Margaret Loesch, founding president and CEO of Crown Media U.S., will be departing the company next month at the conclusion of her contract. On leaving her post at Crown, Loesch said I'm very proud of the many accomplishments made by the team that I've helped build. But, while the experience has been exciting, it has also been all-consuming personally and professionally. As I near the end of my contract, it seems like an ideal time to take a much-needed break and put some focus on my family, and then begin to pursue my other career goals.'' She will be replaced by Lana E.
Family media company Big Idea Productions, creators of the successful VeggieTales home video franchise, has expanded its animation production division with the addition of Dan Philips as vice president of production and Ameake Owens as producer. In his new position as vice president of production, Philips will oversee all aspects of production for Big Idea and develop strategies to strengthen the studio's various production-related departments. Prior to joining Big Idea Productions, Philips worked with DreamWorks SKG as the digital supervisor for THE ROAD TO EL DORADO.
According to a VARIETY report, Clive Smith, veteran animator and Nelvana senior executive VP, has resigned from the Toronto-based animation company to pursue other projects. Smith started Nelvana in 1971 with Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert, who will remain at the company as co-CEOs. Smith was the creative force behind such shows as BABAR, RUPERT and CARE BEARS and most recently was involved in the development of HEIDI, a feature adaptation of the classic childrens story.
Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials, a division of Klasky Csupo, Inc., has signed animation director Chris Prynoski for commercial representation. Prynoski recently finished directing a Budweiser spot for Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials and DDB Chicago called, Foot-Long Hot Dog Inventor. Prynoski has previously worked for MTVs animation division as a storyboard artist, designer, layout artist, animator and director. During his stint at MTV, he worked on shows including BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, THE HEAD and DARIA.
Jerry Pooler has been appointed creative director and Brad Reinke manager of the Cinesite Hollywood Digital Restoration division. "Jerry Pooler and Brad Reinke are a great team," says Ruth Scovill, president and COO of Cinesite Hollywood. "They are leading an ambitious effort to leverage the most advanced digital technology to help our customers faithfully restore priceless films in their libraries to their original condition." Pooler has been a visual effects and restoration supervisor at Cinesite since 1992.
In its continuing efforts to maximize the strengths of management, and to ensure the greatest operating efficiencies for the company, childrens video game publisher NewKidCo International Inc., has made several changes to its senior management team. Allan Blum has resigned from his position as VP marketing and Barry Fried will be joining the company as vice president and chief financial officer. As a senior financial executive with more than 20 years of public accounting and private industry experience, Fried will play a large role in NewKidCo's strategic plans.
Canadian visual effects and animation studio Calibre has hired a new team of talent to aid in the companys expansion into production of animated childrens series. Calibre is currently creating the CG portion of 26 half-hour episodes of the AAC KIDS/BBC UK co-production, ACE LIGHTNING AND THE CARNIVAL OF DOOM, a live-action/CG combination childrens series for broadcast on CBBC, the BBCs new childrens block in fall 2002.
Will Ryan asks Aleksandra Korejwo a few questions -- 9 1/2 to be exact -- about her unusual production technique.
Digital Artists Agency, which represents visual effects professionals for work in feature films, television and commercials, has hired former visual effects supervisor Janet Muswell as an artists' representative. Since relocating to the United States from Great Britain, Muswell has held visual effects artist staff positions with The Post Group and Digital Magic. She was visual effects supervisor on projects such as the 1996 television mini-series TITANIC and the Sci-Fi Channel series THE INVISIBLE MAN. Most recently she served as director of visual effects for the Livewire Television group.
Sunbow Entertainment has promoted two members of their staff into newly created positions. Suzanne Berman becomes associate director of creative affairs and Sowon Jun takes on the role of coordinator of creative affairs. Suzanne Berman worked at Sony Wonder, New York from 1997 until winter 2000 when TV-Loonland founded Sunbow Entertainment Inc. out of its acquisition of Sunbow Productions and the entire TV production and distribution business activities of Sony Music Entertainment. Over the period of four years, she steadily rose through the ranks in the development area.
More than just a fount of Fleischer information, Leslie Cabarga reveals his many professions and talents when Will Ryan asks him slightly less than ten questions.
As part of the company's transition from video game hardware manufacturer to platform-agnostic third party publisher, Sega of America is expanding its marketing organization into two focused divisions -- sports and entertainment properties. Sega will also begin hiring personnel immediately into the expanded marketing organization. To this end, Sega announced the addition of Mike Fischer to the Sega marketing team as group director of product marketing for the entertainment division. Fischer brings more than eleven years of experience in video game marketing to Sega.
Marilyn Rebman, former HR director for Westwood/EA, has joined Virtual Search, Inc., a game industry recruiting firm. In her new role as recruiter, Rebman will continue to utilize her more than two decades of HR experience in bringing the right person to the right position. Prior to joining Westwood, Rebman owned her own HR consulting firm, working with a variety of clients and established companies to lead their hiring initiatives. Today, however, her focus is clearly on the game industry. "This industry is in a league of its own -- cutting-edge, challenging and fun all at the same time.
Twentieth Century Fox has united its international theatrical and international home entertainment units under the supervision of Stephen Moore. Moore has been president of Twentieth Century Fox, Home Entertainment International (TCFHEI) since June 1997. In his new position as president of Twentieth Century Fox International, Moore will continue to oversee TCFHEI and will also oversee the company's international theatrical marketing and distribution operations, which will continue to be managed by Scott Neeson, president, Twentieth Century Fox International Theatrical.
Gullane Entertainment, the UK-based developer and marketer of such childrens based entertainment as BRITT ALLCROFT'S MAGIC ADVENTURES OF MUMFIE and THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE AND FRIENDS, has named David Snyder senior vice president of entertainment as part of the company's ongoing expansion efforts. In this newly appointed position, Snyder will oversee Gullane Entertainment's global production, distribution and development activity and will be based in the company's New York office.
Marketing executive Michelle Hagen has joined Global Animation as vice president of marketing & business development. In this position, she will oversee the worldwide client development of Global Animations three principal companies: Spectrum Studios in Los Angeles, ImagineAsia and VirtualMagic ASIA in Manila, Philippines. Hagen comes to Global with 12 years of industry experience, having worked for some of Hollywoods most successful studios.
Rick Krause has joined BOXX Technologies as president and chief executive officer, replacing former president and CEO Todd Bryant who has assumed the responsibility of chief technology officer. Krause brings with him more than 25 years experience in high technology business development and company team building.
Video game veteran RJ Mical has joined Fathammer as chief architect. Mical assumes the responsibility for designing the software architecture and development interface for Fathammer's mobile game engine, X-Forge. He will oversee the integration of third-party components as well as serve as a company spokesman and technology evangelist. Prior to joining Fathammer, Mical was vice president of software engineering at Red Jade. Mical is also credited with co-inventing the Atari Lynx handheld video game system and co-architecting the 3DO entertainment console.
Independent animation studio Wild Brain, Inc., has hired veteran animation director/designer Denis Morella. Prior to joining Wild Brain, Morella worked with Curious Pictures in San Francisco developing several pieces for Cartoon Network entitled ANIMATE YOUR WORLD, which won the "Best Animated Campaign" award at the World Animation Celebration. Morella also created and directed a 7-minute short for Cartoon Network called PRICKLES THE CACTUS. Highlights of commercial work include the design and direction of a stop-motion animation campaign for Best Buy and spots for Pringles, GTE and CBS.
Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing North America has named Anita Frazier as the new vice president of kids sales. Frazier will oversee the development of sales strategies for the company's kids software titles for the PC platform. In her new post, Frazier will head retail sales and channel marketing for the kids software category, working closely with Knowledge Adventure, Syracuse Learning and affiliate label partners such as Scholastic Inc.
Roy Oppenheim has been hired as a designer at broadcast and commercial design firm EyeballNYC. The designer came to New York in 2000 after having worked at several Israeli companies as a designer and design director. His U.S. freelance assignments included projects for Manhattan Transfer and FDG. Oppenheim brings to the company expertise in Photoshop, Freehand, Painter Lightwave, AfterEffects and Premier. "EyeballNYC caught my interest because I like the feeling of exploration and sharing. It seems like a relaxed working environment while still being innovative," said Oppenheim.
From the original Gumby and Kellogg's rooster to rides at Disney theme parks worldwide, you have heard this man speak! Now Dallas McKennon answers Will Ryan's 9 1/2 burning questions.
EM.TV & Merchandising's head of finance, Rolf Rickmeyer, is stepping down after less than a year with the German firm. Rumors say that Rickmeyer had various disagreements with Kirch Group, who helped bail out EM.TV from money woes a few months back. Marius Schwarz, head of finance for German exhibitor CinemaxX, will replace Rickmeyer. Prior to CinemaxX, Schwarz oversaw finance at Sat1, the Kirch-owned commercial TV channel. Former Kirch exec Werner Klatten is set to replace EM.TV founder and CEO Thomas Haffa in September.
REZN8, a digital design and communications firm, has announced that it has created an advisory board to help guide its business and to facilitate new market initiatives. The advisory board consists of five members from various disciplines who will provide input on strategic advice and direction to Paul Sidlo, founder and CEO of REZN8. Robert Block is co-founder, chairman and CEO of International Communication Technologies Inc. (ICT). His role will include advising on strategic corporate planning, technology developments and communication structuring and negotiations.
Cartoon Network has named Jim Samples the new executive VP and general manager of Cartoon Network Worldwide. He will remain as the general manager of Cartoon Network's online division, which he took over in March 2000. He will succeed Cartoon Network founder, Betty Cohen, who moved over to AOL Time Warner to develop new shows for teens and young adults. Samples takes over a channel whose advertising revenues are speculated to grow from US$133.6 million in 2000 to $162.5 million this year.