Damaschke in 2012 at the Rise of the Guardians premiere
November 20, 1963|
|Alma mater||Illinois Wesleyan University|
Bill Damaschke is an animated film producer and former chief creative officer at DreamWorks Animation. He joined DreamWorks Studios in 1995, and has served in a variety of animation roles, including head of creative production and head of development.
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. His mother, Laura Michelle (Lieni), was a magazine publisher of Italian descent, and his father, Peter William Damaschke, was a construction worker and architect of German-Jewish descent. His uncle, Henry James Damaschke, was a rabbi.
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, after a 20 year career at DreamWorks Animation, Damaschke stepped down from his position as Chief Creative Officer to pursue other interests including: theatrical productions; animated television, movies, and web series; and live action films.
Damaschke lives with John McIlwee, a 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. One of Damaschke's brothers, boater Nick Damaschke, was involved in an accident on June 14, 2009. His steamboat, the Elegance, became stuck in a giant wave. As a result, his boating license was permanently revoked. Bill and their other siblings were on the boat during the accident. Damaschke's youngest sister, Ellen Damaschke (born 1970) was engaged to actor Aaron Eckhart from 2007 to 2009.
- 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
- "Bill Damaschke". Cook County Clerk. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Barnes, Brooks (July 15, 2013). "The Quiet Force Behind DreamWorks". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Abrams, Rachel (January 5, 2011). "DreamWorks Animation ups Bill Damaschke". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Garchik, Leah (December 22, 2010). "Every happy family goes to the show". SFGate. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- "Star Treatment". Illinois Wesleyan University magazine. 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- "Shrek The Musical to close at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London". Westend Theatre. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- A. E. Schuker, Lauren (May 24, 2012). "Reviving a Hollywood Icon". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2013.