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Headline News Fuji TV & Production IG Open Post-Production Studio

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 12:00am

Fuji Television Network and Production IG have partnered on a jointly owned digital post-production studio, reports VARIETY. Opening its doors in January, Fuji IG Laboratory for Movies, aka FILM, will work on animation, live-action and, in conjunction with Skywalker Sound, sound design.

"This is our second endeavor in feature animation following the production of BRAVE STORY, Fuji TV's first animated feature," said Chihiro Kameyama, head of Fuji TV's motion picture department.

Headline News Diablo Developers Start Up Hyboreal Games Studio

A group of seasoned gaming veterans have formed Hyboreal Games as a new development studio on Nov. 28, 2005. Hyboreal Games was founded by Eric Sexton, Michio Okamura and Steven Woo, all industry veterans and former developers for Blizzard North, where their contributions were essential to the success of the highly acclaimed DIABLO franchise, which has sold well over 13 million copies worldwide. The Hyboreal Games mission is to make best-selling game franchises by applying the proven formula of mass accessibility, addictive game play and longevity through re-playability.

Headline News Canada Looks at Opening Animation Centre

The Algoma, Canada city council will look into the feasibility of building an adjacent Animation Centre to the Art Gallery Of Algoma, reports LTV.com. Gallery curator, Michael Burtch has championed the idea of a gallery of donated animation cels worth several million dollars from several cartoon series including SUPER DAVE OSBORNE and other successful Canadian productions. A study conducted in March said that a center of sufficient size and scale could draw tourists to the city. Councilor Steve Butland has put forth a resolution to create a task force to help develop a plan for the center.

Headline News Cisco Systems Acquiring Scientific-Atlanta

Cisco Systems Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Scientific-Atlanta Inc. Scientific-Atlanta is a leading global provider of set-top boxes, end-to-end video distribution networks and video system integration. The combined entity creates a world-class universal digital communicator for watching video, making phone calls and shopping online.

Headline News Trey Parker And Matt Stone to Open Trunity in Paramount Pictures 3-Year Deal

Paramount Pictures has entered into a three-year first look deal with SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, setting them up as ceos of their new company Trunity. Trunity, a Mediar company, a division of True Mediar, a Unity Corpbopoly, will be based on the Paramount lot.

Headline News Comet Ent. & BBI Computers Telecom Join Forces

Tonronto-based companies Comet Ent. Inc. & BBI Computers Telecommunications have signed a joint venture for the development of several business opportunities including:

* Distribution of Olympic licensed products for the upcoming Olympic games.* Distribution and promotion of sports events merchandise.* Promotion of Olympic athletes.* Promotion of Greek participation in AMERICAS CUP.* Marketing campaign for the promotion of the Greek Film industry.* Creation and development of the animation industry in Greece.

Headline News Is the Australian Animation Biz Dead?

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 12:00am

Is the animation industry in Australian on its last legs? In a report on SMH.com, the head of Walt Disney Co.'s Australian operations thinks this may be the case with the closing of DisneyToon Studios Australia (DTSA).

However, DTSA gm Philip Oakes is bit more positive. He plans to launch a new animation house in Sydney.

Headline News Disney Channel Worldwide Integrates Walt Disney Television Animation

Walt Disney Television Animation (DTVA) has been folded into Disney Channel Worldwide with a corresponding new departmental structure for the division. Rich Ross, president, Disney Channel Worldwide, made the announcement today, (Nov. 15, 2005) on the heels of the resignation of Barry Blumberg, former president, Walt Disney Television Animation, yesterday.

Headline News Look Effects Relocates to El Capitan Theatre

Look Effects, the Hollywood-based visual effects company whose credits include THE LIFE AQUATIC, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, INTO THE BLUE, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and CSI: NY, is expanding and relocating to state-of-the-art facilities inside Hollywoods historic El Capitan Theatre: 6834 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 300 Hollywood, California, 90028.

Headline News Thomson Secures Hollywood Studio Support for Digital Cinema Rollout

Christie Digital Systems now has a competitor, as Thomsons Services division has reached digital cinema usage agreements with DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. to accelerate the deployment of digital cinema systems in North America. In addition, the company is in late stage negotiations with Twentieth Century Fox, New Line Cinema, and The Weinstein Co., and expects these studios to be part of the initial deployment.

Headline News China and South Korea Agree to Bolster Animation Festivals

China and South Korea have signed an agreement to help each other promote and develop China's Changsha Cartoon Art Festival (CCAF) and the Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF) into the largest animation festivals in China and South Korea, according to CHINA KNOWLEDGE PRESS.

The agreement was signed Nov. 10, 2005, at the fourth Changsha Cartoon Art Festival (CCAF) in Hunan province.

Headline News NBC Universal Recruiting Future Creative Programming Execs

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 9, 2005 at 12:00am

The NBC Universal Entertainment Associate Program is now accepting new candidates for the 2006 class that offers career development opportunities for external and internal applicants interested in creative entertainment programming.

Jeff Zucker, president, NBC Universal Television Group, said, "We are extremely proud of the Entertainment Associate Program and the top creative executives it has produced throughout the years and we look forward to recruiting talented future programmers for our 2006 class of Entertainment Associates."

Headline News Brickyard VFX Launches CG Animation Division

Artist-owned-and-operated Brickyard VFX announced the launch of a CG division, extending the companys on-site visual effects capabilities to include character modeling, animation and rendering in full 3D. The move, which includes the hiring of industry talents Jay Lichtman, Robert Sethi and Yafei Wu, is already allowing the bi-coastal effects studio to complete more and different types of client work.

Headline News SPE Creates Corporate Alliances Department To Unite Sony Groups

Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) has created a new department, Corporate Alliances, to maximize collaboration with other Sony groups.

Toshino Yuhaku has been named vp, Corporate Alliances. Yuhaku is an 11-year Sony vet with experience in Sony offices in Japan and America. Yuhaku will report to Beth Berke, evp/cao for SPE, who announced the departments creation.

The move reflects SPEs support of the initiative recently presented by Sir Howard Stringer, Sony Corp. chairman/ceo, called Sony United.

Headline News IDT Ent. Shops Down Under to Acquire Imagine Ent.

IDT Ent. today (Nov. 3, 2005) agreed to acquire a major Australian-based independent distributor of theatrical, video and DVD product, Imagine Ent. This increases Imagines offerings with the assets of IDT Ent.s home entertainment subsidiary, Anchor Bay, an established leader in the field that boasts an expansive selection of theatrical films, television series and childrens and fitness titles.

Headline News Warner Bros. Lays Off 400

Faced with a revenue slowdown and budget tightening, Warner Bros. Ent. plans to layoff 400 employees companywide in Burbank, 250 of which were notified on Wednesday, VARIETY reports. There are currently 4,550 employed at the Burbank studio.

Each of the studios four divisions is affected: Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group, Warner Bros. Television Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products in addition to the studios new specialty division, Warner Independent Pictures, which was slashed by 10%, including production head Michael Andreen.

Headline News Universal Joins Christie/AIX Digital Alliance

Universal Pictures became the third major movie studio to support digital distribution with Christie/AIX, following similar agreements with Twentieth Century Fox and The Walt Disney Co.s Buena Vista Pictures.

Universal will make its future feature films available to the DCI-compliant digital projection systems deployed by Christie/AIX, the subsidiary of Access Integrated Technologies Inc. (AccessIT), which is launching a nationwide rollout of 4,000 systems. Christie/AIX expects to install the first 150 systems in multiple exhibitor locations by Dec. 31.

Headline News Asian Ministers Meet To Promote Films, Animation

Leaders from Asian countries gathered for a high-level seminar which opened Oct. 28, 2005, in Tokyo to enhance Asia-wide cooperation to produce animated movies, games and other cultural products, reports KYODO NEWS. Ministers from Japan, China, South Korea, India and the 10 members of the Assoc. of Southeast Asian Nations are gathered to recognize the importance of movies and animation produced and widely circulated in the region.

Headline News Comcast Buys Susquehanna Communications

Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. and Comcast Corp. announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to sell Susquehanna Communications (SusCom), the cable television and broadband services division of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, to Comcast. Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff announced earlier this year that it would sell the business, citing changes in corporate and family circumstances.

Headline News Lucasfilm Animation Singapore Opens and Preps Clone Wars

Lucasfilm Ltd. officially opened the doors of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, a digital animation studio designed to produce movies and television for global audiences. The studio was created through a consortium that includes Lucasfilm Ltd., EDB Investments and Creative Technology Ltd.

Headline News Vinton Studios Commercial Division Now LAIKA/house

Vinton Studios Commercial Division will be known as LAIKA/house, effective immediately, a change to complete the transition started in July of this year after LAIKA absorbing Vinton Studios, a leading producer of character animation in all formats for over 30 years in Portland, Oregon.

Headline News New Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group Headed by Kevin Tsujihara

Warner Bros. Entertainment has realigned its businesses involved in the digital delivery of entertainment content to consumers to create the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, to be headed by Kevin Tsujihara as president. The new group will oversee home video, online, wireless, games, anti-piracy and emerging technologies operations.

In his new post, Tsujihara reports directly to Barry M. Meyer, chairman/ceo, Warner Bros. and Alan F. Horn, president/coo, Warner Bros.

Headline News 2005 DVD Screeners From Disney to Feature Latest Cinea Anti-Piracy Protection

Launching an aggressive new effort to combat piracy, The Walt Disney Studios will utilize state-of-the-art encryption technology from Cinea, a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, for 2005 DVD awards screeners. The agreement marks a milestone in the search for an industry-wide solution to deter movie piracy.

Among the likely contenders for DVD awards screeners are CHICKEN LITTLE, HOWLS MOVING CASTLE, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, SHOPGIRL AND CASANOVA.

Headline News Weinstein Co. Completes Initial Funding; Hookwinked! to Open Christmas Day

The Weinstein Co., the media enterprise launched this month by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, announced that it has completed a $490 million private placement of equity. TWC has a significant number of well-known strategic, financial and individual investors among its equity holders, including affiliates of GLG Partners, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Perry Capital, Quinta Communications S.A., Softbank Corp., TF1 S.A., WPP, a Mark Cuban investment company, and Vivi Nevo, among others. The Weinstein brothers are the founders of Miramax Films.

Headline News SEBI Bars Pentamedia from Capital Market

The Securities and Exchange Board of India Oct. 4 barred Pentamedia Graphics Ltd., from issuing any new shares or dealing in securities, considered a punishment for issuing fake shares reports India-West (www.indiawest.com).

According to the SEBI, Pentamedia had issued a duplicate set of its own shares pledged with one bank and used the shares to borrow money from another lender, through an associate.

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