Bret Johnson has been promoted to EVP, physical production at Universal Pictures, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Johnson, who has held various posts at Universal since joining the studio in 1988, will continue to work with filmmakers on all aspects of physical production, including scheduling, budgeting, hiring crews and managing day-to-day production.
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) announced the appointment of current CFO Ms. Trulee Karahashi to the position of CEO for the nonprofit organization dedicated to popularizing and educating the American public about anime and manga. A University of California Berkeley graduate, Karahashi has extensive experience in working with American and Japanese anime and manga industries, as well as long-time experience with Anime Expo, the largest anime/manga convention held in the U.S. As CEO, Ms.
Sid Ganis was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by the organization's board of governors. This will be his third consecutive term in the office.
In addition, Robert Rehme, an executives branch governor and past Academy president, was re-elected first VP; Actors Branch governor Tom Hanks and Music Branch governor Charles Bernstein were elected to VP posts; producers branch governor Hawk Koch was elected treasurer and short films and feature animation branch governor Jon Bloom was elected secretary.
Rhythm + Hues Commercial Studios has announced the addition of Clay Staub to its roster of award-winning live-action and vfx directors. Staub, an admitted techie, is highly regarded for his expertise in both the commercial and feature film arenas. From cars and tires to cereal and orange juice, his extensive list of spot credits mingles with large scale Hollywood projects, including serving as 2nd unit director on the 2004 remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD and the adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel 300.
Accelerating its worldwide sales activities under the leadership of Ken DuBow, PorchLight Ent.'s President of Worldwide Distribution, it was announced today that Jeffrey Engelen had been promoted to Vice President, Worldwide Sales. Reporting to DuBow, Engelen's sales responsibilities have expanded to include key territories throughout Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East, where he will concentrate on broadcast sales of PorchLight's expansive library of programming.
Cookie Jar Ent.'s newest in-house producer is Susie Grondin. Based in Cookie Jar's Toronto headquarters, Grondin will be working on a number of series, including WILL & DEWITT, one of Cookie Jar's latest shows aimed at empowering young children.
Darren Feher, evp/cto for NBC Universal, will take on a new role to create a media technology organization dedicated to digital product innovation and emerging technology. Feher will add new technology and engineering teams concentrating on the areas of digital asset management, content distribution, production and commercial planning across NBCU's broad portfolio of assets.
New York visual effects studio Guava has added Jep Hill to its 3D department. With more than a dozen years working in Hollywood as a compositor, lighting and scripting technical director, sequence supervisor and CG supervisor, Hill enters Guava as a visual effects supervisor.
Acclaimed CG animator Tim Cheung will head Imagiâs Hong Kong animation team as vp of animation. Cheung will oversee the animation for all of Imagi's CGI feature films, and will manage Imagiâs some 400 Hong Kong-based animators, according to deputy chairman/co-ceo/cco Francis Kao.
DreamWorks Animation has brought on board theme park operation and marketing exec Joel Ward to fill the start-up position newly created to helm theme park and location-based entertainment for DreamWorks Animation Consumer Products.
Edward Galton joins Cake Ent. as md of the companyâs commercial exploitation subsidiary, Cake Distribution Ltd. His role includes securing international pre-sales, handling worldwide sales and overseeing brand positioning.
During his successful six-year stint as vp, at Paris-based animation company Xilam, Galton played a key role in the global positioning and exploitation of Xilamâs animation.
Robert Keske joins the Nice Shoes family of companies (Nice Shoes, Freestyle Collective, Guava, Nice Spots) as cto. Keske will work closely with Nice Shoes principal Joe Bottazzi to deepen the company's position as an innovator in the area of post-production technology systems.
Keske was an infrastructure and interoperability product development manager for Autodesk Media & Ent., working on software color correction products and designing and developing efficient high-end production and 2k/4k workflows for various companies.
Angela Bromstad has been upped to president, International Television Production, NBC Universal International, based in London. Heading the newly created division as of Sept. 1, 2007, Bromstad will lead television production and strategic TV content partnerships across all territories and will be responsible for driving NBC Universal's international growth through increased local production, geographical expansion and new business creation.
Sebastian Sylwan has joined Autodesk Media & Ent. as senior film and television industry manager. Based in Los Angeles, Sylwan is responsible for researching market opportunities and trends in the global film and television markets. He is working closely with Autodesk's customers and partners to further the understanding and use of digital technologies.
Simon Holden joins Company 3 as a visual effects supervisor and senior visual effects artist. Holden, a freelancer for most of his career, brings broad experience in creating visual effects for commercials and numerous credits in feature films. He will primarily focus on advertising work, providing visual effects supervision on the set and through post-production, as well as performing hands-on visual effects work.
Turner Broadcasting System upped James Anderson from vp of public relations of public relations for Cartoon Network to svp of public relations for Turner's recently formed Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media group, responsible for public relations and publicity efforts supporting the cable television networks Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim; the digital businesses Cartoonnetwork.com, AdultSwim.com, Toonami Jetstream, Cartoon Network Video, GameTap and Super Deluxe; and two animation production facilities: Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank and Williams Street Studios in Atlanta.
Melissa Wolfe joins Cookie Jar Ent. as director of development. Based in Los Angeles, she reports to Ann Austen, svp, development & U.S. television/video sales.
"Melissa is an industry leader at the forefront of cutting edge animation and digital media who will play a major role in the development department as Cookie Jar's slate of properties continues to grow," said Austen.
MTV Networks (MTVN) has promoted Greg Clayman from svp, MTVN Mobile Media, to evp, digital distribution & business development. Based in the company's New York City headquarters, Clayman will continue to report to Mika Salmi, president, Global Digital Media, MTVN.
Eden FX, a Hollywood-based creator of visual effects for feature films, television programs and commercial advertising content, has added Mark Kolpack as visual effects supervisor. Most recently, Kolpack was the vfx supervisor on the hit NBC TV series HEROES. Some of his other credits include effects work on COMMANDER IN CHIEF, RUFFIAN, ONE TREE HILL and THIEF.
A hard disk belonging to suspected U.K. terror plotter Kafeel Ahmed contains an animated video showing how a syringe can be used in a bomb, reports NDTV.COM. Police found the disk at his home in Bangalore.
The technology was to be used to trigger the bombs found in London, but they failed because the syringes malfunctioned, British investigators said.
Former Warner Bros. Animation president Sander Schwartz returns to familiar territory, but in a bigger capacity as president, international production of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), and becomes head of SPTIï¿½s global production group. Before WBA, Schwartz was Sony Pictures Entï¿½s family entertainment group first president from 1999 to 2001. Schwartz will relocate from Los Angeles to SPTIï¿½s European headquarters in London, England, and will report to SPTIï¿½s president, Michael Grindon.
Eight new governors have been elected to represent their branches on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Six incumbent governors were reelected.
Newcomers to the board are Henry Winkler, Actors Branch; Vilmos Zsigmond, Cinematographers; Richard Pearce, Documentary; and Charles Fox, Music.
Returning to the Board after a hiatus are Dede Allen, Film Editors; Curt Behlmer, Sound; Richard Edlund, Visual Effects and Frank Pierson, Writers.
Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who have served as presidents of Twentieth Century Fox Television (TCFTV) for nearly a decade, have been promoted to chairmen of the studio.
"Under Gary and Dana's leadership for the past decade, 20th Century Fox Television has achieved unparalleled success in the television marketplace and has been at the forefront of successfully leveraging new technologies to extend its hit franchises," said Peter Charmin, president/coo News Corp., to whom they report. "Their promotion to chairmen is richly deserved."