Inferno artist Jean-Luc Azzis has recently joined Sea Level, a digital effects boutique specializing in visuals for high-end television commercials. His first project with the company involves compositing and visual effects services for a Jeep spot titled, "Red Light, Green Light" out of PentaMark Worldwide, Detroit, and directed by Headquarters' David Cornell. While previously freelancing at Method Studios, Azzis' credits included a series of spots promoting Intel's Pentium III chip featuring performance artists Blue Man Group.
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.
IMAX Corporation appointed veteran motion picture production and marketing executive Greg Foster to the newly created position of president, Filmed Entertainment, on Tuesday, March 27. Foster will work out of the company's Santa Monica, California office, and be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's filmed entertainment activities including creative development, production and business affairs. He will also have a hands-on role in the marketing and distribution of the large-format motion pictures produced under the IMAX banner.
Production, acquisition and distribution company, Harmony Gold has promoted Alan Letz to the newly created position of executive vice president, business development, and hired Judy Gold as vice president, sales and acquisitions. Letz has been with the company since 1985 and moves from his most recent post of senior vice president, sales and acquisitions to concentrate on pioneering Harmony Gold's emergence into the business aspects of new media, Internet, e-commerce, licensing, merchandising and sponsorships tied to Harmony Gold programming.
Brooks Jewell has been named senior publicist, trade and media relations for Showtime Networks Inc. In her new position, Jewell will be responsible for securing consistent placement of Showtime Networks Inc. programming, marketing, business and new media initiatives in national cable and Hollywood trade publications as well as appropriate technology and business-related publications. Prior to joining Showtime, Jewell served as publicity director for Blue Sky Studios, a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
Heather Kenyon finds out how some of the past years' leading independent films were funded. From Flying Nansen, to On the Possibility of Love, to Rejected, to Clandestino and more, we find out how these clever filmmakers positioned themselves in the money.
R!OT has added 3D animator and visual effects artist Dominic Daigle to their animation staff. Prior to R!OT, Daigle worked at Montreal-based Ice Storm Digital, where he worked on the 22-episode series THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF JULES VERNE. His other credits include the films THE SOUND OF THE CARCERI and THE RED VIOLIN, the TV series THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST and spots for Coke, Molson Dry and Chevy's Venture. Daigle said, "My favorite projects are those where the effects are invisible.
Click 3X has expanded its creative staff by adding two new designer/directors Michael Wiehart and Christine Lin and a senior inferno* artist Steve Zourntos. Wiehart is one of four artists that formed Zurich-based motion-graphics design firm, Frame by Frame. He has won a Gold Lion at Cannes for his work on a spot for Pioneer. Wiehart said, "Early in my career, I tended to be involved in every aspect of my projects, from developing the idea, the concept, through production and post, and I've held onto that. I still like to do work on the machines.
PDI/DreamWorks has named Michael Garner and Laura Lockwood producers at the company's commercials division. Both have just finished their duties as production supervisors on PDI's 3D animated feature SHREK. Previously, Garner worked as production coordinator on PDI's first feature ANTZ. Prior to PDI, he worked at Digital Domain, where his credits include TITANIC, DANTE'S PEAK and THE FIFTH ELEMENT. "I've always gravitated towards the more technical, multi-tasking types of production," Garner said.
Pixar executive vice president and two-time Oscar-winning director John Lasseter has signed a ten year contract to provide his services exclusively to the studio. "John Lasseter, more than anyone else, has shaped Pixar into the world-class animation studio it is today. With John leading our creative team for the next decade, our dream of nurturing a golden age of animation at Pixar may come true," said Pixar CEO Steve Jobs.
Blur Studio has hired Tim Brown as their new co-creative director of the design division. Prior to Blur, Brown served as creative director of the design and animation house, RezN8. Brown's work on CBS's coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics helped the project earn two Sports Emmy Awards for graphic design and technical innovation. Brown said, "Here, we have a design engine that is integrated with a production engine. Very few design firms have direct access to 3D animation and visual effects production, or to artists of the caliber we have at Blur.
Alliance Atlantis has promoted Jennifer Bennett to vice president, merchandising and licensing. Bennett will oversee the licensing of all Alliance Atlantis' television properties, including children's label, AAC KIDSTM. She has been with the company for the past seven years, most recently as director, merchandising and licensing. "Jennifer has been invaluable to Alliance Atlantis' merchandising and licensing initiatives over the past three years since joining the M&L team," said Ted Riley, president, Alliance Atlantis Television Distribution.
Warner Bros. Animation has announced that Jean MacCurdy has stepped down from her post as president and will be replaced by former Sony Family Entertainment Group president Sander Schwartz. MacCardy will become a creative consultant for the studio, working on developing animated and live-action children's productions. In 1979, she joined Warner Bros. Cartoons as director of animation programming and in 1982, was promoted to VP and general manager.
ATTIK has named Dana Zipser the new business development manager for the San Francisco office. In her new post, Zipser will be responsible for the development of current and potential clients. She comes to ATTIK from San Francisco branding consultancy company Sterling Group where, from November 1999 to February 2001, as Marketing Director, she grew new business in industries ranging from entertainment to fashion to technology. "We're all incredibly excited about Dana joining the business development team. Her passion and energy marry perfectly with ATTIK culture.
Walt Disney Co. Latin America has hired Marcos Rosset as managing director, Brazil. He will head all of the company's businesses in the territory, including the Portuguese language Disney Channel that debuts on April 5, 2001. For the past 15 years, Rosset served as managing director of CIC Video, a co-venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. There he oversaw all retail businesses, including interactive consumer products and rental/sell-through video.
German children's entertainment producer TV-Loonland AG has appointed Celia Holman to the newly created role of head of development for the London office. Holman will be responsible for the development of all TV-Loonland's European-based programming and the maintaining and developing of contacts with independent producers, children's publishers and rights holders. Prior to TV-Loonland, she worked as project development manager for Network of the World (NOW), where she worked with potential children's content partners for a fully converged TV/Web environment.
Susan Armstrong has joined EyeballNYC as a designer. Previously, she served as an inferno* artist and 3D animator for Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog. There she worked on commercials for Coca-Cola, Tylenol, Sega Playdium, as well as music videos for David Bowie, Bare Naked Ladies and Sheryl Crow, among others. In addition, Armstrong worked on such feature films as THE SWEET HEREAFTER and HARRIET THE SPY.
Simona Fabbri has joined Cartoon Network Italy in the newly created position of director of content. Fabbri will be responsible for the programming schedule and acquiring Italian shows, in addition to coordinating the network's and Website's content. She will also oversee the promos and on-air look of the channel. Previously, Simona worked at the Italian Disney channel where she started as acquisitions manager, moving to asset manager.
Scott Dougherty has been appointed executive producer of visual effects for Cinesite, Inc. Dougherty will be responsible for managing the creative and technological resources needed to complete visual effects projects. After freelancing as an art department assistant and production manager, Dougherty joined Cinesite in 1993 and has played various roles including visual effects coordinator, associate producer and producer. His filmography includes RED PLANET, AIR FORCE ONE, DEEP BLUE SEA, PRACTICAL MAGIC, SPACE JAM, OUTBREAK and dozens of other projects.
Nickelodeon has promoted senior VP Andra Shapiro to executive VP of business affairs and general counsel. Shapiro will head all business and legal affairs for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, TV Land, TNN: The National Network, Nickelodeon Games & Sports and Noggin. Before joining MTV Networks, she was an attorney at New York law firm Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, where she handled copyright and trademark issues.
Visual effects/live-action director Simon D. Holden has signed with The Flux Group, a motion graphics, visual effects and live-action production house. Holden will focus on commercial work for Flux. His previous commercial work includes spots for Dodge, Pontiac, Bally Total Fitness and Warner Bros. Home Video. Recently, Holden has done F/X work on film and TV projects such as MOULIN ROUGE, CONTACT, DANTE'S PEAK, FACE/OFF, THE X-FILES and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. Flux president Maggie Magee said, "Simon is an exceptional effects director and supervisor.
ATTIK, a leading all-media creative solutions firm, has named Monica Perez their new creative director at the San Francisco office. Perez replaces Simon Dixon who returned to England to assume the creative director role at ATTIK's British offices. Perez joined ATTIK in 1997 as associate creative director and has helped design spots for Microsoft, Ford, Nike, Adidas, Columbia/TriStar Pictures, Levi Strauss and LucasArts.
The CFO of Viacom, Fredric Reynolds, has decided to step down from his post. Fredric served at Westinghouse Electric Corp. when they purchased CBS, subsequently overseeing the purchase of CBS by Viacom. Reynolds is leaving the post for personal reasons, but will continue working for the New York-based company in some fashion out of the California offices. He will remain CFO until a replacement can be found. A Viacom spokeswoman said, "He wants to spend more time with his family in California, and it wasn't possible for the CFO to be in California."
Black Logic has added five 3D artists to its CG department. The new Black Logic CG staff members include: Scott Petill, senior animator; Sebastian Bilbao, technical director; Julio Soto and Andrew Dayton, CG artists; and Glenn Harper, visual effects animator. Prior to joining Black Logic, Petill was at Post Perfect and earlier at ad agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer. In addition, he has consulted with Pixar on their commercial software releases, and designed a library of 3D textures for broadcast and print applications. "Scott is a wizard with motion and light.
Nicolas Gorse has been appointed distribution director for France and French-speaking Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg for TBS Europe. Gorse will be responsible for the distribution of all three Turner channels, CNN International, Cartoon Network and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Previously, Gorse served as development and marketing director of SOFIRAD. "Nicolas has an excellent knowledge of marketing and distribution, as well as of the various satellite platforms and their specific offerings in France.