Wild Brain, Inc., in conjunction with The Irv Schechter Talent Agency, announced their representation for commercial work of animator and director David Feiss. As creator, director and animator, Feiss just completed his first Wild Brain campaign for BBDO/NY, a Frito-Lay Cheetos Whirlz spot titled Cool Cat, currently airing, and a Cheetos Mystery Colorz Snacks PSA, which aired on May 7, 2001. Feiss may best be known as creator and director of his own TV series, the overwhelmingly popular COW & CHICKEN for Cartoon Network.
Sierra On-Line, Inc., a division of Vivendi Universal Publishing, recently announced the addition of two seasoned executives to its management team. Thomas K. Hernquist, takes the reigns as president & CEO, and Michael A. Ryder steps in as COO and senior vice president of product development. Hernquist will be reporting to Vivendi Universal Games CEO Hubert Joly.
Edgewater, New Jerseys RefacDesign, a design firm specializing in product and graphic design, named Stephen Russak vice president in charge of design operations. Russak joins RefacDesign from Smart Design, a nationally prominent design firm where he was a partner and served as vice president, design and operations for 16 years.
London, UKs Egmont Imagination has appointed Caroline Stephenson as their new territory manager for Southern Europe and Latin American markets, announced Tatiana Kober, managing director for Egmont Imagination UK Ltd. After starting her career as part of the international sales team at Hearst Entertainment, Stephenson joined Team Dandelion as manager of European broadcast sales.
NewTek has named Jim Plant to the newly created position of executive vice president of business and strategic development. NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, animation and special effects tools. The company's products are used worldwide on projects ranging from home video, broadcast television and feature films (CHARLIE'S ANGELS, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, X-MEN). "Jim is a proven executive who is very familiar with the video and 3D marketplace," said Tim Jenison, CEO and founder of NewTek.
Attracted by his passion for film and food, and a design aesthetic beyond his years, Black Logic has signed Alessandro Swainston as a designer/director, announced vice president and executive producer Karen Stewart. Black Logic is a comprehensive, creative collaboration company offering full-service visual effects, graphic design, high-end compositing, 2D and 3D animation, and complete live-action production.
Continuing the vigorous expansion of its presence in New York, the Click 3x Group has hired Michael Porte, the co-founder of Mad River Post, to serve as managing director of its digital studio. The move to Click 3x heralds a return to visual effects for Porte, who previously was a producer at Intercom, CPC and Coast Effects. Porte will supervise all day-to-day activities at Click 3x, New York, with particular emphasis on growing the studio and reinventing its role to suit the future needs of the advertising and broadcast industries.
Stephen Lynch interviews Robbert Smit, one of Australia's most experienced directors, on Energee Entertainment's latest feature and the trials and rewards of making a film in Oz.
David Forbes, former executive vice president of Orion Pictures Corp. and president of MGM/UA Distribution Company, has been named CEO of Global Animation Holdings, whose family of companies includes Los Angeles-based Spectrum Studios and Manila, Philippines-based ImagineAsia and VirtualMagic Asia. Forbes assumes the new post immediately.
Michael Garner and Laura Lockwood have been named producers at PDI/DreamWorks commercial division, transitioning from the companys feature animation division after their completion of work on SHREK. Immediately following his work as production supervisor for the SHREK character development department, Garner began work for the commercial division, jumping directly onto the production of a Kool-Aid spot shooting in Australia.
Technology leader SGI announced new appointments within its senior management team, including the appointment of Hal Covert as the company's President. "Since joining SGI, Hal has had a positive impact on our operational execution and the efficiency of related business processes," said Bob Bishop, chairman and chief executive officer.
Rick Hassen has joined digital effects boutique Sea Level as executive producer. Hassen, a former senior vice president with Pacific Ocean Post, Santa Monica, will oversee in-house production and other day-to-day activities for the company. He will also work directly with Sea Level founders Jim Bond and Ben Gibbs in charting the future direction of the company and developing new markets for its services. In making the announcement, Bond cited Hassen's broad background in production and post-production.
Greg Boegner has been named senior vice president and general manager of eKids Internet, a private, secure Internet-based network designed especially for children. eKids is one of a number of such networks developed by SilverTech, Inc., creator of Private Internet Engine (P.I.E.) technology, founded in February 1997 by former telecommunications executive, El St. John. Other company vertical markets include eDistributors, eLawyer, eUniversity, eShipping, eFinance, eGovernment and eMedicine.
Michael Dudok de Wit, who won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short for his acclaimed film FATHER AND DAUGHTER, has donated to charity the high definition television he won for giving the shortest acceptance speech (18 seconds) at the Oscar awards ceremony. Dudok de Wit, who lives in London, donated the television to Hollygrove, L.A.s oldest non-sectarian residential facility for abused children. Founded in 1880 as the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society, Hollygrove has served over 15,000 orphaned, abused and neglected children.
Will Ryan asks writer David Stephen Cohen 9 1/2 pointed questions regarding opera, Courage the Cowardly Dog and how many degrees of separation there are between he and Kevin Bacon.
Alan Keith, chief administrative officer and vice president of Lucas Digital, announced that Robert Rieders has been named general counsel of Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC. Rieders will also serve as corporate secretary to the Lucas Digital board of directors "We are very pleased that Rob Rieders is joining our organization," said Keith. "Lucas Digital is looking at a future that encompasses continued growth, with projects of scope and size unlike anything in our first twenty-five years.
Sue Shakespeare, president of Creative Capers announced that Danica Zimmerman has joined the animation and design studio as vice president of development. In her new role, Zimmerman will oversee development of live-action and animated projects for both television and film. Prior to joining Creative Capers, Zimmerman most recently was vice president of development for Film Roman. While at Film Roman, Zimmerman oversaw series TV development and was instrumental in expanding Film Roman's advertising department. According to Shakespeare, "We are thrilled that Danica has joined our team.
Kaydara has announced the appointment of Jan Oosterwaal as chief operating officer. Oosterwaal brings over 25 years of business and management experience to Kaydara. Over the course of his career, he has held top-level management positions at Nortel Networks, Domtar, and most recently, founder, president and CEO of Exeltherm Inc. In these previous management roles, Jan has successfully enhanced the value of his business ventures through team-building and customer focus.
Michael Stojda has beenappointed managing director of Softimage, Avid's Montreal-basedanimation and special effects subsidiary. Stojda, who will providestrategic business and operational leadership for the company, willreport to Joe Bentivegna, vice president and general manager of AvidMedia Solutions, located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Commenting onthe announcement, Bentivegna said, "With more than 14 years ofindustry and high-tech experience, Mike has an excellent
Angus Fletcher has beenpromoted to president of the Jim Henson Television Group - Europe,the company has recently announced. Fletcher, who is based in London,will oversee all current and future television development,production and programming, and report to Charlie Rivkin, presidentand CEO of the Jim Henson Company. As executive vice president,Fletcher doubled the company's television program library.Currently, he is co-creator and executive producer on THE HOOBS, a
John B. VanBorssum has been named to the Board of Directors of character animation house Cornerstone Animation Inc. Currently the managing principal of Fiderus Strategic Security and Privacy Services, VanBorssum has more than 25 years experience in finance, technology and information systems, with such firms as First Union Securities, Arthur Andersen LLP, BankAmerica Corporation and Security Pacific Corporation. According to Larry D.
3D animator Lawrence Nimrichter has joined digital studio Spontaneous Combustion. Prior to Spontaneous, Nimrichter spent five years as an animator and technical director at Atomic Pictures in San Antonio, where he worked on commercial projects for Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Co., Corona, Sony, Televisa, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Tecate, JC Penney, and agencies including McCann Erickson (Mexico City), JWT (Mexico City), Bromley Communications (San Antonio, TX) and Alazraki y Asociados (Mexico City), among others.
George Port has joined Whamo as their new head of business development, the company recently reported. With the recent rapid expansion of Whamo, which includes the opening of an office in Spain as well as the establishment of partnerships with Canada's Cambium Entertainment and Australia's Burbank Animation Studios, company president Joseph Szew opted to bring in Port. According to Szew, "We need someone who will be able to help us manage the company's aggressive strategy and growth.
Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials, a division of Klasky Csupo, Inc., has signed 2D/3D animation director Frank Molieri to its directing roster. Frank joins the company after a stint at Warner Bros. Classic Animation, where he directed numerous spots incorporating the studio's family of characters. Molieri broke into animation on the Don Bluth animated feature ROCK A DOODLE. He later freelanced at various animation studios until he signed on at Warner. He has directed spots for Kraft, Pontiac, General Motors, Burger King, Radio Shack and MCI.
Richard Morris, vfx designer behind the "Jackals Forge" animators resource site (www.jackals-forge.com), has joined the BBC under a 10 month contract to design and supervise the graphics for a forthcoming science series entitled HOW TO BUILD A HUMAN. Prior to this move, Morris worked at London's Moving Picture Company (www.moving-picture.co.uk) and was designer and CG supervisor behind the recent LEAF award-winning series BODY STORY. His interest in biomedical subjects dates back to his work for Red Post Production on the BBC's THE HUMAN BODY.