Sony Animation Ups Paul Gerard to Creative Exec.

As Sony Pictures Animation plugs away at its recently announced first feature, Open Season, the studio announces that Paul Gerard has been promoted to the position of creative executive.

In his new role, Gerard will work on a number of full-length CG feature films in development and actively seek out new concepts and projects for the division. He will work closely with VP of development Nate Hopper.

A graduate of USC’s Peter Stark Producers Program, Gerard joined the development staff of Sony Pictures Animation last fall. Before that, he worked at Twentieth Century Fox where he was involved with such projects as X-Men 2, Alien vs. Predator, Charlie Chan, and Big Momma’s House.

Open Season will feature the voices of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher and Debra Messing in a story about a 900-lb. domesticated Grizzly bear (Lawrence) and a scrawny, one-horned mule deer (Kutcher) who must rally the other animals to turn the tables on some hunters. The CG feature is inspired by the humor of syndicated cartoonist Steve Moore (In the Bleachers), who will serve as exec. producer along with John Carls.

Other projects in development at Sony Pictures Animation include an adaptation of Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett’s children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Also on the way is Tam Lin, loosely based on a Celtic folk ballad, and a boy-meets-girl story titled Surf’s Up. In addition, Gerard will work on an adaptation of Aaron McGruder’s comic strip, The Boondocks, as well as a feature film adaptation of Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Academy Award-winning animated short, The ChubbChubbs.