DreamWorks Animation ups Damaschke & Batter

MUMBAI: DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. has promoted two senior members of the DreamWorks Animation team, Bill Damaschke and John Batter, to co-presidents of production for feature animation, with Damaschke also being appointed to the newly created position of president of live theatrical.

The announcement was made by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and DreamWorks Animation COO Ann Daly.

“Having worked closely with both Bill and John for many years, I cannot think of a better pair to help lead the creative, artistic and operational direction of DreamWorks Animation. On behalf of the entire studio, I’m pleased to congratulate them on their well-deserved promotions,” said Katzenberg.

“I’m thrilled that these two talented individuals with very complimentary backgrounds and areas of expertise will co-lead our production efforts together. With our upcoming slate of films and the launch of our 3-D initiatives, we are very fortunate to have Bill and John to help lead us during this very exciting time at the Company. In addition, Bill’s deep production experience coupled with his live theater experience makes him the ideal candidate to lead DreamWorks Animation’s live theatrical productions,” added Daly.

Damaschke will continue to oversee creative production and development for the studio and is currently involved with the production of the company’s upcoming film slate, including Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens, How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar 2.

Damaschke will also oversee all live theatrical production, beginning with Shrek the Musical, which is currently in pre-production and is slated to open on Broadway as early as 2008.

Damaschke is an animation industry veteran, having joined DreamWorks Animation at its inception in 1995 as production coordinator on Prince of Egypt. He was named Head of Creative Production in 1999 and Head of Creative Production and Development in 2005. During his tenure at DreamWorks, Damaschke produced Shark Tale, executive produced Over the Hedge and worked on virtually all of DreamWorks Animation’s feature productions.

Batter will oversee film production operations and animation technology, guiding the overall operation of the studio and its state-of-the-art animation tools and technology. He is also currently involved in managing the production efforts for the company’s upcoming film slate, including its 3-D initiative on such films as Monsters vs. Aliens and How to Train Your Dragon.

Batter previously served as Head of Production Operations for DreamWorks Animation. In 1995, he joined the Company as CFO of DreamWorks Interactive and later served as CFO for PDI/DreamWorks from 1997 to 2000. He left PDI/DreamWorks in 2000 to join Electronic Arts, where he held a number of management positions, including Group Studio General Manager and General Manager of EA Mobile, before returning to DreamWorks Animation in 2006.