VARIETY reports that veteran Turner exec Betty Cohen will leave the company to shop a multi-platform program targeted to young adults and teens. Cohen, who began with Turner in 1988 in the on-air promotions department at TNT, went on to oversee the creation and launch of Cartoon Network and served as its senior executive for ten years. In June 2001, she stepped down from her position as president of Cartoon Network Worldwide, but stayed within the AOL/ Time Warner family to develop projects like the one she has on the market.
Animator Dave Lombardi has joined ComputerCafe, after previously working with the animation and visual effects studio on the teaser-trailer for the upcoming film THE HULK. Lombardi recently completed work for ComputerCafe as animation supervisor on effects for SPY KIDS 2. His credits span film, television and music videos, and includes work on the STAR TREK series DEEP SPACE NINE and VOYAGER, as well as commercials for Sony Vaio and music videos for Ludacris and Janet Jackson.
Santa Monica, California-based visual effects studio Radium has hired executive producer Darby Walker-Curts and operations manager Paul Abatemarco, reuniting the pair who worked together at R!OT from 1997-2000. Darby Walker-Curts was executive producer of Telecine at R!OT, where she oversaw numerous projects including music videos for Dave Matthews, Jewel, Bryan Adams, Natalie Imbruglia and Incubus, as well as commercials for such noted directors as Nico Beyer, Danny Ducovny, Samuel Bayer, Herb Ritts and Marcos Siega.
After seven years with Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles, Ian Hulbert has joined Toronto-based visual effects and animation studio TOPIX as senior animation director. Hulbert will head the 3D character animation team at the studio, which has created effects and animation for such diverse projects as Atom Egoyan's Oscar-nominated film THE SWEET HEREAFTER, commercials for companies like Coca Cola, Kraft Foods, Chrysler, Budweiser, Discover Card and Post Cereals, and music videos for artist such as David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and Mary J. Blige.
Paul Grimshaw, former executive producer of Industrial Light + Magic Commercial Productions (ILMCP), has joined San Francisco, California's The Orphanage as vice president and executive producer of the commercial and music video division. Grimshaw's mission includes developing the live-action component of the current business unit, with the goal of making the entire division a key player within the industry. Grimshaw will be assisted in this plan by John Benson, the executive producer for The Orphanage in Los Angeles. Benson established the L.A.
Entertainment Rights, the global childrens entertainment group, is expanding its U.S. office with the appointment of Fabiola Flores Cortes as sales manager for Latin America, handling all sales of the ER catalogue in this region. She will join Gillian Kirby, who is responsible for ERs business in the USA and Canada, in the New York office.
Cinesite Hollywood has named Jeffrey Baksinski manager of the 3D department. Baksinski has been the motion/tracking supervisor in the visual effects department at Cinesite since 1998, where his responsibilities included supervising camera reconstruction, virtual set modeling and the creation and application of pipeline and procedures on such films as RED PLANET, 13 GHOSTS and WINDTALKERS.
Gene Deitch shares his personal letters with E.B. "Andy" White regarding the production of Charlotte's Web, an experience White called, "one of my nightmares."
Janet Hill has been named to head up West Coast communications for MTV Networks, which includes the channels MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TNN, TV Land and CMT. In her new position, Hill will be responsible for all internal and external communications for MTV Networks in its West Coast offices, which includes business, trade and consumer publicity.
Patti Burke, former head of production for Walt Disney Imagineerings Theme Park Productions, has been appointed head of Palo Alto-based PDI/DreamWorks. "Patti is the ideal leader to drive PDI/DreamWorks future, and we are thrilled to have her on board. Her extensive production and management experience are key at a time when we are expanding the company at a very rapid pace as well as planning a move to a brand-new facility in Redwood City, California," said Ann Daly, DreamWorks Head of Feature Animation.
Visual effects artist Kate ONeill has joined the creative team of New York-based animation, visual effects and design company Black Logic. "Kate had been freelancing for us for quite a while, and we were attracted to the ease with which she approaches her work," said executive producer Ivan Molomut. "Kate's talent and personality is a perfect fit for the effects/CGI team we have assembled and our clients love working with her." ONeill has been freelancing as a Flame/Inferno artist since 1995.
Senior designer John OCallaghan and producer Danielle Amaral have joined the in-house creative team at New York-based digital effects and production house Charlex. Both were most recently with ATTIK NY, where OCallaghan served as a lead designer and Amaral supervised production and post-production. OCallaghan was a senior designer and studio manager at ATTIK NY, where he created conceptual designs for broadcast as well as directing live-action.
Design, animation and visual effects studio Hornet, Inc., has added veteran director and visual effects supervisor Christopher Scollard to its New York commercial roster. Scollard's current work for Hornet includes directing spots for Mattel via Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, as well as two game openers that the New York Jets will use during the upcoming football season. Scollard noted, "Because Hornet is a small company that is growing, it provides a unique opportunity for me. I had that opportunity once at Blue Sky.
Sony Pictures Animation heads Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox have made the first executive hire for the newly created division. Nate Hopper, former VP of production at Twentieth Century Fox, has been named vice-president of creative affairs for Sony Pictures Animation. In his new position, Hopper will work closely with writers and directors in developing the companys CG animated features.
Fox Kids Europe (FKE) has announced that chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz will leave FKE at the end of his employment agreement on November 23, 2002. In the remaining period, Kreiz will continue supporting the integration of certain FKE operations into majority shareholder The Walt Disney Company. Kreiz has successfully managed FKE since its inception in 1997. He led the expansion of FKE across Europe and the Middle East and during his tenure FKE initiated a successful IPO on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange.
Pow Wow Productions recently added five new animation directors to its roster: illustrator Sheila Aldridge; Tim Biskup, art director/designer for Cartoon Network's TIME SQUAD, and creator of his own short FREDDY SEYMORE'S AMAZING LIFE for Nickelodeon; David Brewster, supervising animator for feature films including OSMOSIS JONES, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT; John Corbitt, illustrator and cartoonist whose work has appeared in TIME Magazine and the Chicago Tribune; and Miles Thompson an illustrator and painter who has worked on the animated series DEXTER'S LABORATORY and JOHNNY
Design studio B1 Media has added producer Dudley Johnson to its recently launched production division. Johnson, a former assistant producer, technical writer and product specialist at Disney Interactive, will be writing and producing for B1. While at Disney Interactive he helped produce the CD-Roms CINDERELLAS DOLLHOUSE, YOU CAN FLY! WITH TINKER BELL and PRINCESS MAGICAL DRESS UP. Johnson previously wrote for the NBC sitcom DIFFERENT STROKES, and was a co-producer, executive story editor and writer for the ABC series WEBSTER.
Ken Olshansky has joined Scholastic Entertainment as the senior vice president of television programming. Formerly, Olshansky was senior vice president of creative affairs for TV-Loonland/Sunbow Entertainment, where he developed and produced GENERATION O for Kids WB!, THE CRAMP TWINS for Cartoon Network and DONNER for ABC Family. In his new position, Olshansky will oversee the development and production of various Scholastic Entertainment television projects, including international co-productions and the Soup2Nuts production group in Watertown, Massachusetts.
Clare Kitson describes, and explains, a continuing exhibition of Jan and Eva Svankmajer's surrealist work at the Annecy Castle Gallery.
Portland,Oregon-based Happy Hour Entertainment has signed animation and comedydirector Mike Wellins for commercial representation. Wellins,formerly a commercial and entertainment director at Vinton Studios,brings many years of award-winning filmmaking experience to HappyHour Entertainment. While at Vinton Studios, Mike directed the AnnieAward-winning spot "Genie" for Mirinda Soda, and his commercial forthe Sony Playstation game LEGEND OF DRAGOON was voted Best Animated
LEGO Media Internationalhas tapped Vanessa Chapman to take over as head of its television andfilm arm following the promotion of Conny Kalcher to a newly createdsenior position within the LEGO Company's core business. Chapmantakes up the role of global controller of programming and strategy inAugust 2002, when Kalcher becomes vice president, global brandmarketing for Stories, one of the LEGO Company's new brand portals.The Stories division encompasses LEGO-themed product lines aimed at
While everyone knows Aardman's super-stars like Nick Park and Peter Lord...what about Steve Box? The maker of Stage Fright, discusses his first jobs, his work ethic and growing role at the successful studio.
After five years as executive vice president and generalmanager, Tim Sarnoff has been promoted to president of Sony PicturesImageworks. The promotion recognizes Sarnoff's tenure as executiveVP, during which time he is credited with transforming Imageworksinto a leading visual effects and digital character animationcompany. Ken Ralston, who has served as Imageworks creative leadersince his arrival at the company in 1995, extends his relationshipwith Imageworks as senior visual effects supervisor. Ralston is
Bill Matthews, Disney Feature Animation's longtime training and recruitment head, has joined Glendale, California-based Cornerstone Animations Board of Advisors. In his new role, Matthews will advise Cornerstone executives and creative staff on strategies for recruitment, training, production management and creative direction of the studio. Matthews makes available to Cornerstone his wealth of experience as one of the founding instructors of the Sheridan College Animation Program and as a ten-year manager of artist development for Walt Disney Feature Animation.
Hallmark Entertainment has named Michael R. Oesterlin as director, International Sales where he will oversee Hallmark Entertainment programming sales throughout French-speaking territories, Turkey and Russia, and video worldwide. Before joining the company, Oesterlin was a sales executive for Warner Bros. International Television. While there, he was responsible for selling Warner Bros. programming to Free TV broadcasters throughout Africa, Israel, the Middle East and Turkey.