Game publisher NewKidCo International Inc. and Canadian production company CinéGroupe have entered into a long-term strategic alliance to develop titles for Game Boy Advance. The companies plan to launch a minimum of three games per year for three years. While the initial titles will be produced for the Game Boy Advance platform, CinéGroupe president and COO Pierre Bernatchez said the companies expect to expand into developing games for GameCube, PlayStation2 and Xbox.
Benita Raphan has joined creative agency Blah! Blah! Blah! as a sales representative. Until recently, Benita Raphan was an Inferno artist at New York-based visual effects company Quiet Man. Also a filmmaker, her most recent short film 2+2, co-directed with Clayton Hemmert of New York-based editing house Crew Cuts, will screen at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Her award-winning animation work is also being featured in an episode of the Independent Film Channel Canada's INDIE NATION. Previously, Raphan was an agency creative specializing in animation, special FX and design. Blah! Blah!
As part of Cinars restructuring program and in an effort to regain shareholder confidence, the company has appointed Louis Fournier as head of distribution. Cinar had previously employed Fournier for a period of eight years as vice president, sales & co-productions before he joined TVA-International in March 2000 as president of the youth and animation unit. Fournier will assume his new position on January 14, 2002. Fournier brings with him over eighteen years of expertise in the field of children's entertainment in the television and movie industry.
Laurie Goldberg has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of public relations for Cartoon Network. In addition to overseeing all publicity and public relations activity on behalf of Cartoon Network and sister-channel Boomerang, Goldberg will supervise the national media relations campaign launching the network's first feature film release, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, scheduled to premiere across the country on July 3, 2002.
Peter Moss is stepping down as president of Cinar Corporation. Moss, who has been with Cinar since March 2000, will be focusing on independent production. He will continue as a consultant to Cinar on creative and production matters. "This has been a very demanding period for Cinar, but I am pleased that we have been able to maintain creative and production excellence through this time," said Moss. "We have brought home prestigious international awards (Emmy, Parent's Choice and Peabody Awards) and delivered three of the top ten shows for pre-school in the U.S.
As a first step in the companys plan to expand their broadcast design department, R!OT Manhattan has hired Sari Rosen to serve as the broadcast design groups executive producer. Rosen, an Emmy-winner and former executive producer at Attik and Pittard Sullivan, will manage and grow the departments creative team and take a leadership role with client relationships and development. Rosen joins R!OT Manhattan from Attik, where she had served as executive producer of its New York office since last year.
Brian Moreno has been named vice president, strategic marketing, Warner Bros. Online. In his new position, Moreno will head the marketing efforts for the division's entertainment Website, as well as oversee Warner Bros. Online's overall strategic partnerships, branding, advertising, promotions and public relations. Moreno joins Warner Bros. Online from Style365.com, an affluent lifestyle Internet portal, where he served as chief marketing officer. Before joining Style365.com, he was executive vice president, worldwide video, Playboy Entertainment Group.
Paul Yanover has been named senior vice president and general manager of The Walt Disney Company's newly formed business unit, Buena Vista Game Entertainment Studio. Yanover will oversee all aspects of operations, including business, creative and product development, and strategic planning for the newly created entity. Yanover's extensive technology and entertainment background includes eight years at The Walt Disney Company in Feature Animation.
Jimmy Murakami speaks with Andrew Osmond about his five decades in animation: from California's WWII internment camps to UPA, to TVC, to independent film director/producer to directing the new A Christmas Carol feature.
Gullane Entertainment has promoted David Jacobs to senior vice president, consumer products for the Americas. Jacobs will now oversee the newly created consumer products division in North and South America. This division encompasses Gullane's licensing, publishing, consumer marketing and live events for such properties as THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE and GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. Jacobs joined Gullane in 1998 as vice president, group head of U.S. licensing. Prior to joining Gullane, Jacobs spent 11 years with Sesame Workshop, previously Children's Television Workshop.
Jamie Pilgrim has been named to the position of research and development technical director at visual effects house CFX (formerly Centropolis Effects). Pilgrim was most recently a creature technical director on LORD OF THE RINGS and his work included writing proprietary software for muscle systems, tree and branch generation and articulated body dynamics, as well as developing the look for several key particle effects for the film. As lead animator on THE MATRIX, he wrote proprietary Maya plug-ins for procedural animation and animated shots through several sequences.
Gordon Whittaker has been promoted to vice president, chief operating officer of Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Helix Animation Inc. Formerly general manager for the studio, Whittaker has a background in marketing, operations and industry relations and he will be spearheading the marketing and promotional efforts for the company. Since opening in July 1999 Helix has completed layouts and key animation on sixteen episodes of FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, for imX Communications and Funbag Animation Studios.
Will Ryan asks the infamous voice actress and performer Mavis Paisley a question or two -- or nine and a half.
New York-based design and visual effects company Fluid has launched a sound design division and added sound designer Fred Szymanski to their team. Szymanski has created sound design and special sound effects for a variety of film and television projects and music videos. He will be creating sound design for commercials exclusively through Fluid. Szymanski and Fluid recently completed sound design and sound enhancement for a series of spots for 6 new Xbox games for McCann/NY client Microsoft.
Tom Hershey has been promoted to senior vice president of operations at Sony Pictures Imageworks, the visual effects and animation division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Hershey's expanded role will now include leadership of console game development at Imageworks. Hershey recently forged a deal with the Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT), a joint venture between the Army branch of the U.S. Military and the University of Southern California (USC). Together with Pandemic Studios, Imageworks is collaborating with ICT to create simulation training programs via immersive technologies.
Cinesite Hollywood has appointed David Remba as manager of research and development, and Ray Mitchell, Jr. as director of engineering. They will report to Daniel Rosen, chief technology officer. Remba has been the managing technical director at Cinesite since the beginning of 2001. He worked with the character setup team on Megiddo and guided and assisted the development of the water animation and rendering pipeline for Cinesite Orange County. In his new role, Remba will be responsible for all software activities at Cinesite Hollywood.
Roger Dondis and Nelson Uduando have joined Toonz Animation India, as creative director and head of animation respectively. Roger Dondis joins Toonz Animation India from Wild Brain Studios where he worked as animation director and overseas supervisor on feature film productions. Roger has been director, animation director, designer and animator on many commercials and several long format projects. He begins with Toonz Animation India on January 1, 2002. Nelson P. Udaundo joins Toonz Animation India as head of the animation department.
New York-based Click 3x has hired engineer Mike Bittle and veteran visual effects and graphics producer Todd McCammon. Bittle becomes chief engineer and will oversee all technical issues for the visual effects, animation and design studio, as well as assisting in the planning and implementation of future imaging technologies. He comes from a similar position with Post Perfect, New York. While at Post Perfect, Bittle handled engineering for film transfer, color correction, editing, compositing, animation and graphics production, as well as for a shooting stage.
Charlex has added award-winning visual effects artist Alan Neidorf to its roster. Neidorf comes to Charlex after a sixteen-year run as senior visual effects artist and editor at Tape House and Black Logic, where he worked closely with director Michel Suissa, now of Parallax One. His credits include commercials for Coldwell Banker and Texas Instruments and work for Grey Advertising, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, MBVMS and other advertising agencies. "Charlex is well known for its unique, collaborative creative approach," Neidorf said.
Director Andrew Adamson, who partnered with Vicky Jenson to direct this years blockbuster animated film SHREK, has recently signed with the United Talent Agency and is hard at work on his next project for DreamWorks. Adamson will direct TRUCKERS, a feature film mixing live-action with animation and based on Terry Pratchetts young adult novel about alien creatures called nomes who live in a department store. Adamson will write the script with Joe Stillman, one of the authors of SHREK.
Brad Ball has been named to the newly created position of executive vice president, domestic corporate marketing, Warner Bros. Ball moves to this key strategic post after having served as president of domestic marketing of Warner Bros. Pictures for the past three and a half years. Ball's responsibilities include oversight of all the studio's brand marketing efforts across all divisions, including Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Award-winning visual effects designer and digital artist Deak Ferrand has left post-production facility R!OT to launch the independent studio Hatch with his long-time visual effects producing partner, Cheryl Bainum. Hatch designs and produces digital visual effects for films, television, commercials and interactive projects by using the latest techniques in digital matte painting, compositing and computer graphics. The studio specializes in concept design and designing and creating 3D matte paintings.
Corus Entertainment has confirmed that Nelvana founding partner and co-CEO Patrick Loubert has left Nelvana to become an independent producer. The news comes just over a month after another co-founder, executive VP Clive Smith, left Nelvana to pursue other projects. Michael Hirsh, last of the three original founding partners, remains at the company as CEO.
NY Visual Effects studio Liquid Light, a division of Version2 Editing, has added Smoke artist Nathan Hurlburt to their roster. Initially an Avid editor, Nathan now includes visual effects design, compositing and online finishing among his talents. "Nathan is considered a whiz kid Smoke artist that I knew would impress our advertising and editorial clients," said Liquid Light executive producer Frank Devlin.