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Headline News Ed Leonard Expands Technology Role At Dreamworks

Ed Leonard, head of technology at DreamWorks Animation, has been promoted to a position where he will oversee technology for all DreamWorks animation facilities. His responsibilities now encompass both traditional and computer-animated film productions at DreamWorks Glendale facility, as well as the PDI/DreamWorks location in Northern California. Leonard will also play a key role in setting up a new CG production pipeline in Glendale. Due to launch in the next year, the new production arm will be a state-of-the-art computer animation studio.

Headline News Steam Picks Up New Talent

Santa Monica-based commercial and film production company Steam has added creative directors Rob Legato and Ron Ames and executive producer Marcy Frey to their roster. Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Rob Legato will be working with Steam as creative director. Rob continues to be represented by Sony Imageworks for feature film visual effects assignments. His credits as a visual effects supervisor include HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, CAST AWAY, WHAT LIES BENEATH and ARMAGEDDON.

Headline News Alan Burnett Receives WGA Award

The 4th Annual Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw) Animation Writing Award was presented to producer Alan Burnett at the WGAw annual meeting and reception on Wednesday, October 17, 2001. In the words of the board, the award is given to the caucus or guild member who has advanced the literature of animation in film and/or television through the years, and who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of the animation writer.

Headline News Waterman Named Director Of Animation

Todd Waterman has been named director of animation for ImagineAsia, Inc., one of the principle companies of Global Animation Holdings. He will be based out of the companys facilities in Manila, Philippines. Waterman has an extensive background as an animator, storyboard artist, character designer and animation director. He began his career working on the animated features AN AMERICAN TAIL, ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN and ROCK-A-DOODLE among others. He then worked for Steven Spielberg at his London-based studio, Amblimation, on the animated dinosaur feature WERE BACK.

Headline News Telemagination Expands Its Ink And Paint Studio

With three major animation series currently in production and one more scheduled to start production next month, the U.K.-based animation house Telemagination has expanded its digital ink and paint studio. John McManus joins the company as senior compositor and Alistair Beckett and Neil Harris have been contracted as compositors, all to begin working immediately on the in-house production, PONGWIFFY.

Headline News So! Animation Acquires New Partner, Space

So! Animation, a creative, cross-platform design shop, has joined forces with John Lovelace, So!'s new partner and executive producer/director of new business development. Former executive producer and director of new business development for the New York division of Click 3X, Lovelace brings the skills and knowledge gained at Click 3x to So! and will lead the company in their commitment to target commercial spots as well as long-form. Coinciding with the addition of Lovelace, So!

Headline News Teletoon Appoints New Prez

The Board of Directors of Teletoon has appointed veteran broadcasting executive Len Cochrane as president of the Teletoon television network, which operates 24-hour English and French animation services across Canada. Cochrane replaces John Riley, recently named president of Astral Television Networks. Cochrane served as president of The Family Channel Inc. for the past 11 years, and led that network's growth as a premium service with over 309,000 subscribers to one of the most successful television channels with over 4.3 million subscribers.

Headline News Mark Fleischer Named President Of Mainframe, U.S.A

Canadian computer animation studio Mainframe Entertainment, Inc has appointed Mark Fleischer president of its Los Angeles-based subsidiary, Mainframe, U.S.A. In this newly-created position, Fleischer will spearhead the expansion of the companys presence in Los Angeles, with the goal of positioning Mainframe to more effectively pursue opportunities within Los Angeles and the U.S. Fleischer first began working with Mainframe while he was president of Fleischer Studios, Inc. in Los Angeles.

Headline News Loesch Steps Down From Crown

Margaret Loesch, founding president and CEO of Crown Media U.S., will be departing the company next month at the conclusion of her contract. On leaving her post at Crown, Loesch said I'm very proud of the many accomplishments made by the team that I've helped build. But, while the experience has been exciting, it has also been all-consuming personally and professionally. As I near the end of my contract, it seems like an ideal time to take a much-needed break and put some focus on my family, and then begin to pursue my other career goals.'' She will be replaced by Lana E.

Headline News Big Idea Productions Announces New Hires

Family media company Big Idea Productions, creators of the successful VeggieTales home video franchise, has expanded its animation production division with the addition of Dan Philips as vice president of production and Ameake Owens as producer. In his new position as vice president of production, Philips will oversee all aspects of production for Big Idea and develop strategies to strengthen the studio's various production-related departments. Prior to joining Big Idea Productions, Philips worked with DreamWorks SKG as the digital supervisor for THE ROAD TO EL DORADO.

Headline News Smith Leaves Nelvana

According to a VARIETY report, Clive Smith, veteran animator and Nelvana senior executive VP, has resigned from the Toronto-based animation company to pursue other projects. Smith started Nelvana in 1971 with Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert, who will remain at the company as co-CEOs. Smith was the creative force behind such shows as BABAR, RUPERT and CARE BEARS and most recently was involved in the development of HEIDI, a feature adaptation of the classic childrens story.

Headline News Chris Prynoski Joins Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials

Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials, a division of Klasky Csupo, Inc., has signed animation director Chris Prynoski for commercial representation. Prynoski recently finished directing a Budweiser spot for Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials and DDB Chicago called, Foot-Long Hot Dog Inventor. Prynoski has previously worked for MTVs animation division as a storyboard artist, designer, layout artist, animator and director. During his stint at MTV, he worked on shows including BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, THE HEAD and DARIA.

Headline News Pooler, Reinke To Lead Cinesite Digital Restoration Division

Jerry Pooler has been appointed creative director and Brad Reinke manager of the Cinesite Hollywood Digital Restoration division. "Jerry Pooler and Brad Reinke are a great team," says Ruth Scovill, president and COO of Cinesite Hollywood. "They are leading an ambitious effort to leverage the most advanced digital technology to help our customers faithfully restore priceless films in their libraries to their original condition." Pooler has been a visual effects and restoration supervisor at Cinesite since 1992.

Headline News Calibre Hires Team To Produce Animated Children’s Series

Canadian visual effects and animation studio Calibre has hired a new team of talent to aid in the companys expansion into production of animated childrens series. Calibre is currently creating the CG portion of 26 half-hour episodes of the AAC KIDS/BBC UK co-production, ACE LIGHTNING AND THE CARNIVAL OF DOOM, a live-action/CG combination childrens series for broadcast on CBBC, the BBCs new childrens block in fall 2002.

Headline News NewKidCo Strengthens Senior Management Team

In its continuing efforts to maximize the strengths of management, and to ensure the greatest operating efficiencies for the company, childrens video game publisher NewKidCo International Inc., has made several changes to its senior management team. Allan Blum has resigned from his position as VP marketing and Barry Fried will be joining the company as vice president and chief financial officer. As a senior financial executive with more than 20 years of public accounting and private industry experience, Fried will play a large role in NewKidCo's strategic plans.

Headline News Digital Artists Agency Hires Janet Muswell

Digital Artists Agency, which represents visual effects professionals for work in feature films, television and commercials, has hired former visual effects supervisor Janet Muswell as an artists' representative. Since relocating to the United States from Great Britain, Muswell has held visual effects artist staff positions with The Post Group and Digital Magic. She was visual effects supervisor on projects such as the 1996 television mini-series TITANIC and the Sci-Fi Channel series THE INVISIBLE MAN. Most recently she served as director of visual effects for the Livewire Television group.

Headline News Sunbow Entertainment Promotes Creative Execs

Sunbow Entertainment has promoted two members of their staff into newly created positions. Suzanne Berman becomes associate director of creative affairs and Sowon Jun takes on the role of coordinator of creative affairs. Suzanne Berman worked at Sony Wonder, New York from 1997 until winter 2000 when TV-Loonland founded Sunbow Entertainment Inc. out of its acquisition of Sunbow Productions and the entire TV production and distribution business activities of Sony Music Entertainment. Over the period of four years, she steadily rose through the ranks in the development area.

Headline News Sega Announces New Marketing Divisions, New Group Marketing Director

As part of the company's transition from video game hardware manufacturer to platform-agnostic third party publisher, Sega of America is expanding its marketing organization into two focused divisions -- sports and entertainment properties. Sega will also begin hiring personnel immediately into the expanded marketing organization. To this end, Sega announced the addition of Mike Fischer to the Sega marketing team as group director of product marketing for the entertainment division. Fischer brings more than eleven years of experience in video game marketing to Sega.

Headline News Westwood/EA HR Director Joins Recruiting Firm

Marilyn Rebman, former HR director for Westwood/EA, has joined Virtual Search, Inc., a game industry recruiting firm. In her new role as recruiter, Rebman will continue to utilize her more than two decades of HR experience in bringing the right person to the right position. Prior to joining Westwood, Rebman owned her own HR consulting firm, working with a variety of clients and established companies to lead their hiring initiatives. Today, however, her focus is clearly on the game industry. "This industry is in a league of its own -- cutting-edge, challenging and fun all at the same time.