Continuing to accelerate its worldwide marketing and branding objectives across its multiple divisions, Donna Hardwick has joined PorchLight Ent. in the newly created post of vp, marketing and promotions. Hardwick is responsible for the marketing and branding strategies on a multileveled corporate, divisional and product platform, including the company's major children's brands, JAY JAY THE JET PLANE, TUTENSTEIN and ANIMALIA, scheduled to debut on public television next year.
The Warner Bros. Television Group is creating a new communications structure within its Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Marketing unit and has promoted Sharan Magnuson to the newly created position of svp, worldwide publicity. Magnuson will oversee business and trade communications for WBTVG's five production divisions -- Warner Bros. Television, Warner Horizon Television, Telepictures Productions, Warner Bros. Animation and Studio 2.0 -- as well as entertainment consumer publicity for the content they create.
Entity FX has named Tricia Pifer to the newly formed position of head of production. Pifer's industry experience spans more than a decade working with entertainment companies such as Jim Henson Prods. and ABC. She joined Entity FX in 2004.
"Tricia plays an important role day to day at Entity FX," stated Kymber Lim, exec producer, Entity FX. "Her detailed knowledge of scheduling, staffing and coordination ensures that our projects deliver smoothly, efficiently and on time. She is in tune with the artists, and she keeps things fun."
DreamWorks and Disney animation vets have joined the rapidly expanding U.S. creative team at Imagi Studios.
The appointments, which come on the eve of the worldwide release of Imagi Studios first major motion picture, TMNT, further enhance the position of the Hong Kong-headquartered company as a major global animation studio.
Producer and film exec Len Amato has been named svp, HBO Films, responsible for overseeing the development and production of HBO Films for the cable network.
J. D. Beaufils joins PorchLight Ent. as vp, international sales. Based in Los Angeles, he will work closely with Adam Wright, PorchLight's svp, international sales. His territories include key European and Asian territories.
"J.D. 's extensive experience in contracts and sales throughout the international marketplace makes him the right addition to the PorchLight sales team as we continue to grow its acquisition and distribution venues," Wright said.
Mort Handel, chairman, Marvel Ent., announced that David Maisel has been named chairman, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige has been named president of production.
Maisel joined Marvel in Dec. 2003. He was responsible for the conception and execution of the company's new film production initiative, including the establishment of the $525 million non-recourse loan facility to finance that strategy.
Imagi Int'l Holdings Ltd. announced that computer graphics industry veteran, Brett Feeney, has joined Imagi as vp of production, based in Hong Kong. Feeney will be responsible for managing the company's animation production line and its 400+ artists, animators and technical staff.
Jason Klarman has been promoted from svp, marketing and brand strategy to evp, marketing and digital, for Bravo, taking on additional responsibility for overseeing the strategy, content and operations for Bravo's digital portfolio, including BravoTV.com and the TRIO suite of broadband channels including BrilliantButCancelled.com, the ultimate web destination for the TV-obsessed; OUTzoneTV.com, the first broadband site for the LGBT community; and getTRIO.com, the recently-launched curated pop culture newsletter and broadband.
Dan Fawcett returns to Fox as president of Digital Media for Fox Ent. Group (FEG) after spending the past three years as evp of programming and business & legal affairs for DIRECTV.
In this new role, Fawcett will further the growth and evolution of digital media strategy, including exploiting Fox content across all digital platforms, pursuing long-term tactical initiatives with major technology players and developing additional revenue streams for Fox product.
Sarah Baisley talks with Marc du Pontavice, founder/president of Xilam, about how and why French producers have gained the advantage in the global animation industry.
Kevin Reilly has signed a new, multi-year deal to continue as president of NBC Ent. Over the past three years in this position he has developed some of the net's most acclaimed programs, including HEROES, THE OFFICE, DEAL OR NO DEAL and MY NAME IS EARL.
guru studio announces the addition of two producers to its team, Susan Ma and Skye Bjarnason. Both bring extensive experience in commercials, episodic television, feature and short animated films to the company. Ma will oversee TV and longform projects for the studio, while Bjarnason will produce broadcast and commercials.
Award-winning vfx supervisor Ed Kramer (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST), a 12-year vet of ILM, has joined !mpossible Pictures. Other nominations and features that include his work are STAR WARS I, II and III, VAN HELSING and HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. Kramer's television work includes design packages for CBS Evening News, ABC Sports, HBO, Cinemax, Coca-Cola and CNN.
Studio B Prods. Inc. has brought aboard Anthony Jiwa as the Vancouver animation house's new director of marketing and Kirsten Newlands has been named as head of production.
Jiwa was director of marketing at VIZ Media where he led marketing efforts for the company's publishing and home entertainment divisions, including such properties as POKÉMON, NARUTO and INUYASHA.
Stardust Studios has brought onboard Corey Cirillo as exec producer, and promoted senior producer Amy Kaufman Levy to the newly created position of head of production. Both execs will be based in the company's Santa Monica, California, studio.
HIT Ent. has brought onboard Andi Copley as md/exec producer of its award-winning animation studio, HOT Animation. The Los Angeles-based studio exec will relocate to Manchester in the U.K. this month and will assume responsibility for the operational management of HOTs production slate, including PINGU and BOB THE BUILDER, as well as growing and expanding the studios third-party work.
Aric Ackerman joins The L.A. Studios Inc. as ceo and will be responsible for the overall management and growth of the company's LA Studios and Margarita Mix audio post-production facilities. Based in the company's studios in Universal City, he will also oversee the Hollywood and Santa Monica-based studios. Former ceo, Jesse Meli, continues with the company as president emeritus, consulting on business development opportunities.
Thomas J. McLean chats with vfx supervisors John Knoll, Boyd Shermis and Mark Stetson about their Oscar-nominated work and the selection process. Includes QuickTime clips!
Dennis Hoffman has joined Rainmaker Visual Effects as head of production, a comparable position he most recently held at Digital Domain. Hoffman will report to Brian Moylan, managing director, Rainmaker Visual Effects.
"As Vancouver increasingly becomes a destination for high end visual effects, Rainmaker is pleased to have someone of Dennis caliber and experience join us as we move into more demanding and challenging projects, stated Warren Franklin, ceo of Rainmaker Ent. Inc.
To meet the demands of National Geographic Kids Ent.'s (NGKE) rapidly expanding production slate, Melanie Grisanti joins as of production while Darren Metzger takes on the newly created position franchise marketing director.
Grisanti will oversee the flow of all production for the kids' programming production unit and supervise series set up, budgeting, scheduling and studio management domestically and abroad to ensure creative integrity and production quality. She reports to NGKE president Donna Friedman Meir.
Samantha Ryan moves up to svp, development & production, Warner Bros. Interactive Ent., while Jason Hall, who has served as svp, WBIE since its founding in 2004, will segue into a first-look videogame and feature film development deal through his wholly owned production company, HDFilms Inc.
Penney Finkelman Cox, who launched Sony Pictures Animation with her longtime business partner Sandra Rabins, is ankling her evp post to become a producer for the division.
She has one release under her belt, OPEN SEASON, and co-developed a busy slate with Rabins. Finkelman Cox moves into active development on several of the 10 projects she has shepherded at SPA, including DISENCHANTED FOREST and BIG NASTY.
Cartoon Network GM Samples Resigns Over Aqua Teen Scare
Jim Samples, Cartoon Network's evp/gm, has stepped down as a result of the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE marketing disaster, which caused a bomb scare in Boston, resulting in Turner Broadcasting System owing the city and homeland security $2 million. On a temporary basis, all CN execs will report to Turner Ent. Group president Mark Lazarus.