Darren Feher, evp/cto for NBC Universal, will take on a new role to create a media technology organization dedicated to digital product innovation and emerging technology. Feher will add new technology and engineering teams concentrating on the areas of digital asset management, content distribution, production and commercial planning across NBCU's broad portfolio of assets.
New York visual effects studio Guava has added Jep Hill to its 3D department. With more than a dozen years working in Hollywood as a compositor, lighting and scripting technical director, sequence supervisor and CG supervisor, Hill enters Guava as a visual effects supervisor.
Acclaimed CG animator Tim Cheung will head Imagiâs Hong Kong animation team as vp of animation. Cheung will oversee the animation for all of Imagi's CGI feature films, and will manage Imagiâs some 400 Hong Kong-based animators, according to deputy chairman/co-ceo/cco Francis Kao.
DreamWorks Animation has brought on board theme park operation and marketing exec Joel Ward to fill the start-up position newly created to helm theme park and location-based entertainment for DreamWorks Animation Consumer Products.
Edward Galton joins Cake Ent. as md of the companyâs commercial exploitation subsidiary, Cake Distribution Ltd. His role includes securing international pre-sales, handling worldwide sales and overseeing brand positioning.
During his successful six-year stint as vp, at Paris-based animation company Xilam, Galton played a key role in the global positioning and exploitation of Xilamâs animation.
Robert Keske joins the Nice Shoes family of companies (Nice Shoes, Freestyle Collective, Guava, Nice Spots) as cto. Keske will work closely with Nice Shoes principal Joe Bottazzi to deepen the company's position as an innovator in the area of post-production technology systems.
Keske was an infrastructure and interoperability product development manager for Autodesk Media & Ent., working on software color correction products and designing and developing efficient high-end production and 2k/4k workflows for various companies.
Angela Bromstad has been upped to president, International Television Production, NBC Universal International, based in London. Heading the newly created division as of Sept. 1, 2007, Bromstad will lead television production and strategic TV content partnerships across all territories and will be responsible for driving NBC Universal's international growth through increased local production, geographical expansion and new business creation.
Sebastian Sylwan has joined Autodesk Media & Ent. as senior film and television industry manager. Based in Los Angeles, Sylwan is responsible for researching market opportunities and trends in the global film and television markets. He is working closely with Autodesk's customers and partners to further the understanding and use of digital technologies.
Simon Holden joins Company 3 as a visual effects supervisor and senior visual effects artist. Holden, a freelancer for most of his career, brings broad experience in creating visual effects for commercials and numerous credits in feature films. He will primarily focus on advertising work, providing visual effects supervision on the set and through post-production, as well as performing hands-on visual effects work.
Turner Broadcasting System upped James Anderson from vp of public relations of public relations for Cartoon Network to svp of public relations for Turner's recently formed Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media group, responsible for public relations and publicity efforts supporting the cable television networks Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim; the digital businesses Cartoonnetwork.com, AdultSwim.com, Toonami Jetstream, Cartoon Network Video, GameTap and Super Deluxe; and two animation production facilities: Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank and Williams Street Studios in Atlanta.
Melissa Wolfe joins Cookie Jar Ent. as director of development. Based in Los Angeles, she reports to Ann Austen, svp, development & U.S. television/video sales.
"Melissa is an industry leader at the forefront of cutting edge animation and digital media who will play a major role in the development department as Cookie Jar's slate of properties continues to grow," said Austen.
MTV Networks (MTVN) has promoted Greg Clayman from svp, MTVN Mobile Media, to evp, digital distribution & business development. Based in the company's New York City headquarters, Clayman will continue to report to Mika Salmi, president, Global Digital Media, MTVN.
Eden FX, a Hollywood-based creator of visual effects for feature films, television programs and commercial advertising content, has added Mark Kolpack as visual effects supervisor. Most recently, Kolpack was the vfx supervisor on the hit NBC TV series HEROES. Some of his other credits include effects work on COMMANDER IN CHIEF, RUFFIAN, ONE TREE HILL and THIEF.
A hard disk belonging to suspected U.K. terror plotter Kafeel Ahmed contains an animated video showing how a syringe can be used in a bomb, reports NDTV.COM. Police found the disk at his home in Bangalore.
The technology was to be used to trigger the bombs found in London, but they failed because the syringes malfunctioned, British investigators said.
Former Warner Bros. Animation president Sander Schwartz returns to familiar territory, but in a bigger capacity as president, international production of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), and becomes head of SPTIï¿½s global production group. Before WBA, Schwartz was Sony Pictures Entï¿½s family entertainment group first president from 1999 to 2001. Schwartz will relocate from Los Angeles to SPTIï¿½s European headquarters in London, England, and will report to SPTIï¿½s president, Michael Grindon.
Eight new governors have been elected to represent their branches on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Six incumbent governors were reelected.
Newcomers to the board are Henry Winkler, Actors Branch; Vilmos Zsigmond, Cinematographers; Richard Pearce, Documentary; and Charles Fox, Music.
Returning to the Board after a hiatus are Dede Allen, Film Editors; Curt Behlmer, Sound; Richard Edlund, Visual Effects and Frank Pierson, Writers.
Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who have served as presidents of Twentieth Century Fox Television (TCFTV) for nearly a decade, have been promoted to chairmen of the studio.
"Under Gary and Dana's leadership for the past decade, 20th Century Fox Television has achieved unparalleled success in the television marketplace and has been at the forefront of successfully leveraging new technologies to extend its hit franchises," said Peter Charmin, president/coo News Corp., to whom they report. "Their promotion to chairmen is richly deserved."
Fox Broadcasting Co. has upped Peter Liguori to chairman, entertainment, and named Kevin Reilly president, entertainment, in a restructuring designed to add depth to the senior ranks of the network.
Television sales veteran Patricia Ryan has been upped to evp of sales for Foothill Ent. Well known in the global television sales community, Ryan has brought tremendous experience and knowledge to Foothill over the past year as a consultant.
"We are thrilled to have Pat in this new role," said Foothill president Jo Kavanagh-Payne. "Pat is very well liked and respected throughout the world so having her in this new management role is a huge plus for us, especially with our increasing catalogue."
Karen Rupert Toliver is the new vp production at 20th Century Fox Animation, replacing John Cohen. Her duties will include the development and production of animated projects. She reports to recently appointed TCF Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison.
"Karen has the expertise and sensibility with the development and production of big, all-audience, animated movies, and her taste and talents fall perfectly in line with the films that we make here at Fox Animation," Morrison commented.
Thomas Helmintoller joins S4 Studios in the newly created post of creative director. A specialist in graphics production for trailers, music videos, movies and home video packaging, Helmintoller designed air combat sequences of DER ROTE BARON (THE RED BARON), an international co-production being distributed by Warner Bros. in October 2007.
Karen Raugust reports that despite the wide gap in budgets and resources, independent animation houses can learn from the major media companies' digital/new media activities.
MTV Networks' Ent. Group has promoted Erik Flannigan to evp, digital media. The Entertainment Group is comprised of a multi-platform portfolio of brands featuring the Comedy Central, Spike TV and TV Land cable channels, as well as Internet sites AtomFilms, AtomUploads, GameTrailers.com and Xfire. Flannigan supervises the linear channels' digital media teams, overseeing the networks' digital programming initiatives, to maximize revenue growth opportunities for the group and now will oversee all of the Entertainment Group's digital businesses as well.
Sharon Morrill, president of DisneyToon Studios, has stepped down from her post, where she had been responsible for producing direct-to-video sequels of the Disney Co.'s animated features. She will do special projects for Disney.
ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE reported on March 28, 2007, that it was the end of the line for Disney direct-to-video sequels and how the studio was moving forward under the new corporate climate with Ed Catmull and John Lasseter at the helm.