NewTek, manufacturer of industry-leading video, 2D and 3D animation products, has announced the promotion of Jim Plant to the posts of president and CEO. Plant joined NewTek as a consultant in February and was named executive vice president of business and strategic development in April. Tim Jenison, NewTek founder, CTO and chairman, has served as the interim president and CEO since early 1998. As president, Plant will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the company's operations.
Angus Cheng has been named director of development for Hong Kong by Walt Disney Imagineering. Cheng will serve as the point man for Walt Disney Imagineering's Hong Kong-based project team, which is developing the new theme park resort on Lantau Island. The Hong Kong Disneyland project includes a Disneyland-branded theme park, hotels and a retail, dining and entertainment complex. The new park is scheduled to open in 2005/2006. In this role, he will serve as a liaison between the Hong Kong SAR government and the Imagineering team in the United States.
Spontaneous Combustion has added senior visual effects designer Julie Watkins to its roster. Watkins comes to Spontaneous from R!OT Manhattan, where she spent the last two and a half years, as senior inferno* artist creating campaigns and spots for Volkswagen, AT&T, Cingular, NEC, ITT, Nokia, WebMD, Nine Inch Nails, HBO, MTV, Oxygen Channel, TBS, ESPN, CBS and Fox Kids, among others. Her film credits include LOST IN SPACE, LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, THE END, RAZORBLADE SMILE and HOSTILE WATER.
Visual effects supervisor Stefano Trivelli has joined the staff of R!OT Santa Monica. To make the move, Trivelli has emigrated from his native Italy where he was co-founder, lead compositor and visual effects supervisor at Ubik Visuals Effects, Milan. Through Ubik, Trivelli designed and executed visual effects for four feature films and more than 100 commercials, including U.S. spots for Jeep, Pennzoil and Celebrity Cruises.
Eve Ehrich has joined ATTIK, the brand communications company, as a senior producer in the New York studio. While production managing a package of promos for ESPN2's TUESDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS, which was designed, directed and produced by ATTIK earlier this year, Ehrich was invited to join the company. "I was enjoying the freelance life but an offer to work with a company that is as forward thinking conceptually and creatively as ATTIK was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.
San Franciscos Wild Brain, Inc. has promoted BZ Petroff to head of production. In her new position, Petroff will be responsible for developing strategies to strengthen all aspects of the studios various production-related departments. As Wild Brain continues to add to its CG and other technology-based capabilities, BZ will look for ways to incorporate these tools into the studios work in TV, film and interactive production. In addition to her new role as head of production, Petroff is also a dedicated producer. She recently completed work on the new Warner Bros.
The legendary June Foray... Will Ryan has just enough time to ask her nine and a half succinct questions before she is off on her busy, busy schedule.
DIC Entertainment has announced the appointment of Brad Brooks as president. Brooks joined DIC in February 2000 to facilitate the management-led buy back of DIC from Disney. He helped raise the necessary capital from Chase Manhattan Bank and DIC's equity partner Bain Capital, as well as negotiated the terms of the deal. Brooks' responsibilities have included hiring several key management personnel, establishing internal systems and procedures, and assessing potential acquisition targets.
Alex Ferrari has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial operator for MTV Networks. During his tenure, Ferrari has played a key role in virtually every major company project since joining the company in 1982. He was involved with the formation of Comedy Central, Nick Studios Florida, and the MTVi Group as well as the international expansion of the MTVN brands.
Douglas T. Parrish has been named senior vice president, technology and chief information officer for the Walt Disney Internet Group. In his new position, Parrish is responsible for overseeing the technology platform, infrastructure and applications for The Walt Disney Co.'s Internet properties. This includes networking infrastructure, Web hosting and serving, applications and tool development, and advanced and new technologies development.
Cartoon Network Italy has appointed a top-level marketing director to build the brand's image in the Italian marketplace. Jaime Ondarza comes from an international advertising agency background, bringing valuable knowledge of Italian consumer marketing to Cartoon Network Italy. He was recently with Young and Rubicam and previously at Saatchi & Saatchi and Pirella Gottsche Lowe. "My prime focus is to establish Cartoon Network in national contemporary culture," said Jaime.
Chris Robinson profiles Don Hertzfeldt, o Pikkov, Andreas Hykade and Priit Tender, four of the brightest new stars in independent animation.
Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman interviews Mo Willems, creator/director of Sheep In The Big City, about his career, his inspirations and a small sheep in a big city.
25-year old Jodi F.Terwilliger has joined design boutique EyeballNYC. Born in Elmira, New York, Terwilliger graduated from Marist College, with a BA in Communications Radio/TV/Film. After graduation, he worked in advertising at Paradigm Communications, Tampa, Florida, and at The Diecks Group, in New York. Terwilliger returned to freelancing in late 2000. "Jodi is another great addition to the EyeballNYC crew," said founder and creative director Limore Shur.
Sanjeev Lamba has been named vice president, International, at Disney Interactive. Lamba will oversee development and management of Disney Interactive's business in territories outside North America, including Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Japan. Lamba has been with The Walt Disney Company since 1993. He joins Disney Interactive from Disney Consumer Products in Japan, where he served as vice president, licensing and marketing. Prior to that, he was director of marketing for Disney Consumer Products' licensed business in the Asia Pacific region.
Simone Pillinger has been promoted to executive producer at Spontaneous Combustion, the digital studio specializing in design, visual effects and animation for the advertising, broadcast and film industries. Since February 2000, she has served as Spontaneous' senior producer. From 1997 to 2000, she freelanced for a number of firms including Electra Records and ATTIK. Pillinger's commercial credits include AT&T (Young & Rubicam/New York, NY), NFL (NFL Properties Advertising and Design Department/New York, NY), Tropicana (FCB/New York, NY), T.J.
Dan Lombardo has been named senior producer at Cinesite Hollywood. He will oversee daily operations of the 2D and 3D departments. He previously worked as an executive producer and vice president of production at Computer Film Company (CFC) and Manex Visual Effects. His credits include MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, ROMEO MUST DIE, ARMAGEDDON, DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, THE FIFTH ELEMENT and THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. He also led the team that earned an Emmy for Best Visual Effects for the pilot episode of EARTH 2.
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. has appointed Lou Novak as chief executive officer. In his new role, Novak will provide strategic direction as well as oversee all business and operational aspects of Mainframe. Prior to joining Mainframe, Novak served as president and CEO of Videosnap, a streaming media application service provider based in New York. Novak has held senior management positions at Galoob, Mattel and Coleco. In addition, Mainframe's former CEO Ian Pearson will assume the newly created position of chief creative officer.
Bob Miller has been named creative director of Glendale-based Cornerstone Animation Inc. He is currently working with Cornerstone on the production of the animated portions of a 48 volume direct-to-video series, YOUR CHILD, for Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family. Miller's credits include work on THE SIMPSONS, COURAGE, THE COWARDLY DOG and Hanna-Barberas upcoming direct-to-video movie, SCOOBY-DOO AND THE CYBER-CHASE. Over the last 12 years, he has worked on a wide variety of projects for studios including MGM Animation, Warner Bros. Classic Animation, Warner Bros.
Ring of Fire announced they have named Casey Dame as their new lead character animator. Dame started his career as a 3D animator on THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST. His credits include feature films DR. DOLITTLE 2, RED PLANET, MYSTERY MEN and ARMAGEDDON. His television credits include BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and CINDERELLA. His commercials include spots for Ritz Crackers, AT&T, 7-Up, Universal Studios, Snickers and Sony. "We have been aware of Casey Dame's work for some time and we are great admirers of his talent," said Ring of Fire executive producer/co-founder John Myers.
Betty Cohen announced on June 15, 2001 that she will be stepping down from her post as president of Cartoon Network Worldwide effective July 16, 2001. Cohen, a 13-year veteran of Turner Broadcasting, will stay within the ever-expanding world of AOL Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting however, as she moves over to AOL in order to develop multi-platform programs and services for a target audience of young adults and teens. Cohen said, "I am an entrepreneurial builder, and Jamie Kellner [Chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc.] has afforded me the opportunity to pursue a dream of mine.
Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., a worldwide interactive entertainment company, announced that it has promoted Evan Stein to the position of VP of brand. In the new role, Stein will head up the company's brand management including product delivery, forecasting and budgeting, as well as Acclaim's marketing and public relations departments and two advertising agencies. Previously, he was the director of brand management for the action/adventure, racing, and club Acclaim product lines.
TBS Latin America has named Darlene Cordero creative director of print and design for Cartoon Network Latin America. Cordero will be responsible for Cartoon Network Latin America's off-channel creative image and communication, developing print creative for Marketing, Public Relations and Ad Sales in the Latin American market. In addition, shell team with the on-air and Web production teams to strengthen the link between on-air, Web and print promotions. She will be based out of Atlanta.
On May 24, 2001, Fox Interactive announced the appointment of Michael R. Heilemann as director of technology. Heilemann will report to Michael Pole, senior vice president of product development, and will direct Fox Interactive's software development efforts and technical research and development. Additionally, Heilemann will oversee the company's relationships with its hardware partners Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. Heilemann comes to Fox Interactive from Electronic Arts Canada, where he was a senior software engineer.