Imageworks Exec Joins Producers Guild Panel

The PGA New Media Council has announced that Debbie Denise, senior VP and production infrastructure exec producer for Sony Pictures Imageworks, has joined the panelists for its latest Producers Guild discussion and mixer, which will focus on animation and what’s being done to draw new audiences. The event will be held on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Sony Imageworks Theater in Culver City, Calif. Leaders in animation production from top studios will be on hand to discuss their latest releases and the state of the industry, specifically what’s being done to attract different audiences.

Moderating the event will be Heather Kenyon, director of development original animation for Cartoon Network. Prior to joining Cartoon Network, Kenyon was editor-in-chief of Animation World Network (www.awn.com), and began her career in animation at Hanna-Barbera Cartoons as manager of the production information department.

Featured Panelists are:

Debbie Denise, senior VP/production infrastructure exec producer, Sony Imageworks

A highly respected exec visual effects producer, Debbie continues in that role while overseeing Imageworks’ production infrastructure. She is currently exec producer on The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio and Monster House, the second film to use Imageworks’ proprietary technology, Imagemotion. She most recently completed production on the CG feature, The Polar Expres, working with senior visual effects supervisors Ken Ralston and Jerome Chen, and director Robert Zemeckis. Debbie also recently wrapped on the upcoming Christmas with the Kranks, collaborating with director Joe Roth and Revolution Pictures, and the sci-fi thriller, The Forgotten.

Teresa Cheng, producer, DreamWorks Feature Animation

Currently serving as a producer on the upcoming DreamWorks Animation comedy, Madagascar, Cheng previously held the role of head of production for PDI/DreamWorks, the studio’s Northern Calif.-based computer animation campus. In that role, Cheng oversaw all global production efforts for the studio including Shrek 2. Before that, she served as the production manager for the Academy Award-nominated animated feature, Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron.

Randy Fullmer, producer, Disney Feature Animation

Fullmer joined the Feature Animation team in 1987 as a special effects animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Little Mermaid. He next supervised the effects department on Rescuers Down Under and Beauty and the Beast, before moving on to the newly created role of artistic coordinator for The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Between 1996 and 2000, he produced The Emperor’s New Groove with long-time friend and director Mark Dindal. The two have again teamed to produce and direct Chicken Little, the first fully CG-animated film from Walt Disney Feature Animation, scheduled for an early July 2005 release.

John Kafka, producer, Universal Cartoon Studios

Kafka served as an animator on many commercials and television shows in the late 1970s before going on to produce a season of the animated series, Spawn, at HBO. He also directed episodes of Baby Blues for Warner Bros. and Cinderella II for Disney. Most recently, he produced two animated films based on the live-action Universal properties, Van Helsing: The London Assignment and The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury.

Steve Galloway, director of film and TV at TOKYOPOP

With more than 20 years of experience in features, long-form music programming and animation, Galloway’s multifaceted background includes high-level positions with Pioneer Laser Ent., Universal Music Group and Nelvana Communications. At TOKYOPOP, Galloway spearheads development and worldwide sales of both anime and live-action feature and television properties such as the anime series GTO and Reign: The Conquer.

Greg Spiridellis, producer/president, JibJab Media

Gregg co-founded JibJab with his brother, Evan Spiridellis, in 1999, believing that the Internet offered a unique opportunity for creators to bypass traditional distribution channels and build brands. Since then, he has produced short films for such clients as Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Fox, the History Channel, Sony, Kraft and Revlon. In early 2004, the brothers’ short film, Ahnuld for Governor, appeared in the Sundance Film Festival. More recently, their 2004 election parody, This Land, became an Internet sensation, logging more than 50 million views in its first six weeks online.

Networking and cocktails will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by the panel discussion at 8 p.m. There is no charge for Active PGA members. Guests accompanied by active PGA members get in for $10 and non members admission is $20 (make check payable to Producers Guild of America). RSVP by Nov. 9 at www.pganewmedia.org/pnm/events/CurrentEvents/

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Sony Imageworks Theatre is located at 9050 West Washington Blvd. in Culver City. Parking is free at below ground parking provided by Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment. The event is produced by NMC Events Committee chairs James Fino and Duncan Wain.