Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez is closing down his animation production-distribution house PPM Multimedia to head up the animation arm of Madrid's burgeoning content creator Filmax. He will oversee the development of animated projects, international sales, coordinating co-productions and directing services at Filmax's animation studio Bren Entertainment. Rodriguez formed PPM Multimedia in 1990 and quickly transformed the small company into a major force in the Spanish market.
On Friday, October 27, 2000, four-year Sony Pictures veteran Bob Levin officially settled out the remaining 1 1/2 years of his contract and left his post as president of worldwide marketing for Columbia TriStar Pictures Group. His resignation came one day after Sony restructured the executive arm and gave chief of worldwide distribution, Jeff Blake, Levin's duties. According to insiders, there were tensions between Blake and Levin. Levin is best known in the animation community for playing a key cog in the phoenix run of Walt Disney animation.
Venice, California-based Blur Studio has added four artists to its creative staff -- character animator Noel McGinn, visual effects designer and 3D animator Ed Lee, animator Paul Taylor and animator Asier Hernaez. Previously, McGinn served as a character animator for Pacific Data Images. He has worked on ANTZ and the upcoming SHREK. "I wanted to join a company where I would have an opportunity to be involved in all facets of computer animation and work on a variety of projects," said McGinn.
Sari Rosen has joined new York-based ATTIK, a leading all-media creative solutions firm, as executive producer. Previously, Rosen worked at the broadcast design and media company Pittard Sullivan. Rosen started as a production coordinator and within a year was producing projects for ABC, VH1, Lifetime, TNN, The Netherlands' RTL4, Germany's DSF and Discovery Kids Latin America. ATTIK's New York managing director/group executive producer, Jim Moran, said, "I couldn't be any happier about Sari joining ATTIK.
Icebox.com, an Internet animation content creator, has named entertainment industry veterans Cheryl Parnell as chief operating officer and Christos Garkinos as senior VP and chief marketing officer. Previously, Parnell served as executive VP and chief operating officer for Roger Corman's production company, Concorde-New Horizons, where she oversaw shows such as Showtime's ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS. "Cheryl is a passionate and talented entertainment executive who has a tremendous breadth of experience," said Icebox CEO Steve Stanford.
Cartoon Network Netherlands has promoted Bas van Putte to senior marketing manager and hired Erma van Lamoen as senior programme manager. Van Putte has been with Cartoon Network Netherlands for three years. He will continue to oversee all marketing and brand development in the Netherlands, in addition to directing the administration and marketing the channel's multimedia activities. Van Lamoen will work closely with the programming team in London and will oversee the on-air look of the channel.
Montréal-based KliK Animation, a worldwide leader in motion-capture and 3D animation, has appointed Vincent Ethier as director of business development. Previously, Ethier served as Canadian sales manager for Softimage. He will oversee sales in the services and production segment.
German children's production company EM.TV & Merchandising AG has named Rolf Rickmeyer chief financial officer. This move comes in light of deputy chairman Florian Haffa's stepping down from the position. EM.TV's stock has lost more than two-thirds of its value since an accounting error in the acquisition of the Jim Henson Co. and Formula One cut earnings for the first quarter. Previously, Rickmeyer served as CFO for Lahmeyer AG, a German utility and machinery company.
Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog, a computer graphics and animation facility, has signed New York-based Richard Fink and The Richard Fink Agency to head East Coast sales. Specialists in character animation, special effects, film titling, type and broadcast design, TOPIX creates photo-realistic, computer-generated animation for the advertising, feature film, broadcast and music video industries. At the same time TOPIX's post-production arm, Mad Dog, is one of Canada's leaders in the high-end post industry, using inferno* and flame*.
ATTIK, an all-media creative solutions company, has named Ian J. Cohen director of client services. In his new post, Cohen will oversee the management and development of current and potential clients. Cohen comes to ATTIK from New York-based Artustry Partnership, which he helped launch with commercial director Bob Giraldi and managing partner David Sklaver.
As part of DIC Entertainment's plan to restructure is international arm, the company has appointed Patricia Ryan as executive vice president of international sales and Dan White as vice president of international sales. Ryan will handle Western Europe and Canadian broadcast and video sales, head up property acquisitions and help oversee international co-productions. Waite will handle sales for Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Previously, Ryan headed DIC's international sales as vice president before the 1996 acquisition by Disney.
Spontaneous Combustion, a New York digital studio specializing in the creation of visual effects and design, has named Roe Bressan managing director. In her new role, Bressan will be part of the management team, which includes executive creative director Tony Robins and general manager Marc Schwartz. Bressan will be responsible for the company's continued growth, accessing new outside talent and further coordinating the internal workings of the firm.
Editor Renny Maslow has joined New York-based Editing Concepts, following a two-year stint with New York City's Northern Lights Post. He has worked on a spot for Hellman's Mayonnaise, directed by Bob Giraldi, and spots for Knorr Forkfulls and Fat Cat Ale, which he directed. Maslow has also cut music videos for Lisa Loeb and Rufas Wainwright and two independent feature films, ENDSVILLE and THE COURT. "I wanted to be more involved with narrative work," said Maslow. "I really love the vibe here. Nelson (Leonard) and Owen (Plotkin) are great editors and strong mentors.
Disney vice chairman Sanford "Sandy" Litvack has decided to leave the company at years end. The move has been long rumored since the very public fight in court between Disney and former Disney executive and now DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Apparently, the feud weighed a great deal on Litvack. Disney chairman Michael Eisner said, "I regret Sandys decision, but I accept it and respect his desire to pursue new ventures." Litvack did not announce any specific new business plans.
Curt Roth has been named CEO and chairman of ExtraTainment.com, a content creator focusing on short cartoons for the Internet, WAP and third generation mobile phones. Before joining ExtraTainment.com, Curt Roth was founder and president of GSM Information Network (GIN), a service provider supplying information services to over 14 digital mobile phone operators worldwide. Hubert Roth, founder and COO of ExtraTainment.com, said, "I am confident that this company will become a stunning success and has all the ingredients available to become a world player within a short time."
Honkworm International has signed entertainment industry veteran Carah von Funk as senior vice president, corporate development. In her new post, von Funk will oversee the development of strategic business and creative alliances. She will be based out of Honkworm's New York office. Prior to joining Honkworm, von Funk served as vice president, business development for Razorfish Studios, an award-winning multimedia solutions company.
German childrens content producer EM.TVs Florian Haffa has stepped down from his position as chief financial officer. Haffa will remain with the company as deputy chairman to help his brother and founder Thomas Haffa run the day-to-day operations. Currently, EM.TV is seeking out Haffas replacement. Even though the move was planned in advance, it comes after the company announced Monday that it was adjusting its figures for the first six months of the year to fix an accounting error in their acquisition of the Jim Henson Company and Formula 1 Racing.
Sesame Workshop (the Workshop), one of the world's leading producers of children's television programming, announced the appointment of Jennifer Chrein as the company's new vice president of global media. In the newly created position, Chrein will oversee international television sales for the company. Prior to the Workshop, Chrein served as senior vice president of New York-based Telescene Film Group, where she was responsible for negotiating distribution and sales with sub distributors and bringing co-producers, partners and projects from the worldwide marketplace to Telescene.
Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has added award-winning director/designer Harry Dorrington to its team of digital artists. London native Dorrington has garnered numerous awards including two Clios, two New York International Awards, one BDA Award, one RTS Craft Award, one British Festival Computer Award and many more. The Dorrington addition complements former R/Greenberg executive producers Michael Miller and Rick Wagonheim's strategy of reuniting a number of digital artists that worked together at the now defunct company.
Eidos Plc, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, announced the resignation of the companys chief financial officer, Jeremy Lewis. Lewis is leaving Eidos to pursue a range of other interests. The company has commenced an external search for a new CFO to replace Lewis. Michael McGarvey, Eidos COO, said, "On behalf of the Board, I should like to thank Jeremy for the positive contribution he has made to Eidos and we wish him well for the future."
Dotcomix, a San Francisco-based animation company, has recently added Beth Sandell as the chief operating officer, Edward Burke as general counsel and vice president of business affairs, Peter Katz as vice president of marketing, and BZ Petroff as head of production. "Dotcomix is committed to presenting the best in online entertainment and animation," said Damon Danielson, CEO of Dotcomix.
Sunwoo Entertainment has announced they have appointed Regis Brown to the newly created position of vice president of international television & video. Brown formerly served as VP of international film and television distribution at Film Roman. In his new post with Sunwoo, he will help expand and produce original properties. In addition, he will help seek out new co-production partners and form strategic alliances, plus grow the companys global entertainment strategy. Sunwoos senior vice president Jae Y.
Cornerstone Animation has hired Jason VanBorssum as their new executive vice president and COO, in addition Sutherland C. Ellwood Jr. has joined the companys board of directors. Ellwood is a former VP/head of production, head of technology and producer/writer for firms such as DreamWorks, Fox and Disney. He currently serves as co-founder, CEO and producer/writer for FilmWarp, a special effects feature film company. "Were excited and privileged to have Sutherland aboard," said Larry D. Whitaker Jr., Cornerstones CEO.
Elyse Emmer has joined Film Roman as their East coast commercial sales representative. Emmer will solicit new commercial accounts for the companys animation department. Previously, Emmer has represented various directors and companies including Klasky Csupo. "Elyse Emmer brings knowledge, enthusiasm and imagination, plus a wide range of important contracts, to her position," said Film Roman COO Jon Vein.
Victory Entertainment, an Orlando, Florida-based multimedia production house, has named Michael Jay Solomon to its board of directors. Currently, Solomon is chairman and CEO of MAXX International, a broad-based rights management company. The television veteran has held executive positions at Warner Bros., Telepictures and has launched the television companies Solomon International Enterprises and Solomon Broadcasting International. Michael H.