Rick DeMott travels to the online animated communities to find out more about the growing corner of the animation business from leaders like Neopets and Habbo, as well as newer sites, such as Urbaniacs.
Marco Consoli reports back from the Future Film Festival, where he experienced some tasty digital delights, both large and small, from around the world.
Jeff Zucker has been officially announced as president and ceo of NBC Universal, succeeding Bob Wright, who will continue to serve as a General Electric vice chairman.
NaturalMotion Ltd. has hired Andy Payne as vp of sales, Europe. Payne joins NaturalMotion from Autodesk, where he served as strategic accounts manager responsible for Maya and 3ds Max sales to companies such as Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft, Moving Picture Co. and Framestore CFC.
Sean Redlitz has been appointed md, DotComedy while C.J. Arabia has been named editorial manager, DotComedy, which is NBC Universal's new comedy broadband channel, an online home for edgy, original content, as well as having a wide variety of comedic video on the Web.
Dave Child, one of the industry's top vfx artists, has recently hooked up with leading post-production boutique Golden Square, having run the 3D department at One Post for three years and before that, senior animator at Rushes.
Child joins the recently expanded 3D department of six full-time animators plus permanent freelancers. Golden Square has recently refurbished a stylish and comfortable new space at no. 4 (Golden Square) to accommodate the ever-increasing workload and staff. No. 4 will also accommodate two new suites, Disqo and the design department.
Bill Desowitz catches up with acclaimed character concept designer Aaron Sims about making the transition to directing with his new short and feature production plans. Includes QuickTime clip!
Fox Filmed Ent. launched a series of promotions in the wake of the studio's record $2 billion-plus global box office last year and the sudden departure two weeks ago of Fox Animation president Chris Meledandri to Universal.
Hutch Parker has been elevated to vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, which includes oversight of both Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Animation. Parker has been president of TCF since 2005. He joined Fox in 1995 as svp, production. He was named president of production in 1999.
Rainmaker Ent. Inc. has turned Mainframe Ent. into Rainmaker Animation as a result of its acquisition and has named Paul Gertz as evp of the new division.
Cartoon Network exec Marc Buhaj will join Jetix Europe as svp of programming for Jetix Europe, effective April 2, 2007. His content oversight will encompass production, development, acquisitions, scheduling, on-air promotions, multimedia programming and administration for Jetix Europe
Industry vet Dorrit Ragosine joins Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. (TCFHE) as vp of public relations, to drive the consumer public relations effort for the studio's new release, catalog and television titles and play an overall strategic role in communications for the division.
Kent Rice, ceo of Starz Media's animated feature film division takes on the additional post of president/coo of the company. John W. Hyde, president/coo of Starz Media, has been appointed to the created position of vice chairman of the company.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) has elected 15 new members to its board of directors, and the new board has elected Jeffrey A. Okun to a one-year term as chair. He replaces outgoing chair Carl Rosendahl, who held the position for three years.
"Seeing the board pass the leadership role to Jeff is very appropriate," remarked exec director Erc Roth. "He's been personally involved in so many aspects of the VES' work and cares very deeply about our members. The VES will be in very good hands."
Universal Pictures has hired away Christopher Meledandri, the president of Twentieth Century Fox Animation and animation exec who oversaw the hit ICE AGE movies, to produce animated and live-action family films. Universal Pictures has entered into a five-year production agreement with Meledandri in what the studio sees as the first step in creating a separately financed production company to distribute family films via Universal Pictures worldwide distribution operations. The agreement, beginning in April 2007, was announced today (Jan.
A day after announcing that Anne Globe has become DreamWorks Animation's new head of worldwide marketing and consumer products, DreamWorks has named Christine Birch to serve as president of marketing for live-action features, VARIETY reports.
Birch, who will report to co-chair-ceo Stacey Snider, was most recently exec vp of creative advertising at Sony Pictures. While spearheading marketing for DreamWorks, Birch will liaison with marketing heads at Paramount, which owns DreamWorks. Snider and Birch previously worked together at TriStar.
Post Logic Studios has appointed Peter Bavaro to the post of exec director, sales and marketing.
"It's great to have Peter on board with us," said Larry Birstock, ceo, Post Logic Studios. "Peter's depth of production experience will be an invaluable asset in supporting our growth strategy. Post Logic Studios continues to be well positioned to build on its present success and become recognized as one of the industry's most creative, professional and highest-quality providers of visual effects, post-production and DI for film and televisions projects."
Anne Globe takes over as DreamWorks Animation's new head of worldwide marketing and consumer products. Globe replaces Terry Press, the longtime and highly effective marketing head of the studio, who announced plans to step down from her role, but to continue to work with the studio as a consultant, as well as to take on other non-competitive projects in the industry.
Christine Davis joins Cookie Jar Ent. as the company's newest in-house producer. Based in Cookie Jar's Toronto headquarters, Davis will report to Pamela Slavin, vp production and will be responsible for producing new series for the company's growing original production slate.
A 20-year producing vet, Davis' credits include LITTLE PEOPLE, THE NEWSROOM, THE WRONG COAST, ANNE; JOURNEY TO GREEN GABLES, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, BRUNO and SESAME STORIES.
Brian Simpson joins Keyframe Digital Prods. as its new ceo. Reporting to Keyframe Digital's founders, Darren Cranford and Clint Green, Simpson's mandate is to assume responsibility for the strategic direction and implementation of Keyframe's productions. He will be operating from the head office located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada.
Beth Goss joins Turner Broadcasting System as evp of Cartoon Network's ad sales, marketing and enterprises group, effective Jan. 29, 2007. Goss will be based in New York City.
Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman is leaving her post, the trades have reported with confirmation from the company.
Paramount chairman/ceo Brad Grey announced this afternoon (Jan. 10, 2007) that Berman has exited her job, effective immediately. A reorganization of the studio's production structure will be announced shortly.
Berman, who joined Paramount in May 2005, had a number of films under her watch, including NACHO LIBRE, WORLD TRADE CENTER and the recently released FREEDOM WRITERS, that marked the beginning of a turnaround at Paramount.
Henry Ahn has been promoted to evp, NBCU Television Networks Distribution, responsible for all sales and sales support of NBCU's television content to cable, satellite and telco industries.
Ahn will continue to work closely with JB Perrette, president, NBCU Digital Distribution and his team, to deliver digital products to all of NBCU Television Networks Distribution's customers.
Bernd Conrad joins TV-Loonland as its new licensing and merchandising head to help expand the company's L&M business. He will be operating from the Munich office.
Reporting to TV-Loonland coo Olivier Dumont, Conrad will devise and implement the company's strategy on marketing and L&M opportunities, as well as be responsible for the selection and management of licensing agents internationally. Furthermore, he will directly handle L&M in German-speaking Europe and pan-international deals.
Paul Shurgot, a key member of Disney's financial team for more than 11 years, has been promoted from deputy cfo to svp/cfo for The Walt Disney Studios. In his new role, Shurgot oversees all finance, accounting and information technology for the studio, including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar Animation, Miramax Films, Buena Vista Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Buena Vista Worldwide Home Ent., Disney Theatrical Prods., and the Buena Vista Music Group.
VIZ Media Llc. Has relocated its European operations from Amsterdam to Paris. The new European company will be called VIZ Media Europe, S.A.R.L (VME) and officially opens on Jan. 15, 2007. John Easum has been appointed president/gérant of VME and will oversee all of VIZ Media's European, Middle Eastern and African operations from Paris.