Bill Damaschke

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Bill Damaschke
Bill Damaschke, Mill Valley Film Festival, Rise of the Guardians.jpg
Damaschke in 2012 at the Rise of the Guardians premiere
William Damaschke

(1963-11-20) November 20, 1963 (age 59)[1]
Alma materIllinois Wesleyan University
OccupationFilm producer
EmployerWarner Animation Group

William Damaschke (born November 20, 1963) is an American film executive and producer who currently serves as the president of Warner Animation Group. Previously, he had 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's live theatrical productions, including the award-winning Shrek the Musical. Damaschke’s other projects as a producer include the Broadway musical The Prom, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, which played at the Longacre Theatre from 15 November 2018 to 11 August 2019; the Broadway-bound musical Half Time, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, which was presented at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Spring of 2018; and the stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge, directed by Alex Timbers, on which Damaschke serves as executive producer. He was also formerly the president of Skydance Animation.

Early life[edit]

Damaschke is the oldest of seven children, and grew up in Chicago.[2] He attended St. Bruno Catholic Elementary and Argo Community High School, and graduated at the School of Theatre Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University.[2]

Professional career[edit]

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.[2] In 1995, he joined DreamWorks Studios as a production assistant on The Prince of Egypt.[1][2] He then moved on to become head of creative production in 1999 and head of creative production and development in 2005.[3] Damaschke served as a producer of Shark Tale (nominated for an 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,[3] running "the factory floor, working with directors, writers and artists," and "calling the creative shots".[2] He was also president of DreamWorks Live Theatricals,[4] and produced Tony Award-winning,[5] but financially unremarkable,[2] Shrek the Musical.[6] In 2013, The New York Times called him "one of the film industry's most important executives".[2] 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. He would also continue operating his StoryKey Entertainment theatrical production company.[7] On February 9, 2023, Warner Animation Group is in talks about him to lead after the departure of Allison Abbate.[8] On May 5, 2023, it was confirmed in a Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call by CEO David Zaslav that Damaschke had been hired, and was hard at work with Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy on developing a new slate of films.[9]

Personal life[edit]

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.[10]



Year Title Role
1995 Pocahontas production office assistant
1998 The Prince of Egypt production manager
2000 The Road to El Dorado co-executive producer
2004 Shark Tale producer
2006 Over the Hedge executive producer
2008 Kung Fu Panda executive producer
2008–present Shrek the Musical producer
2020 The Prom producer


Year Title Role Notes
1994 My So-Called Life Salesman Episode: The Zit
2001 French touch cinéma Himself


  1. ^ a b c "Bill Damaschke". Cook County Clerk. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Barnes, Brooks (July 15, 2013). "The Quiet Force Behind DreamWorks". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Abrams, Rachel (January 5, 2011). "DreamWorks Animation ups Bill Damaschke". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Garchik, Leah (December 22, 2010). "Every happy family goes to the show". SFGate. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "Star Treatment". Illinois Wesleyan University magazine. 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Shrek The Musical to close at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London". Westend Theatre. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (October 10, 2017). "Skydance Hires Bill Damaschke for Animation-Family Entertainment Post". Variety. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (January 10, 2023). "Bill Damaschke in Final Talks to Head Warner Animation Group (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  9. ^ Szalai, Georg (May 5, 2023). "David Zaslav: "We Have Lost a Lot of Money," But Now It's Time to Rebuild Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  10. ^ A. E. Schuker, Lauren (May 24, 2012). "Reviving a Hollywood Icon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2013.

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