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Home Headline News

SMPTE To Establish 3-D Home Entertainment Task Force

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is establishing a task force to define the parameters of a stereoscopic 3-D mastering standard for content viewed in the home. Called 3-D Home Display Formats Task Force, the project promises to propel the 3-D home entertainment industry forward by setting the stage for a standard that will enable 3-D feature films and other programming to be played on all fixed devices in the home, no matter the delivery channel.

Media Headline News

Sale of EM Entertainment Unit To Belgian Studio 100 Completed

The sale of the entertainment unit of EM.Sport Media AG to Studio 100, a Belgian media company, was completed today.

The sale was approved by the antitrust authorities in charge, as well as the Bavarian Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting and the Commission on Concentration in the Media.

Production Headline News

VIZ Starts Production Company

Japanese manga and graphic novel publisher VIZ Media is starting a production company to create films from their catalogue, including NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE.

Jason Hoffs, former production exec at Amblin and DreamWorks, will head up the company, based in Hollywood.

Japanese publishing houses Shogakukan, Shueisha and Hakusensha are the parent companies. Those three publish almost half of all manga that comes to the U.S.

Imax Headline News

IMAX To Install Four Theatres In Japan

IMAX Corporation and Tokyu Recreation, the owner of 109 Cinemas, one of Japan's largest exhibition chains, have entered into a joint venture agreement to install up to four IMAX theatres in Japan. The agreement marks IMAX's second international joint venture deal, as the Company aligns itself with top exhibitors worldwide with its new IMAX Digital theatre system. To date, IMAX has signed contracts for more than 180 IMAX Digital theatre systems, with approximately 50 expected to be installed by the end of 2008.

Motion Headline News

Perspective Studios Opens In Los Angeles

Perspective Studios, a leading creator of animation and motion capture for feature film, television, commercials and video games, announced Tuesday the opening of a West Coast studio in Santa Monica, California.

In a significant expansion for the company, which also has state-of-the-art motion capture and production facilities in New York, the new facility will provide top-quality 3-D animation and motion capture on the ground in Los Angeles and support Perspective Studios' rapidly expanding portfolio of clients, production attachments and original IP.

Visual Headline News

VES Publishes First White Paper

The Visual Effects Society (VES), the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects professionals, has published its first ever white paper, entitled "The State of Visual Effects in the Entertainment Industry."

Headline News

Vivendi and Activision Complete Transaction To Create Activision Blizzard

Vivendi and Activision have completed their transformation to create Activision Blizzard, which was first announced in December 2007.

Activision Blizzard was formed by combining Activision, one of the world's leading independent publishers of interactive entertainment, and Vivendi Games, Vivendi's interactive entertainment business, which includes Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT, the world's #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Activision Blizzard will continue to operate as a public company traded on Nasdaq under the ticker ATVI.

Digital Headline News

New Deal Studios Expands Digital Division

Award-winning New Deal Studios, best known for design and production of miniature and practical effects for feature films, has expanded the company's digital effects division, positioning itself as a full service visual effects studio.

New Deal provides clients with comprehensive visual effects services from design and pre-visualization through practical and digital effects production to a state-of-the art DI suite; making NDS one of the few studios in the world with this full range of capabilities.

Headline News

Game Maker Ubisoft Buys VFX Studio Hybride

Ubisoft has acquired Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based vfx studio specializing in film, TV and advertising.

Created more than 15 years ago, Hybride employs 80 team members. The studio's many projects include such innovative films as 300, SIN CITY and the SPY KIDS series.

Dreamworks Headline News

Intel, DreamWorks Animation Form Alliance To Revolutionize 3-D Filmmaking

Intel Corporation and DreamWorks Animation have formed a strategic alliance aimed at revolutionizing 3-D filmmaking technology, beginning with MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, which is slated for a domestic release date of March 27, 2009. As previously announced, DreamWorks Animation has committed to producing all of its feature films in stereoscopic 3-D beginning next year.

The strategic alliance will take advantage of Intel's visual computing products and tools and DreamWorks Animation's expertise in content creation to advance the in-theater entertainment experience.

Media Headline News

New Investor Cashes In On Imagi

Animation studio Imagi International Holdings is selling $40 million in shares to Singapore-based Oxley Spring Media to fund their slate of films.

Imagi will use the money to complete their next full-length CG animated feature, ASTRO BOY, due out in 2009. Imagi's first feature, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, was released last year. The studio has branches in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Dreamworks Headline News

Spielberg, Reliance Still Talking

Representatives for Steven Spielberg and Indian conglomerate Reliance are continuing to speak daily about the terns of a proposed $1.5million deal that would create a privately-owned DreamWorks and produce some 30 films over the next five years, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Headline News

DIC/Cookie Jar Merger Looks To Move Ahead

Ohio district court judge Solomon Oliver has put a July 7 expiration date on American Greetings' temporary restraining order that has so far blocked the $87.6 million sale of DIC Ent. to Cookie Jar that was announced on June 20, according to KIDSCREEN DAILY.

The expiration should free any obstacles to the planned July 21 merger, which is subject to stockholder approval.

However, Oliver also set a preliminary injunction hearing date, based on American Greetings' action, for July 24 and 25.

Show Headline News

Deadline Hollywood: WGA Writers Pen Letter To Sit Down, Shut Up Scribes

Nikki Finke's DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY reprinted a letter on Tuesday evening from 19 WGA animation writers to the striking writers over at embattled Sony show SIT DOWN, SHUT UP:

"July 1, 2008To Our Fellow Writers,

Games Headline News

Creators And Founders Of Neopets Launch Meteor Games

Adam Powell and Donna Williams, the original creators and founders of the online social networking and gaming phenomenon NEOPETS, have launched Meteor Games, a new independent game studio based in West Hollywood, California.

Meteor Games is an innovative game development studio committed to creating interactive experiences that bridge the gaps between the engaging nature and broad appeal of web-based gaming, the community-focused elements of today's exploding social networks, and the fun and depth of traditional massively multiplayer online games.

Headline News

EM.Entertainment, Your Family Ent. End Distribution Co-Operation

EM.Entertainment and Your Family Ent., based in Munich, will end the distribution co-operation agreement they've had since March 2004 by mutual agreement on September 30, 2008.

Furthermore, the exclusivity granted to EM.Entertainment was nullified effective June 30, 2008. Therefore, the program portfolio is distributed on a non-exclusive basis by both EM.Entertainment and Your Family Ent. until the agreement expires on September 30.

Work Headline News

Not To Scale Signs With Yellow House Paris In A Dual Representation Deal

London-based animation studio Not To Scale has signed an exclusive dual representation deal with Yellow House Paris for them to represent most of their U.K. roster in France. National TV, Coan & Zorn, Ubik, Chris Ketchell and other Not To Scale directors will now be available for work locally in Paris.

Similarly, Not To Scale will have access to produce work with Yellow House's eclectic roster in the U.K. Adding the work of the surreal and enigmatic DouDouBoy and Laurent Bebin to the U.K. roster.

Headline News

Sony Trying To Get Hollywood Onboard For PS3 Download Service

Sony is set to launch their long-awaited video download service on the PlayStation 3 this summer, but is still working on getting major studios onboard, per VARIETY.

At a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Kaz Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Computer Ent., announced plans to allow users to download movies and TV shows via their PS3 consoles starting this summer in the U.S. and soon after in Europe and Asia. This service has been in the works since the PS3 debuted in 2006.

Moonscoop Headline News

Moonscoop And DQ Form Partnership For Global Co-Productions And Distribution

Animation company DQ Ent. International (DQE) and brand management company MoonScoop Group have entered into a strategic alliance. to co-produce at least five TV series and two feature films (animated and/or live action) for worldwide distribution, with estimated global costs of over $100 million.

Animation Headline News

aniBoom Secures Additional $10 Million In Funding

aniBoom has just closed a $10 million Series B round of funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures and existing investor Evergreen Venture Partners. The company will leverage the new financing to expand operations, fund short form premium content for web and mobile platforms, and develop original animation series for television.

Studio Headline News

Ubisoft To Open 20th Studio In Brazil

Ubisoft will expand its award-winning development teams with the opening its first production studio in South America.

The decision to establish a studio in Sao Paulo was directly tied to the fact that the city is the economic capital of Brazil, itself the economic leader in South America. It's also a cultural hotspot, with a young and creative population that has shown a passion for new technology and media, Sao Paulo boasts the largest grouping of universities on the continent.

Headline News

Godfather Creator's Son Sues Paramount

Anthony Puzo, the son of THE GODFATHER creator Mario Puzo, sued Paramount Pictures on Wednesday, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS. Puzo claims the studio failed to pay royalties from a 2006 video game from Electronic Arts featuring the characters from the book and epic films.

Puzo, of New York, claims in a court filing that he represents his late father's estate, and is seeking more than $1 million in damages for breach of contract.

Media Headline News

Two Viz Media Parent Companies Give Manga Comics Licensing More Flexibility

Animation publisher and licenser VIZ Media has announced that one of its parent companies, Japanese publisher Shueisha, has made an investment in Shogakukan Production Company., the licensing and merchandising subsidiary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan, Inc., another of VIZ Media's parent companies.

ShoPro will be renamed Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions.