Visual effects and design company A52 has appointed a new management team and has added a new senior producer to the staff. Rick Hassen will fill the position of managing director, having most recently served as executive producer for Venice, California-based visual effects boutique Sea Level. Former A52 staff producer Darcy Leslie Parsons has been promoted to the position of executive producer where she will oversee business development, the bidding process and project management. Scott Boyajan has joined the staff as senior producer.
John A. Lent and Xu Ying report their experiences from visiting Chinaand speaking with one of China's leading artists -- animation-relatedor otherwise -- Te Wei, and discussing the nation's rocky past andquickly changing future.
Independent animation company Happy Hour Entertainment has hired Denis Burger Jr. as its president, games division. Burger will drive all game creation and content for next generation platforms and PC, and also manage all of Happy Hours business operations. Previously Burger was president and co-founder of Mudpuppy Studios, an independent game developer that has created titles for Disney, LEGO and Mattel. Happy Hour is currently developing ROCK STAR (working title), an original game that combines music creation with the story of a garage bands rise to super-stardom.
Media company Hornet Inc. has hired Stephen Mann as CG supervisor. Mann has an extensive background in computer animation and serves as an adjunct professor and Maya instructor for the department of computer art at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He recently served as digital effects supervisor for Kleiser-Walczak, where he handled visual effects work for commercials and feature films.
Will Ryan interviews Eric Goldberg regarding his non-influences and just who he considers animation's first, true pioneer.
R!OT Design has appointed Jeremy Hollister to the post of creative director of broadcast design. Hollister will provide creative supervision for all design-related projects undertaken by the studio. An influential member of R!OT's design team since 1996, Hollister has won numerous Promax and BDA awards, as well as other design industry honors for his work for the Sci Fi Channel, ESPN, MTV and other accounts. Most recently he has been signed by London-based production company SKUNK for worldwide representation in commercial and music video direction.
Visual effects, broadcast design and animation studio Click 3x has brought on Jim Collins to head the studios animation department. Formerly with the design boutique TZ, Collins has experience in animation, illustration and compositing, and has credits across a variety of media. His experience is particularly strong in broadcast graphics, having recently completed projects for NBC, CBS News, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox, ESPN, Sci Fi Channel and CNNSI. He also has numerous credits in commercials.
Portland, Oregon-based Vinton Studios has hired John RA Benson to manage the studios' computer animation department, where he will oversee all aspects of Vinton's CG production. Before joining Vinton Studios, Benson spent five years as the head of computer animation in the commercial division of ILM. Prior to that, he spent four years supervising traditionally and digitally animated productions at San Francisco's Colossal Pictures.
Gullane Entertainment has named Bill Gross senior vice president, brand strategy. In this newly created position, Gross will oversee, expand and manage Gullane Entertainment's portfolio of global brands and will also oversee the development of new ones. Most recently, Gross was co-founder, president and CEO of Cartoon Pizza. On behalf of Cartoon Pizza, Gross initiated a distribution relationship for educational content with Sesame Workshop, as well as a relationship with Gullane Entertainment. Gross will be based in Gullane Entertainment's New York office.
David Stainton has been upped from his current position of executive vice president to president, Walt Disney Television Animation. Stainton's responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations for the division's animated television series and specials, Disney video premieres and February theatrical features (sequels like RETURN TO NEVER LAND). He continues to report to Thomas Schumacher, head of Walt Disney Television Animation and Walt Disney Feature Animation, in his new position.
Santa Monica-based visual effects house Company 3 has hired Henry artist and visual effects supervisor Alex Brodie and visual effects producer Christine Carr. Both arrive from 525 Post Production, which curtailed operations in December. Brodie has a list of high profile credits in music videos and commercials including recent efforts like the Garbage music video "Cherry Lips," which featured an "invisible" band. In the spot, Brodie removed the bands heads and limbs to make it appear as though empty suits were playing guitars and other instruments.
Richard W. Cook has been promoted to chairman of The Walt Disney Studios where he will head production for Walt Disney, Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures. In addition, he will be responsible for worldwide distribution and marketing for live-action and feature animated films, worldwide home entertainment operations and the studio's legal and business affairs. He will report to both Disney chairman and CEO Michael D. Eisner, and Disney president and COO Robert A. Iger.
Entertainment group Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. has promoted Ken Faier to vice president, production, distribution and licensing, AAC Kids, the childrens label of Alliance Atlantis. In this new position, Faier will be responsible for developing and implementing the overall strategy for AAC Kids, including all aspects of production and distribution, as well as overseeing merchandising and licensing. Faier joined the company in 2000, heading up distribution for AAC Kids, working closely with production and merchandising and licensing. Prior to AAC Kids, Mr.
Family entertainment company Igel Media has appointed Victoria Valius as head of distribution. In her new role, Valius will head up the company's international television distribution division in London, overseeing all international sales. In addition, she will be actively looking to expand the company's catalogue and sourcing opportunities to co-produce quality programming in the company's key markets including Germany, France and the UK.
On March 1, 2002, Phil Roman will return to Film Roman Studios, the company best known for THE SIMPSONS. Romans existing company, Phil Roman Entertainment, will move to offices in the North Hollywood studios of Film Roman. Roman founded Film Roman in 1984, but resigned from his post as chairman of the company in February 1999 to set up a new studio, Phil Roman Entertainment. That company has produced the television Christmas specials THE GAUDINS and GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER and is currently in production on 26 episodes of HOWDI GAUDI.
Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE) has aligned its Websites SoapCity and Screenblast with its wireless and platform service units to form the Digital Networks Division to be headed by senior vice president Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy joined SPDE as senior vice president in 2000. Prior to SPDE, he worked in Sony Pictures Entertainments corporate development group.
Rich Ross has been named to the newly created post of president, entertainment, Disney Channel, a division of the ABC Cable Networks Group. In his new position, Ross oversees all creative development, programming and production for Disney Channel including the programming, production, advertising and promotion departments. Ross also oversees the new kids' programming block on ABC Family. The fourteen-hour a week programming block premieres Saturday, March 2. Ross was most recently general manager and executive vice president, programming and production, Disney Channel.
Digital artist/designer Ben Orisich has joined New York-based design, production and VFX company Cyclotron. The 25 year-old Orisich comes to Cyclotron from four years at Click 3X in Atlanta where he was senior Inferno artist. Prior to joining Click 3X, he was a freelance artist specializing in compositing, digital effects and editing. Orisich began his career as an intern at WHOA! Films, pursuing interests in compositing, animation and editing. Orisichs work has won numerous awards, including the Gold BDA International Design Award (2000), an Emmy (1998) and an Addy Gold Award.
New York-based director and designer Jeremy Hollister has signed with London-based creative agency Skunk for worldwide representation. Hollisters recent projects include creating a show package for the 2001 MTV Movie Awards, idents for MTV2 and ESPN and commissioned work for companies in Hong Kong and Japan. Jeremy has also been recently appointed creative director at design and visual effects house R!OT Design in New York.
Kenny Mirman, one of Robert Abel's long time co-workers and friends, shares with us his eulogy of the special effects pioneer and visionary.
Fred Seibert and Bill Burnett reflect on the importance of Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera's limited animation technique. Work in TV? You can thank them...