WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION has named JEFFREY FARNATH to the post ofsenior vice president of business development and finance for Walt DisneyFeature Animation and Walt Disney Theatrical Productions. In addition tosupervising all areas of business development and finance, Farnath willnegotiate and manage international licenses for Disney's stage-showbusiness, oversee long-term strategic planning for Disney's animationproduction units and develop growth strategies for theatrical productions
FOX FILMED ENTERTAINMENT has named STEVEN BERSCH President of FOXINTERACTIVE, the studio's entertainment and sports computer and video gamesoftware unit. Bersch succeeds Fox Interactive's current President, JonRichmond, who was recently named President of New Digital Media at Fox. Inhis new position, Bersch will be directly responsible for driving allaspects of the business including the development and production of thedivision's interactive entertainment and sports games, as well as
SONY PICTURES FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT (SPFE) has hired TAMARA Y. WOOLFORK asdirector of business affairs. Woolfork will be responsible for SPFE's fullrange of business affairs negotiations for theatrical motion pictures,television and direct-to-video productions. Woolfork joins Sony from WarnerBros. Feature Animation where she served as director of business and legalaffairs for the last three years on projects such as QUEST FOR CAMELOT andTHE IRON GIANT.
BUENA VISTA PICTURES MARKETING has promoted MAE JOYCE to vice president ofnational publicity, and DAVID SINGH to vice president of creative filmservices. JOYCE will be responsible for strategizing, coordinating andadministrating all aspects of national publicity for films released underthe Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Picturesbanners. Joyce joined Disney in November 1996 after two years as apublicist with Warner Bros. During her tenure at Disney, she has served as
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE has named STEVE ASTER vice president ofcirculation and global operations, and LISA HOLTON has been promoted tosenior vice president, group publisher for global children's books. ASTERwill manage global operations and production services, which includesmanufacturing, printing, and co-printing, as well as a wide range ofservices to Disney Publishing Worldwide's licensees. Aster joined The WaltDisney Company in 1998 as vice president of circulation for Buena Vista
JAMES SOMMERVILLE, co-founder of THE ATTIK, has relinquished his mostrecent role as creative director of the New York branch to oversee thedevelopment of the company throughout its five offices in Huddersfield(England), London, New York, San Francisco and Sydney. While based inLondon, Sommerville will continue to direct both commercials and long formprojects through The Attik/New York and London. Also, The Attik's executiveproducer JIM MORAN has added managing director to his title and assumed
OXYGEN MEDIA, Geraldine Laybourne's media company founded to providecontent for women, has promoted LISA GERSH HALL to chief operating officer.She will be responsible for legal matters, finance, human resources,business affairs and e-commerce. Previously, Hall was general counsel andchief administrative officer. Oxygen has also hired DAN TAITZ to be generalcounsel. He was formerly a partner with New York law firm Friedman Kaplan &Seiler.
SEGA GAMEWORKS, a location-based entertainment venture formed by StevenSpielberg and DreamWorks SKG, Universal Studios and Sega Enterprises, hasnamed leisure entertainment industry veteran, RON BENSION, as president andCEO. As Chairman and CEO of MCA/Universal Studios Recreation Group from1992 to 1996, Bension was responsible for running all aspects of UniversalStudios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida in addition to developinginternational theme park joint ventures in the United Kingdom and Japan.
KLEISER-WALCZAK CONSTRUCTION CO., which has studios in North Adams,Massachusetts, Manhattan, and Hollywood, has hired JIM HATCH as chiefoperating officer. Hatch will oversee the company's daily administration,operations, and financial management, working with co-founders and ownersJeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak. Hatch previously worked at AmericanInteractive Media, Inc. where he was chief operating officer and corporatesecretary.
North Hollywood-based Film Roman's Board of Directors has decided thatDAVID PRITCHARD will no longer be president and CEO of FILM ROMAN. Thecompany is not yet ready to provide details on the circumstances ofPritchard's leaving. Chief operating officer BILL SHPALL and senior vicepresident JON VEIN will take over Pritchard's responsibilities until a newpresident is named. David Pritchard was named President and CEO of FilmRoman in August 1997. Pritchard had been CEO and partner of
Chicago, Illinois-based commercial production house TRICKYPICTURES has hired New York-based rep firm BLAH BLAH BLAH to represent thecompany with East coast clients. Blah, Blah, Blah's ANDY ARKIN and MIKEEASTWOOD will serve as Tricky Pictures' sales and marketing representatives.
Hollywood, California-based SILICON GRAIL, developer of the 2D compositingsoftware Chalice, has hired CRAIG ZEROUNI as product manager. Zerouni grewup in California, but began his career in London where he co-founded CFX &Associates, a visual effects house. In 1997, he returned to the US andjoined Hollywood-based Side Effects as product manager for its Prismsoftware.
Toronto-based NELVANA LIMITED has appointed IRENE WEIBEL and JILL NEWHOUSECALCATERRA as marketing vice presidents of the company's newly-formedcorporate sponsorship division. They will be responsible for the creationof national corporate advertising opportunities for Nelvana's animated TVprograms. Weible was previously vice president of national sponsorship forWGBH-TV, the Boston PBS affiliate. Calcaterra was previously vice presidentof marketing, licensing and public relations for Santa Monica,
STUART OKEN has been promoted to the position of senior vice president ofcreative affairs for WALT DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS. Oken joined WaltDisney Theatrical Productions in 1995, and has been closely involved withthe Tony Award-winning stage show, THE LION KING, and Elton John and TimRice's new musical, AIDA, set to premiere in Chicago in December 1999. . .TOM WILLIAMS, a 29-year company veteran and former president and chiefexecutive officer of Universal Studios Escape in Orlando, Florida, has been
San Francisco, California-based WILD BRAIN, INC. has added GEORGE EVELYN totheir directorial staff. Evelyn joins Wild Brain after 17 years at ColossalPictures where he worked with the Trix Rabbit, Betty Boop, and GaryLarson's Cavemen.
Toronto, Canada-based IMAX CORPORATION, which operates a chain of largeformat film theaters, has appointed MARY PAT RYAN to the new post ofExecutive Vice President of IMAX Ltd. and Network Group President. Ryanwill oversee the ongoing development of the Network Group, which is chargedwith ensuring the success of all theatres in the worldwide network of IMAXtheatres and the development of the IMAX brand. Based in New York, Ryanwill have responsibility for all areas of the Network Group including brand
Los Angeles-based CHEQUEMATE INTERNATIONAL INC., doing business as C-3DDigital Inc., a 3D media company that provides broadcasting andentertainment companies with the technology to deliver 3D entertainment toany standard television 24 hours a day, has appointed media marketingexpert DANIEL R. THOMPSON to the C-3D Digital Board. Thompson is thefounder and head of Hollywood entertainment agency A Creative Group (ACG)which specializes in product placement, promotional advertising, programsponsorships, and distribution.
Vancouver-based BARDEL ANIMATION has added executive producer CAROLEDUCHARME and business affairs executive DEBORAH REES-LEE to its businessaffairs department. DUCHARME began her career in the film industry as alawyer specializing in film financing and as a legal advisor fororganizations such as the Quebec Film Classification Board. She moved intothe role of producer with the Paris, France-based company Les ProductionLazennec, negotiating and drafting agreements for international
SANFORD M. (SANDY) LITVACK has been named vice chairman of the board of THEWALT DISNEY COMPANY. Litvack joined Disney in April, 1991, as senior vicepresident and general counsel, and was promoted to executive vice presidentthe following December. In May, 1992, he assumed the additional duties ofexecutive in charge of human resources. Before joining The Walt DisneyCompany, Litvack was a member of the executive committee and chairman ofthe litigation department of the international law firm Dewey Ballantine.
Robert Story continues his behind the scenes memoirs of his time working with animation legend Bob Clampett. This month he concludes with the tale of the animated show Beany and Cecil.
North Hollywood, California-based NETTER DIGITAL, which provides 3D andspecial effects animation services, has named JAY FUKUTO to the newposition of senior vice president of animation. Fukuto has been senior vicepresident at MGM Animation since 1997, where he oversaw the development andproduction of MGM's animated theatrical features and direct-to-video moviesincluding THE SECRET OF NIMH II, AN ALL DOGS CHRISTMAS CAROL and TOM SAWYER.
DISNEY INTERACTIVE has promoted JAN SMITH to executive vice president ofDisney's software-development business. Smith will be responsible forworldwide operations of Disney Interactive, including product development,marketing, finance and administration, business and legal affairs, andcustomer support.
London, UK-based commercial production company PASSION PICTURES has signedDAVID FEISS and EMMA CALDER as directors. Feiss, a long time veteran, isbest known as the creator of Cartoon Network's COW AND CHICKEN. Calder'srecent film, THE QUEEN'S MONASTERY, has won prizes at film festivalsthroughout the world. . . PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS has hired ANN MATHER asits executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mather has morethan eighteen years of financial operations experience, including seven
Seattle, Washington-based REALNETWORKS, a company specializing in Internetmedia delivery, has promoted THOMAS FRANK to chief operating officer andhired MARTIN PLAEHN as senior vice president of media systems. Frank, whojoined RealNetworks in January of this year, was previously senior vicepresident of media programming and publishing. Plaehn joins RealNetworksfrom Viewpoint Digital, Inc., a computer graphics company, where he wasPresident. . . UNIVERSAL PICTURES has promoted GREG SUCHERMAN to vice
WARNER BROS. TELEVSION ANIMATION has promoted LINDA STEINER from vice president of development to senior vice president of creative affairs and CHRISTOPHER KEENAN from vice president of programming to vice president of creative affairs. Steiner and Keenan will oversee the development of cartoon series, shorts and direct-to-video projects.