Osher Named President of Digital Production Division of Sony Pictures Entertainment
MINGHELLA TO BE PRESIDENT OF PRODUCTION AT SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
CULVER CITY, Calif.
Bob Osher has been named president of the Digital Production division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, it was announced today by Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal.
Lynton and Pascal also announced that Hannah Minghella will become president of production at Sony Pictures Animation.
"Bob's unique blend of experience in production and finance, along with his strong background in animation, make him superbly qualified to lead our Digital Production division," said Lynton. "Staying ahead of the vast technological changes occurring in our industry has been a priority for Sony Pictures, and I know Bob will continue to make our fantastic visual effects and animation businesses grow."
"I'm very excited about getting back into the creative side of the business, which has been a big part of my career. I'm especially thrilled to be working with Tim Sarnoff and Hannah Minghella, along with the world class team of people who work at Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation," said Osher.
"Hannah is one of the most intelligent and creative people I've worked with, and I know from first-hand experience how capable she is in dealing with a wide range of some of the most complex issues we confront in this business," said Pascal. "For the past three years, she's been a key part of my team, actively engaged in our creative process every step of the way. She's going to do a great job working in concert with the incredibly accomplished team of writers, artists and all who make Sony Pictures Animation such an exciting part of this studio."
"I am so grateful to Amy and Michael for this wonderful opportunity. Animation is such a pure and boundless medium for storytelling and I'm excited to start working with the extraordinary group of innovative artists and filmmakers at Sony Pictures Animation," said Minghella. "Together we're going to continue to build on Sony Pictures Animation's reputation as a home for the best, brightest and most imaginative minds in the animation business. I'm especially happy to be going on this adventure with Bob who has been a part of my journey from the beginning."
"With the extraordinary talent that we have in place I am very excited about what the future has in store," said Tim Sarnoff, president of Imageworks.
Minghella and Sarnoff will report to Osher. Sandra Rabins, who had been in charge of Sony Pictures Animation as senior executive vice president, will return to her roots as a producer and continue working with Sony Pictures Animation in that capacity.
"Sandy and the amazing artists and talent she recruited have done a really outstanding job of ramping up Sony Pictures Animation over the past several years, and we look forward to working with her on projects that are very important to our studio," said Lynton.
Osher joined Sony Pictures in 2004, and has been chief operating officer of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group, overseeing operations, business affairs and production related film financing. Osher will continue to have oversight over his current areas of responsibility within the Motion Picture Group.
Osher replaces Yair Landau, who earlier this week announced he was leaving Sony Pictures to begin a new games and animation venture. The Digital Production division, formerly known as Sony Pictures Digital, comprises Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation. It was announced yesterday that Sony Online Entertainment, once part of Sony Pictures Digital, will move to Sony Computer Entertainment.
Sony Pictures Imageworks is a leading, state-of-the-art digital animation and visual effects company creating computer-generated imaging (CGI) for motion pictures. In 2003, Imageworks' first animated short, The Chubb Chubbs! won numerous awards including an Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film. In 2005, the visual effects and animation team at Imageworks was honored with an Academy Award® for Achievement in Visual Effects for Spider-Man 2. The visual effects team was nominated again for an Academy Award® for Achievement in Visual Effects for their work on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Superman Returns. Imageworks also houses Imageworks Interactive, a full service creative group that produces websites and supports digital marketing for the studio and outside clients.
Sony Pictures Animation develops and produces CG animated feature films from storyboard to screens. Both its full-length features, Open Season, released in 2006, and 2007's Surf's Up, were critically acclaimed and have together accumulated close to $350 million in worldwide box office revenue. Both titles vastly outperformed the average of new release sales in the home entertainment market, selling more than 10 million units combined. Surf's Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature in 2007. Sony Pictures Animation is currently producing Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, which is scheduled for release in 2009.
Sony Pictures also has a deal with Aardman Features to produce animated films for the studio. Aardman, which is based in the United Kingdom, is known worldwide for such films as Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run.
Osher previously served as co-president of production at Miramax Films for more than six years, where he oversaw the production of the Academy Award® Best Picture winners Shakespeare in Love and Chicago and served as Executive Producer of several films, including Cold Mountain. He also was involved in overseeing an animated television series for Miramax.
He previously was co-founder and executive vice president of the Turner Pictures Group, which included co-running Turner Feature Animation, which worked closely with its sister company, the legendary Hannah-Barbera Productions.
Osher worked for Walt Disney Studios between 1989 and 1995, where he rose to be senior vice president in charge of business and legal affairs for Walt Disney and Touchstone Pictures, as well as Disney's feature animation business. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, from which he earned two Emmy nominations as executive producer on "Project Greenlight." Osher also sits on the Board of Councilors for the University of Southern California's College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. He is a board member on the Alumni Council of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, and an adjunct professor for the school, teaching at the graduate level.
Minghella currently serves as director of creative affairs for Pascal, a position she has held since 2005. In that capacity, she has worked closely with Pascal on a number of films and other projects involving several of Sony Pictures' divisions.
Minghella worked with the production team at Columbia Pictures on such films as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. She recently was responsible for helping to bring the spy-thriller film project, Edwin A. Salt, to Columbia. Born in England, Minghella received her Masters Degree in English Literature from Cambridge University, where she also was president of the Pembroke College committee.
She spent four years at Miramax Films in New York, where among other projects she worked on Finding Neverland. She was the creative executive for Meryl Poster (Poster and Bob Osher were co-presidents of production). Minghella left Miramax to help Steven Shainberg start Vox 3 Films, an independent production company. On the recommendation of Osher, Pascal brought Minghella to Sony Pictures.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com/.
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