SONY PICTURES FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT (SPFE) has hired TAMARA Y. WOOLFORK asdirector of business affairs. Woolfork will be responsible for SPFE's fullrange of business affairs negotiations for theatrical motion pictures,television and direct-to-video productions. Woolfork joins Sony from WarnerBros. Feature Animation where she served as director of business and legalaffairs for the last three years on projects such as QUEST FOR CAMELOT andTHE IRON GIANT.
SEGA GAMEWORKS, a location-based entertainment venture formed by StevenSpielberg and DreamWorks SKG, Universal Studios and Sega Enterprises, hasnamed leisure entertainment industry veteran, RON BENSION, as president andCEO. As Chairman and CEO of MCA/Universal Studios Recreation Group from1992 to 1996, Bension was responsible for running all aspects of UniversalStudios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida in addition to developinginternational theme park joint ventures in the United Kingdom and Japan.
KLEISER-WALCZAK CONSTRUCTION CO., which has studios in North Adams,Massachusetts, Manhattan, and Hollywood, has hired JIM HATCH as chiefoperating officer. Hatch will oversee the company's daily administration,operations, and financial management, working with co-founders and ownersJeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak. Hatch previously worked at AmericanInteractive Media, Inc. where he was chief operating officer and corporatesecretary.
North Hollywood-based Film Roman's Board of Directors has decided thatDAVID PRITCHARD will no longer be president and CEO of FILM ROMAN. Thecompany is not yet ready to provide details on the circumstances ofPritchard's leaving. Chief operating officer BILL SHPALL and senior vicepresident JON VEIN will take over Pritchard's responsibilities until a newpresident is named. David Pritchard was named President and CEO of FilmRoman in August 1997. Pritchard had been CEO and partner of
Chicago, Illinois-based commercial production house TRICKYPICTURES has hired New York-based rep firm BLAH BLAH BLAH to represent thecompany with East coast clients. Blah, Blah, Blah's ANDY ARKIN and MIKEEASTWOOD will serve as Tricky Pictures' sales and marketing representatives.
Hollywood, California-based SILICON GRAIL, developer of the 2D compositingsoftware Chalice, has hired CRAIG ZEROUNI as product manager. Zerouni grewup in California, but began his career in London where he co-founded CFX &Associates, a visual effects house. In 1997, he returned to the US andjoined Hollywood-based Side Effects as product manager for its Prismsoftware.
Toronto-based NELVANA LIMITED has appointed IRENE WEIBEL and JILL NEWHOUSECALCATERRA as marketing vice presidents of the company's newly-formedcorporate sponsorship division. They will be responsible for the creationof national corporate advertising opportunities for Nelvana's animated TVprograms. Weible was previously vice president of national sponsorship forWGBH-TV, the Boston PBS affiliate. Calcaterra was previously vice presidentof marketing, licensing and public relations for Santa Monica,
STUART OKEN has been promoted to the position of senior vice president ofcreative affairs for WALT DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS. Oken joined WaltDisney Theatrical Productions in 1995, and has been closely involved withthe Tony Award-winning stage show, THE LION KING, and Elton John and TimRice's new musical, AIDA, set to premiere in Chicago in December 1999. . .TOM WILLIAMS, a 29-year company veteran and former president and chiefexecutive officer of Universal Studios Escape in Orlando, Florida, has been
San Francisco, California-based WILD BRAIN, INC. has added GEORGE EVELYN totheir directorial staff. Evelyn joins Wild Brain after 17 years at ColossalPictures where he worked with the Trix Rabbit, Betty Boop, and GaryLarson's Cavemen.
Toronto, Canada-based IMAX CORPORATION, which operates a chain of largeformat film theaters, has appointed MARY PAT RYAN to the new post ofExecutive Vice President of IMAX Ltd. and Network Group President. Ryanwill oversee the ongoing development of the Network Group, which is chargedwith ensuring the success of all theatres in the worldwide network of IMAXtheatres and the development of the IMAX brand. Based in New York, Ryanwill have responsibility for all areas of the Network Group including brand
Los Angeles-based CHEQUEMATE INTERNATIONAL INC., doing business as C-3DDigital Inc., a 3D media company that provides broadcasting andentertainment companies with the technology to deliver 3D entertainment toany standard television 24 hours a day, has appointed media marketingexpert DANIEL R. THOMPSON to the C-3D Digital Board. Thompson is thefounder and head of Hollywood entertainment agency A Creative Group (ACG)which specializes in product placement, promotional advertising, programsponsorships, and distribution.
Vancouver-based BARDEL ANIMATION has added executive producer CAROLEDUCHARME and business affairs executive DEBORAH REES-LEE to its businessaffairs department. DUCHARME began her career in the film industry as alawyer specializing in film financing and as a legal advisor fororganizations such as the Quebec Film Classification Board. She moved intothe role of producer with the Paris, France-based company Les ProductionLazennec, negotiating and drafting agreements for international
SANFORD M. (SANDY) LITVACK has been named vice chairman of the board of THEWALT DISNEY COMPANY. Litvack joined Disney in April, 1991, as senior vicepresident and general counsel, and was promoted to executive vice presidentthe following December. In May, 1992, he assumed the additional duties ofexecutive in charge of human resources. Before joining The Walt DisneyCompany, Litvack was a member of the executive committee and chairman ofthe litigation department of the international law firm Dewey Ballantine.
Robert Story continues his behind the scenes memoirs of his time working with animation legend Bob Clampett. This month he concludes with the tale of the animated show Beany and Cecil.
North Hollywood, California-based NETTER DIGITAL, which provides 3D andspecial effects animation services, has named JAY FUKUTO to the newposition of senior vice president of animation. Fukuto has been senior vicepresident at MGM Animation since 1997, where he oversaw the development andproduction of MGM's animated theatrical features and direct-to-video moviesincluding THE SECRET OF NIMH II, AN ALL DOGS CHRISTMAS CAROL and TOM SAWYER.
DISNEY INTERACTIVE has promoted JAN SMITH to executive vice president ofDisney's software-development business. Smith will be responsible forworldwide operations of Disney Interactive, including product development,marketing, finance and administration, business and legal affairs, andcustomer support.
Seattle, Washington-based REALNETWORKS, a company specializing in Internetmedia delivery, has promoted THOMAS FRANK to chief operating officer andhired MARTIN PLAEHN as senior vice president of media systems. Frank, whojoined RealNetworks in January of this year, was previously senior vicepresident of media programming and publishing. Plaehn joins RealNetworksfrom Viewpoint Digital, Inc., a computer graphics company, where he wasPresident. . . UNIVERSAL PICTURES has promoted GREG SUCHERMAN to vice
London, UK-based commercial production company PASSION PICTURES has signedDAVID FEISS and EMMA CALDER as directors. Feiss, a long time veteran, isbest known as the creator of Cartoon Network's COW AND CHICKEN. Calder'srecent film, THE QUEEN'S MONASTERY, has won prizes at film festivalsthroughout the world. . . PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS has hired ANN MATHER asits executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mather has morethan eighteen years of financial operations experience, including seven
WARNER BROS. TELEVSION ANIMATION has promoted LINDA STEINER from vice president of development to senior vice president of creative affairs and CHRISTOPHER KEENAN from vice president of programming to vice president of creative affairs. Steiner and Keenan will oversee the development of cartoon series, shorts and direct-to-video projects.
CHERYL MILLS, Deputy White House Counsel, will join OXYGEN MEDIA, Geraldine Laybourne's media company founded to provide content for women, as senior vice president of corporate policy and public programming. In her new post, Cheryl Mills will address women's access to and participation in civic, political and public policy issues that affect their lives. She will oversee Oxygen's philanthropic activities, its grass roots initiatives and will work with Sarah Bartlett, Oxygen's Editor-in-Chief, to develop its legal and political programming.
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT has hired MEL HARRIS as Co-President and ChiefOperating Officer, sharing both of those titles with Bob Wynne. MASAYUKI(YUKI) NOZOE has also been promoted to Co-President, Digital Entertainment.The three executives will oversee the day-to-day operations of the companyand report to John Calley, Chairman and CEO of SPE. Nozoe will focus on theDigital Studios division and technology expansion, Wynne will managecorporate and financial operations, and Harris will emphasize worldwidetelevision and related businesses.
Toronto-based NELVANA LIMITED has promoted EMMANUELE PETRY to vicepresident of Nelvana Europe International Limited. In her new position,Petry will be responsible for supervising the company's London and Parisoffices. She will continue to investigate co-production and financingopportunities in Europe, and she will also oversee the distribution of TV,video, theatrical and merchandising rights in countries outside NorthAmerica.
The Walt Disney Company's Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG) has named ABCInc. President Steven Bornstein as chairman. Bornstein will oversee BVIG'spreviously announced plan to merge with Infoseek, an internet searchengine, to form a single Internet business called go.com and issue a newclass of common stock to track the performance of the new enterprise. Thetransaction is expected to be completed by the end of the 1999 calendaryear. At that time, Bornstein, who is currently a member of the Infoseek
Harrison, New York-based BLUE SKY STUDIOS has promoted CHRIS BURROWS andTIM SPELTZ to technical directors. Since beginning as a technical assistantat Blue Sky Studios in 1998, Burrows has worked on a variety of projects,including lighting and rendering for Blue Sky's Oscar award-winning short,BUNNY. Speltz has been with Blue Sky Studios since he graduated from BrownUniversity in 1997. Since then, he has excelled at effects, particle work,and lighting. He was credited as technical assistant and technical directoron BUNNY.
Burbank, California-based DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS has hired SUSAN GARELLIas vice president of human resources. Garelli joins Disney from Pasadena,California-based Avery Dennison, a worldwide manufacturer of self-adhesivematerials and consumer products, where she was also vice president of humanresources.