Gaming industry veteran Scott K. Tsumura has been named svp of Japan/Asia business strategy at Amaze Entertainment and exec studio director of Amaze Entertainment's BlackShip Games. Tsumura was president of Nintendo Software Technology Corp. managing the production of a variety of Nintendo games, such as POKEMONPUZZLE LEAGUE. A native of Japan, Tsumura has more than 25 years of gaming industry experience in both the U.S. and Japan.
Jason Dravis has been made partner in the Monteiro Rose Agency, now to be the Monteiro Rose Dravis Agency, Inc. in Encino, California. Dravis joined the agency in 1995 as an assistant and rapidly advanced to agent. Dravis' clients have included Eddie Guzulian (LILO AND STITCH 2, KIM POSSIBLE), Mark Drop (RECESS, LLOYD IN SPACE), Madeline Paxson, (LILO AND STITCH THE SERIES, PEPPERANN), Scott Fellows (FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, NED'S DECLASSIFIED SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE) and Peafur Productions (AAAGH! IT'S THE MR. HELL SHOW, BOUNTY HAMSTER).
Richard Marks joins Universal Network Television as vp of business affairs, it was announced by Neil Strum, exec vp of Universal Television Productions. Marks will be responsible for business affairs for the Universal series THE AGENCY and THE DISTRICT, as well as pilots ABOUT A BOY, SLICE O' LIFE and KAREN SISCO.
Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz Encore) has promoted Eric W. Becker from director to exec director of corporate communications, overseeing publicity for Starz Encore business, finance, technology, affiliate marketing, and consumer marketing public relations activities.
HD video and VFX editor Bob Williamson has joined Encore Hollywood just in time to complete final post work on the CBS-TV series JAG. He joins a team of senior editors at Encore that also includes Rob Williams, Paul Bonnette, Mark Sherman, Jonathan Slater and Michael Hutchison.
Side Effects Software (SESI), developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D software, has made a number of new hires and executive promotions to support what the company says is the rapid growth of the Houdini community.
Carl's Fine Films, a San Francisco-based commercial animation company, has signed director Henry Selick to its staff of commercial directors. Animation superstar Selick's credits include THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and MONKEYBONE. Among other successful ad campaigns, he created the original MTV station IDs. He has won top prizes at Annecy, Ottawa and the Annies plus NIGHTMARE was nominated for an Academy Award for best special effects.
John Powers joins TOKYOPOP Inc. in Los Angeles as vp of marketing for North America's leading graphic novel publisher and a growing force in international entertainment with its numerous anime titles.
New York City-based Animation Collective, Inc., has appointed Aundrea DeFur to the newly created position of head of production. She will oversee the studio's production slate and manage client relationships.
Industry vet Darren Frankel joins visual effects company Stargate Digital as vp in charge of post-production. He will supervise Stargates daily post-production operations, including editorial, artist hiring, facility management and scheduling. Stargate (www.stargatefilms.com) recently did 200 effects shots for USA Networks HELEN OF TROY mini-series and creates effects for such highly-rated television series as CSI, CSI: MIAMI, ER, THIRD WATCH and CROSSING JORDAN.
Iain Pelling, Cosgrove Hall Films md said he has decided to move on from the Manchester, U.K.-based animation company. Under his direction, the studio has become one of the leading animation companies in Europe. He spearheaded adding capabilities to the studio, including a CGI unit, Cosgrove Hall Digital, as well as new talent and better production management for its award-winning 2D and stop-frame production crews. Since he joined CHF in 1996, the studio has won three international and six national programming awards, plus one Childrens BAFTA and five BAFTA nominations.
David F. Zucker (40) has been named ceo/president of Midway Games Inc., replacing Neil D. Nicastro (46), Midway's chairman who has also stepped down as coo. Nicastro will continue as chairman of Midway's board of directors. The gaming company has not named a new coo.
COO Joan Vogelesang has been appointed president of Toon Boom Technologies Inc., replacing Jacques Bilodeau who has left the company. She now takes complete charge of the company's direction and will continue to spearhead sales, marketing and operations, according to Hubert Manseau, chairman of board. Regarding Bilodeu's departure, Manseau said, "The Board of Directors would like to thank Mr. Bilodeau for his past contributions at Toon Boom Technologies and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
Tara Sorensen joins National Geographic Television & Films as VP of development on May 12, 2003 to oversee development and production of its kids' programming unit. She will be based in Beverly Hills, working closely with Friedman Meir, president of the Kids' Programming & Production Unit for NGT&F. The unit was established earlier in 2003 to develop and sell original programming to major U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as direct-to-video properties. The Kids' group is working with creators, production companies, studios, networks and corporate sponsors to develop projects with characters and storylines for the preschool to tween audiences.
Sorensen was vp of creative affairs for the Family Entertainment division of Sony Pictures Television, where she oversaw the development of shows like JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES and MEN IN BLACK animated series for Kids WB!, DRAGON TALES for PBS and the STUART LITTLE series for HBO Family. Sorensen was a development manger for Nelvana Communications, where she helped develop ROLIE POLIE OLIE for the Disney Channel.
Mike Wald has been promoted from vp to svp of Worldwide Pay Television at Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), reporting to Peter Iacono, evp of sales, SPTI. Wald will remain based at the studio's Culver City, California headquarters and continues to oversee all worldwide pay television activities for the studio, managing SPTI's relationships with major domestic and international pay television clients.
Director Michele Band has joined Vee Pee Films, the live-action production division of Virtual Persuasion. Band was a director and producer at MTV Networks and Nickelodeon Studios where she did live-show production, new show launch campaigns, on-air promotions and high-profile celebrity interviews.
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has appointed Philippe Maigret svp of portfolio development. Maigret will be based in London and report directly to by Tom Toumazis, svp/md, BVITV EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Maigret is charged with implementing an acquisition and co-production strategy and focus on closer liaisoning with all internal and third party producer groups including Walt Disney Studios, Miramax, Touchstone Television and ABC Cable Network Groups as well as TV Animation.
Expanding VFX and production facility Boy Wonder Visual Effects has added Emmy-winning VFX supervisor Tim Landry as creative director. Coming over from a nine-year stint with Dream Quest Images and Walt Disney's Secret Lab VFX facilities, he supervised such projects as GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, THE SIXTH SENSE, SHANGHAI NOON, SNOW DOGS and HONEY, WE SHRUNK OURSELVES. Landry has joined Boy Wonder to help ramp up its production pipeline to meet the demands of its increasing client roster.
Rick Feldman has taken over as new president/ceo of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and strategic planning of the organizations worldwide activities. Feldman is based in the associations global headquarters in Los Angeles and reports to the NATPE Board of Directors Executive Committee. He replaces Bruce Johansen, who served in the position for 10 years.
Dan Weiss has been named evp of worldwide marketing for Universal's domestic and international television divisions. In his newly created post, Weiss will oversee all marketing functions for both the domestic and international TV markets, including worldwide pay-per-view and video-on-demand with campaigns for universal's sales of network and first-run series, off-network programming and motion pictures. Departments under worldwide marketing reporting to Weiss include affiliate relations and advertising, communications, promotions-partnerships and creative services.
Australian native Andrew McKenna joins digital visual effects studio Radium as senior compositor. He has worked on numerous high-profile national and international commercials, as well as television and film projects. McKenna was most recently at GMD in Sydney, Australia as VFX designer/compositor where he worked on such notable films as THE QUIET AMERICAN, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and INSPECTOR GADGET 2.
Kim Hatamiya has joined Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) as svp, sales and marketing, based in Culver City, California. Hatamiya brings 20 years of experience and extensive expertise in marketing for international television ventures, Internet content and children's television. Hatamiya has launched and managed international channels, including Canal Fox, Fox Kids U.K. and Fox Kids Latin America. She also has in-depth experience with new product launches and business development.
MTV: Music Television has promoted Carol Eng to svp of original programming. She will oversee production of shows on the network and will assume increased responsibility in managing the original programming department. Eng is based in MTVs headquarters in New York City and will continue to report to John Miller, evp of series and animation. Eng, an MTV 15-year vet, has produced MTV's signature events such as SPRING BREAK and THE VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS. She transitioned over to the original series dept.
NXN Software, a leading supplier of asset management solutions for the digital entertainment and computer graphics industries, has appointed Ernie Cicogna as its new general manager of U.S. operations, hired Neil Leshner to manage major account sales, and promoted Katja Reitemeyer to director of account management. These appointments support NXN's ongoing expansion into the games, film and simulation markets.