BERNARDINE BRANDIS has been upped to executive VP of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group, responsible for overseeing all aspects of business and legal affairs for the movie division. She previously handled legal affairs for Hollywood Pictures.
Brandis, who reports to motion pictures group president Chris McGurk, takes over the duties of former exec VP Helene Hahn, who hired Brandis at the studio in 1985. Hahn moved to former Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks SKG late last year.
“We’re looking at restructuring the business and legal capacities for all the labels,” said Brandis, who noted that the promotions will be made – internally. “With Miramax and the stage business burgeoning, and with the increased supply from production entities such as Cinergi, Interscope and Caravan, there’s more to do internally.”
Brandis will be in charge of administration overseeing the business and legal affairs issues for stage production, theme parks, film, Miramax Pictures and Hollywood Records.
RICHARD G. MURPHY has been upped to VP of development at Columbia Pictures-based Van Damme Entertainment. Murphy joined the company as director of development in 1991 after working for the producers of the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer “Double Impact.” Van Damme has a three-picture deal with Columbia.
Bette Midler and Bonnie Bruckheimer have named two new creative VPs and promoted another at their Walt Disney Studios-based All Girl Prods.
Newly hired are DANNA BLESSER and CHRISTOPHER EISENBERG, while four-year All Girl veteran YVETTE TAYLOR gets production VP stripes.
Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements Inc., which owns and operates more than 870 motion picture screens in both the U.S. and the U.K., has promoted three executives within its organization.
GEORGE LEVITT, who has been with the company for 20 years, has been upped to senior VP of film. JOHN BILSBOROUGH, who has been with the company for 17 years, and JIM MURRAY, who has 22 years with the exhibitor, were both named VPs of operations. The posts are newly created.
FRANK LOMENTO has resigned as VP of publicity for Savoy Pictures after one year.
Lomento joined Savoy after five years at the Walt Disney Co., where he most recently held the title of senior publicist. At Savoy, Lomento has overseen the company’s national publicity campaigns. He will remain on the job for about six weeks – through Savoy’s openings of “The Walking Dead” on Feb. 24 and “Circle of Friends” on March 15.
The Samuel Goldwyn Co. has named GARY HYMOWITZ veepee of its newly created merchandising and promotions division.
Hymowitz will be responsible for developing and implementing licensing and promotion strategies for Goldwyn product.
JERRY AUSTIN MEADORS, veepee of marketing for Paramount Pictures, has ankled his post to produce independent pix.
Meadors closes out a 10-year career with Par, where he started as an exec assistant to Nancy Goliger, moving on to senior VP of production and marketing.
Meadors’ first project, “Young Men Dressed in Silver,” is slated to lens this fall in his native state of Virginia. Based on a true story, pic is scripted by Meadors and Hart Monroe.
He is also developing a pic based on the life of Rasputin.
Live Entertainment has named RONALD B. CUSHEY chief financial officer. He’ll be responsible for overseeing all accounting, financing and financial reporting for the home entertainment company.
Cushey, who has been a consultant to Live for the past year, was previously an executive consultant for Pioneer North America, where he oversaw entertainment investments for the electronics giant.
MELANIE MOEN has been upped by the American Film Marketing Assn. to the post of VP of legal affairs. In her new job, Moen becomes the indie film org’s legal liaison with the Motion Picture Assn. of America, as well as with film and TV studios and multimedia companies.
Moen will also be AFMA’s legal rep in dealings with U.S. and international government agencies responsible for the protection of intellectual property, and AFMA’s legal point person in efforts to erase overseas trade barriers to U.S. entertainment products.