Citing issues that have arisen out of the merger of AOL Time Warner, merger architect Steve Case has decided to step down as chairman of the company, effective at the annual shareholders meeting in May 2003. Case notified CEO Dick Parsons and the Board of Directors of his decision over the weekend of January 11, 2003.
Dr. Steve Sullivan has been promoted to research and development director at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Sullivan, who most recently headed up a computer vision team within the R&D group, has been instrumental in developing systems for matchmoving, image-based modeling and rendering, and motion-capture. In 1996, Sullivan received a PhD. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an emphasis on automatic object modeling, recognition and surface representations.
Nickelodeon animation head Albie Hecht has been appointed president of the cable channel The New TNN. In his new position, Hecht will oversee TNN as it repositions itself as television's first entertainment network for men, building upon its existing predominantly male audience composition. As part of this transition, Diane Robina will leave her current role as general manager of the network.
Kevin Prendiville, former visual effects supervisor at Ring of Fire, has joined The Syndicate as the studio's new VFX supervisor and lead flame artist. Previously, Prendiville was the Henry artist at Hollywood-based visual effects house Novocom, where he worked on commercials for Discover Card, AT&T, Miller Lite, Chevy Blazer, Levis, Allsport and Mountain Dew. His music video work at Novocom included clips for Michael Jackson and Lenny Kravitz, and a special effects heavy Garth Brooks track that won the Country Music video of the year award in 1995.
In the second part of our interviews with the creatives behind Lilo & Stitch, Andrew Osmond speaks with master animator Andreas Deja about animating Lilo, Hawaii and cartoon punch-outs.
Raiding the pool of talent left after Mill Film removed itself from the feature effects business, Cinesite Europe, Ltd. has appointed Mill Film's former managing director Antony Hunt as managing director and former director of miniature effects at Mill Film José Granell as visual effects supervisor/director of models. These senior staff members join CG artists Simon Stanley-Clamp, Andy Kind, Ivor Middleton and Royston Wilcocks, all also formerly of Mill Film. Cinesite Europe, Ltd.
As previously rumored, Thomas Schumacher has left his post as head of Disney Feature Animation to become president, Buena Vista Theatrical Worldwide, the Disney unit that oversees Disney's live stage productions around the world. David Stainton will replace Schumacher as president, Walt Disney Feature Animation. Both divisions will fall under the auspices of The Walt Disney Studios and will work directly with chairman and CEO Michael D.
Patrick Kennedy has been promoted to executive vice president of Sony Pictures Digital, with overall responsibility for the company's Digital Networks Division. In his previous role as senior vice president of Sony Pictures Digital, Kennedy was responsible for the formation of the Digital Networks Division, which officially launched in April 2002. The division, an integral component of the Sony Pictures Digital organization, is charged with becoming the leading creator and distributor of digital entertainment services to consumers on all devices.
Fox Kids Europe N.V. (FKE) has announced that Bruce Steinberg will succeed Ynon Kreiz as chief executive officer. Kreiz had previously announced his resignation effective in December 2002, and Steinberg will take over the position immediately, reporting directly to the supervisory board of Fox Kids Europe.
As Disney's summer hit Lilo & Stitch reaches DVD, it is a strong contender for the Oscar, plus it has TV and direct-to-video sequels already in production. Andrew Osmond talks to the creators of Lilo & Stitch, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, about their monstrous creation.
Pat Wyatt has left her post as president of Fox Home Video and Consumer Products, with the aim of starting up an independent production company specializing in anime, with a focus on original direct-to video properties. The company will also produce theatrical features, according to VARIETY. The name and details of the company are forthcoming. Wyatt told VARIETY her intentions are to reconnect with her family roots in Japan by "bringing eastern culture to the west." Wyatt has presided over the Home Video unit for the past five years.
GTN Travelling Pictures has added visual effects artist Michael Orlando to its staff. In his former position as CGI artist at ILM, Orlandos credits include an array of visual effects for feature films including STAR WARS: EPISODE II "ATTACK OF THE CLONES," THE TIME MACHINE, MEN IN BLACK II and MINORITY REPORT. Orlando has also worked in the effects divisions of Paramount Pictures, Disney, Sony ImageWorks and Cinesite. In addition to his 3D skills, Michael also has experience in the design and construction of model miniatures, mechanical action props, photography and oil painting.
Yes, it is possible to spend only $300 and make a great CGI film! Alien Song proved that. Here four animators talk about how Hash Animation:Master has unleashed their potential.
Recently launched independent animation studio Qurios Entertainment has added award-winning animator and artist David Stoten to its roster. Stoten's diverse career began as a caricaturist and sculptor for SPITTING IMAGE, the satirical British TV show. This led to collaboration with fellow artist Tim Watts; together they directed and animated THE BIG STORY, a short film that won a BAFTA Award and was nominated for an Oscar.
John S. Wadsworth, Jr., honorary chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited, has joined Pixar's Board of Directors, bringing the number of directors to seven. Wadsworth, who is an advisory director for Morgan Stanley globally, has spent nearly two decades overseeing the firm's policy and business strategies throughout Asia and Australia, including serving on the Investment Banking Operating Committee, Chairman of the Firm Investment Account Committee, and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Ventures.
U.S. manga publisher TOKYOPOP is expanding its presence in broadcast and film and has hired Steve Galloway to fill the newly created position of executive director of development. In this position, Galloway will help develop and sell TOKYOPOP's intellectual properties into domestic film and TV media in order to generate additional revenue streams, build brand recognition and position the company as an effective partner for broadcast projects.
Corus Entertainment Inc. held its annual General Meeting on December 11, 2002 and outlined its action plan to position Nelvana as a key component of the company's overall business strategy, which includes a focus on vertical integration and content ownership. In addition, the company announced the appointment of Doug Murphy to executive vice president, business development for Nelvana.
Steve Oedekerk fresh off his experience of making his first IMAX film in 3D like the type of 3D where you need glasses! explains his love of these mediums and the new challenges he found.
Universal Pictures has promoted Andrew Fenady to vice president, production. Fenady has been with Universal since 2000, when he came on board as director of production. In his new position he will continue to work with filmmakers on all aspects of physical production, including budgeting, scheduling, hiring crews and managing the daily workings within the production. Fenady is currently overseeing physical production on the films DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 2 and HONEY.
Digital visual effects studio Radium has announced the addition of Inferno artist Ali Laventhol to its Los Angeles office. Laventhol comes to Radium with 10 years of experience in the broadcast television, post-production and visual effects industries. Beginning her career in the broadcast news arena, Laventhol developed her eye for composition and color in the live production of news, weather and sports graphics at a local TV station in the Bay Area.
Sidney Clifton has been promoted to senior vice president and head of development and programming at independent animation company Film Roman, Inc. Clifton has already placed five projects into fast track development, while she oversees script development on the animated series TRIPPING THE RIFT, currently in production with CinéGroupe and the Sci-Fi Channel.
Digital artist/designer Nico Puertollano has been added to the staff of New York-based Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design. Prior to joining the staff, Puertollano had worked for Rhinoceros and a number of other companies as an independent artist and designer. As a freelance artist with Rhinoceros, Puertollano worked on a variety of projects including the short animated film FROM THE 104TH FLOOR, commercials for Phoenix Mutual, Arbys and Bengay, as well as projects for Sony, USA Networks, Samsung Digital and others.
Disney chairman Michael Eisner outlined his strategy to revitalize his company in the December 9 issue of FORBES Magazine. Among other juicy tidbits, Eisner reveals that he has written a letter to the Disney board recommending a successor and implies that his choice is current president and COO Bob Iger. Eisner also details his revitalization plan for Disney, which may include selling The Mighty Ducks hockey team, 64 company-owned radio stations and other ancillary businesses with an aim to substantially reduce Disney's $13 billion debt over the next 18 months.
Animation and live-action production company Super 78 has hired former Creative Capers art director Robert Rose as CG supervisor. After working as a freelance art director for a number of years, Rose joined Creative Capers Entertainment where he enjoyed a successful six-year tenure as art director/technical director. While at Creative Capers, Rose led the CGI design team and was instrumental in pre-visualization development for Universal Studios SITTING DUCKS, and also worked on the feature films 101 DALMATIANS, MR. MAGOO, THE TIGGER MOVIE and BOUNCE.
Sony Pictures Imageworks is enhancing its visual effects department with the hire of three new visual effects supervisors: Mark Stetson, Kevin Mack and Richard Hoover. Mark Stetson began his career on STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, and has worked on such films as BLADE RUNNER, THE RIGHT STUFF, GHOSTBUSTERS and DIE HARD. He won an Oscar and a BAFTA Award in 2002 for visual effects on THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Kevin Mack won the Academy Award in 1999 for Best Visual Effects with WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and has supervised effects on DR.