Animation House Film Roman Bought by Waterman Entertainment

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Dana Booton has been promoted to president of production as the company, which has worked on series like 'The Simpsons,' begins to develop and produce its own original material.

Waterman Entertainment, the animation and live-action production company, has acquired the Burbank-based animation company Film Roman from Starz, it was announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dana Booton, who has been serving as Film Roman’s general manager, has been promoted to president of production. She will continue to oversee the company’s day-to-day business while also managing development and co-productions. Phil Roman, who founded Film Roman in 1984, is returning in the role of chairman emeritus and has been working with Booton and Waterman founder Steve Waterman.

As a studio for hire, Film Roman has worked on projects ranging from The Simpsons to Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man. Moving forward, it plans to expand its business model to acquire, develop and produce original ideas for television, feature film and digital media. It will also absorb Waterman’s development slate that includes such titles as The Brave Little Toaster, Heathcliff and Mr. Ed.  

“Film Roman is one of the defining names in animated content,” Waterman said in announcing the acquisition. “Their track record is unparalleled and their team’s passion for executing top-shelf animation is evident in every frame they’ve created. Once it became clear how thoroughly our companies’ assets complemented each other, this deal was almost a foregone conclusion.”

Added Booton, “Now with Waterman, Film Roman enters a new phase where we have the additional resources required to fully support development of projects and new IP while continuing to work with our long time clients and productions. Equally, we are delighted to welcome Phil back as our chairman emeritus and have his legend return to the studio he created. Phil hired and mentored many of our leading artists in the industry today.”

Film Roman originally came to Starz as part of Liberty Media's 2006 acquisition of IDT Entertainment. Starz explored an earlier sale of Film Roman to an investor group in 2010, but took it off the market the following year. Although no longer a subsidiary of Starz, Film Roman is expected to continue to do business with Starz.

Waterman Entertainment was founded in 1989 by Steve Waterman, who has served as an executive producer on the Stuart Little and Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

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