Action and anime broadcaster Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz) promoted one marketing executive, Lauren Ruetz, and added three others, Gery English, Matt Emmons and Clif Watkins.
Former Disney, DreamWorks and FOX TV exec David L. Simon joins the Noodlesoup Productions Inc., board of directors to held guide the privately held, full-service animation studio based in New York City.
Fox Filmed Ent. upped Peter Levinsohn to president, Digital Media and Worldwide Pay Television. In this new role, Levinsohn will be responsible for managing digital media strategy for Fox, including leading the effort to establish robust content protection measures in the digital media marketplace; identifying content distribution opportunities; pursuing long-term strategic initiatives with major technology players; and developing opportunities to maximize the value of film and television product in emerging digital platforms. In this capacity he will work closely with the Fox Ent.
Alice Whiteley has been appointed acquisitions and development director for FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide (FLW), the licensing division of leading international television production company FremantleMedia. Based in the London office, she will be responsible for strengthening FremantleMedias catalog of intellectual property with strong licensing potential by acquiring, expanding or representing third-party brands.
Michael Ouweleen takes on additional responsibilities in his newly created position of svp, development and creative direction for Cartoon Network. In his expanded new role, Ouweleen will oversee development and production of all original animated kid-targeted programming (6-14) including series, specials and made-for-television features for the 24-hour networks targeted dayparts.
Fox Broadcasting Co. development exec Quan Phung is the studios new head of comedy, assuming the post recently vacated by Brad Johnson, who created his own production banner with the studio under an exclusive deal.
Linda Moinet joins as Xytech Systems Corp., a leading provider of workflow and media asset management software, as vp of Implementation Services responsible for project management processes, tools and techniques plus lead the project management team to a new level of customer service.
Akira Matsumoto will take over as vp/gm for Buena Vista Games, Asia Pacific, the global interactive entertainment arm of Disney Consumer Products on July 1, 2004. He replaces Shuji Utsumi, who will be leaving the company to pursue personal interests.
Sarbakan, a full service digital animation studio in Quebec City has added five new hires to its full-time staff, bringing its total of employees to 47.
Stephanie Gingras joins the 2D project management team as a producer. She was a producer for I.C. Axon where she was responsible for many multimedia and print projects in the field of e-learning solutions between 2000 and 2003.
With little fanfare and no company statements, Turner Broadcasting has named Mark Lazarus, president of the entertainment group, to president of the company's animation division, which oversees cable channel Cartoon Network and its animation studio, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, which was confirmed by a CN spokesperson.
Many have been waiting to see who would head the animation group, when Turners new ceo Philip Kent restructured Turner last year into three separate divisions: entertainment, news and animation.
Chris Robinson surveys some of the leading independent animators in the world to discover how they find the funds to produces their films.
David Janollari has been named president of entertainment for The WB Network, it was announced today, June 15, 2004, by Garth Ancier, chairman of The WB. Janollari will be responsible for primetime program development including series, movies and specials; primetime current programming and scheduling as well as Kids WB! programming.
Consumer products veteran Juanita Palomino has joined DIC Entertainment (DIC), as vp of Domestic Licensing at DIC, reporting to Nancy Bassett, svp, Worldwide Consumer Products, DIC. Palomino replaces Cindy Davis, DICs former vp of Domestic Licensing, who left the company following the Licensing Show.
Jeff West, a flame artist, and Johnny Wilson, a combustion artist and graphic designer, have become the latest additions to the team at Encore Visual Effects in Hollywood, California. Both artists bring broad experience in vfx production for episodic television, feature films and other media, and will be involved in long-form and short-form projects at Encore. West is currently working on the WB series CHARMED. Wilson is part of the team workingÊ on the series NIP/TUCK for FX.
In a surprise move, Jordan Levin resigned his post as chief executive of the WB Network. WB chairman Garth Ancier will be responsible for running the network and said he would soon appoint an entertainment president to oversee programming.
Warner Bros. chairman/ceo Barry Meyer, who oversees the WB, reportedly told Levin he wanted Ancier to be the sole leader at the helm of the network. Levin could stay on in his former post as entertainment president, which Levin rejected in favor of a producing deal with Warner Bros. Television.
Sharon Morrill has been promoted to president DisneyToon Studios, and will continue to report to Walt Disney Feature Animation president David Stainton.
In her capacity, Morrill will still oversee all aspects of development and production for the divisions burgeoning line of Disney Video Premiere films and DisneyToon theatrical releases. Additionally, she will continue to be responsible for the divisions day-to-day activities, including synergy, finance, human resources, technology, publicity and legal affairs.
Zack Kinney, a motion graphics designer and animator, has joined Click 3x. Kinney will undertake broadcast design and commercial projects, as well as work for other media. In his first project for Click 3x, he designed a graphic opener for the recent 2004 ONE SHOW INTERACTIVE awards show. In an earlier freelance assignment for Click 3x, he served as art director on a promo for MTVs PIMP MY RIDE.
Digital Artists Agency (DAA) has hired Jenn Heusser as client liaison and marketing assistant. Heusser's day-to-day involvement in the company will increase DAA's capacity for new clients while greatly extending its ability to identify and act on new opportunities for all DAA clients. The newly created role also represents a commitment to the infrastructure of the company as it expands and prepares to bring on additional talent agents and managers.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS director Henry Selick has joined Vinton Studios as supervising director. Selick will be charged with heading up the studios transition into features. He has begun production on the studio's first high-budget CG short, MOONGIRL.
Selick is wrapping up his duties as animation director on Wes Anderson's THE LIFE AQUATIC. He also adapted and will direct Neil Gaiman's CORALINE for Bill Mechanic's Pandemonium.
Rushes Postproduction Ltd. has promoted Paul Hannaford to head of visual effects.
In his new role, Hannaford will be responsible for the visual effects department, encompassing Flame, Inferno, Fire, Combustion and Backdraft. He will also continue to work as an effects artist and vfx shoot supervisor.
The exodus continues at Viacom, Inc. as Jonathan Dolgen, chairman of the Viacom Entertainment Group, is resigning, effective July 15, 2004. His ankling came on the heels the abrupt announcement that Viacom coo Mel Karmazin had stepped down and that Karmazin's role overseeing all Viacom divisions was being split between CBS chief Leslie Moonves and MTV Networks head Tom Freston. With the company's film operations reporting to Freston and its TV divisions reporting to Moonves, Dolgen's role was noticeably diminished.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of The Cookie Jar Group, continues its management team growth with the appointment of former Nelvana executive Jim Weatherford as head of Asian Operations, and Michael Wrenn to the newly created post of creative executive. Based in Tokyo, the two new appointments mark Cookie Jars foray into the Asian Pacific market.
Tom Freston and Leslie Moonves have been appointed co-presidents and co-coos of Viacom Inc., effective immediately, after the unexpected resignation of Mel Karmazin as chairman/ceo. Freston and Moonves will jointly oversee all of the operations of Viacom, as directed by Sumner M. Redstone, Viacom chairman/ceo. The companys corporate staff will report directly to Redstone.
Jan Cilliers, a South African-born visual effects artist skilled in Discreet Flame and many other software tools, has joined the team at Click 3x. Cilliers most recently taught digital compositing at Escape Studios' School of Visual Effects in London. Previously, he spent eight months with the New York visual effects house Guava, where he worked on SINATRA: HIS VOICE. HIS WORLD. HIS WAY, a unique theatrical presentation that appeared at Radio City Music Hall last year.
Award-winning animation writer Paul Dini has departed Warner Bros. Animation after 15 years of writing hit animated TV series, including the BATMAN BEYOND, DUCK DODGERS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, TINY TOON ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Dini made the announcement on his Deanspeak Website May 25, 2004.