Monday, May 23, 2016

Executive Rotation

New head of development at soon-to-be Universal-Comcast subsidiary:

Jennifer Howell, who was Paramount’s Head of Comedy for the past two-and-a-half years, has joined DreamWorks Animation as the company’s new Head of Development. She is taking over for Gregg Taylor who began producing duties last August on DreamWorks’ Larrikins, the animated musical film. Like Taylor (who had the gig before her), Howell will report to Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria. ...

Howell comes to DreamWorks Animation with a strong background in animation. She previously ran 20th Century Fox Television’s animation department, and served as EVP at Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s film company Important Studios. She was a supervising producer on South Park and served as a producer for 10 years on that series as well as their Team America, That’s My Bush and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. ...

A quarter century ago, the joke at animation studios was: the twenty-something execs who had production jobs in animation were only using their positions as stepping stones into live-action, where the real glitz, glamour and power resided.

Animation, back then, was still considered the ugly step-child that was really this quirky sideshow to the Main Event. (You know, actual movies and television shows with actual actors and sets and film crews. "Action! Roll 'em!")

But now that's changed somewhat. Animated features continues are now a highly profitable sector in Contentland, and fewer people look down their noses and sneer when the words animation and Cartoons get mentioned.

Funny how realities change. Big bucks will do that, I guess.


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