Disney vice chairman Sanford "Sandy" Litvack has decided to leave the company at years end. The move has been long rumored since the very public fight in court between Disney and former Disney executive and now DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Apparently, the feud weighed a great deal on Litvack. Disney chairman Michael Eisner said, "I regret Sandys decision, but I accept it and respect his desire to pursue new ventures." Litvack did not announce any specific new business plans.
Curt Roth has been named CEO and chairman of ExtraTainment.com, a content creator focusing on short cartoons for the Internet, WAP and third generation mobile phones. Before joining ExtraTainment.com, Curt Roth was founder and president of GSM Information Network (GIN), a service provider supplying information services to over 14 digital mobile phone operators worldwide. Hubert Roth, founder and COO of ExtraTainment.com, said, "I am confident that this company will become a stunning success and has all the ingredients available to become a world player within a short time."
Honkworm International has signed entertainment industry veteran Carah von Funk as senior vice president, corporate development. In her new post, von Funk will oversee the development of strategic business and creative alliances. She will be based out of Honkworm's New York office. Prior to joining Honkworm, von Funk served as vice president, business development for Razorfish Studios, an award-winning multimedia solutions company.
German childrens content producer EM.TVs Florian Haffa has stepped down from his position as chief financial officer. Haffa will remain with the company as deputy chairman to help his brother and founder Thomas Haffa run the day-to-day operations. Currently, EM.TV is seeking out Haffas replacement. Even though the move was planned in advance, it comes after the company announced Monday that it was adjusting its figures for the first six months of the year to fix an accounting error in their acquisition of the Jim Henson Company and Formula 1 Racing.
Sesame Workshop (the Workshop), one of the world's leading producers of children's television programming, announced the appointment of Jennifer Chrein as the company's new vice president of global media. In the newly created position, Chrein will oversee international television sales for the company. Prior to the Workshop, Chrein served as senior vice president of New York-based Telescene Film Group, where she was responsible for negotiating distribution and sales with sub distributors and bringing co-producers, partners and projects from the worldwide marketplace to Telescene.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has added award-winning director/designer Harry Dorrington to its team of digital artists. London native Dorrington has garnered numerous awards including two Clios, two New York International Awards, one BDA Award, one RTS Craft Award, one British Festival Computer Award and many more. The Dorrington addition complements former R/Greenberg executive producers Michael Miller and Rick Wagonheim's strategy of reuniting a number of digital artists that worked together at the now defunct company.
Eidos Plc, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, announced the resignation of the companys chief financial officer, Jeremy Lewis. Lewis is leaving Eidos to pursue a range of other interests. The company has commenced an external search for a new CFO to replace Lewis. Michael McGarvey, Eidos COO, said, "On behalf of the Board, I should like to thank Jeremy for the positive contribution he has made to Eidos and we wish him well for the future."
Dotcomix, a San Francisco-based animation company, has recently added Beth Sandell as the chief operating officer, Edward Burke as general counsel and vice president of business affairs, Peter Katz as vice president of marketing, and BZ Petroff as head of production. "Dotcomix is committed to presenting the best in online entertainment and animation," said Damon Danielson, CEO of Dotcomix.
Sunwoo Entertainment has announced they have appointed Regis Brown to the newly created position of vice president of international television & video. Brown formerly served as VP of international film and television distribution at Film Roman. In his new post with Sunwoo, he will help expand and produce original properties. In addition, he will help seek out new co-production partners and form strategic alliances, plus grow the companys global entertainment strategy. Sunwoos senior vice president Jae Y.
Cornerstone Animation has hired Jason VanBorssum as their new executive vice president and COO, in addition Sutherland C. Ellwood Jr. has joined the companys board of directors. Ellwood is a former VP/head of production, head of technology and producer/writer for firms such as DreamWorks, Fox and Disney. He currently serves as co-founder, CEO and producer/writer for FilmWarp, a special effects feature film company. "Were excited and privileged to have Sutherland aboard," said Larry D. Whitaker Jr., Cornerstones CEO.
Elyse Emmer has joined Film Roman as their East coast commercial sales representative. Emmer will solicit new commercial accounts for the companys animation department. Previously, Emmer has represented various directors and companies including Klasky Csupo. "Elyse Emmer brings knowledge, enthusiasm and imagination, plus a wide range of important contracts, to her position," said Film Roman COO Jon Vein.
Victory Entertainment, an Orlando, Florida-based multimedia production house, has named Michael Jay Solomon to its board of directors. Currently, Solomon is chairman and CEO of MAXX International, a broad-based rights management company. The television veteran has held executive positions at Warner Bros., Telepictures and has launched the television companies Solomon International Enterprises and Solomon Broadcasting International. Michael H.
Chris Robinson celebrates the long overdue acknowledgement of RenJodoin's work in the animation community and for the NFB.
Joe Fordham had a personal tour of the pre-production of Moebius' first animated feature film. Together with CG veteran Frank Foster, the film they are creating is sure to be carefully watched by fans until completion. Includes exclusive visuals!
Joan Kim interviews Leslie Levine on her task at hand bringing Harvey's classic characters to consumers in new, cool ways.
Olive Jar Studios Inc. will be the exclusive U.S. representation of veteran director Bruce Alcock and his Vancouver-based company Global Mechanic. Alcock, the former creative director and co-founder of Tricky Pictures, joins Olive Jar with a resume featuring live-action with mixed-media, design-based drawn animation, stop-motion and experimental computer animation. Olive Jars executive creative director Fred Macdonald said, "I have been a big fan of Bruces work, and, having bid against Tricky Pictures in the past, know that Bruce is one of the few true experimental directors.
Peter J. Schankowitz has been appointed Film Romans new president of television programming and development. Schankowitz will oversee all aspects of the companys TV development and sales, including developing live-action and animated series and specials. For the past two years, he has been senior development executive for Jonathan Goodson Productions where he headed the creation and executive producing of the companys reality and game projects.
Brooks Jewell has been named publicity director for Blue Sky Studios. She will head marketing, advertising and publicity activities relating to the studio, and will also work with the licensing and merchandizing divisions of 20th Century Fox Animation, Blue Skys parent company. Joining Blue Sky in 1998 as a publicity coordinator, Jewell rose to the position of publicity manager, where she played a key role in the studios successful Academy Award campaign for the animated short film BUNNY.
Australia-born Domenic DiGiorgio, a 3D animator specializing in character animation, has joined Santa Monica-based Computer Cafe as a lead character animator. Previously, DiGiorgio served as computer animation producer at Digital Animations Group, Scotland, where he created animation for television commercials and interactive games. In his two year tenure at Digital Animations, DiGiorgios credits include the games BRAVEHEART and OFFICIAL FORMULA 1 RACING, and commercials for Glover, Ike & Mike Hot Tamales and Lucky Duck.
Mondo Media has signed GUNDAM WING character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto to design characters for an upcoming Mondo Mini Show. Currently the project is entitled SPIRAL, a sci-fi action adventure series which will be available on MondoMedia.com later this year. Kawamoto is best known for his character designs on COWBOY BEBOP, several GUNDAM series, GOLDEN BOY and the cinematics for THE GHOST IN THE SHELL video game. Also brought onto the project as key animator is Cindy Yamauchi, whose credits include AKIRA, VENUS WARS and RANMA 1/2.
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc., has named Paul Lypaczewski as its executive vice president. Based in Discreet's Montreal headquarters, Lypaczewski will oversee all aspects of Discreet's worldwide business entities including research and development, sales, marketing, operations and finance and administration. With 20 years of experience in graphics software development and management, he was most recently the COO for CyberWorld, Inc., a privately held Web-based software development company.
Al Shier has been promoted to visual effects producer at Venice-based Blur Studio, a 3D animation, visual effects and motion graphics design company. For the past two years at Blur, Sheir has served as a line producer and visual effects coordinator. In his new role, Shier will oversee the production of 2D and 3D visual effects and act as liaison between clients and the company's artistic staff. Shier began producing over a year ago, during which he received numerous producing credits.
After Titan A.E.'s quick demise at the box office and the even quicker demise of Fox's state-of-the-art animation studio in Phoenix, Larry Lauria speaks with Don Bluth on his future and that of animation's.
Tsvika Oren speaks with three prominent Israeli animators and gives us an overview of Israel's current animated state.
planetLingo, an Internet-based language learning company, has hired three former Disney executives John Feenie as president and CEO; Cedric Astor as executive VP and CFO; and Greg Probert as executive VP and head of content and curriculum. Previously, Feenie served as executive VP, China Affairs for Disney, in which he was responsible for all of the companys activities in China. For planetLingo, Feenie will help establish markets around the globe. Most recently, Astor served as senior VP for Disney consumer products in Europe/Middle East/Africa.