11 items from 2015
Park City, Utah -- For "The D Train," Jack Black stepped back into a familiar, loveable loser type role. But he also landed back into making an independent film, a fix that had been fulfilled previously by flicks like "Bernie" and "Be Kind Rewind." While Black has big studio releases -- including another "Kung Fu Panda" film and "Goosebumps" -- forthcoming, he told HitFix he loves the "indie-fresh lifestyle." "I love making a movie in 3 weeks," he said, tipping his hat to other outstanding performances from co-stars like James Marsden in "D Train." Black's plate is also full with band duties as his rock troupe Tenacious D (with Kyle Gass) is plotting a European tour and, after: "We're gonna come back and write the next album." Watch our whole interview in the video player above. "The D Train" plays all week at Sundance. »
- Katie Hasty
The Television Academy has tapped DreamWorks Animation alum Susan Spencer to oversee marketing and PR as the org prepares for a burst of activity surrounding the construction of a media center on its North Hollywood campus, among other initiatives.
As senior VP of media and brand management, Spencer will be tasked with burnishing the TV Academy’s image as it counts down to its 70th anniversary. The Acad this year will also mount a campaign to educate voters as it expands electronic voting for the Primetime Emmy Awards.
Spencer reports to TV Academy president-coo Maury McIntyre.
“Susan has a proven track record as one of the entertainment world’s most effective marketers,” said McIntyre. “The Academy is at the forefront of a remarkable moment of innovation for the industry and Susan will play a key leadership role in this transformation.”
Spencer was most recently head of national promotions and marketing »
- Debra Birnbaum
Seoul – Cj E&M, South Korea’s largest entertainment conglomerate, announced production of “Robot Trains Rt,” a television series that marks the launch of the company’s foray into animation.
The announcement was made at a launch ceremony in Seoul on Friday.
The unit is expected to be involved in a wide range of animation activities, ranging from content development and investment, production and distribution, to licensing and character production. Initial investment this year is expected to be $15 million.
The new division will pay particular attention to the Chinese market, where the government is slowly easing its decades-long birth-control program, known as the ‘one-child policy.’ That is expected to give a boost to children’s entertainment content. In the first half of this year, the Cj division plans to set up a team solely dedicated to developing animation business in China.
“Our goal is to obtain a prominent position as Asia’s leading animation company. »
- Sonia Kil
“Making three films a year was too ambitious,” Katzenberg told analysts after announcing a major reorganization of the Glendale, Calif., toon studio that is resulting in layoffs of around 500 people, including its chief marketing officer, Dawn Taubin, and chief operating officer, Mark Zoradi. Chief creative officer Bill Damaschke already had stepped down, while vice chairman and former chief financial officer Lew Coleman is retiring.
After a string of box office misfires that have included “Rise of the Guardians,” “Turbo,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and, more recently, “The Penguins of Madagascar” — forcing the company to write off more than $290 million in losses — Dwa was forced to make changes.
- Marc Graser
“I am confident that this strategic plan will deliver great films, better box office results, and growing profitability across our complementary businesses,” says CEO Jeffrey...
DreamWorks Animation will release two films per year, down from three, and cut approximately 500 jobs across the board in a restructuring of its core feature animation business, the company announced Thursday.
As part of the restructuring, top brass including Dawn Taubin, the studio’s marketing chief, Vice Chairman Lou Coleman and COO Mark Zoradi are leaving the company. The studio currently employs around 2,200 staff members and the cuts would make up about 18% of its workforce. »
- Linda Ge
Golden Globe winner guest stars on Season 3 as a billionaire movie producer who comes to Ray (Liev Schreiber) for help
The Golden Globe-winning actor will guest star as Malcolm Finney, a rich and famous movie producer who hires Ray (Liev Schreiber) to help his family out during a potentially catastrphoic situation, in a season-long arc on the pay-cable drama.
See Photos: Fall TV Preview: 85 New and Returning Shows
He earned his Golden Globe and also an Emmy nomination for playing foul-mouthed power broker Al Swearengen on »
- Travis Reilly
Around 150 to 400 employees are expected to be affected at the company’s Glendale and Redwood City, Calif., outposts, Variety has learned. Bill Damaschke, Dwa’s chief creative officer, had already stepped down.
Those most likely impacted will be animators, storyboard artists and other production personnel, according to sources.
Steve Hulett, business representative for the Animation Guild, told Variety that members began reporting layoffs last week. “We began hearing from members that they were getting laid off, but the company hasn’t responded to our inquiries,” Hulett said.
The Animation Guild operates as Local 839 of the Intl. Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees.
Dwa has yet to acknowledge the layoffs, saying, “We can’t comment on rumor and speculation.”
Any staff reduction »
- Marc Graser and Dave McNary
The layoffs are part of a studio-wide initiative to cut operating costs
DreamWorks Animation is expected to lay off a significant number of staff from its Glendale and Redwood City, California campuses, according to media reports.
The move comes amid an attempt to cut operating costs, and is expected to be north of 350 employees, which is how many were cut the last time the company went through a major round of layoffs, in 2003.
Also Read: 19 Biggest Snubs and Surprises: Oscars 2015 (Photos)
The company currently employs around 2,200 people. Among those who will receive layoff notices are animators, storyboard artists and other production personnel and support staff, »
- Linda Ge
We’ll find out on Jan. 16, when The Weinstein Company rolls out the family film “Paddington,” which stars Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville of PBS’s “Downton Abbey” and a very British computer-generated bear, voiced by Ben Whishaw.
In his familiar floppy hat and duffle coat packed with marmalade sandwiches, Paddington is »
- Todd Cunningham
Confirming that social media is fast becoming a news source, of sorts, in terms of the entertainment industry, Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures, DeVon Franklin, was asked via Twitter for an update on the progress of the long gestating Masters Of The Universe feature film project, on January 2nd 2015. In response, he tweeted a picture of the title page of the script, dated December 24th, with credit for the completed draft going to Jeff Wadlow (writer and director of Kick-Ass 2).
@danmillerNY @RoastGooble pic.twitter.com/a9whbCChXl
— DeVon Franklin (@DeVonFranklin) January 2, 2015
It was announced in April 2014 that Wadlow had been tapped to produce a re-write of the script – which had previously been worked on by Alex Litvak, Mik Finch, Richard Wenk and Terry Rossio. Though Wadlow’s directorial prowess has him highly sought after (with Marvel reportedly being among his suitors), a director for Masters Of The Universe »
- Sarah Myles
Arnold and Soria, the lead producers behind the studio’s “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Madagascar” franchises respectively, will oversee creative development and production for Dwa’s theatrical releases.
“Mireille and Bonnie are two of the most accomplished and prolific filmmakers working in feature animation today,” said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. “I am confident in their ability to marshal the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment. »
- Todd Cunningham
11 items from 2015
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