Former CAA agent and MGM president and CEO Mike Marcus has joined Will Vinton Studios (WVS) board of directors. According to Marcus, "Will Vinton Studios has the potential of becoming the next Pixar. It is an exciting opportunity to get involved on the ground stages of a potentially enormous company." WVS CEO and president Tom Turpin added, "Mike brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the film business, talent packaging and film industry production management."
PHIL ROMAN has resigned from his post as chairman of the animation studio he founded, Film Roman, the company announced on Friday, February 12. Roman founded the company in 1984 which has since produced numerous series including GARFIELD, BOBBY'S WORLD, THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL and FELIX THE CAT.
New York-based Spontaneous Combustion has hired 3D modeler/animator Brian Austin in a further expansion of the company's CGI capabilities. Austin, who had been freelancing in the New York City area for the past couple years, is an accomplished fine artist as well as a digital artist and has works in the permanent collection of New York's The Museum of Modern Art.
Fox Kids Network has promoted Roland Poindexter to Vice President, Head of Programming. In the newly created position, Poindexter will oversee day-to-day management and administration of all programming and development for Fox Kids. He replaces Carol Monroe, Senior VP, Programming and Development, who left the company to pursue new opportunities. "Roland is a dynamic, creative executive who has solid relationships within the creative community and a wealth of experience developing children's entertainment," said Maureen Smith, General Manager of Fox Kids Network.
Amid Amidi spoke with Mark Gustafson of Will Vinton Studiosto glean the behind the scenes production process of The PJs, FOX'snew high quality stop motion television show.
En Hommage Jean-Luc Xiberras: Jean-Luc Xiberras, mare d'oeuvre du prestigieux Festival Internationaldu Film d'Animation d'Annecy nous a quitt le 26 dembre1998. Nous avons souhaitlui rendre hommage en publiant les toignagesrecueillis aupr de ses amis et collues.Article disponible en francais et en anglais.
A Tribute to Jean-Luc Xiberras: The architect of the highlyregarded Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Jean-Luc Xiberraspassed away on December 26, 1998. Here an international selection of friends,colleagues and animators give their final thoughts on a man whose presencein animation will long linger. Available in French and English.
Seth Rosenthal, the motion capture department supervisorat Industrial Light & Magic, took time out of his "menacing"schedule to discuss a gamut of topics relating to motion capture with HeatherKenyon.
At the intersection of pre-cinematic devices and modern technology is the work of Japan's Toshio Iwai. Deanna Morse describes the work of this innovative multimedia artist.
The last installment of Barry Purves' productiondiary as he chronicles producing a series of animated shorts for Channel4. An Animation World Magazine exclusive.
For our January 1999 issue, we've gathered up all our lone castaways for a compiled Desert Island luau. Read the top picks from over 120 animation artists and executives.
Donna L. Freidman has been named Senior Vice President, "Kids WB!," the WB Television Network's children's programming service. In this newly created position, Friedman will creatively oversee "Kids' WB!" on a day-to-day basis, concentrating on current programming and the development of new series - both animated and live-action. Friedman joins the WB from a decade-long stint at Nickelodeon where most recently, she had been Vice President, Marketing/Associate Creative Director, Nickelodeon Latin America.
Animator and director Julia Tortolani has joined Wild Brains creative roster of commercial directors. She joins the company from Radical Media in New York City where she directed commercials for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Ford and Hardees. Her longer format animation work includes a 55-minute animated program installed with a synchronized light show at Universal Studios Marvel Mania Theme Restaurant in Hollywood. Regarding her move to Wild Brain, Tortolani said, Im really excited about the opportunities at Wild Brain.
Columbia TriStar Television Childrens Programming (CTTCP) has appointed Michael T. Helfand to Vice President, Business Affairs where he will be responsible for CTTCPs full range of business affairs negotiations for pilots and series. Helfand joins Columbia TriStar from DIC Entertainment where he was Head of the Legal and Business Affairs Department.
Technical animation specialist Brandon Davis has joined the animation and visual effects team at Computer Café. Davis, whose experience spans interactive games, corporate media and television, has expertise in water, smoke, light and other particle effects simulating physical processes, as well as authoring programs to perform these functions. He first freelanced with Computer Café when the company called on his assistance in creating visual effects for the motion picture Armageddon.
Carol Laufer, a 6-year veteran of Blue Sky | VIFX, has been promoted from producer to the position of executive producer at the companys Harrison, New York studio. She replaces Nina Rappaport who left to pursue other interests. Laufer has produced numerous projects at Blue Sky | VIFX including the Rayovac battery campaign featuring Michael Jordan and a three-spot campaign for Target featuring a host of photorealistic animated toys.
Thomas Schumacher has been promoted to president of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Theatrical Productions replacing Peter Schneider, who was promoted from this role to the president of The Walt Disney Studios. Joe Roth, Disney chairman, stated, "Tom, who has long collaborated with Peter in running our animation and theatrical units, is the perfect choice to replace Peter as president of Feature Animation.
This past Thursday, Peter Schneider was named to the new position of president of The Walt Disney Studios; the annoucement coming just one day after Disney CEO Michael Eisner said the company needed to perform better with Disney-branded live-action movies.
Mitch Butler was an overnight star with his SIGGRAPH hit, The Smell of Horror. Discover Mitch's rather unusual path from icy Alaska to being the toast of the fest at SIGGRAPH `98 in sunny Florida. Includes a Quicktime movie.
The animation industry has had to say good-bye to a number of its members in 1998. Amid Amidi recounts this year's losses...
he eighth installment of Barry Purves' production diary as he chronicles producing a series of animated shorts for Channel 4. An Animation World Magazine exclusive.
Savage Steve Holland, co-creator of "Eek! the Cat," has signed on with the William Morris Agency for representation in all fields. He will be repped by Rob Wolken, Spencer Baumgarten and Greg Lipstone. He is currently creating, writing and directing DIC's "Sabrina, the Animated Series." In addition, he's also written and directed live-action films including "Better Off Dead" (1985) and "One Crazy Summer" (1986).
Twenty-five-year-old Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the upcoming Fox TV primetime animated series Family Guy, has signed a five-year, multi-million dollar development deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television. Under the deal, MacFarlane will develop new programming and remain the executive producer and principal voice actor on his series Family Guy. Fox has guaranteed MacFarlane $2 million to $2.5 million for the first three years and if the show continues to air after that time, he will receive large increases the final two years.
Richard Morss has joined UK-based digital production company, Peppers Ghost Productions (PGP) as Executive Creative Director. Morss had been Controller of Childrens Programs at United Film and Television Production prior to his appointment at PGP. This follows the hiring of Alan Marques, who joined PGP last month as head of production. PGP Managing Director Paul Michael stated that this represents a shift of focus for the company.