Walt Disney Imagineering Senior VP Eddie Sotto, Joins Internet Media Start Up Digital Entertainment Network
(SANTA MONICA -- Aug. 24, 1999) - Eddie Sotto, 13 year Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) veteran, has ankled his post as senior vice president of Concept Design to assume the role of executive vice president Creative Affairs at Digital Entertainment Network(TM) (DEN(TM)).
Sotto's move reunites him with David A. Neuman, former president of Walt Disney Television who joined DEN as president in July of 1998. Walt Disney Imagineering is the division of the Walt Disney Company responsible for creating theme parks and resorts. DEN is a privately held interactive online network that targets Generation Y through original entertainment, culture programming and e-commerce opportunities.
Sotto's new mandate is to develop and implement breakthrough concepts to be expressed as shows, events, or virtual places that differentiate and distinguish the DEN experience.
"For the medium that's transforming the planet, we figured we better go find the most creative person on the planet. By popular consensus in Hollywood, that guy is Eddie Sotto," said Neuman. "Eddie is the most brilliant creative person I've ever met," he continued, "and one of the few creative executives who is a step ahead of Generation Y." Neuman added that Eddie will have carte blanche to enrich the look and feel of the network's physical and virtual architecture, "to enhance the brand for the net generation."
"What excites me about the Internet is that it's a new electronic canvas on which to create," said Sotto. "And with the media revolution that DEN is leading, this is a fantastic opportunity to dream up entertainment experiences of the future." Sotto elaborated by saying that, "whether the medium is virtual or physical, it's all about creating a sense of place that is fantastic and fun. This `place-making,'" he continued, "is DEN's vehicle to explore merging three dimensional story-telling with virtual communities on the net."
Sotto is an accomplished place-maker. He is responsible for the design of the Encounter restaurant and lounge at Los Angeles International Airport. Bazaar Magazine said "Space-age inspired, with futuristic sounds and lava lights, it draws even land-locked locals for cocktails." The New York Times calls it the "...destination for Hollywood's hip and young crowd" and The London Times says it "...is patronised (sic) by the hippest of LA's hip...." The hang-out was also the venue of choice for John Travolta's birthday party, the Beastie Boys "Hello Nasty" launch party and the most recent "Austin Powers" post premiere party.
During his tenure with Walt Disney Imagineering, Sotto was also the guiding creative force behind the new, state-of-the-art Times Square Television Studio currently under construction in New York City. The facility is the future home of Good Morning America and incorporates the use of electronic media as architecture. The building's facade reinvents the notion of outdoor advertising with an artistic interpretation of electronic media that invites passersby to step through the screen into the show. Sotto achieved this with a dimensional "media sculpture" that also highlights structural elements of the curbside studio. The Times Square Television Studio is scheduled to open later this year.
In his years at Imagineering, Eddie Sotto formed and led the Concept Development Studio, an internal think-tank assembled to push the creative envelope of WDI, ABC, Disney Online and other divisions of The Walt Disney Company. To his credit, Sotto was responsible for the conceptual development of world class restaurants, shops, shows, attractions and merchandise at Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland in Anaheim.
Digital Entertainment Network Inc. (DEN(TM)) is the Internet entertainment network that creates original youth culture programming and e-commerce opportunities of, by and for Generation Y consumers. As a privately held company, DEN has built the technical infrastructure and assembled the creative expertise to empower and entertain 14 to 24-year-olds on the web and revolutionize their unique culture worldwide. DEN's studios are based in Santa Monica.