In an attempt to keep the MATRIX franchise hot, Warner Bros. has green-lit anime adventures based on the original flick. The film's directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, who were originally inspired by anime to make the MATRIX, are currently looking for anime directors to create episodes for the video. MATRIX ANIME is being planned for a late 2002 or early 2003 release. The live-action sequel, MATRIX RELOADED, is scheduled to hit theaters in May 2003.
* 2nd Annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction: Friday, August 03 - Sunday, August 26, 2001, Los Angeles, California USA.
The July Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now on-line! July focuses on Internet animation. There is no denying that the Internet entertainment market has changed...so how are four prominent leaders in the field adjusting to the brave new world? Rick DeMott reports. Jacquie Kubin gains insight from executive Paul Samulski on NewKidCo, which is bringing some of the most well known properties and characters into the children's gaming arena.
TriStar Pictures is set to release METROPOLIS, directed by Rintaro (X) and written by anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA), in the U.S. on November 9. Based on the classic comic by Osamu Tezuka, the film is set in the futuristic city populated by humans and robots. Amidst the chaos created by anti-robot factions, detective Shunsaku Ban and his sidekick Ken-ichi are searching for rebel scientist Dr. Laughton, to arrest him and seize his latest creation, Tima, a beautiful young female android created to succeed the leader of Metropolis. The film is a combination of cel and digital animation.
According to Sound Scan, a video industry analyst group, Pioneer Entertainment's newly released AKIRA was the number-one selling DVD for the week of July 29, 2001. The classic anime film was first released in 1989, but was recently restored by Pioneer Entertainment at a cost of $1 million. The DVD beat the debut of live-action films FAMILY MAN, starring Nicolas Cage, and SWEET NOVEMBER, starring Keanu Reeves. The film is set is Neo-Tokyo after World War III and follows childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda as they encounter a military operation to retrieve an escaped experimental subject.
The World Animation, August 7-12, 2001, is proud to announce a new show added to its ambitious schedule. Sony Pictures Entertainment will host a "sneak peek" of Osamu Tezuka's "Metropolis." Based on the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of anime and manga, "Metropolis" was brought to the screen by two of the most respected figures in Japanese animation today: Katsuhiro Otomo ("Akira") and Rintaro ("X," "Galaxy Express 999"). In fact, Rintaro began his career working for Tezuka on his popular "Astro Boy" (Tetsuwan Atom) television series.
There is no denying that the Internet entertainment market has changed...so how are four prominent leaders in the field adjusting to the brave new world? Rick DeMott reports.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada's Animation Resource Group is looking for all level ANIMATORS. . . Montreal, Quebec, Canada's Chad Management, an agency promoting 3D game companies, is looking for an ART DIRECTOR. . . Toronto, Canada's Elliott Animation, a CGI animation studio, is looking for PROGRAMMERS with Web experience. . . Coquitlam, British Colombia, Canada's Golden Swallow Inc., a Web-based educational service company, is looking for a WEB DESIGNER/PROGRAMMER. . . London, UK's ITS Media, a game company, is looking for 3D MODELLERS with 3DS MAX & Photoshop experience. . .
CartoonNetwork.com has announced that the second quarter 2001 was its busiest quarter ever. Time spent on the site increased by almost ten minutes, peaking at a record 44 minutes 42 seconds in June. Cartoon Network attributed this rise to Cartoon Orbit, the Website's online trading community for kids; its Web Premiere Toons; and Toonami: Reactor, a 12-week broadband test, which featured on-demand anime content. The Website set a monthly record in June, attracting 3,102,000 unique users, a 100% increase from the previous year.
The June Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now on-line! June focuses on independent animation. Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman interviews Mo Willems, the creator/director of "Sheep In The Big City" about his career, his inspirations and a small sheep in a big city. Chris Robinson profiles Don Hertzfeldt, Ülo Pikkov, Andreas Hykade and Priit Tender, four of the brightest new stars in independent animation.
Get an inside peek! Tom Sito visits the construction site of what is sure to become a destination for animation fans worldwide - the Ghibli Museum, honoring none other than Hayao Miyazaki, one of animation's foremost legends.
On July 12 in New York, the International Flash Film Festival handed out this year's honors. Thirteen winners from the U.S. and around the world received the "arrow" award. The festival is the highlight of the Flashforward2001 conference and expo. The work of all 60 finalists, selected from over sixteen hundred nominations, was screened for the 200 attendees. The winners can be seen at: www.flashforward2001.com. Finalists and winners were selected by two panels of judges from the Flash community.
Spontaneous Combustion conceptualized, designed and conformed a 1 minute 20 second summer image promo, entitled "Max Blockbuster Summer," for HBO/Cinemax. Spontaneous design director Dana Yee said, "Our original intent was to incorporate a mosaic wall which would come to life and showcase a number of films. But during our brainstorming sessions, the focus shifted to graphics with more motion. We studied [fish schools] synchronized movements, how they seem to glitter and leave ripples in their underwater path and applied these characteristics to our test animations.
New Yorks Click 3x recently designed and produced a 2-minute video opening for One Show Interactive, a leading awards competition for interactive media design. The video, which kicked off the awards ceremony held recently in New York, features a journey inside the events prized Gold Pencil Award to reveal the creativity within. Conceived by Click 3x creative directors Christine Lin, Eve Lim and Michael Wiehart, the piece opens with a field of animated graphics representing software code and a gold-toned loading bar.
Each week, Animation World Magazine offers new articles, special features and theme-based coverage of the art, craft and industry of animation. New this week:
- New from Japan: Anime Film Reviews by Fred Patten
Fred Patten reviews the latest anime releases, including: "The Big O," "Urusei Yatsura," "Iria: Zeiram the Animation," "Key, the Metal Idol" and "Ruin Explorers: Quest for the Ultimate Power!"
The May Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now on-line! As we have recently changed to a weekly format with the magazine many of you have noticed that this has also changed our publishing schedule for the downloadable, monthly PDF version. Never fear! We are going to keep publishing the Acrobat version. Each 15th of the month we will publish the previous month's articles.
Alias|Wavefront has begun shipping Maya 4, the latest release of the companys industry leading 3D animation and visual effects software suite. The new release boasts numerous enhancements and optimizations designed to improve the programs overall ease-of-use and efficiency, with particular focus on rendering, character animation, brush and paint tools and games related functionality. The new release includes enhanced functionality and usability in several key areas. Focused improvements have been made throughout Maya to upgrade the UI and streamline the production workflow.
Phoenix Tools, an Italy-based computer graphics software developer, announced the release of Origami 2.0, a high-end set of modules and utilities for Softimage|3D, and a new Maya Shader plug-in. Origami 2.0 allows users to extract or reconstruct the lost 3D information from a set of photographs or a motion sequence. The new package is faster and easier, with greater reliability, giving the user a complete set of tools for all the steps that constitute the complex process of camera tracking and 3D reconstruction.
In association with the International Critic's Week at the Cannes Film Festival, monsieurcinema.com awarded the first award for Best Web Film at Cannes 2001. The seven films in competition were: CUB by Steve Whitehouse, Canada; GOTCHAAA! by Eric Gosselet and Fabien Brandily, France; IN A GROVE by Hiroyuki Watanabe, Japan; LE SECRET MINCEUR by Stéphane Ricard, France; MARCELLE (episode Les Plaisirs De La Route) by Guillaume Joire, France; THE BIRTH OF STAINBOY by Tim Burton, USA; and THE SVUOTCHER by Flavio Della Rocca and Mattia Pasquini, Italy.
The Ring of Fire creative team has designed and produced a promo package for FOX Sports Net's "Regional Sports Report" that began airing on March 22, 2001. The package was customized for broadcast in 16 different regions. Targeted promos were created for the four main markets -- Southern California, Seattle, the South and Southwest -- which included footage of various athletes from those important regions. Ring of Fire also created a generic version of the promo, which contained generic footage and graphical elements that could easily be changed to identify specific regional teams.
Sideshow Post announced that award-winning computer graphics artist Jonathan Herbert has joined the company's Sideshow Motion Design division as creative director. Herbert comes on board after seven years at the helm of Zero Degrees Kelvin, his well-known New York City production boutique that specialized in 3D animation for TV commercials, product and science demos. Herbert has seventeen years experience in directing and managing 3D and special effects projects.
Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., has formed a strategic development relationship with Microsoft Corporation to provide professional 3D art tools for modeling and animation for the Xbox video game system. Through this agreement, SOFTIMAGE|XSI animation software and SOFTIMAGE|RTK character middleware will support the creation of Xbox-specific content. "The stunning graphics performance of Xbox is powered by the NVIDIA graphics processing unit (Xbox GPU).
Attracted by his passion for film and food, and a design aesthetic beyond his years, Black Logic has signed Alessandro Swainston as a designer/director, announced vice president and executive producer Karen Stewart. Black Logic is a comprehensive, creative collaboration company offering full-service visual effects, graphic design, high-end compositing, 2D and 3D animation, and complete live-action production.
The English-language version of the anime thriller JIN-ROH: THE WOLF BRIGADE will have its theatrical release at New York's Cinema Village on June 22, 2001, at the Varsity Theater in Seattle on June 29, 2001 and nationally throughout the summer. A collaboration between two generations of filmmakers, JIN-ROH marries a hard-hearted script by Momoru Oshii, the internationally acclaimed maker of GHOST IN THE SHELL with the vérité direction of Hiroyuki Okiura, assistant to Oshii on GHOST. JIN-ROH's setting is Tokyo - not the Tokyo of the future, but of an alternate past.