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Bill Damaschke, the former chief creative officer of DreamWorks Animation, is returning to the medium, having been named as president of animation and family entertainment for Skydance Media.
The animation veteran, who will report to Skydance CEO David Ellison, will be responsible for helping to set the overall creative direction and strategy for Skydance’s animation and family entertainment division, according to the company.
Skydance Media, the company behind the upcoming environmental thriller Geostorm and the new Terminator franchise, launched an animation division in March with a partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios. One of Damaschke’s tasks will be to expand the division’s Los Angeles footprint.
In a newly created role, Damaschke will curate and oversee a team dedicated to producing what the company hopes will be “bold and original slate of both animated and hybrid family programming.” The programming will span both film and television.
Damaschke said he want to establish Skydance as a home for “the best family content creators on the planet.”
“In a very short time, Skydance has made a real commitment to the animation business by bringing best-in-class creative leadership teams into its first two fantastic feature projects,” the exec stated.
The two projects Skydance is developing should feel like a homecoming for Damaschke as both have celebrated DWA expatriates.
The comedy Luck is being directed by Alessandro Carloni, who was head of story on How to Train Your Dragon, Shark Tale and Kung Fu Panda, and is written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, the writers of the Kung Fu Panda movies. Split, a supernatural coming-of-age project, is being directed by Vicky Jenson, who directed DWA’s Shrek and Shark Tale.
Damaschke spent 20 years at DWA where he was involved in the creative, artistic, and operational direction of the company. His tenure oversaw the release of some of the company’s big franchise films, including Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. He also oversaw all of DreamWorks Animation’s live theatrical productions, including the award-winning Shrek The Musical.
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