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Headline News Pixar Hourvitz Joins Pulse As VP

Pulse Entertainment has hired Leo Hourvitz, Pixars former technical director and multimedia producer, as their new vice president of creative content technology. Hourvitz will oversee Pulses drive to up the use of its proprietary technology in the production of 3D Web animation. He will also be responsible for testing new technology and ensuring its functionality in real-life production environments. During his six-year tenure at Pixar Animation Studios, he worked on Pixar's award-winning films and interactive products.

Headline News CEO Mechanic Can’t Fix Titan Failure and Resigns

The opening week failure of TITAN A.E. may have been the final straw that has pushed Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO, Bill Mechanic, to resign. Mechanic has decided to leave Fox and form his own production company much like former Disney chairman Joe Roths Revolution Studios. However, insiders say the abrupt exit was a result of pressure from parent News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch over financial losses and questionable movie greenlights.

Headline News Producer Tisch Joins Film Roman Board

Steve Tisch, film and television producing veteran, has joined the board of directors of Film Roman Inc. His film credits include Oscar Award winner FORREST GUMP, AMERICAN HISTORY X, THE POSTMAN and RISKY BUSINESS. For television, Tisch produced the Emmy nominated THE BURNING BED, SILENCE OF THE HEART and PRIME SUSPECT. Tisch is also known for his philanthropic activities, which include AIDS Project Los Angeles serving on the board of directors and the Steve Tisch Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds to benefit many charities like the UCLA Medical Center, The H.E.L.P.

Headline News Pixar’s Levy Named CEO At Shockwave

Shockwave.com announced it has appointed former Pixar Animation Studios executive Lawrence Levy as its new president and CEO. Levy will also join the board of directors of the company. This new position will be effective June 19. Rob Burgess will continue as chairman of shockwave.com and chairman and CEO of Macromedia. Levy was the executive vice president and chief financial officer at Pixar where he spearheaded business operations and was responsible for Pixar's 1995 initial public offering.

Headline News Disney Staff Defects To Stan Lee Media

Five Disney On-line producers, programmers and Flash engineers, and four veterans from Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering, have jumped ship to join Stan Lee Media (SLM). The team includes Jamie Wilkinson and Gary Manfredi, who will lead the company's new in-house research and development studio, focusing on new digital productions and technologies. The new division Squnkwurx was named as a tribute to the once-secret Lockheed division (the Skunk Works) which developed the first experimental production jet aircraft during World War II.

Headline News Disney Chooses Chu As New VP Animation

Walt Disney has promoted Leo Chu to the position of vice president, creative affairs for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Chu will now oversee the development of new features at the California, Florida and Paris-based Disney studios. Previously Chu had worked in various development roles on MULAN and DINOSAUR. Prior to joining the animation wing, Chu helped develop projects for Walt Disney Pictures. Currently, Chu is focusing his attention on next year's ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE.

Headline News Fox Family Needs New Head

Fox Family Channel will be shopping for a new head now that president

and CEO Rich Cronin has stepped down from his post. Awaiting the

announcement of Cronin's replacement, programming and marketing

decisions will go through exec VP and Fox Kids general manager

Maureen Smith. Before coming to Fox Family from Viacom, Cronin was

locked up in a breach of contract suit with his former employers.

Once clear of his Viacom commitment, Cronin took Fox Family's reins

Headline News Call, Macaluso Promoted At Digital Domain

Special effects facility Digital Domain has promoted Senior VP C. Bradley Call to head of business development and chief administrative officer and Yvette Macaluso to VP finance. As the company's new #2 man, Call will continue as general counsel, but will help expand Digital Domain's feature development arm. Call will now head the effects houses human resources and purchasing departments. With the company from its inception 7 years ago, Maculas has managed the finance and accounting departments.

Headline News Former TriStar Chairman Joins Film Roman Board

Former TriStar Pictures chairman Mike Medavoy has joined the board of directors of Film Roman. The current head of Phoenix Pictures, Medavoy becomes the sixth member of Film Roman's board. Film Roman president John Hyde said Medavoy's appointment would serve to "complement" the company's business plan rather than change it. Film Roman, which produces animation for TV (SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL), expanded its operations in 1998 to include limited development and production of feature-length films and recently increased its commercial output.

Headline News Stuart Little’s Dykstra Swings With Spider-Man

Visual effects pioneer John Dykstra has swung onto the SPIDER-MAN project. The new project will reunite Dykstra with the effects team from Sony Imageworks, where he was recently special effects supervisor on STUART LITTLE. The Sam Raimi directed flick has also hired former PDI character animator Karen Goulekas. Dykstra told the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER that he doesn't know how many effects there will be yet, because the script (by Raimi and David Koepp) isn't done. "We're still sorting the character out.

Headline News Grasso Named Will Vinton Exec VP

Will Vinton Studios has named Maria Grosso as their new executive VP of development at the new Los Angeles office. The former development exec at Warner TV and Universal will work closely with Tom Turpin, president and CEO of Will Vinton Studios, on formulating new TV, film and new media programming. "Maria brings the perfect experience base to expand our producing activities," Turpin said. "The ability to bring unique and distinctive stories to the marketplace is what were after.

Headline News Stan Lee Media Lands Top Animation Talent

Three of animation's top producer/artists on BATMAN, THE X-MEN and THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, as well as such comic book classics as SPIDER-MAN, CONAN and TARZAN, have joined Stan Lee Media, Inc. (SLM). Will Meugniot, Larry Houston and Thomas McLaughlin, who have overseen programming for such major studios as Fox, Warner Bros., Sony and Saban, will be steering SLM projects in development as well as THE 7TH PORTAL Web animation franchise.

Headline News Aries New VP At Nick Studios

Lolee Aries has been appointed vice president of production, Nickelodeon Animations Studios. At Nickelodeon, she will oversee the day-to-day production on all of Nickelodeon Animation Studios in-house projects including current series SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, HEY ARNOLD!, CATDOG, ANGRY BEAVERS, OH YEAH! CARTOONS! and the upcoming series CHALKZONE, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS and INVADER ZIM. Aries will also focus on the digital production process and boosting the utilization of in-house talent. Aries joins Nickelodeon from Film Roman, where she served as VP of production.

Headline News Roth & Bird Fly To Pixar

Former Disney Studios chairman Joe Roth has joined Pixars board of directors and IRON GIANT director Brad Bird has signed on as a director as well. The announcement came on the same day that the 3D-animation company revealed heavy earnings in the first quarter due to the phenomenal success of TOY STORY 2. Roth helped develop TOY STORY 2 before he left Disney to start his own production company. Roth told Reuters that he wanted to keep in touch with the ever-advancing world of 3D animation as his new business is being formed.

Headline News DEN's Programming VP Vamooses

Morgan Wandell, VP of programming at Digital Entertainment Network, has left his post. Though a pleasant split, the decision was due to his unhappiness over DENs move to acquire programming instead of developing original content. Recently, the entertainment destination obtained programming from ACE VENTURA director Steve Oedekerks Thumb.com. Wandell told the Daily Variety, "Theres just less for me to do now.

Headline News Tsujihara Takes Over Entertaindom

Kevin Tsujihara has temporarily taken the reigns of Warner Bros. Entertaindom Web site. As reported [AWN 4/6/00], Entertaindom.com president and CEO Jim Moloshok, executive VP Jim Banister and third-in-command Jeff Weiner have exited their Time Warner posts. Sources said the top trio was angry about Time Warner's decision not to spawn a separate Entertaindom IPO. The final impetus leading to the leave was when the three execs were not satisfied by the stock options offered to them by Time Warner.

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