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Ferren Named President of Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development and Creative Technology.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 9, 1999--Bran Ferren has been named to the newly created post of president of Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, and Creative Technology, it was announced Tuesday by Ken Wong, president of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Ferren, 46, had been executive vice president for R&D and Creative Technology for Walt Disney Imagineering -- the creative and technological development arm of The Walt Disney Company.

"Initially, Bran came here to help us address technological and design problems in our ongoing businesses," said Michael Eisner, Disney's chairman and CEO. "Today, his broader mission is to dream about the future and to show us new and innovative ways to tell stories."

Ferren leads Disney's corporate R&D activities and built and manages the Disney Fellows program, which employs distinguished scientists to do research and to work on a variety of advanced technologies. These include virtual reality, advanced software for the Internet and other leading-edge media and entertainment projects.

"Since joining Imagineering in 1993, Bran has been a driving force behind the creative technology and conceptual development of significant projects including Tower of Terror, GM Test Track and ABC's Interactive Television project," said Wong. "He has led our research and development organization with great vision and energy and has dramatically expanded its involvement well beyond theme parks and resorts, to impact all areas of the company. Under Bran's leadership, R&D has produced enabling technologies for our theme parks, Disney Sports Enterprises, DisneyQuest, Disney Interactive, Consumer Products and ABC television."

In 1987, he received an Oscar nomination for Special Visual Effects. He also won a science and engineering award and two technical achievement awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in connection with special lightning effects and other cinema-related innovations developed when he ran a New York-based design and consulting organization, Associates & Ferren.

That firm, which created numerous international exhibition centers and pavilions as well as special effects and designs for film, theater, television and advertising, was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1993.

Ferren is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. "Funny," a film he produced and directed in 1989, was selected for the Sundance Film Festival and won the Gold Special Jury Award at the Houston International film festival.

Additional awards include the New York Drama Desk Award, the Los Angeles Critics' Circle Award and the Maharam Foundation Annual Theater Design Award. In November 1998, he was presented with the 1998 LDI-Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award in theater technology.

He holds memberships on the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on the board of directors of the International Design Conference in Aspen. He is a member of the Army Science Board and a member of, or consultant to, several other government agency science boards.

Ferren attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a frequent lecturer at educational institutions and various organizations and industry gatherings.

He commutes between homes in Beverly Hills, Calif. and East Hampton, N.Y.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 9, 1999
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