Damaschke in 2012 at the Rise of the Guardians premiere
November 20, 1963|
|Alma mater||Illinois Wesleyan University|
Bill Damaschke is the President of Animation and Family Entertainment for Skydance Media, where he serves as the key architect setting the overall creative direction and strategy for Skydance. In conjunction with the company’s feature film and television division, he curates and oversees a team dedicated to producing a bold and original slate of both animated and hybrid family programming. Previously, he spent 20 years at DreamWorks Animation, most recently as Chief Creative Officer, where he was involved in the creative, artistic, and operational direction of the company. His tenure oversaw the release of some of the company’s big franchise films, including Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Croods. He also oversaw all of DreamWorks Animation’s live theatrical productions, including the award-winning Shrek The Musical. Bill’s other current projects as a producer are the Broadway-bound musical Half Time, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, which will be presented at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Spring of 2018, and the stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge, directed by Alex Timers, on which Bill serves as Executive Producer.
Damaschke is the oldest of seven children, and grew up in Chicago. He attended St. Bruno Catholic Elementary and Argo Community High School, and graduated at the School of Theatre Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Initially, Damaschke pursued a career in musical theater, working on Godspell in New York, but soon ended up in Los Angeles as a production assistant on Disney's Pocahontas in 1994. In 1995, he joined DreamWorks Studios as a production assistant on The Prince of Egypt. He then moved on to become head of creative production in 1999 and head of creative production and development in 2005. Damaschke served as a producer of Shark Tale (nominated for Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2004) and an executive producer of Over the Hedge and Kung Fu Panda. In 2011, he became chief creative officer (CCO) of DreamWorks Animation, running "the factory floor, working with directors, writers and artists," and "calling the creative shots." He was also president of DreamWorks Live Theatricals, and produced Tony Award-winning, but financially unremarkable, Shrek the Musical. In 2013, The New York Times called him as "one of the film industry's most important executives." In January 2015, Damaschke stepped down from his position as Chief Creative Officer at Dreamworks to pursue other interests including: theatrical productions; animated television, movies, web series, and live action films. In October 2017, he became the president of Animation and Family Entertainment for Skydance Media.
Damaschke lives with John McIlwee, a top Hollywood business manager, in Hollywood Hills, in a 1962 house designed by John Lautner, which they bought in 2002 for $1.3 million and renovated for an additional $1 million.
- Shrek the Musical (2008–present) (producer)
- Kung Fu Panda (2008) (executive producer)
- Shark Tale (2004) (producer)
- The Road to El Dorado (2000) (co-executive producer)
- The Prince of Egypt (1998) (production manager)
- Pocahontas (1995) (production office assistant)
- French touch cinéma (2001) ... as Himself
- My So-Called Life – Episode: The Zit (1994) ... as Salesman
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- McNary, Dave (October 10, 2017). "Skydance Hires Bill Damaschke for Animation-Family Entertainment Post". Variety. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- A. E. Schuker, Lauren (May 24, 2012). "Reviving a Hollywood Icon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2013.