Curious Pictures visual effects department in New York has selected seven new computer graphics and vfx specialists for Curious ever-growing slate of branded entertainment projects. The new talent roster includes animators Seth Lippman of PDI/DreamWorks, Weta Digital and Sony Pictures Imageworks, who worked on SHREK 2, THE LORD OF THE RINGS and ANTZ, and Dr. John Alex, a former software engineer and technical director for Pixar, who led animation teams for TOY STORY 2, MONSTERS, INC. and FINDING NEMO, and wrote software applications for THE INCREDIBLES.
Award-winning exec producer, visual effects supervisor and director Jim Riche has joined the Nice Shoes Family, consisting of Nice Shoes, Guava and Freestyle Collective, acting as head of production for both Nice Shoes and Guava. Riche will oversee the companies production staffs, work to foster collaboration between the two studios and capitalize on the natural synergies that exist between their services and artistic staffs. Riche will also serve as a visual effects supervisor for special projects on a bicoastal basis.
Leading post-production boutique Post Logic Studios has added to its talent roster by hiring senior colorists Mike Cosola and Eric Alvarado for its Hollywood and New York digital studios, respectively. The additions come at a time when Post Logic is poised to implement a significant capital expansion of equipment and digital intermediate services.
Rhythm + Hues Commercial Studios has gained two new additions to its staff including director Mark Dippé and Lisa White, who is the new head of production, commercial digital.
Dippé joined George Lucas Industrial Light & Magic in 1988 and was a major part of the digital filmmaking group there. His work in photorealistic computer generated characters includes THE ABYSS, the liquid metal T-1000 in TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY. He also had a principal role in creating the first living digital creatures in JURASSIC PARK.
Platinum Studios, an entertainment company that controls the world's largest independent library of comicbook characters, has appointed Brian Altounian Platinum Studios as coo. Altounian brings with him more than 17years of experience in the entertainment and high-tech industry, having overseen operations of the west coast offices of National Geographic Television and Time Warner Interactive.
Rob Moore joins Paramount Pictures as president, worldwide marketing, distribution and operations, responsible for domestic and international marketing and distribution, administration, legal and business affairs, and backlot operations.
Moore comes to Paramount from Joe Roth's Revolution Studios, where he served as Roth's partner overseeing the film and media production company for the past five years. Prior to Revolution, Moore served at the Walt Disney Studio for 13 years, most recently as evp of operations and finance.
IDT Ent. has announced two key executive appointments. Neil S. Braun, currently president/coo of Vanguard Animation and former president of the NBC Television Network, chairman/ceo of Viacom Ent. and president/coo of Imagine Films Ent., has been named president of feature films and television. Veteran animation producer and creative affairs exec Jerry Davis, whose credits include ROBOTS, ICE AGE, IRON GIANT and TOY STORY, has been named cco, animated features.
Veteran production exec Jon Gordon has been named president of production, Universal Pictures, joining recently named president of production Donna Langley. The two execs will work in tandem, overseeing the development and production of the studios motion pictures. Langley and Gordon will both report directly to Stacey Snider, chairman Universal Pictures. Gordon, who is currently co-president of production at Miramax Films, will start with Universal in October.
Joshua Katz, an entertainment-industry vet, who has led the successful launch and marketing efforts behind Cartoon Network and VH1, has been named vp of marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd.
Katz will lead the global marketing initiatives for all upcoming television and feature film projects from Lucasfilm Ltd. and also guide the company's corporate-branding projects, and will report to Jim Ward, svp of Lucasfilm.
Billy Wright has been named vp, worldwide wireless, Warner Bros. Online. Reporting directly to Jim Noonan, svp/gm, Warner Bros. Online, Wright will lead the company's Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC) strategic mobile teams as they develop, produce, publish and market content, including wallpapers, video and games based on the studio's world-renowned brands. The group also works to develop promotional mobile content that raises awareness for upcoming studio projects. Currently based in London, Wright will relocate to Glendale, California, in the fall.
FlickerLab founder, Harold Moss, and independent producer Tammy Walters, have formalized their long-term association, as Walters becomes a partner in his fast-growing animation studio. Moss and Walters first met at Curious Pictures, where Walters was head of the companys digital division.
Mark Spatny has been appointed supervising producer at Stargate Digital to manage the producers and coordinators at Stargates Los Angeles facility, and help coordinate schedules and staffing company-wide. He will also continue to work on select projects as a visual effects supervisor.
Spatnys recent work for Stargate includes supervising the effects for the pilots THE BOOK OF DANIEL and AMY COYNE, and producing for the FOX feature IDIOCRACY. He is also working with Indian director Anubhav Sinha on visual effects for the Bollywood film DUS.
Animator John Lasseter and VFX Artist Craig Barron are among five new governors, three of them serving for the first time, who have been elected to represent their branches on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nine incumbent governors were reelected.
In a precursor to a vigorous new expansion effort, Ascent Media Creative Services Group has promoted Barbara Marshall to managing director of its Encore Hollywood post-production facility.
im Kennedy joins Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) as svp, Corp. Communications, responsible for developing and directing the company's communications strategy, overseeing media relations and issues management, and serving as communications counselor to the executive team. He will replace Susan Tick, who announced her resignation last May.
The latest in a flurry of appointments at Munich-based production/distribution outfit, TV-Loonland is the appointment of Justine Bannister to head of international distribution and acquisitions, responsible for managing the television, video/DVD and licensing sales and pre-sales worldwide for the extensive TV-Loonland catalog. Bannister will be based in the companys London office and report directly to Olivier Dumont, TV-Loonlands recently appointed coo.
Nick Foster was formerly head of Global FX at DreamWorks Animation, will take over as cto at IDT Ent., effective Aug. 15, 2005, with responsibility for unifying the technology and staff of the FX departments at the Los Angeles and Bay Area production studios. Robert Taylor has joined IDT Ent. as vp, animation finance, to oversee all production finance matters related to the animated slate.
Long time publicity veteran Elizabeth Wolfe has been upped to vp, publicity for DisneyToon Studios, responsible for all areas of publicity for DisneyToon Studios and liaisons with the publicity teams for Buena Vista Pictures Marketing Group and Buena Vista Home Ent. as well as other areas of The Walt Disney Co. Additionally, she oversees talent relations and special projects, which include working with numerous charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Free Arts for Abused Children and Adopt a Family.
DreamWorks Pictures has extended head of production Adam Goodmans contract term for an additional four years through 2009.
"Adam Goodman has been an integral part of our production team since the inception of the studio and, over the past year and a half, he has more than proven his capability to lead that team, said DreamWorks principal David Geffen. We are very happy that he plans to continue to spearhead our live-action slate."
In this last in a series of three interviews, Joe Strike talks with historian and filmmaker John Canemaker about his family and his latest film, the confessional The Moon and the Son.
Navarre Corp., a publisher and distributor of a broad range of home entertainment and multimedia software products, has promoted Ward Thomas to svp of sales and operations for FUNimation, a subsidiary of Navarre Corp., and upped Joyce Fleck to vp of sales & marketing for FUNimation.
While head of sales for Navarre Distribution Services, Thomas is credited for leading and developing the distribution sales team so that the division experienced triple-digit growth.
Eric Roth, exec director of the Visual Effects Society (VES), has signed a three-year contract with the organization. Roth joined the VES a little more than a year ago and is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the organization including strategic planning, fundraising, membership outreach and communications. Said Carl Rosendahl, chairman of the VES Board, The VES has enjoyed tremendous growth under Erics leadership this past year. Were thrilled to have a long term commitment with him in place and look forward to the future.
The TOKYOPOP Group has bolstered its worldwide finance and accounting infrastructure by appointing Cary Tan vp/controller of TOKYOPOP U.S. and Cathy Liu as group finance & administration director at TOKYOPOP K.K.
Lucasfilm Animation Ltd. announced that it has hired Christian (Chris) Kubsch, a production and animation exec with more than 20 years of experience, to helm its animation studio in Singapore. As gm of Lucasfilm Animation Co. Singapore B.V., Kubsch will pull together and oversee all elements of the digital animation studio, including recruiting key talent and running its day to day operations. Kubsch will report to Gail Currey, head of animation.
TV-Loonland is filling out its ranks, appointing Olivier Dumont as its new coo and Kourtney Kaye head of creative affairs and development.
Dumont, to be based in Paris and London, will define the strategy for the development, production and distribution of programming targeted at kids and families. He will report directly to the TV-Loonland ceo/chariman Selma Käppel and, with her, will also run the business development strategy for TV-Loonland.