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Technology Headline News

Codemasters And RTT Announce Strategic Technology Alliance

Codemasters, developer and publisher of award-winning video games, and Realtime Technology, a leading provider of 3D realtime rendering and visualization technologies and services for the automobile, aircraft and consumer goods industries, today announced a strategic partnership of technology and knowledge cooperation.

Game Headline News

EU Gives Vivendi-Activision Deal The Thumbs Up

EU's regulatory body the European Commission gave their approval for the merger of Vivendi's games unit with California-based game developer Activision, according to VARIETY.

The nod came on Wednesday, creating a complex $9.85 billion deal that gives Vivendi a 52 percent stake in the new entity, to be named Activision Blizzard. The companies announced their intent to merge in December.

Headline News

Blockbuster Tries For Circuit City

Blockbuster has offered to acquire Circuit City for at about $1 billion, they announced Monday.

The offer was made in a letter sent to Circuit City Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philip Schoonover on February 17 on behalf of the Blockbuster Board of Directors, which fully supports the offer.

Circuit City has not responded to the offer, prompting Blockbuster to make the proposal public.

Disney Headline News

India Ok's Disney-UTV Deal

Thursday, India's government approved Disney's plan to invest $233 million into media group UTV, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Disney's investment further establishes its entry into the Indian market through UTV and complements its fast-growing Disney-branded businesses and long-held joint venture in ESPN STAR Sports.

With the approval of India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board, Disney will be increasing its stake in UTV to 32.1 percent on a fully diluted share capital basis.

Films Headline News

Horror Genre On DVD Gets Boost With Ghost House

Ghost House Pictures will launch a new film acquisitions company this fall to extend the Ghost House brand to home entertainment, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Ghost House Underground will release 12 to 20 films a year, mostly through Lionsgate -- owner of the SAW franchise and AFTER DARK series on DVD.

Ghost House Pictures is a horror genre company led by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Mandate Pictures president Nathan Kahane. The new venture will team with Grindstone, a major distributor of direct-to-DVD films.

Production Headline News

New Digital Studio For Imageworks India In Chennai

Imageworks India launched a new digital production studio in Chennai, India today, according to THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE.

Imageworks is part of Sony Pictures Imageworks, and will have more than 90 employees at the full production studio working with their counterparts in Culver City and Novato, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"We plan to integrate the workforce in different centers as a single unit," said Tim Sarnoff, President of Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Lucas Headline News

Fight Over Stormtroopers Creation Continues

George Lucas and British prop designer Andrew Ainsworth continued their copyright battle in the U.K. this week over the white molded Stormtrooper uniform made famous in Lucas' STAR WARS saga, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports.

Studio Headline News

Digital Video Arts Moves Into New Studio

Post-production house Digital Video Arts has moved into their new 15,000 square foot facility in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

The new studio is state-of-the-art for the company's work in broadcast film production, post-production, still photography and music composition.

It houses a HD screening room with seating for 24, a bistro-style bar and lounge, two art gallery halls and a patio overlooking a pond and wildlife preserve.

Starring Headline News

Echo Bridge Acquires Alliance Atlantis Int'l

Echo Bridge Entertainment has today signed an agreement to acquire, through a share purchase, Alliance Atlantis International Distribution from Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

As a result of this transaction, Echo Bridge Entertainment would distribute rights to first run and catalog programming from Alliance Atlantis International Distribution worldwide, excluding Canada.

Production Headline News

MPC Coming To Los Angeles

The Moving Picture Company, announced plans to open a Santa Monica-based visual effects facility in late 2008.

MPC LA will initially focus on the U.S. commercials visual effects (VFX) market, and it will also provide a front-end presence to MPC's Los Angeles-based studios features VFX business.

Headline News

Google Shedding 300 DoubleClick Employees

THE NEW YORK TIMES is reporting that Google will cut about 300 jobs from the American operations of DoubleClick, the ad tech company it acquired last month for $3.1 billion.

DoubleClick has about 1,500 employees worldwide, and an American force of around 1,200. Google's CEO Eric E. Schmidt has suggested there might be job cuts overseas at a later date.

Games Headline News

Video Game Vets Start TimeFly Studios

Three longtime video game industry veterans have started TimeFly Studios, an independent video game development company.

Brad Ruminer, Dennis Booth, and Glenn O'Bannon, former employees of Rainbow Studios, will be developing games based on licensed property as well as original game concepts from action/adventure to rhythm games to puzzle games.

Business Headline News

TV-Loonland Releases 2007 Report

The management of TV-Loonland has released its annual accounts for the year 2007. Due to the restructuring agreement closed with the company´s bankers, the overall situation of the business has been stabilized.

In particular, the loss for the year has been significantly reduced and a positive net operating cash flow generated.

Animation Headline News

Maxon Spring Special - Save Up To 24 Percent

Spring is in the air. Temperatures are warming, flowers are blooming and Maxon is unleashing an unbeatable special for anyone who is ready to enhance their productivity and awaken their creativity by adding CINEMA 4D to their digital design pipeline.

Widely recognized as easiest-to-use, professional 3D application for film, broadcast and visualization worldwide, new users can now get their hands on this multi-award-winning animation package with up to 24 percent savings.

Studio Headline News

Staffing News From Radium

Digital studio Radium, San Francisco/Santa Monica/Dallas, announces the addition of Executive Producer Stacy McClain to head up their San Francisco studio and Meghan Lang as Head of Sales, based out of Radium's Santa Monica office.

Also joining the creative team is designer Angela Ko, working out of the Santa Monica studio.

Headline News

Superman Not Steely Enough To Avoid Legal Problems

Warner Bros. lost a potentially costly SUPERMAN battle against attorney Marc Toberoff for co-creator Jerome Siegel's heirs, VARIETY reports.

The federal ruling gives the heirs a stake in the rights, which were sold more than 70 years ago, and could put a wrinkle in Warners' plans to make more movies. Compounding the problem, co-creator Joe Shuster's heirs are eligible to also sue in five years.

Headline News

EA/Take-Two Battle Continues

Electronic Arts is not giving up their battle for GRAND THEFT AUTO publisher Take-Two, per VARIETY.

They're keeping the heat on Take-Two's shareholders despite the board's recommendation that a hostile $2 billion acquisition offer be rejected.

EA pushed back the expiration date to April 18, to counter Take-Two's decision to move their annual meeting back to April 17, a week after the bid was set to run out.

The offer now can be discussed at the meeting and gives shareholders one last opportunity to sell.

Channel Headline News

The Brits and French Get Edgy With Nice One Studio

The UK's edgiest indie, Channel X, and the enfant terrible of French production companies Moi j'aime la television (I love television) are to launch a new joint venture - Nice One Studio - at MIP TV 2008.

Created by Channel X's Alan Marke and Jim Reid and Moi j'aime la television's Phil Ox, Nice One's aim is to produce long running scripted series -- both live action and animation -- for the 15 to 34 year old audience.

Global Headline News

Former Disney, Baby Einstein Execs Introduce Children To Global Wonders

Bringing children "a wonderful world of cultural discoveries," the award-winning former executive producer of Disney's BABY EINSTEIN and former vice president of Disney Interactive Studio's -- Learning is launching Global Wonders.

Global Wonders is a new children's multicultural education and entertainment brand to introduce children to the customs, music, languages and lifestyles of friends next door and around the world.

Series Headline News

Hugh Jackman To Create Original Comic Series

Hugh Jackman, already portraying a comic book character in 20th Century Fox's upcoming X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, is now teaming with scribe Marc Guggenheim and Virgin Comics to create the original comic series NOWHERE MAN.

Story details are being kept under wraps but Virgin officials describe the story as a sci-fi odyssey set in a groundbreaking vision of the future in which mankind has traded privacy for safety.

"I've had so much fun in the graphic novel world with the X-MEN franchise that I wanted to get even more involved," said Jackman about the project.

Music Headline News

DIC Launches Production Music Site

DIC Music, a subsidiary of global brand management company DIC Ent., is launching a new online production music business,

The new venture will serve as a one-stop, royalty free music source for film and television professionals, independent film producers, instructors and students to purchase quality, affordable production music for all premium media productions, including station themes, news and commercial music, animation, live action, home video, Webisodes, demo reels, video games, student projects and temp tracks.

Company Headline News

Studio Expansion and Upgrade For Liquid 9

Post-production boutique Liquid 9 has completed a complete redesign and upgrade of its studio in conjunction with a restructuring and a new owner: Chris O'Connor.

The upgrade includes additional space, giving the facility 3,000 sq. ft. of new and improved creative quarters with a fresh new look. Renovations included redoing all the video editing, sound design and motion graphics suites, which include Avid Adrenaline HD, Final Cut Pro HD, After Effects, Smoke and Pro Tools HD stations.

Productions Headline News

Phoenix Productions Acquired By International Duplication

International Duplication Centre , a New York City-based digital post-production and new media facility, has acquired Phoenix Productions.

A new fully integrated production, creative motion branding and post-production division, Air Station, will be headed by Chris Phoenix.

Phoenix Productions has specialized in consulting for magazine publishing companies expanding their brands to the web through video and rich media programming and advertising.

Dark Headline News

Universal And Dark Horse Sign Deal

Universal Pictures and indie comic book company Dark Horse Entertainment have signed a worldwide production and distribution agreement, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Universal is now the studio home of Dark Horse, which is one of the largest comic book companies outside of Marvel and DC.

It has access to all Dark Horse characters, properties and any material Dark Horse acquires on its own.

In return, Dark Horse projects have financial backing and a distribution entity.