GLENDALE, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- DreamWorks Animation announced today that Bill Damaschke has been promoted to Head of Creative Production and Development. In a related announcement, Kristine Belson joins DreamWorks Animation as the Head of Development.
DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg said, "Bill Damaschke helped lay the groundwork for this new era at DreamWorks Animation. Over the past decade, he has consistently distinguished himself on both sides of the desk, not only as a discerning creative executive, but also as a talented film producer. Together, Bill and Kristine Belson will both play major roles in the development and production of our new slate of films and in assembling a growing roster of creative talent. This is an exciting time to be at DreamWorks Animation, and I am very proud of the team we are building here."
In his new post, Damaschke will have broad-reaching responsibilities, including overseeing the creative production process for all DreamWorks Animation projects; overseeing all artistic development; shaping the creative teams behind each project; and growing and developing the company's creative talent pool. In addition to DreamWorks Animation's film projects, Damaschke is also overseeing the new theatrical "Shrek" musical. He will continue to report to and collaborate with Katzenberg and Chief Operating Officer Ann Daly.
Ann Daly stated, "Bill Damaschke has been a creative force at DreamWorks Animation for more than ten years. He has been integrally involved in building and coordinating our behind-the-scenes artistic teams, as well as overseeing the films throughout production. Bill brings experience as both a filmmaker and as a creative executive to his new post, and we have tremendous faith in his ability to spearhead our production and development slate."
Damaschke recently served as a producer on the computer-animated comedy hit "Shark Tale," which earned an Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Animated Feature. He has also been involved in the productions of the Oscar(R)-winning hit "Shrek" and its box office record-breaking sequel "Shrek 2"; "Madagascar," which has grossed more than $500 million worldwide making it the studio's highest-grossing original animated film; and the upcoming "Over the Hedge." Damaschke joined DreamWorks in 1995 as the production manager on the studio's first traditionally animated production, "The Prince of Egypt." He later co-executive produced "The Road to El Dorado," before being named the Head of Creative Production.
On the heels of announcing Damaschke's promotion, DreamWorks Animation further announced that Kristine Belson has joined the company as the new Head of Development. Belson will oversee the development and acquisition of all feature film projects for the company, reporting directly to Bill Damaschke, while collaborating closely with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ann Daly.
"Kristine has great creative instincts and a proven expertise in the development of audience pleasing films," said Bill Damaschke. "DreamWorks Animation's focus is on developing a robust and diverse slate of projects with two theatrical features every year, as well as direct-to-video projects. We are delighted to have Kristine help lead that effort as she heads up our development team."
Belson comes to DreamWorks Animation with more than 15 years' experience developing and producing both live-action and animated films. She most recently spent eight years as Executive Vice President of Production at the Jim Henson Company. During her tenure, she developed a slate of more than 40 live-action and animated films. In addition, she served as an executive producer on "Muppets from Space," producer on "Good Boy!" and co-producer on "Five Children and It" and "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz."
Prior to joining The Jim Henson Company, Belson held the post of Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, overseeing such films as "Big Daddy" and "Can't Hardly Wait." Before her stint at Columbia, she served as Senior Vice President for Turner Pictures, and also spent two years as Director of Production at 20th Century Fox.
"I am extremely impressed by the wealth of creative talent at Dreamworks Animation," Belson said. "The company has incredibly gifted storytellers, and I feel truly privileged to be working with them. I am especially excited to be collaborating with (development executives) Chris Kuser and Karen Foster, who have already helped create a remarkable development slate, which I look forward to working on."
DreamWorks Animation SKG (NYSE:DWA) is devoted to producing high-quality family entertainment through the use of computer-generated (CG) animation. Utilizing world-class creative talent and state-of-the-art technological capabilities, the company is committed to making two computer-animated feature films a year that appeal to a broad movie-going audience.
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This material includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Information concerning our plans, strategies and prospects as well as the release dates of films and anticipated talent, directors and storyline for such films constitute forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry in which we operate, management's beliefs and assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed in such forward-looking statements. The development, production, completion and distribution of animated feature films for our theatrical, home video and direct-to-video releases are subject to a number of uncertainties, including delays and increased expenditures due to creative problems, technical difficulties, talent availability, accidents, natural disasters or other events beyond our control. Because of these uncertainties, the projected costs of an animated feature film at the time it is set for production may increase, the date of completion may be substantially delayed or the film may be abandoned due to the exigencies of production. Delays in development or production may also result in a film not being ready for release at the intended time and postponement to a potentially less favorable time, which could result in lower gross receipts for that film. In extreme cases, a film in development or production may be abandoned or significantly modified (including as a result of creative changes) after substantial amounts have been spent, causing the write-off of expenses incurred with respect to the film. Our actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological and/or regulatory factors, and other risks and uncertainties affecting the operation of the business of DreamWorks Animation. These risks and uncertainties include: audience acceptance of our films, our dependence on the success of a limited number of releases each year, the increasing cost of producing and marketing feature films, piracy of motion pictures, the effect of rapid technological change or alternative forms of entertainment and our need to protect our proprietary technology and enhance or develop new technology. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our annual report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2004 and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the first and second quarters of 2005. DreamWorks Animation is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.
Source: DreamWorks Animation