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Montana Artists books clients

Plus: Ganis, Costello, Ahmadi, Hay, Smalheiser

Montana Artists signed producer/UPM Tim Silver (“Community”) and d.p. Grant Smith (“Workaholics”). Agency booked line producers Preston Stephen Fischer on Lifetime’s “The Client List” and Tracey Jeffrey on Lifetime’s “American Housewife.”

Montana also booked makeup effects artist Barney Burman on NBC’s “Grimm”; d.p.’s Donald E. Thorin Jr. on CBS’ “Unforgettable” and Jamie Barber on Lifetime’s “Blue Eyed Butcher”; production designers Gae Buckley on NBC’s “Isabel,” Mark Hofeling on Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Musical” and Ryan Berg on Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital”; costume designers Lorraine Carson on VH1’s “Single Ladies,” and Karen Malecki on USA’s “White Collar”; editor Scott Powell on Fox’s “Touch”; and vfx supervisor Eddie Williams on NBC’s “Community.”

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Sid Ganis, former prexy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was named strategic advisor at Dolby Laboratories, supporting the company’s business relationships with the film community. “Dolby is a special company which has had a profound impact on cinema,” said Ganis. “I believe the right innovations make cinema magical and look forward to applying my background and enthusiasm to Dolby’s efforts.” Before presiding over the Academy, Ganis held senior posts at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros., Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox. Ganis also sat on the boards of Marvel Entertainment, Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Since exiting the Academy, Ganis has raised his profile among players in the film biz, including China’s Wuxi Studio.

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Digital animation and visual design house Pixeldust Studios hired Dianna Costello as exec producer. Costello, who spent six years at motion graphics studio yU+co. and worked on PBS’ NOVA series “The Fabric of the Cosmos,” will oversee marketing and development as Pixeldust seeks to expand partnerships for production of nonfiction entertainment for television, museums, corporations, government agencies and educational institutions. “(Dianna will) be able to combine her creative talents for project development with her many years of experience as a business development and marketing executive,” said Pixeldust president/exec creative director Ricardo Andrade

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Ali Ahmadi joined Litepanels, a Vitec Group brand, as senior product manager. In addition to heading the product management department, he’s charged with helping the company stay on top of market demands and product development. Ahmadi’s earlier gigs include stints at Sachtler, Vinten, Vinten Ramadec, O’Connor and Petrol Bags. “(Ali’s) knowledge of the lighting marketplace will undoubtedly result in products that will allow Litepanels’ LED technology to penetrate new markets and further our commitment to be an innovation leader,” said Litepanels global marketing VP Chris Marchitelli.

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Grass Valley appointed industry veteran Colin Hay to VP for Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa and charged him with customer relations, business development and sales management, reporting to Alan Wright, senior veep of the region. Hay previously worked at Red Bee Media, where his accounts included Disney, Microsoft, Orange, UKTV and Sky. “We plan to bring our file-based, IT-centric technology to help streamline workflows and improve productivity and ROI to a wider variety of professional media organizations,” said Hay.

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Veteran editor David Smalheiser has joined Gotham post house outfit ShootersNYC, the boutique offshoot of Philly-based ShootersINC. ShootersNYC is led by managing director Jeff Beckerman and also features the talent of editor Anthony Marinelli.

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