Boris FX, a leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, will be showing the next version of its award-winning application, Boris RED at the NAB 2003 convention in Las Vegas. Boris RED 3GL, an integrated 3D compositing, titling and effects application now implements OpenGL, delivering unprecedented performance at an affordable price to more than 20 nonlinear editing applications, according to Boris Yamnitsky, founder/president of Boris FX. The new compositing software also features more than 30 dynamic new filters, tools and technologies.
PostWar Japanese Anime/Manga is an exciting exhibition running April 6-June 1, 2003 at The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the creation of anime's most seminal character, Astro Boy, the exhibition connects the roots of anime with current works of particular international popularity including DRAGON BALL Z, DIGIMON, POKÉMON, and SAILOR MOON.
On March 23, 2003 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the winners of this year's Oscars. Hayao Miyazakis SPIRITED AWAY (Walt Disney) was awarded the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, while visual effects stunner THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (New Line) took home the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. Eric Armstrong's THE CHUBBCHUBBS (Sony Pictures Imageworks) won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
Anime heroine AEON FLUX may flex her muscles in a live-action feature from Paramount Films, MTV Films and Valhalla Motion Pictures, it was reported by the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and confirmed by an MTV spokesperson. The studios are negotiating with GIRLFIGHT director Karyn Kusama to direct the live-action flick, based upon the 1995 animated series created by Peter Chung, which aired on during MTV's late night LIQUID TELEVISION block. Through her Valhalla studio from a script by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (crazy/beautiful), Gale Anne Hurd (THE HULK, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES) will produce the film about the icy female superspy in an underground organization fiercely engaged on a secret mission. David Gale, EVP for MTV Films, will also produce the movie overseen by Michael Cole, VP at MTV and Valhalla exec Barbara Boyle.
4Kids Entertainment Home Video, Inc., the newly-established home video unit of 4Kids Entertainment, Inc., in association with FUNimation, will release Volumes 7 and 8 of the YU-GI-OH! home videos of the anime sensation on March 18, 2003. DOUBLE TROUBLE DUEL and FACEOFF: YUGI VS. KAIBA, each with three episodes from the hit television series, will be available at retail and at the www.4KidsHomeVideo.com Website in both DVD and VHS formats. Based on a popular Japanese comic book series, YU-GI-OH!
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment veteran exec Mike Dunn is taking over as president of the unit responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of all Fox film and television programming on DVD and VHS in North America. He replaces Pat Wyatt who resigned a few months ago to produce anime DVD premiere movies. Dunn, who was EVP of sales and marketing after a 16-year career with Fox, will report directly to Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos.
Anime fans should rejoice that ASTRO BOY will be getting a new animated series from Sony Pictures Television based on the original 50-year-old series from Manga master, Osamu Tezuka. Aimed at kids 6-11, Sony Picture Television International sales execs will launch the new ASTRO BOY at MIP-TV this month. The show continues Tezuka's comics-to-TV tale of a scientist who builds a robot boy after the death of his own son.
Kids' WB! will add three new animated series to its Saturday morning and weekday slates with shows to roll out throughout the year, starting in summer 2003. The network will be sharing more series with sister cablecaster Cartoon Network and is combining the ad sales units of each it was announced Tuesday, February 25, 20003, at the joint Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network upfront sales presentations in New York City.
On February 24, 2003 Cartoon Network kicks off a week of some of the best action/anime series starring giant fighting machines in TOONAMI'S first Giant Robot Week, culminating with a special presentation of the acclaimed animated feature THE IRON GIANT on Friday, February 28, 2003, at 8:00 pm ET/PT. DAI-GUARD and NADESICO, which have never aired on U.S. television, are part of the anime series featured Monday, Feb. 24 Friday, Feb. 28 from 4-5:00 pm ET/PT each day.
In response to the greater number of adults tuning into Cartoon Network, the channel has moved Mike Lazzo from SVP of programming to SVP of its ADULT SWIM programming franchise. And in a move that's been in the works for some time, it was confirmed by a Cartoon Network spokesperson that Linda Simensky, SVP of original animation, will move from Turner headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to the Cartoon Network Studio in Burbank, California to look after new programming initiatives for 2003.
Paul Golden is onboard at Vinton Studios in Portland, Oregon to spearhead its commercial division as the new president of advertising. Golden's mandate is to encourage the advertising community to turn to Vinton Studios for its variety of abilities including CGI, cel animation, live-action and motion graphics. "I want to correct the general misperception that we're all about clay," said Golden. He also plans to emphasize the individual directors and their unique styles rather than the studio as a whole.
This Summer Kids' WB! has added a new anime series, MEGAMAN: NT WARRIOR, to air in the U.S. Saturday mornings this summer 2003. Currently airing in Japan on TV Tokyo since March 2002, MEGAMAN: NT WARRIOR is a top-rated animated television series produced by ShoPro Entertainment. "We are excited to be working once again with the creative team that helped bring POKÉMON to Kids' WB!," said John Hardman, SVP at Kids' WB! "The newest incarnation of this beloved and time-proven character is sure to captivate kids and delight audiences everywhere.
Following on the heels of last week's announcement that YU YU HAKUSHO is moving to Cartoon Network's Toonami Block on March 3, FUNimation announced at the International Toy Fair in New York City it has awarded JAKKS Pacific the master toy license for YU YU HAKUSHO in North America. JAKKS Pacific will manufacture action figures, accessories and playsets based on the popular series from Japan that follows the adventures of 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi, and expects to have product hit retail shelves by Q4 2003, in time for the Christmas season.
Motion tracking manufacturer Ascension Technology has hired the entire staff of Internav, Inc., an Essex Junction, Vermont company, which dissolved at the end of 2002. Established in 1997, Internav develops highly innovative magnetic tracking devices for medical clientele. Ascension acquired the Internav team to increase its skill sets for developing new tracking devices. Ascension trackers are widely used to capture ultrasonic image planes for making 3D images of organs, to guide instruments to targets within the human body, and to provide viewpoint control in medical training devices.
Recognizing the need for a file format that could serve as the industry standard, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has launched its previously proprietary extended dynamic range image file format OpenEXR to the open source community. It is available at www.openexr.net. "Historically, the visual effects community and the motion picture industry have benefited from the creation of standards," said Jim Morris, president of Lucas Digital. "OpenEXR is yet another step in this direction.
VTV:Varsity Television, the recently launched 24-hour network exclusively dedicated to teenagers, has announced its spring 2003 programming lineup. VTV aims to fill the gap in youth programming between Nickelodeon (kids 3 to 12) and MTV (adults 18 to 34) by delivering a wide variety of original programming that is compelling and relevant to today's teens.
After previously announcing that the short film FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS, directed by Square USA, will have its theatrical premiere with the feature film DREAMCATCHER, Warner Home Video and Village Roadshow Pictures have now announced the DVD release date for THE ANIMATRIX. The nine animated episodes that make up THE ANIMATRIX (including FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS) will be released worldwide on DVD and videocassette on June 3, 2003.
New York's Abandon Entertainment is making inroads in the Japanese market with the help of agency Creek & River. Abandon has teamed with Creek & River to gain direct access to unique and untapped Japanese properties across television, comic books, anime and games. The company, which includes Abandon Television, Abandon Internet Group and Collision Entertainment, hopes to access properties that have the potential to be exploited internationally across multiple distribution platforms.
To more accurately reflect its core business, licensing company ShoPro USA has changed its name to ShoPro Entertainment. The company will officially unveil its new logo and introduce two new anime shows at NATPE 2003: MEGAMAN BATTLE NETWORK and MIRMO ZIBANG! Both properties began as manga and have evolved into popular TV series in Japan. MEGAMAN BATTLE NETWORK, based on the popular video game series from CAPCOM, is set in a time when everyday amenities are linked to a central computer system.
TOKYOPOP is about to publish three new manga series based on its successful fan-favorites COWBOY BEBOP, JULINE and HARLEM BEAT. One of TOKYOPOP's best sellers and regularly ranked in the BookScan top 10 graphic novel bestseller list, COWBOY BEBOP is based on the hit anime series which airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S. COWBOY BEBOP: SHOOTING STAR is an alternate telling of the TV show that contains all the same intrigue, adventure, action and noir ambiance of its onscreen counterpart.
Dr. Steve Sullivan has been promoted to research and development director at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Sullivan, who most recently headed up a computer vision team within the R&D group, has been instrumental in developing systems for matchmoving, image-based modeling and rendering, and motion-capture. In 1996, Sullivan received a PhD. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an emphasis on automatic object modeling, recognition and surface representations.
TechTV, a cable network dedicated to all things technology, recently launched ANIME UNLEASHED, a program block devoted to screening anime feature films and series, some never before seen on television in the U.S. ANIME UNLEASHED premiered December 30, 2002 with the series debut of CREST OF STARS, which follows a human boy whose life changes forever when an alien race invades his home planet, and currently airs nightly at 1:00 am EST. "ANIME UNLEASHED is a natural extension to our programming mix," said Greg Brannan, senior vice president of programming and production for TechTV.
NVIDIA Corporation's new GeForce FX and Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) are compatible and compliant with the Microsoft DirectX 9.0 application programming interface (API). DirectX 9.0, the latest version of Microsoft's suite of multimedia application programming interfaces, offers advances in graphic technology making it easier for game developers to create 3D immersive titles.
Cartoon Network continues to branch into anime with the U.S. premiere of CHAR'S COUNTERATTACK during its Adult Swim animation block. The network recently announced it had acquired three anime series, LUPIN THE THIRD, REIGN and TRIGUN, to round out its Adult Swim block, which also includes anime series COWBOY BEBOP and INUYASHA. CHAR'S COUNTERATTACK is a feature-length film drawn from Yoshiyuki Tomino's MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM series.
Pat Wyatt has left her post as president of Fox Home Video and Consumer Products, with the aim of starting up an independent production company specializing in anime, with a focus on original direct-to video properties. The company will also produce theatrical features, according to VARIETY. The name and details of the company are forthcoming. Wyatt told VARIETY her intentions are to reconnect with her family roots in Japan by "bringing eastern culture to the west." Wyatt has presided over the Home Video unit for the past five years.