Damaschke, Batter take top Animation ranks

DreamWorks Animation has upped Bill Damaschke and John Batter to co-presidents of production for feature animation. Damaschke also will serve in the newly created post of president of live theatrical.

In his new position, Damaschke will oversee creative production and development for the studio as well as all live theatrical production, beginning with “Shrek the Musical,” which is in preproduction and is slated to open on Broadway as early as 2008.

The 13-year employee of the studio is working on DWA’s film slate, which includes such upcoming films as “Kung Fu Panda,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Madagascar 2.”

“This is something long in the making,” DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said. “Bill is one of the single most impressive creative executives that I’ve worked with in my career. John has done an outstanding job in building the organization and creating a level of teamwork. These two have shown tremendous leadership.”

The pair will report to DWA chief operating officer Ann Daly.

“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,” Daly said.

Damaschke joined DWA 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 the studio, he produced “Shark Tale,” and executive-produced “Over the Hedge.”

In his post, 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 involved in managing the production efforts for the company’s upcoming film slate, including 3-D initiatives on “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Batter, who joined DWA in 1995, left the studio in 2000 to join Electronic Arts, where he helped build the gaming company’s studios. He returned to DWA in 2006 as head of production operations. In 1995, he joined the company as CFO of DreamWorks Interactive.

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