Sparrowhawk Media, DIC Ent. and Corus Ent. Inc.s Nelvana Enterprises have created a strategic joint venture to launch KidsCo, a multi-platform global television channel for children and families. The first launch of KidsCo is anticipated this fall in central and eastern Europe with subsequent premieres throughout 2008 and 2009 in approximately 40 territories across Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Production house Paradox Ent. has started its own genre division called Grey Matter, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The new arm will make $5 million-budgeted features for video and limited theatrical release. Daniel Wagner will serve as vp production and Thommy Wojciechowskicq, former manager of creative affairs at Paradox, will serve as vp development for the new entity.
Aardman Features is in final negotiations to enter into a three-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures Ent.
DreamWorks Animation SKG ceo Jeffrey Katzenberg was paid $1 in total compensation in 2006 upon waiving a stock grant that was to have been valued at $5 million, reports the ASSOCIATED PRESS.
Katzenberg, along with David Geffen and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, controls a majority stake in the company. Geffen and Katzenberg together control 79% of the voting power.
Japanese animation firm Think Corp. has set up a limited liability partnership fund to raise money for animation production and equity finance, reports VARIETY. The Y2 billion ($17 million) fund will hold an investment period of seven to nine years. Think will put in $854,700 with the Japanese government pitching in $8.54 million and the rest coming from private investors.
Point.360, a leading provider of integrated media management services, has acquired Hollywood-based vfx studio Eden FX (THE LAST MIMZY, SUPERMAN RETURNS, HELLBOY, LOST, 24, GHOST WHISPERER, STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE, THE OFFICE).
In yet another chapter in the lengthy court case pitting Slesinger family against the Walt Disney Co. over WINNIE THE POOH licensing rights, a federal judge on March 27, 2007, dismissed three claims against Disney, reports THE LA TIMES.
However, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper set aside nine other claims, pending the Slesinger's appeal of a related state court case.
"We're pleased with the court's decision," said Daniel Petrocelli, Disney's attorney.
Starz Ent. Llc. filed suit today (Mar. 22, 2007), in Los Angles against Buena Vista Television (BVT), a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., for copyright infringement and breach of contract because Disney recently began to sell for transmission over the Internet the same movies that Disney licensed exclusively to Starz. Starz filed the suit in the US District Court for the Central District of California.
A new management consulting firm for communications in entertainment industry was announced today (March 19, 2007), Feldman & Partners, to be headed by Bob Feldman, a 25-year communications veteran with experience on both the agency and corporate sides. Feldman recently was the head of corporate communications at DreamWorks Animation SKG.
The firm will offer services in seven distinct areas, relevant to ccos, as well as senior agency execs:* Helping with organizational structure for maximum impact and productivity;
Comedian Carol Burnett has issued a suit in U.S. District Court against 20th Century Fox, claiming that an episode of FAMILY GUY violated copyright law, her right to publicity and misappropriation of name and likeness. In the "Peterotica" episode, Burnett's "Charwoman" character is represented as Burnett working in an adult film shop. Burnett is seeking damages of more than $6 million.
The Walt Disney Co. said today (March 16, 2007) that while stock option awards to some employees of Pixar Animation Studios were backdated, the board's audit committee found, "no one currently associated with the company engaged in any intentional or deliberate acts of misconduct," Disney chairman John E. Pepper said in a statement.
The stock option grants were made to key Pixar employees before Disney acquired the company last year.
Having just emerged from bankruptcy protection on Dec. 6, 2006, Stan Lee Media, today (March 15, 2007), filed suit against Marvel Ent. worth $5 billion. In the suit, Stan Lee Media is claiming co-ownership of all Stan Lee's co-creations for Marvel, including Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk. Stan Lee Media requests half of Marvel's earnings derived from those creations, in addition to damages and legal fees.
Sony Pictures Imageworks has proposed moving more than 100 jobs from Culver City to New Mexico if lawmakers approve a state bill next week that would make permanent an existing program providing a combined 25% rebate on taxable production expenses, reports THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.
A proposed 112,000-square-foot digital facility would be housed within the newly opened Albuquerque Studios. The partial relocation would not only reduce the cost of making vfx and 3D animation, but also ease the burden of the Culver City facility that currently operates at full capacity.
Viacom Inc. has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube, seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Additionally, Viacom wants an injunction forcing Google and YouTube from posting clips of Viacom-owned content. The complaint contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
The Foundry of London, which recently won an Academy Award for development of the Furnace suite of plug-ins, announced at its 10-year anniversary party last Friday, March 9, that it has acquired D2 Software's flagship NUKE compositing software.
The Foundry also makes Keylight (another Academy Award winner) and Tinder plug-ins, and is the creator and major supporter of the OFX plug-in standard, plug-ins that are currently supported within NUKE.
The following statement can be found on The Foundry website:
The Walt Disney Co. shareholders overwhelmingly elected all 11 members of the board of directors at the 2007 annual meeting on March 8.
New Disney chairman John E. Pepper, Jr. welcomed shareholders to the first annual meeting ever to be held by Disney in New Orleans.
Malaysian deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced in Seoul, South Korea the establishment of an animation center in Cyberjaya, reports Bernama.com. The center, located in the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), will be operated by the Multimedia Development Corp. (MDeC) and will serve as the main platform for Malaysian entrepreneurs in the field to tap into the global market.
London-based online marketing and creative agency Digital Outlook is launching its own production division to develop, produce and distribute character-based intellectual properties online, as well as across all media, including TV, licensing, retail and publishing.
The new studio seeks production partners and creative talent to work with on content and brand creation. The studio already has an active development slate and plans to develop and exploit up to 10 franchises over the next two years.
In an upcoming talk in Los Angeles, the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, and the regional film funding body, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, will explain to an L.A. audience how American producers can profit from the new German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) which offers a 20% rebate on every Euro spent. They will also present the advantages of Berlin-Babelsberg as one of Europe's most attractive centers for filmmaking. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel.
Following several days of negotiations the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA), Association des producteurs de films et de television du Quebec (APFTQ) and ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) announced that they have reached a renewed Independent Production Agreement (IPA).
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2006. In the fourth quarter, the company reported operating revenue of $204.3 million with a net loss of approximately $21.3 million, or ($0.20) per share on a fully diluted basis. These results bring the full year reported revenue for 2006 to a total of $394.8 million and net income of $15.1 million, or $0.15 per share on a fully diluted basis.
Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) has purchased 50.1% of FrameFlow, the visual effects and animation studio based in Chennai, India, for about $5 million. FrameFlow worked on Sonys CLICK last year.
As part of the deal, FrameFlow will become Imageworks India and will work with SPIs main production facility in Culver City, California.
A federal judge in Los Angeles rejected an attempt by the Walt Disney Co. to strip rights to the Winnie the Pooh character from the estate of long-time Pooh licensee Stephen Slesinger, according to court documents.
New York literary agent Stephen Slesinger acquired the Pooh merchandising rights from author A.A. Milne in 1930. After Slesinger died, his widow struck a deal with Disney in 1961 to merchandise Pooh and his friends in exchange for royalties.
The Disney-ABC Television Group will rename its in-house production company, Touchstone Television, as the ABC Television Studio, it was announced at the 2007 Disney Investor Conference by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. The announcement was made as part of a company-wide strategy to focus on three core brands, Disney, ABC and ESPN.
Ubisoft announced a new phase of development for its operations in Quebec, Canada. The company, which currently boasts more than 1,600 in the province, could invest up to an additional 295.6 million euros over the next six years with the goal of building up a team of 3,000 employees by 2013. This forecast exceeds current development objectives for 2005-2010 by an additional 1,000 jobs.