creative director at the San Francisco office. Perez replaces Simon Dixon who returned to England to assume the creative director role at ATTIK's British offices. Perez joined ATTIK in 1997 as associate creative director and has helped design spots for Microsoft, Ford, Nike, Adidas, Columbia/TriStar Pictures, Levi Strauss and LucasArts.
The CFO of Viacom, Fredric Reynolds, has decided to step down from his post. Fredric served at Westinghouse Electric Corp. when they purchased CBS, subsequently overseeing the purchase of CBS by Viacom. Reynolds is leaving the post for personal reasons, but will continue working for the New York-based company in some fashion out of the California offices. He will remain CFO until a replacement can be found. A Viacom spokeswoman said, "He wants to spend more time with his family in California, and it wasn't possible for the CFO to be in California."
Black Logic has added five 3D artists to its CG department. The new Black Logic CG staff members include: Scott Petill, senior animator; Sebastian Bilbao, technical director; Julio Soto and Andrew Dayton, CG artists; and Glenn Harper, visual effects animator. Prior to joining Black Logic, Petill was at Post Perfect and earlier at ad agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer. In addition, he has consulted with Pixar on their commercial software releases, and designed a library of 3D textures for broadcast and print applications. "Scott is a wizard with motion and light.
Nicolas Gorse has been appointed distribution director for France and French-speaking Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg for TBS Europe. Gorse will be responsible for the distribution of all three Turner channels, CNN International, Cartoon Network and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Previously, Gorse served as development and marketing director of SOFIRAD. "Nicolas has an excellent knowledge of marketing and distribution, as well as of the various satellite platforms and their specific offerings in France.
From Russia to his new home of Norway, Pjotr Sapegin is bringing his own twisted sense of humor to his re-worked fairy tales. Who is this man behind a salt controlling troll, a genital loving cat and a rat seeking romance? Chris Robinson investigates.
Goodspeed & Associates, Inc. has promoted Patrick Bennett to the newly created position of design director. Formerly a designer with the company, Patrick will be responsible for the daily overseeing of all creative work. Before joining Goodspeed over a year ago, Patrick held a variety of creative positions in graphic design, Web design and consulting for several magazines and cultural institutions, such as ESQUIRE, VANITY FAIR and Dia Center for the Arts. "Patrick has proved an invaluable asset for our rapidly growing company," said agency owner Bill Goodspeed.
Terra Networks' chief operating officer Abel Linares has stepped down from his post and Stephan J. Killeen has been hired as U.S. president. Linares' departure comes only three weeks after chief executive officer, Bob Davis, stepped down over disputes with global president Joaquim Agut on who would control Terra after the US$6.5 billion merger with Lycos was completed. Linares' quitting was not a surprise. He was supposed to become head of special projects, which he viewed as a demotion.
Mark Simon, co-founder of AARGH! Animation, Inc., has resigned from the company to start a new cel animation development and production studio. The new Orlando-based A&S Animation, Inc. already has two short-form animation series in production entitled, TIMMYS LESSONS IN NATURE and MY WIFE IS PREGNANT. In addition, the studio is developing several 30-minute animated series. Simon is the author of STORYBOARDS: MOTION IN ART. For more information on A&S Animation contact Mark Simon at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walt Disney Studios has promoted Dean Hallett to executive VP and chief financial officer. Hallett, an 11-year veteran of Disney, previously served as senior VP and chief financial officer of the studio. He assumed that role in April, following the departure of Rob Moore. Hallett will continue to oversee all financial, strategic and operational aspects of the firm. As executive VP, he will help develop and expand strategy and management. Hallett joined Disney in 1990 as a manager in the corporate management audit department.
Gillian Samuels has joined Digital Pictures as marketing director and executive producer. In the new role, Samuels will oversee the development of the firm's brand, capitalize on new and existing markets and help expand their design and high-end visual effects capabilities in both television and film. Previously, as director of marketing and client services at Garner MacLennan Design, Samuels was responsible for the marketing and developing of the Broadcast Design division.
As a result of the impending bail out of EM.TV by KirchGroup, a top Kirch executive has assumed a role at EM.TV. Head of Kirch New Media Rainer Huether will replace Hans Peter Vreins as head of sales, and also assumes the role of deputy CEO. In addition, EM.TV's head of production Sylvia Rothblum has been asked to step down from her post. Moreover, Nickolaus Becker, head of EM.TV's supervisory board, has also stepped down.
Curious Pictures has announced it has signed Noble Jones as a live-action/special effects director. Noble is renowned for his work directing commercials in far off places like South Africa and Switzerland for such clients as AT&T, Coca-Cola, MTV and Toyota. His music video for Wide Mouth Mason won awards for Best Cinematography at the Much Music Awards. "We have been aware of Noble for years," said Richard Winkler, executive producer, Curious Pictures. "His work took a quantum leap in the last year or so and the timing was right for both of us.