Andy Bird leaves Warners TBS International to join Walt Disney as the new president of Walt Disney International effective January 12, 2004. The U.K. native will be based in Burbank, California.
From a strategic perspective, one of Disneys most significant long-term growth opportunities resides in markets outside of the United States, and it is crucial that the company continue to have a well-coordinated approach to business development around the world, said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman/ceo.
Veteran motion picture and television animator Everett Burrell has joined Café FX as animation supervisor. Burrell comes to Café Fx from Cantina Pictures Inc. He brings 18 years experience managing teams of 3D animators, 3D digitizers, texture artists, compositors, technical directors and freelance artists, and working collaboratively with directors, producers, art directors and software engineers in defining the creative and technical direction of projects.
Philippe Moins uncovers the animated manifesto behind Sylvain Chomets The Triplets of Belleville, and the directors future plans and desires.
Marketing veteran Dennis Rice has been named svp, publicity for Buena Vista Pictures marketing and Heidi Trotta has been elevated to the position of svp, communications for The Walt Disney Studios.
Brian Henson, who led the Henson familys recent acquisition of Jim Henson Co. from EM.TV & Merchandising AG, and his sister Lisa Henson, two of the late Jim Hensons five children, have been named co-chairs and co-ceos of the company. Peter Schube, formerly evp of business and legal affairs, has been named president/coo. In their new roles, Brian and Lisa Henson and Schube have assumed responsibilities previously held by Charles H.
In an effort to develop the international side of its business, Marvel Enterprises announced the creation of Marvel International and has appointed Bruno Maglione as president. He will be based in London and report to Allen Lipson, Marvel's ceo for all activities other than consumer products where Maglione will report to Tim Rothwell, Marvel's president of worldwide consumer products.
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has promoted Haydn Arndt, based in BVITVs London office, to director, sales, U.K. & Ireland, and Rory Buckley, also in London, has been promoted to senior sales executive, Central & Eastern Europe.
Anne Loi has been promoted from vp to svp of finance and operations for DECODE Entertainment, based in Toronto, reporting to DECODE partner Steven DeNure.
Lois role has evolved to include a number of other responsibilities, including operations, human resources, office management, IT and business affairs. Her duties also include development of long term forecasts, assisting in acquiring financing for various productions and exploring growth opportunities.
Visual effects vet Hael Kobayashi has joined Animal Logic, the Sydney-based visual effects house as digital artists manager to oversee recruiting, training and career development of the studios expanding ranks of digital artists.
Award-winning animator Patricia Beckmann has been named chair of the animation department in the School of Film and Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
She is overseeing the departments new major in animation, which launched in fall 2003 along with majors in broadcast design, interactive design and game development and visual as well as an undergraduate degree program in sound design.
Sesame Workshop has promoted Valerie Mitchell-Johnston from sr. counsel to vp of legal and business affairs, responsible for advising, counseling and closing contracts for the Workshop in all content development and production activities. Mitchell-Johnston oversees issues for the domestic production of SESAME STREET and international co-productions such as OUT THERE and TAKALANI SESAME in South Africa.
Visual effects producer Leighton Greer has joined the staff of Entity FX in Santa Monica, California. Previously she was visual effects producer at A52 where she produced spots for Nike, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, Cadillac, Volvo and Sony PlayStation. Prior to A52, Greer worked at Rhythm & Hues, Pinnacle Studios and Pacific Ocean Post.
Greer recently produced the award-winning Nike MOVE, directed by Jake Scott of RSA and Sony PlayStations SIGNS, directed by Dante Ariola of MJZ.
Silvia Orellana is the new production manager of Tridente Animation (part of Tridente&Monigotes), in charge of its business development, worldwide branding positioning, new marketing strategies implementation and closing new deals as well as looking after the needs of its clients. Madrid-based Tridente&Monigotes offers animation services and is moving into original content production and co-productions.
3 Ring Circus, a full-service creative branding firm based in Los Angeles, has a new creative team on board, which has just finished a string of projects. Maziar Majd leads the team as creative director.
Roland Poindexter has been named to the new position of svp of action-adventure properties for Warner Bros. Animation, responsible for developing this programming for broadcast, cable and made-for-video outlets. Poindexter will also be responsible for supervising creative direction of selected current series in all genres and developing animated specials for kids, as well as adults.
Kevin ODonnell joins DIC Entertainment in the newly created position of svp of creative affairs at DIC Entertainment. ODonnell, co-founder of Poets Road, a high-end development and multimedia production outfit, has moved his company to DIC headquarters in Burbank, California, and has been charged with overseeing concept and script development for all television programming. He will develop original properties for the U.S.
Maureen Taxter moves up to svp, retail and new business development, and Steve Youngwood becomes svp, media products.
Gearing up for more DVD/video premieres and theatrical releases, DisneyToon Studios has promoted Ellen Gurney to svp, creative affairs; Karen Malach to the newly created position of 3D development producer; Jennifer Blohm to director, digital production; and Sheila Kelly to manager, production.
The filmmaking trio responsible for guiding Disney's new animated feature, BROTHER BEAR -- directors Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, and producer Chuck Williams -- have signed an exclusive deal to make their next feature for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Under the terms of the arrangement, Williams will produce, and Blaise and Walker will direct an unspecified animated feature for the studio.
Children's programming veteran Linda Simensky has been named sr. director of children's programming for PBS, as of Nov. 3, 2003, based at PBS corporate headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. AWN reported on Oct. 9 that she was leaving her post at Cartoon Network to join PBS.
Simensky will manage the award-winning PBS KIDS programming block, work with producers, co-production partners and distributors throughout development, production, post-production and broadcast.
Theresa Plummer-Andrews, the development exec who has launched scores of animated and live-action kids shows, and helped champion European produced animated content, is stepping down as head of acquisitions for CBBC, the childrens channel of the BBC. Former BBC executive and Create TV co-founder Michael Carrington has been appointed the new acquisitions chief, according to CBBC controller Dorothy Prior.
Donna Chandler has been promoted from asst vp to vp of Global Outreach for Sesame Workshop, responsible for managing Sesame Workshops Outreach Initiatives in the U.S., South Africa and Egypt. Chandler will also oversee the creation and management of an outreach program for Bangladesh and Brazil.
Leigh Anne Brodsky, has been promoted from svp to evp of Consumer Products at Nickelodeon, reporting to Jeffrey D. Dunn, President of Nickelodeon Enterprises.
Since joining Nickelodeon in 1998, Leigh Anne Brodsky has grown Nickelodeons consumer products department from two properties to a dozen with over 15,000 different products, said Dunn. She clearly understands what the Nick brand means to kids and demonstrates it with products that are must haves by anyone who loves our shows and characters, he said.
Tom Atkin told VFXWorld that he will be stepping down as founding exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES) because he's come to the realization that "the goal is accomplished and there is nothing more that I can do at this level. Now that I've built this organization, it's time to turn it over to the membership to dictate future policies, goals and business plans."