Jonathan Dern is the Chairman and co-founder of Sabella Dern Entertainment, a property development studio founded in 1999 by Jonathan Dern and Paul Sabella, former co-heads of MGM Animation. SD specializes in creating branded entertainment that connects with audiences and consumers on every screen.
SD has produced award-winning television series and movies with a long list of brand partners, including Hasbro, HIT Entertainment, MGA, Skechers, Hallmark, and Chorion. SD produced “Bob the Builder in 3D/4D” for Legolands worldwide, the PBS series, “Angelina Ballerina”, and multiple features and television series for American Greetings’ re-launch of the Care Bears franchise in 2002, generating over $2 billion in revenue.Jonathan is also the co-founder of the innovative digital distribution company, The Bigger Picture and its family theatrical matinee program, Kidtoon Films, which was sold to Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp in 2007. During his tenure as president of Cinedigm’s Entertainment Group, the Event Cinema team released 200+ films, live sports & music events, including the first ever LIVE 3D cinecasts with the BCS College Championship Game and the NBA All Star Saturday Night, the NCAA Men’s Semi-Finals and Finals games, the FIFA World Cup Final, and Ultimate Fighting Championship. Jonathan was the executive in charge of production for the ground-breaking 3D capture of eighty hours from 5 live music festivals (Mile High, All Points West, Lollapallooza, ACL and the Phish Halloween show), culminating in the theatrical release of “Larger Than Life 3D” (Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and Gogol Bordello) and “Phish 3D” The team also produced and distributed the “Foo Fighters “Wasting Light” LIVE 3D performance from the band’s private recording studio to 3D theatres around the globe. Jonathan left Cinedigm in 2013 and is currently spearheading the re-launch of The Bigger Picture and Kidtoons. He has multiple brand franchises in pre-production. Jonathan helped conceive, create and launch the first stereoscopic 3D film program in the United States with UT3D at the University of Texas, Austin, and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Moody School of Communication at UT.
Paul Sabella is one of the most respected directors/ designers/ producers in animation today. His credits are extensive, spanning the worlds of television, direct-to-video, feature films, commercials and interactive games. Sabella started SD in 1999 with animation executive Jonathan Dern, with whom Sabella had previously co-founded MGM Animation. Together, they have produced and directed an unprecedented body of work, becoming one of the only producing teams working in both animated television series and feature films. At MGM, their credits included "All Dogs go to Heaven"; (TV Series and Theatrical release), "Robocop: Alpha Commando", "The Lionhearts", "Tom Sawyer", "Babes in Toyland", "The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue " and "The Pebble and the Penguin"In addition to traditional animation, while at MGM, Sabella oversaw many specialty projects including the video series "MGM Sing-Alongs"; IBM's hugely popular (over 1 million sold) "The Adventures of Hyperman"; hit direct-to-video shorts "The Rainbow Fish" and "Dazzle the Dinosaur"; and Time Warner's six-video series, "The Beginner's Bible". pPrior to teaming with Dern, Sabella was Senior Vice President at Hanna-Barbera, responsible for all aspects of television animation production as well as Executive Producer of "Fish Police", "Tom and Jerry Kids" and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures" He also produced Hanna -Barbera's Emmy Award nominated "The Smurfs" and "Foofur". His earlier credits include serving as Animation Director and Animator of Heavy Metal's "Captain Stern" sequence in addition to working on various other animation productions.
Michele Martell is the co-founder of the digital Event Cinema company The Bigger Picture and its family theatrical matinee program, Kidtoon Films, marketing and releasing more than 200 theatrical events, including groundbreaking live 3D cinecasts and gaming on the big screen. With a background in entertainment and intellectual property law, Michele has been part of the executive management teams for The Jim Henson Company, TNT, Cinedigm Entertainment and most recently was the head of Kids and Family Entertainment for the WWE.
In 2012, Michele helped established the first stereoscopic 3D film curriculum in the US, launching the UT3D film school program with the University of Texas, Austin, funded by the Moody Foundation, and currently serves on the Development Council for UT's innovative Denius Sams Gaming Academy.
Caryn Drake has overseen the coordination in over 200 digital deliveries including physical asset production and art asset creation, ensuring a seamless integration to support distribution and marketing of content from the big screen to smart phones and tablets, in both HD 2D and 4K/3D. Caryn's multi-faceted skills include graphic design, digital post production, and marketing social media campaign planning and execution.
Caryn has worked with such entities as FOX, CBS Sports, Mattel, Hasbro, Disney, Warner Bros, LEGO, Universal, The Jim Henson Company. NCircle, Shout Factory, FIFA World Cup, the UFC, Apple, Cirque du Soleil, Fathom, DigiPlex, DigiNext, Carmike Cinemas, Screenvision, American Greetings, AEG Live, and Lionsgate.
Caryn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design & Photography from Valparaiso University.
Debbie Dunn has nearly 20 years of experience in licensing & merchandising, marketing, brand management, promotions, PR and business development for many high profile consumer goods, entertainment and sports brands. Previously, at Cinedigm (a digital theatrical distribution company), Debbie designed, sold and managed theatrical promotional programs with more than a dozen top-tier children’s entertainment and regional exhibition partners under the Kidtoon Films label. Additionally, Debbie has served in management and retail sales roles for DIC/Cookie Jar (a children’s animation company), JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (the 3rd largest public toy co. in the U.S.), The Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, (a boutique import plush manufacturer), Brand Sense Partners (licensing agency for Dodge and Vespa), Universal Studios, and Saban, where she created marketing programs for the multi-billion-dollar global children’s brand Power Rangers. Debbie holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from California State University at Fullerton.