Animator and director Julia Tortolani has joined Wild Brains creative roster of commercial directors. She joins the company from Radical Media in New York City where she directed commercials for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Ford and Hardees. Her longer format animation work includes a 55-minute animated program installed with a synchronized light show at Universal Studios Marvel Mania Theme Restaurant in Hollywood. Regarding her move to Wild Brain, Tortolani said, Im really excited about the opportunities at Wild Brain.
Columbia TriStar Television Childrens Programming (CTTCP) has appointed Michael T. Helfand to Vice President, Business Affairs where he will be responsible for CTTCPs full range of business affairs negotiations for pilots and series. Helfand joins Columbia TriStar from DIC Entertainment where he was Head of the Legal and Business Affairs Department.
Technical animation specialist Brandon Davis has joined the animation and visual effects team at Computer Café. Davis, whose experience spans interactive games, corporate media and television, has expertise in water, smoke, light and other particle effects simulating physical processes, as well as authoring programs to perform these functions. He first freelanced with Computer Café when the company called on his assistance in creating visual effects for the motion picture Armageddon.
Carol Laufer, a 6-year veteran of Blue Sky | VIFX, has been promoted from producer to the position of executive producer at the companys Harrison, New York studio. She replaces Nina Rappaport who left to pursue other interests. Laufer has produced numerous projects at Blue Sky | VIFX including the Rayovac battery campaign featuring Michael Jordan and a three-spot campaign for Target featuring a host of photorealistic animated toys.
Thomas Schumacher has been promoted to president of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Theatrical Productions replacing Peter Schneider, who was promoted from this role to the president of The Walt Disney Studios. Joe Roth, Disney chairman, stated, "Tom, who has long collaborated with Peter in running our animation and theatrical units, is the perfect choice to replace Peter as president of Feature Animation.
This past Thursday, Peter Schneider was named to the new position of president of The Walt Disney Studios; the annoucement coming just one day after Disney CEO Michael Eisner said the company needed to perform better with Disney-branded live-action movies.
Mitch Butler was an overnight star with his SIGGRAPH hit, The Smell of Horror. Discover Mitch's rather unusual path from icy Alaska to being the toast of the fest at SIGGRAPH `98 in sunny Florida. Includes a Quicktime movie.
The animation industry has had to say good-bye to a number of its members in 1998. Amid Amidi recounts this year's losses...
he eighth installment of Barry Purves' production diary as he chronicles producing a series of animated shorts for Channel 4. An Animation World Magazine exclusive.
Savage Steve Holland, co-creator of "Eek! the Cat," has signed on with the William Morris Agency for representation in all fields. He will be repped by Rob Wolken, Spencer Baumgarten and Greg Lipstone. He is currently creating, writing and directing DIC's "Sabrina, the Animated Series." In addition, he's also written and directed live-action films including "Better Off Dead" (1985) and "One Crazy Summer" (1986).
Twenty-five-year-old Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the upcoming Fox TV primetime animated series Family Guy, has signed a five-year, multi-million dollar development deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television. Under the deal, MacFarlane will develop new programming and remain the executive producer and principal voice actor on his series Family Guy. Fox has guaranteed MacFarlane $2 million to $2.5 million for the first three years and if the show continues to air after that time, he will receive large increases the final two years.
Richard Morss has joined UK-based digital production company, Peppers Ghost Productions (PGP) as Executive Creative Director. Morss had been Controller of Childrens Programs at United Film and Television Production prior to his appointment at PGP. This follows the hiring of Alan Marques, who joined PGP last month as head of production. PGP Managing Director Paul Michael stated that this represents a shift of focus for the company.
Dream Quest Images, the feature film visual effects division of the Walt Disney Company, has hired Price Pethel in the newly created post of Vice President/Creative Director. Pethels role includes contributing to the overall direction and debate of such digital studio issues as imaging, compositing methodology, rendering and software development. Pethel joins the company from a five year tenure as VP/Creative Director at Digital Domain.
A survey of this season's animated feature directors answering, What ten films would you want to have with you if stranded on a desert island?
Rani Singh relates the operations of the Harry Smith Archives as she and others try to collect, restore and rebuild the works of Harry Smith.
For over thirty years, long-time actor Paul Winchell has supplied the voice of Tigger in Walt Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" animated productions. However, the upcoming animated Pooh feature, "Tigger's Family Tree," won't feature his distinctive voice; instead Tigger's voice will be supplied by veteran voice actor Jim Cummings, who is also the current voice of Pooh Bear. Although a Disney spokeswoman denies he was fired, Winchell was let go after only one day of work on the film. She says his day of work was an audition, and the job simply went to the actor who gave a better performance.
Universal Pictures chairman Casey Silver was forced to resign after a year of consistent box office flops such as "Primary Colors," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Out of Sight," "Meet Joe Black," and this weekend's disastrous opening of the expensive sequel "Babe: Pig in the City," which was slaughtered by two other family-oriented features, Disney's "A Bug's Life'" and Paramount's "The Rugrats Movie." Silver had been head of Universal's movie production, marketing and distribution since November 1995.
Did you know that before Hey Arnold!, Craig Bartlett completed several projects for amusement parks and World's Fairs? Joe Bevilacqua looks into Craig Bartlett's past life...
Animation and visual effects house Pacific Data Images (PDI) has appointed industry veteran George Merkert as Executive Producer of the Motion Picture Visual Effects division. This decision comes on the heels of PDIs announcement of their intention to grow their operation and core business capabilities beyond its present size and scope, and to further develop its traditional animation/visual effects support work with a new emphasis towards content creation.
BEAU CAMERON has joined Santa Maria, California-based COMPUTER CAFÉ as a 3Dcharacter animator. His first project is animating a flock of penguins fora Mervyn's television spot.
Producer/director Eric Radomski recently joined Film Roman as ExecutiveProducer. His new role includes heading up the company's restructuredanimation development and production program as well as taking the helm ofFilm Roman's expanding digital shorts program. Company president and CEODavid Pritchard stated, "Film Roman is fortunate and excited that Eric hasagreed to help us rebuild the new Film Roman. We see him as part of thefuture of this company, will rely on him to lead our animation division
Laurie Goldberg has been named vice president of public relations atCartoon Network. She will oversee all publicity and public relations forCartoon Network including programming, consumer and cable affiliatemarketing campaigns, Cartoon Network Online, Cartoon Network Enterprises(NASCAR and SMASH tennis) and the network's licensed promotions andmerchandising. She joins the network from Pinnacle Brands, Inc., a sportstrading card company in Dallas, where she also served as vice president ofpublic relations.
Respected TV executive Margaret Loesch, who moved to the Jim Henson Company a year ago as president of its television group, has been named the president and CEO of the 30-million subscriber Odyssey cable channel. This comes after an announcement that Hallmark and The Jim Henson Company have bought a "substantial" stake in the religious network. Loesch's new responsibilities include developing original programming from Hallmark, Henson, Odyssey and National Interfaith Cable Coalition (NICC) and integrating it with the already well-established libraries of Hallmark and Henson.
Los Angeles-based Film Roman has brought Mark Lieber on board as the new president of domestic television development and distribution. Lieber's responsibilities in this newly created position include directing the development of all proprietary television product (both animation and live-action), as well as overseeing the distribution of Film Roman's proprietary series through broadcast, cable and syndication in the U.S.