New York-based animation/live-action studio PITCH, INC. signed London-based director/animator DAVID FREEDMAN to its new commercial division. His background includes directing, writing, agency work and stand-up comedy. Plus, with his writing partner, Alan Gilbey, he is currently writing an animated series, The Foxbusters. Pitchs commercial division is represented by KELLY FLINT, who joined the new company from Curious Pictures, where she worked with Pitch co-founders RUSS DUBE, CHRIS GILLIGAN and STEVE KATZ.
GREG PAIR has completed an eight-month stint as animation supervisor on MTVs stop-motion show Celebrity Death Match. He is returning to the studio he is a partner in, AMPNYC, to direct and produce stop-motion commercial work.
BLUE SKY | VIFXs Harrison, New York studio has promoted JOHN DONKIN to managing technical director. He joined the company as senior technical director earlier this year after serving as a director of animation/studio manager for Lamb & Company (Minneapolis, MN).
Palo Alto, California-based PACIFIC DATA IMAGES (PDI) has hired PAUL COOK as corporate controller, a role in which he will report to CFO John Batter and be responsible for implementing internal financial controls. Cook was previously corporate accounting manager at Adobe Systems.
San Rafael, California-based INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC (ILM) has expanded its executive ranks with several internal promotions. GAIL CURREY has been upped to the newly-created position of vice president and chief operating officer, from her previous position as director of digital production operations. JEFF MANN has been promoted to executive in charge of creative operations, up from his previous post as director of production operations. ALAN KEITH has been named vice president/chief administrative officer, up from a position as director of business operations and finance at LUCAS DIGITAL.
London-based distributor LINK ENTERTAINMENT has promoted GENVIEVE DEXTER from sales manager to head of sales and acquisitions. She joined Link in 1997, leaving a post as sales manager at Eva Entertainment. Link also promoted ANNIKA BLUHM from script development executive to head of script development. She joined Link in 1996 and previously worked in development and as a script editor at BBC.
BILL DENNIS has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mumbai, India-based UTVI ANIMATION and RM/USL STUDIOS, the largest animation studio in India. Dennis will be responsible for overseeing and growing the operations of the companies' studios in Singapore and Bombay and for developing new animation studios around the region. He will also oversee all in-house development and co-production deals. Dennis, now based in Los Angeles, was previously president of Fil-Cartoons in Manila, a studio which serviced Hanna-Barbera and Turner Broadcasting before they merged with Time/Warner.
CARTOON NETWORK has promoted DEA CONNICK PEREZ to vice president of programming and production, a role in which she will direct all aspects of programming, including scheduling, acquisitions and program operations. She joined the Atlanta-based company in 1997 as program director, and was previously director of acquisitions at Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite/TV Land.
NELVANA LIMITED has promoted EMMANUÈLE PÉTRY to director of co-productions. She was previously director of the company's Paris office, where she will remain. Pétry has been responsible for securing co-production partners for Nelvana, including Neurones, Marathon and Ellipse. Also at Nelvana's Paris office, MARIE-LAURE MARCHAND has been promoted to director of international sales.
Animation historian John Canemaker is working on his eighth animationhistory book, titled "Walt Disney's Nine Old men and the Art of Animation"to be published by Hyperion in 2001. It will contain detailed biographicalportraits of Les Clark, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, WardKimball, Milt Kahl, John Lounsbery, Eric Larson and Wolfgang Reitherman.The book will also discuss the early Disney animators who influenced "theNine," such as Ub Iwerks, Norman Ferguson, Fred Moore, Ham Luske, Vladimir
A survey of people related to this issue's theme of television animation answering, "Whatten films would you want to have with if stranded on a desert island?
JON VEIN has been promoted from senior to executive vice president at FILM ROMAN, a role in which he will continue to oversee the company's reach into feature films, including "There Goes the Neighborhood," a live-action/animation film in development with Universal.
William Moritz discusses Richard Reeves' Linear Dreams and Bbel Neubauer's Moonlight and helps to put them in perspective. Includes Quicktime movies of both films.
MIKE DARNELL has been promoted to executive vice president of specials and alternative programming for FOX BROADCASTING, where he will oversee new projects including the animated series "Family Guy," "The PJs" and "Futurama." Darnell joined the network in 1994 as director of specials.
The fourth installment of Barry Purves' production diary as he chronicles producing a series of animated shorts for Channel 4. An Animation World Magazine exclusive.
SAM REGISTER has been promoted to vice president of CARTOON NETWORK ONLINE. He was previously creative director for the division, and has overseen the development and recent launch of the network's web site, www.cartoonnetwork.com. Prior to joining Cartoon Network in Atlanta, Register worked in San Francisco at (Colossal) Pictures as creative director and at Turner New Media, where, as creative director, he created the Cartoon Network World section of America Online.
JIM KEESHEN has joined FILM ROMAN as a director on the animated series, "Family Guy." This spring, his company Jim Keeshen Productions produced the show's pilot with creator Seth MacFarlane.
CRAIG ALLEN has been named general manager of JIM HENSON INTERACTIVE. He was formerly a senior producer at DISNEY INTERACTIVE.
JEFF WILLIAMS has joined ANIMATION WORLD NETWORK as webmaster, replacing Ged Bauer, who has left to pursue further education.
UCLAs School of Theater, Film and Television has appointed ROBERT ROSEN dean, replacing Gil Cates, who stepped down from the post last year but remains a member of the faculty. Rosen was promoted internally from the position of dean of the Film and Television School, a division of the Theater, Film and Television School (including the Animation Workshop). He has worked at UCLA since 1975. . . . Filmmaker JAMES CAMERON and effects master STAN WINSTON have resigned from the board of directors of the Venice, California-based effects studio they co-founded five years ago, DIGITAL DOMAIN.
ANNE SWEENEY has been named president of DISNEY/ABC CABLE NETWORKS, filling a position left vacant when Geraldine Laybourne left in June to form her own media company. Since 1996, Sweeney has been president of the Disney Channel, a title she will retain with the promotion, which will add several programming outlets under her wing: Lifetime, A&E, The History Channel and E! Entertainment Television, as well as ABCs Saturday morning line-up. Prior to Disney, Sweeney was at FX for three years and at Nickelodeon for 12. . . .
Cedric Littardi relates his experiences as he prepares to stand trial in France for his involvement with AnimeLand, a magazine focused on animation for adults.