People on the Move: Ramsey Naito takes over as CEO of Paramount Animation, WarnerMedia Kids & Music Rendezvous and more
Paramount Pictures announced today that Ramsey naito will lead its animation division as President, Animation and Development, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation. Mireille Soria, president of Paramount Animation, is leaving the organization. Naito joined Nickelodeon Animation in 2018 as Executive Vice President of Animation Production and Development, and assumed the role of President in 2020.
Under Naito’s leadership, Nickelodeon Animation launched its largest animation roster in more than 40 years of network history. Naito has been a driving force bringing more than 70 projects to the Nickelodeon Animation Studio, has signed deals with top talent and creators, and forged key partnerships to further strengthen Nick’s content in preschools, kids, the theater and its studio activities. In 2021 alone, Naito oversaw the launches of some of the world’s largest television and film franchises of all genres, including: Paw Patrol: The Movie; enlargement of the Sponge Bob SquarePants universe with SpongeBob SquarePants: The Runaway Sponge Movie and two original spinoffs, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob SquarePants and The Patrick Star show; Baby shark; Blue’s Clues & You! ; Santiago of the Seas; The Loud House Movie; and Rugrats, which was recently given the green light for a second season.
Going forward, Ramsey will lead animation production on the highly anticipated Star Trek: Prodigy of Nickelodeon Animation and CBS Studios; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles motion picture film, in partnership with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver of Point Gray Pictures, and directed by Jeff Rowe; original content from newly formed Avatar studios, best-selling book adaptations Real pigeons fight crime, produced by James Corden and Ben Winston, and the critically acclaimed film Grand Nate; Little Chef, in partnership with Imagine Kids + Family; an animated series based on Monster high in partnership with Mattel; and an original animation Transformers series with Entertainment One (eOne) from Hasbro.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Naito produced the Oscar nominated feature film The boss baby for DreamWorks Animation, which earned him a PGA nomination for Best Producer, Theatrical Animated Film. Prior to DreamWorks Animation, Naito worked for Blue Sky Studios, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon Animation. Its extensive list of executive and producer credits includes farmyard (2006), The SpongeBob movie (2004), Scooby Doo! The mystery begins (2009), Wild Thornberrys movie (2002), Hi Arnold! The film (2002), Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000) and South Park: bigger, longer and uncut (1999). Naito is a member of Women in Animation, the Producers Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.
Soria assumed her role as Head of Paramount Animation in 2017. During her time at the studio, she oversaw an ambitious list of animated films for the studio. Soria has been instrumental in the development and production of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Runaway Sponge Movie, and directed the next films To scold, a sports comedy about fighting monsters based on a graphic novel; musical adventure Under the promenade; and The Tiger’s Apprentice, based among other things on the bestselling book series. Soria also orchestrated a first agreement with the Animal Logic joint venture (happy feet) and Imagine Entertainment, with Ron Howard of Imagine set to direct The shrinking of Treehorn, currently in development under the agreement.
WarnerMedia increased Brian Robillard To Deputy Managing Director and Vice President of Commercial Operations for his Children and family and Adult swimming Properties. In his expanded role, Robillard will now oversee the business management and commercial operations of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim’s content business, as well as leading a new music strategy arm for the Kids, Young Adults and Classics group. Typed to run the new unit, Michael “Kiko” Akiko joined as Executive Director, Music for Children, Young Adults and Classics, reporting to Robillard. Robillard and Akiko will work closely with WaterTower Music, third party labels and publishing groups to identify and organize musical strategies and opportunities for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Both will be based in Burbank.
Robillard will continue to oversee operational integration into all content distribution globally; build and optimize the content strategy and budget on the various Cartoon Network and Adult Swim platforms; and maintain the rights and terms of the agreement for the extensive library and portfolio of both groups. He joined Cartoon Network in 2014 where he was instrumental in driving the network’s portfolio strategy and business operations for Cartoon Network Studios, and in 2020, added Warner Bros. Animation at its perimeter. Robillard, who reports to Amy Friedman (Head of Kids and Family Programming, Warner Bros.) and Michael Ouweleen (President, Adult Swim), has also held digital and marketing roles at Universal Music Group, Disney Music Group and Disney ABC Television Group. . He attended the University of Eastern Michigan.
Akiko will partner with several production units within Warner Bros. to create and support music initiatives – including networks, studios and WaterTower Music – both nationally and internationally. He will also be responsible for the growth and retention of musical talent within the GKYAC Group, while leveraging the broader WarnerMedia ecosystem, including performer development and supporting songwriters and songwriters. to TV series and live events. A priority project will be the Adult Swim Festival, known for showcasing both top performers and emerging artists and whose 2020 virtual edition has been watched by millions of fans across the globe.
Prior to joining Warner Bros., Akiko held leadership positions in the music industry in the areas of A&R, publishing, and global strategy and development for over a decade. His recent roles include as Head of A&R for Universal Music Group Africa, where he led efforts on the continent, and secured artist placements on Beyoncé. The Lion King: The Gift album. He has also served in Artist Relations for YouTube Music in the United States and Africa. Akiko is also a co-founder of The 99 Problems, a political action committee aimed at enabling GenZ to vote in swing states in Georgia’s 2020 presidential and second-round elections. Akiko graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Morehouse College.
Caroline Audebert, Managing Director of the French audiovisual production division of Media-Participations (Ellipsanime Productions, Dargaud Media, Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel and Ellipse Studio) continues to strengthen its team. After the arrival of Lila Hannou earlier this month as Director of Development and Strategy, she now welcomes Laurent Panissier like General 3D Supervisor and Xavier Morelli like 2D executive producer.
Graduated from Decorative Arts in multimedia and CGI in 2001, Panissier joined BUF the same year. For 10 years, alongside Pierre Buffin and his teams, he cut his teeth in the production of special effects by working on several feature films, first as a graphic designer (Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, the Wachowski The matrix, by Chris Nolan Prestige), then supervisor (Luc Bessons’ Arthur and the Invisibles 2 & 3, by Frédéric Forestier Asterix at the Olympic Games). In 2011, he joined Mac Guff Ligne, another historic visual effects studio in France, as a supervisor. There he took part in the complete overhaul of the production pipeline. In 2018 he supervised the animated feature film Sam Sam, which was the opportunity to finalize the Full CG version of this pipeline.
Morelli has 25 years of experience in animation production. He started his career as a production assistant in 1996, and joined Ellipse in 1998 as an assistant director and production manager on the feature film and series adapted from the Corto Maltese comics. In 2004, he joined Xilam Animation as an assistant director on series such as Shuriken School and Rahan. In 2012, he directed the 3D production of the feature film The Prince and the 108 Demons for Same Player Productions before joining Futurikon in 2015, where he is in charge of serial production. After a stint at Bayard Animation, where he set up the 3D production of Benny beer, he joined Cyber Group Studios as production manager on the series Sadie sparks for Disney Europe. In 2019, he was production director at Ankama Animations on the feature film Dragon princess.
Duo of directors in stop motion Andy & Adeena are the latest animation stars to join the Blink listing. After working together on various projects with Blinkink over the past few years, their budding friendship blossomed in March 2020 as the UK entered its first lockdown. All of their jobs were canceled and eager to keep their creativity, they joined forces to create a movie for Easter. Adeena started the process by making the models in her bedroom before sending them to Andy to animate them in her bedroom. The film, Hoppy little horror, was released remotely at a large reception.
Andy biddle bears the distinction of being “Wes Anderson’s Favorite Animator” and frequently works with award-winning film studios such as Aardman and LAIKA. He has also been the main animator of almost all of Blinkink’s stop-motion films since 2010.
Adeena grubb has created hilarious crafts and films that come to life with a variety of textures and materials. Her talents make her one of the most sought-after miniature model and puppet designers in London.